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Guitar |OT| If you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded

Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
If your camera supports it, don't use auto white balance (commonly 'WB'), and instead set it to the lighting you have.
Thank you. I know nothing about photography. My phone doesn't have the option to toggle this. I'll need to check on my camera... If I ever find it.

So I need some new guitar strings (it's been a while) but I honestly don't remember what I got last time as they were put on by the music shop. I have a Gibson traditional and like playing blues to hard rock (like Black Keys to Black Sabbath). Any suggestions on what I should get?
I use 10s. You don't have a wound third there, so I'd recommend steering clear of 11s unless you really want them as they may require another setup.

Ernie Ball/d'addario are really popular. My favourite are the Gibson brite wire 10 guage set. No idea who actually makes them. I'm probably overlooking the same exact strings at a lower price without the Gibson branding, but I settled on them years ago after trying almost every brand available at my local store.

I may have to find a new brand of string soon. Gibson have a new range of strings, and if I don't like them as much as the Gibson branded brite wires, I'll need to go through a ton of strings trying to find out what they actually are. Lots of contradiction on the internet as to who actually makes them.

Nice looking guitar! Is it really intonated with the saddles in a nice line like that?
You'd be surprised. I have four Les Pauls and my most recent purchase came with the saddles like that. And believe it or not, the intonation is perfect. Not saying it works for every guitar, but it does in some cases, depending on the setup.


Took some pics. Not great. Been ill so lacking in motivation, lol.
Thanks. Some nice guitars there. Always nice to see other people's collections.

Not the biggest Les Paul fan
Boo this man! Booooo!







Give me a minute. I'm going to get my looper so I can boo you for infinity.
 

CrudeDiatribe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
884
Eastern Canada
Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
There may be cheap/free apps for your platform of choice that do allow it, or it can be done in post— include a white piece of paper that can be cropped out, and then if you adjust the colour so it's white, then the guitar should look it's appropriate colour.
Thanks for the tips about checking for apps. That never occurred to me. I'm on Android right now, so pretty safe to say there should be something I can use.

As for the paper trick, that's pretty clever, but probably beyond my abilities. Really appreciate the advice, though.


More for the rest of us...
I like the way you think.
 

Hero_of_the_Day

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,137
Took some pics. Not great. Been ill so lacking in motivation, lol. Anyway -

I also have a Squire Jazzmaster beritone too and two Ibanez acoustics (6 string and 12 string). I intend to keep these guitars for quite a while, though I may replace one if I buy another.

Must get my pedals out one day as well. Got a few real beauties.
How is the Chapman? I fucking love the look of their V:



I fucking want one. But, I haven't ever played one of their guitars before.
 

Slackbladder

Member
Nov 24, 2017
701
Kent
How is the Chapman? I fucking love the look of their V:



I fucking want one. But, I haven't ever played one of their guitars before.
The Chapman is a really good guitar, up their with any other guitar of the same price. No issue with frets or intonation or warped necks or dodgy finish like binding (though I only own one). You can choose between Standard and Pro, Pro being around twice the price of the standard. I believe they are all made in Indonesia now and every guitar I've bought from Indonesia (Ibanez, Schecter) have been good quality.
I'm thinking of getting another Chapman. The ML1 Pro Modern -


  • Headstock: Angled heritage headstock with ebony veneer
  • Neck: Maple with satin finish
  • Neck type: C shape neck-through with volute
  • Top: Flame maple solid carve top with satin finish
  • Body: Mahogany with satin finish
  • Body carves: Front upper and lower spoon cut, rear tummy cut, rear lower spoon cut, rear heel contour
  • Fretboard: Ebony fretboard with rolled edges
  • Binding: Reveal
  • Frets: 24 jumbo stainless steel frets
  • Fret markers: Glow-in-the-dark side dots
  • 12th fret inlay: Pearl infinity
  • Scale length: 648mm (~25.5")
  • Tuners: Hipshot grip-lock open (18:1 gearing)
  • String nut: Graph tech black tusq xl nut
  • Strings: D'addario nyxl nickel wound super light, 09-42
  • Truss rod: Dual action
  • Bridge: Chapman string-through hardtail
  • Neck pickup: Chapman Sonorous humbucker, Magnet: alnico 5 output: 13.1k ohms
  • Bridge pickup: Chapman Sonorous humbucker, Magnet: alnico 5 output: 15k ohms
  • Pickup switch: 5 way super switch with coil split
  • Controls: Master volume (500k), master tone (500k)
  • Strap buttons: Chapman strap locks
  • Case: Chapman Pro hard case
Thanks. Some nice guitars there. Always nice to see other people's collections.


Boo this man! Booooo!
Give me a minute. I'm going to get my looper so I can boo you for infinity.
Lol. I think they can look great and sound fantastic. I just don't like the feel of them much. Neck is too deep, fretboard too wide and heel too thick. But my opinion isn't set in stone. But I generally prefer Strats, Super Strats and Tele like guitars.
 
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turbobrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,057
az
The Chapman is a really good guitar, up their with any other guitar of the same price. No issue with frets or intonation or warped necks or dodgy finish like binding (though I only own one). You can choose between Standard and Pro, Pro being around twice the price of the standard. I believe they are all made in Indonesia now and every guitar I've bought from Indonesia (Ibanez, Schecter) have been good quality.
The Chapman Pro's are made at World Music in Korea, in the same factory that makes LTD, Schecter, PRS SE, and some others. I haven't played a Chapman, but have owned Korean guitars from that factory and have never had an issue. Korea makes really good guitars these days, but that's also why you pay close to $1k for a lot of them.

Personally, I plan on buying a Chapman at some point, as I'm interested in the ml3 baritone. Though it probably won't be that soon since there's another guitar I want first.
 

