Friday, December 31, 2010

FREE Guitar Lessons to Kick Off 2011!

Barry Peterson at Russo's
If you are an adult and would like to finally have the chance to take guitar lessons, we have GREAT NEWS! Monmouth County Library, 125 Symmes Drive, Manalapan, NJ is offering FREE beginner classes for adults starting in February 2011! These classes have been offered at other branches in 2010 but they are now coming to the Library Headquarters!

Students must be available to attend all 4 sessions which will be held on Wednesdays - February 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd 2011. You also have your choice of two time slots:

The first class is 6 pm to 7 pm and the second is 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Your instructor is Justin Miller. This four-part workshop will teach you a lot of the basics: guitar tuning, restringing, tuning keys and note structure. Students are requested to bring in a song that they would like to learn to play. This workshop is for the TRUE beginner with no formal guitar instruction. Bring an acoustic or electric guitar as either can be accommodated in the practice room.
Registration is limited and ends on Friday, January 28th, 2011. Please call the Reference Desk to register: 732-431-7222. If you've ever wanted to have real guitar lessons but just couldn't, 2011 is YOUR year! I can't tell you how much joy playing an instrument has brought me. It can do the same for you so come on, sign up! You can also see what other FREE programs, activities and concerts the Monmouth County Library branches have to offer by checking out the: MCL Online Events Schedule.

Want some more FREE guitar stuff from Planet Waves & C.F. Martin Guitar? Don't forget to enter Eclectic Sound's UPDATED 2010 Holiday Guitar Gear Give-Away! Deadline for entry is MIDNIGHT December 14th 2010 so hurry!

Need to brush up on your guitar playing skills? Hal Leonard publishes music and instruction books for every level of player. Check out some of their excellent titles and be the star of your holiday celebrations!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

NEW Sanyo Pedal Juice Review

The NEW SANYO PEDAL JUICE can power a whole pedalboard worth of effects without an AC connection. Here it is firing up a Planet Waves Tru Strobe Pedal Tuner with ease but it can handle a whole chain of boxes. A rechargeable, clean 9 Volt power source for your effects pedals. Freedom!

One of problems most musicians have when they tour is too many cords and cables to and from the effects board. While many larger, professional venues have AC outlets on stage, others such as coffee houses, civic centers or churches often have you fending for yourself. If you are doing an outdoor concert, you'll find many of them rely on gasoline powered generators.

Now while most effect pedals can accommodate batteries, you're always worried if the Duracells are going to be enough to get you through your set. Also, if you use something like a drum & bass machine, (I use a BOSS DR-3 on the road and the DR-880 in the studio), well those are going to suck even MORE juice than your stompboxes. Believe me there's nothing worse than having an important piece of gear like that die on you during a performance. Even with something as substantial as my Voodoo Lab Pedal Power II, I'm still reliant on a nearby AC outlet to pull it off.

I've probably spent a small fortune on batteries for my effects only to have them fail at some critical point. There are also several noteworthy low wattage "lunch box" amps that run on batteries such as the Roland Mobile Cube Battery - Powered Stereo Guitar Combo Amp. At only 5 watts, it needs a 9 volt power source so the Sanyo Pedal Juice can power that too. Also Ernie Ball has just come out with a Marshall Gig Bag Amp. This portable Gig Bag amp also uses 9 volts via batteries or an adapter. Imagine being able to take your rig anywhere and plug into a mini amp in the park, jam session or guitar class all with no worries about an AC outlet?

The Sanyo Pedal Juice can power two separate effects as shown here with the TC Helicon Voicetone Create XT and the BOSS DR-3 drum & bass machine. My T.C. Helicon Create XT and Harmony G pedals don't have an on & off switch. The KBC-9V3U includes an ON/OFF power switch which allows me to easily to turn the power of all connected music effects devices ON or OFF with the press of a single button. This is convenient since many effects devices do not include their own ON/OFF switch and must be manually unplugged from AC power.

