Here's the video of the Solo Music Gear Telecaster kit that I wrote about in March:
If you're like me and you play or practice a lot you might want to consider trying out stainless steel frets. The image above shows a very worn nickel fret and though it's an extreme example it is what happens to these kinds of frets over time.
For me, I found I needed to have fret work each year. After going through this multiple times I decided to give stainless steel a try. In the video below I explain why. If you haven't tried these you owe it to yourself to give it a go.
Once you install stainless steel its very unlikely that you will ever need to have fretwork done again.
Check out the video and let me know what you think.
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I have always wanted to build a guitar. I have over the years bought and installed different necks done my own set ups, installed pickups, fixed switches and pots, I've even done a full refinish of a vintage strat in Nitrocellulose lacquer... but I've never built one.
I live near Toronto Ontario and in Canada it seems it's tough to get all the goodies that our American neighbours have. As a result, I would order parts from the USA and often would get hit with serious fees.
I was browsing around online and stumbled across www.solomusicgear.com/
I was admiring the reasonable prices of their necks and guitar kits when I noticed they are located nearby in Mississauga. I was very happy to find a Canadian source for necks, bodies and other guitar goodies! They are a licensed Fender dealer as well so genuine parts are available.
Needless to say at my first opportunity I went to check them out in person.
I met with Christian (not sure If I have the spelling right) but after talking for a while I settled on a neck for my strat. It was a whopping 69.99! Maple neck, Indian Rosewood fingerboard, med Jumbo frets and a 12" Radius. The neck was finished in a light coat of poly. Just enough to seal the wood so it was a little rough but it was less than 1/4 of the price I would pay for something from Warmoth so I snapped it up.
I brought the neck home and installed it on my strat. It was really comfortable and played great. I had 1 fret that was a little high and the nut (being plastic) had to go. I fixed the high fret and installed a bone nut and bingo. Had a great playing neck for a very affordable price.
The next day I was chatting with dad on the drive home from work and I mentioned the place and the kits. My birthday was in a few days and he asked me if I would like one for my birthday. Of course I said yes!
So we ordered the TCK15. It is a telecaster kit with an alder body, maple neck, Indian rosewood fingerboard and all of the pickups and electronics needed to assemble the kit.
You ready for this; the cost, only $219!
I began assembling the kit in evenings after the kids were asleep.
On the first night I bolted the neck to the body.
On the socond night I installed the pickups and on the third night I soldered the connections and strung it up.
All in all I spent about 5 hours assembling the guitar including a full set up. I also bought a Tusq nut and upgraded the guitar with that.
When I plugged in I was pleasantly surprised. It sounded like a true tele should sound. Honestly I bought the guitar for the wood. Alder is a traditional Fender Tonewood as is Maple and Rosewood.
I thought I could spend another few hundred on upgraded pickups and electronics if I felt the need.
I was blown away by how good the guitar sounded. The neck pickup is warm with rich lows but it still shimmers. The Bridge pickup is full on telecaster bite, but it's not harsh and piercing. It cuts through the mix but is pleasing to the ear. The middle position is traditional tele quack. I have no plans to replace the pickups any time soon.
The other thing that surprised me was there seemed to be minimal noise in the single coil positions. I had two overdrives stacked. The Providence SOV2 and the J Rockett DUDE. It was pretty quiet considering the pickup cavities are not shielded.
Honestly I love this guitar. I play it constantly and can't wait to gig with it.
Stick around because a full video review is coming soon!
How cool is this?? Joe Satriani AND Matt Schofield are playing a number of shows together.
I remember being listening to Joe when I was younger and being absolutely blown away. Surfing with the Alien was one of the coolest things I'd ever heard. I had a similar feeling when I first heard Matt play. It was different. Note choices and phrasing that made you want to keep listening.
I wish I could catch a show with these two!
Fortunately I did get tickets to see Matt at Peter's Players in July. I'M STOKED!
