Posts Tagged ‘site announcements’

Jam Center

Wow! Amazing what taking a few days off can do! I spent last weekend in Las Vegas deflating from the rigors of everyday life, and when I came back, made a conscious effort to play as little guitar or writing as possible. Sometimes you just need to take a break. But I’m back now, refreshed, restored, and fully recovered.

So yesterday, not feeling like writing any music – actually not feeling very creative at all – I just picked up my guitar and started noodling. Within a few minutes, I wanted to play to something, so I did a search on “jam tracks” and the first search result was a link to a place called Jam Center. Intrigued, I clicked the link and was taken to the site.

There really wasn’t much there; just a navigation bar on the left that listed “Jam Machine Keys.” I clicked the Key of A, the page reloaded and the following “machine” appeared on the page:


Cool, I thought, this looks really promising. I clicked on “COOL” and was rewarded with a nicely produced jam track. I slung my guitar and started playing… Two hours later, I still hadn’t gone through all the keys and all the jam tracks, I was enjoying myself so much!

Yeah, there are lots of different sites offering jam tracks out there, but what I like about this particular site is that instead of just playing MP3s in another tab or window that eventually end, the jam tracks are arranged in a loop, and not only that, many of the jam tracks have two different “feels” to them. Usually, the first part of a track will have a mellower feel, then jumping into the second half of the track, the feel gets more intense. Having this type of variation makes you play differently. So not only can you practice your technique, you can practice changing your tones and attack. What I found very useful with having two different feels to a track was it allowed me to practice switching pedals and pickup selections. How cool is that!

One thing I forgot to mention was that when you click on a style on the machine, text appears on the machine suggesting the type of scale to play like “A Harmonic Minor” or “E Blues.” It’s a small thing yes, but it’s cool to have a starting place. For instance, in one of the tracks, the suggestion came up with “A Mixolydian.” I’ve never been that much into modes and such, even though I’ve studied them, but as an interesting and added value, the site has some great graphic examples of the different modes.

I looked up “A Mixolydian” and was greeted with the pattern, and started playing the pattern over the jam track. That was really cool; a way to immediately use a mode over a piece of music, as opposed to having to intellectualize. What that sparked was using different modes starting with different tonics or root notes over the different keys. Some didn’t work at all, but it sure helped me understand how modes can open up a whole different world when jamming.

Anyway, check this site out. It’s a great tool!

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Saint Guitar Company

The guys at Saint Guitar have been busy, and just this week did a “soft” release of their brand new web site, and the introduction of their new domain name (saintguitarco.com). “stguitars.com” still works, but they will be going with the new domain name going forward.

I’m so happy for these guys! Adam Hernandez has got to be one of the most talented young luthiers in the market today. Jon Peterson, who runs company operations is a great front-man. But as a company, and what really endears me to Saint Guitars is that this is something that started out as a dream between best friends, and they’re making it a reality. They’re doing it organically without investors or bank loans, spending all their available time and extra resources (read: money) building the company up, and producing what I think are the finest guitars on the planet. And guess what? Not too many people know about them!

I’m hoping that will change, and I, as a passionate supporter and customer will do my best to get the word out.

What’s so special about these guitars?

Like many other old-school style boutique guitars, these are completely handmade, built from a series of custom jigs and templates that Adam has designed and perfected over the last ten or so years. But that’s not differentiating at all. What is differentiating is the tone of these guitars. They’re on the bright side, but sustain for days. A lot of that sustain has to do with the neck joint that Adam has invented. These are the first guitars I’ve ever played where I can physically feel the sound waves resonate through the body. It’s subtle for sure, but it’s the first time I could really feel it.

As Vinni Smith of V-Picks put it, “[These guitars] have just about the best bridge pickup in the business.” Before I played a Saint Guitar, I was never big on the bridge pickup. But with Saint Guitars, I just love the bridge pickup. Adam really found a sweet spot with its positioning.

Other than that, there is a certain magic about the guitars from Saint Guitar Company. I’ve played some very high-end guitars that cost three to four times as much, and they’ve not really impressed me quite as much as what these guys are producing. Just think about this: The highest price you’ll pay for a Saint Guitar is around $4800. That’s full-gloss, nitro finish with top-of-the-line EVERYTHING. But they start at around $1800 for an open-pore, stain finish (which sounds just as good). That’s simply amazing to me. I’ve shared with Adam that his guitars are almost too affordable considering the quality compared to other custom guitars. I’d pit a Saint head-to-head with a high-end PRS any day. To me, it’ll play and sound just as well or even better and it’ll cost half as much. That’s a no-brainer for me.

In any case, I encourage you to check out their new site at: http://www.saintguitarco.com

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guitaraholic_logoMy very close friend and fellow gear slut, Peter Jagielski, has just officially launched an interesting site called Guitaraholic.com, a place where you can keep track of your ever-growing inventory of guitars – down to the nitty-gritty details. Plus, you can hook up with other buyers and sellers of various axes through the site’s “marketplace.” What sets this particular marketplace apart from the buying/selling/trading on the forums is that Peter offers an escrow service for a small fee to add a bit of insurance that no one gets screwed, and to ensure that only serious players are involved. That’s definitely peace of mind for buyers and sellers.

Since the site is fairly new, there’s not much in the marketplace at the moment, but I do know that several people have been entering their information into the Guitaraholic database; unfortunately, at this time, you can’t see other members’ axes. That will hopefully be remedied soon. You never know, but you could be perusing the guitars that are on the site, come across a very cool guitar that doesn’t happen to be in the database, and make an offer to the buyer. That would add an interesting twist, wouldn’t it?

Peter’s a great guy, and I’ve had the priviledge of knowing him for many years. I think his idea is great, and with time, and perhaps a bit of luck, the site will evolve into a busy marketplace to find some real gems! In any case, here’s a copy of Peter’s press release:

Peter M. Jagielski, Founder
Phone: 614-578-4374

Guitaraholic Launches New Website for Guitar Collectors, Buyers & Sellers

Columbus, OH, 05/20/2009 – Guitaraholic™ announces the general  availability of its web site http://www.guitaraholic.com.  Guitaraholic is a web site dedicated to guitar collectors, sellers & buyers.  Membership is free.  The web site’s core function is to enable guitar owners to keep detailed track of their collection, from the color of the guitar down to the type of screws holding down the truss rod cover, and everything in between, including hardware and electronics.  Guitarists may also upload pictures of their guitars, which can then be used with the web site’s other major feature, the Marketplace, where members can buy and sell guitars.  Many of the relevant details that a member can specify about a guitar can then be included in the guitar’s listing, thereby making it quick & easy for sellers to list a guitar, and provide vital information to potential buyers about the guitar.  To sell a guitar, members need only pay a listing fee of $4 USD.  To facilitate a secure transaction between buyer & seller, Guitaraholic offers an escrow service for a fee of $20 USD.

For complete information, go to www.guitaraholic.com.

About Guitaraholic – Guitaraholic launched on a limited basis at the end of 2008 to select members of the
guitar collecting community.  The web site is now available to all guitarists.  Numerous upgrades are planned
through the remainder of 2009.  All major web browsers are supported, but Firefox™ is  recommended.

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