Archive for November, 2009

Mesa/Boogie Hollywood

Posted in Guitar Gear, Guitar General on November 20, 2009 by Staff Writer

Just prior to visiting the Guitar Center I first went to this little store across the road – the West Hollywood Mesa/Boogie outlet. It’s a small corner store on West Sunset Boulevard, but it houses a ton of great gear. There are of course examples of every current Mesa/Boogie amp you can think of in all different configurations and finishes. There were some gorgeous hardwood combos, heads and cabs all on display – more than enough to make a self-professed Mesa fanboy such as me drool with lust. I can tick this off the ‘things I want to do, places I want to go’ list now.

Here’s another shitty phone camera whiteout experience for ya:

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The walls of the store are lined with classy guitars. There are many Tom Andersons on display, plus a brand called Nash which has a bunch of distressed looking relics which would give Fender CS a decent run for their money apparently.

The store staff are friendly. The guy who served me resembled a young Michael Douglas but with long black hair. Turned out he was a wicked bass player – he was jamming away through the Walkabout Scouts while I browsed.

They also sell pedals – MXR, ZVex, Fulltone, and a brand under the name of Geoffrey Teese which makes RMCs – “Real McCoy Custom” wah pedals.  I did some back-to-backs with a Fulltone Clyde Standard and was very impressed with the RMC. I tried the RMC1, 2 and 3 models eventually settling for the 2, which has pots for Contour, Volume and Q. It’s a nice vocal wah and set me back $235 USD. All along, the Mesa staff were very generous in letting me try stuff and get stuff in and out of the effects cupboard.

After choosing this wah, I asked if I could try out the new Mesa Electrodyne amp which was announced along with the Mark V earlier this year. I enjoyed the vintage lo gain sounds of the amp and spent a fair amount of time playing it. Nice warm dirt and great sustain.

Other stuff I scored: red ‘Boogie’ emblazoned T-shirt. 2007 Mesa/Boogie catalogue (the latest full catalogue), 40th anniversary catalogue (Mark V and Electodyne brochure essentially), 2 x Mesa/Boogie branded pics, and this groovy photo of me, looking fat and dorkish in the store:

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Los Angeles – Guitar Center – Rockwalk.

Posted in Guitar General on November 20, 2009 by Staff Writer

Just how big are the hands of our favourite guitar heroes? Yesterday I managed to get out to West Hollywood for an hour and went to the part where there are a couple of guitar stores.

The GC outlet there is the flagship store – the largest and best they say, of the 200+ outlets across the United States. I spent some time inside browsing around, mainly in the Platinum Room which contains PRS Private Stocks, fancy figured Gibsons and higher end Master Built Fender Custom shop guitars amongst other things.  I did see a nice Gibson EDS-1275 (the first time I’ve seen one in the flesh (uh, wood)) which had me mentally checking my bank account for a while, but alas it would have been tough for me to take home on the plane.

Anyway, GC West Hollywood also has the Rockwalk which has handprints of many of the most popular guitar heroes and contributors to the rock pantheon over the past 40 or 50 years. Below are some of the shitty phone camera pics I took with my (admittedly quite small) hand inside the print that allows you to see the relative sizes of some players to each other.

Joe Satriani’s hands:

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Eddie Van Halen’s hands (he actually had his imprints in at least twice – by himself and with the rest of Van Halen elsewhere):

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Jimmy Page’s hands. Not as big as I was expecting. His fingers look very long and delicate in those old Song Remains the Same vids. Maybe they shrank.

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Slash’s hands. Quite thick fingers.

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Eric Clapton’s Slow Hands below.

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Billy Sheehan’s hands. Again, not as big as I was expecting – I thought he would have really massive strong hands. Note Vulcan salute, the Trekkie dork.

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Yngwie Malmsteen’s very long fingers and huge palms that help him around his Stratocaster. Look at that little finger on the left hand.

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Steve Vai’s enormous hands. Note extra finger on the left hand that enables him to do a B minor/Major7th #6/9 Aug b5 chord at the first fret. I think these were about the largest hands on the Rockwalk. Makes you wonder how he manages to play so accurately up at the high frets with such massive digits.

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Zakk Wylde’s strong fingers.

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Have Lapstick will travel – Los Angeles

Posted in Jazz Guitar on November 20, 2009 by Staff Writer

Well, there’s not much to do in Downtown L.A. so after an early dinner I settled down with the guitar and tried to make the most of the free time I had before my jet lag kicked in.

Through TGP I found this great video with accompanying charts that homes in on learning some of the most useful chord shapes (48 shapes in all that would pretty much cover most of your regular) plus how to connect them with walking bass lines.

Spent about two hours getting some of the fingerings down.  You can find the original chord charts here courtesy of MattRod.

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Well, that’s one way to kick off some viral marketing…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14, 2009 by Staff Writer

http://www.carlinoguitars.com/CarlinoImpulseAijaphotoshoot092509.html 

That’s actually a nice looking guitar. And, no – I don’t believe that is stooping low – it’s called ‘knowing what grabs attention’. And, yes – we may do something similar with our own product. : )

Have Lapstick will travel – Seattle

Posted in Guitar General on November 14, 2009 by Staff Writer

Visiting Seattle. Brought along my Lapstick for this trip Stateside (L.A. on Sunday) and managed to get a couple of hours of solid practice in before my jetlag kicked in last night. Worked on my tapping and some exercises in the latest Guitar Techniques (the final part in Martin Goulding’s series).  I think I’m getting quite good at it now and have moved beyond the exercises. I’ve applied some of the tapping licks over the opening chords of the first prelude from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and am beginning to get it under my fingers.

Forgot to report, Pepijn from Lapstick called me up just a couple of days before my trip and offered to replace some of my hardware (specifically the tuning knobs) on the guitar with ones that they felt were better and had more grip than the ones already there. Awesome – I’m very happy with them as when changing strings and tuning up to pitch it was previously quite fiddly (and could make your fingers a little sore!) to do. Now it’s a dream – thanks Pepijn!

In other news, I picked up a copy of Premier Guitar magazine which I’ve never seen before. It’s a quality magazine and here’s hoping we get it in Singapore or I may have to subscribe. Hmmm… that means choosing it instead of Guitar Player which I get for only $5 SGD an issue… am I ready to do that?

The Lord’s GAS Prayer

Posted in Guitar Gear on November 7, 2009 by Staff Writer

Our Father, who art in Heaven

Will I ever be satisfied with the configuration of my frickin’ pedalboard?

Forgive those of us who spend recklessly on pointless shit…

Like that $26 bucks of cables I bought yesterday at TY Music Centre

Just so the lengths from the FX loop of my new Boogie

Would be just nice.

Amen

Sweetwater made good on Switch Tip

Posted in Guitar Gear on November 7, 2009 by Staff Writer

Kudos to Sweetwater. After I reported that the guitar they delivered to me had a broken switch tip, they Fedexed me one – original Fender part, free of charge. Great customer service throughout.