We caught up with store manager J.D. Williamson (who also oversees our bass department), to ask what turned heads at this year’s winter NAMM show, and to learn what’s new and exciting around the store.
You were with the Corner Music team at the recent NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. What new things can we expect to see?
JD: There are gonna be more ways for players to be even more involved in making their own music. The new Zoom Q4 — high-quality audio and video — musicians will be able to film and record their performances. We’ll see more personal involvement in music making.
There’s also a new resurgence in quality control, in both imports and American-made products. We’re getting some excellent new smaller amps from Ampeg and Fender … Peavy also has some smaller, portable amps.
Most people know Corner carries popular, top-selling brands. What are some of the best-kept secrets–items more people need to know about?
JD: The Alleva-Coppola basses are great. They’ve got to be check out! They don’t make too many, they’re hard to keep in the store. When you see we’ve got one, head on down. The Fender Custom Shop one-off basses are excellent, too.
Also, acoustic instruments. Scott (Corner acoustic guitar manager) is doing a great job of getting in some cool new guitars, banjos and mandolins. The train is leavin’ the station on those guys so people need to get on board
Country Music may have changed over the years, arguably to the point it doesn’t sound like “Country” at all. But the association between Nashville and the legends of country music will forever go together like America and Apple Pie. In all my years as a Nashvillian, I’ve met people from all over the globe flocking to the Music City on pilgrimages to the holy shrine of country music immortality. Just walking by the Ryman Auditorium knowing Hank Williams used to sneak out the back for a quick drink between shows can transport you back in time, sending chills down your spine feeling the ghosts of Chet Atkins and Patsy Cline walking beside you down Broadway. For country music connoisseurs, it’s a bucket list travel destination. And this doesn’t even account for the minions of singers migrating here in pursuit of fame and fortune, hoping to “make it” to Music Row and have a street in their home town named in their honor. That’s another story for another time.
For me, it’s always been about the music. One summer visiting my dad in Louisiana, he offered me a trip to Astro World or Bourbon Street. Needless to say, I didn’t have any Hurricanes (too young), but I did hear some great live music and came away with a Dixie Land album featuring a very young Harry Connick Jr. Since that day in 1982, I’ve relished the opportunity to hear excellent live music. In those years I’ve learned while it’s true there’s great music to be heard everywhere, there’s simply no denying some places are just better than the rest.
I graduated college some 20 years ago, and moved to Nashville soon after doing so. For a few years during the 90s, I got itchy feet and took a job in Seattle. Boy was I excited. Not just because it’s a beautiful place, but because it was one of the hottest music scenes in the world. Pretending to be a jazz guitarist, I assumed I hit the jackpot being in a city so cultured and hip. And if I got bored with Jazz (since I couldn’t really play it), I could always get into the raw and angry grunge movement going on at the time. But something occurred to me during my stay in the Emerald City. I noticed no matter where I went on Friday or Saturday night, I was missing something. Every once in a while, I’d hear a really good show, however, a lot of that happened on nights I drank the stout micro-brews, giving me ear goggles. There was always a strange correlation in assuming the quality of music and women were better than they actually were when I downed the beers.
So, after a few years and more than a couple of rainy days, I headed back to Nashville, and never looked back. It really wasn’t the sweet tea and sunny skies I missed so much, as it was the music. Best of all, it wasn’t the country music I missed, but the incredible amount of talent in nearly every club Nashville houses. Where else can you be walking down the street and hear Vince Gill and the Time Jumpers tearing it up, or Larry Carlton sitting in at a local establishment? Metallica even dropped by and played a free show at The Basement, which is probably smaller than my garage gym. How cool is that? I haven’t had alcohol in a long time, and the last time I did, I don’t remember much. However, nearly 10 years later, Kenny Vaughn’s (guitarist for Marty Stuart and countless other greats) guitar playing still resonates through me to this day. Jaw dropping stuff, where Guthrie Trapp comes into a Corner Music with his Larrivee OM and starts playing things I thought were impossible on a guitar. (Thanks for the lessons, by the way, Guthrie!).
I’ve got stories from New Orleans, while my dad continues to tell everyone about a flamenco guitar player lighting up the Miami night with his playing. Just as I’m sure you have tales of sonic excellence at different points and times. It’s just in Nashville, it’s every night. And it’s not the country music. It’s the jazz, the rock, the blues, the americana, the folk and the polka (just kidding on the last one). Sure you’re bound to hear wonderful country music (preferably of the classic variety), but if you think Nashville is only good for country music, then you must be one that only drinks orange juice for breakfast.
