2020 is over.

The last year has passed and 2021 is a month in. As usual, change has been part of all of it.

wall of guitars and pedals

I assume most of us have felt change and at the same time many of us have felt in a limbo with no change for the last year. Or at least not landing at a point where we feel stability or on the other side.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am ready for live music. I am ready to watch and perform. I am ready to meet up with people and relax and have fun and do all the things I used to. But nothing is the same. It is going to take time. We must all be patient.

Stay safe out there and take care of yourselves.

And if you want more frequent updates, follow me on Instagram at gtr1ab.

Someone’s already doing it

The world is a full and vibrant place! I don’t care how down or sad I get, I can’t get over how amazing people can be. Don’t get me wrong, people can be terrible. But people can be amazing.

And we all have goals. We all have dreams. We all think we should do something amazing. (little secret: we do, just by living)

When it comes to podcasts, I always thought I would do it… one of these days, I would take my guitar hobby from infrequent blog posts, daily Instagram posts, gear acquisition syndrome, and mediocre playing into something magical! Then I ran into the beautiful West Seattle guitar podcast staple: The High Gain Podcast from John and Ed. And that is when I truly understood the beginning of Chapter 36 from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.
Hiro used to feel this way, too, but then he ran into Raven. In a way, this was liberating. He no longer has to worry about being the baddest motherfucker in the world. The position is taken.

Ed may agree with iTunes reviews that they are a “couple of dipshits” talking about guitars, but they are creating the podcast I wished I could make. They did it. They did it better than I dreamed I could. So I listen to them. I encourage them. I praise them.

Well done John and Ed. You have created something that makes the world better. Maybe not the world as a whole, but my world. Thank you.

So accept that other people make stuff, sometimes better than you. Support them. Show your appreciation. Thank them for making it. Thank them for their success. And do your own thing at the same time. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t get down. Revel in other’s creations. Make your own. Keep posting. Keep creating. Do you. Do you and don’t be alone. None of us exist in a vacuum.


Woah! Where did the time go? My last post was from the before times? Before Covid-19. Before Stay at Home orders.  Before my vintage Gibson binge (well, maybe in the middle). Before my Warmoth Mooncaster bass (with roasted maple neck, custom route PJ pick up configuration, EMG Geezer Butler PJ pickups, and that matched my Warmoth Mooncaster guitar) was STOLEN!!!!


That’s right. Stolen out of a car late at night. It was a sad day…night. Week. Month.

You get what I’m saying.

Don’t leave valuables in the car.

The police were notified. A police report was filed. I notified local guitar shops. Nothing.

I couldn’t really talk about it. It was too sad. I had worked with my friends at Warmoth Guitars to match the finish and wood grain of my Mooncaster guitar I had assembled just a year or two earlier. They were so kind and so helpful. Thanks Warmoth!

And still I hear nothing.

Then, months later, I start getting notifications from multiple guitar stores that someone is trying to sell a Warmoth Mooncaster bass…with PJ pickup configuration. I notify the police.


So, if you see this bass, please notify the Seattle police and reference case #19-325563.

Keeping Up

If you haven’t taken a moment to check out my @gtr1ab Instagram account, then you are missing out on the real updates. I post a guitar related picture every single day. Almost all of them are guitars I own. Sometimes I post guitars I have seen in a store and want to share.


1965 refinished Fender Precision bass with jazz pickup added in the bridge position.

So if you haven’t already, go to www.instagram.com/gtr1ab.

Welcome back?

It’s been 1,175 days since my last post here. That’s 3 years, 2 months, and 18 days (excluding today). Almost 168 weeks. 28,200 hours. 1,692,000 minutes. 101,520,000 seconds.

Not the longest time, but not the shortest either.

Life feels completely different from just a few years ago. Better.

So what has gtr1ab been up to you ask? Check out @gtr1ab on Instagram. That’s what I’ve been up to. There have been a lot of guitar shenanigans. I started playing bass in a band. I have explored many cities and countries for guitars.

Some things are still around from 2015. A lot of things have been added. Some things have come and gone in that time, even some of the stuff in this picture from 2018.2018Guitars

Let’s see what happens next!

Collings & Dusty Strings

A quick hop, skip, and a jump from my work is a great guitar shop call Dusty Strings. On one of my lunch breaks I made a quick trip to check out the National Resolectric I saw online.

The National wasn’t what I had hoped for, but I did see a lot of great guitars. Namely this Collings SoCo LC!

Collings SOCO LC

What a great instrument! I liked it a lot, but it is a semi-hollow body guitar and I am looking for the lighter full hollow body guitars like my Fender Coronado II or the 1964 Guild Starfire III measuring stick.

But there are some absolutely gorgeous instruments being made in this world. We can’t have all of them, but we can try to get exposed to as many of them as possible.

So a big thank you to Collings for making a great instrument and an even bigger thank you to Dusty Strings for a great shop and for providing those wonderful opportunities.

New Measuring Stick

When I visited the Chicago Music Exchange, I found my new measuring stick. You  know what I’m talking about. That guitar that you would really like to purchase, but really shouldn’t. It plays great. It has a great sound. It feels fantastic.

