DIY Jobs : Remove Your Guitar’s Pickup Covers

Pickup covers – some people love ‘em, some people hate ‘em, but luckily you don’t need to live with them if you are one of the latter!  Removing the cover from your guitar’s pickup is a job so simple that even I could bungle my way through it.  Don’t believe me?  Alright, I’ll show you mister!

Before embarking on this DIY adventure make sure you are aware of the likely outcome of your endeavours.  While removing the cover may make your guitar look way more awesome, it will also affect its tonal characteristics. Most of the time, removing the cover will make your guitar sound brighter and more lively.  It will also most likely invalidate your warranty!

If you don’t have a problem with any of that then let’s have a go!  I’ll be using my cheapo Vintage V100 for this example.  I always found the tone of this guitar a little too mellow for my tastes, so I’m hoping the guitar will have a little more BALLZ by the time i’m finished! ;)

Step 1 : Remove the pickup(s)

Get rid of your strings and remove the pickups.  If your pickup has enough wire length you can get away with just flipping it over and resting it on the guitar body.  Make sure and protect the finish by placing something between the pickup and the guitar – things are about to get messy!

Step 2 : Fire Up the Soldering Iron

In the photo below I’ve highlighted the two blobs of solder that are holding the cover in place.  In order to remove the cover we’re going to need to get rid of these – duh!  So, using the tip of your soldering iron heat up the solder until it softens and wipe it away with a thick cloth.  Be careful not to burn yourself – molten metal on your skin = bad times!

Remove Guitar Pickup Cover

How Many Guitars Do You Really Need?

My guitar collection honestly seems to change every month, for the most part due to my obsession with scrutinizing eBay on a daily basis for rare lefty gems.  However, what doesn’t seem to fluctuate is the size of my collection…

Last week I watched a video on YouTube where John Mayer’s guitar tech showed us around his live setup and it just blew me away how much excess baggage there was.  The guy travels around to every gig with at least FORTY guitars and only plays 10-15 songs at each concert. I’ve always kept a very steamlined, minimalist setup and so it just baffles me why some people seem to feel the need to have such a large collection of instruments.

For the longest time I was a one electric, one acoustic guy and really didn’t see the sense in having anything more than that.  Mostly this was because I was trying to survive on my limited student budget and couldn’t justify anything over what was entirely necessary.  I was content with my simple setup where nothing was surplus to my needs.

Invariably I would end up stumbling across something I wanted to try on eBay, and seeing as I am an impulse buyer I would more often than not pull the trigger.  Every time something new entered the LeftyFretz collection the balance would be upset and one guitar would end up being played far more than the other.  I had to choose between having a rarely played guitar or facing another semester living off beans on toast – it always seemed a no-brainer to ditch what I didn’t need.  The balance would be restored and my two guitar setup remained the mainstay for my entire university career.

Now that I am in a position where I can afford to buy more guitars than I need my mindset still has not changed.  If I buy a guitar that does not get used every week it goes back on eBay where it will find a better home.  Waste not want not and all that jazz…

Here’s a sum up of what I have now and what I have earmarked…

Why Isn’t There An Ambidextrous Guitar?

Last month I wrote an article describing why restringing a right handed guitar for a lefty was a bad idea.  I received a handful of amusing comments back from readers who recalled many of the troubles they had when they first started playing guitar and restrung their dad’s old right handed model upside down.  These comments got me thinking…

How hard could it be to design a guitar that could be played by both left and right handed players?  It’s probably the most rediculous idea I’ve ever had, but hey, wouldn’t it be fun to try and design something like that?!  Well I spent a lonely evening in Photoshop and came up with the ‘2-in-1’ .  Please don’t take this idea too seriously, it’s just a bit of fun…

The Premise

This is a guitar that through some very minor adjustments could be set up for either left handed or right handed players.  It would be aimed purely at beginner players and would be the only left handed guitar in the world that any store would be happy to stock more than one of.  The guitar would be mass produced and would be priced at the lower end of the market to make it appealable to new players who don’t neccessarily want to spend too much on a new hobby.

