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G.A.S = Guitar Acquisition Syndrome

If we all spent as much time practicing as we did dreaming and researching about new gear there would be a lot more better guitar players on the planet eh! But it's fun and the joy of holding that guitar you've been yearning for is a special kind of love!

It's been a rather long time coming this section but I hope you'll enjoy the Tone Journey and this information will help inform your decisions on buying gear!

• Why It's Important To Explore Your Gear! (LINK TO QUICK TIP)
I get asked all the time about setting for certain songs, and sure there are a few things that might help, but because every guitar and amp have different sounds, it's really important that you learn to explore your own gear and understand what it can do and how to 'get there'. In this lesson I chat about ways to do it!

All About Guitars

 

 

What Guitar Should You Buy?
Oh man do I get asking this a lot!
But it's not up to me what you should get and what I'm looking for is likely to be different to what you look for - at least it should be, because it's a very personal decision. But in this lesson is my advice on the subject!

 

 
 

Types Of Electric Guitar
A look at the main differences between Fender and Gibson types and why you might choose one over the other (but remember you can aim to have both!)

 

Types Of Acoustic Guitars
What's the difference between a Dreadnaught, Parlour and a Double O? Well here you go sir!

 

 

Know Your Fender Guitar
Lets get to grips with the knobs and settings on a Stratocaster or Telecaster type guitar.

 

Know Your Gibson Guitar
Lets get to grips with the knobs and settings on a Les Paul or 335 type guitar.

 

Know Your Steel String Guitar
So what bits make up your guitar?

Know your Classical Guitar
They're not just for classical guitar on you know!

 

 

All About Pickups
If you play electric guitar the srting vibrations have to get 'picked up' right!

 

Acoustic Amplification
What do you do when you want to make it louder or use effects?

 

 

 

All About Amplifiers

• What Amplifier Should I buy?
There are many options these days even profilers that sound like lots of amps, so which one is right for you?

• Getting To Know Your Guitar Amplifier
Really important you know what the knobs do on your amps if you're going to get the tone you want!

• Speaker Cabinets and Ohms Ω
Very common question this one... one that I have asked (and answered) for the last time I hope.

Effects Basics

• Beginner's Guide To Guitar Effects Pedals
So you got a guitar and an amp, now you want some of those cool sound effects right? In this lesson I go through the basics and explain the basic types and things to look for!

• Recommended Stomp Boxes For Beginners
So which specific ones do I recommend if for people just starting to explore effects and stomp boxes?

• Best Effect Pedal Order
So you got a few now - what order should they go in, and does it matter?

All About Effects Pedals - What They Are, How They Work and Which I Recommend!

I'm confess I'm a pedalwhore. I've been collecting pedals since I was 12 years old and must have bought and sold many hundreds over the years - oh how I wish I kept some of those old ones now, worth a small fortune. Anyhows... Here's some info on the different types of pedls, how they work and how to use them!

• Guitar Tuners •
You probably need to have yourself a tuner no matter what style you play or what you want to do!

<< each to have image above >>
<< maybe 200x200? >>

• Distortion / Overdrive •
Crunch up your sound for rock or for texture. A bit of distortion is a great thing!

• Reverb •
So I confess, I'm a reverbaholic :) I love it, but you gotta use it right! Sounds like you're in the room!

• Delay / Echo •
It sounds so good, so good, so good, so good. Lets explore what delay is and how to use it!

 

• Wah Wah Effects •
Most people have heard of the Wah Wah pedal, made famous of course by Jimi Hendrix!

• Loopers •
Record something you play and then have it repeat over and over while you play over the top. Awesome.

• Compressors •
These are often the magic 'sound better' pedal, especially for clean sounds and country pickers!

• Chorus Effects •
Makes your guitar sound fat and lush by adding another slightly out of tune sound in!

 

• Phaser Effects •
They're a bit psycodelic sounding but very cool and give a real edge to your sound.

 

• Multi Effects Units •
These days there are boxes that mave many effects in them at the same time! Aweosme?

   


If you are looking for more info about pedals, then there are two place I think you should check out if you're after more than I offer here. That Pedal Show with Dan and Mick is awesome. Mick was editor for some great guitar magazines and Dan is the creator of The Gig Rig who make incredible guitar effects switchers, powers and much more - stuff I use myself most days and they know tone and how to make it happen. Maybe my personal favourite guitar channel! I'm a real pedal slut! The other guy I rate real high is Pete Thorn - as well as being an incredible guitar player, the guy knows tone better than anyone I've heard and so I often check out his channel when thinking about pedals. He does stella reviews and is a real nice guy too. So go check them out!

Guitar Accessories - Strings, Picks, Stands and all that..

Strings
I've been using D'Addario Strings for the last few years and they sund great and last long! My personal choices are the NYXL Balanced Tensions .10's on my electrics (though some I use .11 gaguge on) and I use a few different acoustic string for different guitars!

REVIEW • D'Addario Acoustic String Shoot-out
D'Addario sent me a bunch of different acoustic strings to try out and so I thought it might be useful to test them all out - so here's the results! Pretty much "what it said on the tin" :)

Cables
I use Eminence Cables on my pedalboards and a a mix of different cables, usually just what is lying around in the studio, but I'd have more Eminence cables if they were slightly more affordable!

