Posted: June 5, 2017
My product review for this month is Comfort Strapp. The problem with many guitar straps is that they’re generally uncomfortable on your shoulder for long periods of time and tend to fail over time through constant use – not with Comfort Strapp! I’ve used these straps for many years now both through live use and day to day teaching with about 90% of my student clientele now using this brand as the ‘go-to’ strap for them! The material is soft cushioned neoprene which feels sooooooooo comfortable on your shoulder, allowing a little flex whilst anchoring safely and securely to your strap button by the additional aid of the ‘douglas connector’ double attach system on these straps. I then use and recommend as a secondary measure the ‘Dunlop Straplok System’ and you’re ready to go…..this is my Rors Recommend for June and a MUST HAVE! : )
When you are next in for your lesson/s please feel free to enquire and I’ll show you just how good these Comfort Strapp’s are and the benefits first hand…..
For further details please visit http://comfortstrapp.com
Posted: May 15, 2017
My product review for this month is a ‘one off’ purchase that makes REAL sense, the humble Strap Lock! : ) Over the past 28yrs or so that I’ve been doing this now, I’ve noticed how accessories have become more and more accessible to everybody with new gadgets entering our retail sector month in month out and whilst this is great it is very easy to get caught up in buying stuff – myself included….. : ) Strap Locks however are one of those guitar accessories that are a MUST HAVE and so my Rors Recommend for May! I have honestly caught by sheer chance bass guitars that have fallen off students straps whilst teaching them here at my home studio, so imagine what happens when you start band practising or playing live. Although a number of you have jumped onboard with purchasing strap locks for your basses over the years, this is just a reminder to ‘all’ – ‘do you currently have a set on your bass’???
Any main brand of strap lock will work just fine, but my personal favourite would be the trusted ‘Dunlop Straplok System’. When you are next in for your lesson/s please feel free to enquire and I’ll show you just how easy they are to use and the benefits of strap locks first hand : )
For further details please visit https://www.jimdunlop.com
Posted: April 22, 2017
My product review for this month is the super cool GruvGear FretWarp. I came across these in late 2012 when I did a live show with legendary guitarist Paul Gilbert and have been a fan ever since really! Ok, so what does a FretWrap do…..GruvGear’s FretWraps professionally dampen your strings to get rid of all unwanted overtones, resonance and open string vibrations that you naturally get with your instrument. This makes it the ‘perfect companion’ in all applications from home practise, live use through to recording. You simply attach it to the neck of your bass just over the nut and you’re job done! Many of you have purchased them over the years here and just recently they’ve started taking off again as the go-to/must-have for your bass…plus they come in some fantastic colours! When you are next in for your lesson/s please feel free to enquire and I’ll show you just how good they really are! : )
For further details please visit http://www.gruvgear.com
Posted: March 14, 2017
My product/s review for this month is my personal amplification and setup – EICH Amplification. This stunning gear is ‘handmade in Germany’ by Thomas himself with noticeable attention to detail. Many of you are at the point now where you’re ready to make your next purchase, something a little special to go with your chosen instrument/s and with that in mind I thought it would be a really helpful exercise this month to briefly highlight some of the features I love about this brand to maybe help you all when it comes to making a decision for yourselves:
EICH T-900 900w Bass Amplifier – A super tiny amp which is dead easy to use with bags of character sums up this amp nicely I think! By the amp having a Class-D poweramp along with a solid state preamp means it only weighs in at 3.75lbs which is absolutely nuts. The TASTE control gives you loads of tonal shaping allowing you to go from a taught slap sound in the DRY position through to a more mellow classic sound in the RICH position with everything else in between available on tap. The rehearsal aux-in jack on the back of the amp has also been a really helpful feature for myself as well as my student clientele using it in their lessons here. This feature enables you to plug in your smartphone, iPod or training device allowing you to play along with your tracks – this is also available on all the other amps and combos as well in the EICH range. Another point is that some days I run my amp from 9am in the morning through to 10pm at night with a short power down break in the day and you can simply switch it off, unplug it and pop it straight in the front pocket of your gigbag carefree with no heat issues…now that’s design!
EICH 212S 2×12 600w Bass Cabinet – A lovely well thought out cabinet! On the day of receiving my new gear and unboxing everything I remember having to carry my cabinet into my home studio and found the all access handles to be a brilliant feature not realising that they are universal in there design so however you pick up the cab your fingers slot nicely into the handles allowing you to have the best grip possible – brilliant idea! The quality of the material used to finish the cabinet is also beautiful with almost a ‘leather like’ feel to it : ) The 12’s have such wonderful clarity whilst having a lovely rich rounded depth of tone. Again, a nicely weighted cabinet coming in at 48.5lbs which makes it a joy to lift! The final feature I really like is the six stage tweeter switching system on the side which allows even more tonal variation to your sound. This cabinet simply looks beautify and sounds amazing… If you’re looking for an ‘all round cabinet’ to cover the main styles out there then I would recommend it in a heartbeat. Another cabinet you might want to try in the range is EICH’s 1210S.
