At this time of year guitar magazines, websites and blogs are full with Top 10 lists and Pros selecting their personal favourite gear and equipment. So I have answered a few questions myself.
Q. What plectrum do you use?
A. I use 1.0mm Dunlop Big Stubby for pretty much every style I play. Although I do use the 0.38mm Dunlop Nylon plectrum for more funky or acoustic strumming styles because of it’s transparency when strumming.
Q. What strings do you use?
A. For day to day playing and teaching I use 9-gauge Ernie Balls (Super Slinky), which just seem to have great elasticity. I also change my strings depending on what style I will be predominantly playing at the time. For instance, if it’s a jazz gig then I will use D’Addario XL Chromes (flatwound) 11-guage.
Q. What cables do you use?
A. Again for day to day playing and teaching I use Planet Waves cables and patch leads. I have a couple of Providence cables, too, and tend to use them when performing. These cables are also highly regarded by many notable players.
Q. What are your favourite pedals?
A. I do own a large collection of boutique pedals. I love the Fulltone Full-Drive 2 (MOSFET), and also own their OCD and Octafuzz pedals, too. I also have two Barber Electronics pedals – the Direct Drive and Small Fry, which are great!
Q. What amplifier do you use?
A. I have always loved the Laney VC-15 amplifier and have owned four of them in the past; each time selling them on to students who are equally wowed by their warmth and tone. Saying that I don’t actually own one right now and currently play through a Cornell Plexi 7 for most of my rock workshops. I also use a Fender Blues Junior and a Swart Space Tone amplifier, again, best suited for different styles.
Q. What guitars do you use?
A. My main teaching guitar is a Fender Eric Johnson signature Stratocaster. It’s a great guitar; stays in tune wonderfully, very light, and has a great tone. I have a Fender Jeff Beck Stratocaster, too! I also have a couple of G&L ASAT Telecasters that I let my students use in lessons, which also get used by me from time to time. My prized guitar has to be the Gibson ES339, which is just a wonderful guitar. Just not a guitar to be used for day to day teaching.
More questions next time…