The power levels are even and consistent with the Sanyo Pedal Juice with no drops or fluctuations. This unit will drive your pedalboard for up to 50 hours depending on the devices you have plugged in. The Sanyo Pedal Juice also holds a charge extremely well. We charged it up to full power and after a week, plugged it in. It was still at 100% capacity. The color coded lights tell you when the power is at its peak or getting low, something batteries don't do. The MSRP for the Pedal Juice is $199.99 and the Street Price is $149.99. Here are additional specs on the Sanyo Pedal Juice KBC - 9V3U:

  • Power Multiple Effects Pedals - all at the same time
  • 9V Lithium-Ion battery featuring SANYO eneloop technology
  • Up to 50 hours of continuous, quiet, clean, stable power – from the first note to the last
  • Eliminates AC ground loops - so your tone comes through loud and clear
  • Two 9V DC outputs - power multiple devices; pedals, multi-effect units, and portable recorders
  • 3-stage LED indicator – provides power level status
  • Single on/off button – no need to unplug pedals
  • Rechargeable hundreds of times – saves money and the environment
  • Water and shock resistant - JIS IPX3 compliant water resistant enclosure
  • Fully recharges in only 3.5 hours - via AC adaptor (included)
  • Same footprint as standard effects pedal (2.5” W x 4.7”D x 1.7”H)
  • Easy setup

The Wrap

The best thing about the Sanyo Pedal Juice is its impact on the environment. We dispose of billions of batteries each year when they should be recycled. This can't be good for the earth and if we are going to be responsible stewards, this is a great place to start! Now for the musician, you will find a new freedom in the studio and on the road as you no longer have to place your pedals in close proximity to an outlet. I've been able to place my effects where I want them on stage and in the recording studio. This makes a big difference in my playing comfort and accessibility to the pedals. Another perk is that since you are not plugged in to an AC outlet, you avoid those annoying ground loops. Your sound comes through pure and clear. Just the thing you want on your recording or live performance! Look for the Sanyo Pedal Juice and other jaw dropping stuff to be featured on Eclectic Sound TV's Best Guitar Gear for 2011 Video! The Sanyo Pedal Juice KBC - 9V3U is available online from Musician's Friend, Sam Ash or at your local Guitar Center.

Don't forget! Enter the 2010 Holiday Guitar Gear Give-Away before Midnight December 14th 2010 to win fabulous guitar accessories from Planet Waves & C.F. Martin Guitar!

One U.S. winner will receive a set of KISS Collections Leather Guitar Strap with matching Picks, a Planet Waves Custom Pro Guitar Cable & Adapter and a set of C.F. Martin Acoustic Phosphor Bronze Guitar Strings in Light & Medium!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Studio Side: Audio Technica's AT4081 Ribbon Mic

Audio Technica's 4081 Ribbon Mic brings a new dimension in clarity and airiness to recording studio tracks. Amazingly versatile on instrumental as well as vocal tracks!

AT- 4081 Bidirectional Phantom Powered Ribbon Microphone, MSRP $895.00

We were looking for an all around, workhorse of a ribbon microphone for the studio. The problem is, ribbon mics are notoriously fragile, however the AT 4081 is showing itself to be rugged AND one of the best recording mics we've tested. One reason is the super fine mesh which protects the dual ribbon within. This innovation makes for increased sensitivity and response of the mic.

The bidirectional build of this microphone makes it easy to position in small spaces. You can use it to mic an acoustic guitar using a boom mic stand or as a vocal mic by adding a pop filter. Either way, this mic allows vocal warmth & open, airy sounds of your instrument to shine on recordings.

TC Helicon Voice Tone Create-XT

The AT-4081 is a phantom powered ribbon mic meaning you will need to power it from either a 48V connection from your amp or from a pedal preamp like the Create-XT. The Create-XT is an upgrade from the previous Create pedal. It will support any phantom powered mic but where it shines is in the recording studio quality vocal FX's and effects.

It has 100 to choose from but for all practical purposes, you only have ready access to the first 10, (twenty if you include the A-B selections). We also use the Harmony G in concert as it offers similar vocal effects PLUS vocal harmonies created by your guitar chords. Still, if you want extra polish or edgy effects on your vocals, the Create XT is IT!

T.C. Helicon's Voice Tone Create XT in the Studio using the "hardtune" effect.

Hercules Tilt Base Mic Stands have been especially useful in tight corners as the footprint is a bit smaller than the tripod versions. Adjustment is also easier with the Hercules Stands due to their EZ Grip Quick Release System. The adapters that come with the stands accommodate either a mic clamp as shown here below with the AT-4081 or a mic clip which is more like a flexible sleeve that come with AT hand held mics.
Used on both the stage and in pro recording studios, the Hercules Tilt Base Mic Stand is the best mic stand we own! Very easy to gig with as well while offering an adjustable, substantial base that avoids tipping.

We really can't say enough about the Hercules Line of Stands but especially their Tilt Base models. In fact we've replaced all of our studio's guitar, music and mic stands with Hercules!

