Songwriter/guitarist Lauren Strange, PG editors, and our reader of the month share the guitar projects they’ve embarked on during the pandemic.
Q: What guitar projects are you focusing on while in quarantine?
Photo by Tony Smith
Lauren Strange — Guest Picker
A: I recently released a new single called “The Solution” and will be releasing another song from my debut album soon. I’ve been writing almost every day, mostly focusing on songs for a new side project with my friend Riley Haynie (of Righteous Vendetta and Deathwish 406). I’ve also been spending quality time with my Supro Bowie Edition Dual Tone—I’m obsessed with the versatility and tone of its Vistatone pickups. Another thing I’ve been experimenting with is taking heavily layered pop songs like MUNA’s “Stayaway” and stripping them down to just guitar and vocals to examine the song’s structure and guitar parts.
Current obsession: Australian indie and garage-rock bands like Press Club, Violent Soho, DZ Deathrays, WAAX, and Tired Lion. There’s a sort of grunge revival happening in Australia that’s really exciting to watch. It reminds me of when mainstream rock in the U.S. was dominated by bands like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, and Hole. It’s refreshing to hear new bands that still pay homage to the grunge era with their sound because that’s also where my heart is musically as a songwriter and guitar player.
Alejandro Astorga — Reader of the Month
A: I made a Jazzmaster copy with hardware and wood stock from my shop. I’m a literature teacher and a luthier in Chaco, Argentina. I was having hard days in quarantine, depression and anxiety, and then the idea of making a Jazzmaster became real.
It took me 15 days to make it, all by hand. We have plenty of beautiful tonewoods here. I used Parana pine in the body (two pieces), the neck is made from guatambú (similar to maple’s tone, but even brighter), and the fretboard is classic rosewood. The electronics are Alpha and the pups are Wilkinson alnico V.
Current obsession: Do the best job with the cheapest tools I have. I’ve always been obsessed with creating pristine sounds like my favorite artists (Tool, Nirvana, Killing Joke, Helmet, Silverchair, Failure, Hum), but with the things I could create. I've never had the money to buy the gear my heroes use, but, nonetheless, I always tried to make guitars, pedals, and amplifiers that sound as powerful and clear as the albums I heard since I was a kid. Argentina is a poor country with high-level artisans, luthiers, and musicians. We try to make the best of a little or nothing.
Shawn Hammond — Chief Content Officer
A: I’ve refocused on arranging, tracking bass and vocals (in addition to guitar), and honing recording, editing, and mixing chops, while my drummer delved into creating beats with computer-based kits. I still prefer having a studio whiz do the final touches, but the experience has prodded us to invest in gear that’ll save us time and money by letting us capture quality live tracks together at home.
Current obsession: Getting drum mics and an interface with enough quality preamps to record drums and amps simultaneously.
Rich Osweiler — Associate Editor
A: Until a couple months ago, I had never played around with Nashville tuning before. Now, my Larrivee P-01’s new zingy sounds have been both a creative spark and a fun way to strum around with my 10-year-old daughter, who’s just starting out. I’m not a guitar teacher, but teaching her has been an unexpected project that’s a ton more satisfying than the math duties I’ve also taken on.
Current obsession: The New Abnormal from the Strokes. I loved the band’s first record all those years ago but wasn’t such a fan of their stuff that followed—until now.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.