How To Shield A Guitar

A few weeks ago, I completed an article about fixing my Ernie Ball/Music Man’s warped pickguard. While I had all of the electronics and pickguard off of the guitar, I noticed that the only shielding on the control cavity was a small strip of aluminum tape on the pickguard where the controls were. Now, the normal pickups in this guitar are humbuckers: a Custom Custom and Alnico […] Continue Reading

8-String Shred Alert: Sarah Longfield

Sarah Longfield can probably beat you up on guitar - and will use two more strings doing it. Since starting on the piano early and switching to guitar at the age of 12, Sarah's interests have widened to include drums and keyboards. After learning the basics on 6-string guitars for a couple of years she transitioned to 7 and finally 8-string guitars as her musical interests turned toward heavy, down-tuned metal. Continue Reading

Assembling a Road-Ready Pedalboard

If you do any amount of gigging as a professional, semi-professional or hobbyist guitarist, be it in a cover band situation or an original group, ideally you'd like to be able to reproduce the recorded guitar tones of the tunes you're playing as closely as possible. But if your gig involves traveling, and you don't have a tech or a production-sized budget, you don't want to be dealing with plugging a zillion cables into half-a-dozen pedals before every gig, so constructing a pedal board might be the best way to go. Continue Reading

More S/H Superstrat Pickup Combo Adventures: The JB/STK-S6 Set

For those that read my last review of the 59/Custom Hybrid and the STK-S7 used as an S/H combo (or as a primer for anyone that didn't), l love Strats with Floyds and S/H pickup combos. That's probably my No.1 favorite pickup combo, followed by a S/S/S combo with a vintage Strat bridge, and then any LP-style two humbucker setup (Floyd optional!). Continue Reading

It's ALIVE: Building a Parts Strat

Building your own Strat-style guitar is one of the most fun and rewarding experiences I've discovered. I started as a teen, inspired by Eddie Van Halen, and never stopped. I was mesmerized by all the inner workings and details that came together to make a killer sounding, classy-looking guitar that played great too. Continue Reading

Why Direct Mount?

Some players, myself included, have noticed a subtle but palpable difference between direct-mounted pickups and those mounted more traditionally in pickguards, or in the case of most Super-Strats, mounting rings. Continue Reading

Customizing your Bass with Seymour Duncan

In some cases, a bass that plays great, may not sound great. Customizing your bass with Seymour Duncan pickups, a new pickguard, knobs and a Hipshot D-tuner, are just a few ways you can turn that old bass into one of your main basses. Continue Reading

Choosing Pickups: It is the Tone Wizard You Seek… or the SDUGF Dudes. Or Both.

Searching for pickups for your guitar or bass needn’t be a stressful experience, especially with the tools players have at their disposal today. The technical details of your guitar are usually a mere Internet click away. Once you’ve a few basic bits of information and a general idea of what sound you’re looking for, tools like The Tone Wizard and the Tonechart on can help […] Continue Reading

The Dropkick Murphy's Duncanize

Photo above: Guitarist Tim Brennan The Dropkick Murphy’s dropkick Duncan’s into their guitars with help from tech extraordinaire …..drum roll please….. Grizz Middleton! It’s Saint Patrick day every day when you’re with the Dropkick Murphy’s. A rare blend of Irish-American Celtic Punk, these guys keep the heavy guitar tones, accordions, and banjos true to their roots. Three axe men are needed to fill the full rhythmic […] Continue Reading

P-Rails and P-Funk Join Forces

The P in P-rails stands for Phunk! When the guitar player from the Parliament Funkadelic called and said she wasn’t happy with the tone from her stock pickups, Seymour Duncan didn’t hesitate. A tech from the Duncan factory met Shaunna Hall at the Gibson Amphitheater a few hours before the show to bring her guitar to life. Shaunna needed something that had the jangly chime of […] Continue Reading