Monday, May 25, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

It's a wrap

One of the fundamentals of playing the guitar is to keep those unwanted notes from being heard during play. This is a pain for beginners, it requires discipline. For seasoned players, sometimes those ghastly notes could be heard especially when we let our guards down. Some of us would choose to let it be because we know, a tremendous amount of distortion would mask things somewhat but it's a poor excuse for being sloppy. It's a different story during recording when such minor accidents could be heard under compression. Players like Greg Howe (read some stuff here: CLICK) who employs a fair bit of two-handed techniques into his playing, would see to it that such notes are muted during play. 

A simple remedy here is to wrap a hair band (aka scrunchie) at the nut area to hush things up. However, manufacturers like Gruv Gear (they manufacture instrument bags as well), invests some thinking into this idea & they came up with the FretWrap. In addition to a more cushioned approach, the FW features a buckle so you can vary the grip; some of us would want more damping than muting. As for me, I'm thoroughly enjoying this product because it helps me address the muting issue when I tap or employ some sweep picking. Yes, we should be more professional when it comes to notes muting because it's part of knowing how to control one's hands while we're at it but after prolonged play, I always realize that lethargy would overwhelm us & that's where contraptions like the FW for instance, helps.

The Fretwrap is available @ Sound Alchemy.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ibanez: KIKOSP

If you've been wanting that gorgeous Ibanez Kiko Loureiro model but do not have adequate finances to acquire one, the most affordable model, the KIKOSP, is now available at Swee Lee. The good thing about it is that it features a non-locking whammy bridge (maybe not a good thing for some of us as we prefer a locking unit to maintain tuning stability). However, the pickups on board are Ibanez's own Infinity models so don't expect some DiMarzio-esque responses from it. (List: $339)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Selling: STB J-bass

I bought this bass for a one-time performance last week. It's a definite value for money, incredible sustain.

However, it's a little too heavy for me. My back hurt the night after playing it. Maybe for you youngsters out there, it won't be an issue because your back is still in good shape but not the case for me so it's going for a good price. 

Aria: STB JB-DX (bag included)
  • Condition: 9/10 (one week as at date of posting)
  • Self-collect: CCK mrt stn
  • Query/ confirmation:
  • No trades, no reservations
  • Price is final: $165

Thursday, May 21, 2015


I've just stopped playing for the day. For the night. For the moment. Whatever. I've just rediscovered the joy of nonsense-free guitar tones; the sound of the acoustic guitar. That elation of knowing the goodness of guitar tones coming from the instrument itself, nothing else should get in the way. Then my guitar moment got amplified.

That about killed the purity of it all, yes? Not quite. Acoustic amplification aims to capture the string & wood resonance in its fundamentals but there's an overlooked issue here- you don't get much true acoustic tones from placing pickups under the bridge saddle. It sounds amazing though, but it's contradictory to the fundamental intention. The best acoustic resonance happens, you guessed it, at the sound hole area. This is the reason why acoustic wizards like Andy McKee, Don Ross & Thomas Leeb, among others, make sure there's a form of pickup or microphone at that vicinity. OK, enough acoustic philosophy.

Every now & then, I would feel abysmal when it comes to guitar technicality. After much practice & invention, I thought my abilities are rather formidable but then the acoustic guys will always be on another level. I am of the opinion that playing with a pick breeds singular perspective. Subconsciously, it's the reason why I listen to those acoustic guys; there's minimal reliance on amplification & they are outstanding plucking those strings without a pick in hand. It opens up perspectives & redefines co-ordination. So that's the reason why I have my acoustic moments; to feel totally pathetic about my abilities then try to refresh some perspectives so as to renew my music.

Seen above: 1) Takamine GX11ME 2) Fender Acoustasonic 15

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Double hush

Here we go- double the noise gate goodness by Rocktron. It's not a serial noise gate but a 2-in-1 function so you can 1) Hush your pedals & at the same time 2) Hush the signals at the amp as well (via FX loop), that's how it works. For the gain-inclined among us, definitely.