Mike Overly's 12 Tone Music News

The Latest Guitar and Bass News from around the World Wide Web . . .
December 19, 2019
In This Issue



Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's description of music as a universal language has become a well-worn clich├ę, usually uttered in a sentimental and not particularly serious way.

Maybe this is why it doesn't inspire a corresponding breadth of appreciation for the music of the world. We are conditioned and acculturated, it can seem, by formative experience to gravitate toward certain kinds of music. We can expand our tastes but that usually requires some careful study and acculturation.

In the sciences, the "universal language" hypothesis in music has been taken far more seriously, and, more recently, so has its critique.

In ethnomusicology, universality has become something of a dirty word since the diversity of world music is profound.

Katajjaq, or Inuit throat singing, expresses playfulness in strong, throaty expressions. Japan's nogaku punctuates haunting bamboo flutes with the stiff punctuation of percussion.

The Australian Aborigines also used winds and percussion, yet their didgeridoos and clapsticks birthed a distinct sound.

And the staid echoes of medieval Gregorian chant could hardly be confused for a rousing track of thrash metal.

The idea that all of these kinds of music and thousands more are all the same in some way strikes many as "groundless or even offensive."

But even hardcore skeptics might be persuaded by papers published just last month in Science.
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The latest model in Fender's Rarities series is the Flame Maple Top Strat HSS Thinline features a semi-hollow mahogany body with a Violin Burst flame maple top and "Deep C"-shaped solid rosewood neck. In the sonics department, the guitar features a Custom Double Tap humbucking bridge pickup and Custom Shop 69 single-coil Strat middle & neck pickups. These are controlled by a master volume with an S-1 switch, two tone knobs and a five-way selector blade. 
This Nate Mendel bass is modelled on the Foo Fighters low-ender's own 1971 Precision Bass, which has modified body contouring and a C-shaped neck with notably slim dimensions and nut width. It's a striking instrument: simple in looks, but the combination of Candy Apple Red with the black scratchplate proves a bold statement. It's fitted with a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder split-coil pickup, and a bridge upgrade.

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www.guitartruth.com and www.basstruth.com are subsidiaries of 12 Tone Music Publishing, LLC.
At shows in the late Seventies and early Eighties, I used to stack up as many as five guitars for my guitar solo. I'd play one for a little bit, then throw it away and play the one hanging underneath it. Usually, the last one was the prototype Hamer. The other guitars in the stack were often a single-cutaway Les Paul Junior that I had put a humbucker into. My "flag" guitar and a left-handed Stratocaster with a right-handed maple neck. I diched them all and created the Hamer five neck. 
Standby Switch

Vacuum tubes have been around for nearly 100 years with millions upon millions of devices having used them, ranging from radios, TVs, hi-fis, radar equipment, mixing desks, submarines, tanks, warplanes - I could go on. Yet, the only audio amplifiers ever found with standby switches are guitar amplifiers. This, of course, is rather odd in itself but it is increasingly becoming the norm, and many guitarists now expect to see them fitted. It's no wonder people are getting confused about them. What do they do? How do they work? Am I using it right?  

Based in the artsy Soho district of Manhattan, it produces some of the most desirable bass amplification, speaker cabs and effects pedals available today. It all started back in the mid-90s with a preamp designed by freelance bassist Dave Boonshoft and engineer Alex Aguilar, who had previously collaborated with Roger Sadowsky on his bass guitars' preamps.
Johnny A. built his reputation on taste, tone and chops. He's always been associated with vintage gear, so I was taken aback when I saw him do a looping-based live act at Sweetwater's GearFest 2019. He brought a level of taste and sophistication to the genre, especially with a version of "Strawberry Fields Forever" that included all the bits - the backward guitars, the rhythms - and then took it even further. If you ever have a chance to see his live looping act, don't miss it. He'll change your idea about what's possible with a guitar.

Order Guitar EncycloMedia or Bass EncycloMedia 
through December 26, 2019 to receive 20% OFF!
Available only from the 12tonemusic.com online store.
No coupon code needed. Domestic orders only. Money back guarantee.
12 Tone Music Publishing, LLC * P. O. Box 20564 * Dayton, Ohio 45420  
www.12tonemusic.com * frets@12tonemusic.com * 1-937-256-9344  
  www.guitartruth.com and www.basstruth.com are subsidiaries of   
12 Tone Music Publishing, LLC.