Four Simple (and Cheap) Ways to Personalize Your Guitar

There’s a lot of appeal to owning something that’s truly unique, and guitars are definitely no exception. While we may not all want something as bold as the Eddie Van Halen Franken-Strat or the Rick Nielsen checkerboard Hamer Standard, it’s hard to deny the allure of a guitar that is one of a kind. We want to look at our beloved instruments and know that they’re […] Continue Reading

The Truth About True Bypass

The world of guitar is, like most things in life, full of strange buzzwords and mis-information. In this article we'll focus on one of the most controversial of these terms: true bypass. By the end, you should understand exactly what it is, what it does, and why you do (or do not) want it in your pedals. Continue Reading

Three Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Band

Sometimes I think it’s a miracle that any bands succeed at all, given all the things stacked against them. The world can be very unforgiving to music, especially for those of us on the fringes of popularity (or, if you’re like me, staring at the fringes of popularity through a high powered telescope). This makes it all the more important to not unintentionally sabotage your band […] Continue Reading

Wiring A Hollow Body Guitar the Easy Way

Have you ever looked at a hollow or semi-hollow guitar on the wall at your local music store and wondered how the heck they get the electronics in there? The short answer: it's do-able, but not easy. In fact, it's widely considered to be one of the most difficult jobs in the wide world of guitar maintenance. My tech charges extra for doing electronics work in a hollow-body, and he's definitely not the only one. Continue Reading

Pickup Polarity and Phase Made Simple

If you have only one pickup in your guitar, feel free to ignore this article and live your life in blissful ignorance, unhampered by phase and polarity issues. Everyone else, pay attention! This is important stuff, and it might save your sanity some day, or at least your tone. Continue Reading

Keep it Loose: Stretches for Guitarists

If you're anything like me, you have felt the pain of playing the guitar. I'm not talking about the blues, or the pain caused by being smacked by the singer; I'm talking about pain and tension in your muscles and joints. We guitarists put our hands through a lot of punishment. Bending strings, holding barre chords, rapid-fire picking - it all adds up, and none of it is good for your muscles or joints. When your hands are aching or your shoulders are locking up, your performance suffers. Worst of all, you might be doing long term damage. Continue Reading

How To Replace a Pickup's Four-Conductor Lead

The four conductor lead found on most humbuckers is a very handy thing.  It enables us to get many tones from a single pickup (series, parallel, split, and more). If you want to make a wiring change, just cut the lead down a bit and wire up that pickup once more. But what do you do if, like me, you cut that lead back one too […] Continue Reading

Make the Most of Your Studio Time

Time and money – two precious resources that musicians never seem to have enough of. Nowhere is this more apparent than when it’s time to record, especially in today’s era of tight budgets and high production values. A poorly managed recording burns time and money. Continue Reading

Make Tracks: Recording Electric Guitar

When you get down to it, there are three things a guitarist can do: play alone, play for an audience, or record. Of those three, recording is perhaps the least intuitive. Practice and performance are both simple and natural aspects of music - you plug in, turn up, and make magic happen. Recording is not so simple. Continue Reading

Make Tracks: Recording Acoustic Guitar

Few things make me happier than a great song played on a fine acoustic guitar.  The shimmer of the strings and the resonance of the body fill the room and warm my heart.  I’m most definitely an electric player first and foremost, but there’s just something fundamentally satisfying about playing a well-built acoustic.  This is probably why I used to get so frustrated when recording the […] Continue Reading