Guitarobatics 🎸


I’m on a few super gear-nerdy and G.A.S.-educing groups on Facebook.  To the Awesome Cheap Guitars group, I recently posed this question:

So,what awesome cheap guitar moves have you pulled on stage? I’m a horrible guitar player, but I can wow a crowd with some flash, flair, and goofy-looking guitars. I’m guilty of the checked following…

Dancing E.

Dancing E.

☑ Playing behind the head.
☑ Playing while squatting with guitar in between knees, reaching arm through legs from behind.
☑ Playing while falling/laying down.
☑ Dropping-trou and continuing to play.
☑ Playing on knees bending back until head almost touches the ground.
Sad 80’s dance move with shuffling feet while playing.
☑ Playing on chairs.
☑ Playing on tables.
☐ Playing on the bar.
☑ Walking outside & in another door if possible with a wireless.
☑ Sitting in a seat with a wireless.
☑ Stage-diving.
☑ The Chuck Berry/Angus Young walk.
☑ Switching instruments mid song.
☐ Using a beer bottle as a slide.
☑ Using a mic stand as a slide.
☐ Blowing bubblegum bubbles. (Like Doyle.)
☑ Drinking mid song.
☑ Injuring a band mate by accident. (I chipped the lead-singer/bass player’s tooth.)
☐ Injuring a band mate on purpose.
☑ Improvising a mic stand out of duct tape, a hockey stick, & gatorade bottles. (Hey, we were playing at a dek-hockey rink.)
☐ Playing on someone’s shoulders.
☐ Playing while someone is on your shoulders.
☑ Playing from behind a wooden bear statue with the guitar on the front of the bear.
☐ Putting a lit cigarette under the strings in the headstock.
☐ The amp-hump. (Like Jimi.)
☑ The guitar-as-a-phallic-symbol air-hump. (Like Rex from the Lone Rangers  in Airheads.) 
☐ The guitar toss – Badass edition. (Like Prince – also, check out the falling into the crowd move!!!)
☐ The guitar toss – Oops edition. (Like Prince with the borrowed Epiphone or Krist Novoselic on MTV.)
☐ The guitar toss – Someone else catches & starts playing.
☐ Smoke-bombs. (Like Ace Frehley.)
☐ Set Fire to the guitar. (Like Jimi.)
☐ The windmill. (Like Pete.)
☑ The powerslide.
☑ The failed powerslide.
☐ Swinging from the rafters. (Hard to do while actually playing? This dude did it.)
☐ The “‘round the world” spin.
☐ The failed “round the world” spin.
☑ Yelling out a second story window mid-set for people to come into the bar.
☐ The “nyah-nyah you can’t see me” EVH turn-around.
☐ The flying karate kick.
☑ On the knees.
☐ On top of a piano. (Like Slash.)
☑ Dancing with the crowd.
☑ Duel of the Fates – using another musician’s fretboard as a slide.
 The salute – All in the air.
☑ The Poison-ish choreographed lean.
☑ Lean on a bandmate.
☑ Lean into a bandmate.

I know there are more.  I know photos & videos exist of some of these with me.   I know this post can get goofy. Please, I implore you to share your moves, including videos, animated gifs, and photos in the comments!  This kind of stuff is hilariously entertaining to me.

What’s your favorite to do?  What’s your favorite to watch?  What have you copied?  What have you invented?  What did I miss on this list?  Share your stories and images and favorite stuff from your favorite performers!

Now, for the self-indulgence:

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If I ever buy another guitar…


I certainly don’t need another guitar.  I’m always looking at them though.  There are just so many different kinds out there, and I can appreciate almost all of them.  Some I actually sort of drool over, & eventually I end up with one.  I don’t think 13 Guitars in 2013 will ever become a reality.  I can always add cool guitars to my Pinterest board, right?