I got an email from a friend of mine saying how he believes the young women today are better looking than they were when we were in college. I replied by letting him know I had just been thinking how everyone to me is beginning to look alike. The differences most likely result from him being able to catch college football games at our Alma Mater, and me seeing folks as I walk down the sidewalk in middle-aged America.
This got me thinking about guitars. Yeah, I know, I’m always thinking about guitars. But, there’s a point in which even shiny, new models all start looking alike. That is because THEY ARE EXACTLY ALIKE! They’re still fine instruments, yet you can slap them on a wall, and all of a sudden they become like grapes at the grocery store, where you end up sifting endlessly for the perfect vine, yet really can’t tell one from the other and end up taking a guess.
That’s when I discovered why our Fender Custom Shop guitars and basses sell better than any of our other Fender products. All Fender instruments exude quality, value and playability. But with a Fender Custom Shop instrument, all of a sudden, there’s no longer a blurry line of white and black guitars. You notice the realistic wear on the body and fingerboards, the clay fingerboard inlays and authentic neck that fits right into your hand as if it had been made specifically for you. Forget about paint-by-numbers templates and CNC machines. This isn’t the stuff legends were made of, but what made legends. Why else would yesterday’s and today’s guitar heroes play nothing but Fender Custom Shop? I can honestly tell you it’s not just out of the goodness from their hearts. More like the goodness that comes from pouring their hearts into such wonderful instruments.
If you’re still wondering what exactly sexy, young coeds and Fender Custom Shop guitars have in common, then I’ll put it this way. Both are great to admire ….Sporting ageless beauty and being unapologetic for not having to try and be so sexy, it’s easy to fall in love over and over again. We seem to absorb every ounce of detail, unlike everything else. We no longer feel old, but young and energetic, and we feel proud to be sporting that around our arms……
I’m talking about the guitars, of course. I can’t help you land a date with someone half your age, but I can set you up with a very lovely Relic Telecaster or P-Bass. Check out our awesome lineup of Fender Custom Shop guitars and basses. It’ll stop you in your tracks, and you’ll no longer look at guitars the same way.
There’s a reason you’ll see more of one particular electric guitar in music stores across Nashville. In fact, it’s been said, everyone in Nashville sings and plays the guitar, but I’ll take it further and say, everyone in Nashville sings and plays a Fender Telecaster or something very similar. Why? Because nothing distinguishes country music more than the “tele twang”. The sputtering clucking of chicken pickin’ remains a staple in achieving that authentic “country tone”, and there’s no other guitar on the planet that does it better than the original. Nope; you won’t see too many pickers wearing boots and a Stetson playing anything else. And for the sake of fairness to other styles of music, this tried and true single cutaway with a bolt-on neck crosses more musical boundaries than even the fanciest, modern machine claiming to do it all. Thus goes the saying that less is better.
Change is inevitable, and most of the time it’s for the better. Musicians typically take exception to this however, as they’re constantly wishing to replicate the glorious tone coming from scratchy vinyl. In doing so, they’ll stick with the stuff that made the music sound so great. In addition, they stick with what works. Fortunately a few guitar makers see beyond just the dollar signs of simply making a copy, and are instead fulfilling their dream of either recreating or updating the “perfect tele”. This is where I come in. Wait, haven’t I been here? No, you goofs. The object of my pontification goes beyond pointless and I’ll make an attempt at teaching you the mind power necessary to decipher through the legions of guitars out there claiming to be teles, as it can be difficult to know what’s what, and why you would want to buy one over the other. Hopefully, I’ll shed some light on the subject for you.
Below are the honored guests of this blog banquet. We represent these brands here at Corner Music because we believe in their value. Actually, our customers have led us to the light, and we stick with what works, too. Of course we have the venerable Fender Telecaster proudly on display, but this article is an attempt to educate you on why we have a few other similar styles from different manufacturers in our store. As I said before, we all like familiarity, but you must keep in mind, we’re all a little bit different. So without further adieu, allow me to introduce to you our very special guests who have decided to take on permanent residence here at Corner Music.
It all started in Fullerton, California. Who woulda thunk it? A guy that didn’t even really play the guitar made history by creating one of music’s most endearing designs. Well, maybe he got tired of swinging a golf club, because he and his buddy from the early days, George, decided to make one more go at it. Unable to use his namesake due to copy-write infringements, Leo and George kept things simple and decided on G&L. They didn’t really want to re-make what they had already done before. Instead, they set out to provide guitar players with enhancements that would take them to a new level of sonic achievement.
