Original Fuzz handwoven Peruvian guitar strap

I was lucky enough to receive an Original Fuzz strap as a gift this year, and I’m absolutely delighted with it. Firstly, they look great – somewhat reminiscent of the woven straps produced by Gibson, and other companies in the 1970s. Mine is called Rust Stripes, but there are a lot of cool designs to chose from – with names like Kurt Vile, Doug Martsch, Duane Eddy, Cusco and Dick Dale. I play a lot of vintage guitars from the 60s and 70s and these straps suit my guitars perfectly.

Original Fuzz Peruvian strap - rust stripesBut better still is the fact that they are so well made, of high quality materials, and each one is unique. The patterned side is actually hand-woven in Peru, under fair-trade conditions – “Each strap is as unique as the artisan that crafted it.”

And they don’t suffer from some of the failures off other straps… it’s thick; the woven ‘pattern side’ is backed with a similarly thick plain fabric – but one that has sufficient friction to reduce slipping and neck dive – something you normally need a wider leather strap to achieve. The end pieces are rigid leather- they shouldn’t deform in the same way that thinner straps do. And they are long; mine has a maximum length of 5 foot; sufficient for all but the lowest slung guitars.

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Synyster Gates; a Scarily Good Guitarist

Synyster Gates is getting a lot of attention just now – with numerous hit records, his own signature guitars and amplifier from Schecter, and an increasing reputation as a modern-day guitar hero. We present a profile of the man, explain why he is viewed as one of the best guitarists on todays rock scene; and give some ideas on how to get his sound.

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Californian metal band Avenged Sevenfold are clearly one of the most popular hard rock bands today, and with six studio albums (including two reaching number one) they are certainly hard to ignore. Brian Haner Jr, or Synyster Gates as he is better known, has been there since the beginning; Syn’s the man responsible for those insane guitar solos you’ll hear on tracks like Afterlife and Beast and the Harlot.

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10 Great Christmas Gifts for a Guitarist

It’s that time of year again, and the madness of Christmas shopping is upon us. We all want to make our loved-ones happy with the right gift, but some people are just so difficult; yes we know they are mad about guitar, but how would you know what present to get?

Well, we’re all guitarists too, and we’ve got some suggestions for you… from stocking-fillers to main presents, we’ve given it some thought. Read on!

1 – Beginners Guitar Outfits


Electric Guitar Packs Starting at $69.99

So you’re thinking about getting a guitar for a youngster to learn on? there are some great deals out there just now, but you’ll need to consider a few points.
Firstly acoustic or electric? Electric guitars need amplifiers, which will add to the cost, and can you and your neighbours take the noise? But if your little one prefers One Direction to Ed Sheeran (Or Grandad prefers Jimi Henddrix to Bob Dylan) getting the wrong type of guitar might ruin all your good intentions. Even though you may be selling this again before next Christmas, getting anything too cheap might be counterproductive; remember this is a musical instrument, and you don’t want it to be unplayable. Learning a musical instrument is hard enough without having to fight your guitar!

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Selling a vintage guitar? Is it the right time?

Times are hard just now, and everyone could do with a few extra pounds. So is it a good time to sell that old guitar that’s been sitting unloved in your closet for all these years? Well it all comes down to knowing what you’ve got, what it is worth, and presenting it in it’s best light to a prospective buyer. If it is true that the vintage guitar market is down now, can it really be the right time to sell? Well the answer may well be yes… read on!

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Jeff Becks guitar collection

Jeff Beck talks guitars – showing some of his collection and telling some really interesting stories on the way. About the fate of his legendary Fender Esquire he played so much with the Yardbirds, and the many other vintage (and newer) guitars he still has.

JEFF BECK LIVE AT RONNIE SCOTT’S 2007.11

Jeff’s guitar tech Steve Prior gives an in depth interview about Jeff’s guitars and beyond. Stay TUNED for more.

Jeff shows off some of his favourite guitars: his Gibson L5, 1954 Stratocaster, 1954 Telecaster, Gretch Rancher and a Maccaferri given to him by Led Zeppelins Jimmy Page. Jeff Beck clearly has great affection for his guitars, and talks about the other players that influenced his sound – mostly rock and roll guitarists like Cliff Gallup and Scotty Moore, but also the likes of Django Reinhardt.

