NAMM 2021

Het werd al redelijk snel bekend gemaakt, Door covid-19 ging er dit jaar geen NAMM show door. NAMM is een show waar jaarlijks alle grote en kleine merken die gitaren en gitaar gerelateerde producten maken/ontwerpen samen komen om hun nieuwe producten voor het komende jaar te onthullen en contact te houden en deals te sluiten met hun verdelers.

We hebben ondertussen al veel moeten missen door het virus dat de wereld nog steeds in een wurggreep houdt. Maar NAMM is voor mij echt één van de hoogtepunten om het jaar mee te beginnen en dat geeft toch wel een leeg gevoel. Maar, ik klaag niet. We zijn nog gezond en komen er voorlopig nog goed vanaf. Het hart luchten kan toch geen kwaad he? 😉

Maar dus, niet iedereen laat ons (gitaarfreaks) in de steek. We hebben het fantastische kanaal genaamd YouTube. Toevallig ook de manier waarop ik andere jaren NAMM beleef. En Andertons, een fantastische channel op YouTube is er toch aan begonnen om vanuit hun hoofdkantoor in Engeland video’s te maken. Gisteren kwamen er verschillende video’s met nieuwigheden van Ibanez online, en ik hoop stiekem dat het vandaag dan ook over andere merken gaat gaan.

En zo zit ik eigenlijk te klagen over een probleem dat zich helemaal niet voordoet hoor ik u denken. Maar de vergelijking is toch niet echt te maken. Je krijgt nieuwe producten te zien, en de uitleg erbij is super, en de klank eigenlijk beter dan bij de standaard NAMM video’s, maar de sfeer is toch anders. De drukte, het blije weerzien,… Alles wat de charme geeft aan NAMM video’s is compleet van de kaart geveegd.

Geloof je me niet? Kijk dan vooral zelf even naar de video’s. Ik zal hieronder wat links plaatsen.

‘NAMM’ 2021
NAMM 2020, waar ze walk-throughs doen,…
… Maar ook ‘interviews’ met de mensen die voor de merken werken en je dus alles kunnen vertellen wat je weten wil!

Bedankt om weer hier te zijn, als je het tot het einde haalt, proficiat, daar ben ik altijd dankbaar voor en blij mee. Tot maandag!

-Tom.

Music Monday #111

Deze week in Music Monday een recente ontdekking via een vriend van wie ik reeds veel bands leerde kennen (onder andere Dave Matthews Band). Pat Metheny, een fantastische Jazz gitarist van Amerikaanse bodem.

Eerst en vooral een enorme hit die hij ooit scoorde samen met wijlen David Bowie. This Is Not America.

Op naar de volgende, waar het prachtige gitaarspel wat meer op de voorgrond komt.

En afsluiten doen we met nog een prachtig nummer waarin je zijn vingervlugge maar mega warme en heldere gitaarspel aan het werk kan zien. Enorm genieten is dit!

En zo zit het er weer op voor vandaag, ik kan je alleen maar aanraden om er meer van op te zoeken want hij heeft enorm veel goede nummers. Veel luisterplezier en tot vrijdag!

-Tom.

Interview with John Tron Davidson from Heavy Repping!

By now, you all know I’m a guitar player and love everything guitar related. I’m really into everything that comes with it and ho wit affects your playing and sound. One of these things is picks. I love gutiar picks, I have a lot of different guitar picks and even reviewed some picks on this blog. Today, I would love to show you all an inspirator for me and my pick goofyness. John Tron Davidson had an awesome blog called ‘Heavy Repping’ and I had the chance to interview him for the blog!

Hey John, first of all, thank you for making some time for Vinyl & Coffee, really appreciate it!

You’re welcome, and thanks for asking!

So, let’s dive into it! What got you into playing the guitar?

I started playing guitar when I was 15 – I’d been on the violin and piano for a few years before that, and spent a lot of my young life in choirs before starting to sing in bands. To be candid, I told myself I needed to play the guitar because I wouldn’t get any work if all I did was sing, but it quickly took hold as an essential thing in my life.

And what did get you into the world of picks?

My earliest picks were things like the Dunlop Tortex 0.6mm, then the 500 Series 0.71mm, and when I got into Cat Kills Six (my very old band in Glasgow) I started using 1mm Dunlop Wedges and other, thicker things. I was always on the look-out for unusual stuff but the real shift came when I was working at Wunjo Guitars on Denmark Street in London, when I got talking to a guy who played in a theatre pit band. I’d ordered some Gravity Sunrise 2mm’s and he told me about V Picks, and because I felt more connected to the guitar because of these, my curiosity led me into the Plectroverse.

