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Road Rig Maintenance: 10 Tips to Keep Your Gig Rig Alive and Well

Ted Drozdowski
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07.19.2012

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Sweating the small stuff can help a lot when it comes to being gig-ready, especially in situations where you’ve got to set up your amplifier and pedal board, plug in, and play. Preventative maintenance is the secret – although it shouldn’t be one – to making sure that you look and sound professional every time you and your band get on stage.
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There's More Than One Way To String An Axe

Peter Hodgson
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07.09.2012

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Guitar starts with the string. Woods are important; so is the neck profile, the fretboard radius, the neck joint, the fret finishing and the electronics. But none of that would mean anything without a well-crafted string. The player interacts with the string via their pick and fretting hand, then the string interacts with the pickup by disturbing its magnetic field, and then after the sound has worked its way through an amplifier and speaker, that same energy pushes the string to greater heights of sustain. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your strings, especially if you use a Les Paul-style guitar.
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Don’t Fret It! 10 Things You Should Know About Frets

Ted Drozdowski
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07.05.2012

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It’s easy to take frets for granted. They’re standard equipment on every guitar and don’t have the potential “wow” factor of inlays or wood patterns. No wonder many players pay them little mind – until something goes wrong.
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The Gear and Style of Lenny Kravitz

Michael Leonard
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06.07.2012

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Rocker, funkateer, soul man, balladeer… Lenny Kravitz may be one of music’s chameleons but underpinning it all is a notable talent. Kravitz plays guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, sings, produces, writes and even makes time to be a clothes designer. But what of Kravitz the guitarist and musician?
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Singles Bar: 1-Pickup Gibson Les Pauls

Michael Leonard
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05.11.2012

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Say “Gibson Les Paul” to most guitarists, and they’ll immediately think of two (or even three) pickups – whether they are retro P-90s or roaring humbuckers. But, to some, a single pickup Gibson is the ultimate rockin’ machine. Gibson has been producing single p’up Les Pauls for decades, and the stripped-back, raw appeal remains. Here’s a quick guide to the most lauded Gibson Les Paul “singles”…
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Big Sounds for Little Bucks: Get the Most Out of Your Amps

Ted Drozdowski
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05.03.2012

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Every time one opens the pages of a guitar magazine there’s a bunch of reviews about new monster amps that get great tones under all kinds of conditions. The problem is, these boutique beasties cost a bunch of moola, and for actual working club musicians that’s usually an obstacle. Plus, spending $3Gs on a new amp that’s going to travel in the back of a van with a pile of other gear and get scraped, bumped, dropped and scarred as it zips between vehicle and stage numerous times – or, the horror, gets used as a drink table by the drummer – is impractical.
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Down to the Wire: Guitar Circuit Tricks

Peter Hodgson
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03.07.2012

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From the moment guitarists first plugged into amplifiers, they began looking for ways to customize their sound. Really, the first effect was not a primitive tremolo or reverb. It was the suite of controls on board guitars themselves.
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We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It: Fuzz Power!

Dave Hunter
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01.03.2012

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We have had a major renaissance in fuzz pedals in the past decade or so. New and old makers and alike have brought out dead-on renditions of mid-’60s germanium fuzzes, late-’60s silicone fuzzes, modern fuzzes with knobs to control every parameter of the circuit, and more. Rather than being the extreme distortion effect that the uninitiated might presume them to be, good fuzz pedals can sound very organic when used right, and can interact beautifully with a cranked tube amp to produce a broad palette of overdrive tones, from mild crunch to full-on sting. Certainly you can elicit the “bees in a tin can” sound from ill-conceived fuzz use, but legendary players from Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to Jeff Beck and Keith Richards have also used fuzz pedals to produce some of the richest, most expressive guitar tones in history.
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