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Archive for August, 2008

…to sell off gear.

Yesterday, I sold “Rusty,” my Gibson ES-333. I hadn’t played Rusty much for the last several months, and even though I used him on a recording recently, I just didn’t feel that attached. It was a bit of a sad occasion, but I’m looking forward to replacing him with something else. Besides, testing new models from SAINT Guitars will be absolutely awesome!!!

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If you’re a member of Facebook, I’ve just created a new group called “The Guitar Life” to share experiences of living the guitar life. This is a totally open group, and I like to invite everyone to join and share!

Click here to join!!!

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…that is the question. I recently had the chance to check out the TC Electronic Nova System, Multi-Effects processor, and it has given me pause. Over the years, I’ve been a bit of purist regarding effects, and my response to multi-effects has been, shall we say, tepid at best. My thought is that a ME unit is a compromise. What you get is a decent collection of effects; or in the case of the Roland ME-50, a boatload of effects. But they’re mediocre at best. It doesn’t seem to be so with the Nova System, which has some very nice features. It doesn’t have near the number of effects that other ME boxes have, but what it brings to the table is the high quality you expect from TC Electronic.

This is a very intriguing ME system – but I’m not sure that I’d spend $699 for one. It’s a bit steep, and though I do love the drive on this pedal, I love my Tube Screamer and OCD boxes more. Who knows? I’ll have to play around with it at the shop before I draw any more conclusions. For now, if you’re curious, check out the video from I believe the Winter NAMM show:

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In other words, what does a rock star look like nowadays? In the late 50’s and early 60’s it was clean cut and suits with skinny ties. By the latter part of the 60’s and into the 70’s it was the “hippie” or “mod” look. By the 80’s glam hit the scene and spandex and big hair was de riguer for the day. The 90’s was dirty jeans, dirty hair, and lumberjack shirts. Ugh!

So what’s the style nowadays?

BTW, can’t really count metal in this because that has had a fairly consistent style all these years. Mind you, this isn’t a bad thing, either.

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Where’s IG?

IG must be busy, because he hasn’t posted something since 8/15… Who’s IG? Why none other than Ignacio Gonzales: Guitarist, guitar writer, philosopher and teacher, and generally great guy.

IG, I NEED MY IGBLOG FIX!!! 🙂

Funny how you get the in habit of visiting certain sites. IGBLOG has been a regular, daily stop of mine for quite some time, and I have to admit that I miss it when he doesn’t post new material. But, I totally understand how life can get in the way of our passions at times. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, though… 🙂

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BOSS TU-2 Chromatic Tuner

BOSS TU-2 Chromatic Tuner

BOSS TU-2 Chromatic Tuner
Summary: Basic, no-frills chromatic tuner in a convenient stomp box that can also double as a power source.

Pros: Super-convenient stomp box makes on-stage tuning a breeze. Tuning mode automatically cuts off signal to the rest of your board for relatively “silent” tuning.

Cons: Only has 11 total LED’s, so fine adjustments aren’t possible.

Price: New $99 Street

Features (fr. BOSS site):

  • BOSS world-renowned TU-Series tuner accuracy in a convenient stompbox design
  • Mute/Bypass select for silent tuning with a single stomp
  • 11-point LED indicators and new “stream” meter display tuning discrepancy via speed and direction of LEDs (speed of LED movement gets slower as pitch becomes more accurate)
  • 7-segment LED displays string and note names, easily visible on dark stages
  • Seven easy tuning modes include Chromatic, Guitar Regular, Guitar Flat, Guitar Double Flat, Bass Regular, Bass Flat, Bass Double Flat
  • Tuning mode setting and display style choice stored in memory
  • Adjustable reference pitch from 438 to 445Hz
  • 8-octave tuning range–the widest in its class
  • Footswitchable Tuner Off mode preserves battery life by disabling LEDs

Let’s face it: Tuning is a fact of life when you play any musical instrument. And if you’re like most gigging musicians, you don’t have a guitar tech at your gigs to tune your guitars in between songs. For that, you need a tuner. For years, I used a cheap, hand-held analog tuner with a sweep meter for tuning. It was very accurate and did the job well, but as I started to gig more and more, having to turn the volume down on my amp to tune soon became irritating.

So I decided to get a stomp box tuner, and went down to Guitar Center and bought the TU-2. Now I will be the first to admit that I didn’t do much research before buying the TU-2. I’d recently read an interview with Joe Satriani and he had a TU-2. I figured if something’s good enough for Satch then it’s definitely good enough for me. It was a safe bet then, and it’s a safe bet now. The TU-2 is solid performer that’s fairly accurate, though no LED-based tuner could even possibly suss the accuracy of a strobe or analog tuner. But for what it does, I’m pretty satisfied with it.

Another nice feature about the TU-2 is that it can also act as a power source for up to either other pedals. I power up my board with a Dunlop DC Brick, but once I used up the 6 available 9V ports, I couldn’t add more
pedals without having to get another brick. For one or two pedals, that’s just not a good justification when you’re spending 100-bucks. The TU-2 comes with both a DC-in and a DC-out port. You can use a standard 9V cable to hook up another pedal, but it probably makes more sense to spend  the $12.99 and buy the BOSS PCS-20A power cord, which will route power up to eight pedals. Caveat: The cable runs between connectors are short. BOSS assumes you’ll be using nothing but BOSS pedals, but with tone freaks, that’s rarely the case. But it is a cheap, convenient solution nonetheless.

So what’s my verdict? I wouldn’t have it if I didn’t think it was useful. It’s not in any way, shape, or form something to do cartwheels over, but it’s a solid pedal that gets the job done. At Harmony Central, when you write a review, they ask you what you’d do if it the gear you’re reviewing gets broken or lost. Were I to review this pedal there and answer that question, I’d probably take a serious look at the Korg stomp box tuner that sports more LED’s and is a bit more accurate than the TU-2. The only thing that would probably keep me from switching is the ability of the TU-2 to provide power to other pedals.

Rock on!!!

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http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=94586

Had another song idea, but thought I’d share the main riff as a Jam Track. It’s a slow ballad in A. I actually had a lot of fun with this, working between an A major scale and a F#m pentatonic then adding some diatonic runs as well. With this tempo (mm=84), you can play your solo fast or slow. It’s about 5 1/2 minutes long. Have fun!

Equipment: PRS SE Soapbar II, plugged into Fender Champ 600 amp. I used a Nady RSM-200 ribbon mic set about 8 inches away from the center of the speaker. It’s amazing how big the sound is! 🙂

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