Black Headstock Face

It works! I painted the headstock on this Squier strat neck and I think it looks pretty good. I actually like the flat black more than the glossy black body, but I’m not ready to repaint the body.

TopViewBlackHeadstock

Anyway, I’m still considering shielding the control cavity and putting a wood block behind the tremolo bridge block to basically make it a hard tail.

BlackHeadstockSide

And I still have to have the owner pick out which of his metal military insignia he wants on the headstock, but I’m basically done with a better looking and playing guitar!

BlackStratStrung BlackHeadstock3 blackheadstockstrung

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Strings

I finally changed the strings on my 1974 Epiphone Crestwood. It sounds so much more alive. I should’ve done it a long time ago.  In fact, the more I think about it, the old strings may have been the original strings that came with the guitar when I bought it.

That seems a bit extreme.

Ok, maybe I changed them out one time. Maybe. But there is a pretty good chance I didn’t.

I know I’ve read lots of articles and blog entries from other people about how frequently people change out their strings. Sometimes it is just when they break. Other times it is when they just feel gross. Some do it every 6 months. Others every month. And others every show.

I think at one point I was changing out my strings every couple of months, but I was burning through string sets and am too cheap to keep that up.

I don’t break strings very often (a good set up, playing 10’s, and a relatively gentle playing style help), so that isn’t a good reason to change strings for me.

And I have changed the strings on all my other guitars more often than on my Epiphone Crestwood. But the action was so good from the original set up. And I wasn’t sure what gauge strings were actually used. They felt like 10’s. But they were on a shorter scale guitar than the usual 25.5 inch scale I’m used to with most of my other guitars, so they felt different.
So I didn’t change them and just kept playing the guitar as if I had just bought it.
But the new strings, minor truss rod adjustment, and slight bridge height adjustment have made it come back to life like when I first purchased it. I should’ve done this a long time ago.
Guitars are made of wood and metal. They need to be cares for and adjusted back to their optimal set up. Relying on old strings and old set ups is not the best way. You don’t rely on the last time you tuned the guitar, so rely on the old set up?

I will make the extra effort to keep my guitars in top shape (minus new strings every week).

Eye Catching

I was going through my email tonight and this caught my eye.

blue gold black strat

It was in an email from Blue Microphones about how to mic an electric guitar with one of their products. The article wasn’t very good, but this picture really caught my attention. You probably can’t see it very well, but the blue with the gold pearloid pickguard and black hardware. That blue just gets me. And the gold looks surprisingly simple with the black hardware. I just like it.

Maybe I’ll repaint my red burst strat project and get black hardware and a new gold pearloid pickguard…maybe not. That sounds like a completely new project, which I am not starting. But it still looks cool!

Target Tone

I was driving up to fencing the other day and heard “The Wind Cries Mary” by Jimi Hendrix (or more officially, the Jimi Hendrix Experience).

Anyway, I heard this…

… and thought to myself, “That is one of the tones I want to achieve.”

I think I’ve come close, but it isn’t just about gear. It is about how you play with the gear you have. For example, I mentioned in a past post that I wasn’t as happy with my BBE Green Screamer pedal as I was with my Boss SD-2 Dual Overdrive. But then I played my SG and I loved the sound of the Green Screamer so much more than the Dual Overdrive.

Anyway, here’s a free, two part lesson from Justin for how to play The Wind Cries Mary. I’ll be using it.

And here is part 2, the solo:

And if you’re looking for a different way to play it:

Delay

March is upon us. And I haven’t been blogging as much recently, but that isn’t a bad thing. The last three days I’ve sat down to write something, looked at my guitar, stepped away from my computer, and then played the guitar.

Playing the guitar is a perfectly justified reason for delaying blog entries. I hope you are filling your lives with good delays!