Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fender Blacktops

For years, Fender Guitars have stayed in the confines of single coil pickup models. I have fallen in love with the fender sound, they have some of the most unique tones to ever be crafted. The single coil pickups have made people into guitar gods, but most guitarist prefer the humbucker sound that is larger than life. Today, Fender released the new "Blacktop" models for those who want more divercity out of their sound. They have modified all of the popular fender models to suite those who prefer
humbuckers. Here is an overview of the new guitars.

Fender Blacktop Stratocaster HH

This Stratocaster is availible in an all new color, Sonic Blue
Fender is tied up in the Stratocaster. Over the years, they have captured the hearts of many guitarists. With the new bold move of adding two humbuckers to the classic Stratocaster, they are making a bold move. By adding Hot Vintage Alnico Humbucking Pickups to their lineup, they add a whole new spectrum of players to Fender. Not only does the addition of the new humbuckers add a whole new chapter to guitars, but they also have a custom pickup selection. It has a 5-position blade: position 1: full bridge pickup, position 2: two inside single coils, position 3: both full humbucking pickups, Position 4: outer neck single coil, position 5: full neck pickup. I find this configuration quite genious, but that's just me. Other features include chrome and nickel hardware and many custom colors.

Blacktop Telecaster HH

The new Telecaster has custom tone knobs
I, myself, have a very nice standard Telecaster and to find out about the new Blacktop Telecaster is very exciting. Fender added many of the features from the modern Telecaster and the new model Blacktop to create this mystical guitar. The Telecaster has always been known to hold a place in hard rock, but this takes it to a whole new level. With the combination of the Telecaster body and the humbucker tone really makes for a special guitar. The Blacktop Telecaster and the Blacktop Stratocaster both have the same Hot Vintage Alnico Humbucking Pickups.

Blacktop Jaguar HH

The new Jaguar adds a simpler design for the larger tone
The Jaguar has always been one of my favorite guitars. These things are unique in every way. With the addition of two Hot Vintage Alnico Humbucking Pickups, this thing adds a whole new spectrum to the guitar world. This new Jaguar is very similar to the original Special Edition Jaguar HH, but adds a whole new spectrum of simplicity to an otherwise very complicated guitar. The two guitars also have different pickups. The new jaguars have incredible tone which many Jaguar fans will enjoy.

Blacktop Jazzmaster HS

The Jazzmaster underwent the biggest change
The new Blacktop Jazzmaster adds some unique features while still maintaining the classic Jazzmaster tone. After all, it wouldn't be a Jazzmaster without the deep tone. To maintain this deep tone, Fender has implimented the Duncan Designed™ Single-Coil Jazzmaster® Pickup in the neck postion. In order to add a new dimension to the Jazzmaster, Fender has added a humbucker in the bridge position, specifically, a Duncan Designed™ Humbucking Pickup. With this new design, this is sure to send sales sky rocketing for the Jazzmaster.

All of these new models are availible for the price of $699.99. For this guitar, you get more bang for the buck. All of these models are availible for comparison here.

Happy playing!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Steve Vai: Composer

