This fall, two major manufacturers’ forums played host to some of the most heartwarming displays of generosity from strangers that we’ve seen recently.

This fall, two major manufacturers’ forums played host to some of the most heartwarming displays of generosity from strangers that we’ve seen recently.

Ernie Ball/Music Man
On August 12 at 9:12 a.m., one of Ernie Ball’s forum members, Erin Payne (a.k.a. stingray96191), made a post about selling a special order DDII Big Al bass he had saved up to buy—one that hadn’t even come in the mail yet. The 25-year-old had been diagnosed with brain cancer, and his accumulating medical bills were forcing him to sell this and a few other basses he owned.

By 12:40 p.m. that same day, Sterling Ball had stepped in with a challenge. He said that if the forums could raise the $2400 Erin needed to pay his bills and keep his basses, he would give him the Big Al at no charge. Sterling put the first $100 in and the special PayPal account hit its goal in less than six hours.

The generosity of forum members didn’t stop there; and 12 days later, the grand total was just under $9000. Erin is currently in recovery and gigging with the DDII Big Al bass he almost sold.

Seymour Duncan
Over on Seymour Duncan’s forums, forum member Lewguitar was similarly struggling with the expenses of cancer. After selling most of his guitar collection to pay for his insurance deductible and premiums, he learned that his insurance company stopped covering the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center he had been receiving treatment with, and he would have to foot the full cost to continue with his doctors beginning in January.

Again, the forum started pouring out support. As mentioned in our “On/Off/Standby” section last month, another forum member (Newking) won a custom guitar setup by Jol Danzig and pickup replacements from Seymour Duncan and donated it to Lewguitar.

Forum member sosomething began a PayPal fund for Lew on October 19, BigJoe77 began a benefit auction of his gear, and ratherdashing offered to mod and repair pedals in exchange for donations to the fund. Forum members even set up a Facebook page to promote donations. As of press time, the forum had raised around $2000 for Lew’s medical expenses.

It’s ok for a guitar to not sound like a guitar.

As much as we all love juicy, organic guitar tones, it can be just as inspiring to go the opposite way. Combining various modulation effects, envelope filters, oscillators, and more can result in sounds that owe more to Kraftwerk than Led Zeppelin.

Read More Show less

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.

Read More Show less