64 Guild Starfire III playing

And it is technically not where your money should be going.

64 Guild Starfire III body

So it becomes your measuring stick. Do I want to spend money on this new clutch for my car or would I rather have the 1964 Guild Starfire III? New clutch.

Would I rather have my kids’ college educations funded or the 1964 Guild Starfire III?

Would I rather have a new amp or the 1964 Guild Starfire III?

Would I rather go on vacation with my family or have the 1964 Guild Starfire III?

Would I rather buy my wife’s new gaming rig for Fallout4 or have the 1964 Guild Starfire III?

Would I rather have a my mortgage paid or a 1964 Guild Starfire III?

The questions and comparisons just keep on coming. Sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes the answer is yes. But I find that the chance to get a “new” guitar is stopped with the desire to live and pay for the rest of everyday life. I have a lot of guitars. I have had more. I play the guitars I have, and enjoy them immensely. But I also go days without playing the guitars I have. However, I do drive my car with the new clutch a lot. I do live in my house on a fairly regular basis. I do go on vacation from time to time. I do love my kids. My wife built an amazing computer for playing Fallout 4!

64 Guild Starfire III

So what is your measuring stick? And when does it win? Should it?

New Pedalboard Set Up

A few weeks ago I purchased a Strymon Flint reverb and tremolo pedal at Chicago Music Exchange.

Flint Strymon

And now it is part of my pedalboard!

As I have mentioned or described in the past, I had an Electro Harmonix Stereo Pulsar tremolo and EHX Holy Grail reverb that I got for cheap at a local thrift shop. The reverb just didn’t do it for me in the long run and as much as I liked the trem, it just wasn’t something I used a lot. And that is a lot of pedal board real estate. But my ModTone Vintage Analog Delay was not working as a reverb in the long run either. So I splurged and got the Flint after trying it with a bunch of other reverb pedals. It is fairly high price, but I justified it by getting a tremolo in the same unit. I would’ve spent the same amount of money on separate reverb and tremolo pedals anyway. Right? Right!Nov 2015 pedalboard

In order to keep my other pedals, including the looper/feedback modified OhHoNo pedal that currently has nothing in the loop, I took off my tuner. I haven’t noticed a big difference in the sound without the buffer that was in the tuner, but I am loving having dedicated reverb and tremolo back on my pedalboard. Combine that with my POG2 and the two delays with my volume pedal and I am having a blast with ambient swells and oceans of echo and reverb underneath what I am playing!

Or I can just go with the tremolo and feel it wash through whatever chords I’m playing.

And having a warm reverb is just incredible for those occasional blue notes that I hit just right!

I do need to put it on a wood block to raise up the pedal for the back row and to keep the pedal velcroed in place without putting velcro on the pedal. And eventually I’ll build a tap tempo pedal for controlling the trem. But I don’t know where that will be kept on the board. Things are a bit crowded. 🙂

Chicago Music Exchange

I was in Chicago last week for work, but was able to make a trip or two to the Chicago Music Exchange.

SG Wall

Oh, hello row of 60’s and 70’s SG Juniors and Specials. Nice to meet you.


Gibson ES-225

Hi 50’s guitars. I can’t believe I actually got to play a Gibson ES-225! So amazing. I still prefer the P-90’s of the ES-125DC, but this was very cool.

Epiphone Casino Gibson ES-330 red

Hi 60’s hollow bodies! John Lennon would be proud of that Epiphone. I enjoyed it. And that Gibson ES-330 is amazing in the “naturally aged” cherry. Something about a 50 year old guitar.


Hi history and art made from wood and metal and plastic. I finally got to play a Rhoney. I’ve been listening to their podcast for a while, but never seen one in the flesh. It was fun to play. The body was surprisingly small. I liked it!


The Fano is a guitar I have always wanted to play. When I first learned about the Fender Starcaster, the Fano was the only version I could find in production at the time. And it has a comfort belly contour. Perfect! And those pick ups! Perfection…but still out of my price range!


And I finally got to play a Reverend. I really liked the neck on this one. Overall a great guitar, but not what I’m looking for right now.

Thank you Chicago Music Exchange for creating a space that feels as comfortable as my living room, as historic as a museum, and a positive shopping experience.

I will post about my Strymon Flint next time!

Back In Tune

unopened tunerIn my attempts to get back into blogging here on a regular basis, I bought a new tuner. Here is the box.

just open the new tuner

Here I am opening the box.

tuner box open

Gotta put the battery in.

using the tuner

Now I use it on everything in the house! Did you know my son vibrates at A sharp?

The Polytune clip on is pretty nice. It has a few negatives with the tuner not being able to rotate on the clip. It folds in and out, but rotation would allow me to set it exactly how I want. But the reality is that it is very accurate. And it works very quickly. It is bright. I generally use the single note tuner on each string and then use the polytune to see how all the strings interact with each other.

It looks like I will be taking my Boss TU-2 Tuner pedal off my pedalboard. Maybe I’ll add a reverb? Future post topic? Probably!