Monday 29 October 2007

Grrrrrrrrrrrr... What an IDIOT!

This kind of thing just makes me really angry!
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This poor old Strat has been horribly abused. Have you ever seen such an appalling so-called "relic" job? The person who did this should be thoroughly ashamed of themself. Look at the back of the neck where it appears to simply have been set on fire. Check out the melted volume knob - as if that's really going to happen through the wear and tear of constant gigging. The fingerboard has been hacked away mercilessly - it's hardly the effect you'd get through constant playing and genuine use.

I've never been a fan of the whole "relic" phenomenom. The first time I ever saw some Fender Custom Shop relics I laughed my head off - especially when I saw the price. But at least the Fender Custom Shop guys know what they are doing, unlike the complete amateur who butchered the above Strat.

UPDATE: This piece of garbage sold for US $705.00 (approximately £339.00). I despair not only because of the complete ineptitude on display by the guy who carried out the "relic" job on this instrument, but also because it seems that there are people out there who are actually impressed by such amateur butchery.

Thursday 25 October 2007

Turned up to 100: Tom Hughes learns to read music for a mass gathering of guitarists as he takes part in a performance of Glenn Branca's Symphony No 13, subtitled Hallucination City.

Wednesday 24 October 2007

McCartney Refused to be the "Loser Bassist": Paul McCartney was unhappy with his role as bassist when he joined The Beatles because he feared he would be less famous than his bandmates. (So it says here. But surely Stuart Sutcliffe was the bassist when he first joined? Sounds like bad journalism to me.)
Now it's India's turn: Over 2,000 guitarists will gather at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, for The World Record Guitar Ensemble during the autumn festival on October 26. For this attempt at the record, the song they will be playing is Bob Dylan's "Knocking On Heaven's Door". The existing Guinness Book of World Records' guitar ensemble stands at 1,721 guitarists from Kansas City, US performing the rock classic "Smoke On The Water" on June 4, 2007.

Monday 22 October 2007

Paul Raven, bassist with post-punk band Killing Joke, has died of a suspected heart attack aged 46.

In another sad loss to the world of alternative and punk music, Paul Fox, guitarist of The Ruts has also passed away.

RIP to the both of them.

Friday 12 October 2007

Yamaha Pacifica 112 Guitar Project, Part 4

I thought it was high time I blew the cobwebs off this long-forgotten guitar project from a few years ago. The damn thing just needed assembling and wiring up and in theory it should be ready to go. However, I had a small mishap when I dropped the replacement loaded scratchplate and broke off the lower horn. Fortunately, I still had the original guitar scratchplate, so I transferred the pickups, 5-way switch and volume pot to this plate. ("What about the tone pot?", I hear you cry. Well, somewhere along the way over the last couple of years it had detached itself, and I'd lost it. Then I decided that I didn't really want it anyway as I never use tone controls, so I figured I'd just leave it as it is).

As a plus point, I noticed that the original scratcplate had faded over the years to a pleasing deep cream colour. You can see the orignal colour in the area previously covered up by the now missing tone control.

So, I put all the parts together, soldered the output wires to a jack socket and attached this to the edge of the guitar using a football-shaped (American football) plate. Then I strung her up.

Uh-oh! The string tension was tipping the tremolo bridge up at an alarming angle. Quick - add more springs!

Now that was a good idea! As has often been said of Strat-style guitars, the springs in the tremolo cavity give the guitar a kind of built-in reverb. It turns out that this guitar now has a really nice tone. It has this ringing reasonance to it that is lacking in many other much more expensive guitars, and this was built up from bits and pieces that I'd bought from eBay! I've got to say that I'm really happy with this guitar and am surprised that it turned out to be so playable.

No doubt the guys over at the forum on would happily nominate this guitar as a candidate to their on-going Worst Colour/Finish/Detail on a guitar thread, but Hey! - it was an experiment, and I secretly quite like the "deckchair" stripes. They make the guitar individual and add to its personality. Perhaps if I was starting this project anew, I wouldn't go down the stripey route again; I'd probably experiment with some other unique look and it could end up looking even more disasterous!

Wednesday 10 October 2007

Now if only there were a band called The Scorpions...

Just in case you think I'm neglecting the bass players out there, here's an abominable 4-stringer for you! (Or should that be 4-stinger?)
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Oh yes! You can buy this Scorpion bass guitar with its too-close-together strings on eBay right now.

Monday 8 October 2007

The Guitarz Freak Show

Here are some more six-string horrors that I found on eBay (where else?). Firstly let me present for your amusement and disbelief the Double Dragon Guitar. Or, as I prefer to call it, the Squashed Frog.

Coming from the "What letters of the alphabet haven't we tried yet?" school of design, let me unveil the Flying K.
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And finally here's a cute one for the kiddies, the Lil' Kitty. At least, I think it's supposed to be a cat, although it's not a very good likeness. It looks like a rejected Daisy Rock design. (Apologies to Daisy Rock).
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Friday 5 October 2007

DIY Stratocaster 12-string

I'm impressed by the ingenuity that some people display when customising guitars, but let's face it, that headstock isn't really designed for all those extra machine heads, is it?
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However, if it appeals to you, it's currently for sale on eBay.

Now, this is what a Fender Stratocaster XII should look like.

Thursday 4 October 2007

Prince Is Number One Underrated Guitarist: I'm astonished. That's the trouble with these polls - no imagination.
Gibson's Self-Tuning Guitar: "As the strings are played, the Powertune processor compares their actual frequencies with the desired notes and sends instructions - tighten the string this much, loosen the string by that much - to tuning pegs equipped with strong, tiny servo motors mounted on the back of the guitar's head."
Gibson frets over guitar knockoff: the curse of the counterfeit.

Monday 1 October 2007

Guitar Tour Is Lift For Oxfam: A guitar has started an epic journey - beginning and ending in Oxford - to raise cash for aid relief. The stunt will see Jammy - a green electro-acoustic - being played by hundreds of professional and amateur musicians in order to raise money for the Oxford-based charity as part of the Oxjam music festival.
Meet Yuri Landman, Maker of Awesome Guitars for Sonic Youth, Liars, Blonde Redhead, Lightning Bolt: As a postscript to my previous post, here's an interview over at PitchforkMedia with Yuri Landman, the creator of the Moonlander and other eccentric instruments.


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