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The More You Know - A Look At The Stratosphere Twin And Jimmy Bryant

In the summer of 2001 I was living in Springfield, MO, and in my third year of apprenticing guitar building with master luthier Bill Moll of Moll Custom Instruments. I had a day job in a small used guitar shop (Hand Picked Guitars), teaching lessons and doing minor repairs. One day an elderly man came in with a rectangular guitar case and asked if we would like to see a guitar he made. The case was tattered and duck taped on the ends and fairly large, obviously home made. His name was Russell Deaver and he explained that he and his brother (Claude Deaver) used to have a guitar company in Springfield. He then proceeded to open the case and...

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The More You Know - Slide Guitar Basics

Slide guitar is a style of playing that appears so simple and sounds so sweet,  I  imagine we have all been driven to go out and get ourselves a slide at some point in time. But that first time you put on your slide and go to town, how quickly reality sets in. It's no wonder our slides end up in the pockets of our cases, destined to never see the light of day. I thought I'd give some tips and a quick video to help you get your slide chops sounding the way you want, so dig out that slide and start wood shedding!  Open Tunings vs Standard Tuning -  I personally like to play in standard tuning and Open E (E,B,E,g#,b,e...

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At The Bench - Discussing Pickups With Pickup Artist Brian Goez

If you are in the St. Louis area, you know we are in full summer melt down! July 4th is just around the corner, pool parties are in full swing, and summer NAMM just ended this weekend, coming a bit early this year. Since I've been tethered to the shop lately, I have been getting my latest NAMM reports, probably like some of you, via the internet. The last thing I need is more gear, and I've owned more than my share over the years, but something keeps me coming back for more! That itch that makes a person want, no need to have that new overdrive, or that cool, low wattage,  tube combo, or...the new Converse shoes with the...

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At The Bench - Vibrato and The Art Of Staying In Tune

If you are familiar with my Facebook page at all, then you'll know that Chris Kroenlien of K-Line Guitars and I take any opportunity we can to dig at each other about Bigsby vibratos! I, of course, am Team Bigsby, and K-line is Team anything other than! Chris feels that there are far better designed vibratos than Bigsbys from a build standpoint, and he is probably right, though I'll never tell him that! I personally just love the feel of a Bigsby, from a players standpoint, and have always installed them on my personal guitars.     I recently received a call  from a customer asking my advice on a retro fit vibrato for his ES 335 copy. He had a...

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At The Bench - Understanding Setups

I can remember the first time I heard the term "setup" as applied to the guitar. It was 1992 and I had a Gibson ES 135 that seemed to never stay in tune. How I ended up with this particular guitar is a bitter sweet story that we will get to in a minute. I was talking to one of the sales guys at B&G Music about my 135 and how it didn't stay in tune very well, to which he replied, "You definitely need a setup, dude." B&G Music was located on East Main Street in Belleville, and the first music store I worked at, first as a teacher, then as a salesman, so I knew this sales guy...

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