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The Continental by Jeff Senn

New Jeff Senn & Eastwood Custom Shop Guitar

The Continental is the latest collaboration between Jeff Senn and Eastwood. This model is more “upmarket” than the popular Model One, and looks very much like a vintage classic!

On a recent interview on the Eastwood website, Jeff Senn Explained the inspiration behind his new design, which also has a certain hint of the legendary Supro Ozark to it.

“When I was building the original Continental for myself it was built with a vintage Supro pickup in the bridge position and a vintage Guyatone pickup in the neck position. When we decided to make The Continental available as a production instrument I chose pickups that evoked a similar tonality but were easily accessible. 

“It’s a very versatile combination as the guitar can twang, growl, sparkle and cover many genres of music from Punk to Western Swing, Blues and Jazz. I’m personally drawn to guitars that I can take on almost any gig without worrying if they will fit the style of music. Versatility is a good thing and this is what I had in mind for The Continental. Another aspect of the pickup choices is that they are easily replaceable with a plethora of choices should the player want a different sound or output. By mounting the mini-humbucker in a P-90 rout the mini can be traded out easily for a P-90 should the owner wish to, which would be another great version of the instrument.”

Read the full Jeff Senn interview here.

More about the Continental by Jeff Senn

The Continental by Jeff Senn

The Continental by Jeff Senn

It’s worth mentioning that The Continental is NOT in production just yet (March 31 as we write this) because this is a new crowdfunding project by the Eastwood Custom Shop. Even though the guitar was designed by Jeff Senn, this model won’t be manufactured or sold by Jeff Senn Guitars, Senn’s own brand.

Those interested can simply pay a deposit ($200 for hardtail version, $250 for Bigsby version) via the Eastwood Continental Page, to guarantee theirs – if Eastwood reach their target! If they don’t reach at least 100% of their goal, the guitar won’t be made and those who left a deposit will be refunded.

Crowdfunding ends on April 27, 2017.

But, oh boy… it’s such a beautiful guitar, that we can only hope she’ll get made! It would be a shame otherwise, wouldn’t it?

View the Continental

David Bowie red guitar

The Guitars Of David Bowie

2016 was a year of great musical losses, but none was as shocking or as saddening as David Bowie’s. One year on, let’s remember a side of Bowie that’s been often forgotten: the guitarist! Here’s our guide to the guitars played by David Bowie over the years… enjoy!

David Bowie has had many different faces and personas over the years, but, surprisingly, one has been overlooked by most – David Bowie, the guitarist. In a way, it’s not very surprisingly, considering he was far from being a guitar hero, and, most importantly, has collaborated with some truly stellar guitarists who contributed greatly to his music, including: Mick Ronson, Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick, Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Nile Rodgers and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Quite an impressive list!

Which Guitars Did David Bowie Play?

Though not primarily a guitarist, Bowie had a consistent taste for vintage, rare guitars and his choice of instrument often changed with his ever-changing musical directions. Here’s a guide to some of his most notable guitars. We usually talk about electric guitars, but in Bowie’s case we can’t help but mention a few acoustics, too… after all, he was a huge fan of 12-string acoustic models, throughout his career! In any case – Bowie was a true connoisseur, and his choice of guitars over the years is nothing short of fascinating! 

Here’s Bowie’s career – in 20 rare, amazing guitars.

1) Framus 12-String Acoustic (1965-66)

Of course, many of you will know that Bowie started his musical career as a saxophone player, and then became the frontman of different bands (The Mannish Boys, The Lower Third) but never playing a guitar. This pic of an young David Jones with a Framus 12-string  is the earliest photograph of Bowie with a guitar.

David Bowie circa 1965-66 with Framus 12 string

David Bowie circa 1965-66 with Framus 12-string 

According to Bowie biographer Paul Trynka, Bowie bought a guitar in late 1965. Considering Bowie’s well-documented taste for 12-string acoustics in later years, it’s fair to assume that the Framus in the photograph was indeed his first guitar, though there has never been any specific information about it. It’s interesting to note that his guitar had pickup, volume and tone controls – perhaps it was modded and bought second-hand by the still struggling Bowie. Little trivia: the guitar was redburst. 

Playing guitar was an important step in David Bowie’s career, as he started to use the instrument to compose songs, such as “Maid Of Bond Street” and his first true classic, “Can’t Help Thinking About Me”.

2) Gibson B45 12-String (1968-69)

Bowie live with Feathers

Bowie performing with Feathers

After the commercial failure of his 1967 debut album, Bowie tried other directions, including joining Lindsey Kemp’s mime troup, buddhism and forming folky trio Feathers with his girlfriend Hermione Farthingale and John Hutchinson. During this period, Bowie used a Gibson B-45 12-string acoustic.

Gibson B-45, as played by David Bowie

Gibson B-45, as played by David Bowie

He’s never been seen or photographed with this guitar again, after the end of Feathers. We actually believe this is the first time this guitar has ever been mentioned in relation to Bowie, as we couldn’t find anything else elsewhere. Well, now you know!

