Busted— But Redeemed In your “ON/OFF/ STBY” section of the December 2010 issue, you incorrectly claim that Rock Band 3 does not allow use of a guitar with strings. In
In your “ON/OFF/
STBY" section of the
December 2010 issue,
you incorrectly claim
that Rock Band 3
does not allow use of
a guitar with strings.
In fact, Fender and
Harmonix (makers of
the Rock Band game) have made a Squier
Strat Rock Band controller that is a fully
functional stringed guitar (with frets) that
has a standard 1/4" as well as MIDI out,
which can then be used with an Xbox, PS3,
Wii, etc. (Frankly, Rock Band aside, this is a
huge game-changer for guitarists that want
an affordable MIDI option.)
Furthermore, Reaper is working with
Harmonix to allow users to author their
own songs in Reaper and export them to be
played on the Rock Band platform.
Hi Devin. You're absolutely right. The new
Squier Stratocaster Guitar and Rock Band
Controller hadn't been announced yet when we
went to press with the December issue. However,
we heard about it soon thereafter, and we're
pretty damn stoked to say we're the first guitarcentered
media outlet to get one for review—and
it's in this very issue. Though we're fully prepared
to get emails from a few naysayers expressing dismay
over the fact that we've given a video-game
controller ink and pixels—let alone put it on
our cover—we stand firmly behind the decision.
To see why, check out the review in this month's issue.
A Little Too Edgy
I've been reading guitar mags forever, and PG
is by far the best. Unfortunately, the “Primitive
Cartoon Questionnaire" [Last Call, December 2010] had to be the least tasteful column you've
ever run. Leave the edgy humor to SNL. Really.
P.S. Answer C to the pick question was a direct
quote from Jerry Garcia regarding the pick
he contributed to a feature in an old issue of
Guitar Player. Really.
New York, New York
Last Call author John Bohlinger responds: The old
joke about the pick being “all that stands between
me and abject poverty" has been thrown around by
Nashville players for as long as I've been in town. I
didn't say it first, but regrettably, I don't know who
did. However, I can say with absolute conviction
that I blatantly stole every pedal-steel lick I know
directly from Jerry Garcia. RIP, Jerry.
72 and Still GASsing
After buying your great mag for a while, [I] figured
I may as well subscribe. I started playing @
age 65 and now @ 72 can't stop. Also have GAS
(20 guitars, half [a] dozen
amps, etc., etc.). Old dogs
can still learn new tricks.
Thanks for your handwired,
note, J.S.! We're thrilled to have
such a breadth of readers and viewers, all doggedly
(sorry—couldn't resist!) pursuing excellence in tone
and playing. We're sure you could teach us all a few
of those tricks, too. Play on!
Great Minds Salivate Alike
I'm a junkie for what you guys deliver—the drool
on my stompbox issue [November 2010] is proof
of that. Well, when I read Shawn Hammond's
interview with Ron Wood (great article, even
before the interview!) it hit a chord with me. I
won't waste ink going on and on about how great
I think Ron is, but I will tell you that I realized we
have something in common. OK, something very
slight . . . but it was cool for this long-time fan to
discover. It seemed Mr. Wood's '50s Fender Champ
is a prized possession. Years ago, I did some horsetrading
with a very talented musician and dear
friend of mine. I ended up with a 1954 Fender
Champ. Pretty sure the tube is original, and it is
probably the best all-around example of one I've
seen or heard personally. I don't use it much, but
when I do I get the sweetest tone ever! Thanks for
the great article and the great magazine.
Danke to Dirk
Kudos to Dirk Wacker in the Mod Garage. I
had been searching for something to do with my
otherwise useless tone pots when I remembered
that Fender still made the TBX. I did a Bing
search and, to my surprise, there was an article in
Premier Guitar [October 2010]. I read through it
and figured I would send Dirk a note to pick his
brain some more. I didn't really expect a reply, but
was floored when, within the hour, he emailed me
back. Not only was he über-helpful, but he told
me of the additional mods that would show up in
the November issue. Now my otherwise untouched
tone pots are getting a workout as bass cuts on my
Strat, Tele, and Jaguar. Thanks to Dirk for being
such a great guy and to Premier Guitar for letting
him satisfy us gearheads with helpful mods.
