Ryan Bruce performance at the Cleartone Strings booth—NAMM 2015

One of the things I liked the most about the 2015 NAMM Show was how easy it was to come across people I’ve recognised from the Internet and/or bands. For example, I saw John Petrucci, George Lynch, Paul Riario, The Tone King and Ryan Bruce. I know those people aren’t all huge on Twitter, but that’s where I like to hang out (hence the Twitter links). I also came across people who knew who I was (once I gave them one of my business cards or plectrums). That was flattering and weird. Because I am nobody.

Better than just seeing someone I recognised, was watching and listening to them play live at NAMM. That’s exactly what I did when Ryan Bruce played at the Cleartone Strings booth. It was pretty impressive to be honest.

52 pedals, week 4—Main.Ace.FX One Shot

This week I get to do something that I imagine I’ll do rarely during this series of 52 Pedals. I’ll get to write about a pedal I have actually played through. A pedal I have tried and obviously liked. If I didn’t like it, why would I write about it? I wouldn’t obviously. So hopefully that gives the One Shot by Main.Ace.FX a little bit more street cred. Because it is tried and tested—by me.

Conveniently, it’s also now available for purchase. Timing is everything.

Roland releases a whole heap of awesome

Yesterday afternoon Roland let slip that a few new products would be unleashed at NAMM. Actually, they’ll be unleashing a fair amount of innovation this year if all goes well. Unleash is their new thing. I like it. In particular, I like the look of the newly released Eric Johnson Blues Cube Tone Capsule and the BOSS ES-8 Effects Switching System. I was lucky enough to see them working first-hand at the Roland pre-NAMM launch. Pictures below!

Visit two Guitar Center stores … Walk out with two new guitars

I mentioned yesterday how I went to my first ever Guitar Center. In that article I mentioned that I had planned to visit the Orange Outlet Guitar Center store. I have to say, that visit went well. It went very well. For me, for Ibanez and for Guitar Center. Mostly for me.

Why? Well, because I ended up buying two new Ibanez guitars that I now have to somehow get home to Australia. How hard can that be?!

My first visit to a Guitar Center … OMFG

The four regular readers of this site—I’m pretty sure I gained a new reader in 2014—will know that I like guitars. When I say like, I of course mean I have a problem. I have a fascination. I’m not actually a good guitar player, but guitars bring me a whole lot of joy. Today, I visited the Hollywood Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd. It seems nobody here ever types the word Boulevard which suits me—it’s a tricky word to spell!

All I can say is … OMFG. If you don’t recognise that acronym, Google it.

Guitar Center is like my grown-up version of a toy store. I wanted everything I saw and I was trying to work out how to get it all back to Australia. I figured I’d work out the method of payment afterwards. Surely there is a 25 year lay-away plan or something.

52 pedals, week 3—Electro Harmonix Tone Tattoo

Sometimes when you’re researching pedal after pedal after pedal, they all start to blur into one. It becomes hard to differentiate one pedal from another. When I started researching the pedal to add to my wishlist this week, I thought I’d been at it too long and combined several pedals into one. I was wrong though. It wasn’t me. No, Electro Harmonix (EHX) went and did that themselves when they created the Tone Tattoo.

Codella Guitars introduces the Tremolizer

Codella Guitars—the folks behind the Stormchaser guitar—have just announced the Tremolizer. The Tremolizer is a tremolo stabilising invention (patent pending) that will keep your tremolo at zero position. Users of tremolo systems will be familiar with the occasional unwanted movement that comes with string bends, detuning or unfortunate string breakages. That unwanted movement—and associated tuning problem—could now be a thing of the past. Best of all, the Tremolizer should be an easy installation on most modern guitars featuring a tremolo system.

Six Scary questions—Campfire Guitar

Way back in 2014—OK that wasn’t really that long ago—I came across the very cool folks from Campfire Guitar. I quickly discovered their passion for teaching people how easy it is to play guitar and also provide them with an impressively high quality first acoustic guitar. I say first because I can’t imagine anybody just having one guitar. Ever.

To help you learn more about these talented people and their passionate project, I put together another set of six scary questions. They’re still not scary questions to be honest, but this isn’t Sixty Minutes. I don’t hear a stopwatch. Do you?

On to the questions and the answers as provided by Danny Procopis, Co-founder at Campfire Guitar

52 pedals, week 2—Wampler Pedals Sovereign Distortion

I have a few distortion pedals. I’m sure I’ll get more. After all, it’s my favourite effect. There are two reasons if I’m going to be honest. Firstly, it’s metal. That’s pretty much the only reason you need. The other convenient reason for a guitar player like me is that it is good at covering mistakes.

Having shared that, I will say that the tone of a distortion pedal is incredibly important (even to a no-talent-hack like me). So the Wampler Pedals Sovereign Distortion appeals to me on account of the varied tones this pedal provides. Why settle for one distortion tone per pedal when one pedal can provide you with distortion ranging from something blues-friendly to a full-blown heavy metal distortion? The answer? You shouldn’t.

Six scary questions—TonApp As

I was lucky enough to have come across Jon-Morten from TonApp As on Twitter last year and then discover the very cool iOS app he had developed called GuitarCapo+ (which you’ve no doubt seen me write about and make a video for). I’m a big fan of GuitarCapo+ so I was very excited when Jon-Morten agreed to participate in my Six Scary Questions article series. So, if you’re interested in seeing what makes TonApp As tick and potentially see what’s in store, read on.

If you’re a guitar lover, you may love the ending. I do. Ssshhh …