The G&L ASAT, while closely resembling his earlier invention, added some really nice features musicians could appreciate and make the guitar quite unique. The MFD (Magnetic Field Design) pickups provided extra punch without sacrificing clarity. Powerful ceramic magnets, a wider winding field, and adjustable pole pieces allow guitar players to truly customize the guitar’s sonic influence. And he wasn’t finished. The patented Saddle-Lock bridge allows strings to be top-loaded (very convenient), and uses an excellent design of a steel rod that runs through each individual saddle. So, when you pick one string, the entire bridge resonates creating a huge amount of sustain.
The enhancements Leo and George implemented continue on. More than 30 years later, G&L guitars continue to be among our top sellers. It’s also nice being able to select the wood, color, hardware upgrades and body types (semi-hollow, tummy contours, neck profile, need I go on?). Wow! A customized guitar well below custom shop prices. As radical and advanced as these guitars were (and still are), they were initially made in the original Fender Factory in Fullerton. An updated facility resides right next to the old one that’s worth a tour if you’re ever out that way on a Leo Fender pilgrimage. If not, then I’d strongly recommend you look at a G&L. They’re good stuff that’s here to stay.
We have a nice selection of ASAT models, as well as other G&L instruments. Check them out on our electric guitar page by clicking the link below.
What is this guitar I speak of? It’s not me; try a ton of people on message boards across the internet. Picking up steam in musical circles consisting of the staunchest tele purists, the guys at LSL have made an immediate impact. Located in Van Nuys, California, the luthiers at LSL go about making their guitars exactly the way they were made in the 1950s. Forget about any CNC machines, imitation hardware, polyurethane, aftermarket pickups, or any of that other stuff. These guys are all about making EVERYTHING from scratch and by hand, and I’ll bet they’re better than grandma’s homemade buttermilk biscuits. Yep; aging their hardware, winding their own pickups, cutting their own necks and bodies, and setting the fret wire very carefully. This is a true boutique guitar; not a kit guitar mass marketed to be made by hand.
It’s your call; pick between Sugar Pine and Swamp Ash, and go ahead and tell them the neck radius and fingerboard wood you want. But you can’t name it. Name it? Huh? Rather than issue a serial number, a name is given to every guitar born from LSL’s shop. This exemplifies the unique character every guitar displays. We’ve had a few, sold a bunch, and none of them are alike. Yeah, they may seem similar upon first glance, but until you play one, you have no idea. Forget whether they look like they’ve been released from a 1952 cryogenics lab, where apparently Walt Disney didn’t get the memo. These guitars play as well as the vintage ones coming in to get a set up. Light in weight, toneful and resonating good vibrations all over the place. Take a look at our online inventory, but don’t stare too long, because they go fast.
If you thought Larrivee made acoustic guitars; well, you’re right because they do. If you thought I must be drunk because I’m writing about an acoustic guitar on a blog about a specific style of electric; well, you’re wrong. Not only sober for nearly 8 years, but I’m completely convinced the folks at Larrivee need no schooling when it comes to electric guitar building. If you, like many, find their acoustic guitars nice, you’ll love the new Bakersfield.
They don’t even beat around the bush. Instead, they get right to it. The sound I was referring to in my introduction is the sound so many country pickers emulate (or at least in my case, attempt to do so). Buck Owens started a trend as solid and everlasting as the one Leo Fender did. So why not pay homage to both a great guitar and the birthplace of electrified country music? Makes sense to me.
Being a distributor for nearly all of the guitar wood sold throughout North America is a luxury Jean Larrivee can use to his advantage. Not only in the coin pocketed by the companies buying his planks, but he has full pick of the litter, which means the Swamp Ash and Rock Maple used for these guitars is the best of the best. Jean didn’t stop with the wood. Vintage paper-in-oil capacitors, Callaham all-steel hardware, Seymour Duncan custom hand-wound pickups, hand-sprayed high gloss varnish finishes, and a number of other ingredients are used to ensure Larrivee meant business when they decided to put everything into the oven and bake the Bakersfield.
While the vintage appointments and flash-back color schemes are enough to make Happy Days stand out as historically inaccurate, Larrivee is up to his usual self by throwing a slight curve ball into the mix. Traced from a 1953 blackguard, the body bridges old and new with a very smooth cutout on the back for some appreciated belly relief, along with a nod to Seymour Duncan’s “Telegib”. For those of you thinking that sounds like something you’d see pickled at the front counter of a Quickie Mart in the South , the “Telegib” is a forearm contour that keeps your arm from wanting to fall asleep.