The Hercules EZ Grip feature makes adjusting the height a snap without much disturbance to a "hot" studio mic. The adjustable footprint and tilt base components allow the stands to fit in where needed without interfering with instruments. You are able to get much closer to the mic for vocal and guitar pickup with these versatile stands. Quick to transport and set up, these stands make the grade in the studio & on the road.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eclectic Sound's 2010 Music Video Highlights !

WOW another year of concerts, touring and events PLUS our new Eclectic Sound TV Channel on YouTube! Really this was our BEST year EVAR! Looking forward to blowing it up again in 2011. Congrats to Jack R. of Indiana, winner of our 2010 Holiday Guitar Gear Giveaway! Thanks everybody & God Bless!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Guitar Gifts for Under $150

Waiting until the last minute to get the MOST bang for your Christmas buck? These are low-cost gifts nearly every guitarist or vocalist would LOVE! The majority are much less than $150.00 so you're in for some pleasant surprises. Make the most out of your Christmas money gifts! Order online and save yourself the holiday hassle!

Don't Forget to enter our UPDATED Guitar Gear Give-Away before MIDNIGHT December 14th 2010! We've added the Planet Waves Capo-Tuner to haul!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Parties + LIVE Music!

You can be the life of the party by adding your guitar, keyboard or vocal skills to the mix! The Holidays are much more memorable when you bring the LIVE music. Hal Leonard's Real Christmas Book in B Flat gives you some very cool jazz infused arrangements of holiday favorites. Their Christmas Songs for Beginning Guitar provides easy, uncluttered notation in first position. Perfect for singing along with! Lots of old favorites and a few surprises. Check them both out and order now in the banner ad section to your left or the links here!

(PHOTO: Hal Leonard's Top 100 Modern Worship Songs and Christmas Songs for Beginning Guitar. Hercules Music Stand, Super Gig Light, Aria Pro III Fullerton guitar)

Be sure to check out our video preview of 2011's BEST Guitar Gear plus a look at Martin's Performing Artist Series Acoustic Electric OMC with American Idol finalist, Tyler Grady and Travis Hobbie!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2010 Holiday Guitar Gear Gift Guide & Giveaway Winner

Cozy Comforts are part of our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide! C.F. Martin and Audio- Technica Sweatshirt Hoodies and Thermal Tee Shirts, Cotton Rich and Made in the USA. Brown Suede Moccasins by Minnetonka. Weather Meter by Kestrel.

Check out the C.F. Martin 1833 Shop for the BEST
Holiday Gifts for the Guitarist in your life.

C.F. Martin Logo Hoodies shown here and in the video come in Small through 3X so snuggle up baby!

Eclectic Sound's 2010 Christmas Holiday Guitar Gear Gi
ve-Away is CLOSED! Thank you to all who submitted entries. Congratulations to Jack R. of Indiana, USA who won:

  • Kiss Collections Leather Guitar Strap from Planet Waves

  • Kiss Collections Matching Guitar Pick Set (x10) from Planet Waves

  • Two Sets of Martin Acoustic SP Strings, (Light & Medium Gauge)

  • Planet Waves Custom Pro -10 ft Guitar Cable

  • D'Addario Signal 1/4 Male Stereo to XLR Female Adapter

  • PLUS The NEWLY Released Planet Waves Dual Action Capo - Tuner! This Capo -Tuner won BEST IN SHOW at the 2010 Summer NAMM!

Enter by telling us "What is your favorite style of music and why?" Simply post your entry in the COMMENTS section of this article. This contest is open to U.S. Residents ONLY. You need to provide a valid email and U.S. shipping address to be eligible. Sorry, Fender Guitar is NOT part of the Give-Away. One WINNER will be chosen on December 15th, 2010, (just in time to place under your tree)! Deadline for entries is MIDNIGHT December 14th, 2010.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jazz Month with Art Baron!

Art Baron & The Dukes Men celebrate Jazz Month in style with an Ellington standard, "The Jeep is Jumpin'". Collaborating with the creative genius of Strayhorn, and Hodges, "Take the A-Train", "Mood Indigo" and "Sophisticated Lady" are some of Ellington's most enduring works.

Baron has a vast knowledge of this truly American art form and offers music from the Big Band Jazz Era in a fresh way to a new audience of younger listeners. Through Baron, upcoming generations are being introduced to the persuasive allure of Jazz.

Baron's tight horn section includes Chicago native Mark Hynes of the Mark Hynes Quintet on tenor sax and versatile baritone sax - clarinet and coronet player, Howard Johnson.

Click on the links above to contact Baron or Hynes regarding booking engagements and upcoming concerts!