Slackbladder

Member
Nov 24, 2017
701
Kent
The Chapman Pro's are made at World Music in Korea, in the same factory that makes LTD, Schecter, PRS SE, and some others. I haven't played a Chapman, but have owned Korean guitars from that factory and have never had an issue. Korea makes really good guitars these days, but that's also why you pay close to $1k for a lot of them.
Ah yeah. I should have known as my ML 1 Norseman was made in Korea. I knew they were making guitars in Indonesia as well. Thought they'd shifted all production from there. And yeah, Korean made guitars (I had a Tele from Korea) are pretty solid.
 
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Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
Lol. I think they can look great and sound fantastic. I just don't like the feel of them much. Neck is too deep, fretboard too wide and heel too thick. But my opinion isn't set in stone. But I generally prefer Strats, Super Strats and Tele like guitars.
Boo!

I kid. I've had a Les Paul as my main guitar since 2004. Bass/acoustic aside, I've actually only played Les Pauls since I sold my last non Les Paul guitar over ten years ago. I did briefly play an sg once in a store and played a band mates sg once during rehearsal, but only because he wanted to try a Les Paul.

I love the way they feel. The weightiness, fat necks... And the big bulky heel joint makes you work harder than other guitars, but I can't get used to not having it. When I played my band mates sg during that rehearsal, I went to do a solo and found myself trying to play over the neck pickup. I'm so used to having that big heel right there.

I'm interested in picking up a telecaster, but not until I get another Les paul or two. Or three. I live in Japan, and there are some interesting mij options for telecasters. Also want a gretsch white falcon and an es355.

Oh, and one of those new 61 reissue SGs with the lyre vibrola. My wife's agreed to buy me one for our 10th wedding anniversary in 2022. Wouldn't mind a nice Firebird too, but Les Pauls are at the top of my list. I have four right now. Picking up a 5th early next year. Think I'll settle at 7 Les pauls.

Also want one of those 3 pickup Les Paul sg custom reissues.

My wife isn't so enthusiastic about my list of guitars I want to buy...
 

turbobrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,057
az
Boo!

I kid. I've had a Les Paul as my main guitar since 2004. Bass/acoustic aside, I've actually only played Les Pauls since I sold my last non Les Paul guitar over ten years ago. I did briefly play an sg once in a store and played a band mates sg once during rehearsal, but only because he wanted to try a Les Paul.

I love the way they feel. The weightiness, fat necks... And the big bulky heel joint makes you work harder than other guitars, but I can't get used to not having it. When I played my band mates sg during that rehearsal, I went to do a solo and found myself trying to play over the neck pickup. I'm so used to having that big heel right there.

I'm interested in picking up a telecaster, but not until I get another Les paul or two. Or three. I live in Japan, and there are some interesting mij options for telecasters. Also want a gretsch white falcon and an es355.

Oh, and one of those new 61 reissue SGs with the lyre vibrola. My wife's agreed to buy me one for our 10th wedding anniversary in 2022. Wouldn't mind a nice Firebird too, but Les Pauls are at the top of my list. I have four right now. Picking up a 5th early next year. Think I'll settle at 7 Les pauls.

Also want one of those 3 pickup Les Paul sg custom reissues.

My wife isn't so enthusiastic about my list of guitars I want to buy...
You can add me to the list of people not into Les Pauls. Don't know what it is, but I'm just not into them that much, don't like the body really. For Gibson I prefer the Explorer shape a lot more. Its a shame the Les Paul is the only model that gets a lot of options, though its also probably a very larger percentage of their sales. I waited a long time to find the Explorer I ended up getting, because they so rarely make one without the pick guard.

Though to make the other side mad, I don't like fender strats that much either. I prefer the telecaster and jazzmaster over the strat.

I do want to say that the Gretsch white falcon is pretty good. My dad has one and its really nice.
 
Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
You can add me to the list of people not into Les Pauls. Don't know what it is, but I'm just not into them that much, don't like the body really. For Gibson I prefer the Explorer shape a lot more. Its a shame the Les Paul is the only model that gets a lot of options, though its also probably a very larger percentage of their sales. I waited a long time to find the Explorer I ended up getting, because they so rarely make one without the pick guard.

Though to make the other side mad, I don't like fender strats that much either. I prefer the telecaster and jazzmaster over the strat.

I do want to say that the Gretsch white falcon is pretty good. My dad has one and its really nice.
I had an explorer once. Nice guitars, but as a guy who relies on public transport, that case was a killer. Carrying that on a crowded bus in the morning, barely managing to stuff it under my desk at work and then carrying it through the city for band practice/gigs. Gust of wind can make it spin around a bit too, which is not good when you're trying to quickly make your way through a crowd of slow walkers on the street. It had to go because of that case. I loved the guitar, but that case was a nightmare.

I also banged the horn against everything. Band members, mic stands, amps, furniture at home. I suppose you're used to that, though.

Gibson often seems to leave money on the table. An explorer without a pickguard seems like a no brainer given the popularity of the explorer types out there without the pickguards.

They have a custom made to measure program, but the prices are crazy. I understand that one offs are more difficult to produce, but I think a $500 upcharge + any additional costs added on separately. A guy on a forum I post at ordered an r7 in TV yellow. He ended up paying twice what a normal one costs. But TV yellow isn't that difficult for Gibson to do. It's not like he ordered some complex custom graphic. I'd love to order a custom guitar myself, but I'm not biting at those prices. I would if it was just a $500 charge.

