Announcing our new section Musical Instruments And Gear!

Come back to see articles on musical instruments and gear!  Have something unusual…. tell me a story!

2 responses to “Announcing our new section Musical Instruments And Gear!”

  1. Joey Vellucci

    Something so often overlooked is the guitar pick and it’s effect on sound and tone of your guitar.. Guitar picks or plectrums are made these days of many different materials. Some are made of plastic, some of celluloid, some of nylon, graphite, wood, bone, shell, metal and man made materials. These all have a different type of sound when you play the guitar… I will break it down and explain my results: Standard Medium picks – I always keep a couple in my pocket. I am using at this time a Gibson ES 339 guitar with 10 guage strings..I play many different styles of music and like to really play some syncopated ryth. parts…this pick is my first choice for that as it really lets the strings ring out clearly. It is also perfect for playing finger picked style chords that ring nicely. It is also a great choice for chicken picking, country twang, funky ryth. etc.. Keep a couple in your pocket on the gig for when you need that kind of sound. YOU wont miss your Fender guitar if your a Gibson guy and need that clear type of ryth. sound.. Standard Heavy Picks – When I really need precision this is the pick I grab…the heavy pick will round off the top end of your sound and make a very smooth, fat , round tone….this is also the pick I use when I want to play chord melody style guitar , jazz chords or with overdrive it will really make the guitar sing with a vocal quality to it… Pick Materials – I have found that the Dunlop orange or red nylon picks are great for a medium pick (see Standard med. picks above) ..it has a nice feel and quick spring to it..You need to try this pick as well as a handful of other med. picks in various materials…you will hear how the different materials all sound different…you may like the celluloid better then the nylon or whatever the other pick is..Same thing goes with the heavy picks..the different materials all have a different sound and feel Shapes and Feel – I like the standard guitar pick shape for my medium picks…this works well for me and is something i can hold on to easily.. Heavy picks I like the a variety of them depending on what sound and style I am going for at that time..the main thing I look for is that the tip of the pick be slightly rounded and very smooth..so it glides over the strings with little to no effort…I have tried every type of heavy pick, jazz pick etc and the ones that i have really like have been the Dunlop 207’s, 208’s and there knock off of a gypsy jazz guitar pick called a Primetone…these picks sound so warm and round and smooth…try em you will love em…Another pick that i like to use especially when playing acoustic jazz or acoustic leads is the Wegen 3.5 MM to 5.0 MM gypsy picks…these are wonderful picks and will make any guitar sound fat, warm and singing..using it with an acoustic guitar willl bring out all the tone,volume and vibration that so many guitars claim that they have..These Wegen picks will also accelerate your speed and picking technique…your old Fender shell pick is not going to do that!!…You will also find with the heavier picks is that you dont have to grip them and hit the strings so hard…you can really relax the wrist and let it just flow out nice and smooth….this increases your speed tremendously…. Well that’s it on guitar picks!! Go out with about 20 dollars and buy a whole bunch of em and experiment..this could be the missing link or the tone you been searching for that you just cant get….it could be a simple as getting some new picks….I carry a variety of them in my pocket on every gig and switch em out as I am going from song to song to get different sounds and feels…sometimes I will play ryth with one and then when i take a solo grab a different pick…. Good luck and have fun!!

  2. Joey Vellucci

    Being strung along? For the working musician or anybody that is on a budget or plays guitar for a living here are a few things and tips.
    Over the last 30 years I have used lot’s of different brand strings. Some strings were expensive and some were inexpensive..What I have noticed is this…on most guitars a round wound nickel string is all that is needed to get a good feel, tone and vibration for your guitar..I have found that string companies like to hype there products but when it all comes down to it…a $4.00 set of strings will work as well as $12.00 set….the two string companies that I would say work best for me are D’Addario and Ernie Ball…I like the plain old set of 10’s that they both offer. Wipe em down after every gig and they will last you a while..I found using Wintergreen Rubbing Alchohol on a micro fiber cloth and wiping them down does the trick…wash your hands before you play too…Dirty strings however work great on my old Telecaster, on my Gibson it like a clean string to be happy…so go figure!!
    I am pretty sure all string companies use the same machine to make strings. I think the company Vinci makes the machine..The last string purchase I made was at believe it or not at Best Buy 2 sets of Ernie Balls and 2 sets of D’Addario nickel 10’s…the price was rock bottom and at least $2.00 less then at most music stores. I even got some Dunlop picks that I like too for a great price!