Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 at 8:57 am
Back in 2009, I described my frustration with the Tune-o-matic bridge on my Epiphone Riviera P93. The retainer wire that holds the saddle screws in place is just a terrible design. A good choice to address this issue is the Nashville style tune-o-matic which has individual saddle retainer clips, while also increasing saddle-adjustment range for intonation. Another good possibility is a roller bridge, like the Wilkinson B33. I figured the roller may pair well with the Bigsby, possibly improving the Bigsby vibrato’s general tuning instability.
In this video, I show how to swap in the Wilkinson bridge, and then do a series of comparisons to see if there’s any difference in the overall tone, sustain, and tuning stability with the two bridges.
I recorded many many takes of the strum-tests comparing tone and sustain, and my results were always pretty inconsistent. Despite my best efforts, it’s impossible to produce the exact same string excitation for each strum. So, I think the variances in sustain and tone are largely insignificant- though it does appear that, across all my tests, the roller may have slightly longer sustain times. I imagine that if I replace the Epiphone bridge posts with the beefier Wilkinson posts there may be a greater sustain improvement, but I’ll leave that for another day.
The tuner I use during the tuning stability section is the excellent Planet Waves Tru-Strobe (PW-CT-11) tuner.
Saturday, May 12th, 2012 at 9:11 am
My pedalboard for the recent Summer Music Project gig was a a bit of a compromise. I couldn’t fit the JamMan Delay on the pedal board so it was hanging off to one side, and I had no space for my fuzz and chorus.
I’ve been planning to build a new larger PedalTrain-inspired pedalboard, and make some new correct-length cables.
Meanwhile, some of this pedal order is dependent on the short cables I had on hand. I would prefer to wire the tuner before the volume pedal, and the compressor before the wah, but that will have to wait for the redo.
The pedal chain I settled on for the gig was:
I received the VOX Ice 9 just before the gig, so I haven’t fully explored its voicing yet, but it sounds really nice. It has an overall darker sound that my Speed Racer, so I’m initially using it as a very mellow overdrive/boost, and using my Speed Racer for more bright aggressive drive. I wasn’t doing any live looping with the JamMan Delay- I was just using the delays, and loving that tap tempo switch.
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Thursday, May 10th, 2012 at 11:55 am
Rhymes with Guitar World!
Our singer, Laura Whitmore, has been writing a blog at Guitar World for about a year now. Lately she’s been writing about her transition from playing acoustic guitar to playing electric in our band, The Summer Music Project.
Yesterday, Laura wrote an article for Guitar World about her experience playing and singing at our recent gig.
Funny that, for this brief moment, our little band is on the front page of Guitar World!
She included a video of us playing her song “Don’t Take it Easy”. The audio is really bad, as we were using the built-in camera mic, from the back of the hall about 50 feet away. Unfortunately, my Tascam DR-40 digital recorder was sitting in standby for the whole show- gotta press record TWICE damnit! I of course wish I could hear my guitar better, but the important thing in this video is that we can hear Laura reasonably well.
Here’s that video:
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at 10:26 am
Well, April just came and went, didn’t it?
It’s been a super busy month at work, and what free time I had was filled with preparing for a gig with my band, The Summer Music Project.
The set list ranged from some classic rock, right up to the present:
- Shine On – Peter Frampton
- Get Back – Beatles
- Penny On The Train Track – Ben Kweller
- Taste of Danger – Jonatha Brooke
- Stop – Joe Henry
- Wonderwall – Oasis
- Animal – Neon Trees
- Cough Syrup – Young the Giant
- Perfect Situation – Weezer
- I’m Sorry – Charles Besocke (original)
- Don’t Take It Easy – Laura Whitmore (original)
- The Only Exception – Paramore
- Help Me (She’s Out of Her Mind) – Stereophonics
- Level – Raconteurs
- Revelry – Kings of Leon
- Chocolate – Snow Patrol
- Loving Cup – Rolling Stones
- Had Me A Real Good Time – The Faces
I’m playing lead guitar on all of these, and some definitely push the limits of my abilities- so it’s been a great challenge. Also, and rather more nerve-wrackingly, I sing on most of the songs- mostly harmony with our lead singer Laura Whitmore, but I also had to sing lead parts on a couple songs. I’ve never been thrilled with the timbre and range of my voice, so I spent a lot of time working on the songs. As with anything, it’s definitely true that the more you practice, the better you get, but I have a looooong way to go. I’ll be writing more about voice training in another post.
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