And he treats us to a few choice licks in a different style for each guitar – even when not plugged in the tonal differences are really apparent. From twanging teles to soulful strats – check this clip out!

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Stone Guitar Picks

A gemstone guitar pick may seem like a luxury, but tonally stone guitar picks are just as different as nylon and metal picks. Typically semi-precious stones are not exorbitantly priced, compared to more valuable jewels, but they will cost around thirty to fifty times as much as the standard nylon or plastic guitar picks. So is the price worth it?

Stone Guitar Pick

Figure 1 - Agate Stone Plectrum

To many guitarists, the answer is a resounding yes! Not only are they longer-lasting, easy gripping, and better sounding; they are also very appealing items to own.

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Gibson SG Special Electric Guitar, Worn Brown Satin


Gibson Faded Sg Special Electric Guitar Worn Brown

Gibsons are expensive. We all know. So how about this? A fantastic SG, at a great price – the satin finish is not as shiny as a regular finish. But that’s it. it’s still a fantastic sounding SG, with it’s trademark bite. With the full pickguard it’s very much late sixties style. Think Pete Townsend on Live at Leeds, or Carlos Santana at Woodstock.

Gibson Faded Sg Special Electric Guitar Worn Brown

  • Powerful, intense, and affordable 6-string electric guitar with solid mahogany body and ’50s rounded neck profile
  • 490T and 490R pickups–”T” for treble, and “R” for rhythm
  • Swirl acrylic inlays for classic “pearl” look
  • Gibson Tune-O-Matic bridge; 2 volume and 2 tone controls plus 3-way toggle
  • Worn brown finish with chrome hardware; comes with Gibson Deluxe Gig Bag

The Gibson Faded SG Special is an electric guitar that maintains the tradition of looks, functionality, and value for which the SG guitar is known. Under its attractive faded finish, the Faded Special SG is still the traditional SG, with mahogany body and neck, Tune-O-Matic/stopbar bridge, and alnico 490 pickups. The guitar’s faded finish gives it the look of an electric that started its rockin’ days in the ’60s.

The Gibson SG range was first popular in the mid 1960s . Very influential guitarists such as George Harrison of the Beatles, Eric Clapton of Cream, and Robbie Kreiger of the Doors all played Gibson SGs. But this  model, the full-scratchplate Gibson SG Special is most associated with Pete Townsend of the Who around 1969-1970.   Continue reading

Guitar Picks

Why A Pick?

A guitar pick, or plectrum is used to pluck, or strum guitar strings; to improve sound, allow faster strumming, and reduce injury on fingers. You can just use your fingers, especially for picking, but a pick gives far more bite to notes, and hurts a lot less. There are many types of guitar picks to choose from: different materials, shapes, as well as sizes and colors. Some guitar picks are even used for special purposes, such as a double-sided pick for “double plucking.” This article explores some of the diffent types.

Different types of Guitar Pick

Guitar picks are commonly made out of plastic, but also bone, amber, rubber, felt, tortoiseshell, wood, stone, metals, and even gemstones. Each of the materials has it’s own unique sound, but also properties such as ease of grip, and durability. For instance, metal has a very distinct bright sound when plucked against a guitar string- but offers little grip. Tortoiseshell is one of the best for gripping, and sounds great, although an international ban on tortoise shell led to the creation of Tortex picks.

Choosing your favourite material is a matter of trying them all out, and deciding on which sound and grip works for your playing style- whether it be metal, bues, or jazz. If all else fails, weird guitar picks aren’t unheard of- from bone, to an Allen wrench- just about anything can become a useable plectrum!

Fender Guitar Pick A thumb guitar pick.A triangle guitar pick.

Figure 1 - Traditional picks, a thumb pick, and a triangle pick example

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What is Intonation?

What is intonation on a guitar, and is it important? Well, yes, it could be very. If your guitar is poorly intonated it could play horribly out of tune! It may sound fine down low playing open chords, but suddenly, when the solo starts, up at the fifteenth fret… aaaahhhhgg!

electric guitar intonation

Figure 1 - Strings passing over the saddles of  a Fender Jaguar guitar.

I’ve known young guitarists change out tuning keys, and even buy new guitars because their old guitar would never stay in tune. In many instances it was just a matter of a poor setup, with nothing wrong with the guitar or any of it’s components.

But don’t worry, adjusting intonation is really very easy. All you need is a guitar tuner and a screwdriver. This article tells you how.

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