For more info on the tour check out Matt's website:
While I'm at it I should mention I picked up a copy of Matt's latest release called Ten from the Road. It's a live album recorded while the band was on tour. It is absolutely killer.
Matt's sound has gotten a little dirtier (but still so full of tone) and there were even a few moments in solos where I heard something bordering on shred! You should definitely check this album out.
You can download Ten From The Road at the link below.
Enjoy and PLAY ON!
I was browsing Fender's website recently, as I often do, dreaming of what cherry Axe I might buy if money were no object.....sigh, dare to dream right?
Anyhow, I noted that Fender is producing a tribute Eric Clapton's 1956 Sunburst Stratocaster known as Brownie. This is a very famous guitar. Yes I said famous guitar. These instruments tell a story. The albums they've recorded, the concert venues they filled and the musicians they have played with all add to the allure of these things.
Many musicians even name their guitars. BB King's Gibson ES335 is affectionately known as Lucille. John Mayer's main strat is called "the black one" and so on.
I wanted to take some time to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite guitarists, Matt Schofield. Matt is arguably one of the greatest blues guitarists of our time.
I stumbled across Matt by accident on YouTube. YouTube is great for finding new music:)
The story behind this discovery is actually quite interesting. Our current drummer is good friends with Pentti Glan whom I've had the great fortune of meeting on many occasions. Anyhow, for those of you who don't know, Whitey (Pentti) played with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed and others. His Canadian acts included Mandala and Bush which included Prakash John. After meeting Pentti and listening to great some great stories I did some YouTube searches for videos of Pentti playing. My YouTube search brought me to a video featuring Prakash John and his son Jordan. Jordan is playing drums in these videos but he is a fantastic guitarist and vocalist in his own right. Look him up. He's a monster talent!
Anyhow Jordan and Prakash were playing with Matt. I listened to only a few moments and was instantly hooked on Matt's Style. I've since bought everything he has recorded. The way he plays chord changes is very tasteful. He never over does it and he understands when to play as much as when not to play. Check out some of the video below:
Anyhow that's my little story of how I found Matt Schofield's music. It's kind of a fun an interesting story with lots of musical connections and I thought it would be fun to share. Matt's music has had a profound influence on my playing and if you like blues you should definitely have a listen. I doubt you will be disapointed!
I'll leave you with a video of one of our performances at Peter's Players. I hope you enjoyed the story and I hope you enjoy the video!
The show was absolutely one of the best shows I've ever been to. The sound was amazing and and the intimate vibe of Peter's Player's is really something to experience. I met some great people that night including Matt who took the time to shake hands and say hello. To make matters even better, I was later invited to play at Peter's as part of an even hosted by my good friends MT & The Toasters led by Mark Wigston and of course Peter Swanek of Peter's Players.
Mark is a great guitarist and singer and he and Matt are friends. Mark owns a beautiful Two Rock Custom Reverb Amplifier and he let me play through it when I was there and I can tell you TWO ROCK amps are fabulous. Below is a photo of me playing at the same venue. I stood on the same stage as Matt and many other famous guitarists such as Jimmy Vaughan Johnny Winter and more. It was a very humbling experience for me and I am glad to have had that privilege.
Another guy who has picked up the Heavy Wood torch is the fabulous Andy Mckee. He made a name for himself on you tube. His version of Africa by TOTO has well over 1 million views.
So if you like acoustic music definitely check these guys out. They are both on my Ipod and they should be on yours too!
You can buy their music at Candy Rat Records.
ENJOY and PLAY ON!
try not to let your jaw drop while you watch this
Buying your first guitar can be a bit overwhelming. There's lots to know and the best way to get informed is to ask LOTS of questions!
I would say that the most critical element, especially when buying for a youngster, is making sure that the process is fun. Playing guitar IS fun and so you need to make sure you keep the fun factor alive all the way along. Ok, so let's address some of the questions from above.