After 9 days straight of moving my Shop from one location to our new location, it made me very happy this morning to receive this clip from Joao. Now that the move is almost over, it’s extremely motivating for me to get back to work when players of such a high caliber enjoy using my pickups. Thanks Joao! You made my day.
If you haven’t seen Pat’s new music video, it’s really good. Check it out.
Dave Stuckey sent this my way a few days ago and I thought I’d share it. I think it’s unbelievably great! Enjoy…
Here’s another great demo where Joel fires off ”Walking the Strings” backstage at Deke’s Guitar Geek Festival using my tele equipped with…
Neck Pickup; TK Smith C.C.esque
Bridge Pickup; built by my friend (and neighbor) Curtis Novak to my specs.
Strings; Thomastik JS113 Flat Wounds
Amp; Stock ’54 Gibson GA-30
Joe Puma is another guitar player that I have a hard time not picking up my guitar after listening to one of his recordings. A friend gave me a copy of “The Jazz Guitar of Joe Puma” about 10 years ago and it’s been one of my favorites since. This song in particular is great motivation to practice.
My friend Deke Dickerson sent me this photo a few months back and I thought that a couple of you might like it. It’s of the Fender powered Smokey Smith band and I thought the lead guitarist might be Morrie Jones. But, after looking other photos I’m not sure. The interesting thing though is the Bigsby B-16. It’s reversible for both left and right handers. Maybe it’s a one of Bigsby’s prototypes? The tele also looks to have a bridge pickup in the neck position, and a selector switch and another knob up front. I love modified teles.
I purchased the Guitar Arpeggio Dictionary by Chuck Wayne and Ralph Patt at a music store by my house back in the early eighties. The book is out of print now but if you ever see it, you should get it. At the time I had no idea who Chuck Wayne was, nor did I realize he would become one of my favorite players later in life.
My guitar teacher at that time told me ‘’ there’re three things you have to do to become a good guitar player, memorize all of your scales in all keys, memorize the Guitar Arpeggio Dictionary and, listen and memorize solos of your favorite players.” I can remember thinking that shouldn’t be too difficult. I’m still working at it thirty years later and if I live to an age of 200 I might have a chance at it.
Ralph Patt’s “Vanilla Book” is also a great resource that shows the “basic” chords to over 400 Standards.
I was recently talking to a friend about guitar playing and motivation to practice (it seemed like he had a hard time staying motivated). I’ve always liked to practice, and have been easily motivated to play my guitar for hours. I told him that when I heard a solo that really moved me, I had a hard time not picking up my guitar. He asked which solos ‘’moved me’’? Then I started thinking about all the solos that I’ve found over the years that I have been really influenced by, that really got into my head and then can’t stop thinking about for days.
So once a month I’m going to post a song with a solo that makes me want to run for my guitar and practice for hours. Hopefully they’ll have the same effect on you.
The first one that comes to mind for me is Chester B. Atkins 1953 solo on Sweet Georgia Brown. I usually prefer solos that sound ‘’spur of the moment’’, as if they could possibly fall apart at any time, but don’t. Chet’s solo on this song sounds composed, but it’s composed perfectly from beginning to end. I can’t remember who turned me on to the ‘’Jazz from the Hills’’ by the Country All Stars, but even after years of listening to this, I still have to fight the urge to run for my guitar.
It’s always a surprise to me when I mention guitarist/arranger George Barnes and people don’t know who he is, especially if it’s a guitar player! Mr. Barnes was playing an electric guitar even before the great Charlie Christian. He is by far my favorite player of all time.
I remember the first time I heard the George Barnes Octet recordings. It made me feel like I needed to spend allot more time practicing. Twenty years later, I still feel the same.
I can’t imagine any well-known-so-called-guitar-hero today trying to follow George Barnes on stage or in a recording studio. It would be a joke! If you’re serious about becoming a better guitarist, do yourself a favor and get the full Octet recordings here.
Last weekend we headed down to Anaheim, CA to attend Deke Dickerson’s 9th annual Guitar Geek Festival. As usual, he did not disappoint. Besides a top notch group of pickers over two evenings, Deke’s insane collection of rare, valuable and wacky guitars grows more interesting every year. My favorite this year was definitely his Bigsby from 1956 pictured below.
Deke also showed a beautiful collection of relatively unknown “Harvey” guitars made by an incredible craftsman, Jim Harvey. The Harvey mandolin pictured below, made in 1952 for Scotty Broyles, features a five pole piece Bigsby pickup. Scotty himself, along with Jim Harvey’s son Howard, were there to play in the “All Harvey Band” where seven guys each played a Harvey made instrument.
Having just made a pick guard for Deke’s tele, we set up a small display to show the guitar geeks in attendance a sampling of what we can do for them as well.
Below are a few various shots of the event and the guitar museum, including an amazing steel guitar collection.