Tuned In: Guitar Blogs Digest – Jul 31, 2023

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Tuned In!

Each week, we sift through countless guitar-related articles to bring you the ones we think are the most useful and interesting. You’ll find everything here – from gear reviews and how-to guides, to interviews with musicians and updates on what’s happening in the guitar world.

Fender Director of Product Explains Why They Don’t Use High-Output Pickups, Reflects on Popularity of Offset Guitars

In a recent interview with Guitar World, Allen Abbassi, the director of product for Fender, explained why the company prefers “medium-to-low” output with their guitar pickups. Abbassi stated that lower-output pickups are better suited for players who use overdrive and a lot of effects. Fender prefers to keep their pickups at medium-to-low output levels, even with their humbuckers. Abbassi also discussed the popularity of offset guitars, such as the Jazzmaster and Jaguar. He noted that these models have seen a steady increase in popularity and that Fender has not seen a decrease in their appeal. The affordability of vintage offset models and the variety of tones they offer have contributed to their popularity. Abbassi also discussed the creation of the Fender Player series, which replaced the Standard series and offers a wider variety of models and finishes. The Player series is positioned between USA-made Fender guitars and budget-friendly Squier guitars. Read more

Fender American Elite Jazz Bass Review

The Fender American Elite Jazz Bass is a high-quality bass guitar that is suitable for various genres. It has impeccable craftsmanship and a comfortable ergonomic design. The tonal output is impressive, with warm low-end frequencies, clear midrange, and bright trebles. It is versatile and can be played with a pick, fingers, or slap techniques. Overall, it is a reliable and versatile bass guitar for both stage and studio use. Read more

Origin Effects DCX Bass Review

The blog post discusses the Origin Effects DCX Bass, a preamp and drive pedal designed for bass players. The pedal is inspired by the Universal Audio 610 recording console and offers versatile preamp and overdrive tones. It features four knobs for output level, drive, and low-frequency and high-frequency bands, as well as two switches for mode and voice settings. The pedal is praised for its solid build quality and ease of use, although it is slightly heavy and could benefit from an XLR out. The author describes their experience using the pedal in the studio, noting that it adds warmth and enhances playing dynamics. When used in overdrive mode, the pedal produces a thick and powerful rock tone. Overall, the Origin Effects DCX Bass is recommended for bass players looking for a versatile and durable pedal. Read more

A Guide to Commissioning the Custom Guitar of Your Dreams

Commissioning a custom guitar can be a thrilling experience for players who are looking for a special instrument that meets their specific needs. Whether it’s a reproduction of a rare vintage model, a guitar with personalized specifications, or a completely unique creation, collaborating with a luthier allows for a customized instrument that satisfies both performance and creative desires. The process of ordering a custom guitar can be intimidating, but there are steps you can take to ensure that you end up with the guitar of your dreams. Many custom orders are variations on classic models, with added decoration or modified neck profiles. Another reason to commission a custom instrument is to replicate a prized vintage model that may be too expensive or unreliable to travel with. Many guitar makers, both large and boutique, offer custom versions of their standard models through their dealer networks. While this may provide less of a one-on-one relationship with the builder, it can be beneficial to have a well-known name on the headstock for resale value or prestige. Overall, commissioning a custom guitar allows for a unique and personalized instrument that can’t be found in a store. Read more

Switching Major And Minor Sounds Around The Pivot

In this blog post, the author discusses the importance of being able to switch between major and minor sounds when soloing over a blues. They emphasize the need to have a plan and provide a video tutorial on how to do it effectively. The post also includes comments from readers who found the lesson helpful and requested more details on specific licks and techniques. Read more

Ben Diamond Plays Sonata Terra by Murphy

In this blog post, Ben Diamond performs Sonata Terra by Stephen Murphy. The three-movement work is filled with intimate moments and a captivating forward momentum. Stephen Murphy is a composer, performer, and educator from Newfoundland, Canada. The sheet music for Sonata Terra can be found at Bergmann Editions. Read more

The Filthiest Guitar Discovery Ever : The Dirty Burst Wild Journey From Closet to Concert

