Tuesday, December 9, 2014

ADHD Guitarist Christmas Wishlist 2014

It's Christmas time. And for most of us that means scheduling Christmas parties, buying presents for kids and significant others. It's a crazy time of year, and often we can be caught off guard when someone ask "what do you want for Christmas"? So I figured I'd post a few guitar related ideas of things most of us wouldn't mind finding under the Christmas tree.

Pickups- Experimenting with different pickups is always fun. You can dramatically improve the sound over cheap pickups or just tweak the sound of your favorite guitar. You can add more mids or more scoop, a little less top end, or pound the front end of your amplifier with a really hot pickup.

Seymour Duncan Jason Becker Perpetual Burn Humbucker- Jason is one of my biggest inspirations for more reasons that his phenomenal guitar playing. Sitting between the legendary JB and a classic PAF the Perpetual Burn is hot enough for shredders but dynamic enough for blues and fusion players. The reviews have been impressive.

Fender Noiseless Pickups- It seems like every couple of years noiseless single coils keep getting better and better. Most of them can be tapped to give you true single coil sound. These really are versatile and able to deliver the goods in the tone department.

Pedals- While your tone should be based around your guitar and amp pedals are fun, they are one of the easiest ways to add a whole new dynamic to your playing and discover new sounds. And they are available at most price ranges.


EHX Soul Food- This krazy klon kone has captured the attention of the guitar world, everyone seems to like it. A low gain drive with a slight roll off on the outer frequencies and a slight lower mid bump, it also includes an internal switch to add a nice buffer or not depending on your taste. Think of it as a more button

Fulltone Fulldrive 2 Mosfet Overdrive- One of the early more versatile boutique tube screamer based pedals, the recent price drop makes this a killer deal. It has switches for more or less base, and a smoother tone as well as a boost you can engage for more gain or solos.

Wampler Dual Fusion- While this may seem like an expensive pedal at first, your really getting two great overdrives at a great price. Wampler worked with fusion guitarist Tom Quayle for this dual overdrive pedal tweaking their Paisley Drive (Brad Paisley's pedal) and their Euphoria Overdrive (Dumble sounds). It's extremely flexible, you can stack either pedal first, or use the dual in and outs.

Xotic SL Drive- Mini pedals are all the rage right now and how Xotic shoves this much marshall flavored tone into this little beast and leaves room for a 9v battery is beyond me. Internal switches let you select between the sound of a SuperLead for Jimi sounds or the SuperBass for Duane Allman flavors. It's a very organic, dynamic sounding pedal.

Fuzz Pedals

Mojo Hand Fx Iron Bell- Mojo Hand is one of those companies that keeps knocking it out of the park with each new release. The Iron Bell is not a straight up Big Muff clone but is smoother and adds a midrange control that allows you to dial in tones from the scooped early muffs to the mid heavy soviet era. It also makes a nice overdrive sound. Whether you need to cover David Gilmour or Billy Corgan this can do it.

Dunlop Mini Fuzz Face- Dunlop has released a whole slew of these mini Fuzz Face pedals in different fuzz flavors but this germanium based pedal has quickly become a favorite of fuzz freaks. It's fat and dynamic sounding in front of a slightly over driven amp. But read up on germanium quirks, it doesn't play well with other pedals and can sound different on cold or warm days.

Fulltone OctaFuzz- I've been a bit obsessed with octave fuzz pedals lately, and this one leads the pack. It's mostly a clone of the old Tycobrahe Octavia but with a switch to take out the octave circut giving you a fatter sounding fuzz. Versatile and built like a tank.


Mooer Eleclady- Mooer has released a whole range of clones that have been hit and miss but many people are saying this is the best clone of a vintage EHX Electric Mistress Flanger. More subtle than the jet sounding MXR flanger, think more Andy Summers or David Gilmour in the late 70's.

MXR Phase 45 Script - Have I mentioned how much I like phasers? Different from the Phase 90 the Phase 45 is slightly smokier, sweeter variation of phase. Hand wired like the originals, this pedal does not have an LED indicator and is battery powered only.


TC Electronic Flashback- These have been out for a while and have gotten rave reviews. The new toneprint program from TC allows you to tweak settings for days or just beam toneprints from some of today's biggest players. It also comes in a X4 for access to more delay settings or a mini pedal to save space.

Way Huge EchoPuss- A true Analog delay similar to the MXR Carbon Copy but voiced more like the old EHX Memory Man. A beautiful sounding delay and highly recommended.


TC Electronic Ditto- With the recent price drop making these more affordable that ever your reasons for not having one are getting fewer. There is a new X2 version with more features but the original Ditto Looper is a great practice tool.


Strings are pretty personal. I've been using GHS Boomers for years and really love them but I also talked about the new D'Addario NYXL strings here and they are fantastic. Pickup a multi pack and save some dough.

Picks- We guitar players go through picks like crazy, they wear out and get lost constantly. I love experimenting with different sounds from different materials like metal, nylon, TUSQ, and plastic. Recently I've jumped on the Tortex band wagon, they sound beautiful and give you a lot of attack when you need it. You can never have enough picks.


Gary Moore: One Night in Dublin- It's no secret that the late Gary Moore is one of my all time favorite guitar players. In this tribute to the late Phil Lynott, Gary and other Thin Lizzy alums tear up the stage in front of a home town crowd. This is classic blues based rock at it's best.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet- Jason Becker was an amazing up and coming guitar player who was just hitting his stride when given the worst news of his life "your going to die in the next three to five  years." That was 1990 and he is still here working on music, puzzling doctors, defying disease and inspiring people around the world. He is a testament to the human spirit, positive thinking, and the will to live. EVERYONE, not just guitar players, should watch this movie.

David Gilmour: Remember That Night- David Gilmour's live performance of his 2006 album On an Island, and classic Pink Floyd songs culminate in a breath taking performance at Albert Hall. His incredible tone and masterful playing is a lesson in phrasing and feel.

Stevie Ray Vaughan: Live from Austin- This DVD features both of Stevie Ray Vaughn's performances on Austin City Limits. One in 1983 and one in 1989. Both fiery performances, the staggering differences between them are the subtleties between watching an insecure, drug addled performance in 83 and a bright eyed, full of life performance in 89.

No comments:

Post a Comment