Why Do You Play Guitar?

By Jay Hale When I was a kid growing up in a small West Virginia town in the early/mid-80s, it was unusual – in some cases frowned upon – for a black kid to like rock music. Fortunately I grew up in a household where there were no musical genre restrictions, so in addition to…

The Jason Becker Perpetual Burn in the Bomber!

Jason Becker Perpetual Burn humbucker, has actually been around in prototype form since the 90s. Designed with Jason during his tenure in David Lee Roth’s band, shortly before ALS robbed him of the ability to play, this pickup was one of the best-kept secrets of the Duncan Custom Shop.

My Custom Shop Hybrid Pickup

Recently when I visted the Seymour Duncan factory, I was lucky enough to get to hang out in the Custom Shop. Such history in those walls! Pictures of Seymour and MJ with Jeff Beck, Billy Gibbons, Edward Van Halen and many others throughout the years adorn the walls. I saw prototypes for the AH-1, the Frankenstein pickup, early handwound (by Seymour himself) ’59s, you name it. It was a treasure trove of pickup prototypes. No, they literally have a vault of prototypes, in addition to the ones displayed on the wall.

The Art of the Hammer

Like most kids growing up in the 80s, I was both obsessed with (and inspired to pick up the guitar by) Van Halen. I liked some Zeppelin songs and the like, but I never wanted to play until I heard VH. Suddenly I HAD to. A large part of it was the fact that the…

The Kramer Chronicles, Volume I: The ’59 Set

When I was a kid first starting out on guitar, there was no widespread “DIY” market to speak of. That was just beginning. You basically took what you could get at your local music store, and liked it. Unless you were daring enough to try the also embryonic mail-order market and run with something you…

The Re-Ampinator: aka “D.I. Baby D.I.”

Lately I’ve become a huge fan of recording DI (direct-injection) guitar tracks in Pro Tools 10. This is done by plugging directly into the recording interface (in my case an Mbox II), and allows the ability to change amp emulations on the fly once you’ve recorded a performance you’re satisfied with – allowing insane amounts of tonal flexibility.

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