Playing the guitar is a lost art. It used to be all about composure, theory, and innovation. Nowadays, it's all just power chords and dominant vocalists. But, there is one guitarist who knows how to bring down the house. His name is Steve Vai. He considers himself more of a composer than a guitarist. In his early days, he would challenge his fans to write him a musical score just to see if he could play it on the spot without any practice. Steve Vai is a modern day Jimi Hendrix. Although they both have completely different music styles, they both have innovated the guitar dramatically. Not nearly as many people have heard of Steve Vai, but it is important to know about how he approaches music.
As I am typing this, I am listening to Steve Vai floating in bliss. Vai is a perfectionist, he virtually never misses a note. Steve bases all of his guitar playing off of music theory. He has an incredible knowledge of music theory, something that I find boring. Although music theory is indeed boring (if you have never tried to learn about music theory, just a heads up: it is boring as fuck), it is vital to any person who ever wants to be a respected musician. Even Michael Jackson, somebody known for his singing, knows the key to every single one of his songs.
Steve Vai is not only a virtuoso at theory, but he is also a very odd guitarist who has developed his own strange style. Just listen to Steve Vai's "Massacre", he is not only very fast and talented, he is also very unique. He takes the place of a vocalist who is always in key, something that is very loud. Often times, he emulates vocalists while still maintaining what still makes the electric guitar famous. Steve Vai's "The Audience is Listening", is a great example of Steve Vai emulating a vocalist. It really makes me wonder how Steve Vai got this good.
Ibanez guitars has jumped on Steve Vai with many endorsement deals and signature guitars. If you take a look at Steve Vai's signature collection, you'll find guitars as odd as his playing style. I'm personally, a big fan of his beautiful fingerboards, even though I've never played one myself. I'm just itching to get my hands on one of these.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Heated Debate: The Greatest Artists of All Time

As VH1 attempts to script what they believe to be the 100 Greatest Artists of all time, I could help thinking, "who the hell came up with this list?" As it turns out, some of the most popular modern musicians are responsible for this dreadful list. Seriously, can someone please tell me why Cream is so low and why Eminem, Justin Timberlake, and Green Day are even on this list? Well anyways, I've had enough of saying, "what the fuck", to these absurd opinions. Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest artists of all time is much more tolerant, but I still can't help thinking about why these opinions are so garbage.
I have narrowed the list down to the top 5. This is what my opinion consists of.

5. Michael Jackson

I am not a big fan of his music but you can't help but notice the effect Jackson has had on pop. He turned pop music into the music genre most people listen to. His album, "Thriller" still remains the greatest selling album of all time. Jackson's music is easy to recognize by the way he sings, dances, and squeals. It is easy to come by a person trying to pull off the Michael Jackson moonwalk, or trying to break out a high pitched squeal the way Michael Jackson used to. Jackson's classics are easily some of the most recognizable songs in music, who can forget the flowing songs of "Beat It", "Thriller", "Billie Jean", "Bad", and much more. Michael Jackson is an icon and the best man to ever live in pop.

4. Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix is a mastermind at the electric guitar and a mastermind at rock and roll. Jimi Hendrix was one of the first guitarists to ever incorporate gain in his guitar. Just look at his Woodstock performance, he makes the Fender Stratocaster sound magical. His powerful riffs echo through a nation begging for peace. His endless solos tell the tale of an apocalyptic struggle. His voice is the lid to his amazing guitar skills. Jimi Hendrix is the greatest guitarist of all time, there is no question about it. Nobody could pull off the kind of stuff he did. His influence has echoed generation to generation. His incredible songs are like a perfect synchronization of all that should be in music.

3. Bob Marley

The great Bob Marley is a symbol of friendship, hardship, and peace. Never before has one man's music ever been able to unite an entire nation. The Jamaican reggae singer revolutionized the word, "peace". Marley was there when the Jamaican revolution happened, and he was the main reason for it. His music is the the most relaxing you've ever listened to. All you have to do is sit on your couch, light up a joint, and jam with Bob Marley's peaceful grooves. Bob is the classic example of a man under the influence of understanding. It's hard to say that Bob Marley is just a musician, he is the one of the greatest humanitarians ever. His face has been all over the place, it seams that Bob Marley's revolution is continuing to this day and it shows no sign of stopping.

2. Led Zeppelin

They hold their proud place over music history, they are rock gods, they are how much music has to offer, they are Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin has been worshipped as some of the most genius musicians to ever roam this earth. When I say that people worship Led Zeppelin, that is an understatement. They were the pioneers of hard rock. Jimmy Page laid down riffs that were (and still are) hotter than the sun. Led Zeppelin has made their mark on modern musicians, they have an unbelievable amount of dignity. The classics just keep on lining up like like dominoes, and once one of them came down to earth, the rest of them soon followed. So when you're wondering what to listen to next, Led Zeppelin is always a reliable choice.

