The Crate BT50 Bass Amp – Solid WHOMP For The Hard-Edged Player!

Crate Bass amp Close up

Sometimes fate has a way of smiling on you when you least expect it.   And sometimes… it smiles with GEAR.   My example is the Crate BT50 bass amp. It came to me kind of on accident, from checking out an ad for something else in Craigslist. Now, my Live Room will never be …

How To Play Guitar For Beginners, Part 4 – Practicing Like A Legend!!

Blue Guitar Boy CARTOONED

John Coltrane.   Eddie Van Halen.   Charlie Parker.   Andrés Segovia.   Sean Barrett.   Steve Vai.   All famous musicians known for their extensive commitment to practicing. We’re talking hours, people. Hours and hours and hours and HOURS. Every day, at least for a certain period in their lives.   If we’re gonna …

The Telecaster – How A ‘Snow Shovel’ Rocks My World!

Dude with Tele featured image

67 years ago it started.   In a flash of inspiration, it was considered.   With months of innovation, it was designed.   After months of perspiration, the unveiling took place!   At long last, the world was allowed to gaze upon, in all its glory…   … the “snow shovel”!!!   Well, actually, no. …

Working For Music – ‘Til We Can’t Get It Wrong!!

Passion works for music

I was reading some musician’s opinions about DW drums last night on DrummerWorld.com (an excellent resource for real-world drum gear insights!) when a forum contributor said this: “Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” Wow. What a GREAT quote. After years of gig prep and woodshedding, I …

The Hohner B2 bass – You Never Forget Your First!

The Hohner B2

It was 1996. The Goo Goo Dolls were telling us all about some girl named “Iris“. Alanis Morissette was incorrectly schooling us on what “Ironic” means. And Oasis? They were making me sing right out loud and proud whenever their “Champagne Supernova” came on the station. All in all, it was a good year for …

All You Need Is Ears – The Autobiography of Beatles Producer George Martin!!

All You Need Is Ears book

Everyone remembers their first time. For me, it was a summer’s day in L.A. Reseda, specifically, in the San Fernando Valley. It was at my apartment, after work. My two roommates were gone, and wouldn’t be home for a few hours. It was the perfect time to lay back and… get a little action in. …

Easy Guitar Songs For Beginners – Rock Star Shortcuts 101!!

Easy guitar songs are great for little girl rockers

I’ve been playing gigs with just me and a couple guitars for decades now. A lot of time and energy was spent carefully choosing and charting songs from various decades in our past, all for the goal of bringing smiles and good memories to people’s faces and minds. Because of that, I’ve come to know …

What Is A Bodhran? – Heartbeat Of The Emerald Isle!

Playing the Bodhran

In 2015, I made an exciting discovery! Have you ever taken up a new musical instrument? Then you’ll know what I mean. That first discovery expanded my musical world, and eventually led me to another discovery, and the very question I pose to you today: “What is a Bodhran??” Now that I’ve been playing a …

What Is A Cajon Drum? – Welcome To The LITERAL Beat Box!

The Inca war against Spain begat the cajon

For all you gangstas of the groove out there, today’s post is an insightful reminder – there’s more than one way to skin a drum! Sometimes all it takes… is a couple PLANKS. Of all the wooden contraptions assembled throughout the centuries, the Cajon drum has to be one of the simplest, yet most efficiently …

The Best Hearing Protection For Musicians – Guard It Or Scar It!

Even Animal protects his hearing!

Last week I had a visit from my good friend Chester. He’s a very gifted writer of country songs, and we’ve been recording some of them and slowly working towards his first solo release. During our conversation he surprised me by saying that, guess what – he’s been deaf in his left ear since childhood! Light …

The Rode NT1 – Ssshhh! The Mic… Is Listening!!

CARTOONED NT1

Interested in the Rode NT1, eh? I’m not surprised! It has a really excellent reputation for being an incredibly useful mic in the studio and is touted in the ads by Rode as “one of the world’s quietest studio microphones”. Is that just hype? Or is it history?? Only a mic shootout will tell, so …

Acoustic Guitar Parts – Swap ‘Em Out To Step It Up!

Measuring for new acoustic guitar parts

For my birthday this past Memorial Day weekend, I got a rockin’, G.A.S.-y gift! I had specifically asked for certain acoustic guitar parts, and my family, being the awesome examples of humans that they are, had some nicely wrapped and ready for my open hands as soon as I got up. The present was deceptively …

How To Gain Stage, Pt. 1 – Launching Your Guitar Tone!

gain stage Cartoon 2

(Editor’s Note: Hey, gearheads! Teaj here. Please help me welcome a good friend of mine, fellow G.A.S. sufferer and new blog author to our site: Mr. Sean Barrett. He’ll be sharing his expertise in the pro audio field from time to time, and you’re sure to dig what he’s layin’ down. Take it away, Sean… …

My Meinl Cajon – A Slap Away From Groovin’!