3) Hagstrom 12-String Acoustic (1969-1972)

Bowie live at the Beckenham Free Festival in 1969, with his Hagstrom.

Bowie live at the Beckenham Free Festival in 1969, with his Hagstrom.

This is perhaps Bowie’s most legendary guitar. It’s believed it’s the one he used to write his first hit, ‘Space Oddity’, as well as used live and to write most ‘Ziggy Stardust’-era songs, including ‘Starman’.

Curiously enough, the guitar is now on display at the ‘Beatles Story’ museum, in Liverpool. At some point, it seems to have had pickup and tone & volume controls added to it, though it’s not shown with this configuration in any Bowie photos.

David Bowie's Hagstrom on display in Liverpool.

David Bowie’s Hagstrom on display in Liverpool.

4) Espana 12-String Acoustic (1969)

Bowie and his Espana 12-string

Bowie and his Espana 12-string

This guitar was used on a famous promo shot for the ‘Space Oddity’ single, but strangely enough, there’s not a whole lot info about it. It might have been used just as a prop for the photograph. It looks very similar to the Hagstrom 12-string, and it could indeed be the one he’s using in other pics and footage, but it’s hard to be sure!

5) Guild 12-String Acoustic (1971)

David Bowie live in 1971 with Guild 12-string

David Bowie live in 1971 with Guild 12-string

When David Bowie toured the US for the first time, to promote ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ in 1971, he could be seen playing a Guild 12-string acoustic. There’s no report or pics of him using one before or since, so he probably just borrowed it for the tour.

6) Harptone 12-string (1972-83)

Bowie and his Ziggy-era Harpoon 12-string

Bowie and his Ziggy-era Harpoon 12-string

This Harptone 12-string is “the” Ziggy-era Bowie acoustic. He used it when touring with the Spiders From Mars and this guitar can be seen on most footage from the era. 

Curiously enough, it seems Bowie decided to dust it off years later, after the release of Let’s Dance, as this live pic suggests:

Eighties Bowie meets Ziggy-era acouistic.

Eighties Bowie meets Ziggy-era acoustic.

7) Harpotone 12-String Jumbo (1972-75)

Bowie Harptone 12 Jumbo

Bowie Harptone 12 Jumbo

Many people don’t realise this, but Bowie also regularly used ANOTHER Harptone 12-string, which at first sight looks similar to the previous one, but you’ll notice that it has a different scratchplate and is also bigger. He used this model on the second, Ziggy-era “Space Oddity” video; during the Ziggy tour and up until the Young Americans- era.

8) Egmond 12-String, Blue (1972)

Bowie and his blue Egmond.

Bowie and his blue Egmond.

This is one of Bowie’s most important guitars – if not for anything else, simply for being the guitar he used on the watershed moment of his career – playing “Starman” on Top Of The Pops, which finally launched Bowie as a bona fide popstar in the UK! He also used the Egmond on a few promo shots, and that seems to be about it.

9) Vox Teardrop Mark XII 12-String (1972)

Bowie and his Vox 12 string

There’s no record of Bowie using this cool Vox guitar other than in 1972, for promo pics. Years later, he used a Vox Teardrop Mark VI for the recording of one of his best songs in the Eighties, ‘Absolute Beginners’. The guitar is now on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Warsaw. There’s no photo of him and this guitar, though.

Bowie's Vox VI guitar

10) Gibson 1972 Deluxe Les Paul (1972)

David Bowie and a Gibson Les Paul

David Bowie and a Gibson Les Paul

David Bowie was always very conscious about his image and symbolism. That’s why he posed with a borrowed Les Paul on the cover of the “Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars” album – to show the world he was now a tougher, “rock’n’roll” act.  Maybe for this reason, he was up for using a Les Paul during his 1972 USA tour.

Presented to Bowie by Gibson, he used it live and on the ‘Jean Genie’ promo film. But given his more esoteric tastes in guitars, it’s not surprising that it soon became Mick Ronson’s back up guitar, never to be used by Bowie again. 

11) Hagstrom I Kent PB- 24-G (1974)

David Bowie red guitar

David Bowie and his Hagstrom I Kent PB-24-G

Now we’re talking! The red Hagstrom I Kent PB-24G guitar was Bowie’s first truly iconic electric guitar. Though many fans will recognise and love it, this guitar was only used in promo shots for his ‘Diamond Dogs’ album, and there’s no record of him ever using it elsewhere, apart from a TV appearance:

As most hardcore Bowie fans may know, he played most guitar parts on the ‘Diamond Dogs’ album, but according to those who worked with him, his guitar choice during the sessions was a Dan Armstrong plexiglass model – which he’s never been pictured with… a shame! Unless, those recollections are slightly wrong and they really meant the next guitar…

12) Dan Armstrong 341 (1976)

Bowie's Dan Armstrong 341

Bowie’s Dan Armstrong 341

Yes, David Bowie had for sure another Dan Armstrong guitar, but it was not a plexiglass model! Auctioned in 1991, this is an important guitar. Besides featuring on a famous pic used for the Sound + Vision compilation, it was also used to write one of Bowie’s finest albums. According to Bowie, in ’91: “I’ve had this Dan Armstrong guitar since the early 70s. I wrote most of the songs for Station to Station on it.” Considering the cronology, it may have been used on ‘Diamond Dogs’, too.