Don't forget! Enter our 2010 Holiday Guitar Gear Give-Away before MIDNIGHT December 14th 2010! 1 US Winner will receive a BOX LOAD of super guitar accessories from Planet Waves and C.F. Martin Guitar!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fatter Sound for Acoustic Guitars

Vinni Smith, inventor of the V-Pick compares the tone of his hand made plectrums to "Brand X". We think his picks are amazing for fatter fuller tone but you be the judge!

V-Picks are unique for their thicker un-bending shape and beveled edges. V-Picks offer monster tone but if you are not quite up to the thickness, we recommend starting out with their Traditional Lite Picks. These are most like the Fender or Martin MEDIUMS but sound a LOT better. As you are able to move up and accustom yourself to the thicker varieties, you'll find your fingers slowly being able to adapt to different thicknesses quite easily. Once you hear how good you sound with a thicker pick, you'll definitely be motivated to move up! Check out all of the cool V-Picks and see our HD VIDEO featuring them by clicking the YouTube icon on the floating toolbar here below.

Coming up: Fall Recording Studio Gear, how to get it, how to use it. Autumn is a great time to finally burn that CD so let's get started with BOSS, Audio-Technica, T.C. Helicon and Hercules Mic Stands in the studio. QUIET...recording!!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Superchick LIVE HD Video "Rock What Ya Got!"

Tricia Brock & Matt Dally rip it up on stage at RevGen 2010 this past Labor Day Weekend! Eclectic Sound TV gets up close and personal with this HD video, shots of the crowd and a ripping guitar solo ending by Dave Ghazarian! Check out the Video of TobyMac at RevGen 2010 and watch Skillet rockin' the crowd in the video posted in the banner ad section on your left. Too GOOD to miss any of these!

Monday, September 6, 2010

RevGen 2010 TobyMac Video

Labor Day Weekend surely ROCKED! Eclectic Sound TV caught TobyMac back on stage Sunday night for Revelation Generation (RevGen) 2010! Just off of his tour with Skillet who played the same venue Saturday night. Best concert to date!

TobyMac & the E.R.A.C.E All Star Jam closed another fantastic RevGen with Phil Keaggy, Natalie Grant, Bernard Harris, Mark Broussard, Lou Gramm, (front man for Foreigner), Mary Mary and more fantastic artists. 60 + bands plus other events such as a skateboarding / freestyle demonstrations, volleyball, hot food and face painting made this a true end-of-summer festival.

Grammy Award winner TobyMac has sold 2 million albums in his solo career with a fusion of R & B, Rock and Hip Hop. His shows are always fresh with non-stop B-boying, acrobatics and jumps. Showcasing top notch vocals, dance and rapping, his set is NOT to be missed.

PHOTO: John Cooper of Skillet closing down Saturday night's performances on the New York Stage! See the Skillet LIVE Video on the left in the banner ad section. Stand out vocals, staging and the first pyrotechnics show done on a RevGen stage made this a memorable performance. Coming off of the Alive & Awake Tour with TobyMac, Skillet nailed "Monster" and "Those Nights". Check out their latest CD.

PHOTOS ABOVE: Click the link here for Matt Dally and Tricia Brock of Superchick doing "Rock What You've Got" during their Sunday afternoon set at RevGen 2010. Stand out performance of the day was Matt's high energy lead vocals and dancing on "Let it Roll". ULTRA Sweet while getting the audience totally involved!

A band to watch on the rise is Nothing More who played the Philadelphia Stage on Sunday. We caught their exciting set and thought Johnny Hawkins' moving a drum kit out front to be very fresh and innovative! RevGen as always was clean, well organized with everyone being so courteous making this a concert you can bring the whole family to. Want more information on how you can attend next year? Visit RevGen online!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kiss Collections from Planet Waves

New guitar eye candy from Planet Waves! Genuine Leather Guitar Straps saluting the iconic rock bands that MADE rock 'n roll history. Classic Kiss Collections Exclusive Line of Straps & Picks, The Who, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Motley Crue embellish these North American made guitar straps.
Click the YouTube Channel icon on the floating tool bar below to see our new videos featuring even more new guitar gear from Planet Waves!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Martin Owners Club Day 2010

"Wish You Were Here!" says the back of this postcard from Nazareth, PA! Dr. M & Magda with her VIP Backstage Pass, enjoying musical fun & picnicking at the Martin Guitar Factory and Nazfest all in the same weekend!