Now remember, just because there’s some neat new benefits to the Bakersfield, don’t think you’re going to get some ultra-new-age neck that even a 3-year old can play. For those of us who dig a full, rather fat, palm-filling neck that oozes sustain, you’ve finally met your match. Patterned after the 1952 blackguard, the igloo shaped nape blossoms from its 1.75″ at the first fret to a robust 2.024″ width at the 12th register. It’s nice to have a classic feeling electric you don’t have to worry about fretting out on.
There’s so much to love about the Bakersfield, and so many reasons why this guitar will be seen in many studios and on lots of stages. Whether you’re a professional or simply love playing the absolute best, this model will be aspiring for more than just walking the streets of Bakersfield, and you’ll be drinking that free bubalub in sheer delight. Check out these fine guitars we have in stock:
Keep Their Heads Ringin’!
With all the tele types out there, it’s easy for your head to ring and spin, but as you will now hopefully see, mind control is simple. You don’t need to be psychic to be put to sleep by my writing, and you can save your money for that ESP course you’re planning on attending. You now have some knowledge to quickly know what each guitar is thinking. That is, you can at least understand why we have more than just one type of model that might look the same from afar, but is distinctly different from its rivals in so many ways. Our goal is not to confuse you, but to offer more choices. We’re only human, and as intelligent beings, we’re animals that like to copy one another, but also prefer to assert ourselves with preferences that satisfy our individual likes. Shoot, sometimes we do things just to be different, and having these options will accommodate that too.
There’s no argument regarding their historical significance in music, as well as some of Nashville’s greatest country gentlemen gracing our ears with the unmistakable tones only a Gretsch can produce. So, this past Christmas, we decided to make room for these beloved behemoths of tone, as their playability and sound stole the remaining floor space away from another line we were considering. These high quality six strings are now in stock, and we have more on the way. It’s now official; Corner Music is a full-fledged Gretsch dealer, so if you’re inspired by the likes of Chet Atkins, Brian Setzer, or feel like flying sky high on the White Falcon, Corner Music’s your place, Daddy-o!
Live clinics are part of Corner Music’s commitment to introduce, educate and entertain our customers. Not everybody in Nashville is a guitar player (well, a few people aren’t), and we enjoy hosting interactive seminars on the various products we sell. We’ve already started the year off with a bang, hosting bass player extraordinaire, Brian Beller and his arsenal of Mike Lull basses. Dropping jaws and boggling minds with his mastery of the bass guitar while riffing away on the Metalocalypse theme song, he showed all in attendance just how versatile Mike Lull basses really are, and why he prefers them over anything else. We keep Mike Lull’s in stock, so come see J.D. about playing one.
And we’re just getting started. Recently, we hosted Presonus for an extremely informative demonstration of their excellent new music editing software, Studio One. You wanna talk about sophisticated but simple? If you’re like me, and hate to read an instruction manual longer than a page and a half, the Studio One is the answer we’ve all been waiting for. Easy, on the fly editing, storing and calling up files you recorded earlier are literally at the push of a button on your computer’s keyboard. In addition, you can have multiple files playing at the same time. This is a multi-tasker’s dream come true, and makes song editing on your computer effortless. We stock both the Artist and Professional versions, so you can get going right away. Stay tuned for more Corner Music clinics, as the year is still young.
A staggering trend.….Take your shoes and socks off people and see what’s going on in Music City. For the most part, Nashville’s been described at a country music mecca, but rarely gets recognized for anything else. Let me just tell you, some of the best musicians in the world call Nashville their home, and the music being produced in our ‘lil ‘ole town goes beyond just a tear in your beer. Check out the graph and see Nashville’s impressive rank among other major cities, and you’ll understand why it’s called Music City and doesn’t have country as the prefix. In fact, the graph would be even larger, but they ran out of room on the page.
An acoustic for everyman….We’re letting everyone we know, everywhere we go about giving you a reason to be here. I don’t know about anyone but me, but when I’m in the market for a custom-made, very limited acoustic guitar, inspired by the greatest singer/songwriters of our time, I want to make sure that my struggle for the legal tender to purchase one is an investment well spent. Corner Music takes pride in being extremely selective when taking in such coveted instruments. In fact, if it’s not to the doctor’s eyes (Larry’s not really a doctor, but he is a Kentucky Colonel), it receives an opening farewell, and gets returned to sender. We have many fantastic varieties of acoustic guitars, but I strongly encourage you to come in from the boulevard to take a hard look at a few of our Gibson Acoustic artist models. Really; a change will do you good. It’s always our goal to get you to smile before you leave.
