Thursday, August 31, 2006

from hawaii to picks

my travels on the web - like most, i'm sure - are not very linear. i think that's what makes the 'net so interesting. the amount of, and the wide variation of, the information out there in the ether of those vast cyberfields is so undefined and scattered that looking for something specific almost always leads one to stumble onto an unforeseen and unplanned sidetrip. here's my path to this final interesting guitar pick link; guitar blog/fire and light blog/youtube/classical guitar videos/welcome to pottersville/youtube(again) guitar videos/hawaii slack key guitar (thanks darin for the link to tortis; they really are a find!)/tortis picks. what? cool picks, though.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

sbm custom built guitars

these are three examples of the unique, cool instruments cranked out by s.b. macdonald custom built guitars, and they are seriously cool! i stumbled upon scott's guitar blog, which is a blog posted by scott himself, and followed the link back to s.b. macdonald where i found these babies! check out his site here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

play guitar with the ventures!

props to hall of records; though michael doesn't specifically post on guitars, he has just posted a great guitar find of vinyl; "the ventures show you how to play by ear" " the guitar phonic system..." this is one cool record! i'm a total fan of guitar how-to records ( and every other type of guitar how-to media), and this is a total find! very cool. also, the whole hall of records is great; check out his site!

Monday, August 28, 2006

guitar strings for the future

they vibrate at 1.3 billion cycles per second, and are not guaranteed not to break no matter how much you bend 'em!
actually, a physicist at uc berkeley created these nanoscale guitar 'strings' to measure biological molecules. they're made of carbon and they are strung to a nanoscale 'guitar'; the strings vibrate at a specific rate, and, when that rate is interrupted, the deviation can be measured and the mass of the molecules can be determined. yeah, but, can i detune them?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

funtwo revealed

on december 20, 2005 guitar90 posted a video on youtube of a guitarist playing a metal variation of pachelbel's canon which he had gotten from another site; fast forward to Aug 27, 2006 and the is publishing the guitarist's name and picture, and the video now clocks in with over 7.2 million views!
quick version of the story; jerry chang, a 25 year old taiwanese guitarist works up an arrangement of a rocked out version of the song which demands great hands, tabs it, and video's himself playing it and uploads onto his band's site. a bunch of guitarists dig it, and try their own hand(s) at it. one of them is funtwo, the guitarist revealed today in the paper.
you at least owe it a listen, and then form your own opinion.....

Saturday, August 26, 2006

res-o-glas cool

came across this cool post by thevintageguitarcast; there's some cool pictures of a few valco's national brand "map' guitars. these were cool guitar that were reknowned for their 'map' shape. they were produced from '61 to '64, and were made out of a material made of polyester resin and glass threads; res-o-glas.
david lindley uses these, and this is a beautiful example of a national from his collection.

check out the rest of his instruments at davidlindley.

Friday, August 25, 2006

powertune tm system for guitar

the days when one onstage guitar tuned to A440 would do you through the complete five sets of the night are fading fast. so much of today's music is written in drop tunings or altered tunings, that you need four or five guitars placed out in strategic order with you on stage to be able to accomodate all the different tunings needed! so, besides borrowing your buddy's caravan each time you head out to the corner watering whole to carry all those guitars of yours, what can a gigging guitarist do? hey; how about a guitar which could retune itself to a different tuning with a touch of a button? nah, it'd sure be nice though....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