13) Custom Fender Telecaster, Natural (1976)

Bowie and a customized Fender Telecaster

Bowie and a customized Fender Telecaster

During the tour to promote ‘Station To Station’, Bowie played a custom Fender Telecaster, with 3 pickups with individual on/off switches. A pretty cool guitar, never seen since.

14) Fender Stratocaster, Red and Sunburst (1977)

Bowie Red Strat

Bowie and his Red Strat

Two  more conventional choices, during Bowie’s least conventional period! In 1977 Bowie could be seen playing a red Stratocaster for the ‘Be My Wife’ promo, one of the most commercial tracks from ‘Low’, which became a single. 

Bowie was also spotted playing a sunburst Strat that same year, for his duet with Marc Bolan, on Bolan’s TV show. This guitar belonged to Marc, who gave it to Bowie as he turned up without one on the day!

David Bowie, Strat and Marc Bolan.

David Bowie with a Strat and Marc Bolan.

15) Gibson L4, Black (1989-90)

Bowie and his Gibson L4

Bowie and his Gibson L4

Owned and used by David Bowie in the studio, on stage and while on tour with Tin Machine, accompanied by a Sound + Vision tour program showing Bowie playing this guitar, a signed letter of authenticity from Reeves Grables and guitar picks. The guitar can be seen in videos for the Tin Machine 1 album, in Music News reports and was used heavily in the studio for the recording of Tin Machine II. 

16) Gibson Chet Atkins Country Gentleman, Wine Red (1990)

Bowie and his Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman

Bowie and his Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman

The guitar was used on stage by Bowie during his March – September of 1990, Sound + Vision World Tour.

Bowie also subsequently used this guitar during studio sessions for his 1995 concept album “Outside.”

17) Takamine FP 400SC (1990)

Bowie and his 12-string Takamine

Bowie and his 12-string Takamine

Bowie used this guitar during his 1990 Sound + Vision tour. It was his main acoustic guitar then, used on classic hits such as ‘Space Odyssey’. The tour included 108 concerts over seven months in more than 80 cities around the world. Bowie promoted the tour as a “greatest hits” tour and stated it was the last time he was going to play songs from his back catalog. 

18) Steinberger GL2, Custom Silver (1991-92)

Bowie and hiscustom Steinberger

Bowie and hiscustom Steinberger

Bowie was a big fan of headless guitars, since he saw Tin Machine’s Reeves Gabrel’s: “David saw mine and decided he wanted one like it. My guitar tech, Andy Spray, called the factory in Newburgh to see if they could make another chrome L series. Apparently, they had a guitar they used as a test run for the chroming process. That one had a normal fretboard (it did not have a chromed fretboard) making Bowie’s copycat completely playable while mine was not. The non chromed fretboard is the easiest way to tell them apart.”

19) Supro Dual Tone (2003)

Bowie and his Supro Dual Tone

Bowie and his Supro Dual Tone

The Supro Dual Tone is one of his most iconic later-years guitars. He used it during his last world tour, in 2003, and it even appears on his 2010 live album of that tour, ‘A Reality Tour’:

Bowie 'A Reality Tour' cover

Bowie ‘A Reality Tour’ cover

More recently, Eastwood did a great job at recreating this model (first made famous by Link Wray in the Fifties) as the Airline Twin Tone – a fitting tribute to Wray’s model, but now also a great choice for fans of Bowie who also play guitar…

The Airline Twin Tone, now also popular thanks to the David Bowie connection.

The Airline Twin Tone, now also popular thanks to the David Bowie connection.

20) Hohner G2, Red (2013)

Bowie and his Hohner G2

Bowie and his Hohner G2

Bowie went back to a headless guitar in the video of ‘Valentine’s Day’, from his superb comeback album ‘The Next Day’. As ever, his choice of instrument was unusual but made total sense with his tastes over the years. Unique just like the man himself.

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Your Band as a Business: Booking Shows

 

 

Booking is an integral facet to your business. Your product is your music and there are only 2 real ways to consume music; listening to recorded material and going to a show to listen to a band. In a lot of ways, booking shows can be very easy.  Often times band members / managers make it harder on themselves than they should. Like anything in the business world, there are do’s and don’t’s that will either help propel you forward or keep you stagnant. 

picture3First and foremost, you need recorded music.  A talent buyer at any venue will require that you send over a physical press kit or an EPK (electronic press kit). Your press kit must have audio files of your music (preferably .mp3 or .wav), band photos, a band biography, a list of venues you have played, a stage plot and input list, a rider (specific needs for the show: i.e. hospitality, lodging, etc.), and bands you have played with.  Additives that help your press kit stand out include a cover page, any accolades or awards, and / or live videos or music videos (more applicable for an EPK).  There are platforms online that can assist you in making a press kit. Reverb Nation and Sonic Bids are both helpful in creating EPK’s within their specific network. If you aren’t interested in connecting with either of those platforms, you can always customize your own via your website. If you don’t have a website, you should consider making one. Websites are a one-stop-shop for talent buyers and promoters to find the information the need from bands. Website building sites like squarespace, wix, or weebly are great for musicians that aren’t familiar with coding.