How did Heavy Repping start?

It started with a series of one-minute reviews that I did on Instagram of the Dragon’s Heart Hardened Heart, and I found that I got pretty excited about the whole thing – who was making it, what the materials were, the stories behind them and so on. I got a reasonably favourable reception for these videos, and the deeper I got and the more picks I collected, I started to talk to the makers and discovered that no-one was talking about picks or taking them seriously. This seemed crazy to me, as they’re something that reaches out beyond the musical universe and into popular culture. Even the non-musician can recognise a plectrum, and for all these companies to be making picks and not be known, all these players who could be making better music with better tools, it was daft that someone wasn’t covering it. I started posting reviews of picks, and once I got into double figures, I reached out to a few big names in the game and found they were more than willing to talk to me, even though the site was nothing at the time. My first interviewee was Eppo Franken of Chicken Picks, and after this serious event, I got the courage up to press on – now I’ve interviewed Vinni Smith from V Picks, Ruvane Kurland of The Original Coin Guitar Pick Company, Brian Staebell at Howling Monkey, Matt Halliday of Stone Age, Tom Winspear of Winspear Instrumental, Igor from DawMan, Carlos Diez from Rombo, Chrys Johnson from Jim Dunlop, Roopam Garg of the Surrealist, Dusty Schiefelbein from T1, Pete Punckowski at Swiss Picks, Alexis Rodea at Iron Age, and Andrew Federico Jr. of Monster Grips, Brock Little at BHL, Connor Kaminski, Zoe The Pick Collector, Guy Devillez, and Nick Pagano of Gem Picks.


What has been your proudest moment so far?

When I first started getting mail – not emails, but physical letters from makers. Sometimes it would be a short note, sometimes a few pages of writing – that made me feel extremely proud, but if I had to narrow it down to one thing, it would be the post I made for the first anniversary. The genuine care and respect that I got from the community truly humbled me, and let me know that what I’m doing actually matters to the people I’m doing it for.

What would you like to see Heavy Repping doing in the future?

I’m aiming for HR! to be the front page for picks on the internet, by building relationships with the makers, talking to all the collectors, and reviewing/interviewing/writing about as much of the trade as possible. The YouTube channel runs a number of series – Reviews, The Sunday Special Road Test, The Science, Story Of The Pick and the recent Face Off! – and I’m about to start filming a new series called I Rest My Case where I go to meet bands and musicians and get them to try all the fabulous picks I’ve got. In the long term I’d love to act as a conduit for anyone interested in picks, to show them what’s out there and let them find the right builder/model for their style. This’ll obviously take a lot of time and work and I’m only one man, but it’s doable, so I’ll do it!

What have been the reactions so far about what you are doing and how you are serving the guitar world?

The most common reaction I get is surprise – the majority of players have no idea what’s out there because the companies that make the picks are chiefly one-man shows with enough time to make plectrums, ship them out and run an Instagram, and it’s rare to see any adverts in magazines. All the makers I’ve spoken to are thrilled that someone’s taken up the torch finally, and that alone makes it worthwhile. I always give people at work (Mansons’ Guitars) the opportunity to try whatever I’ve got on me, and that’s started a lot of conversations about why such things even exist, especially when it comes to exotic materials like stone, UHMWPE, Tagua and so on. Oddly, I get a lot of nods from drummers that I’ve spoken to – they understand that you wouldn’t use the same set of sticks for every style of music, so using different thicknesses/shapes/compositions of plectrums makes complete sense to them.

You’ve tried hundreds of different picks, do they still get you excited?

Absolutely. I’ve always found the prospect that I’ll never have the chance to hear all the music that’s ever been recorded as something genuinely exciting – you could live numerous lifetimes and there’d still be more to find. Picks is the same – whether it’s a builder I’ve bought from a dozen times or someone I’ve only just discovered sending me out free stuff, I can’t wait to get home after work and find what’s come through the letterbox. Even when I think I know a material inside out, some maker will manage something I didn’t think was possible – acrylic and Ultem are big ones for this. If I were a richer man, I’d give it the full Kevin Shields treatment and get five of everything from everyone.

Have you got a favorite pick? Or a top 3 of picks? Or is this impossible to do?

I’d be lying if I said there aren’t some that stick out, and to be completely fair, I’ll state that there’s no one company I’d choose over any others. This isn’t because all pick companies are equal, but because I can’t make that choice – I’ve got close to a thousand mostly hand-made picks, so that’s a tough gig. The most important pick to me is the one a young lad sent me in the post when I was working in London after I gave him one of my earliest Gravity picks – it was his lucky pick, and I keep it in a pouch on my keys to remind me that what I do in life is worthwhile. As you’ve asked, my current favourites are the Dragon Picks Juma, the Hawk ToneBird 6, the Stone Age Pvrpetrator, the Arcanum Standard and the Plectrums Handcrafted True Blood – ask me again tomorrow!