1. The Beatles

There is no question that the Beatles are the best artists in the world, collectively. Chances are that your favorite artist wouldn't be around if it weren't for the Beatles. Underneath all of the teenage screaming is something incredibly special, some of the greatest music to ever his human ears. The are, without a doubt, the biggest influence in music. The hold the trophy for the greatest musicians ever in many opinions. The resulting music coming from the Beatles is the wondering mind. All you have to do is take a listen and you'll get how influential they've been to every single musician since the 1960's. These men are the greatest musicians of all time and that's not about to change anytime soon.

Notable artists that almost made the cut:
Bob Dylan
Elvis Presley

Feel free to add your input. Who did I miss?

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Fantasy Football Team

I had my fantasy football draft today. I am a part of a 10 team league and I had the #1 pick. Pretty fucking lucky, considering I've never had the #1 pick. Well anyways, let's get to it. This is what I have lined up for my fantasy team.

Brett Favre
Donovan McNabb
Mark Sanchez
Adrian Peterson
Ryan Mathews
Jerome Harrison
Cadillac Williams
Roddy White
Hines Ward
Santonio Holmes
Derrick Mason
Jermichael Finley
Chris Cooley
New York Giants
Stephen Gostkowski

Pretty happy with it, but I wish I could have done better. Tell me what you think.

James Trussart: Bringing back the Metal Guitar

Way back before I started playing guitar, inventors started toying with the idea of an electric guitar. It was an absurd idea back then, but as you know, the electric guitar quickly caught up with popularity. Some of the earliest electric guitars were made of solid metal. They weighed you down to the floor. Inventors soon decided that metal was not nearly a good enough material to make guitars from, so they decided to build guitars out of some of the toughest woods, this idea soon caught up with the world, with the development of the popular Fender Esquire.
After years of inventing and reinventing, modern guitars have taken shape. It is nearly forbidden to make guitars out of something other than wood (with the exception of the Ampeg Dan Armstrong). But today, there is a new innovator who is bringing back the metal guitar, his name is James Trussart.
James Trussart makes custom guitars and basses out of metal (steel, to be exact). Sometimes, he just puts metal pickguards on top of wooden bodies, but he is famous for building guitar models entirely out of metal. His guitars are metal replicas of famous modern day guitars, such as the Gibson Les Paul, the Gibson Explorer, the Fender Stratocaster, the Fender Jazzmaster, the Fender Telecaster, and the Fender Precision Bass.
An example of a James Trussart SteelDeville
These guitars have earned the liking of Eric Clapton, James Hetfield, Jack White, Tom Morello, Kieth Richards, Bob Dylan, Billy Gibbons, and Andrew Stockdale. James Hetfield (Metallica) is the proud owner of five of these odd guitars.
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top has raved about these metal guitars,
"Just a note to let you know we're thrashin' them blues on the fine James Trussart silver 6-string. It's funky. The tone is the thing... and this instrument has got some tone."
- Billy Gibbons
These guitars may not look like it, but they are hollow body guitars. There are small holes all over the guitar to let the air flow (whatever the hell that means). The fact that they're hollow bodied really helps with the weight too, these guitars can weigh anywhere from 7 to 10 pounds. For a steel guitar, that's pretty fucking good.
Here is an example of the tone on a James Trussart steel guitar.
In order to score one of these beauties, you're going to need a huge wallet. These things can go for more than $6000.
If you are interested in checking out the guitars, viewing more demos, or buying one of these, visit the James Trussart official website.

Welcome to the Blog of Sean

As you have probably guessed, I am Sean. I just started this blog to let the world know what I am thinking. My general interests include music, guitars, basses, sports, and various other stuff. I tried blogging a long time ago but it just didn't work out for me. I don't know how to explain it but it's just the fact that I didn't feel the need to write about bullshit, but this time, I'm not going to write about bullshit (well, I may be lying there. You never know.). So if you like what I have to say, then let me know.