Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat

This hands-on, how-to manual for the Strat takes the mystery out of maintaining and modifying what is really a relatively simple instrument (two boards, some wires, some pickups). Clear text and colorful illustrations take readers through the basics of selecting and buying Strats; maintenance and repairs such as tuning, setting intonation, tremolo alignment, fret repairs, bridge and nut adjustments, electrics troubleshooting; spur-of-the-moment stageside fixes; and some basic performance enhancements like adding “hot rod” Fender and aftermarket pickups, locking-tremolo nuts, and more.

Customer Review: great for saving money
I set up the playing action on the guitar necks on 5 guitars in a row, right after first studying 1 page in this book for about 2 minutes, if you want to adjust-lower the string action on a guitar, this book explains it very easily, each guitar took about 30 seconds, it's so easy!
Customer Review: Mr. know How
This handbook is really good, for me it gives me almost everything I needed or I wanted to know about the legendary Stratocaster guitar, I personally recommend it to anyone who is interested to know everything about Strats and more important to who wants a hands-on reference to fully understand and maintain their guitar........ Hesham Askar

To most people, owning the "genuine article" is the only thing that will suffice. As a guitar player, and one who appreciates classic "vintage" instruments, I can fully understand this point of view. I can't think of a single guitarist who wouldn't absolutely adore playing a real 50's Les Paul or Stratocaster. However, becoming the proud owner of a true vintage instrument does have its drawbacks.

First of all, there's the price of admission. The increasingly strong demand for vintage instruments has driven their prices through the roof and out of reach for most of us. Top quality, well taken care of original instruments from the 50's and 60's can approach the cost of a new car, or in some cases a small house!

Another problem facing vintage instruments is their questionable reliability. Although they were built to stand the test of time, a vintage instrument will almost always prove to be more delicate and fragile than a later, more modern version. This may not be of great importance to a guitar collector, but if you're planning to gig with a 50 year old, highly valued piece of guitar history, you may want to think again.

Fortunately there is an alternative for those of us who love vintage instruments, but find them either too expensive or too impractical for our purposes. I am referring to the latest crop of vintage guitar replicas, or as they are better known, "reissues".

Both Gibson and Fender maintain separate production facilities known as "Custom Shops", were they produce replicas of our favorite oldies with great skill and care. These guitars are made of the finest woods, and are almost entirely built by hand using time honored techniques. The electronics are custom manufactured to be as true and faithful to the original instrument as is humanly possible.

The cost of these Custom Shop guitars are high when compared to their production line variants, but they are still far below the cost of the real thing. They come complete with a full warranty, the durability of a new instrument, and sparkling clean looks. I own several reissue guitars from both Gibson and Fender, and can truthfully say that I am very impressed with the quality and painstaking level of detail that these guitars possess. The use of high quality woods give them a tone which is a cut above the norm, and knowing that parts are readily available helps add some peace of mind.

When all things are considered, buying a reissue guitar is in most cases the next best thing to owning the original. Although nothing will ever replace the "vibe" and nostalgia associated with the real deal, the high cost and impracticality of a vintage instrument for everyday use, makes owning a reissue a very attractive alternative. Will a reissue ever sound like its well aged 50 year old counterpart? Probably not, but for us players with an appreciation for classic instruments, a Custom Shop reissue from the original manufacturer is very hard to beat.

Written By: Michael Casamento

This article may be freely distributed so long as the above resource box is included in its entirety.

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Sunday, 22 February 2009

Stratocaster Greats: Playing in the Style of Fender

Customer Review: History of the Fender Guitar
This is not really an instructinal DVD it is more of a history lesson about the Fender Stratocaster Guitar and its rise from the early 50's to today. Tom Kolb explains such mundane things as the Bridge section of the guitar and control knobs, tremelo,pickup's...ect.But the highlite is when he plays in different styles such as Jeff beck, Eric Clapton,Ritche Blackmore,and other great Strat players.Fun to watch if you are a huge Strat fan like me... but may bore others who were hopping to glean some riff's off of this DVD. After watching this dvd you do realize just how important the Strat has been to Rock and music in general.Its the only true example i can think of where they got something right the first time! the body and structure of the Srtat has not changed in 60 years....thats beacause it was perfect to begin with.
Customer Review: Don't waste your cash
I've played keyboard for over 25 years. I've now decided to start playing guitar and purchased this video. No doubt that Tom Kolb knows how to play a guitar. If I didn't have any previous musical knowledge I would have been completely lost watching this DVD. What it shows to you is a bunch of information about various styles of various guitar players. That's what it is suppose to do right? Well what is shown to you is a guy playing his guitar really fast and talks about nothing on how to apply techniques and use them. Then you are referred to look at a cheezy photocopied handbook that is suppose to explain everything. Wrong! Every "technique" that is shown... if you can pick it out during his fast playing... would already be known by an experienced player. Beginner.... forget it, you won't see anything that will help you. I could go on for hours on how useless this video is. But I'll keep it short. Spend your money on something else.

Electric guitar history begins in the 1920's and 1930's when two Los Angeles musicians George Beauchamp and John Dopyera began trying to find ways of creating louder guitars. They first created a resonator guitar using aluminum disks with a metal body that was three times louder than an acoustic guitar. The resonator guitar evolved into what me commonly refer to now as the dobro.

It wasn't until 1930 that Beauchamp and another man Paul Barth developed the first working pickup. They then contacted Harry Wilson who carved the neck and body of what would be the first electric guitar. They nick-named it the frying pan due to it's round body.