 
Next, you need to understand your market. If you are a folk group, you probably won’t have great shows playing night clubs (given that the night clubs agree to take you). I say probably because every situation is different. This goes back to really understanding your market.  If the night club specializes in folk music then my example is null and void. The best rule of thumb is booking shows in the places where your colleagues (those playing similar sounding tunes) have previously booked shows.  Understanding your market also derives from understanding who the talent buyer is in each club / venue.  Make a list of names / emails and provide a fun fact about each talent buyer (if possible).  It’s good practice to keep track of who you’re dealing with professionally, but also who they are as people (life skill ALERT). 

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“Music and music business are two different things” – Erykah Badu

With thousands of venues that exist in any one region, it can be difficult to get a grasp for each club’s genre preference.  If you aren’t familiar with your local scene, investigate by going to shows and seeing what clubs are doing. Look for handbills / posters for other shows and investigate the sound of the bands on the line up. If you are looking to book outside of your local scene, you can lean on websites like Indie On The Move or Do DIY.  These sites have concise lists of existing venues and genres of music they have performing. Fair warning, I have run into issues where their websites were out of date and the venue has changed or no longer exists.  Make sure you double check your work by following up with a phone call or email.

A big part of the booking process deals with the onsite behavior of the band you are in/manage. It’s good practice to establish a courteous culture among your group while at your shows.  Often, bands confuse being an artist with being an asshole. If you sell out your show, but are still a pain to work with, the venue has reason not to ask you back. Many artists are plagued by this due to the classic example of musicians demanding only blue m&m’s. Most often these bands ask for blue m&m’s to see if the venue is paying attention to detail. If the m&m’s are different than requested in the rider, that translates to other, potential more damaging mishaps with the rider (i.e. bad sound, no hospitality, etc.).  Simply clean up after yourself, mind your p’s and q’s, and be thankful for the opportunity to play a show.  By and large, you can always conduct your business professionally and courteously.

Lastly, once the show is over and you are moving on to your next venue, be sure to stay in touch with the venues you played previously.  “Thank You” notes are a great way to follow up with the buyer.  It may seem frivolous, but as I mentioned before, we are all human and like being appreciated. At very least, send a follow up email to say thank you. Now go book some shows.

Once again, if you have any questions relating to booking a show, or have any suggestions for me to write specifically on any particular topic, feel free to email me at bcspencer2013@gmail.com

Blonde Redhead live

Forgotten Offset Guitars: Teisco TG-64

Offset Guitars have been, for a long time, a favourite amongst alternative rock and indie rock players. Let’s have a look at a forgotten classic – the Teisco TG-64, now being reissued by Eastwood.

Blonde Redhead live

Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead, one of the players who discovered the joys of a Teisco offset – she plays the bass version of the TG-64, the TB-64 now being resurrected by Eastwood. VIEW INFO

Don’t get us wrong – we love a good Jazzmaster, Jaguar or Mustang. Fender was and still is the big daddy of the offset guitars. But if familiarity doesn’t always have to bring contempt, on the other hand many of us prefer guitars with that little spark of mystery, which add to an unique touch when you’re on stage, or simply helps making it more interesting to play. That’s why a few lucky guitarists can’t help but loving their rare, 1960’s Teisco TG-64. Let’s be honest, it has a certain mojo lacking in modern-day Jazzmasters!

The Forgotten Offset Classic?

While its shape is familar, it’s all about those other details: three single coil pickups stripy scratchplate, push buttons and that cut-out handle on the body – what’s it all about? One of those features no one really needs, but which in fact looks pretty cool. It was the Sixties, after all, and who knows what the designers were smoking, then!

Original Teisco TG-64

Original Teisco TG-64

The thing about Teisco guitars, is that they were unashamedly cheap knock offs of bigger brands such as Fender – but with enough personality to stand out on their own. They were never meant to be GREAT guitars, but put them through a valve amp and a good fuzz pedal, and it could be the coolest thing ever.  Originally unpopular offset models such as the Jazzmaster and Jaguar were affordable, and for this reason rediscovered in the Seventies by Punk and New Wave acts, but as soon as they became a staple in 90s alt-rock, thanks to Nirvana, Sonic Youth and others, they became prized commodities – and, somewhere along the way, lost just a little bit of their “cool” factor (for all it’s worth!).