How have you changed as a player when using all these different picks?

I’ve grown significantly in confidence over the last few years, chiefly as a result of getting so deep into picks. I had a guitar (the Stick) built for me last year by Mike at Odessa Guitars here in the UK, and that became part of my skeleton almost immediately. The combination of The Stick and finding picks that let me say exactly what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it meant that I came on hugely as a player, and it’s partly the hope that I can do that for other players that keeps me going.

And the last one, what advice would you give a beginning guitar player that just discovered there’s more to picks than the orange .6mm Dunlop pick he’s had for months?

There’s no one pick that works for absolutely everyone – if there was, we’d all be using the Dunlop Yellow. The best approach is do what I do – comb through Instagram, Etsy and Facebook looking for people who make picks, set up a Google Alert on your phone for guitar picks/plectrums, talk to makers, talk to collectors. Until the rest of the musical world gets into this, you’ll continue buying direct, so do your research and then take the plunge. I’m always available to answer questions, so go through the website or hit me up on Instagram and ask whatever you like. If I can help, I definitely will. To those of you who draw laughs when you talk about picks to other guitar players, remember – there’s a whole community of people who get just as excited as you do, and for every 1000 people that get excited about another Les Paul, there’s another one trawling eBay for vintage D’Andreas.

Again, thank you John, wish you all the best with Heavy Repping!

Want to know more? Visit Heavy Repping! or Find Him on YouTube.

-Tom.

Rodenberg TB Drive Shakedown Special review

TBDRIVE

Hey! Today I’m going to write another English blog. A while ago I bought a Rodenberg TB drive Shakedown Special. As most of you probably know by now, I am a huge fan of Tyler Bryant And The Shakedown so I’ve wanted this pedal for a while. I contacted Ulrich from Rodenberg Amplification and by the end of the week the TB drive was delivered to my house! Since then, it has been my #1 overdrive pedal. I’ve been using it every day and almost never spend time on my other overdrives.

A little background info on the pedal. It’s a signature version of the GAS-808 overdrive. The story goes something like this. Logan (Tyler’s guitar tech) brought the GAS-808 with him so Tyler could try it and Tyler fell in love… They lived happily ever after, except for Logan, who lost his pedal in this story. 😉

Since that day, Tyler has been using the pedal during every recording session, every gig, so you could say it’s the heart of his sound. Tyler contacted Ulrich from Rodenberg Amplifications. They came up with a design together and launched the TB drive. So, let’s see what it does!

I’ve tried this pedal through a Marshall jcm2000 DSL40 combo, a Boss Katana and played my Gibson SG, my Epiphone Les Paul and A Washburn 10XB Strat. The pedal has two channels, a bass boost on every channel and a 909 gain boost on the left channel.

The first thing that stands out is the versatility. It goes from 0.1 to 100 and does everything in between with pure class. You can go from a little overdrive for your soft blues playing, to the biggest, meanest rock sound you’d ever want to play. It does not really get into metal distortion. You could probably get away with it, but you won’t really have a metal sound. But that’s not what you wanted to do with this pedal anyway. It succeeds in a warm, rounded tone but cuts through the mix just the way you want it. What it will also do, is make your harmonics come out like crazy! It has never been this easy to get your harmonics right.

TBDRIVE2

With the knobs on the pedal you can control volume, tone and drive for both the channels and everything comes in even when you turn the knobs. When you activate the ‘bass’ switch you get a bottom boost which means your guitar will sound fuller and a little more bass heavy. This is what I mostly used with my strat to get that little extra thickness. The 909 switch is really sweet. Three times the gain, with just one click. Your sound gets stronger, tighter, without losing any of the warm, round tones you get from this pedal.

You cannot run the pedal with a battery so a good power supply is needed. It runs on 9 volts and has a current draw of 200mA. As a little bonus, this pedal is really silent. It does not add any extra noise to your sound.

Now I’ll leave you with a YouTube video where Tyler gives you some insight in this awesome pedal.

All the Rodenberg pedals are handmade in Germany. Interested? Get your TB drive here!

Want to support the blog? Click the blue links! Wil je de blog steunen zonder dat het jou iets kost? Gebruik dan onderstaande links om te winkelen bij Bol.com en Thomann.de, zo krijg ik een klein percentage van wat jij uitgeeft! Dank bij voorbaat.

-Tom