From the very beginning of your drumming experience, the right stick choice can make all the difference. Choosing the right stick can be a daunting task, but taking these important factors and characteristics will help you on the quest for your perfect pair:
Effects pedals are like snowflakes, every one is special. While this may be a gross oversimplification, when it comes to power and power supplies, It's a maxim well worth bearing in mind. Fortunately we at Rose Morris are here to walk you through it.
First off. What does it all mean? When referring to effects, power means Current and Voltage and both are important when choosing how to power your pedals.
Pedals are predominately powered by 9 Volts. However some can take 12v or 18v. This is important to bear in mind because if you use a power supply where the voltage is too high, it could easily turn your shiny new overdrive into a stylish but expensive paperweight.
Current draw is also important. The amount of current a pedal draws is measured in milliamps (ma) and this is usually displayed on the pedal itself. A power supply will have a maximum ma output it can provide. If your pedal's draw exceeds it, it wont work.
The last thing you need to consider is the polarity. Most pedals take a center negative polarity adapter. However, if it's different, you wont be able to daisy chain (power multiple units with one power supply) with other pedals.
With all this in mind. What's the best way to power your effects? The Diago Micropower is a simple and flexible way of powering multiple pedals at once. However some people like the way a 9v battery sounds, particularly with drive and fuzz pedals. The important thing is you know the power requirements of your board.
Most of us don't take as good care of our electric guitars as we'd like to admit. To some, the guitar is precious thing, not to be touched- or even looked at in some cases if its owner deems you unworthy. To others, it's a trusty work horse that has seen better days. However, as much as we may love our guitars, we do not always take care of them- especially when it comes to cleaning.
However, if you most of you are like myself, when you do happen to treat your guitar to 'spa' day, its a wonderful feeling.
Here are some tips and tricks to make your guitar as fabulous as it is meant to be:
To start, wiping your fret board down with a micro-fiber polishing cloth is a great way to eliminate any dust or larger pieces of 'gunk' off of your frets. This will make it easier to clean in the long run.
A good tip to remember is to do this every time you change your strings, to ensure that you keep up with a clean fret-board in between moisturizing and deep cleaning sessions. Every once in a while however, it is good to treat your guitar to a deeper clean.
Lemon oil is a great tool for removing grime, dirt, sweat, and basically any unwanted debris on your fret-board. However, like all liquid-based guitar care products, it is a good idea to keep moderation in mind, as too much moisture can damage the fret board. There are a plethora of myths floating around the guitar community about the dangers and toils of using lemon oil, but we are here to reassure, it's 100% safe.
As you clean your fret-board, is a good reminder to check up on your fret-wire and the state of the wood to double check everything is in good shape.
NECK AND BODY:
One of the best things you can do for your guitar's neck and body is possibly on of the easiest: simply use a micro-fiber cloth (such as the D'addario Micro-Fiber Polishing Cloth which requires no polish), and wipe down the surface of your guitar. Using a micro-fiber or very soft cloth is a great way to remove fingerprints, grime, and dust without damaging the surface of your guitar.
Once you've wiped down the body, it's a good idea to do the same to the neck- you'd be surprised how a dirty and grimy a neck can get from just a few gigs or practice sessions.
Guitar Polish is a great way to give your guitar a great shine, whilst removing any excess dirt or fingerprints you may have missed during routine wipe-downs with a cloth.
A great tip that comes from one of boys in the shop, Miles, is to lay the cloth over the strings and pick-ups when you are spraying the body. This way, you won't get any polish or moisture where you don't want it. Pro tip, Miles!
In saying that, it is important to be careful when spraying guitar polish on the body of your instrument. It is recommended that you spray the cloth directly with the polish before you clean the neck and the head stock so you avoid getting any unwanted residue on the frets or strings.
So go ahead and treat yourself, and your guitar-all instruments deserve to look their best.
Remember: a clean guitar is happy guitar!
I often get asked how often I recommend you change the strings on your guitar. I can say with some certainty that the people that ask this question aren't changing them anywhere near often enough. Now, I don't say that because I want to sell lots of packs of strings. So, how often should you change them, and why?
