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?

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Free Swag From Guitar Center!


So, did you read the last post about the Guitalele & Guitar Center’s price match guarantee?  The whole thing is pretty awesome, especially if you’re a musician and you actively purchase gear.  It’s worth checking out, so click that link.

Once you’ve read that, this will make sense:

The gig bag & the stand are a perfect fit!  Thanks again to Luke for the excellent customer service, and to YaJagoff for sparking it!

Guitar Center does me a solid, and I didn’t even initiate it.


On the Saturday before Christmas, we were headed to a family gathering & gift exchange.  On the way, we stopped at Guitar Center in Monroeville so I could pick up a book of Christmas Carols that I had seen at the Guitar Center in Robinson.  I didn’t find the same book, but was pleased with two that I did find.

Guitalele GL1

Guitalele GL1 (Photo credit: matsuyuki)

Usually, I’m the one who lollygags in guitar stores, but the wife has taken up the ukulele, and over the past few years she’s the one that lingers near the ever-growing uke section at music stores.  In Monroeville’s Guitar Center, the ukes were right by the music books, so we both started looking.  Bethany was the first to spot our newest acquisition… The Yamaha GL1 “Guitalele“.  We both were fascinated by it, and I played with it a little as she asked “Do you want this as an early Birthday present?”

At first, I said no and went to hang it back up, but flipped over the price tag and saw that it was $99.99.  She gave me the “just get it” look, so we both new I just landed an early birthday present.  I do enjoy the wife’s ukulele, but the GCEA tuning did always mess with me.  Now I can play the ukulele without having to play the ukulele.  Although, if tuned “properly” the guitalele should be ADGCEA.  Of course, I dropped it to E because I didn’t like pretending it was a guitar with a capo on the 5th fret.  Although, I may have to get thicker strings or just suck it up & put it back in the A tuning.  They’re sort of like rubber-bands at this point.

I'll be home for Christmas, uke can count on me...

A post shared by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

Well, that’s just the first part of the story.  The second part stems from some interactions on Twitter.  I’ll try to post it all here as it happened, thanks to @YaJagoff and Luke from Guitar Center.

A simple question.  I gave the easy, flippant, and predictable answer.  Rock musicians are supposed to rail against the establishment and big business, right?  Well, Guitar Center proves to be awesome here…

These are the links I sent to Luke at Yourvoice@guitarcenter.com:

I only half-jokingly asked “Any chance I could get a gig bag or stand for free?”  I mean, it never hurts to ask, right?

I was met with a response saying I was getting both of them for free!  We discussed shipping details & the right size gig bag in a few more email exchanges… but they’re now on the way to me via UPS.

I’ve written to companies before, but I’ve never had any of them seek me out on a social media platform in a conversation that wasn’t even addressed to them.  It’s pretty cool that Guitar Center believes in their price guarantee so much that they actively go after any perceived detraction.  It’s also cool that they’ll not only go up against brick-and-mortar stores, but online retailers too.

That being said, the “little guys” could argue that they have no way to compete.  They can’t buy in quantities & therefore probably not at such a low price… so there’s no way they can pass on such savings.  Free enterprise, supply & demand, competition, it’s all very interesting & a continually evolving battle.

At any rate, I win out here… with a free gig bag & stand.  So, thanks to Ya Jagoff!!! & Luke for helping to set the whole thing into motion!  I’ll post some photos of the gig bag & stand as soon as I have them.

So, does the Guitalele count as a guitar in my “13 Guitars in 2013” goal?

13 Guitars in 2013! ⓭⓭===:::


13 Guitars in 2013!

13 Guitars in 2013!

So the other night while dining at Panera Bread, I was talking to my wife about guitars… and how I want a USA map shaped guitar painted like an old map with the pastel blue, yellow, green, & pink (red?) states.  Then, I said I needed 3 more guitars to have an “even” 13 by the year 2013.  With 13 being my favorite number… and us having a baby in 2013, it seemed like a good idea.  She laughed and rolled her eyes.  I said I could set up a Facebook page & get a million likes then she’d have to let me buy 3 more guitars.  She said that a million was too many, & suggested 13,000.

Like all good jokes, I took it too far & started a page.  Can I get 13,o00 likes by 2013 so I can add 3 more guitars to my collection?  I need 13 in ’13!