C.F. Martin & Co. Visitor's Center - A Warm Welcome

C.F. Martin IV and Dr. M hanging out in the Visitor's Center during Martin Owner's Club Day this weekend.
Over 2,000 members and guests came to the event for tours of the Martin Guitar Factory and Museum, workshops as well as great food and musical entertainment. The latest Martin Guitars were on display to see and play. Each member received a schwag bag of gift shop goodies such as Martin's new Lifespan SP treated acoustic strings, a backpack and MOC tee shirt. Club members also get many more gifts and guitar clinic invitations throughout the year.
Want to join? It's easy! Register online for Martin Owners Club

Main Tent Talent

One of the highlights of this event is the musical talent. This year Martin shows their support of young pop artists who are shining with the new Performing Artist Series guitars! These include Suite Caroline and Tyler Grady, American Idol semi-finalist and Travis Hobbie both of Wailing Waters. You can see Hobbie backing Grady on stage with one of Martin's OMC Performing Artist Series guitars. Eclectic Sound TV has a video of some of their afternoon performance and a brief interview of this team and their thoughts on Martin's exciting new line acoustic / electric guitars. In fact you can now access ALL of Eclectic Sound TV's videos right from the home page by looking below for the YouTube icon on the floating green tool bar! Be sure to check out Tyler Grady's Facebook Page !

The Wrap

I've attended four Martin Owners Club Day events and I have to say each year they get better and better! However one high point of the whole event for me is this:

Each year at the end of his Member Address, Chris Martin graciously signs guitars and other memorabilia for the members. He kindly signed my Martin D-16GT, the first Martin Guitar I ever purchased! He signs it on the wood so in case the paper label falls off, you still have his signature. Pretty cool, eh? This is Martin's 177th year in continuous operation. I wish them many hundreds more! Check out other Martin Owner's Club event photos in the banner ad section to your left. Visit Martin Guitar Online to see the new Performing Artist Series electric / acoustics and the HD-28 which we have featured on Eclectic Sound TV's Summer Series with Tonerite.

Coming up next: More sizzling summer guitar gear vids with the hottest new stuff from Hercules Stands, Planet Waves, V-Pick and C.F. Martin Guitar! Access ALL of Eclectic Sound TV's videos by clicking the YouTube icon on the floating toolbar below!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hercules Guitar Stand Review

Now Playing! The Hercules Auto Grip Guitar Stand. Lift up your guitar and these levers automatically open. Place your guitar on the stand and they securely lock, holding your guitar.
The only stand I would trust my Martin Dreads on! List Price $59.95

The Hercules GS415B Guitar Stand with Auto Grip is what you see top performers such as Brad Paisley and Huey Lewis and the News using on stage. In the guitar industry, fine instrument makers like Guild only use Hercules Stands in the factory. One look at the ultra-sturdy construction and you will quickly see why. In the studio or on the road, you will appreciate a guitar stand that can accommodate all types of guitars, (solid body electrics, acoustics, semi-hollow body) and neck widths with ease.

One of the best features is the Auto Grip. No worries here about the guitar getting knocked off the stand. The tripod legs and tilt back position balances your guitar perfectly for a secure stance. The padded legs allow the guitar to hang straight without worrying about scratches from the stand itself. In fact, with this stand I am able to leave my leather strap on the guitar as it hangs free. When I'm ready to play, I just lift it up by the neck and the levers automatically open. Really it is the best guitar stand in features and quality that I have ever seen. I've even used it for jamming in the park on uneven, sandy ground. No problem! It set up quickly due to the folding neck and was sure footed even on a soft, shifting surface.

See the Hercules Auto Grip Guitar Stand in action as included in this on location VIDEO featuring the Martin HD-28, ToneRite Guitar Toner and V-Pick Your guitars deserve a stand like this!

Shot at the Thompson Mansion & Horse Farm, the Hercules GS415B Guitar Stand fits right in for style and quality! Guitar, C.F. Martin HD-28 with Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend pick up.

Friday, July 23, 2010

RevGen 2010 Concert Preview

Kutless on the New York Stage during the Revelation Generation Labor Day Weekend Rock Concert. Artists and bands such as Kutless, TobyMac, Natalie Grant, Relient K, Skillet, Mary Mary, Phil Keaggy, SuperChick, The Afters and more, 60+ strong are scheduled for RevGen 2010. Save the dates, September 4th & 5th 2010!
See the banner ad section for more photos and event details & tickets or visit RevGen.Org
Check out Eclectic Sound's photos, Podcast and coverage of RevGen 2009 too!

