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Guitar Musician e-zine 09/20/2006
In This Issue:
|"Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and
instinct, not by rule."
A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's word processor. She told him she was writing a story. "What's it about?" he asked. "I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."
A Lesson For The Learning
Interested in guitar lessons? - Be sure and check out the guitar lessons offered by Andrew Koblick at Amazing Guitar
GUITAR Q AND A
Bi-Dextral Hammer On?
Larry Simmons; Nagoya, Japan
Q: What is a Bi-dextral hammer on? I read this in a product description and it got my curiosity.
A: Those fancy names they put on common techniques really make them sound intriguing.
Bi-dextral means two hand, this is a two-handed hammer on technique that incorporates tapping on the neck with the fingers on your picking hand. Eddie Van Halen is probably one of the best known players for using this technique.
If you want to hear good examples of this technique, listen to "Eruption" or "Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen.
Hope this helps!
Yours in Music
|How to Get Rid of Single-Coil Hum
Without Getting Rid of Single-Coil Tone
Turn up your Strat (or any guitar equipped with standard single-coil pickups) and you get a certain amount of hum and buzz, especially if playing under fluorescent lights or near anything that creates a strong electromagnetic field. If you find this sound hideously irritating, as many do, you might consider a guitar with humbucking pickups. That's the extreme alternative... sort of like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, because you get rid of the hum problem, but you also get rid of that twangy, out-of-phase tone that single-coils get. The classic Fender tone, as it could be described.
One way to beat the problem (still fairly radical) is to go active. With an active preamp system in your guitar and a set of such pickups as Duncan LiveWires, you cure the problem.
But there is yet another solution, short of trading in your guitar or routing it out to make room for humbuckers or active electronics. There is a group of pickups designed to be hum-cancelling or "bucking," but which retain the essential single-coil sound. Seymour Duncan makes several. The "Classic Stack" has the dual coils of a humbucker, but they are stacked so that the pickup has the dimensions of a single-coil. It also retains the sound of a single-coil, but without the hum. Their Vintage Rail pickup is another that accomplishes the same mission, single-coil sound without the hum. Another pickup that is growing in popularity is the DiMarzio Virtual Vintage.
Fender itself has several new designs that you can use as pop-in replacements on your Strat�Lace Sensors and Vintage Noiseless. Most of the Lace Sensors get a humbucker sound, but the Gold is designed for a vintage tone, a glassy, bell-like sound with crisp highs. Even closer in tone to your vintage single-coils are Fender's new Vintage Noiseless pickups. In this case, Fender's noiseless technology has very successfully minimized the noise while retaining the tone.
This isn't an exhaustive list, but long enough to show you that there are alternative ways to keep your single-coil-equipped guitar "as is" vintagy, but with sweet silence, rather than buzz, between the notes.
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