Are Better Than One
WILLIAM “GRIT” LASKIN
From Wings to Wooden Horses
SOUND BETTER ON STAGE
Taking the Tele to New Heights
WalksHis Own Way
Tips from 5 Top Front of House Engineers
Inlay Artist and Innovator
Which One is Right forYou?
Taylor, BC Audio, Epiphone, Fender,
Hagstrom, Hottie and
Morpheus, Kay, PRS,
Quidley,Skin Pimp and
The StoryBehind Pantera’s“Walk”
SECRETS OF THE MASTERS
“Smoke on the Water” Revealed
What’sin Your Head?
Hey guys & gals at PG.
I just read Johnson Cummings’ article on the
“Psychology of Tone” (Feb. ’ 10), and I agree
with him 100 percent! There’s something
mystical—almost downright religious—about a
’ 52 Telecaster with the scars of battle all over
it that gives you goose bumps. The same can
be said for discovering that your neighbor
has a vintage, all-original Marshall JTM head
sitting in his attic. It’s like finding the treasure
that Indiana Jones went looking for.
I think tone is more a state of mind than actual
hardware. If you take a look at someone who’s
known for their signature tone, you might
notice that they can pick up a $4000 guitar
in a boutique shop or the plain vanilla guitar
hanging in the local guitar hangout and still
sound like themselves. I have a deep passion
for all things Hendrix, Trower, Moore, Vaughn,
and Clapton, but I already know I may never
sound like any one of them. I can only hope
to attain a close semblance to their already
established sonic foundations.
The best advice ever given to a guitarist has
always been, “Find your own sound,” and I
live by this code. I may use my guitar heroes
as jumping-off points, and maybe a lot of the
things I play sound a little too similar to their
tones, but I never intentionally mimic any
of them. Above all other aspects of being a
guitar player, this is what sets us apart from
other musicians. A guitar player is perfectly
content to play what he feels inspired to
play, using whatever equipment he wants.
The founding fathers of music as we know it
would be proud to endorse this do-what-you-feel attitude, as it was this same mentality
that fostered such gems like “When the
Levee Breaks,” ”Purple Haze,” ”Layla,” “Free
Bird,” and the list goes on and on.
Keep on rockin’!
Eddie G. O’Connor, Jr.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on
February’s cover story and your outlook on
tone. The quest to find your own sound is
one we’re behind 100 percent, and we’re
glad you’ve made us part of yours!
Bass in Your Face
Stop the bass reviews and features. I’m sure
most readers, like myself, see the waste of
space, shake their heads, and skip them. If I
wanted to read about bass guitars, I’d get a
Most guitarists also own and occasionally
play a bass, or at least play in a band with a
bassist. We’ve included a few pages of bass
coverage each month to serve this part of our
tone journey, and we’ll continue to do so. If
you don’t dig it, turn the page—chances are
there’s something GAS-inducing hiding just
around the corner.
Our Apologies to the Missus
I just want to congratulate Premier Guitar
for producing the finest guitar magazine
on the market—it’s the only one I read and
subscribe to now. I have a suggestion for an
upcoming issue. Why don’t you do an annual
lefty issue? Your bass issue absolutely rocked,
and I’m not even a bass player! You could
highlight lefty gear, companies who produce
it, and lefty artists. Please don’t leave us out
in the cold!
Now the bad news: I’m pissed at you guys.
I’ve been a gearhead since the early ’70s,
when I bought my first high-end ax: a
goldtop ’ 69 Les Paul Deluxe. For years I’ve
had a list of 24 guitars that I knew I had to
own. I’ve collected 14 so far, but since I’ve
been reading PG for the past two years my
list has e expanded to 35. Any hell I get from
my wife I’m directing to you guys, because
it’s your fault!
Thanks for the kind words, Ron! We definitely
feel your pain with the ever-expanding gear
list. And don’t worry, lefties are on our radar.
We can’t say an entire issue dedicated to
lefties is in the future, but you never know.
Pass along our apologies to your wife and let
her know our significant others feel the same.
Love for Secrets
Secrets of the Masters is exactly the kind
of material that demonstrates how PG lives
up to the “relentless pursuit of tone” claim.
I cut my proverbial recording teeth using a
Teac 3440 4-track and 2a mixer in the late
’70s, and I found Mr. Gryner’s analysis of
Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” master
tracks (Jan. ’ 10) fascinating and inspirational.
I pulled out one of my own masters from 20+
years ago and had a blast recognizing and
remembering various footswitch-activated
punch-ins, three-tracks-to-one bounce mixes,
and many of the other techniques and tricks
required to squeeze optimal performance out
of a 4-track machine.
While I wholeheartedly embrace digital in
my home studio (I use Logic Express), I get a
vibe akin to playing a great ’60s Strat when I
work with my vintage analog recording gear.
Reading about Blackmore’s alternate lead
tracks, with specific references to passages
like the staccato bend-and-release passage,
makes PG a cover-to-cover must-read every
month. Keep those “Secrets of the Masters”
We’re happy to have inspired your trip
down recording memory lane. Check out
page 86 for this month’s “Secrets of the
Masters,” which digs into Alice Cooper’s
Keep those comments coming!
Please send your suggestions, gripes, comments and good words directly to
You can also send snail mail to Premier Guitar, Three Research Center, Marion, IA 52302.