PHOTO: Matt Theissen front man for the band, Relient K will be back rockin' it for Rev Gen 2010. Look for him on the New York Stage!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Martin Owner's Club

Own a Martin Guitar? Join the Martin Owner's Club and receive this handsome welcoming kit: Martin Marquis Phosphor Bronze Strings, Martin Owner's Club Logo Soft Leather Guitar Strap, VIP Backstage Pass with Lanyard & a MOC Membership Certificate/Card!

If you own a Martin Guitar or are even aspiring to, you should check out this offer! When you become a member of this elite club you are entitled to backstage access to the Martin Owner's Club section of their website where you will find: FREE Guitar Workshops, invitations to member events such as Martin Owner's Club Day for you and up to 5 guests, 10% Member Discounts at the 1833 Shop and MORE! These are just some of my favorite perks and perhaps why I am the original owner of 4 Martin Guitars. The price for membership? Only $45.00 per year.

One of my favorite things to do is to take the museum tour and hang out in the Pickin' Parlor
afterward. So many great guitars to play. What a blast! There's even a Fishman acoustic amp and a cable just in case you want to plug in that Peter Frampton signature model in the photo. You can even bring your own Martin in for light repairs that day! I like to have the strings changed by the pro technicians available at the event. Come early and leave with your Martin set up right! Get all the details and register online at C.F. Martin & Co.

Friday, August 6, 2010 10 am - 4 pm

I LOVE this event! You get to hear some of the best music played on Martin Guitars by top artists like Thom Bresh, (Merle Travis' son) and Kenny Sultan. You'll get a swag bag of goodies, a scrumptious buffet breakfast and luncheon. Pro workshops with a speech and signing by C.E.O. Chris Martin IV is a fantastic way to find out what's going on in the music industry.

This is more like an intimate family picnic in appreciation of all Martin guitar owners. You never know what country music stars will show up for this annual event. Want to know more about the Official Martin Owner's Club? Accept no imitations! Get all the details and sign up right here online: Martin Owner's Club
Photo: Kenny Sultan, master of Rag and Blues guitar performing on his signature model for Martin Owner's Club Day.

Photo: Dr. M. & Magda, (wearing her Martin Owner's Club Logo hat), touring the Martin Guitar Factory & Museum on Martin Owner's Club Day!

See our pictures and coverage of Martin Owner's Club Day 2009

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tonerite Working on a HD-28

Opening our series of NEW summer guitar gear videos is our on location shoot at Thompson Mansion! In this intro, see how easy it is to use the Tonerite on your guitar and what you can expect plus peep the new Hercules GS415B Guitar Stand and V-Picks. More to come!

PLUS Check out Striking Back's latest release, The Restless EP

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tommy James & the Shondells

Eclectic Sound TV kicks off our HOT Summer Video Series with Tommy James and the Shondells, (Mony Mony, Hanky Panky, Crimson & Clover, I Think We're alone Now), LIVE in concert doing Crystal Blue Persuasion! Marshall amps, Gibson Les Paul & Fender Bass on stage.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Summer Videos!

ToneRite for Guitar, 2nd Generation Unit on a Martin SWDGT Special Edition Sustainable Series Cherry Dread. This device vibrates the soundboard to open up the guitar for better sound and tone. We've lined up new, cutting edge gear from:
C.F. Martin Guitar, ToneRite, Audio-Technica, Hercules Stands, V-Picks and a lot MORE on Eclectic Sound TV. Check out the previews in the left hand column.

Catch these upcoming VIDEOS of sizzling summer guitar goodies every player wants!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

How to Get Hardtune Effects

How do you get those hardtune and rotary effects being used on today's hottest Pop and R & B tracks? Kanye shares some secrets with Dr. M! Check this video out and learn how to bring high tech studio style to your live performances. Microphone: Audio-Tecnica's AT4050 Studio Condenser. Pre-amp / vocal effects: Voicetone Create XT. Sound System: Roland SA-300 Stage Amp. Groove: BOSS DR 880

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Custom Pedal Boards vs BOSS GT-10

Which is best? Stomp box effects or a multi-effector like the BOSS GT-10? If you are gigging a lot this summer, here's how to make the call. Left Keeley's Fuzz Head and Digitech's - Scott Ian Signature multi effect pedal.

One of the main travel issues bands have to contend with is portability and weight. My acoustic rig consists of: A Fender Passport PD-500, (mixer is built in), an Audio-Technica Wireless Guitar System & AE5400 condenser vocal mic, Fender Wireless Headworn Mic, BOSS Dr. 3 Drum & Bass Machine, T.C. Helicon mic preamps, Martin D-16 and HD-28 acoustic guitars with pick ups, Autoharp with pickup.

