Category Archives: Guitar Features

Elixir Optiweb Electric Guitar Strings

Changing guitar strings is a lot like shaving; it’s fun and challenging at first, but do it a few thousand times, the less fun it becomes. Upgrading from a Bic shaver to three-blade cost me a little more, but it made the task easier and I got a better shave that lasted longer. When it came to making strings last, I boiled them, or cleaned them with Windex to stretch a set for a few more days. So, any string that promised a longer useful life, I’d try out a set, even when they cost more than my normal nickel/steel brand.
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Fender Launches Fender Play, a Digital Learning Program for Guitarists

This research point I’m going to share with you doesn’t surprise or shock me. Researchers working on behalf of Fender found that ninety percent of people who pick up the guitar will drop out after one year. In this day and age of instant gratification and short attention spans, it’s not surprising is it? But now, Fender has a solution to take on that challenge.

Fender released a new, subscription-based, digital learning program for Desktop and iPhone, FENDER® PLAY™, designed to help aspiring musicians everywhere learn how to play the guitar. Designed with esteemed music programs and instructors from the University of Southern California and Musician’s Institute (MI) to help first-time players via personalized paths, 4K video and song-specific lessons – Fender Play is poised to revolutionize how new guitar players learn the instrument.
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Tone Obsession: The Devil’s in the Details

50thGibsonLPCKnowing about the details of most anything can be a curse. Really. The devil truly CAN be in the details. I’ve been on the guitar tone journey for a long time and it all started when I was a young player in my early teens. I wanted to capture and emulate the exciting tones I heard from my favorite guitarists. That’s normal.

Over the years I’ve learned that the gear is only part of the equation. There is a lot of truth when people say, “Tone is in the fingers”, but we’ll get to that discussion in detail another time. It took me a long time to live by the thought and remind myself of this fact.
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The Return of Shred Guitars? Part 1: Yngwie Malmsteen Strat

Perhaps the title is a bit misleading. "Shred Guitars" – a.ka. those guitars designed to be used for playing fast runs and scales – never really went away. They just were underground for a bit during the ’90s in particular. In the 1980’s, a hot-rodded "Super Strat" configuration was THE guitar to own for up and coming rock guitarists. If you played hard rock or metal, having a U.S.-built B.C. Rich, Charvel, Kramer, or Jackson was one way to tell the world that you were one "serious" musician – even if your guitar was painted in hot pink or some florescent shade, or came with wild polka dot accents or striping.
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Fender Stratocaster Plus Series

The Fender Stratocaster’s design, tone, and roster of famous past and current players clearly make it a legendary guitar. As with any other guitar model however, certain designs invoke a special feeling which deem it to be a classic or at least a legend in the making. The most prized Fender Stratocasters today are those known as pre-CBS (prior to the sale of Fender Musical Instruments to CBS in 1965) models, produced from 1954 through the early 1965. These instruments have a certain unique feel and sound as well as being historically significant since they were produced during some of the most interesting eras of rock and roll itself. As we moved into the 70’s, the Stratocaster became a more popular and more widely produced guitar, but also one that was constructed with less attention to detail. As a result of poorer quality control and materials used, the 70’s were seen as the low point of the Stratocaster.
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The Fender Custom Shop Experience

Jimi Hendrix. David Gilmour. I grew up admiring both of these artists…and their Stratocasters. Hendrix is most famously known for his late ’60s white “Woodstock” Strat, while Gilmour is best known for his black Strat (now a signature Fender model) which is a “mutt” of various parts – but started out as a circa 1968 stock model.

These late ’60s Strats are most easily identified by use of the large headstock design that originated after the CBS purchase of Fender musical instruments in 1965. Hendrix can be seen with his favorite Strat (he preferred his black one over the white he used at Woodstock) in his famous performance captured on video at The Isle of Wight in 1970. Gilmour used an identical black with maple board model in the Pink Floyd “Live at Pomeii” film shot in 1972. These classic performances, and those Stratocasters, left an impression on me that continues to this day.
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One Man’s Opinion on the Vintage Market

I think I’m a lot like most people caught up in the world of vintage (or at least semi-vintage) music gear. I always look for a great deal and to pay the lowest price when I’m buying and then I look to get the most return on my dollars when selling. That’s just human nature.

But within the past couple of years, it’s been a lot harder for me to do any buying. The deals have been difficult to find and the prices of the things that I’m interested in have gone through the roof. It frustrates and pisses me off that I can’t have the same fun in the marketplace like I used to.
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Exploring the Market of Counterfeit Guitars

I created our very first video, “Destroying a $5000 guitar”, designed to initially create some “shock” but with a “purpose” too to create awareness and get attention about the counterfeit guitar market – the hope that people would follow the video and then read the full story here and heed the warnings of this disturbing problem!

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