Jealous about the white falcon. It's on my bucket list. Hope your dad lets you play the thing.
 

turbobrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,057
az
I had an explorer once. Nice guitars, but as a guy who relies on public transport, that case was a killer. Carrying that on a crowded bus in the morning, barely managing to stuff it under my desk at work and then carrying it through the city for band practice/gigs. Gust of wind can make it spin around a bit too, which is not good when you're trying to quickly make your way through a crowd of slow walkers on the street. It had to go because of that case. I loved the guitar, but that case was a nightmare.

I also banged the horn against everything. Band members, mic stands, amps, furniture at home. I suppose you're used to that, though.

Gibson often seems to leave money on the table. An explorer without a pickguard seems like a no brainer given the popularity of the explorer types out there without the pickguards.

They have a custom made to measure program, but the prices are crazy. I understand that one offs are more difficult to produce, but I think a $500 upcharge + any additional costs added on separately. A guy on a forum I post at ordered an r7 in TV yellow. He ended up paying twice what a normal one costs. But TV yellow isn't that difficult for Gibson to do. It's not like he ordered some complex custom graphic. I'd love to order a custom guitar myself, but I'm not biting at those prices. I would if it was just a $500 charge.

Jealous about the white falcon. It's on my bucket list. Hope your dad lets you play the thing.
Yeah, the explorer is the 2016 faded model. I almost bought an Edwards, which is a brand of ESP, before this one came out.

I play the white falcon occasionally, but I'm also not big into big hollow bodies
 
Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
I play the white falcon occasionally, but I'm also not big into big hollow bodies
Funny story, but just after I got married, I walked into a guitar store and went to look at the Les Pauls. I was about to leave, but then I saw a white falcon for sale. It wasn't one of the super high end ones, just a regular mij production version. I asked the guy working at the store if I could try it.
"Are you going to buy it?"
"Maybe. But I need to play it first"
"Well... You can play it if you buy it"
"Thank you, Sherlock. But I don't buy a guitar without trying it out first".

I could have quite comfortably bought two of them that day.
 

Vas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,000
Funny story, but just after I got married, I walked into a guitar store and went to look at the Les Pauls. I was about to leave, but then I saw a white falcon for sale. It wasn't one of the super high end ones, just a regular mij production version. I asked the guy working at the store if I could try it.
"Are you going to buy it?"
"Maybe. But I need to play it first"
"Well... You can play it if you buy it"
"Thank you, Sherlock. But I don't buy a guitar without trying it out first".

I could have quite comfortably bought two of them that day.
Yeah, guitar shops charge a premium price for their guitars over online retailers and the reason why people would still accept that is because they can play a properly set-up guitar first before buying. I ordered my SG Standard without playing it first straight from Musicians Friend about 15 years ago and I got lucky that it wasn't a dud.

After a few bad experiences, though, I'm done with my local guitar shops.Same entitled attitude you dealt with, and you see it a lot nowadays. It wasn't like that 20 years ago. Customer was King back then, but times change and people become jaded.
 

turbobrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,057
az
Funny story, but just after I got married, I walked into a guitar store and went to look at the Les Pauls. I was about to leave, but then I saw a white falcon for sale. It wasn't one of the super high end ones, just a regular mij production version. I asked the guy working at the store if I could try it.
"Are you going to buy it?"
"Maybe. But I need to play it first"
"Well... You can play it if you buy it"
"Thank you, Sherlock. But I don't buy a guitar without trying it out first".

I could have quite comfortably bought two of them that day.
Yeah, those stores don't deserve the sale. I get where they're coming from, but at the same time, that's how you don't make money, and get a bad reputation. That's the whole reason I bought my explorer. I was at a guitar center thinking about buying an SG, but they had an explorer on the wall. I asked to try it and realized I really wanted one. Didn't buy that exact one, but I bought one a few months later from that store.
 
Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
I still remember walking into guitar guitar in Glasgow when I was still a teenager. I went downstairs, where all the expensive stuff is kept and started drooling over a vintage '52 goldtop in near mint condition. The store manager comes along and makes some small talk. Then he asks me if I want to play it. I was stunned. Those experiences are getting few and far between, nowadays.

There are a lot of good guitar stores in Japan, though. Some of them do treat you really nice, but they can be stubborn when it comes to haggling and sales.

The biggest musical instrument retailer in Japan had a Gibson sale on recently. They had huge banner ads everywhere. I'm planning to buy my goldtop next year, but given that the tax is going up from 8% to 10% soon, and seeing as how there was a sale on, I thought I'd go along and see how good it was.

The discount was less than 3%... Even considering the imminent tax bump, that's not worth dipping into my savings for.

And if something's on sale, they get even more stubborn about discounts. When I bought my black custom earlier this year, I tried to negotiate with them but seemingly hit a brick wall because it was "already on sale".

Just before leaving, I made a point of pulling out my wallet and showing the guy a wad of cash I had in there. That did the trick.
 

Vas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,000
I still remember walking into guitar guitar in Glasgow when I was still a teenager. I went downstairs, where all the expensive stuff is kept and started drooling over a vintage '52 goldtop in near mint condition. The store manager comes along and makes some small talk. Then he asks me if I want to play it. I was stunned. Those experiences are getting few and far between, nowadays.

There are a lot of good guitar stores in Japan, though. Some of them do treat you really nice, but they can be stubborn when it comes to haggling and sales.

The biggest musical instrument retailer in Japan had a Gibson sale on recently. They had huge banner ads everywhere. I'm planning to buy my goldtop next year, but given that the tax is going up from 8% to 10% soon, and seeing as how there was a sale on, I thought I'd go along and see how good it was.

The discount was less than 3%... Even considering the imminent tax bump, that's not worth dipping into my savings for.