My electric rig hauls a: Tech21 NYC Trademark 60 guitar amp, Fender Stratocaster, Keeley Fuzz Head, Keeley Compressor, BOSS Digital Delay, Ibanez WD-7 Wah Pedal OR the BOSS GT-10 with the same mics and sound support systems as listed above. So you can see that I can get most of all the same effects and more in the signal chain that I wish with the BOSS GT-10.

Still there is a place for home grown pedal boards. Most bands either have them custom made or set them up themselves such as the one here below by Jon Falk, a guitarist for the band 40Winx.

Home Grown Pedal Boards

You can see here that Jon has his pedals in the order he prefers and spaced for easy access during the set. The Volume pedal is over on the left but many guitarists have their Wah / Volume pedals on the opposite side of the board on the right. Still this is the beauty of making your own. One size does not fit all and this guitarist's preferences come first. The result? Mr. Falk was hitting his switches with ease and confidence throughout the concert. This band does many classic rock covers from the Beatles to Fleetwood Mac to Neil Diamond to the Black Crowes. When you have to cover that many styles, these pedals are almost a necessity to capturing the original "tone" of the guitar leads. With out them, a cover band could not pull off the "flavor" of the song they are trying to recreate.

BOSS GT-10 Multi-Effector

The BOSS GT-10 offers some of the same options as a custom or hand made pedal board. For example, you can order the pedals in a specific sequence or allow BOSS to do it for you by using one of the factory presets. Notice too that the volume/expression pedal is over on the right. If that is not to your liking, well you're sort of stuck with it!

Another thing that I noted with the BOSS GT-10 is that while many of the 400 + presets are good, they will often vary in volume. You'll be playing Texas Crunch and then switch to another preset and have a huge drop off in volume. So switching effortlessly between presets as shown in the BOSS videos is really just hype. Some of the presets are so much hotter than the others that they can cause major feedback should you want to plug in an acoustic. This even happens when you are trying the ultra clean channels.

The Wrap

You really have to judge for yourself which option is best. I like the fact that the GT-10 is a all-in-one multi-effector with more cabinets, amps, modeling and effects than I'll ever use. Still, it has its limitations. If you can keep it clean and sweet, I would recommend building your own pedal board for the road and powering it with a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power II. This will mean, no surprises and you will most likely be more comfortable finding and hitting the switches you yourself have put in place. Read our down and dirty article on how to build your own pedal board with tips on sequencing your pedals right here: Guitar Pedals Get the Effect & check this video below showing some of the features of the BOSS GT-10.

Eclectic Sound TV's HD Video Demo of the BOSS GT-10

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Martin HD-28 Review

C.F. Martin's HD-28 on stage at the Corner Cafe. Levy's Leathers Platinum Collection Guitar Strap. Hercules Tilt Base Mic Stand.

Up until now, I have been performing with my Martin D-16GT which has a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides. Like my HD-28, I had a Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend under the saddle pickup installed at the Martin Factory. This pickup system does not require cutting into the guitar, preserving its beauty and function as an acoustic. The Matrix Blend allows you to combine and adjust the under the saddle pickup with the mic pic up to suit your playing needs. With my D-16, I switched to light Martin Acoustic strings because with my guitar amp, I found that the bassiness of the medium strings caused too much feedback.

The Martin HD-28 has a solid Sitka spruce top and rosewood back and sides. It is a full gloss guitar with beautiful herringbone binding and purfling down the back. However, where it shines is in the sound. This is a powerhouse instrument. Acoustically, it can easily fill a room without an amp. With an amp, (I use a vintage USA made Crate GX-20M on the road and a Tech21 Trademark 60 in the studio), it truly stands out with all its multi-tones. I simply choose the cleanest possible channel and adjust from there. The HD-28 is such a powerful and
loud guitar due in part to the scalloped X-bracing invented by C.F. Martin. This lighter, sculpted bracing allows the soundboard to vibrate much more freely, making the HD-28 sound quite "opened up" over its D-28 brother.

I found that on stage, I needed to back off of the strumming and picking a bit. The amp just reads that as too much gain but since I also play this guitar acoustically, changing to lighter strings is not an option. I also turned off the chorus. This guitar has plenty of "chime" without adding that effect. All in all I would recommend backing off the volume or gain on your guitar and amp for the cleanest tones. Otherwise you may end up with unwanted distortion and feedback.

