Fifty Years in the Hole

bring it

“The Nite Shift” will enliven your party

Simon brought us his badass Futurama guitar (a Hagstrom III in slightly different costume) for a set-up and a small bit of electronics work.  It cleaned up beautifully and now plays like a cheese dream.  In the course of our conversation Simon revealed his Father had been in a band (as a drummer but it’s okay) and the guitarist in that band had played the same model of guitar.  To back up his tale he showed us a photograph of the band “The Nite Shift” in the early 1960’s.  Just one of hundreds of small bar bands playing in England at the time, a handful of whom would go on to become The Who, The Small Faces or Humble Pie.  Not these guys though.  They played and went on to other careers.  But look at those hopeful faces.  We’ve all been there.  I asked Simon to model his Futurama.  1963 meet 2013.

like Father like Son

The apple does not fall too far from the tree

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How Long Does a Refret Last?

well-loved frets (image courtsey: The Renaissance Cittern

well-loved frets (image courtesy: The Renaissance Cittern Site

We get asked a lot of relevant questions here and many of them are about guitars.  One of the more common inquiries occurs when discussing refrets.  A guitar owner has a lot of questions and justifiably so, it’s a big job and inevitably a necessary one.  So: how long will a refret last?  You saw this answer coming, we bet.

It depends.

What does it depend upon?  Mostly how much you play.  We know one hard working performer who grinds through a stainless steel refret in one year.  That person plays hard, pressing down on the fretboard and bending widely, scraping the strings across the fret tops.  Another player might perform six to seven days a week.  When not performing maybe they’re warming up to perform.  Or, like a rider on public transit staring into their smartphone as neighborhoods slide by, a guitarist may play their guitar because it’s more comfortable than relating to people.  I have a bass I’ve owned since 1980 that’s on its third refret.  But I play unnecessarily hard.  The amount of time you play your guitar directly affects fret life.

Some folks may never need a refret.  But, since guitars (hopefully) outlive us, it’s not uncommon for a refret to happen to you.  You aren’t the first owner, and, if you want to play the damn thing, well…it’s like changing tires.  If you keep your bicycle long enough it’s something you just gotta do!


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The Mysterious and Untranslateable Case of the Souvenir Toenail

(Note: Gary is currently traveling in Japan, in the Tokyo area, and we received this glorious update of his wanderings.  Please enjoy!)

A souvenir toenail 400

4/2/2012 So glad this gift!

Akasaka Tosa cuisine neboke (is sleep-fogged) and Mr. Gary Brawer.

“I saw it with such souvenirs-!!

Were orders leaped from the United States on new year’s day this year. Was the person that Mr. Gary Brawer. Say according to introduce his friend Mr. Henry Kaiser. And also order his regards from the Henry and I received an email.

Mr. Gary Brawer is a professional guitar repair of San Francisco. Henry also seems asking guitar maintenance for many years to him. Of course, heard all around San Francisco famous guitarist who has asked Mr. Gary Brawer.

Is Mr. Gary Brawer is owned the Dumble ODS, said and let go 15 years ago. Thank you very much seem gave Santana’s. Recently, Henry brought the bullets driving his workshop so assay it is how quickly liked worked, where, and order. But the fine print was the order.

When you will visit to Japan from 3 月 31 日 up to 4/5 because Mr. Gary Brawer, deliver to the hotel and direct does not provide? He said. I feel OK that offer make up the bullet drive to the middle of last month, was prepared. And scheduled as it was they came at Japan.

I jumped the gun slightly at their best this year, said they barely まにあって, admiring the people yesterday at explore the Yanaka cemetery around the hobnobbing sake under cherry blossoms came enjoyed the food stalls in the night. Them and I was meeting up with the facility they have stayed at the 4/2 Roppongi!

Out of the House when arrived at the Hiyoshi station I often fell into panic. Until now, Roppongi to go take the Hibiya line electric car from Hiyoshi station, with direct connections it was going…. View of Hibiya line are not where Hiyoshi station! Without looking very much too! “Memory loss incident” came back when the! I’m my memory gone?! Levitating memories of lying on and yet again my hippocampus caused malfunctions, via the Hibiya line exists?

For now, so should ride on Hibiya line nakameguro station change trains jumped on the train came shortly after. And so far… writes the history of panic right now Facebook comment “disappeared at the same time direct-start to the Fukutoshin line via the Hibiya line”. This way… relieved…. Not a glitch in my memory….

Raining and thus all Roppongi Sakura was supposed to begin to fall. Managed to 12: little room to visit, I can arrive before we-NG! Mr. Gary Brawer immediately began the face. Is an apartment hotel I thought, so surprised!. To “Akasaka Tosa cuisine neboke later exchanged greetings from Nogizaka station on the move by Chiyoda-line and was reserved to the Akasaka (is sleep-fogged)”. This store is a favorite Henry was encouraged to come and go to them. I have a few days ago so to book private room Guide!

A passing bullet drive was immediately ordered before the food comes out. White TOP it was designated with this is I want using Japan abalone TOP material. Shining and neither he nor his wife’s favorite. Put names on the back of seeing and even smiled. There, their left bullet-driven t-shirts giveaway….
From the Mr. Gary Brawer I’s gift paper bags were passed. You received a thank you and peeks inside to hit was! Hey, come on! This souvenir thing you saw it ~!! Below is a picture of the real thing. Mass made of Dunlop picks. Is convinced that it’s a promotional PIC of the shop of Mr. Gary Brawer…! ~ ~ ~ go and see….. letter ~ ~ ~!

