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Viv Campbell’s Rig Simplification

Viv Campbell’s Rig Simplification

Vivian Campbell cracks me up. In just about every interview about Def Leppard he says that being in the band has hurt his guitar playing but has helped his singing. A little cringe-inducing, eh? But honest, always honest. I like that. [Remember the Guitar World interview where he slagged the heck out of Gibson? In […]

May 19, 2011 | By | Reply More
Is Fighting for Tone a Requirement?

Is Fighting for Tone a Requirement?

Happened to be listening to a radio interview with the violinist Midori the other day. She was talking about her particular instrument in a way that prompted the interviewer to remark that it’s almost like she was describing it in an interactive way, almost like it was a horse and she was the rider… …which […]

May 17, 2011 | By | 4 Replies More
Review: Cry Baby Doc Worth Checking Out

Review: Cry Baby Doc Worth Checking Out

The documentary “Cry Baby: The Pedal that Rocks the World” was released a few months back. Did you hear about it? Since I’m not a frequent Cry Baby (or any wah or pedal) user, I didn’t feel compelled to track it down for a look-see. But then I saw recently that the entire movie – […]

May 12, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More
Beck’s Strat Is..Not Like His Sig Model

Beck’s Strat Is..Not Like His Sig Model

The Fender Jeff Beck signature Strat – MSRP of $2,199 – is a unique animal in Strat-dom. Meaning basically it’s a customized standard Strat. But the one Fender sells isn’t much like the one Jeff plays. The Fender Beck Strat has a Strat-standard alder body, maple neck (9.5″ radius) and rosewood board. But per Beck’s […]

May 10, 2011 | By | 4 Replies More
Belated Rhoads Insights, Pt 2

Belated Rhoads Insights, Pt 2

Variac (!), Kept it Simple Do you remember reading Eddie Van Halen’s comments about Randy Rhoads “ripping him off?” I believe those comments were made and published after Randy’s death – though after listening to the transcript of that tape (on the web somewhere) it sounds like Ed didn’t know his comments would be used […]

May 6, 2011 | By | 7 Replies More
A Few Belated Rhoads Insights, Pt 1

A Few Belated Rhoads Insights, Pt 1

Flange Effect, Tripling I’m a huge Randy Rhoads fan. Grew up listening to him, played his tunes in bands, saw him live with Ozzy on the Blizzard tour, still remember the TV news report about him dying. So thought I’d read everything there was to read about him, and may have, but for some reason […]

May 4, 2011 | By | Reply More
Critical Tone Component: Volume!

Critical Tone Component: Volume!

First I think we can agree on what tone is: gear + touch. Yes, your favorite guit-slinger will sound like himself (or herself) with a Chinese-made POS guitar through a Chinese-made POS amp, but they will not have their signature TONE and won’t be inspired playing through that crappy gear. Maybe they’ll be inspired to […]

April 29, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More
Jeff Carlisi’s .38 Special Gear Deets

Jeff Carlisi’s .38 Special Gear Deets

Even though Ronnie Van Zant wrote and sung the line “Handguns are made for killin’, ain’t no good for nothin’ else,” his younger bro Donnie started a band that ended up being named after a handgun. And that band (.38 Special) produced some great stuff tunes in the ’80s, not all of which were the […]

April 26, 2011 | By | 5 Replies More
THIS Is Why EVH Is a Freakin’ Genius!

THIS Is Why EVH Is a Freakin’ Genius!

(One reason, anyway….) Studying Edward Van Halen, even just the stuff on the first six records, to me is like studying the universe or reading the Bible or whatever your best analogy is: The more you delve into, read, etc., the more you get out of it and you never know it all. Lately I’ve […]

April 21, 2011 | By | 3 Replies More
Gear Used on ‘Sweet Home Alabama’

Gear Used on ‘Sweet Home Alabama’

Not Peavey Maces! Peave Mace, Peavey Mace, all we’ve heard for years is that the Lynyrd Skynyrd guys used Peavey Mace amps. Somewhat true. They did, but not all the time – and apparently not on the recording of ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’ Stumbled onto an interview with one of the engineers of that tune (off […]

April 19, 2011 | By | 4 Replies More
‘You Really Got Me’ and the Slashed Speaker

‘You Really Got Me’ and the Slashed Speaker

You may have heard the story about how Dave Davies slashed, or allegedly slashed, the speaker cone of his amp to get a buzzier, raspier tone in the Kinks tune “You Really Got Me.” Well, he did – but I challenge you to actually hear it. First, here’s the story (from here, an interview with […]

April 14, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More
Rainbow: Best Rock Strat Tone Ever?

Rainbow: Best Rock Strat Tone Ever?

Is a Strat a rock instrument? Seriously. I’m talking about a Strat with a single-coil pickup at the bridge. If so, can you name five rock Strat players in 10 seconds? How about five rock Strat players whose tones you’d want to cop? I can only name two. I’m not dissing Tommy Bolin or anyone […]

April 12, 2011 | By | 20 Replies More
Welcome To the Hotel California Rigs

Welcome To the Hotel California Rigs

In the early ’70s, the Eagles were heading down a country path. That was all well and good, but they wanted to rock.

April 8, 2011 | By | 5 Replies More
Rant: Why I’m Ditching Guitar World

Rant: Why I’m Ditching Guitar World

I’ve been on the fence about this for a while. Then I’ll get an issue of Guitar World that makes me think, Dang, I need to keep getting this magazine! (Like the fact that it gets all, and I mean all, the EVH interviews.) Well, the most recent issue of GW was the nail in […]

April 5, 2011 | By | 7 Replies More
Evidence EVH Used Hum+Single Pickup Combos

Evidence EVH Used Hum+Single Pickup Combos

We all “know” what Edward Van Halen used on the first six records, right? Frankie (mostly), a variety of bridge-position humbuckers, mostly MXR effects plus a few others here and there, his magical 100w Super Lead with Sylvania 6CA7s, 4×12 cabs with Greenbacks (mostly), a Variac. That’s the base tone for sure. But as much […]

March 31, 2011 | By | 9 Replies More