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Rich W

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Everything posted by Rich W

  1. I went with the 30/60, but I like the feel of both necks. I wanted the chunkier neck initially but, out of about ten 339s I was comparing, the one I chose really outshone the rest of them tone-wise. Unplugged, this one guitar resonated significantly more than the rest, had a better acoustic tone, and the difference was also noticeable when powered up. It was tough deciding between neck feel and tone, but I went for the latter. It's worked out nicely because my #1 is a Les Paul has something close to a 30/60 neck and so, in terms of the neck, the 339 is pretty much interchangeable with it. I really like the combination of the '57 classics and the semi-hollow body.
  2. Aside from the pat answer ... "practice" ... what have you found to be the most effective and fastest way to get your chops back after you've taken a long break from playing?
  3. If lowering the tailpiece and increasing string angle at the saddles also hastens bridge collapse, which makes sense, I wonder why so many new guitars have the tailpiece set quite low? Simply tradition going back to the 50s when the TOM was invented ... or perhaps Gibson thinks the guitar looks better with a low tailpiece ... or perhaps tailpiece height really does affect tone somehow? Interesting question.
  4. I was thinking about that too. Its not pretty, but its location is more functional than the other volume controls. If it's a master volume, I wonder if it retains whatever volume ratio he decides on with the bridge and neck volume controls? Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) also has a Gibson ES with the same additional volume control in that location.
  5. He plays some nice slide with it here (Gregg Allman cover of an old Muddy Waters tune)
  6. I really like the top ... not that common, and looks nice.
  7. So I guess the extra volume is a master ... or maybe a boost?
  8. Scott Sharrard (of the Gregg Allman Band) plays a Gibson semi-hollow with a figured top that sounds great with slide. It's too small to be a 335 ... maybe a 336 or 356? Does anyone know anything about this guitar? Also, does anyone know what the function of that large black knob is just below the bridge pickup?
  9. I break down challenging riffs into smaller parts ... say 4 or 5 notes ... and play them over and over (and over) again until I can do it effortlessly. Sometimes this can take days. Then I re-combine the parts of the riff once I'm able to play each of its components effortlessly. Repeat with the next riff. And ultimately can play all of the song effortlessly. It seems like overkill, but effective solo practice is not supposed to be fun ... if you're practicing properly with goal of really improving your chops, you should be stretching yourself right out of your comfort zone, and you should be mentally tired after an hour or so.
  10. Just to put this in perspective, far far more wood is consumed everyday to make the disposable wooden chopsticks that come with take-out food. The number of forests that disappear every year for chopsticks dwarfs the amount of wood used for musical instruments. Moreover, these chopsticks are used once for about 20 minutes, and then dumped into the landfill. We're all aware of the need for conservation, but wooden instruments are far down the list of environmental concerns.
  11. Some of the members here have said good things about Sweetwater, and I think one or two even mentioned something about how they will try to pick a good instrument for you. It's too bad that you can't take a road trip to a nearby city and try out several guitars yourself ... especially if you're going to spend a lot. There's so much variability in the same model of guitar ... not just in fit-and-finish, but also in resonance of the wood. If you do careful A/B comparisons of half dozen Les Pauls or SGs in the store, you'll probably find that one or two will be duds, and one of them will be the pick of the litter. So much of this depends on the wood, and this is true, even for the very best of the 100% hand-made guitars like Collings. If you're interested in the importance of wood selection and just how much variability there is, there's a good article in ToneQuest Report in which Bill Collings talks about the challenge of finding the right wood for his guitars, and for his version of the ES-335. http://www.collingsguitars.com/Images/reviews/I35LC_tonequest.pdf
  12. Improving also comes relatively slowly for me too. I play virtually every day, I don't notice much change from week-to-week, but can usually see slight improvements when comparing across months or more. I often think about how I only improve at a snail's pace and can really relate to an interview I read, a few months ago, of Ry Cooder (in the book "Talking Music" by Holger Petersen, 2011, p. 317). He talks about how, at age 61, he's finally happy with his thumb picking, and that it's now almost as fast as Flamenco players ... but that it took him THIRTY-FIVE YEARS of practice. Even the great Ry Cooder, working on his craft every day, says that he's only able to improve his technique and playing by tiny little increments over time, and that getting to where he wants to be has taken him a lifetime. Playing guitar is not for pussies.
  13. You need to mentally minimize the "perceived importance" of the video in order to take the pressure off yourself. Even the most accomplished writers rarely show people their first drafts of essays and chapters, and they often don't think of them as anything more than a rough foundation ... this helps to reduce pressure and writer's block. When I video my playing, I don't care too much about the camera, try to forget that it's even there ... and can relax more by telling myself that there's no rush, no need to show anyone anything I don't like, and no need to get it right the first time (or second or third).
  14. Mid 50s amps also had low efficiency speakers. In 1955, the 5E8 version of the Fender Twin had a pair of 6L6s, but also low-sensitivity Jensen speakers. Vintage Jensens from that era were in the neighbourhood of 92 db sensitivity ... the sensitivity of many modern speakers, in comparison, is closer to the 101 db. Going from a contemporary 101 db speaker to a vintage 92 db speaker would produce about half the perceived volume. Put another way, a 50 watt amp with a 92 db speaker isn't much louder than a 5 watt amp with a 101 db speaker. So the need for higher powered amps back in the 1950s was due, in part, to speaker technology of the day.
  15. Most people don't realize that the relationship between perceived volume and wattage is not linear. A 100 watt amp is not twice as loud as a 50 watt amp. Doubling amp power only increases perceived volume by a mere THREE decibels. Similarly, decreasing power from 100 to 50 watts, and from 50 to 25 watts, decreases volume only moderately. The relationship between volume and wattage is logarithmic ... this is why lower powered amps can be "almost as loud" as higher powered ones ... especially when used with high efficiency speakers.
  16. Part of the high-wattage amp use is about being macho. It's the same thinking that people have when they insist on cars with 500 horsepower engines, but mostly use them to drive to the corner store to get a bag of Doritos. Or when they buy massive, almost monster-truck-like off-roading SUVs, but never take them outside the city.
  17. A big part of blues music, for me, is the singing. In my book, this is what separates the greats from the pretenders. There are so many guitar virtuosos in blues rock who are so-so singers and, to me at least, that's why they'll never hold a candle to blues guys with the great pipes like Muddy and BB. So, yes, I like soul in my blues music. I don't particularly need blues in my soul music ... Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, et al. were not hard-core bluesman; but their music will stand forever.
  18. Do you ever use your finger tip for downstrokes as well? I'm starting to experiment with that, and hoping I can get the same effect as rapid alternate picking with a pick. Wes Montgomery played only with the fleshy part of his thumb, and somehow he was able to use it for beautiful upstrokes as well as downstrokes.
  19. I don’t use a pick. It’s still a work in progress, but my right-hand technique is Derek Trucks style with a lot of thumb muting. It’s a clean style ... but I have to do a lot of slurring, bending, and hammers to play faster solos.
  20. My sentiments exactly. No need for a new Les Paul model. Just go back to making them of the same quality they used to be, even 10 years ago.
  21. Pyramid Nickel Classics & Thomastik-Insfeld Blues Sliders These are round core strings that have better tone than anything else I've tried, last 2 or 3 times longer before dying, and bend easier than hex core. I've also tried DR Pure Blues round cores, but they're cheaply made in comparison, they sometimes mess up my intonation, and I don't like their feel. Initially, I thought Pyramid strings were too expensive ... but I've discovered that I spend less now because they last so long. Would be interesting to have another thread about LEAST favorite strings.
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