Well, the first part of that question I usually answer with 'If you can't remember the last time you changed them, then it's time.' (What a wit I am). The real answer is more difficult, as it does, to a certain extent, depend on how much you play. I say 'to a certain extent' because strings lose life by just being out in the open air (which is why many string companies package their strings in sealed packets). If you're playing every day for several hours, non-coated strings should really be changed every 3 or so weeks. If you're just an occasional player, you might get away with 6-8 weeks.
By far the most wearing element for strings is the sweat, dirt and skin cells from your cells (sorry if you had a mouthful of lunch when reading that). This gunk gets stuck down in the winds of the wound strings, reducing their ability to vibrate freely, which in turn makes them sound dull and lifeless. On plain strings, they cause oxidisation and in extreme circumstances, rusting. This answers the second part of the above question.
To combat this, you can clean your strings after playing, which can extend life. There are also plenty of companies making coated strings that help to eek out extra life from them.
The other part of the guitar that can suffer from old strings is the frets. Corroded strings cause extra fret wear, which, if you've ever had to pay for a fret crown or re-fret, you'll appreciate how expensive THAT can be.
So, a fresh, clear tone, reduced fret wear and a smooth playing experience - why WOULDN'T you change your strings more regularly?!
Christmas is coming! That time of year where you spoil your loved ones rotten with questionable sweaters and assorted bathing products. But what about that other love of your life, your guitar? Well, maybe this is the time of year where you spoil him/her/it (if you're not into anthropomorphism).
The best present you could give it is a good old re-fresh - new strings, fretboard clean, fret and body polish, maybe even a wax to take some of those nasty pick scratches out of the bodywork.
Here at Rose Morris, we stock many of the most popular cleaning products, and they all tend to be much of a muchness in terms of quality, so you shouldn't be too intimidated by the choice. However, here's a rundown of the things you could ask for as stocking fillers this year.
Guitar body polish - Comes in many shapes and sizes, but Jim Dunlop, Taylor and Kyser are our best-sellers. Use this to get the greasy finger prints off the body, headstock and back of the neck, but try to avoid getting it on the fretboard.
Fretboard conditioner/lemon oil - Again, many different brands, but they all do the same thing. Put a little on a cloth and wipe over the fretboard, leave for a couple of minutes, then wipe off. You only really need to do this once every couple of months just to keep the fretboard clean and moisturised. If there is an excessive build-up of grime, you can remove this first using super-fine steel wool, making sure you always brush in the direction of the wood grain.
Fret cleaner - There are two ways to do this. The first is using a product such as D'Addario Fret Polishing Kit, which comes with a fretboard guard and cloths impregnated to take the grime off the frets and make them shiny and new. The other approach is...
... Body Wax - Cream of Carnuba wax is great for the guitar body to take out surface scratches. It works in much the same was as T-Cut does for cars, just rub on, leave to dry, then buff off. It is also excellent at cleaning hardware and making it gleam like new. The same goes for frets. Mask off the fretboard to avoid getting any on the wood, impregnate a clean cloth with a little of the wax and buff the frets to a high shine. I wouldn't recommend using it on gold hardware however, as the colour is just plating, and it can wear it off.
We have an extensive selection of guitar-care products in store, and a tech to answer any questions you have.
Go on, treat your instrument this Christmas to a 'spa day'.
Many people think that buying a custom made guitar is reserved only for professional players who require something unique and not readily available on the standard models out there. Whilst there is some truth to this I would argue that if you are going to spend a lot of money on a guitar that will last a lifetime why not consider the various custom amendments out there? A lot of people think that these instruments will cost far too much but often the actual price can be as little as £250 more than the standard model.
