Choosing Pickups In Unusual Wood Combinations

We all know the tried-and-true electric guitar tonewoods: Maple, Mahogany, Alder, Ash, Rosewood and Ebony. But what if your guitar only contains some of these woods, none of them, or no wood at all? How can you choose a pickup for construction materials which don’t follow the same wood combinations used for the past 70…

Balancing Time for Guitar in Your Life

Being that most consumers of guitar-related gear work hard at a job that has nothing to do with music, time spent home is precious and usually spent with family. This article will give some suggestions to help keep guitar in our life, and balance it with the other demands on our time.

Playing in Parallel: The ‘Minor’ Modes

We’ve already looked at the modes of the C major scale, and we’ve also looked at the modes that have that happy, major sound. Now we turn our attention to modes that have a minor third – that is, the third note of the mode itself is 1 1/2 steps from the root.

Direct-Mounting Pickups Part II: The JB meets the PMS (Pickup Mounting System)

The SH/TB-4 JB is – no joke – THE most popular replacement pickup ever. No, no just the most popular in the populous Seymour Duncan humbucker lineup, but the most popular aftermarket pickup available. Has been for 30 years. Seriously, that top shouldn’t be open for debate, really. A certain British guitarist with the same initials was known to have used one of the originals in the 70s, and since then it’s been a staple of rock music. Other pickups can only get in the neighborhood of the iconic nature of the JB. It’s everywhere, whether you know it or not, and for good reason. It’s all over more classic and current recordings than you can begin to imagine, so cool is this pickup. It is, in fact, the SOUND of ROCK.

My Versatile HSS Wiring Scheme

Guitars with one humbucker and two single coils always seem to be a compromise. The idea is to get that chimey, jangly, quack from the neck and the middle single coils and the rock and roll from the humbucker in the bridge position. The HSS (which stands for humbucker-single-single) pickup configuration gained popularity in the 80s, much like everyone’s favorite haircut, the mullet. And much liked the maligned mullet, we get, in theory, business in the front and party in the rear. This article is my take on this pickup configuration, and how I came up with a way it could work for me.

Substitutions for the I Chord

The last few chord substitution articles focused on the V chord in a standard I- IV-V progression. This one focuses on the I chord, and how we can change the chord that everything always resolves to. I will give a few examples of how we can do this in our rhythm playing and our songwriting….

How I Chose the Parts to Build My Dream Guitar

After reading Jay Hale’s excellent article about building a guitar from parts, I decided that it was time for me to take the plunge too. I’ve admired the necks and bodies from Warmoth Custom Guitar and Bass Parts for well over 20 years, yet never tried to build one myself. I wanted to build something different…

Track Stacking: Fun with Guitar Orchestration

As a budding home recording enthusiast, you’ve got your work cut out for you. The basic mechanics of your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) must be learned. You begin by studying the techniques of recording – mono vs. stereo tracks, amps, mics/placement, emulations, plug-ins, etcetera – and you think that’s hard enough. But you soon realize…

Let There Be Bass!

A while back I started getting tired of asking to borrow friend’s basses to record demos with. I’m sure they got tired of me asking, too. It made sense, given the fact that I was recording more, that a bass would be a good investment to have around the house. I originally set out to…

Friends of SD: Warmoth Custom Guitar & Bass Parts

The Friends of SD series will showcase builders and manufacturers that are either authorized resellers of Seymour Duncan products, or who use Seymour Duncan pickups in their instruments.  If you are a guitarist or bassist that has ever dreamed of building your own instrument out of parts, chances are you have spent countless hours looking at the beautiful woods…

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