Late for the sky….. Don’t worry; this isn’t an obituary, but there was a fountain of sorrow around the store as we said goodbye to one of Nashville’s most beloved guitar builders. After 22 years of building some of the most unique electric instruments in the business, Jerry Jones has decided to ride off into the sunset. All good things must come to an end, and you can’t blame a guy for moving on to enjoy another segment of his life, but we’re all going to miss him, as are the legions of players using his instruments.
Jerry’s guitars have been among our best sellers, and for good reason. Taking what was a cool design with a lousy track record of quality and consistency, Mr. Jones breathed new life into, what was considered, an extinct breed of stringed instruments you could coax some gnarly tones with. From his humble shop in Nashville, TN, his attention to detail and solid construction methods created all the mojo these instruments were capable of, along with the reliability needed to play these guitars anywhere.
Fortunately, we still have several Jerry Jones guitars, basses and baritones in stock, but once they’re gone, there’s no more, and you’re going to have to go to Bangladesh if you want to learn to play sitar like the sultans. All of us at Corner Music want to wish Jerry and his family all the best, and we thank him for his outstanding service to us over the years, as well as his contribution to musicians who make music.
Finishing thoughts….As always, we greatly appreciate your support of our store. We’re hangin’ in there, and it’s all thanks to you! I’m also grateful of all those brave enough to stomach my blogs.
Well…..I’d love to stick around, but I’m running behind…
Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you soon,
Happy Holidays folks! It’s hard to believe 2010 is quickly approaching its place in the archives of time. We’ve had quite a year at Corner Music, from the addition of new product lines, to a flood that nearly wiped us all out, to the hottest summer I can remember, to where we are now. As the holiday season nears full throttle, we are stocked and loaded to the point Santa’s going to have to pay overage charges for his bag. Be sure and check out our holiday page full of excellent deals on many of our products. As mentioned above, as quickly as time flies and the hustle and bustle of trying to organize everything makes getting last minute stocking stuffers a likely reality, our pit crew will have everything you need to make your shopping quick and convenient. All of us at Corner Music express our sincere gratitude for your continued support of our store.
I personally want to thank you for making my job great! Whether you’ve purchased something online, or have kept me busy with your “Ask Billy” questions, I am grateful for your trust in my advice. As my first full year of running our website draws to a close, I wanted to share a few “Ask Billy” questions that may serve to send a few pointers to those wondering something similar. While the questions below are from individuals, they represent more commonly asked inquiries similar to the ones below.
Mark from Dallas, TX: Hey Billy. What is the best speaker for my Deluxe Reverb?
You know, Mark, that’s a great questions that has many answers. However, I’ve had the best success recommending the Cannabis Rex from Eminence. The hemp cone is very tough, and provides a smooth but unique tone to any kind of amplifier, but really excels at taming some of that top end present on blackface amps. When pushed, the speaker really comes alive and offers a smokey and complex overtone that’s hard to explain, but sounds very good. The Rex works for any amp, but is by far the most popular among players using Fender amplifiers.
Lukas from Hammelburg, Germany: Greetings. I have ES 335 guitar and wonder what pickups for best all around sound?
Hi. There are many great pickups makers out there, and all of them offer great options. But honestly, the Seymour Duncan ’59 pickups are really tough to beat for both semi-hollow electrics when you’re playing a wide array of styles. Labled as a PAF (Patent Applied For) pickup, which is wound to vintage specs, the ’59 pickups sound great through any amp playing any style of music. The Alnico 5 magnets used in those pickups provide the right amount of body and top-end without forcing the guitar to sound muddy. I recommend the Seymour Duncan ’59 in both the bridge and the neck for your 335. Seymour’s tried and true ’59 humbuckers are an excellent choice, holding their own with pickups twice their price.
Tina from Nashville, TN: Hi Billy. I came into Corner Music to buy a Fender Deluxe Reverb, but fell in love with the Carr Rambler. I’m torn now because I just love the way the Carr sounds, but don’t know why it’s so much more expensive than the Fender. Is the Carr really that much better of an amp?