And if something's on sale, they get even more stubborn about discounts. When I bought my black custom earlier this year, I tried to negotiate with them but seemingly hit a brick wall because it was "already on sale".

Just before leaving, I made a point of pulling out my wallet and showing the guy a wad of cash I had in there. That did the trick.
I've had mixed experiences in Japan. I learned early on as an ex-pat that you have to make your intention to buy known early or else they think you are some tourist who stumbled into ocha-no-mizu to fuck around on the guitars for a laugh and will try to kick you out of the store. It was about two weeks after I first got there so I hadn't learned much about how shit works in Japan when you are a non-Japanese.

Another time, I had a dope experience getting a repair job on my EMGs. Dude charged me 500 yen and got the job done in less than 10 minutes. No waiting 5 days while you wait for them to 'get around to it.' lol
 
Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
I've had mixed experiences in Japan. I learned early on as an ex-pat that you have to make your intention to buy known early or else they think you are some tourist who stumbled into ocha-no-mizu to fuck around on the guitars for a laugh and will try to kick you out of the store. It was about two weeks after I first got there so I hadn't learned much about how shit works in Japan when you are a non-Japanese.

Another time, I had a dope experience getting a repair job on my EMGs. Dude charged me 500 yen and got the job done in less than 10 minutes. No waiting 5 days while you wait for them to 'get around to it.' lol
Are you still in Japan or was this a while ago? How is/was your Japanese at the time? One of the newer stores in ochanomizu (opened a couple of years ago) has pretty good service... Minus negotiation, of course. I bought my black custom in there, and the salesman was pretty cool. He spotted me looking it over and he just came over, took it off the wall and handed it to me. Also, I gave up on trying to use polite Japanese years ago, so I've probably shaken the tourist image a bit.

But I definitely had problems with that at first. I guess the key is to let the guy know from the beginning that you're seriously considering buying something, but still being prepared to walk away the second the deal doesn't look so good.

Also, if someone gives you a business card, make sure you hold onto it. They'll treat you well the next time.

Apologies if all of this is obvious to you.
 

Facism

Member
Oct 25, 2017
681
Funny story, but just after I got married, I walked into a guitar store and went to look at the Les Pauls. I was about to leave, but then I saw a white falcon for sale. It wasn't one of the super high end ones, just a regular mij production version. I asked the guy working at the store if I could try it.
"Are you going to buy it?"
"Maybe. But I need to play it first"
"Well... You can play it if you buy it"
"Thank you, Sherlock. But I don't buy a guitar without trying it out first".

I could have quite comfortably bought two of them that day.
my favourite is walking into my local place ready to drop a few grand and the guy behind the counter rudely yelling the price of the guitars as i looked at them, despite price tags being there, like I couldn't afford them.

A company in the USA plus the government via customs duties got my money instead, and i still spent less lol.
 

Vas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,000
Are you still in Japan or was this a while ago? How is/was your Japanese at the time? One of the newer stores in ochanomizu (opened a couple of years ago) has pretty good service... Minus negotiation, of course. I bought my black custom in there, and the salesman was pretty cool. He spotted me looking it over and he just came over, took it off the wall and handed it to me. Also, I gave up on trying to use polite Japanese years ago, so I've probably shaken the tourist image a bit.

But I definitely had problems with that at first. I guess the key is to let the guy know from the beginning that you're seriously considering buying something, but still being prepared to walk away the second the deal doesn't look so good.

Also, if someone gives you a business card, make sure you hold onto it. They'll treat you well the next time.

Apologies if all of this is obvious to you.
This was 10 years ago. My Japanese was not terrific at the time, but good enough that there was no misunderstanding, really. The guy was just a bigot. There were Japanese folks in there playing in a band performance, almost. Singing and playing. No problem. I play the guitar I was looking at for literally 1 minute before he shuts off the store music, comes over, takes it out of my hand, and tells me and my two associates that we gotta leave. And I'm sure many who hadn't lived in Japan as an obvious foreigner would think I just didn't understand why. It wasn't a situation like "Sir, their is a fire drill we must shut down now" or something. His awkward explanation was that the shop was too crowded. So he kicked us out, but not the Japanese folk. Oh well.

As time went on, I realized Japan was kind of a 'look, but don't touch' country for foreigners. When you go into an establishment, you must behave differently than normal Japanese to prove you know where you are and what you are doing, and you have to set yourself apart from their expectations of your behavior. You definitely can't just model your behavior after what other Japanese patrons are doing if you want things to go smoothly, in my experiences.
 

Hero_of_the_Day

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,137
So, I have been working the Sweet Child O Mine solo for the last couple of weeks. I have never been much of a soloist, so it always takes me a good chunk of time to learn a solo. I am up to when the wah kicks in and shit really takes the fuck off. I have a lot of the notes, but am struggling with the raw fucking speed.

So, the biggest of all guitar questions. For you speed demons, what/how did you practice to gain speed? Trying to find some good tips/practices.
 
Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
my favourite is walking into my local place ready to drop a few grand and the guy behind the counter rudely yelling the price of the guitars as i looked at them, despite price tags being there, like I couldn't afford them.

A company in the USA plus the government via customs duties got my money instead, and i still spent less lol.
Funnily enough, staff at my local store always eye me like a hawk whenever I go in. And the most expensive guitars they have in stock? A single Mij tele and strat...

Don't get me wrong, they're perfectly nice guitars, but not super expensive, either. The rest is mostly entry level stuff, but you'd think you were walking about in a vintage guitar store the way they stare at you. .

I really wouldn't go in there given the attitude I get from the staff, but it is handy to have a place so close to my home for picks/strings/etc. Anything more than that, and I'm 18 minutes from shibuya by train or about 40 minutes to ochanomizu.

