To understand the relationship between relative major and relative minor keys, we’ll start with Western tonality, in which we use a system of “keys.” Each key has a number of associated sharps or flats that comprise the overall seven-note structure of the key. The exception is C-Major, which has no sharps or flats. An easy way to visualize C-Major is to imagine playing only the white keys on a piano. All of these white keys are in the key of C-Major. Every other key utilizes at least one of the black keys, meaning that they have at least one sharp or flat note.
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Telecasters are great… probably my favorite guitar of all. But when your Tele is stock, chances are that it came loaded with vintage style pickups. Depending on your rig and your style of playing, this may translate to noise (i.e. the dreaded 60-cycle hum), or in the case of the bridge pickup, a somewhat brittle tone, and few options. Here is a list of areas to think through before you make your final decision on your next Telecaster bridge pickup upgrade.
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It’s hard to believe that Fender Texas Specials just celebrated their 20th anniversary. They first made their debut in January 1992 as the stock pickups in the Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster. Not too long after, they became available as a standalone product. SInce then, they have become quite popular.
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Vox has dusted off one of their flagship models for yet another reissue that offers a great blend of classic features and modern upgrades. The 12″ Celestion G12M Greenback speaker is probably the most notable improvement. You can expect some serious mids and tons of headroom from this speaker. As has been the case for many years, the “Normal” and “Top Boost” channels offer some variety for the overall voicing of the amp. Both of these channels share the master volume and “Tone Cut” controls. This is particularly cool because it means that the Tone Cut control operates on the power-amp level, not the pre-amp. The result is a true tone shaping of the overall amp voice, not the input.
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Catching That Wave
The “Holy Grail” of overdrive pedals is a lot like that perfect wave that a surfer desperately seeks. Well, good news folks; I think I may have found it! The Fulltone OCD is one hell of a little pedal. Granted, there are other ones out there that offer an actual 12AX7 tube, and pretty serious tone-shaping (for example, the Radial Tonebone), but the OCD is just an incredibly simple little pedal that delivers; it sounds great anytime, anywhere!
That Perfect Driven Sound
One of the things that seems to be particularly high on the list of priorities for guitarists is how to achieve the perfect driven sound. There are so many overdrive / distortion pedals out there. You could spend all day and night just trying them all out, to see which one sounds best. Although guitars, amps and even pickups are often candidates for “Best of the Best” ranking among guitarists, the overdrive pedal seems to hold a special place in our hearts, as a critical component to our sound and an item that we keep ourselves in an unrelenting search for.
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Although Telecaster bridge pickups are best known for their famous “twang,” more and more, guitarists are looking to coax an increased array of sounds out of their instrument. If you need to extend what your Telecaster can do, should consider upgrading your bridge and neck pickups. Even if you simply want to improve the quality of your existing sound, an upgrade is usually the best bet. Below are links for the best Telecaster bridge pickups on the market. Which one is right for you depends mostly on your needs as well as taste.
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If you are embarking on a project that involves upgrading or building a Tele, these links might help you to find some of the Telecaster guitar parts you need. All of these companies offer some pretty good stuff at fairly reasonable prices. Warmoth, for example, is probably best and offers the most options for bodies and necks, but of course, they are the most expensive. In each case, though, be sure to explore all the options for Telecaster guitar parts that the company offers, and don’t be afraid to call them if you have any questions before you place your order.
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I’ve been trying out a set of the Seymour Duncan Phat Cat pickups recently, and I have to say: they really got it right on these. When I started this blog, for some reason I decided to add the links at the bottom first. When I was researching the Harmony-Central reviews, I started to read the first review. The more I read the review, the more I kept thinking to myself: “wow, this guy sounds like he has had the exact same experiences as me… and he seems to have the same sense of humor as me… wow, I really agree with the way this guy approaches his review on these Phat Cat pickups and the kind of feedback he is giving… this is bizzare!”
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Also known as “Zebrawood” or “Tigerwood,” the species that yield this wood go by such barely pronounceable Latin monikers as Astronium fraxinifolium and Astronium graveolens. But who cares about lineage, right? What we want to know is how does it feel and sound? Answer: Great and Great, which is what we want to hear when we consider the Goncalo Alves neck.
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