Gear Henry

For anyone who might have a remote interest in the gear I use, please continue.


The guitar has been the principal instrument of choice for me from the beginning of time, and my preoccupation with it shows no sign of abating. I'm rather glad about that as, otherwise, I'd have nothing to do.


My progress on it has been long and lonely, like most others similarly fixated, I suspect. I've sorely fingered my way through several levels of competence, as well as various standards of equipment used.


I'm now up to a Fender Strat and a Hofner Verythin for an electric and a Takamine EF360SC for acoustic, but I've had Gibson electric copies and a couple of Ibanez's too. There’s a Fender Jazz bass that I use for recording. I've also got a cheapo acoustic that often lies on the floor, made by a company called Fenix. It serves as a vehicle for bashing out initial ideas, until they become so polished that I have to get the good one down to make it all sound superb.


I must also mention a lovely Takamine Spanish that does its utmost to let me sound suitably lush and exotic. I must stress that this person is not quite at the Steve Howe/Andy Summers plateau of having hundreds of guitars wantonly filling up the air-conditioned ante-room, but there's still time (donations to any collection would be humbly accepted).


In my biog page, I make fleeting reference to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Adrian Belew and I can add the following, gifted exponents to a list of players that have left a lasting impact on me : Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, BB King, Jeff Beck, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Dave Davies, Mike Keneally, Brian Setzer and the guy who plays dobro for Union Station (I think it's Jerry Douglas). There'll no doubt be a few more to add once I can remember them (ah, yes - Martin Taylor, Stanley Jordan, Django Reinhardt and Joe Pass from the world of Jazz).


The main Takamine acoustic has a few chips and scuffs on it now, a legacy of its road service, but it still rings out with a set of 0.11 gauge Martin strings on there. It has a heavy-duty pickup with a DSP in the body that puts out some nice tones, and offers independent volume control and a tuner function that's valuable in a live situation. I've just bought a nice new case for it.


The Strat is a Japanese US Hot Rod, about 24 years old, red with a maple neck, 2 single coil pickups, a DiMarzio humbucker, a 5-way switch and a Floyd Rose locking tremolo that allows all the strings to be 'wobbled' and 're-pitched' until completely slack, a la Van Halen or Steve Stevens. I’ve had a Sustainiac retrofitted which produces feedback tones at the flick of a switch and at low volumes. Amplification is catered for by Thomas Blug’s BluGuitar Amp1, sat on an interesting new pedalboard I’ve built which also contains a Line 6 HX Stomp. I’m still in the process of figuring out how to make some kind of portable, “two-amp” set up with this arrangement.


Acoustic strings are invariably by Martin, although Ernie Balls and D'Addarios have been known to muscle in from time to time. I tend to fingerpick on the acoustic in a style borrowed from John Martyn, whereas the plectrum still tries to pick its way around the electric.


Right, I must stop now so I can complete my daily, 3 hour practice ritual...........


Thank you and have another pleasant evening.