As time went on, I realized Japan was kind of a 'look, but don't touch' country for foreigners. When you go into an establishment, you must behave differently than normal Japanese to prove you know where you are and what you are doing, and you have to set yourself apart from their expectations of your behavior. You definitely can't just model your behavior after what other Japanese patrons are doing if you want things to go smoothly, in my experiences.
I get what you're saying. I have been made to feel uncomfortable from time to time. Not just at guitar stores either, but in bars and restaurants too. After a couple of months in Japan, I gave up playing the role of polite foreigner. And as my Japanese improved, I was able to move away from the polite conversational Japanese the textbooks teach you and start using the kind of Japanese that most native speakers would use in those kinds of situations. I think that helps distance you from the short term worker/student/tourist image and gives the impression of someone who lives here.

Again, I apologize if I'm preaching to the choir. There are also other variables, such as the member of staff you deal with and their mood on that given day. Inexcusable that you got thrown out of that store, though.

Did you pick the guitar off the wall/stand by yourself? Because that's a bit of a no-no here and where I'm from. I understand that it's the norm in America (and I'm not even sure if you are American here. Just an assumption. Apologies if I'm wrong), but that might have been what pissed the guy off if you did take it down by yourself.
 

Vas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,000
Did you pick the guitar off the wall/stand by yourself? Because that's a bit of a no-no here and where I'm from. I understand that it's the norm in America (and I'm not even sure if you are American here. Just an assumption. Apologies if I'm wrong), but that might have been what pissed the guy off if you did take it down by yourself.
Nope, I wouldn't just take a guitar off the wall even in the US or Canada. It's a no-no here, too. I asked if I could play. He tuned it up for me. And after a minute he took it away and told us meekly that we had to leave. No, I don't play hard, I don't play aggressively. I don't play loud. I was more just checking the intonation at that point. I was extremely polite and courteous.

Frankly, I don't think it was me. I think it was my two associates, who were both gym rats and I think his thinking was that they're large look would intimidate Japanese customers. I think he thought "These foreigners here on vacation aren't going to buy anything and these large guys are going to scare away my customers!" It sounds absurd to someone who hasn't lived there, but seeing how you do, I think you know that I'm probably not too far off-base. I think that's why when I explained I needed the guitar for a kei-ongaku circle I was in, he instead said "You can stay but your friends must wait outside."

I get where you are coming from. You've probably had great customer experiences in Japan and obviously you like the culture and people there. And when foreigners complain about being treated in a racist discriminatory manner, usually it's their behavior and not factors related to their ethnicity and they are just too oblivious and self-centered to realize how ignorant they were behaving. You hear it a lot.

However, out of the mountain of pleasant customer service experiences I've had, that one really stands out and fundamentally reshaped my approach to carrying myself in Japan. It's not enough to be as good as a Japanese person, you must go beyond if you want to be treated with the base-level respect they'd show a normal Japanese person. That means letting your intentions to buy be known immediately, and as you say, asking before touching/doing anything. I never presumed any privilege. For example, I was 100% sure you could use the hot water machine at Lawson to get hot water for your noodles whenever you wanted. I still would ask if it's okay before using it. Just that extra step.

Also, aren't you in the Gunpla discord or am I getting my wires crossed?
 

treble

Member
Oct 25, 2017
562
Picked up an Eric Clapton Vibro Champ.

I think this is the best amp I’ve ever used.

Crazy natural overdrive to fuzz tones built in via the volume knob. I’ve never heard a pedal sound as good as this amp. Can still get clean tones at low volume too... a perfect recording and studio amp. Very touch sensitive.

Excited to try it live, mic’d, to see if it holds up with a full band. Fingers crossed.

It’s 5 watts total - surprisingly loud - but has a built in attenuator that takes it down to one watt, so its great for home use. Hand wired, solid wood cabinet. Nothing beats this crazy champ drive at non ear splitting levels. Can see why champs are so valued in studio.

I removed the “EC” badge as soon as I got it. Not a Clapton fan. Luckily, the only other Clapton detail is a small signature near the volume knob. I can live with that.

The vibrato/tremolo is tube based, unlike the DRRI. Very nice effect built in, even though I’ll use it sparingly.

Traded two Moog pedals, a Drive (with built in ladder filter) and a Delay, for it straight up. As an aside, whenever Moog puts out a delay pedal, it’s worth a purchase. They always go up in value, which is why I got this amp for about $250 CAD, due to picking up the pedals used a couple of years ago for $125 each.

I have a strong dislike for Clapton, but this amp is incredible. I’ll have to keep an eye out for a cheap EC Vibrolux, as that amp could likely cover all my gig needs.

If people are interested, I’ll see about some pictures and video.
 

III-V

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,125
Picked up an Eric Clapton Vibro Champ.

I think this is the best amp I’ve ever used.

Crazy natural overdrive to fuzz tones built in via the volume knob. I’ve never heard a pedal sound as good as this amp. Can still get clean tones at low volume too... a perfect recording and studio amp. Very touch sensitive.

Excited to try it live, mic’d, to see if it holds up with a full band. Fingers crossed.

It’s 5 watts total - surprisingly loud - but has a built in attenuator that takes it down to one watt, so its great for home use. Hand wired, solid wood cabinet. Nothing beats this crazy champ drive at non ear splitting levels. Can see why champs are so valued in studio.

I removed the “EC” badge as soon as I got it. Not a Clapton fan. Luckily, the only other Clapton detail is a small signature near the volume knob. I can live with that.

The vibrato/tremolo is tube based, unlike the DRRI. Very nice effect built in, even though I’ll use it sparingly.

