Monday, August 11, 2008


My first band back in junior high spent more time keeping a binder that listed our gear and how to set it up than making any actual music. A couple years later I had a conversation with a neighbor that played viola in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and he said you've got to have a piece that you can play at the drop of a hat, on an acoustic guitar. To do that, it doesn't matter what kind of guitar you play, what kind of amp you've got, what kinds of strings, picks, or pedals you use, or anything other than how well you can actually play. Experience has shown me that most people that aren't very good, especially guitar players, usually try to cover it up with all those smoke and mirror effects, while the best players can take the cheapest piece of junk guitar and make it sound beautiful.

After a few years of just running my guitar straight to my amp with maybe just a volume pedal between the two, I started using some effects again with my trio. I'm also expanding my arsenal to give me greater flexibility for different types of gigs. The downside here is that I often have to carry close to 100 lbs. of gear to and from gigs on the subway!

Here's what I use:

Gibson ES-175 (vintage 1967)
Taylor 210ce
Fender American Standard Telecaster
Cordoba classical
ESP Eclipse (mid-'90s custom)

Bogner Duende (15 watt, Class A)
Polytone Minibrute (12")

Pedals (routed in this order):
Turbo Rat
Mini Q-Tron
Boss Giga Delay
Boss Flanger
Boss EQ pedal
Ernie Ball Jr. Volume
+Vibrato effect built into Bogner amp

Fender Mandolin
Ukulele (no brand)
Honer harmonicas

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