What is the Best Guitar Combo Amplifier for Blues?

blues combo ampFor the small stage, recording studio, and the bedroom. Here’s a list of the best combo amps for the Blues guitarist.

Eric Clapton, B.B.King, Buddy Guy, and Muddy Waters all got plenty of miles out of their combo amps. This list of greats is just scratching the surface. The combo amp is the perfect partner for the blues guitarist, especially since they are most often easy to transport. Combo amps are usually lower wattage which means that you can drive them harder without turning your neighbours into enemies. Continue reading “What is the Best Guitar Combo Amplifier for Blues?”

What are the Best Stratocaster Pickups for Blues?

blues stratocaster pickupsGreat Blues tone is just an upgrade away. If you are a Strat player looking for the best Blues pickups, the below list should point you in the right direction.

It is possible to upgrade your guitar at a reasonable price: change the pickups. Quite often, the results can be significant, especially with lower priced guitars in which the quality of the pickups is questionable. It is possible to get the sound you are looking for simply by selecting the right pickups rather than buying a new guitar. Pickups are fairly easy to change yourself, as they require minimal knowledge and a few tools. There are probably more brands of pickups than brands of guitars and amps combined. That said, it’s no surprise that there are pickups for virtually every style of music, type of player, and type of guitar. Naturally, it can be hard to know where to begin when faced with so many options. This post narrows it down to a Stratocaster body style, with three single-coil pickups, and a five-way switch configuration, but any of these should also be available as a single. From smoothe David Gilmour to Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Texas tone,” or from vintage to modern, this list covers most Blues players. Continue reading “What are the Best Stratocaster Pickups for Blues?”

What are the Best Stratocaster Pickups?

Stratocaster PickupsWhether you want to change the sound or the feel of your instrument, you are only limited by your imagination.

The Stratocaster is one of the most flexible guitars ever made. When compared to many Gibson models such as the Les Paul or SG, there is a dramatic difference with regard to your customization options. One of the most popular areas of focus for Stratocaster modification is the pickups. This change will have the most dramatic effect on your guitar’s sound.

There are a zillion options out there for pickups. Some good, some great, and some just plain awful. Among the “great” options, the “right” pickup depends on not only your budget, but also your taste. This is a very subjective area and opinions differ. So while some may prefer a vintage-style / low-output Stratocaster pickup, others may opt for a noiseless or active model. There are no right or wrong answers here, just what works best for you. Hopefully this list will help you get started in making this choice.
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Roland VG-99 V-Guitar Multi Effects Processor System

Roland-vg-99 LogoModel a wide range of electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, synthesizers and amplifiers.

This is an all-in-one package that is impressive. At the heart of the VG-99 are two completely independent signal paths. You can model classic guitars, basses or amplifiers, and then assign up to 11 effects, twice. You can then use those two channels independent of each other, or simultaneously. Using an optional floor-based controller, you can do all of your channel switching or blending.
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HBS Zoom G5 Guitar Multi-Effects & Amp Simulator

Zoom G5What do Dave Mustaine, Wayne Krantz and Eric Struthers all have in common? They are fans of the Zoom G5. Be careful… if you take a closer look at this multi-effects pedal, you might be too.

It’s amazing how multi-effect technology keeps on progressing. Zoom’s new G5 is yet another impressive unit that delivers an overwhelming amount of value and flexibility. I have to rave about one feature first: the multi-dimensional expression pedal. In addition to moving the pedal up and down, you can twist it to the right or left. Do the math…. yes, significantly expanded levels of expression and real-time parameter changes. The end result is that you can assign up to four parameters to the expression pedal. Nuts.
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Seymour Duncan SHPR-1s P-Rails – a P-90 and a Strat Pickup in a Humbucker-Sized Package

Seymour duncan hpr p-railsIf your guitar has humbucker-sized mountings, yet you dream of the sounds of a P-90 or a Strat, the Seymour Duncan SHPR-1s P-Rails can make this a reality.

First things first: If you are looking for a full-fledged humbucker, go out and buy a full-fledged humbucker. Just wanted to put the whole “…well, it’s not really a real humbucker” argument aside. This pickup is meant for folks who have a humbucker-fitted guitar, yet are looking to get P-90 and / or Strat tones out of it.

Some might say: “well, why don’t you just put a P-90 or a Strat pickup in the guitar?”
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Rock Solid Guitar Stands – All Wood Guitar Rack Sees Solid Growth

Rock Solid Guitar StandsWe just received an update from the awesome folks at Rock Solid Guitar Stands.

Designed by a collector tired of a chaotic studio and cluttered living space, Rock Solid Guitar Stands is an emerging brand nationwide. These attractive guitar stands are designed to not only safely organize and protect your guitars, but to showcase your collection and complement the home as a piece of furniture. Rock Solid is the first genuine wood multi-guitar stand in its price range, making it accessible to our audience, which ranges from young adults to veteran collectors.
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What is the Relative Major / Relative Minor?

Sheet MusicUnderstanding this relationship can help improve your soloing, and lead to new sounds.

In western tonality, we use the 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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Should I Upgrade My Telecaster Bridge Pickup?

Telecaster Bridge PickupThinking about upgrading your Telecaster bridge pickup? Here are a few things to consider.

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 which Telecaster bridge pickup to choose.
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Fender Texas Specials Stratocaster Pickups Really are Special

Fender Texas SpecialsIf you want a vintage Strat pickup that is extra hot, these are seriously worth considering.

It’s hard to believe that these pickups 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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