Teaj on the Meinl Cajon

Who remembers the MTV “Unplugged” series??! So many great concerts! So much truly good musicianship! It separated the pros from the posers too. It’s easy to sound good with all the studio tricks in the book, but when you have just a microphone and an acoustic instrument, you either put up or shut up! If …

Bass Guitar Rigs – The Gigging Player’s Dream Configurations!

Bass Amp Rig cartoon

In 1988, I entered Guitar Center in Los Angeles. I had come looking for some guitar gear that I needed for a gig. As I entered the store, towering massively over me near the entrance was a bass stack. An astonishing stack. A magnificent citadel of sound that I knew I just HAD to play. A virtual …

Ross Garfield – Behold, the Doctor of Drums!!

Ross Garfield, the Drum Doctor!

Today, my friends, you are in for a rare treat! It’s not often that I’m able to bring to your G.A.S.-y table someone with this much experience, talent, passion and MOJO, but somehow I managed it… and YOU are going to rock the benefit! If you’re a studio drummer and session player in L.A., then… well, …

Weird Musical Instruments – Unusual But Usable Ways To Float Your Notes!

instruments Lab

There’s one night in L.A. that I’ll never forget. It probably sticks with me not just because of the company and the surroundings, but the possibilities that filled my head from that day forward. It was my first glimpse into what weird musical instruments could add to a song… My friends Laura & Mini had …

What Is A Resonator Guitar? – Steel Spider Bite And Delta Dust, Y’all!

National_Tri-cone resonator guitar

In 1985, Dire Straits came out with a killer album, “Brothers In Arms”. It’s hanging on the wall in my studio, an example of one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. I picked it up immediately as soon as I heard the first single, “Money For Nothing”. What a GREAT guitar tone!! The cover …

The Gibson Bankruptcy – For Whom, The Bell Tolls?!

More money, less bankruptcy!

Did ya hear? Huh, huh? Didja?! Last Tuesday, the beloved guitar company, Gibson, filled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. They put all their cards on the table in a grand acquiescent fold, and now the chips are falling where they may. And they’re not in Gibson’s favor. Even Guitar Center is in the cross-hairs of potential …

The Ovation Balladeer Guitar – Pick Me! Strum Me! Stretch Me!!

The Ovation Balladeer S771 Guitar

Every once in a while you see something that just makes you stop. You have to take notice. You cannot NOT see it. It’s just that… striking! Once such moment for me was when I saw for the first time, in utter incredulity, the inimitable Hussein Yoga. No one should be able to do what …

The EVH 5150 iii amp- The Tone That Takes You THERE!

5150 iii badge cartooned

Okay… … full disclosure, right here, right up front, before I even talk about the EVH 5150 iii: I’m a huge Eddie Van Halen fan. Whenever I struck a rock pose in front of a window or mirror with friends, (before I even started learning guitar!) I was usually mimicking Eddie. Okay, maybe sometimes David Lee Roth too.  …

How To Be A Successful Musician – Racers On Your Marks!

Going the distance to be a successful musician

This week… I’m in Florida. Orlando, to be specific. Why? If you guessed “to see the mouse”, well… you’re kinda right. I’ve been a long-distance runner since high school. I love the trial of pushing your limits and finally reaching the goal after giving it your all. It’s how I try to live life. So, …

How to Mix Songs – Resources To Make YOU a Pro!

Learning how to mix a song when tracks are full

Some things are hard to admit. You hide. You avert. You spin. You distract people from it. But the truth… will… OUT! So finally, here I will set the record straight. Let the chips fall where they may. As Sting said: “If this was all correct the last thing I’d expect… The Prosecution rests. It’s …

How to Record at Home – Drums, Pt. 3: Fine Tune Your Tuning!

showing how to record at home by tuning a maple snare

When I look back at the many drum sounds I’ve encountered while performing and studying music, I have to say that the 80s produced the most wide-spread variety of drum sounds and approaches out of all the decades of recording. There was something in the water, I guess, back then – every engineer and producer seemed …

What to Take on Vacation – A Musician Weighs In!

What to take on vacation

Today’s post comes to you from ‘musician country’ – Nashville, TN! Almost every year I hit this city, taking in its great musical heritage, learning from its storied past and present, and investigating new ideas, contacts and relationships to help my music forward. It helps to have relatives here too (thanks, brother Steven)! This year my …

My ’62 Strat – Not Fade Away…!

Teaj's '62 Strat, cartooned

It shouldn’t have happened. It should never happen. But it does. Tho’ it’s not a pleasant topic to discuss for those of us that appreciate, respect and take great care of our music gear, occasionally the unthinkable happens and we are parted from our dear investments. For me, such a separation occurred in my early …

7 Best Electric Guitar Strings of 2018 – String Theory… Musician-style!

Best Electric Guitar Strings

WHAT ARE THE BEST ELECTRIC GUITAR STRINGS??!! Well, we’ll leave scientific “string theory” to eminent thinkers like Dr. Stephen Hawking who left us last week, and instead just show you… … THE WINNERS! Enjoy this unbeatable, in-depth electric guitar strings comparison on the Web, in ascending order of performance: 7) D’Angelico “ElectroZinc” Strings   So, here’s the …