Friday, August 26, 2016

Jeff Beck- Loud Hailer

I'm really not into old school heroes when it comes to guitar playing. This is the reason why, after hearing David Gilmour's Rattle That Lock earlier this year, I gave it a miss. Despite being a top notch musician & player, his music didn't hit the right notes (forgive the pun) with me. It's something else when Jeff Beck is concerned.

Mr. Beck is a guitar introvert, a genius who keeps things to himself, staying away from the limelight. He fits well into any musical context, he made it look easy being with Rod Stewart at one time & with Jennifer Batten, at some other opportunity. Loud Hailer is a typical Beck release. It's music by someone who is very comfortable with what he's doing & not worrying about living up to others'  expectations. Killer Strat tones here & a polished all round production but Rosie Bones' vocals sounded very nasal in some numbers, especially so when delivering high octane phrases. The other band members are respectable & remained out of the way for outstanding Jeff Beck delivery in all songs. I hear proto-punk, bits of the haunted Sleep Walk, bowed guitar tones which was initially thought of as a sampled electronica (yes, how did he do that?!) & some of the best slapped back echo out there without falling into delay cliché. All in all, a worthy Jeff Beck release, worth the money, worth the wait. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Steve Vai recently shared his collection with a guitar magazine & I thought these were the coolest in his collection.

This was the precursor to the JEM, a Performance Guitar custom assembly. Note how the treble side skinny cut away & monkey grip were brought over to the JEM.

I was under the impression that a baritone Ibanez was a relatively recent phenomenon but Steve Vai had it going with this 7-string version & yes, it went beyond 24 frets.

This one was cool. 1) Maple fretboard- we seldom see Vai play one buy he had this custom version with coloured dot inlays. Reminds me of Jason Becker. 2) All single coil affair- must be his Start itch; he started with one anyway. 3) Not JEM-esque- note the S-series type cutaway.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Iron 8

I might be a little late in knowing that the RG8 is offered in an Iron Label, though neck option- RGIT28. On that note, as Ibanez continues to offer the 8-string in more affordable makes, the RG2228 had been discontinued. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Thank you & goodbye


Exactly this time last night, former President of Singapore, SR Nathan, passed away.

I used to frequent the East Coast beach when I was younger (OK, not that young, it was a post-NS blues period), cycling from one end of the stretch to the other, watching the sun set at times. Mr. Nathan loved to jog there & he was often seen with his bodyguards who kept a distance but within proximity to exercise  contingencies, of course. I cycled past him once, I waved at him & he returned the wave. I didn't even call out to him, just a simple gesture & he reciprocated it. I remember Mr. Nathan for this brief encounter, it is forever etched in my mind. Clearly, there was no ego getting in the way, someone waved to him & he returned the wave. He was not obliged to do so, especially to complete strangers but he did it anyway; a great down-to-earth attitude we could all learn from. For that, he earned my respect.

RIP, sir. Thank you for all you've done for the people.

Ah, DAW!

Was in the mail yesterday- Karma picks by DAW. Hope to share some DAW goodness with you chaps soon so watch this space :-)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Mileage check

This was yesterday's affair. If there is such a thing as a mileage check for guitars, then it should be done. My SE 245 suffered a warped neck (nothing severe) despite me keeping my instruments away from direct sunlight. But we know how the weather's like in this part of the world. I wasn't even aware of this anomaly until I started playing & felt the action a little too high to my liking & I kept making mistakes. The neck was adjusted accordingly (truss rod tweak) & that was all that was needed.

That prompted me to clean the crackling (slightly) input jack as well & lowered the neck pickup height a tad. I do keep a schedule of guitars due for periodic checks but sometimes, the ones not due for inspection are the ones in need of attention. It's all circumstantial. Pay particular attention to your guitars which experience the most sweat exposure (from you, of course) . These are the ones that would suffer moisture-related issues.