Hello Tina. The answer to your question is to buy both….Just kidding. Your sudden attachment to the Rambler is not uncommon. Both amps are very good choices, but the Carr Rambler is special. While they share a similar tone, they are actually quite different. Fender’s reissue is mass produced in California and features a printed circuit board, whereas the Rambler is a point-to-point unit built entirely by hand at Steve Carr’s small shop in Pittsboro, North Carolina. The Rambler features a preamp based on the classic Deluxe circuit, but uses a cathode biased power section the tweed era amps were known for instead of the fixed bias design of the blackface models. Cathode runs a bit hotter than fixed bias, but many feel the increased power consumption adds more warmth and character, which is part of that rich tone you were hearing. The Rambler also features bigger output tubes (6L6) and transformers, adding more headroom and bottom end. These are all good things if you’re playing in a larger club with a loud drummer. Should you desire less power, the Carr has a triode switch which cuts the power tubes in half, offering a slightly darker, warmer tone, which also forces the amp to break up earlier if desired.
In no way am I discounting the Deluxe Reverb. Fender’s reissue is an excellent replica, and is also a very well-made product. The fact so many amp builders continue to draw inspiration from the Deluxe (and Steve is admittedly one of them) is the highest compliment you can pay. It’s also a bit less than the Carr, which keeps it within reach for players needing a clean, no-frills, tried and true combo amp that can go from clean to mean by cranking the volume. Both amps are excellent choices, and will serve your needs well. However, your question touches on the importance of trying a product out yourself, rather than only trusting the advice of someone else (myself included). Steve doesn’t try and reinvent the wheel, but he did a good job improving it, similar to what the steel-belted radial did to Harvey Firestone’s revolutionary rubber innovation. It seems like you’re leaning towards the Carr, and hope my reply has given you a few reasons to understand why you, like many, have justified the price difference in favor of the Rambler.
Mike in Culver City, California: Why do the Jerry Jones guitars cost more than Danelectros? Aren’t they the same thing, just more money?
Hi Mike. I’ll answer your question with a quick and emphatic, NO! Jerry Jones drew inspiration from the Danelectro design, but it was their inconsistency that motivated him to make instruments with such unique designs and tones, play to their full potential. Jerry builds his guitars one by one, ensuring every instrument he makes will hold up to the demands of professional musicians while delivering excellent tone in the process. With Jerry Jones, you also have the ability to customize by selecting from a variety of colors and designs.
The Danelectro name has been around for some time, but Jerry has actually been making his guitars since 1989, which is longer than any company representing the Danelectro name can claim. Also, as mentioned, Jerry makes all of his instruments right here in Nashville and not in China, where the Danelectros are now manufactured. In addition to the better craftsmanship and higher quality components, the prices aren’t really that much higher, making Jerry’s guitars extremely popular and affordable for a hand-made instrument of this caliber. Bob Seger seems to be enjoying the Jerry Jones baritone he purchased from me, and he’s not alone. Jerry’s guitars are among our biggest sellers. To be fair, Danelectro’s quality control has improved, but they are still nowhere close to being in the same class as the Jerry Jones.
Kabil from Ankara, Turkey: Hello. Why do two acoustic guitars that look similar sound different, and why do some smaller guitars yet sound bigger than some ones that are bigger?
Hi Kabil. That’s a great question I am often asked. Simply put, no two guitars sound alike, but to answer your question more specifically, there are many factors that determine the tone and volume of an acoustic guitar, such as the tonewoods selected for the top and the back and sides, as well as even the neck and fingerboard. An acoustic guitar using Sitka Spruce for the top and rosewood for the back and sides typically produces a punchy, authoritative tone with pronounced midrange. This is a very popular choice for bluegrass players because the design allows their notes to cut through a loud banjo and mandolin. Other wood combinations might involve using a cedar top and mahogany for the sides and back. Cedar is softer than spruce, resulting in a rounder, warmer tone. Mahogany is also an extremely sound choice (pun intended) with a nice range of both lows and highs with less midrange than rosewood. These are just a few examples, as acoustic guitars are made with many types of wood, offering a wide range of aesthetics and sonic differences. However, the aforementioned are among the more popular wood amalgamations used for acoustic guitars.
Generally, body size dictates the amount of volume the guitar will produce, but not always. The same holds true for acoustic guitars with cutaways for full access to the fingerboard. This is accomplished by how the guitar is braced. Bracing is the support structure under the top that not only provides strength and support, but greatly alters the tone. There are many methods of bracing, which I will not go into, but surprisingly, the wood you do not see is one of the largest culprits behind how bright, dark or loud the guitar sounds. This is why you can pick up an orchestra model from one manufacturer that sounds louder than a dreadnaught from a different guitar maker. This is why it’s always best to play the guitar before you buy it, because with acoustic guitars, looks can definitely be deceiving.