Traded two Moog pedals, a Drive (with built in ladder filter) and a Delay, for it straight up. As an aside, whenever Moog puts out a delay pedal, it’s worth a purchase. They always go up in value, which is why I got this amp for about $250 CAD, due to picking up the pedals used a couple of years ago for $125 each.

I have a strong dislike for Clapton, but this amp is incredible. I’ll have to keep an eye out for a cheap EC Vibrolux, as that amp could likely cover all my gig needs.

If people are interested, I’ll see about some pictures and video.
That does sound cool. Low wattage is not bad for me. My blues jr. gets too loud for my little space I play in now.
 

teruterubozu

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,349
So, I have been working the Sweet Child O Mine solo for the last couple of weeks. I have never been much of a soloist, so it always takes me a good chunk of time to learn a solo. I am up to when the wah kicks in and shit really takes the fuck off. I have a lot of the notes, but am struggling with the raw fucking speed.

So, the biggest of all guitar questions. For you speed demons, what/how did you practice to gain speed? Trying to find some good tips/practices.
You'll hear this over and over but it's true - the only way to gain shred speed is to start slow then build up speed. There are no shortcuts. You learn the lick at a slow speed until you can play it clean without being sloppy. Then slowly increase speed while maintaining the clean picking until you can play it at the same speed and cleanliness as the recording. I like to use youtube for this feature.

For example right now I'm trying to learn the outro solo to Toto's Rosanna - I'm trying to increase my fusion lick vocabulary and Lukather does this sick fusion-style lick and run during the end solo. But it's ridiculously super fast and clean. On youtube you can slow down songs without altering the pitch by using the "Playback speed" in settings (gear icon). I first learn it at 0.25 speed, then move up to 0.5 speed, if I'm feeling comfortable I move up to 0.75, then up to Normal when I get it down. Depending on the solo it can take a few days. You're building up muscle memory in your hands for those patterns. I'll even play the lick without the guitar plugged in like when I'm watching TV just to get that muscle memory drilled in. Sooner or later you'll be able to play it without even thinking about it.
 

Hero_of_the_Day

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,137
Yeah, I use a program called RiffMaster Pro in windows that lets me slows things down without adjusting pitch. It can also adjust pitch and easily makes loops of a part, which is nice.

I have also started practicing to a metronome for the first time really in my entire guitar playing life. I don't know about speed, but my timing has certainly gotten wayyy better over the last few months of dedicating time to it every day.

I think what I struggle with is how long I should stick with an exercise. Obviously doing the same drill for weeks/months at a time is pretty monotonous. I think I need to find something new every week or two, just drill wise. I have no issues taking months learning a song, but when it comes to drills, I think I need regular change. I watch a lot of youtube videos for inspiration. Robert Baker has a couple of videos about bursting. His point being essentially you can play faster than you think, you just can't do it for long. So, burst for a measure, then slow down for a measure. As you get it down, try bursting for two measures, then three... then speed up. It has really been working.

On the other hand, I had been working with this other video for downstroking speed where it constantly speeds up as you play along. I did that for a good few weeks and was seeing fucking ZERO improvements. So, I stopped dedicating time to it. Guess I am just thirsty to find more of what works for me, and was curious if anyone here had any wisdom. I know it is a hard thing to really write out and delve into, though.

Sweet Child O Mine is feeling good, though. It is definitely beyond my current skills, but not so much if feels impossible. Always feels good to find something that feels like a good next step. But, fuck, is that first part of the wah section fast!
 
Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
Nope, I wouldn't just take a guitar off the wall even in the US or Canada. It's a no-no here, too. I asked if I could play. He tuned it up for me. And after a minute he took it away and told us meekly that we had to leave. No, I don't play hard, I don't play aggressively. I don't play loud. I was more just checking the intonation at that point. I was extremely polite and courteous.
That's really strange. The reason I asked about taking the guitar off the wall and plugging it in yourself is because there are some guitar stores where that's allowed. I didn't see anyone do it when I was in Canada, but I've heard that people are given free reign to do so in guitar centres in the states.

I even saw this video on YouTube where a guy walks into an independent vintage and high end guitar store in the states and he did the same with about 15 pricey guitars. From the video, it seemed like he was a known customer, but everyone else in the store was doing the same. That was the only explanation I could come up with. But you didn't even do that, so that guy was way out of line.

I'm waiting until my Swedish friend to comes to visit next year to buy my goldtop. He used to live here for a few years, but he never went near a guitar store because he was afraid of squandering his tuition budget. But by the time he comes, I'll have enough money to buy a nice guitar, so we're going to make a bit of a day of it. I'm basically going to go to every Gibson dealer in Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ochanomizu to try out every single Les Paul standard goldtop with p90s I lay my eyes on. By mid afternoon, I'll figure out which one I liked best and go to buy it. The whole time, I'll be accompanied by a giant Swedish guy with a beard down to his chest. I'll be sure to report back here if I encounter any a-hole salesmen.

Also, aren't you in the Gunpla discord or am I getting my wires crossed?
No. Its not me. I dabbled in airfix models as a kid, but I just don't have the delicate touch or patience required.
 

Hero_of_the_Day

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,137
I have never been to a guitar shop in the US that didn't let you just take a guitar off the wall and go. A lot of places keep higher end stuff up higher on the wall and want you to ask for help. But usually lower and mid range stuff is down low and you are free to go crazy.

I have been to a single shop that had a dick of an owner that didn't like people playing stuff. He'd let you take stuff down, but seriously after 30 seconds he would tell you to stop. He was a well known ass hole. It was always funny to meet a new guitar player and the second that shop came up, people would talk shit about the guy for being such a jerk to people.
 

