Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Guitar Gear Give-Away!

Congratulations!!! John Montalbano is our Top Winner of C.F. Martin Guitar and Banjo strings PLUS the legendary Planet Waves NS Guitar Capo! Thanks to all who entered...
We all should look for the "freebies" in life these days! C.F. Martin and Planet Waves want you to have a super summer so they are joining with Eclectic Sound for another fantastic guitar gear give-away. You can win everything here except for the $40,000 Martin Guitar! First, let's talk about some of the prizes and how they will benefit your playing.

Planet Waves NS Capo

This is my favorite capo and the only one I use on my Martin guitars. It is so lightweight and compact, I can get it on quickly with nearly one hand. No buzzing and it won't pull your guitar out of tune after using it. A capo is very handy for when let's say the key of G is too high but you don't want to change the chording when you transpose the song to a lower key. Simply place the capo on the fourth fret and play the same G pattern chords only now you will be playing in the key of B. Easy! You'll also find that playing up the neck, the frets are closer together, more so than in 1st position. Capoing can relieve the stress of over stretching your fingers, making playing your guitar much more comfortable.

Using a capo can also add texture to multiple guitars. Many of the earlier folk groups such as the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary were said to have used a capo to set one guitar's tone apart from the others. Chet Atkins even used a capo! Ned Steinberger is the genius behind this capo design, hence the "NS" in its name. Works wonderfully on 6 and 12 string guitars. Lightweight aluminum adds virtually no weight to the guitar's neck when in use. Everyone who borrows mine says, "Wow, this is nice!" So here's your chance to win one for yourself. Visit Planet Waves online for more useful capos and guitar accessories: Planet Waves

Martin Acoustic SP Light Guitar Strings-MSP4100's

These are the new strings that I had put on at the Martin Guitar Clinic this spring. These are the LIGHT gauge, (.012-.054) premium phosphor bronze
strings. The SP stands for sustained playability and I have to say they live up to their name. These are the strings I am now recording with on my Martin D-16. The lighter strings are a joy adding to greater bending and slides. Plus they are perfect for when too much volume could induce feedback in my sensitive studio condenser mics. With the pickups installed on my D-16, I can get away with more intricate tone because I needn't "drive" the guitar for it to be heard on the recordings. These strings have ultra-high tensile strength steel cores that resist breaking. In fact, I've never yet broken a Martin string. The acoustic bronze electro finish provides greater string life and looks beautiful against the solid spruce top.

Martin Custom Shop

It's great to know that the same strings that are being put on this $40,000 Martin D-100 are on my humble D-16!

During Martin Owner's Club Day we got to stop in at the custom shop and see all kinds of Martin Guitars receiving special details and pearl inlay. Some are in for repairs or after being rescued from neglect and damage. No matter. They all get a new set of premium Martin strings before leaving the shop to sound their absolute best. Take the Martin Factory & Museum Tour yourself! The Martin Owner Club event is being held this year on Friday, July 31st 2009. Get the details under the events listings, CONCERTS-WORKSHOPS-JAMS.

Martin Acoustic SP Guitar Strings-Medium MSP4200's

One of the things that you can do is experiment with different string gauges. These strings offer the same features as the other SP acoustic strings only in a MEDIUM gauge, (.013-.056). If you are playing with lighter strings and you want more "boom" in your bottom end, you might try using heavier strings. These are the stings that I had put on my Martin D-18 in sustainable cherry. These medium strings allow me to drive this dedicated acoustic to greater volumes as my D-18 doesn't have a pickup. The cherry also does not offer the same "boom" of the mahogany or rosewood models but with the right strings, I'm able to definitely be heard. Having a guitar with a different wood construction will also allow you to stand out in the mix. It is said that the cherry is more balanced with a medium or mid range tone. You want to offer something a little different that what everyone else is playing. I really enjoy my D-18 with these medium strings. I even gave a set to my guitar teacher. His guitar sounded like gold once he got them on! Visit C.F. Martin & Co. online:

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!!! GIVE-AWAY ENTRY DETAILS!!! So are you ready to win all of these sweet prizes? Two sets of Martin Acoustic Guitar or Banjo strings and the Planet Waves NS Capo can be yours! Answer this question by clicking the COMMENTS link below: "What was the first song you used a capo with?" That's it! Deadline is 12 midnight, July 31st, 2009. Be sure to leave your email address so that we can contact you if you win. Go for it!