Flat Rock, Michigan
Thanks, Thomas! We're happy to hear your neglected
tone pots now have a new home. We couldn't agree
more about Dirk—he's super helpful and always
In our December 2010 “Shapes of Things"
story, we incorrectly listed attorney Ron
Bienstock's place of residence and practice
as Atlanta. He lives and works in the New
Jersey/New York City metro area. As astute
reader Nick Plytas points out, in that same
issue we also mistakenly left a digit off the
part number for the Fender Stratocaster Mid
Boost Kit referenced in Mod Garage. The
correct number is 0057577000. We apologize
for these boo-boos.
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.
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.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
For part two of our crash course in harmony for bassists, we’re talkin’ triads.
As bass players, our job is often to indicate and support what is happening rhythmically and harmonically in the music we’re playing. And to do that, it’s important for us to understand the basics of tonality and how it works. In fact, every bass player must have a strong knowledge of harmony to do their job correctly. This month, we’ll continue last month’s harmony crash course with some more ways to brush up on your ear skills, in italics below, so you can do your low-end job effectively.
The basic building block of harmony is the dyad, which gives us our basic intervals. But the basic building block of tonality is the triad, a grouping of three or more tones (root, 3rd, and 5th) that give us the four chord qualities—major, minor, diminished, and augmented—which you’re probably already familiar with.
Just as with intervals, we should train our ears to recognize chord qualities instantly. Start with two qualities (major and minor). Once you can identify those two correctly about 95 percent of the time, add another. Keep going until you can identify all four qualities consistently.
Another great exercise is to take a melody (either major or minor) and convert it to the opposite quality. Start out with something you know well, like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” This may take a while at first, but the goal is to keep on doing these until you can convert most stuff on the fly instantly.
“This feeling of resolution, in some ways, is the whole point.”
Each chord quality has its own distinct sound, but major and minor are related, and both feel very grounded. Because of the 5th in each, our ears can easily hear which note in the chord is strongest (the root), which gives major and minor a sense of gravity. This feeling persists even if we change the order of the notes (invert the chord).
Have a friend or an app play inversions of major or minor triads. Find the root of each chord by singing it. Work towards being able to identify these triads in root position (root in the bass), first inversion (3rd in the bass), or second inversion (5th in the bass).
Pay attention to bass lines that land on a root, 3rd, or 5th on the first beat of the bar and then practice coming up with your own examples.
Diminished and augmented triads are much more ambiguous. Without a perfect fifth (diminished has a b5 and augmented has a #5), no tone in particular sounds strongest. Thus, both chords lack gravity. In fact, to most of us, every tone sounds equal, like being lost in the woods where every direction appears the same. Both seem to want to move towards something else more stable. When this occurs, it gives a sense of release, or resolution. This feeling of resolution, in some ways, is the whole point.
The top part of a dominant seventh or V7 chord is a diminished triad. For example, a C7 consists of the notes C–E–G–Bb. If you remove the C, we’re left with an E diminished triad. This is where the moving sound, or the desire to resolve, comes from. The important takeaway is that we’re making something very stable—a major chord—and making it less stable when we add the b7, because of the diminished sound, which in turn sets up the need to resolve.
Listening for V–I: On a guitar or keyboard play any major chord, then add a b7 (transforming I to V7) and try to hear where the progression “wants” to go next. Move to the new key (a fifth down) and repeat. After twelve V–I progressions you’ll arrive back at the original key.
The Dominant Gateway: On bass, try playing a walking bass pattern over the cycle of fifths, strategically using a b7 to move to the next key. This foreshadowing is a great voice-leading skill.
That's all for our crash course in harmony. If you take your time with these exercises, you should notice not only your ears improving, but your bass playing too!