Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A (True) Cautionary Tale

The Scene: A Los Angeles recording studio

The Players: First-call session musicians and a Rock Legend on vocals

The Plot: Studio band is assembled, tuned up and ready to go. They begin the first take of the song and have to stop, as strange noises are coming from the rhythm guitar player's rig. Everyone scrambles to get it fixed, as Rock Legend waits at the mic. Famous, name-brand cables are patched and re-patched and wiggled and the noise goes away...only to return the next take.

Lead guitarist has seen the video posted below, and notices the famous high-end cable the rhythm guitarist is using, puts on his Guitar Tech hat...and takes apart the input jack on the rhythm guy's Strat. He bends the stretched-out contact back in shape, and the session continues. During a break, the bass player notes that he stopped using that brand of cable after having to replace his input jack. The keyboard player says that he had to replace two jacks in his keyboard, a much more complicated procedure, due to this popular brand of cable stretching his input jacks out.

Scary cable. Very scary.

The Moral:  There's nothing to fear from Planet Waves American Stage cables.

Check out the video and learn what that lead player knows:

Friday, April 8, 2011

On the Gig with Planet Waves Capos

Richard Bennett (Mark Knopfler, Nashville Session Ace)

"I use a Planet Waves NS capo all the time, in the studio and live. It's simple, works great and above all it's reasonably discreet. I've never understood all these folks using those big, hunky, clamp things with the french curve sticking out at the top. It's like they take great pride in parading their ability to use a capo".

Duke Levine (Mary Chapin Carpenter, Aimee Mann, Studio)

"I love the NS capos, I use them on my electric and acoustic guitars. They have a low, almost invisible profile that I really appreciate. I use the NS Trio for my mandola, it's just the right size!"

Jason Roller (Nashville Session)

"These capos are great, the best I've used. They are sturdy, reliable and don't take drastic re-tuning after putting them on or moving them around the neck. Job well done!"

Brad Rice (Courtyard Hounds, Keith Urban, Ryan Adams)

"I'm in tune and don't fret out with Planet Waves capos"

Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart's Fabulous Superlatives)

"I love the NS capo. It's the finest available".

Elizabeth Cook

"D'Addario strings and Planet Waves Dual-Action capos: Taking question marks off Elizabeth Cook gigs since 2007!"

Brian Nutter (Keith Urban)

"I have completely converted to all things D'Addario/Planet Waves. They simply make the best stuff and have the best people!"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Strap Panache

The job seems simple - hold up your guitar in playing position and don't break. But there's more to straps than that. Straps now add a bit of flash and flair to your onstage style.

Back in the day, a thin, braided cord was used. It tied on to the headstock and end pin an dug into your shoulder all night. I bought a 1946 L-7 years ago that had the original strap with it and I tried it out. Not a pleasant experience.

In the '50's it was thin leather with a wider shoulder pad and in the '60s, fabric straps ruled. I remember the popular brand was called "Ace". After that, all manner of leather and poly straps came into the market.

Planet Waves has a wide selection of straps, from the basic black polypro to a wide, padded suede model for the plush set. We offer many variations on leather straps, from metal studs, vents, stoned leather and several artist straps from The Beatles, Joe Satriani, Kiss, Motley Crue, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who and Ozzy Osbourne.

The Beatles Strap Collection

Planet waves has also introduced innovations that make using a strap even handier.

Planet Lock Strap

The Planet Lock system is a built-in strap lock that works on most every strap button, and the Acoustic Quick Release allows you to use the time-rested headstock method and the ability to take your guitar on or off in a hurry. Very nice for those of you acoustic pickers with cowboy hats!

Acoustic Quick Release

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Black Eyes, Black Skies, Black Ice

(Apologies to Mr. A. Partridge).

What's under the cushion, wedged in the dryer, beneath the bed, stuck to your forearm, stuffed in your gig bag? A pick, of course. Unless you are a digitus au natural player, you use a pick. You might even have a favorite size, gauge, color, etc. New picks are a dime a dozen (or used to be, back in the day). New shapes, new materials, new whatever. Hard to be excited by a pick, especially if you have a favorite and are under the impression that your tone and style are due in some part to your choice of pick...and, indeed, they are.

So, switching picks was never my thing. I always favor a medium for strummy things and a Jazz 3 for solo-y things. Any medium pick would work, but it was difficult to find an equal to the feel of a jazz pick. Even though I tried them out at Planet Waves headquarters before they were released to the public, I did not think the Black Ice picks were going to win me over. They felt great, they sounded great, they didn't slip through my fingers...but I already had a favorite pick. Why change?

I put my stash of Black Ice picks in a drawer and went on, blissfully unaware. One day, a few months ago, while looking for something else, I found my Black Ice stash. Tried out a medium .080 gauged pick. Loved it. Loved it for strumming AND picking. It sounded great on acoustics, great on electrics, great on ukulele, great on mandolin.

Now it's the only pick I use. There's a blog post in that tale...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New at NAMM 2011

Planet Waves introduced several new products at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California this past week.

First up is the Guitar Rest: The ultimate solution to having your guitar slipping and falling over when you lean it against an amp or table.

Made from a soft plastic, the Guitar Rest turns any flat surface into a guitar stand. The top is hollowed out for storing slides, picks, etc.

Next is the D-Slyde, a D-shaped glass bottleneck slide that has Velcro on the flattened surface. Now you can store our slide on the back of your headstock, your amp, the mic stand, wherever the Velcro will stick.

Speaking of slides, traditional slide players can check out the new chrome-plated brass slides form Planet Waves. Ultra smooth finishing makes this slide both beautiful and toneful.

New additions to the wildly successful Beatles guitar strap line are woven straps featuring various iconic logos from The Beatles history.

The Acoustic Quick Release combines great Planet Waves straps in 13 different choices with the popular Quick Release acoustic guitar strap device. There are also 38 new models of the Planet Lock system which gives strap-lock security to any guitar using your existing strap buttons.

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Workbox Tour

UPDATE: Of course, you'll need a soldering iron, too. Mine died in the Nashville Flood, and I never replaced it before getting off the road.