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October 2005
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December 2005

Learn To Play In A Day The Steve Jones Way


I've always liked the Sex Pistols and regretted that I didn't get to see them live on their reunion tour of 2003.  So I was thrilled that there's a DVD on the making of their classic album "Never Mind the Bollocks..."  The DVD includes historical footage as well as more recent interviews with all of the original band members and producers. 

The DVD also has bonus tracks with Steve Jones, pistols guitar player, demonstrating the riffs of several classic pistols tunes such as Submission, Anarchy in the UK, God Save the Queen, New York, Problems and more.  Jones is a completely self-taught guitar player who stole most of his equipment as a teenager.  His playing is straightforward and loud, the way 3 minute rock songs should be.  Not a lot of flash, but he gets a lot of mileage out of 3 chords and has a unique sound that is easy for wannabe's to learn.  On the DVD Jonesy jokes about how he could be putting out his own "Learn to play the Sex Pistols" DVD.  Hey, I wish he would!

Dumbest Guitar Computer Combo Yet

Intellicaster Hey, guitars are cool and computers aren't.  So what if we took our tablet PC and put it into the back of a Telecaster?  What would that be?  It would be a heavy guitar and a lame non-portable computer.  Kudos to the marketing guy who came up with the name "Intellicaster" but everything else about this is a dumb gimick.  I'm sorry I'm even writing about it.



Ok, it sounds weird: a ten dollar guitar pick?  But don't think of it that way, think of it as a ten dollar effects box.  The patented Jellifish is like a drum brush for your acoustic or electric guitar.  Instead of distorting the sound after it's been captured, you change how the sound is created.  Simple, right?  The Jellifish, like a capo or a slide, gives you a mechanical technique for changing your playing.  On an acoustic guitar, you get a richer, fuller sound because of the increased number of contact points with the strings.  On an electric guitar, you can get a much broader range of sounds, especially when combined with an aggressive playing style and effects boxes.

If you're looking for a distinctive sound or just want to experiment with some way to break out of the dulldrums, this could be the cheapest way to do it.  Check out the Jellifish web site for sample MP3 files and videos that demonstrate the various techniques you can use.  There's even some egg head physics white paper on the web site.  Available at many retail stores.

Line 6 TonePort


Announced just a couple of months ago, Line 6 has released their TonePort line of modeling and recording interfaces for getting professional quality guitar, bass and  vocals on your computer.  For the practicing musician this is a very cost-effective solution that gives you the hardware and the software to get the exact sound you want and turn your computer into a full recording rig.  Unlike the very basic RiffWorks software which was sold separate to GuitarPort users, TonePort includes more powerful programs for crafting your tones and effects (GearBox) and multi-track recording (Ableton Live Lite.)  Ok, you can argue that the "Lite" version is stripped down, but its still a heckuva good deal.  You can buy additional add-on packs for even more tones and effects.

There are two different models to chose from.  The UX1 ($175) model features basic guitar/bass and microphone input jacks and headphone jack.  The more expensive UX2 model ($269 shown above) adds second guitar/bass and microphone input jacks as well as cool retro styled analog display meters and more sophisticated power management and control capabilities.

Line 6 knows the market and these products both deliver the goods just in time for Christmas.

Hard Rock Smashes Guitars


I like Hard Rock Cafe.  I really do.  They have good burgers.  They've got interesting memorabillia.  And they're generally friendly places.  But I gotta say, if they think smashing 100 guitars is a good idea, then they're smoking something.  They wanted to generate some PR for the opening of a new location in Manhattan, but I think the idea is pretty lame. 

Guys, next time you get the urge to smash a hundred guitars, why not do something slightly more intelligent?   Like, donate the guitars to high-school music programs.  Or auction them on eBay and send the money to hurricane Katrina victims.  For cryin' out loud, do something useful. 

And Gibson, shame on you guys.   I can't believe that CEO Henry Juszkiewicz could do this.  Henry, what were you thinking?  Next time the marketing dudes tell  you its a good idea, ask them to drop me a line and I'll help you come up with something not so lame.  And feel free to send me a couple of unsmashed guitars any time you want a review here. 

POB 66959
Scotts Valley, CA  95067

If anyone wants to drop Henry a line, you can reach him at

More Cowbell?


If you've read GuitarVibe for a while, you know I'm a big fan of Line6 and their modelling guitars, amps and effects.  Someone got creative and asked the question: "What if Line6 made cowbells?" and created the satirical Rad Monkey brand of electric cowbells.  Ok, it's basically one joke, but its a funny joke!   

If you liked Will Ferrell as part of Saturday Night Live's "More Cowbell" skit on Blue Oyster Cult, check out the links below for a video and a transcript.  It's a good thing guitar players don't take this stuff too seriously.