The Secret is Out…

Last winter I tried an odd experiment: a website where players were encouraged to post their best tone secrets — the kinds of tricks and techniques that are almost too good to share. But in order to get, you had to give: The site was password-protected, and the password was only sent to […]

Those Times When It’s Good to NOT Play Like Yourself…

I am not any of these people — but I pretended to be them.

Can we all agree that it’s a good thing when guitarists and bassists cultivate their own style? Even a jaded old cuss experienced music journalist like me still gets a thrill upon discovering a new player […]

How Nashville High-Stringing Works

“Them’s some mighty skinny strings there, son!”

Nashville high-strung tuning is one of the guitar’s great magic tricks. It has a delicious, “secrets of the Guild” quality — you feel like an insider just knowing what it is.

Not that I did know what it is until embarrassingly late in […]

A History of Reverb

Hi there. We changed musical history!

Tonefiend reader Scott S. hipped me to a fabulous little article that just appeared in the online edition of The Atlantic: a history of artificial reverb that’s both technically savvy and fun to read. Author William Weir covers all the right gizmos: echo […]

Adventures in Direct Recording

Hey man — what happened to your amps?

No question about it: Amps are awesome, and guitarists will be plugging into them for a long time to come. But as threatened in this post from last week, I’ve been experimenting with direct- recorded guitar sounds. I’m not talking amp […]

No Stinkin’ Amps (or Amp Simulators)

An advanced technical diagram.

No videos or audio examples today — I’m in the midst of “reconfiguring” my studio. (That’s the technical term for pulling stuff out of racks, tangling all your cables, making an ungodly mess, and dissolving into a puddle of bitter, frustrated tears.)

But the good news […]

A Loop-Oriented Laptop Guitar Rig

I haz a band.

My ol’ pals at Guitar Player magazine interviewed me for an instructional article on looping for next month’s issue. It was especially flattering to be invited, because the interviewer was Barry Cleveland, a fine guitarist and a leading figure in the looping community.

I […]

The Pagey Project, Phase 2:
An INSANELY Versatile Les Paul

Just how many colors can you coax from one guitar?

This post is about a guitar wiring scheme that only geeks and tweakers could love.

I think you’ll dig it.

In Phase 1 of this project, I recreated the original Page wiring scheme using an ’82 Paul, […]

Credit Where It’s Due — Please!

Move along — there's nothing to see here.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t publicize “causes” on this site, but this one has special relevance for musicians and music fans.

My pal Count, a producer/mixer who’s done work for Radiohead, DJ Shadow, New Order, the Stones, No Doubt, and many other artists, is […]

About Those Expensive Picks . . .

Have you ever been curious about those high-priced picks, especially those ultra-hard ones made from organic materials? I was. I once bought an $25 mammoth ivory pick and enjoyed the way it sounded — for an hour, till I lost it.

But when I saw the box of spiffy-looking John […]