So, spread the link if you’re so inclined… and we’ll see if I can get 1300, let alone 13,000.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/13-Guitars-in-2013/209290145871186

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!

Gig Checklists


Jim Dunlop Tortex Fin PicksInspired by a post called Gig Preparation, I thought I’d make some checklists.  I think we’ll need one (and a half) for our stuff, one for setting up the gig, and one for doing stuff at the gig.  The lists would change depending on who’s working the gig or who set it up, but you should be able to help with the flow of things even if you’re not the organizer.  This is also from the point of view of a guitar player, because that’s all I’ve ever been.  I’m guessing it would be the same for a bass player & quite similar for a drummer.

Gig Checklists…

-·♠·-

Before the gig:

☐ Get all the details in order:

☐ The bands
☐ The place
☐ The time
☐ The price
☐ All ages or 21+
☐ Is it a benefit?
☐ Any specials if it’s a bar?
☐ Selling tickets?

.
Promote!

☐ …using social media – Link the crap out of details/event pages.
Flyers – Hang ’em up, pass ’em out.
☐ Word of mouth

.
☐ Communicate with the other bands…

☐ Sharing equipment? – Cut down on changeovers between bands.
☐ Playing order?

.
☐ Do you need your own door person?

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Stuff to take:

☐ Guitar – In a case or gig bag, I actually saw a guy use a bath-towel once.
☐ Backup guitar(s) – Don’t kill the show when you break a string.
☐ Amp head & cab (or combo)
☐ The merch box(es)
☐ Your gig backpack or briefcase. (“What’s that.” you ask? Keep reading!)

.

|·| |·| |·| |·| | |:|  |  | · |   | · |   | · |  | · |   |   |

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An acoustic guitar string. 0.044-inch (1.117 m...I make sure to have my backpack full o’ stuff with me at every gig.  Over the years, every item in it has proved useful and one time or another.

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In The Gig Backpack or Briefcase:

☐ Tuner (Get a pedal one, so no one can hear you tune.)
Wireless system (Certainly not a necessity, but fun.)
9V battery (Are the lithium ones OK for pedals?)
☐ Guitar cables (1 more than you need)
☐ Speaker cables (1 more than you need)
Strings (At least a full set, …any leftovers you’ve got should be in there.)
☐ Extra power cord
Power Strip (w/ Circuit Breaker)
3-Prong to 2-Prong adapter (or 2)
Duct Tape or Gaff Tape (or both… Gaff doesn’t leave a mess.)
☐ Tablet (Setlists, Merch Prices, Boredom)
☐ A sharpie or 2 (Setlists, Rock Star Autographs)
☐ A Leatherman-type tool. (Crazy or not-so crazy.)
☐ Guitar picks (I use Jim Dunlop Fins.)
☐ An Extra Strap
☐ Flashlight (A really bright one helps)
☐ Extension Cord

[::( )::]

Stuff that I don’t have, but might be a good idea…

☐ Pedal(s) – Wah, Distortion, Foot Switch, Etc.
Mic clip(s)
String Winder
☐ Pick strip or holder
Slide / eBow / Capo
☐ Strap locks
Trem poker
☐ Ear plugs
☐ Nail clippers
☐ acetaminophen / ibuprofen / aspirin
☐ Band-aids
☐ Cloth or towel

.

\m/_(-_-)_\m/

At the gig:

☐ Set stuff on the stage for the 1st band & any bands sharing
Backline the “main” act if there is one & set up in front of them.
☐ Tune (Silently! – No one likes the tuning song! – Tune your backup guitar too.)
Let the Sound Technician do their job.
☐ Set up a Merch Table/Corner/Counter/Box.
☐ Put your door person at the door.
☐ Using a setlist? Reach into that backpack & get one made!
☐ Have a drink? Water, Beer, or something harder.
☐ Tune Again (Silently! – No one likes the tuning song!)
☐ Unless you’re awesome & have a tech, get a string-wingman.

.

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Danelectro Vintage Power Source A cool looking...

I’m sure there’s stuff I’m forgetting, but I think this is a pretty decent start.  What do you think I’m missing from the list?  Do you have an emergency gig kit?  What’s in it?

D'Andrea Gmk1 Guitar Cleaner Maintenance Kit