I recently got hired to play guitar for a Big Band version of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Bob Schroder and FASO always have interesting projects and I’m glad when I get called to be part of them.
So I showed up at the first rehearsal with this:
While technically you can tweak the sound to approximate the appropriate guitar tone for this setting, something tells me that a reverse headstock pointy guitar just doesn’t look right in a tux-outfitted Big Band!
After doing my research I decided on a D’Angelico EXS-1DH archtop guitar. The clips I found of it sounded the best in comparison to other guitar in the same price range and it has that look that just exudes class and style!
It exceeds my expectations! It’s a handsome guitar with excellent workmanship and it plays really, really well! The tone is inspiring and exhibits that warm, dark archtop tone while having enough airiness and articulation around the sound to keep things from getting too muddy. I’m so far from being a Jazz guitarist but playing the vocabulary on this guitar just makes much more sense, so much so that the instrument invites me to delve more into that world.
I took it to the most recent rehearsal and this just looks and feels so much better!
Spent this afternoon reconfiguring the big board. Added an Electro Harmonix Freeze pedal and replaced the TC Spark Booster with my Boss Dual Overdrive SD-2. I’ll be using this current setup with my custom Starr ODS-HRM head, which is a clone of a Dumble amp. Here’s a quick video of me running the current setup through its paces. Shot with a Canon EOS-M camera using the onboard mic.
Played at The Frethouse in downtown Covina on May 17. It’s a really cool guitar store that’s been around for decades and they host concerts in their basement. While most of their acts are folk/bluegrass/fingerstyle/country, some top CG names like Scott Tennant, Andrew York and Evan Hirschelman have also played there.
Here’s a clip from the 2nd half of the concert. The piece is Andrew York’s “Chilean Dance”, which is off his “Into Dark” CD. It’s not well-known, in fact I don’t think Andy plays it in his concerts anymore. I found a few places in the music which would benefit from the 10-string’s extended range so I made the tweaks.
Finally finished shooting this video demo of my live gear. A little lengthy but I give an in-depth tour into my guitar, amp and pedalboard as well as some insight into how I use them to get my tones. Enjoy!
It’s 3:10am and my mind is still reeling from the news of Paco de Lucia’s passing. Even though I am not a full-fledged flamenquista, Paco’s influence on me, and countless other guitarists, is undeniable. I feel like l have lost one of my teachers.
As I always do when I deal with grief and sadness, I take to my instrument and play whatever comes to mind. The improvisation below is not any particular Flamenco form nor is it a cover of Paco’s music, but rather a lament… a cry of anguish for this huge loss for the guitar and the entire musical world. Descanse en Paz, Maestro.
I dropped by the LSL Guitars booth at the NAMM Show today and checked out their new Saticoy XT and boy what an AWESOME guitar!
This particular guitar has a bound Swamp Ash body with a baked Maple neck and is equipped with an original Floyd Rose locking tremolo and hot wound LSL humbuckers. The overdriven tone grabs you by the throat with its heavy and aggressive yet articulately clear roar. Rolling back the volume yields a chimey, barely-breaking up bluesy voice that tugs at your soul. There are no dead spots on the neck and notes sustain forever regardless what string or fret you’re on.
I’m proud to announce that I have officially joined the artist endorsers of GruvGear Products! I will be using their VCart to cart my gear around and their Fretwraps to reign in unwanted resonance when recording. Check them out!