The Musikmesse in Frankfurt is a nice mixture of old friends, new gear and great music

The Musikmesse in Frankfurt is always a great show, and I really enjoy attending every year. It is a nice mixture of old friends, new gear and great music. Thankfully, it is now being scheduled in the spring, as opposed to winter, as it had been in previous years, so the chance of good weather in Frankfurt is much better. This means attendees can sit outside comfortably and enjoy the top acts that perform each year at Musikmesse.

On Tuesday afternoon I boarded the train for Frankfurt, which is only 130 miles from my hometown, so it is not a long ride for me. Even on the train everything is music. I see many familiar faces of musicians and friends from music stores, guitar cases, people singing a cappella – life is good!

Two hours later I arrive in Frankfurt; Music City for the next four days. My hotel is the same one I have booked for the past ten years. I must not be alone, because I always see the same people staying there during Musikmesse. Upon arriving at the hotel I see a few familiar cars in the parking lot, and familiar faces great me as I enter: Burkhard Lehle of Lehle Switching, the guys from VoVox, my friends from Tokai and more, all there, preparing for the start of the show tomorrow morning. The first night goes by quickly, since there is always much to catch up on after a year, but it is okay. The weather is fine and the show starts tomorrow!

As usual, the first day is the best. It isn't as crowded as other days, particularly the Saturday open to the public, and it isn't that loud, which is ideal for checking out cool new gear and having nice chats over coffee and donuts.

Here are some impressions from the Musikmesse 2007:

Good vibrations at the main gate

Sunbursts at the Fender booth

Paisley models, too!

I had a chance to meet the world-famous Kitty

The King even made it to Frankfurt

I had some time to check out the PRS booth

And got to meet the man in person

Crazy stuff

A Swedish folding axe

A hole-y guitar

A keyboard-guitar

During my trip, I also ran into many well known faces:

Meeting Greg Koch at the BSM booth

Jerry Donahue, the string bending king of the planet

Stu Hamm, tapping out some cool sounds at the Hartke booth

German pedal steel player Frank Baum

Peter Bursch from the Allstars Band

Peter Diezel with the famous guitarist Albrecht "Ali" Neander

Genius Mike Matthews from Electro Harmonix

All in all, life is good at the Musikmesse!

Dirk Wacker has been addicted to all kinds of guitars since the age of 5 and is fascinated by anything that has something to do with old Fender guitars and amps. He hates short scales and Telecaster neck pickups, but loves twang. In his spare time he plays country, rockabilly, surf and Nashville styles in several bands, works as a studio musician and writes for several guitar mags. He is also a hardcore DIY guy for guitars, amps and stompboxes and also runs an extensive webpage about these things.

Want to play different pedal sequences in a flash? These handy boxes provide more tone solutions than you might realize.

There is no right or wrong way to wire a pedalboard. It’s really a matter of personal taste and what our ears find pleasing. Every musician has their own thing, and our pedalboards are certainly an extension of that. For some, reconfiguring the pedalboard is a lifelong process, and adding a new device often means something has got to go, because real estate is crucial!

Read MoreShow less

See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to for inclusion in a future gallery.

My years-long search for the “right” Bigsby-outfitted box finally paid off. Now how do I make this sumbitch work in my band?

Considering the amount of time I’ve spent (here and elsewhere) talking about and lusting after Gretsch hollowbody guitars, it’s taken me a remarkably long time to end up with a big Bigsby-outfitted box I truly love. High-end Gretsches are pricey enough that, for a long time, I just couldn’t swing it. Years ago I had an Electromatic for a while, and it looked and played lovely, but didn’t have the open, blooming acoustic resonance I hoped for. A while later, I reviewed the stellar Players Edition Broadkaster semi-hollow, and it was so great in so many ways that I set my sights on it, eventually got one, and adore it to this day. Yet the full-hollowbody lust remained.

Read MoreShow less