The pandemic has brought guitarists lots more time to tinker with tone toys. Here’s what players all over the world have been putting together in their bunkers.

Jojo Calandra: Retirement Bucket List

I’m not ready to gig yet, as I’m still learning. I got a late start with guitar playing at age 62, working through my retirement bucket list. Here’s my modest pedalboard for a beginner/intermediate. All of my pedals are Boss products. I started with the RC-3 Looper (later added an FS-7 external foot switch). I purchased a new BCB-30 pedalboard, which came with a DD-3 Delay and DS-1 Distortion as part of a package deal by one of the major retailers. I wanted to limit myself to six pedals, so I got the essential TU-3 tuner and later added the TR-1 Tremolo and CH-1 Super Chorus. Here’s the other equipment I use: Fender American Pro Tele and Strat, Gibson LP Studio, Fender Blues Junior IV, Blackstar Fly 3, iRig HD2 (received as a gift), and a Line 6 Pocket Pod (also received as a gift).

It’s that time of year, when Premier Guitar readers get the chance to show their pedalboards, and how they use them to create worlds of sound. There’s no wrong way to signal a stomp—the options are virtually endless. Read on to see what players have been cooking up in their COVID guitar bunkers. A few highlights include a completely white-washed mystery pedalboard, a retirement bucket list project from a 62-year-old beginner, an elaborate rackmounted setup made with a goal to streamline pedal-Tetris, and much more. Enjoy!

A bone nut being back-filed for proper string placement and correct action height.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to change your acoustic guitar’s tone and playability.

In my early days, all the guitars I played (which all happened to be pre-1950s) used bone nuts and saddles. I took this for granted, and so did my musician friends. With the exception of the ebony nuts on some turn-of-the-century parlors and the occasional use of ivory, the use of bone was a simple fact of our guitar playing lives, and alternative materials were simply uncommon to us.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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