• Do guitar cables sound different? << there is a youtube video for this - why no lesson? >>
Lets put a bunch to a blind test - can you hear them being different? I think I can and it made me a lot more aware of what cables I used and I became more fussy. But for most home or live players I'd recommend looking for high quality well made long lasting cables, rather than looking for ones that sound good!

Cases

REVIEW • The Blake Apex Case [GG-404]
These guys sent me a case to try out and I loved it, and now use it all the time, really great hard soft gig bag backpack. Available in the official store.

Slides

REVIEW • The Hoolahan Slide [GG-401]
Phil sent me a couple of slides to check out, and they're awesome and now my main slides. Check them out, great concept, great slide and nice people.

Wireless Systems

REVIEW • The Line 6 Relay G10 Wireless System [GG-403]
The convenience factor or a wireless is wonderful, I sure don't really need one in a small studio but it's one less cable to trip over, and great for workshops.

Miscellaneous

REVIEW • Gruv Gear Fret Wrap Review [GG-402]
If you've been wondering what that black this is wrapped around my headstock on some guitars, this video is for you!

Pedal Boards

Once you got a few pedals, you're going to want some kind of pedalboard. I use a Custom Pedal Boards tiered board, I think these guys are making the best boards around and really know their stuff, and they make what you need.

Old Videos of my setups:
GG-123 • Setting up a PedalTrain and Pedal Power Pro II
This first video we fix in the Pedal Power Pro into the PedalTrain and add the velcro ready to put some pedals on.

GG-124 • Wiring My Effects Loop Pedal Board
This is my smaller effects loop board but was ready so figured I'd film as I wire it up.

 

Justin's Equipment

That sounds VERY suspect ;) but it is not that... these are vids and lessons about the guitars and amps that I use. I promise that you won't see anything untoward ;)

GG-001 • Justin's Guitars
I've updated this page as of March 2017 with a list of the guitars I'm using regularly.

GG-002 • Justin's Amps
An amp list like above! A list of my stuff...

GG-101 • Justin's Mini Maton Acoustic Guitar
In this vid I show you my Mini Maton guitar and play a little bit of a new tune (working title "Roof Tops On Sunny Days" finished title was "Nashville" but it never made it to an album yet!).

GG-102 • Justin's Maton Messiah Acoustic Guitar
In this vid I show you my Maton Messiah, a lovely acoustic. This thing just records like a dream. Plus a play a few bits of other tunes that I have written.

GG-103 • Justin's Maton "Jessie" Acoustic Guitar
This is my little baby and the one guitar I think can't be replaced. It's kinda part of me now... In this I introduce her and play one of my songs called "From Katie's Window".

GG-009 • Justin's Amp Rig 2007
A look at the guitar rack set up that I used touring with Katie Melua in 2007. These days I use old fashioned pedal board and old vintage effects! But this was great for what I needed at the time...

Guitar Maintainence Lessons

Wobbly Whammy Bar Fix
A simple solution to a real pain in the butt problem!

Very old pedal and guitar reviews

I started doing pedal reviews many years ago, but poor audio quality and poor demos really... these need remaking but I'll leave them here until I get time to fix them!

 

Distortion

GG-200 • About Distortion Pedals
Wanna rock? Then you need one of these!! This is some basic info about them...

GG-201 • REVIEW - Mesa V-Twin Pedal
One of the coolest and best sounding pedals of all time, reviewed for you. All features explained.

GG-202 • REVIEW - Boss Blues Driver Pedal (and Keeley Mod)
A review of a classic pedal and the custom modified version by the effects wizard Robert Keeley.

GG-203 • REVIEW - T-Rex Mudhoney Pedal
Great new boutique pedal with some great sounds.

GG-204 • REVIEW - Marshall Shredmaster Pedal
A fab pedal for all out metal sounds. This thing rocks big time.

GG-205 • REVIEW - TC Electronic VPD1 Pedal
A really cool pedal with tons of pro features and an awesome boost function.

Wah Wah Pedals

GG-300 • Wah Wah Roundup...
A summary of all the wah pedals that I like and or have reviewed.

GG-301 • REVIEW - RMC3 Wah Wah (The Real McCoy)
One of the most prestigious and sought after modern wah pedals

GG-302 • REVIEW - Budda Bud-Wah Pedal
Possibly my favourite wah pedal, so creamy. I need one...

GG-303 • REVIEW - Keeley modified Vox Wah Pedal
Robert Keeley takes great pedals and makes them even better.

GG-304 • REVIEW - Ernie Ball Wah Pedal
Well made, with a great switcher, but not my fave.

GG-399 • REVIEW - G-Lab True Bypass Wah Pad
This is a great invention. On my pedalboard right away. Check it out now...


Reverb

GG-251 • REVIEW - G-Lab Dual Reverb Pedal
I looked for ages trying to find a simple small reverb for my pedalboard. And this was the best one I found... until I discovered the Blue Sky by Strymon which is by far the best reverb I have heard and I've called off the search, I doubt there will ever be better!! Review soon :)

Power

GG-261 • REVIEW - Sanyo Pedal Juice 
This is one of those things I never thought of, but now I use it all the time, great idea! 


Guitars

GG-501 • REVIEW - GRB Kokocaster
Gordon from GRB donated this guitar for me because he liked the web site. He was not a pushy guy and seemed really cool so I have done a review of his guitar, even though it is not one that I play very much. It is a very cool mid priced instrument!

Lesson ID: GG-000