A former Guild employee builds guitars and winds his own pickups by hand. Here's his latest creation.

Name: Jacques Blanchette
Location: Rhode Island
Guitar: Blue Hawaii

I've been building guitars on and off since the '80s. I worked at Guild Guitars in Westerly, Rhode Island, for two years under Kim Walker's tutelage. After leaving, I worked at a music store as manager, repairman, and buyer.

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This simple technique can yield complex filthy tones, but don't lean too heavily on the fuzz.

Hello and welcome back to another session at the Dojo! This time, I'd like to explain the concept of gain staging using two (or more) overdrive/distortion pedals in series (one after another) to get more complex and saturated distortion tones for your recordings. Let's get to it!

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The Bandmaster Reverb head was built from 1968 to 1980 and has enough grille-room to install a pair of 8" speakers—a popular mod.

An introduction to Fender's classic amp heads of the '60s and '70s.

Fender's black-panel piggyback amps are not as widely known as the combos that every guitar player on this planet has either seen, heard, or played. They have lost appeal in a time when practicality and economy are guiding amp selection for most of us. Thanks to PA and monitor solutions, we no longer need big, powerful amps to fill rooms and stages. But, as we know, tone and size are related. So, let's look back at the great Fender piggybacks, from an era before the world needed to be so efficient and compact.

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Learn to focus your accents and make your lines more listenable.

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John Bohlinger gives his best advice to aspiring musicians. Spoiler: Wear those earplugs!

If you knew the amount of chaos, heartbreak, and frustration in my white-knuckled career, you'd understand my reluctance to advise anyone on being a professional musician. That said, I've been doing this music scam for a long time and, much to my surprise, it's actually worked out pretty well. I make a decent living and have a lot of fun. If you're an aspiring musician, here are a few tips that might help you toward that modest goal.

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Classy custom-rod looks and an overflowing buffet of tones set this straight-ahead Jag' apart.

Copious tone options. Substantial, comfortable neck. High quality for the price.

No vibrato. Clarity and headroom comes at the expense of some generic tones.

$449

Squier Jaguar HH-ST
fender.com

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It's funny to think the Jaguar was once derided by alleged guitar experts and collectors. For all its quirks, a good Jag' is a beautiful playing guitar in just about any incarnation—thanks largely to its short scale and curvaceous shape. In a way, the Squier Contemporary Jaguar HH-ST distills that recipe to its essence.

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