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How are you powering the pedals?
I've tried a lot of adapters and found that the Danelectro is hands down the best adapter I have. I daisy chain it off The TU-2 tuner’s power port.
What gauge strings do you use?
Every electric guitar that I have has 11s on them and the acoustics have 12s. I have a small-body Guild M-20 from the ’60s that gets 12s because it's delicate. I have a ’73 Gurian—a big booming loud jumbo guitar—so I put 13s or 14s on it.
What kind of straps and picks do you use?
I've been lucky enough to have a couple of guys send me straps that they've made. I've got a real nice one that’s handmade from ostrich skin.
I only play with thumb picks using whatever I can find. Generally the Dunlop thumbpick is my favorite. I shave them down, because the way they come are a little too long to use for flatpicking.
I basically hold the thumbpick like it's a flatpick. At that point I can do one of three things—play straight like a flatpick, hybrid pick if I want to have have my middle and ring fingers open, or let go of the thumbpick entirely and go straight into Travis picking.
What’s on your gear wish list?
I’ve used all sorts of cheap guitars, but as you get older you realize, "I'm gonna buy the one really good one." In the vintage room at the LA Guitar Center, I picked up an original L5 George Gobel with the Charlie Christian pickup. That thing was unreal, man—but it was going for forty grand.
That would never leave the house.
That's the thing—you can't travel with a guitar like that—so you can't really go out and play it. That's why my Gibson ES-350 is the perfect guitar for me, even though it's a 1949 ES-350 and worth a lot of money. When I got it, it had been saved from a music store fire that happened in the early ’70s. It was just put in a closet after they pulled it out of the fire. When I got it, about twenty years later, I opened the case and it was still covered in soot. The binding was half-melted off, it had a huge crack around the side, and the entire neck had to be rebuilt. So it's still a great guitar, but it's not worth ten grand like a mint one.
I prefer to find the abused instruments, because then I don't feel bad if I go on the road with them. I'd hate to take a mint condition ’59 Strat on the road and have something happen to it. I'd be heartbroken.
Paul Pigat’s Gearbox
Gretsch Country Club, Gretsch Falcon, 1949 Gibson ES-350, ’60s Gibson ES-125 TDC, ’60s Guild M-20
Gretsch Executive, 1968 Ampeg GU-12, ’50s Gibson Super 400
Malekko Chicklet reverb, Boss TU-2 tuner, CS-2 compressor and DM-2 delay, Zvex Box of Rock, Nocturne Brain, Dyno Brain and Atomic Brain