Queen Rita Shebaz from West Africa: Merry good day to you, Sir. I have money in a Nigerian bank I gladly give to you if you respond to this link.
Your Royal Highness. Thank you for your generous offer, but I’ve already been promised millions in diamonds from one of your rivals in the Republic of Congo. If for some reason, the diamond deal falls through, then I’ve been promised loads of cold, hard cash from your pal in Algeria, so I’m all set for now.
I could list many more interesting questions I’ve received over the past year, but thought those represented questions most commonly asked. Remember, no question is too dumb, and the only way you learn is by asking. I learned a lot of what I know today because someone else was good enough to help me.
I want to wish all of you a very safe and happy holiday season, and I look forward to kicking 2011 off with our ever expanding product line, as well as more excellent questions from you!
Prior to turning 21, I worked hard at looking and acting the part of an older man, legally able to walk into bars and flirt with the mature chicks. Even at the risk of being caught using a fake ID, it was worth basking in the glory of hanging with my older pals.
The funny thing about age, is after 30, you end up doing the opposite of what you did when you were 17. For some reason, you no longer want people to profess your actual birth date, and rejuvenating cream is always on the list of things to buy at the store. However, there’s no way around the inevitable, and pretty soon, we all cross the “40″ barrier.
As I exchanged my 30s something sport coat for a 40s club members jacket, I realized it’s not so bad after all. In fact, it’s kind of cool knowing I’m among a fraternity of forty-ites proudly displaying their annual rings with pride. Looking back at our humble beginnings in the early 1970s, you get to see how far we’ve come, what we’ve learned, and the respect obtained for surviving all this time. Well, I can’t always speak so loudly of my reputation, but for some of the main players in the music instrument industry, their prominence speaks more boldly today than it ever has, and there are signs of even greater things to come. So, please join me in recognizing some of the greatest names in the music business, entering their 40th year.
: Not quite 40, they are less than 2 years away. However, Ikutaro Kakehashi started a company producing many world ‘firsts’, gaining respect throughout the music industry, continuing to this very day. Acquiring BOSS stomp boxes in the late 70s, only added more to the fine choices from Roland. Corner Music has been a long time dealer for Roland, and we keep a full line of Roland and Boss products in stock. Come in and check out the incredible Roland V-Piano and it’s less expensive sibling, the FP-4. They are the best sounding electric pianos period.
: The Theremin had been around for quite some time, but MOOG Music INC actually became official in 1971. A man beyond genius, Bob Moog has permanently stamped his legacy with his timeless creations of synths, pedals, and even guitars. From the amazingly lush Analog Delay, to the Mini-Moog to the new Moog Guitar, MOOG Musical products continue to be a staple of Corner Music’s inventory, and we have the grateful customers to prove it.
: Whirlwind isn’t the 40-year old company, but the man with his stomp-boxes that revolutionized the guitar players sound is. Michael Laiacona, President and owner of Whirlwind, was the mind behind the original MXR pedals nearly 40 years ago. After getting an order for his Phase 90 from John Lennon, MXR became famous for his distortion and compression pedals, which were heard on nearly every stage and album in the 1970s. Such was the demand for the original, yet very costly pedals, Mr. Laiacona created the Big 3 exactly as he did in the beginning. With the addition of true bypass, you can get the timeless 40-year old technology right here at Corner Music in the Orange Box Phaser, the Gold Box Distortion, and the Red Box Compressor. Coors may taste like a true original, but the new Whirlwind boxes sound like it.
The Mullet: Now, before you go thinking, “Just what does a mullet have to do with music?” Are you kidding me? This split level haircut has been on many stages of both country and rock for four decades. That’s right. It didn’t start in the mid-1980s, and Billy Ray Cyrus may have re-popularized it in the early 90s, but this blend of conservatism meets rebel got started around 1970. It is only appropriate to recognize a hair-style that has forever changed the face of bad-boy rock and roll, and found its way to fame in the country music world, as its popularity spread to the mainstream. We don’t sell mullet cuts at Corner Music, but that doesn’t mean we don’t respect their place in music history.
So there you have it. These are just a few excellent examples of why being 40 isn’t bad. In fact, Corner Music will be shedding it’s 30-something wings in just six more years, which is no small feat in today’s big corporate environment. Just when I thought turning 40 wasn’t so great, I looked around and realized I’m in an elite company friends that only get better with age.
