Mitski and PG editors go back in time and give guitar counsel to their younger selves.

Q: If you could go back in time to your earliest guitar days, what advice would you give yourself?

MitskiGuest Picker
A: Literally practicing is the only way you will learn how to do this. Suckkkk itttt uppppp.

Current obsession: I’ve been playing bass every day for three years and I’m just now finally understanding what it means to actually listen to the drums. The day I got it was mind-blowing, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Bass players know what I’m talking about.

Bob BaileyReader of the Month
A: I would advise my younger self: Don’t use a pick. Ever. Going pick-less opens up another world of tone and technique possibilities.

Current obsession: I’m learning music theory and how to read sheet music by taking a YouTube course. I have a long way to go, but I want the knowledge and the chance to grow musically.

Andy EllisSenior Editor
A: Dear Little Andy: As soon as you can handle your own affairs, leave the safety of your hometown and move to a music center. I started playing guitar when I was 12, circa 1964. By 1970, I’d played in many bands, seen Hendrix twice, and acquired a ’68 goldtop Les Paul. In the ’70s, L.A. was the epicenter of rock in the States, and even though I played at the Troubadour and tracked at Sunset Sound during those years, I didn’t take the plunge and relocate. I regret that.

Current obsession: It all began with using five different guitars to multitrack a Henry Purcell piece arranged for a horn quintet. Now I’m hooked on recording ancient music with modern instruments.

Shawn HammondChief Content Officer
A: Hey, you may be stuck in musically desolate Mormonville, but you gotta find some guitar mentors to help expand your horizons. Also, stop being wowed by technical playing—music’s not a sport, and only guitar dweebs wanna hear it. And forget all the hi-tech new digital gear. Get a used tube amp and some old pedals—they’ll cost less and sound better. Lastly, turn the damn gain down and start learning to sing!

Current obsession: Tracking down a Starcaster with old-school Wide Range-style pickups.

Rich OsweilerAssociate Editor
A: Surround yourself early on with talented bandmates who are as passionate about creating music and determined as you are, and you might be playing full-time and kickin’ it on a yacht dipping Bugles in caviar for breakfast every morning before you turn 18. Truth be told: I have had some phenomenal bandmates over the years, but alas, the only boat I’ve owned was my kayak I sold years ago. [Photo: with Ben Folds playing The Jerry Lewis Telethon, 1979]

Current obsession: The Get Down. The killer soundtrack, fun storyline (Grandmaster Flash’s character serves as a mystical Jedi master of sorts), and huge production of this Netflix series which looks at the emergence of disco, hip-hop, and rap in ’70s-era NYC—an ear- and eye-candy treat.

This 1964 Vibrolux Reverb arrived in all-original condition, right down to a two-prong power cord and a death cap wired to the ground switch. The author’s well-worn Strat is the perfect companion.

How our columnist’s risky purchase turned out to be a dusty pre-CBS jewel.

This month, I’d like to share the story of my 1964 Fender Vibrolux Reverb. It was a really risky purchase that had some big surprises.

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Fat tones from a sweet niche where Les Paul, Gretsch, and Telecaster share the limelight.

Copious, unexpected tones. Cool, useful bass contour control. Very nice build quality. Excellent value.



Reverend Flatroc Bigsby


If you only pay casual attention to Reverend guitars, it’s easy to overlook how different their instruments can be. Some of that may be due to the way Reverends look. There are longstanding styling themes and strong family likenesses among models that can make differentiation a challenge for uninitiated guitar spotters. For instance, the Flatroc reviewed here has more or less the same body as the Charger, Buckshot, and Double Agent OG (which has an entirely different body than the more Jazzmaster-like Double Agent W). If you don’t have an experienced Reverend enthusiast at your side, it can all be a bit mind bending.

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