jon spencer

PG's Tessa Jeffers is on location at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago, Illinois where she catches up with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion guitarist Judah Bauer. In this segment, Judah details his vintage parts-caster Teles, Fender amps, and array of effects.


PG's Tessa Jeffers is on location at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago, Illinois where she catches up with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion guitarist Judah Bauer. In this segment, Judah details his vintage parts-caster Teles, Fender amps, and array of effects.

Guitars & Amps
Bauer uses Telecasters built from various Fender parts by Norio Imai of Imai Guitars. They source parts to replicate the tone and feel of Bauer's '65 Tele, which he leaves at home, and then Imai refrets and refinishes the instruments. Pictured is his newest model, which has a Seymour Duncan humbucker at the neck. The bridge pickup, like the pickups in his other Imai Teles, is hand-wound by Imai. Other special features include a capacitor in the volume circuit and a hidden kill switch. He uses two of these live, one in standard and one in open G tuning, strung with DR Strings Tite Fit .011 - .050.

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Why Fender + Fender (or other brands) = more than the sum of their own signature sounds.

This column is not for the faint of back, but the rewards of such potentially heavy lifting are great. In my previous columns "Like Peanut Butter and Chocolate: Classic Guitar & Fender-Amp Pairings" (May 2020) and "Finding Perfect Tones in Imperfect Amps" (January 2021), I've discussed classic Fender amp and guitar pairings and how to EQ and tweak amps to get ideal tones. Let's take it a step further and discuss how to combine multiple amps to achieve even more complex, richer tones.

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Intermediate

Beginner

  • Develop a better sense of subdivisions.
  • Understand how to play "over the bar line."
  • Learn to target chord tones in a 12-bar blues.
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Playing in the pocket is the most important thing in music. Just think about how we talk about great music: It's "grooving" or "swinging" or "rocking." Nobody ever says, "I really enjoyed their use of inverted suspended triads," or "their application of large-interval pentatonic sequences was fascinating." So, whether you're playing live or recording, time is everyone's responsibility, and you must develop your ability to play in the pocket.
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