Barefoot Buttons

It's strange the details that fail to progress with guitar gear over the decades. Companies spend a lot of time trying to reduce the pedal size, but neglect others. For instance, we now have nano pedals. Yet, the footswitches remain small.

Have you ever tried to turn a pedal on or off when you weren't wearing shoes? It's not a very comfortable experience unless you're using a Boss pedal.

Marshall SV20H 20-watt Plexi Amp

I grew up listening to a lot of British rock music — everything from the Beatles to Led Zeppelin. I also heard a lot of punk and early hardcore — bands such as the Ramones and Minor Threat.

Because of my roots in this music, you would think I would have had a Marshall amp. But, I didn't know until recently. I'm not sure why. I always wanted one, but I just ended up buying other amps.

Choosing the best wattage guitar amp

The question comes up quite a bit about what is the best wattage guitar amp to buy. It's hard to find the perfect volume amp that covers all applications. Especially if there is a wide variety of gigs, you do. Choosing an amp judging by its wattage alone may be a little misleading.

Let's try to narrow down some choices in this article.

Behind the Guitar: Because by Abby Ahmad

The song “Because” by Abby Ahmad started as quite a different song then what we hear today. Its life began as a song performed and written on acoustic guitar.

Most of the time, with Abby's music, the initial presentation of the song is where we build the production. Abby's songs are ready to go upon arrival at the studio, which is a testament to both her playing and writing.

sE Space Shield

Recording acoustic guitars can be a real challenge in non-commercial studio environments.

Commercial studios often have live rooms carefully constructed for flattering acoustics. In a lot of these pro commercial studios, you can place a mic anywhere in the room and it will sound great.

Avatar Recording Studios NYC

But recording has changed a lot over the past two decades, and fewer people are recording in commercial studios. Instead, they’re opting for home and project studio environments.

Guitar DNA: The Surf Guitar Blue Note

Most guitarists have heard the term b5 (flat five) when referring to the blues. Some go as far to call it the blue note. I’ve always felt the play between the major and minor 3rd to be a more significant player in the blues.

Still, the b5 does have an essential place in blues. The blues has influenced much of contemporary music. Blues is the foundation of the various styles of rock, country, and other forms of music.

FSC ‘59 Strat Pickups

When I was younger I didn't understand why people would swap out their guitar pickups. If you liked the way a guitar sounds when you buy it, I thought, why change it?

It wasn't until a friend showed up at my studio with a guitar that had some hand-wound pickups in it that I had a revelation. It was quite the eye opener. There were elements of my guitar tone I wasn’t happy with but I couldn't put my finger on. I certainly didn’t think to consider my pickups.

Effectrode Mercury Fuzz

Once in a while a pedal company comes along that makes exceptional gear. This is not to say that other companies put out inferior products. It's just that sometimes someone is so dedicated to an idea or product that they spare no expense.

Effectrode Tube Drive

There are so many overdrive/distortion pedals on the market and most say the same thing in their description: “Overdriven tube amp sound.” Yet, when I’ve played through many, they don’t actually sound like an overdriven amp. That’s not to say they sound bad. Some sound nice, but not really like a cranked tube amp.

The Rat

The Rat is one of the earliest distortion pedals, arriving on the market in 1978. Prior to that, there were only a few gain pedals: the Colorsound Power Boost, the Maestro Fuzz-Tone FZ-1, the Sola Sound Tone Bender, the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face, the Dallas Rangemaster, and the Electro- Harmonix Big Muff. 

FSC Guitars

I recently paid a visit to F.S. Lutherie in Brooklyn, NY. They are a small guitar custom shop specializing in repairs and builds, based in the borough’s Greenpoint section. Owner Farhad Soheili met with me to discuss his new line of custom guitars, FSC Guitars. 

Keeley D&M Drive

If you chat with a guitarist and mention overdrives, you’ll need to pull up a chair and get comfy. You’re gonna be there for a while.  It’s a deep subject partly because there are so many overdrive pedals on the market. It’s flooded with overdrive options.

AmpRX BrownBox Review

BrownBox Throughout my years of recording, gigging, and touring I would notice a strange occurrence. My amps seemed to sound different from night to night. At the time, I mostly attributed this to the varying acoustics from room to room.