Owning a Teisco TG-64 is a bit like owning a Jazzmaster back in 1976 – because it’s still an odd and rather cool choice, not seen too often. Some of the people who’ve used one recently include Blonde Redhead and Conor Oberst. But this model is still not the easiest to find! This is perhaps the coolest of all non-Fender offset guitars, and certainly a “forgotten classic”!

Conor Oberst and his Teisco TG-64

Conor Oberst and his Teisco TG-64

Eastwood Custom TG-64 Monkey Grip

It’s great news that Eastwood Custom are planning to reissue the Teisco TG-64. The plan is to make it even better than the original, but still quite affordable. While in the past Teisco were cool but cheap guitars, the new ones are of much better quality. If you’re looking for a cool alternative to a Fender Jaguar or Jazzmaster that really stands out, maybe the new Eastwood Custom TG-64 will do the trick for you.

Eastwood Custom TG-64 Monkey Grip

Eastwood Custom TG-64 Monkey Grip

At the moment guitarists have to pledge a small amount to guarantee theirs… if you’re interested, hurry up, because opportunity ends TODAY (17th November)

VIEW EASTWOOD TG-64 PAGE FOR INFO

Eastwood Custom TB-64 Monkey Grip

Tesco TB-64... new Eastwood custom project

Teisco TB-64… new Eastwood custom project. Find out more

The Teisco TB-64 looks very closely to the TG-64, but with a few differences besides the longer scale: a more “Fender-y” headstock, different neck joint and a vibrato arm closer to the edge of the body. Yes, it might’ve been inspired – in principle – on the Fender Bass VI but, frankly, has quite a marked difference… and, dare we say, looks much better?

Eastwood launched a custom shop project to reissue the TB-64, ending on April 20, 2017. They’ve successfully crowdfunded the TG-64 and it looks likely the TB-64 will also get made… but the best way to make sure this happens, and to guarantee yours, is of course to help crowdfunding and leave your pledge, too!

VIEW EASTWOOD TB-64 PAGE FOR INFO

Watch: Teisco TG-64 Demo

THE SMARTER GUITAR NUT #1: So, You Want to be a Smarter Guitar Nut

Hi there, my name is Mike Zimmerman and welcome to my series of articles about guitars and guitar collecting from the techie’s point of view. I’ve been collecting guitars for many years and have accumulated quite an interesting collection. I also have the usual, accompanying collection of sad tales of “the one that got away” or “the one I sold when I needed the money” etc.

img_20161021_120853

Strange but true, reissues can become collectables too (on the left an early ‘60s Danelectro Longhorn, on the right its late ‘90s reissue).

Sound familiar?

While I’ve been a long-time happy member of the Guitar Nut fraternity, I’ve also had a little advantage: I’m also a trained and accomplished guitar tech, and that means I can buy an instrument that needs work and do the work myself, whether I intend to keep it or re-sell it. Often, that’s not just a cost saving, it can also mean the difference between snapping up a bargain on a decent guitar (for fun or profit!) or getting stuck with an unplayable and unsellable pile of wood and metal.

About that “pile of wood and metal”, I’ll mention here that a repair client of mine who is a piano technician once referred to any piano that needs more work than it’s worth as a Piano-Shaped Object or PSO for short. I liked that and have since referred to any guitar as a Guitar-Shaped Object (or GSO) if it is so far gone that its restoration would take much more time, effort and money than it’s worth. GSO…remember that term. It will come up from time to time.

Anyway, that’s the angle I’d like to take in this series of articles for Eastwood: the happy marriage between technical knowledge and smart guitar collecting. For me, it’s a marriage that has worked for more than forty years.  For you, I want it to be an introduction to what you need to know to become a Smarter Guitar Nut too, with a special focus on oddball and unusual instruments. This is, after all, written for Eastwood!

The subjects I’ll cover include:

  • Generally, what to look for (and look out for) in a guitar
  • How to recognize whether the instrument is in original condition
  • What parts can be replaced to improve playability without hurting its collectable value
  • What types of repair work or improvements are usually required in most guitars and how to do those repairs without affecting a guitar’s collectable value
  • Originals vs. reissues: which is better for you and how a re-issue can become a collectable itself
img_20161021_133438

Probably the most common modification to vintage instruments: New tuners. When should this be done? How should it be done ? And, when should it not be done?

For each of these subjects, I’ll be getting into how you can do these things yourself and when to know that a pro should become involved. Ultimately, the goal is to make you a more knowledgeable guitar owner and collector.

First, here’s a little relevant personal history. I started repairing instruments when I was a teenager. I’d brought my prized Rickenbacker bass to a local shop to have it set up. I don’t think I even knew what “set up” meant…all I knew was it ought to get done. I must have read it somewhere.

When the bass was ready, the shop charged me only $6 rather than the expected $8 (remember, this was a long time ago!) because, as they explained, they couldn’t intonate the E string; the bridge saddle had been pulled back as far as it would go and the string was still slightly sharp when played up the neck. I was happy enough to save $2 (like I said, this was a long time ago) but, as well, my interest was tweaked. I asked what “intonation” meant and the explanation I got inspired me to pursue the issue.

img_20161021_122141

The modern solution for Riks with intonation problems: The Hipshot Bridge. There are many modern parts that can improve vintage instruments without modiufication.