In our custom room we can talk you through the process and help you decide whether it would be worth it for you. Often a customer will come to us and say that they want to buy the acoustic guitar of a lifetime but they are unsure about what to get. sometimes they feel like they have large hands and they struggle to feel at ease with a standard guitar neck. Why spend all the money on something they will never be quite happy with? Taylor guitars offer any of their models with a 1⅞ inch nut width for a small upcharge. This way the customer is happy and can get the perfect guitar for them.
maybe you would like some small aesthetic changes. no problem you can choose from several different tuners, scratchplate/no scratchplate, Different Inlays, a selection of finishes or a different wood option. If you're not fussed about a cutaway or electronic pickup then save your money, we'll order you a guitar without it.
Perhaps you have a particular playing style that a certain wood combination might really suit or a body shape. Why not come and talk to a member of staff. They can give you an idea of the cost and time you'd be looking at.
We're always here if you need a hand and we want you to find the perfect guitar for you.
Trust me, It's out there!
Henry Wilson - Sales Assistant
Even if you buy the best possible effects boxes, you might find they don't quite sound like they did in the store. The first thing to check is that they are in the right order in the chain.
There is also a lot to be said for experimenting with this to find your sound, but there are some broad 'rules' you can follow to get started.
A typical chain before the amp would be in the following order:
Guitar -> filters/compressors -> overdrives/distortions -> amp
In the amp's FX loop (if it has one), the order would continue:
Modulations (chorus, phaser etc.) -> time based effects (delays and reverbs)
If your amp doesn't have a dedicated FX loop, then these would come between the overdrive/distortion stage and the amp.
So why this order? Well, it's all to do with where you want the effect to be in the chain, relative to other stages. For example, it would be very unusual to place a delay at the front of the chain, because the tone that would result would be a delayed signal being distorted, rather than a distorted signal being delayed. Try it for yourself and you'll hear the difference; the latter is far clearer and 'cleaner' than the former. The same can be said of the distortion pedals. These are most commonly used to drive the signal going into the amp, pushing it harder to create a boosted, more distorted signal. Placed in the FX chain, you'd be colouring the tone of the pedal, taking it away from it's natural voice. This ISN'T necessarily a bad thing if that's the sound you're after, but it is far more unusual.
Pedals such as volume pedals can appear anywhere in a chain depending upon what you would like it to do. For a simple volume control, the volume pedal would come at the end of the chain. However, placed BEFORE the distortion pedal, it acts like the gain knob on the pedal itself, allowing you to control how much the signal is distorted.
Have fun experimenting - that's half the fun!
Whether it be guitar repair or customisation of Shaftesbury, Taylor, ESP and PRS guitars, this is where the magic happens! Presenting, the Rose Morris Workshop.
We often get asked for individual strings (which we are perfectly happy to sell), and they are a useful thing to have in your bag or case for those times when one goes while on stage.
However, I always make a point to ask if the purchase is because the same string keeps breaking, even after little use. I'm often surprised at how 'normal' people find this, but it can be a symptom of a bigger problem, and solving that problem can save you money in the long run.
If you're consistently breaking the same string over and over, it's worth checking all the contact points of that string. More often than not, particularly on Les Paul style tune-o-matic bridges, the cause is a sharp edge on the saddle. A light filing to remove this will reduce breakages considerably. Sharp edges can appear on all types of saddle, so this is the first thing to check. Another factor with this style of bridge is the break angle over the saddle to the tail-piece. Regular breakages are often caused by this angle being too steep (i.e. the tune-o-matic bridge is set high, and the stop-tailpiece set very low, creating a steep angle that the string has to go over).
With acoustic guitars, the string that tends to go the most often is the G. This is because it is actually the thinnest string on an acoustic guitar. The core of the G is thinner than the B or E strings, but the winding (which adds no strength at all, only mass) makes it look bigger. To help lengthen the life of the G, I always recommend giving it 4 or 5 winds around the post, so that the bottom wind is below the post hole and the angled notch.
Most breakages will be through the natural wear-and-tear strings go through. If you're breaking more than your fair share, try these little tips. If you're breaking strings due to how hard you're hitting them (something I wouldn't discourage), then perhaps a heavier gauge is what you're after!
Until next time, TECH care of yourselves, and your guitars. Ed.