Archive for March, 2010

Some fat dork with girly hair and Steve Vai’s ‘Heart’ guitar

Posted in General whining, Guitar General on March 19, 2010 by Staff Writer

Here I am in Las Vegas, un-Photoshoppable beyond recovery, standing in Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas next to Steve’s famous Heart shaped guitar. Yes I am fully aware that this is the same green t-shirt I seem to always be photographed in when I am in America. It was Saint Patrick’s day – Jesus Christ – it’s just a tee shirt…

IMG_1019 IMG_1020


Guitar man made out of Turkish beer cans

Posted in Guitar General on March 19, 2010 by Staff Writer

Roland GK-3 divided pickup installation

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2010 by Staff Writer

Here’s a photo-document of the process of attaching my new Roland GK-3 pickup which came with my GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer. I mounted it on my ESP LTD Kirk Hammett Junior, which is a guitar I don’t mind messing up. Took about an hour. The bracket method works well for guitars with a removable bridge and height adjustable posts such as Les Paul. This method won’t work for a Strat.

Before – note sticky notes showing original bridge height so action can be adjusted to compensate for the metal bracket.


Strings off, testing out the bracket size:


Bracket with bridge back on for size. At this point, you can twiddle the bridge post screws to adjust the overall saddle height so the strings have the same action as before.


The bracket with the pickup screwed to it now, with little rubber tubes to allow height adjustability:


On bridge posts:


Bridge on:


Strings back on, controller part temp mounting with Blu-Tack. The ‘pole pieces’ of the pickup can be varied in height contour depending on the curvature of your strings. There’s a tiny screw in the centre of the pickup.


Wire tuckage:




‘Extents’, more atoms and ADDA

Posted in Guitar Playing on March 15, 2010 by Staff Writer

Link to Earlier article

Consider the following faithful (yet tired) 3 note per string scale. Note that again, meter, harmonic resolution etc is up to you and doesn’t matter for the purposes of this illustration. End on a C for fun if you really want to go diatonic. (Ignore the lowest line which isn’t a tab line – it’s the black border from my screen snip tool.)


Now consider the ‘extents’ of each 3 note group, i.e the lowest and highest notes (or vice versa) or the notes at the ‘extent’ of the 3 note span. Here I’ve got them as an ascending run (AA) and a descending run (DA).


Here’s a nice line with descending atoms in an ascending line. I use low action pull offs to get this one fast


These atoms use only the first two notes of the 3 note group. In this case, ascending ascending


This example uses those, then alternates them with the corresponding ‘extents’:


Now a related example with descending atoms


You can apply extents to any scale form you know – just play the two notes at each end of the group you’d normally play. Here’s a C scale form I like:


..and here it is in ‘extent’ form:


…and finally here’s a run that mixes the extents and the original notes.


Gitbuddy’s surefire guide to making yourself look like a complete tit at a guitar store

Posted in Guitar General on March 11, 2010 by Staff Writer
  1. Take a day off work to faff around with new kit.
  2. Stroll into guitar store, buy fairly complex piece of kit (let’s say for the sake of argument, a Roland GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer) without taking it out to test it.
  3. Get it home, extract from packaging. Ignore owner’s manual.
  4. Proceed to install pickup (e.g. a GK-3), ignoring the installation instructions.
  5. Faff around for 2 hours wondering why no sound emanates. Consult Internet. Instructions still in box.
  6. Manage to get dry guitar sound. Curse a lot that the synth functionality must be broken.
  7. Call the store and complain. Be told that it was tested and was working prior to the sale.
  8. Insist that you ‘tried everything’ and that you will bring it to the store.
  9. Spend $14 on a cab to the store.
  10. Arrive at store and pass the equipment to the store assistant, saying you can’t get it to work.
  11. Tap foot impatiently as store assistant wires up the equipment, readying a ‘there – I told you..’ remark.
  12. Look on perplexed as equipment works just fine immediately, with a beautiful synth sound.
  13. Turn red.
  14. Be told that you had the cable to the amp in the dry guitar out socket and it was no wonder there was no synth sound.
  15. Bear the smirks of store staff.
  16. Insist on lying that you had read the instruction manual and that it wasn’t clear.
  17. Mumble some kind of apology. Admit embarrassment.
  18. Spend $48 on a cable to try to salvage the trip somewhat.
  19. Spend $15 on a cab home, cursing a lot.
  20. Get home, wire up kit which now works perfectly.
  21. Consult instruction manual.

EDS-1275 variant

Posted in Guitar Gear, Guitar General on March 9, 2010 by Staff Writer

I’ve never seen one like this – with Les Paul Custom style 6 string neck.  Not sure I like the pickup alignment as it is, but a very interesting variant nonetheless.


..and another one, also from the same issue of Premier Guitar Online


All change

Posted in Guitar General on March 8, 2010 by Staff Writer

My Custom Classic Telecaster, which I’ve had for about 5 months got rotated into the closet at the weekend. Since I live in a shoebox Condo, there’s no space to have all my guitars out at once – at least if I don’t want them all damaged by my two tiny terrors tearing through the territory (my sons – 5 and 3 years old), so this means rotation in and out of cases.

5 months in with this guitar, I must say I’m highly enamored with it. I put some lighter strings on it than those it came with (10s to 9s) and I just find it a great player. Minor gripe with the overall Tele design is the lack of body contour, but that’s part of the territory. Love this guitar – its looks and sound.

Anyway, out from the closet came my Martin HD-28 and Ibanez Pat Metheny – both giving my calluses a serious run for their money. Managed to get about 3 hours of fairly solid (and uninterrupted) practice in over the weekend, which makes a change.

My Martin sounds amazing – I love this guitar even more since it was setup by Malcolm and add to the mix the fact that I’ve been playing my Classical a bit more recently (that guy needs a setup actually) and have some fingernails to play with, it sounds bright and sparkly where appropriate, plus it has a nicely balanced growl in the low end. Oh yeah. I gotta work hard on my fingerpicking technique to get a bit more volume out of it though.