Phoenixazure

Member
Oct 27, 2017
581
So I’ve recently started playing the guitar again thanks to receiving a old beat up Yamaha acoustic guitar (used to play when I was a kid/teen for about 8 years) . I originally learned via the Berkeley Guitar Method books and i wonder if it’s still useful to learn how to read music these days in personal opinion?
 

Jonnax

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,051
So I’ve recently started playing the guitar again thanks to receiving a old beat up Yamaha acoustic guitar (used to play when I was a kid/teen for about 8 years) . I originally learned via the Berkeley Guitar Method books and i wonder if it’s still useful to learn how to read music these days in personal opinion?
Well at the end of the day learning tab is just telling you where to put your fingers.

Whilst learning to read sheet is telling you what the notes are. And you make the decision where to play it.
It's way easier to be like "I can play this at 5th position or 1st"
Of course you need to learn the notes on your guitar frets!
 
Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
I have never been to a guitar shop in the US that didn't let you just take a guitar off the wall and go. A lot of places keep higher end stuff up higher on the wall and want you to ask for help. But usually lower and mid range stuff is down low and you are free to go crazy.
And how is the condition of the guitars in those stores? In general, of course. But some American friends refer to guitar center as guitar denter.

I have been to a single shop that had a dick of an owner that didn't like people playing stuff. He'd let you take stuff down, but seriously after 30 seconds he would tell you to stop. He was a well known ass hole. It was always funny to meet a new guitar player and the second that shop came up, people would talk shit about the guy for being such a jerk to people.
Does his attitude change if you ask him first? Or is he just a dick that doesn't realise that he has to provide something that online retailers can't or else they'll eat him up.

Another little anecdote, but if I see a guitar I like, whether I'm able to buy it or not, I'll always briefly wrap my hand around the neck around the first few frets. Comfortable necks are my number one priority, so I always like to get a little feel of the area where I'd spend most of my time. I don't take it off the wall, but I do hold it for a few seconds, even though it's not completely accurate as the angle between my wrist and the guitar is wrong. Some Japanese stores give you a look for that.

So I’ve recently started playing the guitar again thanks to receiving a old beat up Yamaha acoustic guitar (used to play when I was a kid/teen for about 8 years) . I originally learned via the Berkeley Guitar Method books and i wonder if it’s still useful to learn how to read music these days in personal opinion?
You're going to get a variety of answers, but I feel it's far more important to develop your ear. I managed to do that by buying a bunch of tab books and playing along to the songs they teach you. Bearing in mind that the accuracy of tabs is all over the place (sheet music for popular music is the same), but that helped me develop a really good ear. Now I don't need a tab for 99% of things, and when I do, it's mostly to find a starting point in an alternative tuning.
 

Phoenixazure

Member
Oct 27, 2017
581
And how is the condition of the guitars in those stores? In general, of course. But some American friends refer to guitar center as guitar denter.



Does his attitude change if you ask him first? Or is he just a dick that doesn't realise that he has to provide something that online retailers can't or else they'll eat
You're going to get a variety of answers, but I feel it's far more important to develop your ear. I managed to do that by buying a bunch of tab books and playing along to the songs they teach you. Bearing in mind that the accuracy of tabs is all over the place (sheet music for popular music is the same), but that helped me develop a really good ear. Now I don't need a tab for 99% of things, and when I do, it's mostly to find a starting point in an alternative tuning.
I get you. I can definitely make out the distinct pitch of the notes but what always tripped me is all the variations based on chord formation/location on the fret board and the harmonic difference. Starting to come to that realization as well as I’m going through this book of scales that I picked up.
 
Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
I get you. I can definitely make out the distinct pitch of the notes but what always tripped me is all the variations based on chord formation/location on the fret board and the harmonic difference.
You'll get there eventually. The important thing right now is learning where notes are on your fretboard, and you seem to be doing that.

Honestly, sheet music is only essential in the event that an educational program or job/gig requires you to be able to read it. If your ambitions go no further than jamming with people/forming or joining a band, I'd say it's not necessary unless you want to learn it.
 

teruterubozu

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,349
Well things certainly changed in Japan since I lived there then. Me and my friends used to play for hours at guitar stores like Ishibashi and Ikebe without buying anything and nobody ever stopped us.
 

Hero_of_the_Day

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,137
And how is the condition of the guitars in those stores? In general, of course. But some American friends refer to guitar center as guitar denter.
Nothing has ever stood out to me. I am sure they watch kids when they handle them and make sure they aren't smashing things around. My guitar center always has a crazy number of employees there at a time.

I will say, the last time a friend and I went to Guitar Center, there was a kid playing an acoustic. His mom told him to be careful cause he was getting close to some other guitars, and of course the kid goes "What?" and swings the entire guitar around right into a hanging guitar. So, I suppose I actually have seen shit happening. But, overall, I've never noticed a bunch of smashed or dinged up guitars at GC.

Does his attitude change if you ask him first? Or is he just a dick that doesn't realise that he has to provide something that online retailers can't or else they'll eat him up.
Nope. He is a straight up dick. The flipside is that there has been one other guy there my whole life. The other guy is the nicest guy you will ever meet. So, generally, if you walk in and see the owner, you leave. If Steve is there, you are good to actually look at shit and chat it up. They were supposed to be going out of business last year, but oddly decided to stick around at the last minute. Supposedly they are now closing this year.

There was only one other guitar shop around me growing up. That place had mostly nice employees, though the owner was very much a phony car salesman. While I never saw issues with customers, I have seen the owner and one of the life-long employees fucking scream at each other arguing about shit. Pretty awkward with customers around.
 

Vas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,000
I've always secretly wanted a Dimebag Darrel guitar. The blue one with the bolts. The only weird guitar I've ever owned was a BC Rich Warlock back when I was a sophomore in high school.
 

