Mike Overly's 12 Tone Music News

The Latest Guitar and Bass News from around the World Wide Web . . .
May 24, 2018
In This Issue

Every musician has some basic sense of how math and music relate conceptually through geometry, in the circular and triadic shapes formed by clusters of notes when grouped together in chords and scales.  
The connections date back to the work of Pythagoras, and composers who explore and exploit those connections happen upon profound, sometimes mystical, insights.  
For example, the two-dimensional geometry of music finds near-religious expression in the compositional strategies of John Coltrane, who left behind diagrams of his chromatic modulation
that theorists still puzzle over and find inspiring.  
It will be interesting to see what imaginative composers do with a theory that extends the geometry of music into three-and even four dimensions.
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The invention of the archtop is currently credited to Orville Gibson, who carved the top and back of a guitar into an arched shape as opposed to using flat pieces of wood. The design was meant to increase the power and quality of tone an instrument was capable of, as described by Orville Gibson's 1898 mandolin patent, which also featured an arched top and back. Arching an instrument's body is an effective way to increase its volume and projection, and because of this, the design was widely adopted before amplification was available.
Earlier this year, Yamaha Corporation-which ranks as the largest manufacturer of musical instrument products in the world-formed Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc as a new subsidiary which will manage Ampeg along with Line 6 and Yamaha-branded guitar and bass products.
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If you know nothing at all about music or musical instruments, you know the name Stradivari and the violins that bear his name. This Stradivarius guitar, called the "Sabionari," is even rarer than the violins. The Stradivari family produced over 1000 instruments, of which 960 were violins. Yet, a small number of guitars were also crafted, and as of today only one remains playable.
An electric guitar pickup is an inductive sensor that consists, in its simplest form, of a coil wrapped around a permanently magnetic pole piece or pole pieces. This is the architecture of some of the most important and popular pickup designs, including the conventional Stratocaster pickup. This inductive sensor sits below a string made out of a magnetic metal. When the string vibrates, a signal is generated in the coil. It is this signal that gets amplified to create the sound of an electric guitar.
Whether you call them boutique, small-shop, or just expensive, there's an implied truth that pricey tube guitar amps made by smaller American manufacturers and one-man shops are somehow "better" than mass-produced tube amps from larger makers. Both breeds achieve broadly the same ends, however, and many players might argue that-especially when they're cranked up and raging in a full-band setting-you can ultimately hear little difference between similarly spec'd models from the two camps. Others, of course, would vehemently disagree.
There is no one that his picked up a guitar and played jazz that has not been influenced by Wes Montgomery. The fact that he died relatively young has in some ways diminished his reputation. And yet his catalogue of recordings is testament to his brilliance and along with Jimmy Smith and his Hammond B3, Montgomery did so much to encourage people, who were perhaps a little fearful, to give jazz a try.  

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