In this blog post, the author tells the story of a 1960 Gibson Les Paul guitar called “Dirty Burst” that spent decades in a closet before resurfacing in 2022. The guitar had suffered damage and was unplayable, but it was worth a significant amount of money. Joe Bonamassa, a famous guitarist, bought the guitar for $190,000. The author emphasizes that even though the guitar had a tragic past, it ended up being worth a fortune. The post concludes by encouraging readers not to underestimate the potential value of old guitars and to keep an eye out for unexpected opportunities. Read more

Podcast 422: Sully Guitars

In this episode of the Fretboard Journal podcast, electric guitarmaker Jon “Sully” Sullivan makes a long-awaited return. He discusses his ’71 Trella model, incorporating technology like CNCs into his builds, creating his own import line of guitars, and why he took a break from teaching guitar-making. The episode also touches on French words, the genius of Duncan Price, the NAMM Boutique Guitar Showcase, trademark talk, and more. The podcast is sponsored by Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar, Peghead Nation, Stringjoy Strings, and iZotope. Read more

Electro-Harmonix Releases The Pico POG

Electro-Harmonix has released the Pico POG, a compact Polyphonic Octave Generator. It is the smallest and most powerful of its kind, fitting into an ultra-compact chassis. The Pico POG features lightning-fast tracking and precise octave tones. It has three volume knobs for controlling the level of the SUB OCTAVE, OCTAVE UP, and DRY tones, as well as a TONE knob with three filter modes. The Pico POG is priced at $240 and includes a power adapter. Read more

Gibson Les Paul Standard 1958 Goldtop and Sunburst

The blog post discusses the Gibson Les Paul Standard from 1958, which is considered the pinnacle year for the model. The post mentions that the Goldtop finish was updated to a Cherry Sunburst finish in 1958, and the Maple cap seam needed to be centered due to the translucent top finish. The author expresses their interest in buying vintage Gibson Les Paul guitars from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The post also mentions the introduction of the larger humbucking pickups in 1957 and the Tune-O-Matic bridge in late 1955. The post discusses the neck profiles and fret sizes of the 1958 Les Pauls, noting that the neck profiles began to slim down in 1959. The post also mentions that 434 Les Paul Standards were shipped in 1958, but it does not specify how many were Goldtops and how many were Sunbursts. The post highlights the significance of the PAF pickups, which were introduced in 1955 and replaced the P-90 pickups. The post includes details about a specific 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard burst, including its weight and neck profile. Read more

Top 5 Best Guitar Body Shapes: A Harmony of Form and Function

This blog post discusses the top 5 best guitar body shapes and their characteristics. The Dreadnought is known for its powerful projection and rich bass response. The Grand Auditorium offers a balanced tonal response and is a favorite among performers. The Stratocaster is a classic and comfortable choice for players of all levels, with bright and articulate tonal characteristics. The Les Paul has a thicker and heavier body, contributing to its sustain and warm tone. The Classical guitar has a wide, shallow body and is commonly used in classical, flamenco, and folk music. The post concludes by emphasizing the importance of trying out different body shapes and brands to find the perfect guitar for individual preferences. Read more

6 Improvisations Games for Absolute Beginners

This blog post discusses the importance of teaching beginners to improvise on the guitar and provides six improvisation games for absolute beginners. The author suggests using open-ended games that focus on making independent decisions rather than right or wrong choices. The games start with small choices and gradually increase in complexity. The author also recommends playing the games over a drone tone to develop a fundamental understanding of harmonic interactions between notes. The games include the Pulsed Drone Scale, Donut Dough (Do, Not Do), Murmuring, and Play It Again, Sam. These games help develop musical flexibility, rhythm-reading skills, and musical memory. Read more

Dominant, Subdominant, Secondary Subdominants and Secondary Dominant Chords – Guitar Theory Lesson

This blog post is about jazz guitar lessons for beginners and advanced players. It covers various topics such as licks and transcriptions, scales and arpeggios, chords and voicings, jazz standards, music theory, and guitar practice tips. The post also includes information on guitar cheat sheets, methods, eBooks, posters, infographics, and music gear reviews. It provides learning materials such as licks, patterns, and transcriptions, as well as scales, modes, and chords. The post also offers backing tracks for guitar, tools, PDF methods/eBooks, mini lessons, and free downloadable PDFs. Additionally, it mentions a merch store where readers can find guitar t-shirts and drinkware. Read more


And that wraps up another edition of Tuned In. We hope these articles have provided valuable insights, sparked your curiosity, and even inspired you to pick up your guitar and strum a new tune.

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