Somehow, all things メキシカンアバロン wind is used to fit pedals material I make pick material color! Pad ~ ~ ~! After coming home, I carefully counted was 400. Instead of ink on this character well observed, and delve into the part of the character and was supposed to slip. It’s reversible, with further same thing this character is put on the back! DejaVu! Oh my goodness no!

Mr. Gary Brawer is saying so.  “It delivered with 1 picks come order coming from this elastic-powered! I am very happy to meet though! It, so delivery decision from today while in the attached PIC!

A successfully finished the meal, lunch time is my declared to have. Is that like I can do in return for pick soon I’m thought only about it. So much great impact this pick I!

Mr. Gary Brawer was shortly thereafter started saying this.

“Today is cold in the rain, want to not roam so much out. Museum of art there is no neighborhood?

“There are museums Roppongi!!

“Or we want to go to the トキユハンズ…”

“Is it that Tokyu hands?

“Oh yeah! Is a Tokyu hands you want to go!

“Well, I also just anywhere after Tokyu hands.
I’m going to go buy a wiring wire! Do you go together it?

“Oh! What’s really me ~!

That especially became, after accounting headed to Shibuya to Ginza line, Tokyu hands into. I 4 C floor wiring materials you’re looking for there. One family they said deliberately floor hopping. Therefore this meeting at Tokyu hands in to break up thing. “Maybe we will meet next time in San Francisco! “And shook hands, with a farewell. “My next delicious San Francisco a feast from you! “With words of Mr. Gary Brawer.

Was a two-hour meeting also also made things survive somehow unskilful English my is. I guess if the English experience! Last week visitors from the Netherlands and 3 hours and I talked, and this time was three two hours against shrimp bibiru thing also seems lost. Calm down I will go and speak slowly, hearing can communicate.

In, headed to a farewell, after new line Shibuya Station. On the way, so which does events old toyoko line station to peep through. To mass at the UNIQLO t-shirt. Just that’s the driving through is no interest spaces could be used fairly as the event venue and location.

New Shibuya Station should be complex indeed! Go to dives deep under the ground and finally reach home. WTF Oh, Hey go to Shibuya office workers has gone to the troublesome thing!.

Come to think of it, visit the workshop Mr. Gary Brawer, of course many of our famous guitarists. Guitarist who visited the Studio where always elastic-powered we gave you the assay had to say I let Graham is Mr. Gary Brawer. I welcome story isn’t?! Also feeling new route opened.

Conclusion today
Gift original pick me 400…!

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three chords and a relative truth

a great long story to tell

“when I leave this city…”

Everybody knows a guitar is an instrument of the Devil.  It should be obvious to even the simplest of minds guitars must be regulated like anhydrous ammonia, shipped in carefully monitored portable bunkers and surrounded by sweepers and security.  Drones employed, GPS monitored 24/7, an All-Clear sounded after the poisonous parcel has passed.  Communities, sleeping peacefully in darkness, must never know how close the toxic material was to their silent homes.  Only the vaguest rumor of its passing, like enigmatic stencil on military boxcars, to give evidence of their existence.  Why must we, as a society, allow this appalling abomination of musical expression a prominent place in our popular culture?

Do we still swoon at those opening four notes played by David Gilmour at 3:56 during “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”?  Are we still moved by the fade-in feedback intro of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady”?  How is it we consistently come alert hearing anything played by Ali Farka Touré?  Is it possible that, already transported by a song’s rhythm and chords, the otherworldly caterwauling of Johnny Greenwood knocks us flat, again?  How is it that from beyond the grave Michael Hedges can assure the peace of an infant’s slumber?  What, exactly, is up with John McLaughlin?

It’s demonic, and there’s your answer.

The doting parent gushes with pride as the child hesitantly coaxes an errant note from the family acoustic flattop leaning in the corner.  This is the moment Lucifer’s hand is at work.  Those first cautious steps into auditory cause and effect.  The beginning of the end.  But it’s not too late.  As Ronnie Van Zandt sings: “why don’t we dump ‘em, people, to the bottom of the sea – before some ole’ fool come ‘round here and wanna shoot either you or me.”

Yes, we must fight!  And never surrender.  Until this scourge against humanity is obliterated, once and for all time.  Only then shall we have peace.  Only then shall new worlds of harmony open to us, and our sons and daughters cross that deep, fearful gorge to a new land; fruitful, fecund, endless, and without guitars.


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The Extra Wrap (Stability and Positioning)

top 3 strings wrapped one time

top 3 strings wrapped one time

Here’s a clever twist brought to our attention by our friend Bob C.  He wraps the three plain strings on his barrel-saddle bridge once around the barrel before the string leaves the bridge and heads down the neck.

Why is this a useful mod?  It’s been observed that string spacing on stock Fender bridges can be uncomfortably wide.  Also, when bending the string, especially high up the fretboard, a string on this kind of saddle will move back and forth, especially if the saddles are set very low.  When saddles are set very low the “break angle” of the string is lessened.  A higher break angle gives increased stability.  Wrapping the string once around can go a long way to stabilizing the strings’ position on the saddle.  If the wrap on the high E string comes off the barrel *inside* of where the string first touches the metal it allows the player to bring the strings’ position inboard slightly, leaving a little extra room for bending.

A little extra work a little extra stability.  Thanks Bob!


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