Other stuff


Review: Fender Mustang Micro

Nothing beats the sound of a tube amplifier, but the truth is that, even at bedroom level, they can be too loud – for example when the children have just gone to bed, or someone is watching tv next door. I was considering the Boss Waza Craft headphones when Fender […]


Creating leadsheets with Musescore

The number one online source for Guitar Tabs and Chords is Ultimate Guitar, but I often prefer leadsheets, as they offer a single-page overview of songs. You could create a simple leadsheet with e.g. PowerPoint or Excel, but I also like having the ability to add music notation and tablature, […]


Gibson Les Paul Standard ’50s

How many guitars does a guitarist need? The common joke among guitarists is n+1, with n being the number of guitars currently owned. I’d say four: Maple and rosewood fretboard Stratocasters, a Telecaster, and a Les Paul. But the minimum is certainly two: one with single coils and one with […]


Fender American Professional II Stratocaster

In late 2020, Fender introduced the American Professional II Stratocaster as successor to the American Professional, the mid-range US model. As usual, the changes are evolutionary. There are new pickups (V-Mod II), a new cold-rolled steel vibrato block, and a sculpted neck heel (like the Deluxe/Elite/Ultra). Also new is the […]


Playing chords on three strings

Beginners usually start learning chords with open strings, i.e. at the first couple of frets, and covering all strings. Most important of these are the E and A chord forms, as they can be played as barré chords and thus moved up the neck to get other chords. The first […]


Fender American Ultra Stratocaster

Usually, new product announcements are made around either the Summer or Winter NAMM show, but Fender chose early November to release the Ultra range of guitars. The Ultra replaces the Elite as top-of-the-line regular (i.e. non-Custom Shop) range. Models available are the Stratocaster (SSS and HSS), Telecaster, Jazzmaster, Precision, and […]


Review: Marshall Origin 50C

How I arrived at this amp is described here. When Marshall introduced the Origin at the 2018 winter NAMM show, there was much rejoicing: Marshall seemed to finally deliver what many people had been waiting for: an affordable Plexi-style amp. When the specifications became known and the first videos turned […]


Building a DIY Guitar FX pedal

There’s a multitude of guitar FX pedals out there, but many of them are quite expensive. For those with some technical skill and a soldering iron, there’s an alternative: building your own pedals from a kit. A large selection of kits is sold by Musikding, and I recently ordered the […]


Amp shopping

I’ve been playing through a Peavey Valveking Royal 8 for many years now, but despite a number of mods, I’ve never been really satisfied with the sounds I get out of it. I think it’s the combination of 8″ speaker and cheap output transformer. The sound is quite boxy and […]


Guitar FX manufacturers you should know

Guitar FX pedals are booming. Despite digital/modelling amplifiers getting better and better, low-wattage tube amplifiers for home and mic’ed stage use are more popular than ever. FX pedals provide flexibility for these often simple and straightforward amps, to the point that pedal platform amps, which only provide a base clean […]


Overdrive pedals you should know

There’s an innumerable amount of Overdrive pedals these days – but this can’t hide the fact that many of them are based off a limited number of “reference” pedals. This is (most likely incomplete) list of such reference pedals, in no particular order. Tubescreamer Quite likely the most famous overdrive […]


Fender 2019 Stratocaster lineup

US-made (“MIA”) US-made Stratocasters are built in Fender’s factory in Corona, California. The finish is generally polyurethane, except on the Originals, which are finished in nitrocellulose lacquer. With the exception of the American Special, they all come with cases. American Performer The American Performer Stratocaster is Fender’s entry-level US-made Stratocaster, […]