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The gear that keeps us rocking

Are you a guitar or bass player looking for an instrument that will give you the classic feel of a vintage with custom features only found in some of the most high end custom shop models? Usually this may involve a price tag high enough to buy yourself a new car. Whether you are a musician on a budget or just looking for a great instrument that will play like a dream right from the first time... then you need to check this out

We’ve all seen photos of studios that own a wall of guitar tube heads. Certainly having a dozen or more amps to choose from might be ideal, but the total cost can be prohibitive for a studio owner. After all, when top-shelf heads cost several thousand dollars each, you can buy an amp farm or a lot of recording gear. With that in mind I’ve been trying to collect very flexible recording amplifiers. While discussing maintenance on our Sony Console with Tom Graefe, I learned that he was about to market his hand-built guitar amps. Graefe spent years working for MCI/Sony in their Florida facility. In Electrical Engineering circles he is known for his high-headroom / high signal-to-noise ratio designs.

Braided Cables" used by musicians the world over. The rugged, high quality nylon braiding that we take so much pride in, is there for a reason: It protects and enhances the performance of the cable's internal components, while preventing tangles and adding flexibility. They're built to last and can take whatever you can dish out.

Imagine you were living in the 50’s and Leo Fender was your neighbor when he first started designing his now legendary guitar and bass amps. Well if you happen to live in the Coral Springs, Florida area today you may have the next visionary amp designer as your neighbor.

Well all of us when we start earning how to play guitar,sometimes, just for the hell of it, would use quarters or experiment with differ ant materials to pluck the strings and wait to see how the tone would change every time we moved to a different material. Stone picks? Yeah, they’re kind of like that.

I've been looking for gigs lately, I’ve never seen so many free and low paying gigs. Well the economy is bad, so I can understand that a little bit. However, it is no longer good enough for the musician to be willing to perform for little compensation. Now we are expected to also be the venue promoter? The expectations are that the band will not only provide great music, but also bring lots of people to their venue. It is now the band’s responsibility to make this happen, not the club owner.

The music industry is a tough dog-eat-dog business fueled by talent, money, and marketability. It is a business where fame is fleeting, financial sustainability is slim, and the time spent earning your stripes on the road is harsh. Therefore, it puzzles me how some artists would limit their already slim chances for success by not having a music business plan. I get it, they're creative types and they shouldn't be expected to have a head for business-bullshit. Flying by the seat of your pants, more often than not lands you on your ass; so what do you think happens when no real business strategy exists? You fail!

In The Biz:

I deal with a lot of band leaders, and one problem they consistently have is that they can't recruit the right people into their band. It's certainly hard to do, but some bands are doing themselves no favours in the way they advertise and some are actively putting out ads that will attract terrible people who will cause chaos in their band. The wrong ad, whether you are advertising a position in your band or seeking a band yourself, will either get no response, or a response from people you don't ever want to deal with.

It is extremely important for all musicians and vocalists to be prepared when getting ready for upcoming studio sessions. With the right preparation the session should go smoothly and be a great experience for all involved. Failing to prepare can and usually does lead to more stress and work than would be otherwise required.

What follows the "but" is usually one of the following three excuses. All three are nonsense. However, I understand why the bands believe them. There's a lot of misinformation floating around the lower ends of the music industry, much of it put about by people who are either completely ignorant or have something to gain by propagating untruths. The tragedy is that bands believe them and that a lot of great music never gets heard by millions of people who would love it.

Bands set themselves up for success, and in this regard I've always been a big proponent of prioritizing having a band partnership agreement in place. It should be one of the first orders of business for any group that is serious about getting out there and making waves. One of the most important reasons for this is this matter of songs. A written band agreement will go a long ways toward addressing this issue by covering the subject of writing credits, ownership, division of any publishing revenue and the administration of such publishing.

Since, oh, let's say the beginning of Napster--you remember the little file-sharing project designed by one of my fellow Northeastern University alums (well, technically Shawn Fanning dropped out in 1999 so we were only there at the same time for a year), music sales have been in a steady decline. First it was album sales that took a hit, then digital, now the entire idea of purchasing music has become something as antiquated as paying for local TV.

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