Accoun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,311
I wanted a warlock of beast when I was in highschool. That shit was metal!
A lot of people did, probably. As much as I """grew out""" of the standard black one, a local guitar store used to have one of the exotic series and man, did it look sweet. A bit of a juxtaposition and it made it significantly more interesting.
 

Coolverine

Member
May 7, 2018
272
i am headed to japan in November and really want to bring back one of the Edwards/ESP/GrassRoots Explorers that are more like Hetfield's, anything I should be aware of in possibly brining it back to the states? like, could i tell customs, I took the guitar to Japan to play a show? What kind of duties might I have to pay? etc.
 

teruterubozu

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,349
i am headed to japan in November and really want to bring back one of the Edwards/ESP/GrassRoots Explorers that are more like Hetfield's, anything I should be aware of in possibly brining it back to the states? like, could i tell customs, I took the guitar to Japan to play a show? What kind of duties might I have to pay? etc.
Not sure of the overseas taxes, but if it's a rosewood fretboard guitar you could very well get stopped by customs under the new CITES law, which restricts transport of rosewood materials internationally since 2017 (which is why you see companies like Fender and Epiphone changing their fretboards to Pau Ferro). Most overseas retailers offer to fill out the appropriate CITES forms for you when you have them shipped to you. From my understanding, Japan is pretty strict about the new CITES law so you may even get questioned as you depart from Narita. I've heard people running into issues over this when buying a guitar overseas. Maybe look into maple or ebony fretboard?
 
Oct 30, 2017
266
Tokyo
Well things certainly changed in Japan since I lived there then. Me and my friends used to play for hours at guitar stores like Ishibashi and Ikebe without buying anything and nobody ever stopped us.
When, exactly, was this? Are you an amazing player or a really intimidating guy, because this sounds really unlikely.

Nothing has ever stood out to me. I am sure they watch kids when they handle them and make sure they aren't smashing things around. My guitar center always has a crazy number of employees there at a time.

I will say, the last time a friend and I went to Guitar Center, there was a kid playing an acoustic. His mom told him to be careful cause he was getting close to some other guitars, and of course the kid goes "What?" and swings the entire guitar around right into a hanging guitar. So, I suppose I actually have seen shit happening. But, overall, I've never noticed a bunch of smashed or dinged up guitars at GC.
I've seen some of the floor models they've advertised as new and sent to online customers on another forum. Hell, last month, some guy posted pictures of his "new" Les Paul studio and we were all appalled. A phone call and email later and he got a $500 partial refund.



Nope. He is a straight up dick. The flipside is that there has been one other guy there my whole life. The other guy is the nicest guy you will ever meet. So, generally, if you walk in and see the owner, you leave. If Steve is there, you are good to actually look at shit and chat it up. They were supposed to be going out of business last year, but oddly decided to stick around at the last minute. Supposedly they are now closing this year.
I remember the biggest guitar store in Glasgow had this one piece of shit salesman who would constantly hound you and even steal commission from other employees. I'd been dealing with another salesman for weeks before buying my first Les Paul. When I eventually decided which one to buy, the (good) salesman went through the back to get the case and the asshole immediately swooped on me to try and get the commission.

We used to try and avoid the store if that guy was in. Failing that, just give him the cold shoulder and wait for another guy to show up.

Eventually, another guitar store opened in Glasgow and poached all the good guys from the other place. Never shopped at the first place again. Went out of business a few years later.

I've always secretly wanted a Dimebag Darrel guitar. The blue one with the bolts. The only weird guitar I've ever owned was a BC Rich Warlock back when I was a sophomore in high school.
My friend had a (supposedly) vintage ml in black with the lightning bolts. It was definitely pretty old, because the dimarzio super distortions had gone microphonic.

I wanted a warlock or beast when I was in highschool. That shit was metal!
I wanted a natural mockingbird.
 

Vas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,000
I treated my fretboard for the first time... well, ever. The difference is incredible. My SG looks brand new now. That must have been some thirsty rosewood.
 

Hero_of_the_Day

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,137
I treated my fretboard for the first time... well, ever. The difference is incredible. My SG looks brand new now. That must have been some thirsty rosewood.
Yep. I did it for the first time a couple of years ago. Polished the frets and oiled the board... shit looks so good. We have those dry as fuck freezing winters here in Illinois, so it was long overdue.
 

hombremalo

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,044
I'm considering a Fender player, reading that are better than the former Mexican made, that were already good. Would be a sacrilege to get a HSH strat?
 

turbobrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,057
az
I'm considering a Fender player, reading that are better than the former Mexican made, that were already good. Would be a sacrilege to get a HSH strat?
Get whatever pickup config you'll use. I would have no issue buying a strat that was just HH. I actually don't really use the middle pickup that much on my strat, and I kinda want to trade it for a telecaster.
 

Vas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,000
I'm considering a Fender player, reading that are better than the former Mexican made, that were already good. Would be a sacrilege to get a HSH strat?
The pickup configuration is a big deal, IMO. I love a strat with the HSS configuration. IIRC, they have names for guitars with different pickup configurations that are usually named after places in the USA. I feel like HSS strats are named something to do with Texas, like "Texas Strat" or "Lonestar Strat." The guy in my old punk band had one. I do know that a Telecaster with SSS config is called a Nashville Telecaster.

EDIT: Lonestar. And I'd recommend that configuration (HSS) for sure. It was an extremely versatile guitar that had a lot of character. Don't see how an HSH could be bad, though. You can get those dope warm leads with that second H in the neck position. I played an HH Tele for a bit and I felt at home as a lifelong Gibson player.