Top ‘O The Mornin’ To Ya! I hope you all remembered to wear green today. As Spring is just a few days away, we can only hope Old Man Winter has pulled out his hide-away bed, put on his pjs and downed enough cognac to sleep tight until next year.
To recognize this special day, I thought I’d add a few specials to the occasion and spotlight a few of our green stompboxes.
For those of you looking for a great overdrive, we have two solid options. The Green Screamer from BBE is a very smooth vintage overdrive circuit with true hardwire bypass. This pedal is built to last, and is backed by a 5-year warranty. BBE even throws in a 9 Volt AC adaptor for your convenience. The Green Screamer is in stock and sells for $99.99.
If you are seeking a distortion pedal with a bit of an edge, Fuchs offers the Plush Drive. As in the tradition of Andy’s amplifiers, this box is built ‘Ford Tough’ with top-notch wiring and hardware. This lil’ baby does a remarkable job of producing some very Robben-like tones. At $259.00, this may seem steep, but when you consider the price of a Fuchs amplifier, the Fuchs Drive is a very reasonable alternative.
The SL-20 Slicer from Boss is an incredible audio pattern processor designed for guitar and keyboard players seeking to expand their creativity and sound. The Slicer is an instant groove and percussive-melody maker with 50 slice patterns onboard. As with all Boss products, the SL-20 is built to last and comes with more than one way to skin a cat tweakability. You have adjustable attack and duration, and even have harmonic slice. There’s also a tap tempo via the onboard pedal switch and has internal and MIDI sync. We offer the Boss SL-20 Slicer for $219.99
The last product of intrigue just may be a delay-lovers pot of gold. The Satriani Time Machine by Vox is a multi-function delay with a host of time-stretching, mind-bending delay effects. With two unique delay modes of Vintage and Modern, you have EVERYTHING from ultra-clean, full-range delay to warm analog sounds. Flip the Lo-Fi switch, and enjoy a very lush, smooth tape delay vibe. Selling for $199.99, the Time Machine is like having 2,3,4 delays in one.
There may only be one day out of the year where you get to drink green beer, but these green machines are little Leprechauns offer a rainbow of sounds you will want with you every day.
I do not know about you, but spring cannot get here fast enough. I can’t remember it being this cold, for this long in the great state of Nashville. Thankfully, the Texas Guitar Show, held this past weekend at ‘The Factory’ in Franklin, TN., brought a little Texas heat, along with a great turnout.
Corner Music teamed up with MOOG Music introducing the new Moog Guitar. It was quite a bit of fun, and a real treat, having Saul Zonana provide his extraordinary talent in demonstrating such an incredible guitar. With Saul showing off the guitar’s unique sustain features and other multi-faceted sonic functions, we weren’t surprised to have great players like George Marinelli and Vince Gill at our booth checking it out.
Based on the excellent feedback from the guitar show, the Moog guitar has a very bright future. With an endless tonal arsenal conveniently available on a great looking and playing guitar, the limited Paul Vo model and the new, affordable E1 prove an instrument does not have to be considered “vintage” to be a classic.
We invite you to check out both the Paul Vo and E1 Moog Guitar online and in our store.
Wow! What a show we had last night at Corner Music. In the span of a few hours, we learned quite a few things:
- Paul Reed Smith guitars are amazingly versatile and fun to play in addition to being beautiful works of art.
- Paul has some interesting stories he should put in a book reflecting his final memoirs.
- David Grissom is pretty good.
Actually, the third point of emphasis is an understatement, as even Paul’s jaw seemed to remain open well after David finished one of his mind-boggling demonstrations of guitar mastery. Following up by looking at me and saying, “He’s brilliant!” substantiated, my assumption of the ongoing awe and appreciation Paul has for his endorsing artists.
The best part of the entire evening was enjoying the interaction between the two guests and those in attendance. Without that happening, it doesn’t matter who shows up to play, as our goal is for our customers to become more informed and feel good about the products we carry and ones you are considering purchasing. With that in mind, all of us at Corner Music want to express our deepest “Thank You” for making the David Grissom clinic at Corner Music a very memorable and successful one.
Capping off the event was the auction for the guitar David used during the clinic. Congratulations go to Cooper Thomas in purchasing an amazing guitar! Paul says he expects a full report on your satisfaction with your new David Grissom Model Gold Top. J
That’s it for this Friday, except all of us at Corner Music wish you Happy Holidays and many thanks for your continued support of our store.