I went home and filed the E string saddle slot to enable a bit more backwards adjustment and the operation was a complete success. From that moment on, I was both able to set up my own instruments and do favours for my musical friends. Most important, I’d learned two important basic principles about guitar repair that I’d like to impart to you now:

  • If you understand why and how something is supposed to work on a guitar, you will more likely be able to figure out what needs to be done when it isn’t working as it should; and,
  • If you inspect the situation, plan and carry out the work carefully, you can be successful.
img_20161021_133553

Should you install side position dots on a vintage neck that doesn’t have them? We’ll discuss.

All that, of course, has to be considered in the context of your skill level with basic repair techniques and tools. At the very least, applying the principles above will help you recognize when you need professional help. It will also make you a much more knowledgeable repair customer. That’s a real head start for you and, again, a potential cost savings.

So, to conclude my own story, I eventually got a job with Fender’s Canadian distributor doing warranty repairs, set-ups and even some custom work on new instruments. I went on to become one of the early partners in The Twelfth Fret, Toronto’s premier guitarists’ pro shop that’s still going strong almost 40 years later. I then formed the Amazing Musical Instrument Company, which manufactured innovative acoustic-electric instruments, primarily violins. For the past 30 years I’ve maintained a shop in my basement to do various repairs for a number of local guitarists and on the guitars that I buy, sell and keep.

img_20161021_121746

In the foreground, this Longhorn has had a metal strap button installed on the horn rather than the heel to improve balance and stability. Ideally, a modification to a vintage instrument should be reversible, like this one.

At each phase of my work I acquired new skills, experience and knowledge that I think will be useful to you and anyone interested in guitars and guitar collecting.

In my next article, we’ll start that process by looking at what you should look for in any guitar to make sure you don’t end up with – as you now know it’s called – a GSO.

Your Band as a Business: The Big Three

Written by: Brian Spencer

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First and foremost, congratulations for taking the time to better curate musical success. Seeking out articles of this nature will take you, as well as those involved in your music, to the next level.

Do yourself a favor and continue to research periodicals that will help advance your knowledge of this ever changing industry. I’ll attach some of my favorites at the end.

You did it. You formed a band, or a band has approached you to help them get to the next level. Now what? There are 3 things that will get you far in the industry. Those 3 things can be incredible assets on their own, but in unity, they will continue to open doors throughout your career.

Talent: Let’s be completely honest. In any business your product needs to reflect what people desire.  You will be hard pressed to sell your work to anyone that isn’t close friends or family (not to discount those folks, but they are your ‘ride or dies’. They are in it for the long haul). Put in the hours in the practice room or put emphasis on the creative process for the band you manage. The better the music, the more people that will gravitate to you. That means more money to put into your pocket or, IDEALLY, to put back into the band (I’ll get into fiscal responsibility later).

 

teach2

“The man at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” – Vince Lombardi JR.

Knowledge: Not knowing how to plan ahead is one of the biggest mistakes made by band operators. You need to constantly check where the best music is being heard, where that music is being played, and what opportunities are best for exposure.  These are the fun questions.  You need to get to know the PRO’s that exist (Performing Rights Organizations) so that your music is protected and you can hopefully start collecting royalties. Learn how to best route your band when putting together a tour.  Learn how to balance your profit / loss with every penny that comes in and out. Watch your favorite bands and see how they put together marketing campaigns for releasing music. Basically, the learning never ends, but this shouldn’t come as a shock. If you want to do something to your best ability then you have to eat, drink, sleep, dream (day / night) whatever it is that you are involved in.

Drive: In my subjective opinion, this is quite possibly the most important asset of the 3.  Without drive, the other two assets can be hampered exponentially.  If you ONLY have drive, you will be better off than someone with talent, knowledge, or potentially even a combination of those two.  You have the ability to work incredibly hard, and nobody should convince you otherwise. If you have the magic combination of all 3 assets, then doors will continually open for you.

 There is a plethora of roads that we’ll go down in the coming articles that will introduce you to specifics within the industry.  Throughout your career, managing your “Big 3” will be incredibly important to the success of your band. Continue to seek out periodicals and learn more about the industry. Ask lots of questions and continue to work at your craft.

