Years ago I heard folk guitarist David Wilcox say that certain guitars had more songs in them than others. I think this is true, and I've tried to surround myself with guitars that have lots of songs to give. My first quality acoustic was a late ‘80s Taylor K-22C, and over the years I've been inspired by both modern and vintage guitars. My current "go-to" list includes...
The Tapo by Editors Keys takes two common accessories — a capo and a clip-on tuner — and puts them together in one handy piece. The capo end of the Tapo is indeed a sturdy metal capo. It has appropriate rubber padding so it doesn't scratch your instrument. There's a visible spring that keeps tension in order.
I didn’t buy a guitar right away. In fact I borrowed my brother’s nylon Argentinian guitar. The neck was really fat and made learning a stretch. I knew I wanted a nylon string guitar to start with that I could plug in. And it had to sound amazing and meaningful. Check out the story of how I chose my guitars and why!
The do-it-yourself movement is the inevitable and fortunate offspring of the Internet age. Now we can develop formerly elusive skills with the help of forums, how-to guides (like this one), and YouTube tutorials. In last week’s post, DIY Demos (Part One), I wrote about some of the equipment you need to successfully record demos at home. In this post, I want to explain how the process energized my own songwriting and arranging as well as touch on the practical uses of homemade demos.
To celebrate the launch of the new Acoustic Nation, we're giving away a brand new Peavey DW-3 Acoustic Guitar. The DW-3 includes active electronics, a built-in tuner, a built-in mic with blend control, and features a rosewood back and sides, a solid spruce top, and a laser etched custom rosette.
In this video, reviewer Justin Horenstein demos the Roland AC-40. This is a compact acoustic amp that’s super lightweight at less than 12 lbs. It has dual 6.5 inch speakers for stereo and a tilt stand to angle the amp upwards. The amp has two channels, each with their own independent EQ, reverb, and chorus controls. Channel 1 has a dedicated GUITAR input, and Channel 2 has a MIC/LINE input for another acoustic guitar or mic for vocals.
Creating passable demos of new songs is a common first step for independent musicians preparing to make an album of original music. It's definitely a good idea to make a basic recording of a new song before taking it into the studio, but why not take it a step further? Recording the song on your iPhone with a voice recorder app has its merits, but taking a few additional steps can not only expand your creative process and the depth of your songwriting, but it can also help to better convey your musical ideas to your band members. Yes, adding even more technological elements may feel cumbersome to many of us, but once you get a hang of the basics the prep work can become an experience in solitary musical exploration and artistic independence.
Each guitar I own speaks to me in different ways. I owe part of my success as a writer to the instruments that led me down different roads. They truly did teach me how to sing a love song. They taught me how to laugh and how to cry. I know of no better friend to have on a cold and lonely night than a great guitar. Never underestimate the power of a great instrument to take you places you never would have gone on your own.
I love guitars. I look at them online like most people look at porn. Over the years, I’ve built up a nice little collection. Acoustics from the ‘30s. Electrics from the 50s. When I’m on tour, I make a point of finding rad guitar shops (thank you, Gbase), guitar factories to tour (thank you, Collings!!) or museums with exhibits that have anything remotely guitar about them. Over the summer i was playing a show in Indianapolis, and happened to catch signs hanging around downtown for the Eiteljorg Museum’s “Guitars! Roundups to Rockers” exhibit. So I busted a move over there, not knowing what to expect.
In this video, reviewer Justin Horenstein demonstrates the Ultrasound CP-100 compact acoustic amplifer. This is an amp specifically built for acoustic instruments such as guitar, mandolin, fiddle and even vocals. It has a single 8’’ speaker and 100 watts of power. It’s made to be transparent, so it won’t add color to the tone of your acoustic instrument.