These are some that I’m always thinking about…

Epiphone USA Map Guitar

Epiphone USA Map Guitar

Goofy Map

Like this…

The Epiphone USA Map Guitar – It has to be ridiculously cumbersome to play, but no more than my Galveston B.B. Stone.  The brown finish is neat, but I’d love it to look like an old-school pastel textbook map of the USA.  They pop up on ebay every once in a while, but none are ever priced low enough that I feel it’s a “must buy” because I’ll never see the same deal again.  There are other companies that make them too.  I’m not picky, I just like the shape & the idea.  It would certainly be a fun one on stage.

Fernandes Ravelle

Fernandes Ravelle

Fernandes Ravelle Deluxe

Deluxe

The Fernandes Ravelle – I’d like any of them really, but the green Dave Kushner model is awesome.  I dig the green color, and the sweet pick guard with holes in it.  I love how it takes the classic Les Paul shape, and makes it a little Alien.  The curves are awesome.  I dig the sound too, on the Velvet Revolver albums & live show.  I’ve seen a few in action at shows around here, but I’ve only seen one for sale at Guitar Center in Robinson.  I almost dropped more money than I could afford on it… it was only around $500 which seemed reasonable.   Sadly, I made a sound financial decision that day.

Fretlight Guitar

Fretlight Guitar

Fretlight® Guitar – It seems like it would just be really fun to play with one.  I might even learn a scale other than the pentatonic with one.  I like the old school one with the knobs & switches.  I don’t know if I’d even gig out with it, unless you could program it to make a cool light show or spell out the name of your band or something tasteless & offensive on the fretboard.  Maybe even the word “POOP” because, well, that’s always funny.

Hallmark Guitars Wing-Bat

Hallmark Guitars Wing-Bat

Hallmark Guitars Wing-Bat – Or the George Barris Batman guitar.  I’ll probably never have enough money to own this thing, but it sure is cool.  No Batmobile beats the 60’s Batmobile… and this thing looks like it was in the trunk all along.  If anyone has one that needs a good home, let me know.  I’ll play it & take care of it quite well.  I’d gig out with it too.  It’s a shame when these collector guitars hit a shelf somewhere never to be played again.

DIPinto Mach IV

DIPinto Mach IV

DiPinto Mach IV – One of my favorite guitars playersplays one of these sweet-looking axes. It’s very eye-catching.  It’s almost like a Mosrite, but not quite.  Gel from The Eyeliners is one hell of a guitar player, & the reason I want one.  I’m generally not a fan of red guitars, but with this… I’d like a red one.

Annihilator

Annihilator

Annihilator copy by Oktober Guitars – I’m not nearly as cool as Doyle, but I’d love to play one… being a Misfits Fiend for all these years.  I’m not sure I’ll ever have $600 lying around for a guitar that I wouldn’t play all the time.

I do also want a bunch of other stuff that’s not so specific.   I’d love to have a hollowbody, something like an Ibanez Artstar/Artcore or Epiphone Flamekat.  I’d love a custom Millennium Falcon guitar.  I’d love one of Tom Bingham’s creations like the Record guitar or suitcase guitar.  I like weird stuff, like the Bigfoot Guitar or the Electric Ant Farm guitar.

I’d like a translucent guitar.  I did want one of those lime green BC Rich models that were out a while back.  They had them in Warlock, Bich or Mockingbird styles, but I’m not sure I could pull that off.  I’d also like a see-through Galveston (or any “off “brand) Les Paul or Telecaster.  A translucent guitar with LED’s in it would be incredibly fun.

I would like a Fender Toronado or Gibson Firebrand too.  Maybe any sort of double-neck or even a 6-string banjo.  I’m sure there are other guitars out there that I want that I just don’t know about.

Check out my Guitars Board on Pinterest for an ever-evolving list.

What’s on your wish-list?

Everything Changes but Guitars? I disagree.


I saw this graphic online through Guitar Fail the other day, & again through Guitar Squid:

Stratocaster Evolution / Everything Changes but Guitars (I wish I knew the original source.)

Stratocaster Evolution / Everything Changes but Guitars (I wish I knew the original source.)

At first, it made me laugh and think “humph, yeah…” in agreement.  The more I thought about it though… it’s wrong. How is it wrong?