EICH BC112 1×12 300w Bass Combo – A combo that does the job very well! I had my student clientele in mind when I purchased this combo for teaching and to give me another portable solution for rehearsals/running round. This has been a real favourite with everybody here thus combining many of the features I have already mentioned above but in a smaller footprint. I have really found the 12 to be a cracking loudspeaker!
Thomas EICH is regularly adding new amplification and cabinets to their already extensive range, so if you’re looking at changing your gear then check out EICH Amplification for yourselves at www.eich-amps.com
Posted: February 20, 2017
Grade 2 | 92% Distinction | 16/02/17
Grade 6 | 85% Merit | 16/02/17
Grade 2 | 90% Distinction |
Posted: February 3, 2017
Like a car needs a yearly service, your guitar – ‘your chosen instrument’, ideally needs the same kind of attention. Through constant use you’ll find that your neck might well of moved, your frets might be wearing unevenly or just the general achilles heel problems that you encounter on your instrument like your input or vol/eq controls start crackling or your strap locks begin to fall off. With this in mind, I would like to dedicate this post to my brother and great friend Ian Randell. Ian of Sphynx Guitar Tech and Guitar Tuition is simply an incredible individual!
Ian is my personal tech and looks after all of my basses. He will tell you himself how fussy I am…..but, I know how I like my instruments to feel and play and Ian delivers every time on this.
Ian and his tech services are used by guitar shops throughout devon for their clientele, as well as acoustic, electric and bass guitarists all over the country. If you play guitar, Ian should be without doubt your first point of call for all your guitar tech requirements. Please see Ian’s Testimonial page on his website to view the fantastic comments he gets on a regular basis from everyone. If you’re looking for a great guitar tech, look no further.
Ian is also a fantastic guitar teacher with a wealth of experience behind him, and a tuition clientele base going into the thousands now – past and present! Many of his past students are now running their own businesses as guitar teachers up and down the country, as well as locally in Plymouth. Ian’s wealth of musical knowledge in the practical and theory is quite incredible. His lessons are £35 an hour and worth every penny. If you’re looking for a patient guitar teacher with a solid teaching background, coupled with world class ability look no further. Ian is also the reason why I play and teach the electric bass guitar today – enough said.. : ) Ian you’re an inspiration and I don’t say it enough..thank you bro…
Please check Ian out for yourselves: www.sphynxguitartech.co.uk
Posted: January 2, 2017
My product/s review for this month was a bit of a nil brainer really! It’s probably been a couple of years now since I spent a bit of time educating everyone with regard to the importance of ‘Bass Guitar Maintenance’, so for the months of January and February I would like to show you all how to do a proper clean down and re-string of your instruments (Please note that I always recommend a professional guitar tech for anything above and beyond this).
Additionally there will be the opportunity to acquire for yourselves a proper D’Addario kit/pack with all the products and accessories you’ll need for future maintenance to your chosen instrument!
Posted: December 6, 2016
After spending years searching for Instrument Cables having to keep in mind at all times the cost, durability and the performance of the cable I have decided to go with D’Addario Planet Wave American Stage Instrument Cables. The added bonus is that they also come with a lifetime warranty – no fuss or receipt needed, so basically I’m sorted – yay! : )
They also have some amazing Accessories available in their arsenal, so check D’Addario out for yourselves at: http://www.daddario.com/DaddarioSplash.Page?ActiveID=1740
Posted: December 4, 2016
My product review for this month is actually something I came across many years ago after spilling coffee on one of my transcriptions here – what’s the chance hey! It was at that point that I realised the importance of future proofing my lesson material and haven’t looked back since. So, for December’s review may I introduce to you all Arobas Music’s Guitar Pro 6 Editing Software. What is it? Basically Guitar Pro 6 allows you to compose and read music scores using the musical notation of your chosen instrument. I truly would not be without this wonderful tool and I know many of my student clientele would agree that it’s the best thing since ‘sliced bread’!
Below are (5) additional reasons why you should consider Guitar Pro 6 Software:
1 – It’s a truly affordable way to have a tablature and score reader on your desktop, laptop, tablet or even smartphone
2 – You can write and edit your own compositions which is incredibly rewarding
3 – Through the export resource provided, you can share music files in the form of lesson material, compositions or even songs with your tutor, so for lessons it’s a ‘must have’!
4 – You’ll have access to literally thousands of online songs – all your favourites : )
5 – It’s great for improving your musical knowledge and practising with the provided tempo, looper and metronome tools.
Posted: November 25, 2016
A big congratulations to all of my student clientele who passed their Rockschool Bass Grade Performance Exams in Period C.
Grade 4 | 93% Distinction | 10/11/16
Grade 4 | 83% Merit | 08/12/16
Grade 3 | 91% Distinction | 08/12/16
Grade 1 | 87% Merit | 08/12/16