My Wonderful Guitars
​& Equipment
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REFERRALS & SUGGESTIONS


People and my students sometimes ask me questions concerning my equipment and what I recommend. SO,... I would like to start out with a solid WINNER - my acoustic electric. None other than a TAKAMINE! I have played all kinds of gigs throughout my career, from clubs, single gigs, shows and recording. Not only do they play great, but they also hold up under duress. The acoustic quality is fantastic!

I used mahagony TAKAMINE to record the track, "WAITIN IN SCHOOL" for "PULP FICTION". Not only do they also finger great, but the electronics (internal pickups) are what you want on stage. Acoustic guitars have some
trouble on live gigs with feedback. But as you can see from my videos, my TAKAMINE is right up there with the solid bodies in doing a live show.

For example, I recorded ​rhythm guitar on Yvonne Elliman's hit album, "​IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU!" with my acoustic TAKAMINE (my Ricky Nelson guitar) and it came out with definition and a crisp, deep tone, etc. as always. I've owned 3. The black one that I use in ​some of the videos is also a TAKAMINE. From a distance a TAKAMINE looks like a MARTIN.
  MARTIN
A MARTIN guitar is a treasure as well. To me, however, the
emphasis is on the acoustic qualities. ​​RICKY NELSON used a MARTIN guitar ​​​ on TV. ​When he was on stage, you could not actually hear him strumming because the MARTIN was not internally amplified. ​Later on, of course he did, but he used a TAKAMINE mahogany guitar just like the one I had (which was stolen).

​A MARTIN has always sounded great acoustically. (​MARTIN'S​ have the pickups inside the guitar, etc. as well.) Again, they also have improved fingering action since the earlier models, but in my opinion, the neck ​is not as comfortable as a TAKAMINE. ​ 
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​​GIBSON
​My favorite solid body electric guitar was undoubtedly the Gibson LES PAUL model. I owned 2 of them. I had ​one of the earlier gold models and then I bought a rare LES PAUL Recorder, which I used as a lead guitar in ​most all of my bands. You can hear me play ​lead in my musical, "BEYOND THE NORTHWIND".

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I​ ​bought this guitar while I was teaching at a music store in Santa Ana, CA.
The Beatles were hot and this guitar was ordered to the store. I saw it, and tried it out and HAD to have it. Have you ever had that feeling?...
The electronics were great and the look was exceptional. The neck was slightly curved and was very narrow. I unfortunately like a wider, flatter neck.
It went over great in the clubs which I was ​appearing in under age (I was around 19 at the time). One of my students, Lil BOBBY CARLISLE (8 years old) looked at that guitar like it was the only thing he would ever want in this world. At the time, I was heavily into CHICAGO (the group-that is). The guitar player used a LES PAUL Recorder. Mahagony (solid body of course). Funny as things work out; the music store down the street just got in a LES PAUL Recorder - mahagony!

So, Bobby gets the RICKENBACKER! Th​e Gibson LES PAUL was the last solid body lead guitar I have used. -btw- Lil BOBBY CARLISLE, went on to his #1 Hit "Butterfly Kisses" and a Grammy...  All because of my guitar!

GUITAR AMPS

I have mostly used a ​FENDER​ Twin Reverb amp on most of my gigs/recordings. Whether i am doing a single gig or band show, I do love the amp and would recommend one without even thinking about it. This amp produces what a clean electric guitar should sound like. I like it with a solid body or acoustic guitars, it's that versatile!


It features four 6L6 Groove Tubes® output tubes, four 12AX7 pre-amp tubes, two 12AT7 preamp tubes, two 12” 8-ohm Jensen® C-12K speakers, dual channels (normal and vibrato), Fender® reverb, vibrato, two-button reverb and vibrato on-off footswitch, tilt-back legs and black textured vinyl covering.


I used my FENDER with my TAKAMINE on the PULP  FICTION session. I had a mic in front of the amp, another mic on the TAKAMINE, and one final mic on my ​mouth - recorded live.


If you are playing in a small club, or doing a huge show, this amp delivers a clean sound and has enough power to deliver a clean sound without distortion. If in a large show, you can hear yourself clearly even though the sound engineers mic you seperately. I really have always loved the Jensen speakers as well. Cuts right through!... The videos I have uploaded from the LITTLE RICHARD ​concert show me on my FENDER Twin Reverb using my acoustic electric TAKAMINE. (I had an excellent sound crew as you can witness. We only had a quick sound check and then the lead guitar player turned my volume dials off just before the show, so when I came on stage, I had to quickly guess at the mix while doing my couple opening numbers. (That's why I was running back & forth, etc. I still can't figure out why that happened.)


Electric BASS

​I have alwaysused​ a F​ENDER Precision Eelectric Bass. As a guitar player, it is easy to switch to Bass. One must be careful not to think like lead guitar when overdubbing and recording Bass. But that comes with experience and practice. My favorite ​is still my Fender Precision Electric Bass. That's all I ever used for recording.

BASS AMPS

AMPEG for size and sound. I used to work millions of clubs. I was one of the first live singles in Orange County, CA to pre-record my own backgrounds and vocals and then play with them live in clubs, etc. ​I pre-recorded the BASS line, drum machine, and voices as well. ​But I played back the BASS track and drum machine into my AMPEG. It handled both sounds and levels wonderfully!

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MICROPHONES

​The first microphone presented here would be the "Ricky Nelson," microphone pictured with him on album covers and magazines. Also wrongly called the "Elvis" microphone.​​​ We called it the S​HURE "Basketball mic." I owned an original Shure  (Basketball) mic. Shure mics were the standard then as well as Shure PA's (Very BIG.) -- The new ​mics. are much better than the originals (naturally). The guts are far superior today. I haven't used one since ​my early days. They are cool if you are looking for the ​aesthetic value of that period. I don't know what exact mic. was used (as a prop in "PULP FICTION"). Too bad I didn't get them to use the original Shure mic. 


​The microphone that I used for clubs and practice is a​ SENNHEISER e965. I've made ​demos, etc. with this mic. When you're in the studio or doing a show, etc. you would use whatever the sound company/studio offers (Naturally).  


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PORTASTUDIO RECORDER

You are going to need a personal recording and practicing studio. The cost of renting a studio with their technician mounts up to frightening costs. The Tascam DP-24SD 24-Track Digital Portastudio Recorder is my choice of solution. Bottom line is, you can practice new material, make demos of original material for example and add/overdub yourself with extra players. Then when you are ready you can get in a professional studio and get your project done quickly and ​efficiently. 

I have owned several TASCAMS in the past. I do love them, not only for the quality but also for the reasonable price they offer. The quality is amazing and the included effects are all you need. The 24 Track is plenty in my opinion. You really don't want to overdub that much unless it is a demo. To record live, (as for a live show, etc.) 24 is plenty to keep track of. And if you are recording seriously, you would want the acoustics of a quality studio with a great tech.


The other valuable feature is the fact that you can practice anywhere with reverb/echo etc. and headphones even in an apt. (which I have many, many times.



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