in search of a better mousetrap; building the egonomic guitar

many guitarists have experienced different levels of pain and/or discomfort while playing - or as an after effect of playing - guitar. some guitarists come to the instrument with pain or discomfort caused by other forces outside the guitar. i've had my own experiences with stiffness or soreness caused by guitar playing. most guitarists, including myself, change or alter their physical approach to the instrument to accomodate to the physical mechanics of the guitar, but, what if the problem was approached from the viewpoint of the instrument itself, and not the player? what if the instrument's design was defined differently, or adjusted physically in order to better accomodate the physical structure of the guitarist? through the ages, the basic guitar shape has remainded fairly entrenched in the tried and true designs of the past; given, these designs work well and design elements have been adopted to better suit players, but by and large the shape and designs of guitars have remained the same for quite some time.
robert at building the ergonomic guitar, has a great site up which serves as a documentation of his approach to redesigning the electric guitar with an eye to the ergonomic aspects of the guitar. rob does a great job of shedding light on the process, and - upon further explorations of his site - he succinctly explores the reasons why and how the quest began. anyone interested in guitar design, ergonomics, or generally guitar should check his site out!
good job, rob.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Calder guitar cases

my old pals at Calder guitar cases have been busy since i've last checked in on them. their design blog shows the new models of guitar (and violin) cases that are going to be going into production soon. the website is an interesting read; watching the preproduction moving through different stages is cool to see. the cases look great!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

scrape the bod, make the guitar hero move

knee banner
knee pic
some people take their guitar playing seriously, and when i say seriously, i mean seriously. ok, so maybe these guys are playing make belief guitar via the ps2 game, guitar hero, but busting your leg while trying out a rock and roll air guitar move, is taking guitar playing seriously! and dig they even built thier own website to commemorate the event! wins the 'scrape the bod, make the move' play of the year!

Monday, August 21, 2006

guitar tab site shut-downs hit the big time

further to the NMPA (National Music Publishers' Association) and the MPA's (Music Publishers' Association) legal efforts to shut down all the guitar tab sites currently up on the internet; the New York Times has posted a story on the actions being taken against the tab sites and provides a good background article.
thanks to for the link, who also has a good article posted.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

guitar tab sites disabled

searching through the tab sites on the internet today; OLGA is not the only site that has been contacted by both the NMPA (National Music Publishers' Association) as well as the MPA (Music Publishers' Association) threatening legal action if they continue posting tab. the claim is that sharing tab constitutes copyright infringement. here is guitar tab universe's splash screen;
guitarzone splash
guitartabs has also posted that they have received a letter from a law firm which is acting on behalf of the NMPA an MPA. guitartabs has posted the letter here .
wow, there really seems to be a concerted effort right now to bring down tab sites!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

building a guitar with ted

ted's guitar
ted's guitar is a great site wherein said ted shares the process of building an acoustic guitar. great pictures - showing a real insight into the steps involved in building your own guitar - and good write ups really help to get a sense of the work involved in crafting a guitar. ted's enthusiasm really shines through! it really is a labour of love. good luck to him, and thanks, ted, for taking the time to share your insights!

Friday, August 18, 2006

manouche modele orchestre gypsy guitar

checked out djangology , and found a great review on his newly delivered Manouche Modele Orchestre guitar. that is one serious guitar, and monterey writes a good review/insight into this - and generally gypsy - guitar. check it out here .

the guitar blog community

i really like the sense of community that blogging brings. there are a lot of voices out there, and i like reading other guitarist's thoughts and ideas. it's kinda like having a guitar coffee shop just around the corner that i can drop into anytime to chat about guitars and guitar stuff.
a couple of good reads are guitarz , and theguitarist .
guitarz is based out of england and posts quick, brief links to interesting guitar articles, and theguitarist is a common man guitarist based in San Diego who posts longer, personalized views on guitar related issues. they are both worth a click, so check 'em out!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

OLGA on holda!

unpaved roads, a great guitar oriented site just posted that OLGA - the mother of tab sites, and one which a lot of guitarists use - is down. i went to OLGA's site and seems OLGA received a "take down letter from lawyers representing the NMPA and the MPA" (to quote OLGA's own splash page).
the guitar is a unique instrument when it comes to learning to play, most of us learn a chord or two from a friend, and from that point on, we're kinda on our own. sites like OLGA serve an important function; it allows a great avenue for most guitarists to discover chord progressions, song structure, licks, etc on their own, and have certainly been a big part of my growth as a guitarist. OLGA come back!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

waltons guitar festival of ireland

steve kaufman

paco pena

john williams and paco pena discuss guitar

pena and flamenco dancers

williams giving a masterclass

these are recently posted pictures of this summer's walton guitar festival of ireland which was held this July in venues throughout dublin, ireland. a tremendous line up of guitar talent performed and held master classes including; paco pena, john williams, steve kaufman, john feeley, xuefei yang, and more! this looks like a great festival!

