This year, I didn’t get any guitar paraphernalia for Christmas. This is ok.

I have a lot of gutiar paraphernalia and I have been really trying to focus on what I need/want while getting rid of the rest. Well, let’s just say I’ve been planning to do that.

But today, I got a late Christmas gift! Electric Guitar & Bass Design by Leonardo Lespennato. I haven’t read it all yet, but I put it on my list based on the description from Crimson Guitars.

Anyway, thanks to the gift giver. And thanks to everyone else who got me other stuff for Christmas. I am grateful for it all!


La Grange Solo

This post is a big thanks to Guitar Licks and Tabs for the first part of their two part lesson on how to play the ZZ Top “La Grange” guitar solo.

This song was one of the first really good bluesy/rocky rhythm parts I learned on the guitar, but I could never figure out the solo. Now I’m back and I’m inspired to learn it from start to finish! Thanks again!

bass pedal board finished

At my local guitar shop I found a used (and obviously tinkered with) ModTone chromatic tuner. Add that to my bass pedal board I started a while back (with the addition of my old DOD FX75-B flanger taken off my guitar pedalboard and set to more of a chorus sound) and I have what I wanted! Project completed! Goal achieved!

finished bass pedalboard

As you can see, I also threw on my DOD 275 to have a balanced line out directly into my mixing board. I was shocked at how good my bass sounds through the direct box to my mixing board. I’ve always plugged my bass straight into my mixing board when I want to record or play quietly (when kids are sleeping), but it always sounds weak and I have to really turn up all gain levels at all parts of the chain, which gets very noisy.

So with the tuner, the Danelectro Surf & Turf Compressor, my modified black Russian Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi, DOD FX75-B Flanger, and the DOD 275 Direct box, I have what I need for bass. And the power supply is a homemade daisy chain that I can plug a Boss wall wart into in order to power everything.

I’m not completely done yet. I may add some handles on the sides. But I don’t know what else I would add to it, nor do I want to put anymore money in it. Even buying everything used and repairing/modding, I am maxed our on my budget for this project.  It is great for my needs (which aren’t that big). The other nice thing about this “mini-pedalboard” is that I can use it with my acoustic/electric guitar too.


I guess I’ve been under a rock more than I thought because I totally missed Trixie Whitley and Black Dub.

Hearing her solo stuff makes me think of her father’s guitar playing, but she also is developing her own voice. Good for her. I wish her the best.

Plus it doesn’t hurt that she plays drums, guitar, piano, and sings.



Perhaps not easy to do, but it makes total sense.  I will be trying it on a guitar soon.  And the fact that he uses a Made in Mexico strat for one of the videos just goes to show how even “low end” guitars today are better than a lot of mid level and even high level guitars of the last 20 years.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself. It may just be the person playing…

Tap Tempo

I have a few pedals with tap tempo capabilities. If I could, I would have a lot more. However, I would like to have a single tap tempo control of all of them. I didn’t think I could do it on my budget until I saw this. The Visual Sound Time Bandit.

visual sound time bandit

But it isn’t an actual tap tempo. It is all about following a click track. But what if I connected my acoustic stomp box to it in a live setting? Would my attempt to rhythmically tap my foot on the acoustic stomp box work the same as a click track being fed into the Time Bandit? Seems like it would.

Plus, the Time Bandit has a BPM capability for nailing specific tempos, which has been a complaint of many delay and looping pedals that don’t have a bpm capability. How hard would it be to send the “tap tempo” signal from the Time Bandit to multiple pedals so they are all in sync? Seems like it would just take some cables, some 1/4 inch plugs, and some soldering.

I’m not going to do anything about this idea anytime soon, but isn’t it neat when you see a product and your mind automatically goes to how you can expand that product’s use beyond the original purpose. Maybe I’m not adding a lot of “expanding,” but a quick search didn’t reveal anyone else sharing this idea. So here you go. If anyone tries it, let me know if it works!

DIY Compressor

Someday, I will try to build this.

Ever since finding it, I have followed the Guitar FX Layout blog. I haven’t done any of their projects, but just seeing what they do is inspiring to any DIY-er. What a fantastic hobby! Building and recreating guitar effects pedals. It is a skill I just don’t have, but I want to. I tried building a Ruby amp, but something didn’t work on it and I had other projects, so it got  put on the back burner. I keep going back to this blog and know that I will try more projects thanks to the work they do and all the great ideas they post.

But I do want a compressor on my pedal board. And this seems like a pretty straight forward build. If you want to know why I think adding a compressor to my pedalboard is a good idea, check out this excellent summary from a guest post on Effects Bay.

So one of these days (when my current projects are complete), I’ll try this.

Go here for the diagram. Here’s the original post.

Bits and Pieces

When I went to my local guitar shop to pick up the tuners for the blue squier strat project, I found a few more bits and pieces. Knowing I was going to rehash my pedal board, I was looking for some patch cables. I was in luck with a bunch of used cables in their sale bin. Some of them were pretty nice and I ended up walking away with four or five.

But the best part of the visit was purchasing a mangled, made in Mexico Fender strat neck.

It needs some work, but it feels good and should be fairly easy to fix. And the price was right!

Acoustic Stomp Box Power

After I put my Behringer pedal inside the acoustic stompbox, I still needed to drill a hole for the power supply plug.

acoustic stompbox powered

When I attached the pedal inside with velcro, the box wouldn’t close. So i took the footswitch off. Then I couldn’t turn it off and on, so I used some scrap velcro to attach a leftover Ikea pencil inside.

acoustic stompbox effect inside

Now I can plug it in, turn it on with the pencil, close it, use it, unplug it, put the power supply inside, and go.