Imagine walking into a music store as a new lefty player and asking the salesman what left handed guitars he has in stock. “Oh, well I’ve got a couple of Strat copies in black, a Les Paul copy in black, and I think there’s a Tele copy somewhere, it’s black “.  Your heart sinks.  “But wait, I’ve also got these 2-in-1 models, if you give me 5 minutes I can switch them to being left handed and you can have one in any of these 10 colors I have in today “.  Woot!

Guitar Review : Music Man John Petrucci BFR Dargie Delight 2

This one is long overdue, but finally I am going to review my (take a deep breath!) MusicMan John Petrucci 6 BFR Dargie Delight 2 left handed guitar.  That’s a whole lot of name right?  Well luckily it’s also a whole lot of guitar!

The name can be shortened to MM JP6 BFR DD2, but i’m guessing that probably won’t help you a whole lot will it?

You may be wondering what the words in the guitar’s name denote, well let me explain.  BFR stands for ‘Ball Family Reserve’ and basically means that it is the cream of the crop if you like.  The JP 6-string model comes in two flavors – the super-douper standard models, and the uber-super-douper BFR models.

The Dargie Delight BFRs are just a very limited edition run of BFRs named after the owner of Ernie Ball’s son.  My particular model was produced in 2009 and there was only a short one month order window to buy one.  As a result they are very rare, with the lefty model being exceptionally rare.  I haven’t seen another around so please let me know if you have one!

Music Man John Petrucci BFR Dargie Delight 2 Lefty Guitar

For those of you who are unaware of who John Petrucci is – get out of my site…now! Come back when you’ve listened to Dream Theater’s entire discography.  If you really want back in my good books you should probably listen to his solo work as well.

14 Bad Tattoos of Guitars

14 Terrible Guitar Tattoos. The intricate design of a guitar just does not seem to mesh well as a tattoo!

Review – Vintage V100 Icon Lemon Drop

Time to review the latest guitar to grace the LeftyFretz guitar rack – the Vintage V100 Icon Lemon Drop.  I’ve had this guitar for exactly one month now so I have had plenty of time to get suitably acquainted with it.

For those who have never heard of them, Vintage is a UK brand which is rapidly gaining respect within the guitar playing community. Vintage worked with acknowledged guitar industry guru Trevor Wilkinson to produce their current range and this really comes across in the quality of the instruments.

The guitar was purchased from Reidy’s online store for the bargain price of £265 ($400ish) including next day shipping so it’s really verging into beginner guitar money.  You’ll also be glad to learn that Vintage does not charge extra for their left handed guitars.

I’ll give you a quick sum up of the main features, but head over to the Vintage website for the complete low-down.

  • Mahogany Body
  • Flame Maple Top
  • Mahogany Set Neck
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • 24.75” Scale Length
  • 22 Frets
  • Wilkinson Hardware/Pickups

The reverse-fitted neck humbucker and out of phase centre position wiring creates one of the most recognisable guitar sounds of the genre – real “Black Magic”.  The guitar is also extensively reliced to give it that authentic ‘used’ look which so many players are lusting after these days.

Andy James Talks About Left Handed Guitar

Andy James, shredmeister extraordinaire and well respected tutor recently took part in a webcast where he answered questions from many of his fans.  One question posed to him was from a lefty who had chosen to persue the right handed guitar path…

I’m a lefty playing a right handed guitar – been playing 6 years – practice about 6 hours a day – i still can only play Slayer at half speed – should I switch over to a lefty guitar?

Andy: I think if you are left handed, you should play a lefty guitar. Your left hand will control your picking and general timing and would be more natural for you to use the hand that you would use for anything else. Playing with the right hand might be weird at first but you will probably find that your technique will improve playing the right way.

As you know i’m completely fed up of right handed players giving poor guidance to lefties so it’s refreshing to see someone finally give some solid advice regarding playing left handed guitar.  The question posed here just really goes to show that some lefties just have to play left handed guitar, no questions asked.  It’s not even as if this guy is a casual player, six hours of practice a day is a lot, even for many professional players!