ZOMBIE-PROOF YOUR GUITAR ... NOW! BY RANDY PARSONS
Few dispute the apocalypse is nigh. It’s the method
of destruction that’s being
debated. Some say the end will
be quick, while others say the
demise of our species may last
many, many years. I’ve heard
folks in the latter camp claim
that during this prolonged
struggle, zombies will rule the
planet. There’s not much we
can do in a swift-exit scenario,
but preparing for a zombie
threat could be a smart move.
Oh, you laugh? Well, on
the internet I saw an authentic draft of the pamphlet
the Federal government is
preparing on how to defend
yourself in a zombie invasion,
so I don’t really think this is a
laughing matter. The government plan was well written,
and although I agreed with
most of it, unfortunately the
authors fell a bit short. They
did not mention the guitar.
Instead, they focused primarily on protecting self, family,
friends, lovers, and pets. But
no mention of one’s cherished
axe? That’s a huge oversight. I
The problem with the
guitar is that it can attract
zombies. So, lacking direction
from our leaders, it’s important
that we take matters into our
own hands and zombie-proof
our instruments. Here’s what
you need to know:
1) Get in tune—and stay
there. Zombies are attracted
to unpleasant noises, especially
those that sound like a human
shrieking in fear (they either
think it’s the real deal or it’s just
a bit of a turn-on . . . it’s hard
to say for sure) or those that
induce people to scream out—
y’know, like Pavlov’s dog, and
all. Anyway, poorly tuned guitars rank high on the list of the
world’s most unpleasant noises.
There are several reasons
a guitar will not play or stay
in tune. First, “not playing in
tune” means that even after
you’ve tuned all six strings to
perfect pitch with an electronic
tuner, when you fret chords in
certain regions of the fretboard,
they don’t sound right. This is
a problem of intonation.
LEFT: Ahhh!! Zombie loose in the workshop—it’s Parsons Guitars
luthier Persia! Photo courtesy of RJB Photo RIGHT: In the late ’60s,
Baldwin developed The Exterminator amp, touting its ability to “put out
a screaming treble that is almost unreal.” Many guitarists bought this
250-watt behemoth—which had two 15", two 12", and two 7" speakers—believing it was the ultimate zombie defense weapon. Unfortunately, they soon discovered that zombies are actually attracted to
unpleasant noises that mimic and/or induce a human scream.
substance is a black graphite
powder you can dab in the nut
slot under the string. You can
also use this to blind zombies:
Squirt the powder in their eyes
and then run like hell!
2) Use tube amps. There’s
credible evidence that zombies recoil at the sound of
loud second-order harmonics
(which humans seem to enjoy,
particularly in high-gain distortion) because they make
a guitar sound fat and rich,
rather than jagged and edgy.
Also, you can break the tubes
and use them as weapons, if,
God forbid, it comes to that.
In a worst-case scenario, you
might entice a zombie to stick
her hand inside the chassis and
fondle a filter cap. A shocking
3) Get a wireless system.
This one will be pretty controversial, but hear me out: A
wireless enables you to keep
jamming if you’re forced to
escape to the “safe room.”
Other than that, I see no reason to use one.
4) Change your strings.
They don’t get dirty from dirt,
they get dirty from DNA. This
is bad for two reasons: First, it
deadens your strings by caus-
ing intonation, sustain, and
tuning problems. Second, it
can undead-en you. Yup, your
dead skin and blood on those
strings can attract a zombie
from over a mile away.
builds guitars for Jack
White, Jimmy Page, Joe
Perry, and other adven-
turous players using
like bone, flowers, cop-
per, and solid ebony.