Well as far as concept cars go, it’s a whole different world from everyday-use practical cars.  Nothing has gone all that far from 4 wheels, 2 headlights, gasoline powered.  (Yes, there are hybrids and flex-fuel all over the market… but arguably people don’t like them unless they look like “normal” cars.)  But, this blog isn’t about cars.  I’m sure you knew I was going to talk guitars, because that’s what I do.

There are a ridiculous amounts of varying styles of guitars & guitar innovations out there.  Some of them may not be “reinventing the wheel” exactly, but there is always some great stuff happening, and there has been since the inception of the stringed instrument.  How do you think we got so many varieties?

Krank Amplification | Evolution Of The Electric Guitar

Krank Amplification | Evolution Of The Electric Guitar

I agree that too many axe-slingers fall into the Stratocaster or Les Paul shape trap.  For years I held a disdain for both shapes… but I come back to them.  Why?  Perhaps they’re good designs.  Perhaps they’re iconic.  Perhaps they sound incredible.  Perhaps they work.  There are many other options out there.  If you find yourself chuckling to and agreeing with this graphic, I challenge you to help me to add to my list of innovative guitars.

Any fans of the Guitarz Blog, Tone Fiend, Guitar WTF?, or gUitarREN should be into this.  (Any cool guitar blogs I’m missing?)

Let’s talk about how the guitar is ever-evolving… Shape, materials, string count, innovation, & general insanity.

Indy Custom - Flycaster (Tele-V) Telecaster Flying V Hybrid

Indy Custom Flycaster (or Tele-V?)

There are lots of shapes out there past the Stratocaster or Les Paul, whether it’s somewhat normal or custom insanity.  There’s the SG, the Telecaster, V’s (Flying, Jackson & more), hollowbodies like the Artcore or Gretsch models, the Explorer, the Ravelle, all the crazy B.C. Rich shapes, the Airline, even the Flycaster.  Are there really not enough guitar design shapes out there to satisfy you?  The Stratocaster doesn’t need to change shape, because there are plenty of other options out there!  I’m barely hitting the tip of the iceberg here.  I didn’t even touch on my B.B. Stone, FlipOut, or Batman axes.  How many distinct guitar shapes can you name in the comments?  (Actual produced shapes, not one-offs!)  Bonus for posting or linking to photos.

There’s also material.  Certainly guitars are mostly made of all types of wood, but there’s also plastic, graphite, Res-O-Glass (fiberglass), the Lucite / plexiglass / acrylic transparent guitars, aluminum necks, and so much more.

Once we get past the plethora of guitar makes, models, & shapes available… there are so many other innovations.  Some are great, some not-so great.  Just off the top of my head I can think of:  Synthesizer & MIDI Guitars, Fretlights, 7/8/12 strings, double neck guitars, the chord buddy, the Coral Sitar, built-in-wireless, the robot guitar, 3D printed guitars, Evertune… but none of them have really busted the mold (yet).  They’re all niche stuff.  This doesn’t even get into the many styles of bridges, tuners, tremolos, locks, and other parts that have been refined… or wiring.  You can get CRAZY with wiring.

World's Largest Playable Guitar being set up at the Carnegie Science Center (Pittsburgh, PA)

World’s Largest Playable Guitar being set up at the Carnegie Science Center – Pittsburgh, PA (Photo Credit: Kara / @ohidontthinkso)

The traveling guitar exhibit is at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh right now.  I can’t wait to check it out.  It’s got the world’s largest playable guitar.  I was lucky enough to get a preview the other day via Twitter.  Tell me that’s not an innovation?  It will no doubt inspire many to pick up the guitar, or dust off the one they already have.  The entire exhibit displays guitars, how they work, their history, & all kinds of fun interaction.

So, next time you think that the guitar has become stagnant, I ask you to go get your hands one one of the many non Strat options above… or even a non-standard Strat option… like a Fat Strat, hot-rodded wiring, or a backwards one.  There are plenty of different, innovative, and goofy guitars out there.  Rock out on something original!