I use a Medium Martin Tortoise Pick and a Planet Waves Dual Action Capo & Custom Pro Series Cables with the HD-28. I find that the PW Capo does not pull the guitar out of tune and their cables are superior for quietness. I packed the HD-28 in my Martin Gig Bag (SEE this REVIEW) which was much lighter than the hardshell case and easier to transport to the stage area. Actually, everything got carried in one trip. I was very impressed playing my Martin HD-28 for the first time in concert and am looking forward to using it again at my next gig with these adjustments. A true cannon!

CONSTRUCTION: Mahogany Blocks/Dovetail Neck Joint
BODY SIZE: D-14 Fret
TOP: Solid Sitka Spruce
ROSETTE: Style 28
TOP BRACING PATTERN: Standard ''X'' Scalloped
TOP BRACES: Solid Sitka Spruce 5/16''
BACK MATERIAL: Solid East Indian Rosewood
SIDE MATERIAL: Solid East Indian Rosewood
ENDPIECE: White Boltaron
ENDPIECE INLAY: Black/White Boltaron
BINDING: White Boltaron
TOP INLAY STYLE: Bold Herringbone
BACK INLAY: Black/White Boltaron
NECK MATERIAL: Select Hardwood
NECK SHAPE: Low Profile
HEADSTOCK: Solid/Diamond/Square Taper
HEADPLATE: Solid East Indian Rosewood /Raised Gold Foil
HEELCAP: White Boltaron
FINISH BACK & SIDES: Polished Gloss
FINISH TOP: Polished Gloss ; Sunburst available at additional cost.
BRIDGE MATERIAL: Solid Black Ebony
SADDLE: 16'' Radius/Compensated/Bone
TUNING MACHINES: Chrome Enclosed w/ Large Buttons
RECOMMENDED STRINGS: Martin Studio Performance Medium Phosphor Bronze (MSP4200)
BRIDGE & END PINS: White w/ Black Dots
PICKGUARD: Tortoise Color
CASE: 640 Molded
OTHER OPTIONS: Available left-handed at no additional charge

Congratulations to ANGIE M. of N.Y. the WINNER of our MAY Guitar Gear Give-Away!!! Be sure to check our listings below for upcoming SHOWS, JAMS and OFFERS this summer!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

C.F. Martin's Gig Bag

Get your kicks on Route 66! C.F. Martin's 52BGB Dreadnought Gig Bag hits the road in this classic 1964 Mercury Caliente. Western Concho Hat by Dorfman Pacific.

Review of C.F. Martin's 52BGB Dreadnought Gig Bag. List $85.00, Street $69.00
Now that the weather is warmer, you'll be taking more road trips with your favorite acoustic guitar. The Dreadnought shape and design was actually invented by C.F. Martin & Co. Guitars and it is still a staple of many folk, country and western artists. The obvious reason why "dreads" are so popular is that they are loud enough not to require amplification. This makes them the best "unplugged" travel companions for picnics, beach parties and barbecues.

Depending on your travel arrangements, you might choose to pack your guitar in a lighter, easier to carry gig bag as shown above. The plus in using such a bag is the large outer zippered pocket that allows taking along sheet music and other larger items too big for a hardshell's storage compartment. These bags are good for traveling in a car or where you will be in control of your instrument.

Not all gig bags are alike though. I would recommend a Levy's heavy denim or leather gig bag for any solid body electric such as a Fender Strat or Gibson Les Paul. I have found Levy's to be extremely well made and richly padded.

Likewise the C.F. Martin 52BGB Logo Gig Bag is very well made. This gig bag is constructed of a tough nylon ballistics cloth exterior which resembles black denim with thick foam padding inside to protect your Dreadnought. I especially like the heavy double zipper pulls but wish they had put them on the outer pouch as well. All the same, this is a superior gig bag in style and features, worthy of your C.F. Martin or other beloved acoustic. The classic C.F. Martin logo is embroidered across the outside pocket in gold thread and the bag is reinforced at all the major stress points for extra strength. While it may not be a replacement for the safety of a hardshell case, it offers quite a bit more protection than the average gig bag being sold for acoustics.

Gig bags also give you more freedom to carry other items such as a stool or even an extra instrument. This is due to the backpack type straps. Slip the straps on your shoulders and your hands remain free or turn it on its side and tote it by the leather reinforced carrying handles. The bag is finished off with slip resistant resin feet. With a gig bag like this, you'll appreciate the lighter, breezier way to travel with your guitar this summer! For more gig bag & guitar case options, check out Eclectic Sound's BEST Gig Bags & Cases

PHOTO: C.F. Martin Special Edition Sustainable Series Dreadnought in Cherry, SWDGT. Handmade Guitar strap by Sully's Leather Straps.