Our Number One Guitars
Bluesman Marc Broussard joins us in discussing our main music machines. Plus, current obsessions!
Question: What would you change about your No. 1 guitar?
A: I would change nothing about my No. 1 guitar. It’s a wonderful instrument and has treated me better than I deserve since the day it first touched my hands. If I had to complain about anything, it’s that the Yamaha logo on the headstock fell off at some point so no one knows what my guitar is. Yamaha RevStar for the win! It was a gift from Yamaha back in 2017, along with an acoustic LJ26 and another electric, the AES1500. These three guitars are the best I’ve ever had the honor of playing.
Current obsession: Figuring out how to use AI to write more music. I find I’ve done my best writing to instrumental tracks, but those tracks are often hard to come by and can be expensive. I’m anxious to see if there will be a music generator that produces high-quality tracks for me to write to. Slim pickings out there right now but there’s some obvious promise on the horizon. I wish I could write a song every day, and hopefully, soon, that’ll be a much more tangible goal.
John Bohlinger Nashville Correspondent
A: My main guitar is a prototype of what became the Joe Glaser-designed Gibson Music City Les Paul. I’ve changed pickups three times, painted it twice, and, three or four times, I’ve taken a belt sander to the back, shoulder, and neck heel to make it more comfortable and lighter. I love it, but the malcontent in me is always thinking about different pickups and tweaking the body shape more. I need to just stop.
Current obsession: Trying to let go of the effort and flow. Listen to Mateus Asato: There’s no effort, no struggle, he’s never in a rush, he sings through his instrument.
Kate Koenig Associate Editor
A: My main guitar is my beloved Taylor AD12e. It has a spruce top with a black satin finish, striped ebony back and sides, a natural exposed-wood chamfered edge around the top (in place of binding and purfling), and a blonde streak down the center of the back. Plus, it has a bright, shimmering, delicate tone that perfectly suits fingerpicking, which is what I do! But, if I were to change something about it, it would be the electronics. I just had an L.R. Baggs Anthem SL installed in my Washburn acoustic, and I think the Taylor would benefit from the same.
Current obsession: I’m currently determined to expand my knowledge of alt hip-hop and am working on a playlist of tracks that stand out to me. Some of my favorite collections include Chance the Rapper’s 2013 mixtape, Acid Rap, Ye and Kid Cudi’s 2018 collab, Kids See Ghosts, and A Tribe Called Quest’s 2016 album, We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service. The third features a sample of Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory—a bit spooky, as it came out on the heels of the actor’s passing.
Dudu Horta Reader of the Month
A: My dream guitar always was a Standard Les Paul, but they’re very expensive here in Brazil as we can’t import it. My No. 1 Guitar is a 2010 Gibson Les Paul Tribute, and I changed the pickups only. For the neck, I use a BurstBucker Pro that I like for cleans, and the bridge is a Brazilian clone of a ’57 Classic Plus from Malagoli, made from spec. It has crunch for hard rock and bite for soloing stuff. It suits my style really well and gets me next to a Standard tone.
Current obsession: To develop guitar tones mixing analog, digital, modeling, and tubes all together, from using overdrive pedals prior to digital amps, to plugging digital preamps into a small tube combo, and recording line guitars with AmpliTube, looping through outside gear just to make everything that is possible over all guitar mediums. My goal is to teach guitar technology to help people get better-sounding guitars, and the best tones from small solid-state combos to worship shimmer to straight to the console line.