Here are some books that have helped my business grow.  Keep in mind that some of this information is out of date, but the themes are still incredibly important.

http://amzn.to/2d8abBV

http://bit.ly/2e29jff

http://bit.ly/2e6vxB6

If you have any questions for me, or want me to write about any specific topic within developing your band as a business, don’t hesitate to email me at bcspencer2013@gmail.com

twintonedc2

Limited Edition Twin Tone Double Cut – only 24 Made

 

Limited Edition Airline Twin Tone Double Cut – only 24 Made. (Reg Price $499)

Airline Guitars has produced a limited edition Twin Tone Double Cut. Order yours TODAY!

twintonedc1

20% OFF this week only. Just $399 while supplies last plus FREE SHIPPING

 




 

Specifications:

  • Colours: White
  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple, Bolt-on
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood, Block Markers
  • Scale Length: 24 3/4″
  • Width at Nut: 1 5/8″
  • Pickups: Two Hot-Rail Humbuckers
  • Switching: 3-Way
  • Controls: 2 Volume, 2 Tone
  • Bridge: Fully adjustable Tune-O-Matic
  • Hardware: Gotoh style Nickel/Chrome
  • Strings: 10-46 D’Addario
  • Case: extra – gigbag $39, hardshell case $99
  • Unique Features: Limited Edition – only 24 available

Watch this product demonstration by Keith McFadden:

twintonedc2 twintonedc3 twintonedc4 twintonedc5

Eastwood Airline '59 Newport Guitar (Black)

NEW Airline ’59 Newport features PIEZO Bridge Pickup

newportBLK550-1

Intruducing the new Airline NEWPORT. It is Eastwood’s take on the rare National Newport Val-Pro 88 from the late 50’s and early 60’s. It features two NY Mini Humbuckers and a Piezo pickup in the bridge with a 5-way swtich. Tones of tonal variations! Available in Black or Seafoam Green.

Only $1099, hardshell case included. Shipping TODAY, so don’t wait too long to pull the trigger.


choose Color:


SPECIFICATIONS:

Available in Black or Seafoam Green, Bigsby Optional

Body: Tone Chambered Mahogany
Neck: Maple, Bolt-on
Fingerboard: Maple, Sharks Tooth Fret Markers
Scale Length: 24 3/4″ Scale, Zero Fret
Width at Nut: 1 5/8″
Pickups: Dual NY Mini Humbuckers, Piezo Bridge
Switching: 5-way
Controls: 1 Volume, 1 Tone for each pickup, master volume
Bridge: Tun-o-matic
Hardware: Grover Style Nickel/Chrome
Strings: D’Addario #10
Case: INCLUDED
Unique Features: Rubber body binding, Piezo bridge pickup

More pictures:

newportSFG550-1 newportBLK550-4 newportBLK550-6 newportBLK550-3 newportBLK550-2 newportSFG550-6 newportSFG550-4 newportSFG550-2 newportBLK550-9 newportBLK550-1 newportSFG550-3 newportBLK550-8 newportBLK550-7 newportBLK550-5 newportSFG550-5

Phil Jones Pure Sound

Phil Jones Pure Sound: Breaking New Ground In Our Own Back Yard

Phil Jones Pure Sound

Phil Jones Pure Sound

by Dave Anderson

 

It’s interesting to think that the majority of gear that we lust after as players was designed over 60 years ago. Strats, Les Pauls, 335’s, Tele’s, Fender tube amps, even the Flying V and Explorer, all designed in the 1950’s. In fact the majority of boutique gear currently being made is a rehash of these same designs from decades ago.

In an age where we have bluetooth everything, cell phones, touch screens, online commerce, LED lighting, MP3s, etc…we still plug our archaic electric guitars into our vacuum tube amplifiers and proceed to rock out. Other than our ’50’s era eyeglass wear (which will most likely fall out of fashion sooner or later), I can’t think of another facet of our lives that is a throw back to the mid century…ok, there is that IKEA coffee table…

Not even throw back….we don’t seek out these hand wired relics of rock because it is simply fashionable, it really is the best means for great tone! Right?

England native, Phil Jones is a natural born electronics/audio geek. Around the age of 13, he “borrowed” some magnets from school and hand wound a double bass pickup on a record player, ( He dug it out of a closet and showed me…amazing!). As a child he raided dumpsters in search of old tv’s and radios that he could dissect and turn into amplifiers. He even collected old tobacco tins, turning them into hand built stomp boxes!

After an apprenticeship with British Telecom, Jones studied orchestral arrangement and earned a degree on the double bass. He worked as a professional musician for a while before moving to Iran to work as a specialist in Navigation Systems while studying audio and acoustics in his spare time. A few years later Jones moved back to England to start his own live audio concert sound company running sound for large outdoor venues using his own designed horn loaded speakers. He soon built his own 24 track studio, leading him to designed his own near field monitors which led him to start his first company Acoustic Energy and designing the AE 1 near field monitor.

Jones moved to the states to take a designing job with Boston Acoustics after a disagreement with investors of Acoustic Energy led him unable to continue designing speakers in England due to interest conflicts with what became his former company. After a four year stint with Boston Acoustics in the US, Jones started up another company; Platinum Audio. in New Hampshire, making high end audio speakers . In 1998 Phi moved to China to start American Acoustic Development and in 2002 Jones started Phil Jones Bass Amplification using AAD resources. Jones then moved back to the States in 2003 and settled in the St. Louis area where he still runs his company, commuting to China 6 times a year making high end bass amps, guitar amps, and audio gear.

