Most of us have been to a guitar show or two; look through the local papers, and odds are you’ll be able to find a swap show down at
Most of us have been to a guitar show or two; look through the local papers, and odds are you’ll be able to find a swap show down at the local Marriott. You’ll find guitar shows all across the country – all across the world, to be more accurate, with more than 2,000 guitar shows and festivals staged each year. Some are one-day events, designed to help dealers trade their valuable guitars, while some are multi-day festivals, celebrating all aspects of the instrument.
And while these guitar shows are fun, educational and great way to spend a Saturday afternoon looking at vintage Les Paul Bursts, there are a few shows which remain in a league of their own. The Dallas International Guitar Festival, scheduled this year for the weekend of April 20th, is arguably the biggest players in the industry, and has been breaking its own records for years. With the approach of this year’s show, it’s clear that 2007 will certainly be no different.
In true Texas fashion, this show’s roots are much more humble. Charley Wirz, a Dallas guitar shop owner, had the bright idea of organizing a vintage guitar show, in the same vein as the collectible and trade shows that visited the area regularly. With the help of partners John Brinkmann and Danny Thorpe, he would promote the shows, sign up dealers and collectors and lease display space. He would encourage like-minded guitar nuts to attend, and the result was the Greater Southwest Vintage Guitar Show.
The first year of its existence, 1978, found the Bee Gees and Paul McCartney atop the charts, while a small group of diehard guitar fanatics gathered in a small hotel meeting room in Dallas. Trading guitars and stories, there wasn’t the glitz and glam of modern shows – just nice instruments and a few willing buyers.
The first shows were admittedly undistinguished – with only a few exhibitors leasing space to sell their axes. However, Charley’s idea to take the guitar culture from a small, inclusive club to a public stage was arguably ahead of its time. The vintage show would attract more dealers and collectors each year, and would open the door for the rapid rise of interest – from both players and collectors – in vintage guitars.
In 1985, Charley passed away suddenly, and the show ended up in the hands of his close friend and lifelong guitarist, Mark Pollock. Under Mark’s ownership, the show continued to grow and he instituted some key changes that would dramatically increase the show’s visibility. In 1989, Mark would bring Jimmy Wallace – one of the original exhibitors from the 1978 show – on board to assist in the planning and vision of the festival.
As the years have progressed, the show has increased in size and popularity. More and more people are coming to learn about guitars, whether it is experienced players, young children picking up their first guitar or savvy investors coming to the market. The show has grown at an incredible rate, and can now claim to be the world’s foremost celebration of the guitar.
One of the biggest changes to the festival since its inception has been the inclusion of live music. When Mark took ownership of the festival, he realized that music was an integral part of the guitar, and should be part of the show. In 1985, he started the Saturday Night Jam – a small party at a local nightclub featuring “really good players,” according to Mark. It has since featured accomplished musicians like Rick Derringer, Andy Timmons and James Burton – all playing together, for a once-ina- lifetime experience.
Building upon the appeal of the Saturday Night Jam, 1997 saw the inclusion of Musicfest into the show, bringing even more of the public into the guitar world. Spanning multiple indoor and outdoor stages, Musicfest featured the best local, regional and national acts throughout the weekend. “The Musicfest is starting to rival the guitars,” Mark has said. “People want to hear the music as much as they want to see the guitars.” This year’s acts will include Paul Reed Smith, Junior Brown, Phil Keaggy and George Lynch, just to name a select few.
Along with the addition of live music, the Dallas Guitar Festival has moved venues several times in its journey to becoming the world’s oldest and largest guitar show. In 1985, to support increasing crowds, Mark made the decision to move to a much larger venue. His first thought was to move into Dallas Market Hall, the site of Dallas’ largest shows and the world’s largest privately owned exhibition hall. “When Charley Wirz died in February of 1985, the first place I went to was Dallas Market Hall … I was told the months of February to May were booked for virtually 20 years.”
In 2004, after stints at the Dallas Convention Center and Fair Park, Mark was finally able to move into the Dallas Market Hall. This has provided various benefits for both vendors and attendees, including free parking and close accommodations, and has added to the Dallas show’s reputation as the world’s premier guitar show.
THE 2007 SHOW
As the 2007 Dallas International Guitar Festival opens, the promoters will be pulling out all the stops to celebrate the festival’s 30th anniversary, with over 800 booths, exhibitions and clinics. Attendees can expect a variety of great music and thousands of cool guitars.
This year’s show will feature the neverbefore- seen Holy Grail Guitar Exhibition, sponsored by PRS Guitars. The museumquality offering will showcase Eric Clapton’s “Blackie,” a custom Fender Stratocaster, played by Clapton and auctioned at Christie’s in 2004 for $959,500 – making it the most expensive guitar of its kind to ever be auctioned. It will be displayed with his 1956 Fender Stratocaster “Brownie,” as well as the 1964 Gibson ES-335 that he played extensively with Cream. Also included in the exhibit will be guitars owned by Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana, as well as some of Leo Fender’s original designs and the first Marshall amplifiers ever produced.
With more than 18,000 attendees and more than $3 million of instruments and memorabilia trading hands in 2006, it’s safe to say that attendees of the original Greater Southwest Vintage Guitar Show might have never dreamed the show would reach such heights. With this year’s additions, and the continued strength of the vintage market, the 2007 show will surely be the best yet. We’ll see you there.
Dallas Intrntl Guitar Festival 30th Anniversary
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
Belltone P-90 Foil-Tron Pickup
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.