The Fender bass. I love it, probably more than most, but like the Stratocaster, it is heavily copied. The classic feel and sound have kept those instruments current, even after 60 years. Speed things up to today: Technology says, “Hey, we can make a few minor improvements,” and, with money being tight, sometimes buying a cheaper instrument to upgrade later is the best route.
Everyone from White Zombie to the Allman Brothers Band pulls out the ol’ bottleneck in pop music. When you think about Lynyrd Skynryd’s “Free Bird,” are you humming the lyrics or are you humming the slide guitar line while fumbling for a cigarette lighter to hold in the air?
Guitar players have a tendency to be somewhat sentimental. Don't worry, we’re not going to talk about emotions here. But think about it — vintage tube amps, custom shop reissues, paying big bucks for discontinued pedals, etc. As technology keeps pumping out new ideas, there are certain things we just don’t want to give up.
So you’re out hunting for strings. Rather than go with some fly-by-night brand that’s been in the string business for only 100 years, let’s take a look at La Bella. They’ve been making violin strings since the 1640s! The company could just sit around at its headquarters in Newburgh, New York, where it makes its strings, but it keeps churning out new ideas. Recently I got the chance to test drive the company's new White Nylon Tapewound bass strings.
As musicians, we go to extremes to get the best possible sound from our instruments. Don’t think this quest is limited to guitar players. A quick Internet search shows drummers burying their cymbals in the back yard to achieve a darker timbre, or a community theater in California letting anyone in off the street to come play their new grand piano to help log the 100 hours of time needed to properly break it in.
Henretta Engineering has released a line of handmade pedals that won’t break the bank or hog up unnecessary real estate. Out of the seven pedals in the series, I checked out the Green Zapper Auto Filter, which, like its kin, sizes up at 2 inches by 2 inches.
The Aero series really blurs the line between a hardshell case and a gig bag. The problem with a hardshell case is the weight and bulkiness, while the problem with a gig bag is the lack of protection. Reunion Blues calls its method of protection Flexoskeleton technology. Unlike most empty gig bags, you cannot fold an Aero case in half.
Power outage, foot cramp, too afraid to lick that 9-volt you found in the bottom of your cable bag? Sometimes you just need to step away from the world of electronics altogether and express yourself with just an acoustic guitar. The Aspri Acero is a compact reverb tank that can be added to your acoustic guitar without any modifications or use of batteries.
“Sorry No Beige” was the slogan for Apple’s colorful, all-in-one G3 computer in the late '90s. Today you can order a guitar in just about any color under the sun or mix and match pickguards till the cows come home. But the case ... why does the case have to look so boring? Bullhorn Guitar Cases gives you a blank canvas and the tools to design your own one-of-a-kind case.
The Axsys 1.0 is a US-made, high-quality guitar-seat-and-stand combo. Secondly, it’s pre-assembled with one sheet of three easy directions — with pictures! To get going, all I had to do was remove the safety pin, fold out the back leg, re-apply the safety pin and click the seat in position. To go from seat to guitar stand mode, flip a switch and the seat folds down.