The first man to build and market an electric "Spanish" style guitar was Lloyd Loar. Loar created Vivi-Tone, a company dedicated to the production of spanish style electric guitars. However the design was poor and within a year Vivi-Tone failed.

In 1935 Gibson began work on developing a new guitar pickup. This pickup would become incorporated onto the standard f-hole arch-top guitar known as the ES-150. The Gibson ES-150 is considered the first modern electric guitar in history.

A milestone in electric guitar history, the ES-150 became an instant success. However their were still some undesirable characteristics. Because of the hollow body design there were often problems with feedback and distortion.

The answer to this problem was the solid body electric guitar. The solid body electric guitar can be accredited to two men. Les Paul and Leo Fender. Les Paul's idea was to take a 4x4 piece of pine and attach two magnetic pickups. He then glued two cutaway halves of the original hollow body design to the 4x4.

Leo Fender's model was slightly different. His solid body was made of oak and instead of gluing two halves of a hollow body to a solid middle Leo Fender had carved the entire body solid. In 1949 Fender released the first successful solid-body electric guitar called the "Esquire."

It wasn't until 1952 that Gibson decided to release Les Paul's version of the solid body electric guitar. Although Fender had been on the market for a short while Gibson's Les Paul quickly become the industry standard and to this day is considered the most sought after guitar in electric guitar history.

By the 1960's electric guitar history had hit its maturity. Gibson introduced the humbucking pickup which helped to reduce unwanted noise from the magnetic coils in pickups. Fender and Gibson came out with more futuristic designs like the SG and Stratocaster.

Since the 1960's There have been numerous electric guitar manufacturers to come on to the scene. Manufacturers like Ibanez, Jackson, Paul Reed Smith, Dean and B.C.Rich are just a few of the modern companies who are still continuing to make electric guitar history.

John Robert has been playing guitar longer than he can remember and teaching for the last three years. His innovative teaching methods have helped many guitarists maximize their practice time for optimal playing potential. To learn more great guitar playing tips visit

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Monday, 16 February 2009

Fender Stratocaster Mouse Pad

Made in the USA! This mouse pad is shaped like the real guitar! Looks great and is still very practical.

Perhaps no other guitar maker has touched the hearts of so many players and collectors as Fender. By producing excellent guitars at reasonable prices, Fender has been the instrument of choice for many guitarists throughout the world. Both the famous and not so famous have relied on Fender guitars to define their signature sounds.

The Fender company was founded by Leo Fender, and produced its first solid body electric guitar in 1951. This guitar was called the Telecaster, and was soon followed by the Precision Bass, and the legendary Stratocaster in 1954. Over the years many changes would take place at Fender which had a great impact on the types and quality of instruments they produced.

The first "mile-stone" year for Fender came in 1965. During this year, Fender was bought by corporate giant CBS. Quality began to decline during CBS's reign, and although Fender still remained popular among players, CBS lacked the commitment and understanding necessary to satisfy the needs of serious musicians. As a result, the guitars produced during the "Pre-CBS" era would become prized collectors items demanding large sums of money in the vintage guitar market.

In 1985 Fender enjoyed another "mile-stone" year as a group of employees purchased the company back from CBS. For the first time in 20 years Fender was in the hands of musicians and artisans committed to producing world class guitars. A new manufacturing facility was built in Corona California to handle the production of USA made guitars. In 1987 the Fender Custom Shop was established, reaffirming the company's dedication to producing top quality guitars, and catering to the needs of top musicians.

From 1985 to the present day, Fender has been steadily expanding its operations within the United States and abroad. The company now produces a vast array of musical products from strings to mixing boards. In spight of such massive growth, Fender's commitment to the production of quality guitars remains very high. Fender remains one of the few companies that can successfully provide quality products to both the "budget conscious" and "price no object" musicians.

Written By: Michael Casamento

This article may be freely distributed so long as the above resource box is included in its entirety.

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Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Fender Stratocaster Keychain

Madonna's 2008 Sticky and Sweet tour is packing out stadiums across Europe, in readiness for her tour that will be unleashed here in October. Her shows have been selling well, and many shows are near sell-outs. In Los Angeles, her only show is scheduled for 6 November 2008 and will be held at Dodger Stadium, and if you act quickly you can snare some tickets at reasonable prices.

Her latest album, Hard Candy, debuted at number one across the globe, has been dominating the charts since it's release on April 25, 2008. The Queen of Pop's album features vocal appearances by today's hottest pop artists such as Justin Timberlake and Kanye West. The producers of the album are the highly respected Timbaland and Pharrell Williams who receive both performance and production credits on the album.

And what are we to expect in LA? It will be the usual stunning array of music, stage antics, dancing and a song list that goes back to 1984!! During her Paris show, always the one to stir up a bit of controversy, Madonna tried a bit of push-it-to-the-edge sexual antics by kissing one of the female dancers, or one of the female audience members. Swigging champagne bottle she yelled at the crowd "Who do you love more, me or the Rolling Stones?"

The Material Girl always puts on an amazing concert, and this is one show not to be missed. Her current single with Justin Timberlake has hit the top of the charts all around the world. It seems the world can't get enough of this amazing lady, half way through her third decade of constantly reinventing herself and of being a superstar. And her catalog of songs is awesome including "Like a Prayer", "Vogue", "Get into the Groove" and "Holiday".

You can still obtain those tickets for Madonna in LA if you follow the link below.

M Paul is a mad Madonna fan and runs the ticket selling site To get those hard-to-get tickets to see Madonna in Los Angeles, follow the link above.

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