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Musings

When we have something to say, we say it here. Updated only occasionally, because we're too far away from the Muse of Inspiration's usual route.

 

Posted by in General on Jul 08, 2014 .

I love the look of a great guitar. I don't know diddly-squat about fine art, but artistry of fine guitar building pleases me.  I suspect, there are many of us that feel the same.  That's why we tend to have a guitar on a stand in our living room.  We tell ourselves that it is to keep the guitar within easy reach, but that truth is, we more often just like to look.

The problem is that guitars hate most indoor air. And they hate sunlight.  And the better the guitar, the more likely that air and sun will damage it. A solid body guitar with a poly finish will endure much more than a nitro finished dreadnought with a razor-thin solid...

Posted by in General on Jul 03, 2014 .

Tommy Tedesco would be 84 years old today. And if alive, he'd still be dispensing his wisdom to anyone lucky enough to be around him. As a member of LA's "Wrecking Crew", Tommy was the "Most Famous Guitarist You've Never Heard Of".

Tedesco strongly disagreed there was no “art” in sight-reading and playing someone else’s music. “I don’t think of it as written music. It’s written notes. You make music out of notes that are written. That’s the creativity. When I see a bunch of notes, I try and make music happen. That’s my creativity. No matter what I do, I try and make music happen.”

For years, Tommy shared his...

Posted by in General on Jun 30, 2014 .

One of my recent music trade publications recently had an editorial about how the large market for used musical instruments was adversely affecting the dealer's new product sales.

Incredibly, this editor stated that, "Until the industry transitions to building less durable products, there doesn't seem to be much that can be done to curtail the interest in used gear".

Let me get this straight. The way to build long term relationships with customers is to provide products of lower quality! Respectfully, I disagree. Here's what I see happening:

1) The customer buys the "less durable" product and to no one's surprise, it fails.
2)...

Posted by in General on Jun 25, 2014 .

Fender Musical Instruments recently upset many of its brick and mortar retailers by announcing they would begin selling direct to the consumer. The company claims that the "Fender American Design Experience" does not intend to compete with their traditional dealers. Few dealers believe them.

In other news, Fender has named Bob Roback as their new president. Their official press release proclaims, "Roback is an important new addition to Fender’s senior leadership team and will have a wide scope of responsibility including overseeing the development of Fender’s emerging digital strategy aimed at deeply engaging musicians and music...

Posted by in General on Jun 20, 2014 .

I don't know anything about "Big Business", but Bain Capital's colossal failure with Guitar Center should come as no surprise. The music instrument business has seen this before. In 1965 Fender was taken over by CBS, and they nearly killed Leo's dream. In 1969 Gibson was taken over by a South American brewing conglomerate. Gibson was within three months of going bankrupt when Henry Juszkiewicz, David Berryman, and Gary Zebrowski rescued them in January 1986.

I'm not saying that the TV and Beer businesses aren't complex. But as musicians, we are artists first. As such, we retain the inalienable right to be finicky, contrarian, prone to...

Posted by in General on Jun 05, 2014 .

Much is said about the "good old days" of guitar manufacturing.  The words, "They don't make them like they used to" have become a rallying cry for enthusiasts everywhere. What I find amazing is how, through the magic of time, almost any guitar 40 years old is considered to be superior to what is made today (and worth a ton of money).

I remember the "good old days”, when CBS owned Fender.  I bought a new black Strat in 1975. My local dealer let me buy it using installment payments.

Leo must have been ashamed of what bore his name. The finish on this guitar may have been as thick as a nickel! But even then you could easily...

Posted by in General on May 13, 2014 .

Welcome to the first entry of the LightSpeed Music blog. I hope to use this forum as a place to share useful information about choosing and maintaining your instrument. I'll offer my blatantly biased take on trends in the music industry. I'm not above sharing trivial factoids. Oh, and be forewarned, try as I might, I might rant.

 

I'm old enough to remember when "good" guitars were only made in the USA, and a beginners's instrument bordered upon being unplayable. There were no CNC machines and great guitar-building tonewoods were plentiful. I've watched as the bulk of fretted instrument manufacturing has moved to Southeast Asia and...