no island media

came across this great no island media site, featuring gibson acoustic, a limited edition dvd which is released as part of no island media's the search for the perfect guitar tone series. gibson acoustic has been made with the input of accomplished motion picture photographer erik l. brown of the horse whiperer, o brother where art thou?, ali, the black dahlia.
great looking website, and it looks like a beautiful dvd!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

squier's top of the line; the squier master series

the squier master series guitar line is the best of the squier line. they include the m80, m-80 special, the esprit, the thinline tele hh, and the chambered tele hh.
these guitars include duncan designed humbucking pickups, special binding, special inlays, metallic and satin finishes, set necks, and platinum hardware. all great guitars; each have unique features which set them apart. check them out!

Monday, August 14, 2006

yamaha sa503 tvl troy van leeuwen signature guitar

the sa503 tvl (troy van leeuwen) signature model from yamaha is a cool blend of old time es335 and post rock yamaha vibe. it's got three single coil soapbars, a real chrome bisgby, maple set neck, maple body, a kinda short 24 3/4" scale, and a rosewood fingerboard. it walks a great line between the obvious nod to the semi hollows of old, and a cool retro new look and sound. this is a great guitar, and i think it fills a great niche; it's modern enough to open the doors for new sounds and approaches, but it still feels like putting on a favorite t shirt!

the artist:

troy van leeuwen

guitarist troy van leeuwen joined the queens of the stone age 2002 after playing in a perfect circle and, before that the band failure. a multi instrumenalist, he's played bass, keyboards, and lap steel in qotsa, and he's also done session work for depeche mode, limp bizkit, and korn. his gear includes the yamaha sa503tvl, yamaha aes1500s, a gibson les paul and various other gibsons, and a chandler
lap steel.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

dream theater's john petrucci video

found this cool link on cyberaguioboy, a guitar enthusiast who also blogs about blogs and tech. he linked off of youtube, which is a very cool site in itself. i'll have to check it out. the video clip is of dream theater's john petrucci, and it's cool. cool band, great guitarist.

purple and orange

prince with an amazing back line of orange amps! courtesy of orangeamps which links back to

Saturday, August 12, 2006

a little orange with bite

orange amps have gotta be one of the coolest looking amp lines out there. how can you beat an entire line drenched in that orange hue? and the sound of orange has always been totally and instantly identifiable as soon as you hear that great retro crunch and that new/old bite of their clean sounds.

orange amps has released this little cool amp; the crush 30r, it's part of the crush amp line up. the 30r is 30 watts of power, loaded with a 10' speaker, and has reverb built in (i'm thinkin that's what the r stands for), and is the most powerful of the line.
these are cool little amps, and although the line is trani, they sound like there are tubes hiding inside. a lot of small amps are transistor based, and many of them sound like it. that's a cool sound sometimes in itself, but sometimes these small amps come off as kinda fizzy and tinny sounding. this little orange comes across really well; not a lot of that small amp sound.
very cool.
and i gotta admit it; i like the look, too.

Friday, August 11, 2006

a guitar teacher's notebook

Rob Hampton, a guitar teacher just up the street (web wise, that is) in seattle posts A Guitar Teacher's Lesson Notebook. it's always a lot of fun, and the guy has a great attitude; i really enjoy reading him. make sure you check him out!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

mccartney's first guitar sold for 614,000.00

macca's first guitar has sold for a staggering 330,000 pounds (614,000 bucks) to a craig to Now Public.