(21 replies, posted in Amplifiers)

I am a sucker for tone over heavy distortion... As such I like the amp to make up 75% of the tone with 15% from me and 10% from any FX.

For years I was OK with a Session Rockette 30 - British Built solid state amp - Clapton used these amps to record the August album on and I can see why.


After dabbling with valve amps more recently, I have clearly identified what sounds I like and where it was in a Boutique amp like a Carr Rambler or Tone King Metropolitan (and thus very expensive), I managed to uncover great deals that deliver the required tones at affordable levels.

Cornford Roadhouse 30 combo
Fender Super Reverb
Fender Super~Sonic 60 combo
Fender Tweed Deluxe
Fender Super Champ
Pignose G40V

Often I stereo-up in pairs for great clean and driven simultaneously.

Oh and a shout for my very first amp - A Woolworths Audition Piggy-Back 15w circa 1970... still works!



(21 replies, posted in Amplifiers)

...really surprisingly, my Fender Super Reverb (40w 4x10) is very controllable - more so than my Tweed Deluxe (12w 1x12) which just booms at you!

Put a transparent drive in front of the SR and you have great drive tone at sensible levels still. I did have a  59Bassman which was just ear-carnage indoors...



(4 replies, posted in Common Student Issues)

OK - awkward one. BREASTS get in the way! Is inevitable that you in some indirect way get them to hold the guitar or themselves differently and you can't stand behind like you can do with a male and amend bad technique!

Also how do you tell them how to re-manicure without it sounding weird or pervy! - "Can I just have a quick look at your hands please?"   -  See!!



(17 replies, posted in Common Student Issues)

...I get round that by immediately tuning up and saying - "Right I thought we would try this today.... it takes into account the items we learned last time and moves them into a different scenario".  Often, I don't even give them the chord sheet!

To be honest, if they not practiced it is their problem. I then just turn the sessions into jam sessions and always inject lots of history and inside the music biz facts and that does the trick...

I don't teach metal



(8 replies, posted in Common Student Issues)

I find is about 'go with the flow'. Is no point enforcing a song on someone who has no 'feel' for it or its genre.

Taking the basic student scenario: They have a few chord books, piss about on YTube and have songs of yore on their iPhone etc. BUT they can't fret and always always - have ZERO rhythm! So I take a song they fancy and I show them it in sections - always 3 for structure and maybe a 4th for the diddly diddly bit (abridged!).

This way what often happens is that within the simpler 'section' often  isolated, it sounds a bit like something else and this leads me onto discussing structure and the myth-busting of playing guitar/songwriting. This gets them V V excited(!). Sometimes, I will take a song and get them to learn the progression in a Reggae Rythm - this works brilliantly for whizzing through repeatedly... otherwise they need a fag due to burn-out!

If they have bad rhythm - get them to STAND UP and play! You play better standing anyway! and TAP your bloody feet I shout  to them -! And "SMILE...!" (jeez... is not corrective treatment...)

For the diddly diddly - is no point learning something to show them (yes I have to study too to present it!) when all they will be able to muster is the first 12 notes in sequence. So I get the hook notes and link them so that it sounds like they are playing the part. I emphasis that just get this off to pat then we will add-in the other elements... As too later, the best FX/amp settings etc to get the sound.


In this recessionary time, just getting a new student is bad enough, let alone get them to pay up front!

I haven't enough students to lay down the law, but I have a friend who teaches SAX (and gets £60 /hr!!) She charges cancellation and they bloody pay up!

Sadly, there are far toooo many Guitar teachers and students are spoiled for choice. Thus, I get a lot of 'one-offs'. Typical case:

A guy in 40s is bought a £99 all in one amp/strap/guitar set for Xmas and thinks he knows guitar cos he had one once before(!) but Can't get it, or himself, to sound like Guthrie Govan now! So comes to a lesson thinking one lesson will sort him out... he doesn't say this, but is usually the tone of whole lesson. I inevitably have to do on-the-fly intonation of their their plank(!) de(out-of)tune my guitar to have some semblance of in-tuning between us(!) and find they can't even strike an E cleanly... Then spend more than the allotted time showing basic basic basic but improved technique and secrets... And then they never come back!



(1 replies, posted in Buy / Sell / Trade)

If you have an old BOSS ME-5 - Don't sell it!

Few people realise that the ME-5 incorporates the classic BOSS pedal internals that are now vintage in their own right including the: CS-2, DS-1, OD-2, RV-3, EQ-1, CE-1, DD-2, BF-2 all together with a switchable Noise Suppressor that calms the proceedings. I have an all up-to-ate set of BOUTIQUE Patches in mine that gives me classic sounds such as:

Univibe, Vibratone, (and other Leslie effects), Rangemaster, Fuzz-Face, Tweed and driven Deluxe Reverb emulations, classic JTM45, Rockabilly, Bluesbreaker, 'Rectified' and 'Twang' - all classic tones in various states - and not modeled!!

You can get a set too and upload either via sysex/midi and your PC or manual input. See link where to hear/get them.

£10.99 inc



(7 replies, posted in Guitar Reviews)

...my first ever guitar was an SG, albeit an AVON copy. circa 1973 (I had just seen Mick Ronson with Bowie at that last Ziggy concert!). I have always fancied getting back to a real Gibson version of that model just to close the (width of a ) circle! However, after much pondering, I think the current P90 SGs from Gibson sound MUCH better than the 490T equipped. I already have those in my Mick Ronson-esque LP (!) Yes, vintage Cherry and growling (but chiming too) Gibbo P90s... way to go!

Sadly not my first love, but identical AVON (by Rossetti) SG - new cost= £45 in June 1973...



(2 replies, posted in Amplifiers)

...this is way too subjective to give a meaningful answer... is trial and error... and sometimes, sheer luck!


(1 replies, posted in Amplifiers)

I am selling a new  Fender 2-Button Footswitch Vibrato/Reverb 1/4"Jack

It says it is for:- 65 Twin Reverb 65 Twin Custom15 65 Super Reverb 65 Deluxe Reverb 64 Vibroverb Custom 63 Vibroverb Custom Vibrolux & Vibrasonic   and has PN 099-4058-000

However, I have been asked if it can work with a 70's Champ? Any ideas??


(18 replies, posted in Amplifiers)

Try and find a Pignose G40V - 2x6L6 3x12AX7 40w  - wired the same as the early Marshalls ie a Bassman with a master volume. Gives a wonderful warm tone and is LOUD and lightweight!