To clarify, though his factory is in China, this doesn’t mean Jones works with sub par materials or is trying to cut corners. He spent two years building his factory from the ground up with his partners Edifier International: a public corporation to insure top notch quality, and components are produced in house to his expectations. Parts that can’t be built in his Chinese factory up to his expectations are imported in from other countries such as USA Japan and Europe.. Having his bench in China keeps his cost affordable enough to produce his personal standard of quality and enables him to control every aspect of the process.

Phil Jones bass amps are designed under the principle of a series of proprietary small, high efficiency, 5″ drivers that move as much air as a large bass speaker, but retain the clarity and fidelity of a high end studio monitor. The result is a bass amp that allows the listener to feel the low end yet hear the notes clearly.

Jones also builds acoustic guitar amplifiers and even has a model ( the AG300 Super Cub), that is a 300watt, two channel acoustic/ electric amplifier. Though Jones admits that it is hard to design a single amp that does multiple tasks at a superior quality level, the AG300 is a top of the line acoustic and electric guitar amplifier. Weighing only 26lbs, the two channel amp houses six, 5″ drivers that will fill a room. Channel one is voiced to handle the midrange of an electric guitar and accepts pedals beautifully, while channel two is voiced for the sonic pallet of acoustic instruments. It also has built in effects allowing the amp to perform excellently by it’s self. Because the amp is full range, you can use it for practically any acoustic/electric instrument, pedal steel, electric guitar, and even keyboard. I had the opportunity to try the AG300 at a wedding gig and used it for both pedal steel and electric guitar. I found that it worked well with my pedal board and was a joy to load in and out at 26lbs.

Jone’s most recent line of amps are the AirPulse EG300 and EG500. These new designs are a departure from Jone’s previous amplifier designs housing a 1×8″ speaker in the EG300 and a 1×12 in the EG600. Both amps use the same 500 watt Class D amplifier. I AB’d both amps against a vintage Fender Concert tube amp and the difference was astounding! The AirPulse amps were fuller and richer sounding with plenty of power. Switching between the tube amp and the AirPulse left the Fender sounding weak and flat. I consider myself to be a bit of a tube aficionado, but I believe if I had tried both amps in a blind test, I would have totally picked the AirPulse as the vintage tube amp.

Jones will be releasing the EG series AirPulse amps at the winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA this coming January. Although he has been recently focusing on the electric guitar market, Jones is still working on more goodies for bass players and has recently developed the Double Four, a 70watt bass amp the size of a small lunch box that has amazing bass tone. I tried it with a five string bass and the Double Four handled the low B string with ease. Perfect for studio and practice applications.

So when we think of boutique tone, do we look to the past or move forward? Is vacuum tube technology the best we will ever see….or more importantly hear? Are we able to get past the psychology of what we think is the best tone, and open our ears and minds to the possibility of what could be…the future?

Let me go on the record to say that I personally love tube tone. There is no modeling amp, studio plug in, or effects rack, that I have encountered that surpasses the feeling of playing through a vintage tube amp, for me anyway. But if I never keep my self open to the possibility of new technology, I might end up missing out on a whole lot more. I also want to make clear that I am not heading to the mountain to preach of the new savior that Phil Jones is to our ears, but I have to say the amps I tried that Phil Jones has created where pretty cool. It’s even more cool that he is in our own back yard.

Phil Jones currently offers tons of gear for the music and audio world including bass amps, guitar amps, headphones, studio monitors and more.

For more information on Phil Jones and his equipment visit http://www.philjonespuresound.com/

Written by: Dave Anderson

classic12_blue1-700

Limited Production Eastwood Classic 12 Guitar – Metallic Blue – 8 more Available!

Eastwood has just produced a Limited Production Run of their popular Classic 12 in Metallic Blue. We have 8 in stock now, order yours today! SOLD OUT

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Only $549 North America with FREE Shipping and includes a FREE Chromatic Tuner (batteries included). Shipping to Europe $99, Australia $139.

 

SOLD OUT

 

Details & Specifications:

  • Colours: Metallic Blue
  • Body: Bound Laminated Maple, Flamed Maple Top, Bound F-Holes
  • Neck: Bound Maple, SET neck
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood, MOP Sharks Teeth
  • Scale Length: 24 3/4″
  • Width at Nut: 1 7/8″
  • Pickups: Two EW-Retro Humbuckers
  • Switching: 3-Way
  • Controls: 2 Volume, 1 Tone
  • Bridge: Fixed Tun-O-Matic Bridge
  • Hardware: Gotoh style Nickel/Chrome
  • Strings: #9-#46
  • Case: optional hardshell case $99 extra.
  • Unique Features: Metallic Blue Finish
  • Suggested Retail: $669.00 US

Watch this product demonstration by R.J. Ronquillo:

Additional photos:

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Rocker Chromatic Tuner

Rocker Chromatic Tuner

Wendell Ferguson reviews the Eastwood Classic 12 guitar: