May 7, 2013 in Historic Fenders

Historic Fenders: Jimi Hendrix’s ’68 Stratocaster

hendrixstratSitting at the very top of the list of most famous guitars of all time is the the 1968 Fender Stratocaster of the legendary Jimi Hendrix. This was one of Hendrix’s favorite guitars. It became an American icon after he used it for his legendary performance at Woodstock in 1969. It is one of those American rock icons that makes little kids want to be rock stars.

Hendrix purchased the guitar from Manny’s Music in New York City in 1968. Its body was made of alder wood and its two piece neck was made of maple. The paint job was called “Olympic White.” Since he was a left-handed player, Hendrix famously had to flip the guitar over, reverse the nut, and string … Continue Reading

May 2, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under The Bridge

imagesOne of the most iconic songs of the early 90s was Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge.” The words were written by Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Keidis, while the music was crafted by former guitar player John Frusciante. Like any modern rock star, Frusciante has an extensive collection of vintage guitars, however he is widely quotes as saying that his ’62 Stratocaster is by far his favorite. He plays his Fender Jaguar in the music video. This was the only guitar he owned when he joined the band.

One of the best things about learning this song for your Fender is that you can learn easier versions of most of the parts and then build up to the version Frusciante … Continue Reading

February 8, 2013 in Blog

New American Vintage Series “Pure Vintage” Stratocaster Nitro Finish

59-2Up until a few days ago, I was a bit confused on the finish details of the new American Vintage Series line of guitars. Folks were already yelling about a polyurethane base coat “sealer” under the nitro finish. In reality, they didn’t know, so the assumptions made their way. All along, the details were right on Fenders website!

The “Flash-Coat Lacquer” Finish

The finishes on most new American Vintage guitars and basses consist of three coats: sealer, color and a topcoat, all of which are 100-percent nitrocellulose lacquer and are hence quite thin. This is a vintage-style finish treatment that lets an instrument “breathe” with a more natural resonance since it … Continue Reading

January 20, 2013 in Gear Reviews

1973 Vibrolux Reverb vs Hot Rod Deluxe (Video)

My bass player loaned me his silverface Vibrolux Reverb today. All stock and no modifications that I know of. Same with the Hot Rod Deluxe, no mods, all stock. I wasn’t able to crank them in this video, but I did earlier today at rehearsal and they both screamed! Very nice break up and they get similar sounds, but different. I mean, you can tell that they’re both Fender amps. My Hot Rod has some rattle in there when cranked. Tubes or something – I’m going to have to find the source eventually. I love both of these little monsters. With volume set to 7 on both amps, The Hot Rod Deluxe was a little louder than the Vibrolux. Their breakup seemed to be … Continue Reading

January 12, 2013 in Gear Reviews

Ibanez Tube Screamer TS-808 Reissue vs TS-9 Reissue (Video)

Although I no longer own these two pedals, they are the overdrive pedals that set the standard in the guitar world. Loved by many and hated by some, they give that classic overdriven boost with a mid hump when engaged – Perfect for allowing your guitar solos to stand out.

When I first got these two pedals, I compared them as much as I could before deciding on which one to keep and which one to sell. Well, I liked them both so much that I ended up keeping both of them! Why? The TS-9 seemed to have a lot of smooth roundness to it (like a cranked amp with mids in the mix) and the TS-808 sounded a little bit more mean with … Continue Reading

January 10, 2013 in Gear Reviews

Hot Rod Deluxe – Great Or Not So Great?

I’m going to take a few minutes out of your day to talk about the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe from a tone snob’s point of hearing. This amp is one of the best selling amps of all time. I’ve been through quite a few guitar amps over the years and I now own the hot rod deluxe. Below is a list of some of the amps I have owned, in no particular order:

Fender Frontman 25R
Marshall Solid State Half Stack (can’t remember the model, but it was terrible – Before I transitioned to valve amps)
fender hot rod deluxeHot Rod Deville
65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue
59 Bassman Reissue (early 90s model)
63 Vibroverb Reissue (early 90s … Continue Reading