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Gear Tips


When you’re learning a musical instrument, whether you are just starting out or already have some of the basics down, the most critical thing you can do to improve is to learn to practice effectively.
  • Jack Hetherington, Guitar Center's Director of Used and Vintage, has seen countless rare guitars, but when a single-owner 1958 Gibson Les Paul Custom came through the Hollywood Vintage Room, he had to share. We chatted with Jack about this unique instrument and the process of acquiring vintage guitars.
  • Technology has modernized the way we consume and create music. Today’s smartphones are very powerful devices with fast processors. Wireless data speeds have increased exponentially in just a few years. We use our iOS and Android phones for everything from live streaming video to real-time navigation. Developers are constantly creating new apps that benefit content producers, DJs and live musicians. Check out a few of our favorite high-tech gadgets to see how you can use your iPhone or Android phone for professional music production, performance or recording.
  • You’ve spent hours, even days, getting just the right tone. Then, weeks or longer getting your song to sound just how you imagined. But how do you recreate that same studio sound on stage?
  • This is it, the night you've been dreaming about since you first picked up your guitar, sat on that keyboard bench or held drum sticks in your hands. It's your first live gig. It's a big moment in every musician's life. Your first show should be fun and hopefully something you do many more times. You've been rehearsing for months, maybe even years. We've compiled a list of accessories you should bring along to ensure your first gig is smooth, fun and stress free.
  • In the 1950s, it was rare to open up a magazine and find a woman playing one of rock and roll’s most coveted instruments. Thanks to pioneering guitarists like Mary Kaye, often referred to as the “First Lady of Rock and Roll,” more women than ever are playing guitar, with artists like Nita Strauss and St. Vincent unveiling their signature models in recent years.
  • Every guitar has a story to tell but not often do we get to know it so completely. Our Vintage team recently came across a rare single-owner 1963 Gibson SG Custom with a Cherry finish. We sat down with our Director of Used and Vintage, Jack Hetherington and Vintage Acquisition Manager Nick Conte to get the full details.
  • Similar to acoustic guitar recording, an amp and DI can each play a crucial role in the final result, and recording both (if possible) can provide some cool options. A microphone on your guitar cab or combo's speaker captures the air movement produced by the drivers and introduces your room's tone into the recording—how much room depends on mic type and placement. The electric guitar pickup serves as the electronic sound source emitting from the instrument. Among other things, pickups can boost and/or cut signals coming from the guitar. Pickups come in active and passive configurations and differ greatly in quality, behavior and affordability.
  • Many like to use both a mic and a DI (direct box) when recording acoustic guitar. However, each can serve a purpose individually as well. It all comes down to the intent. The primary reason to use a mic is to capture the tonal qualities the human ear hears when the instrument is played. On the other hand, a DI converts string vibrations (from the magnets in a pickup) to electrical signals and can have a sound more similar to an electric guitar. Certain types of pickups, like piezos, function more like actual microphones, converting the physical vibrations of the instrument to a voltage, which produces a less “electronic” sound.
  • All that’s required to record guitar is you, your electric guitar (or acoustic/electric), a cable and a computer with some freemium digital recording software. However, amps, mics, external preamps and other gear play a crucial part in crafting a great-sounding record. Let’s break down some reasons to look at these additional tools. Depending on where you are in your journey, we also have some tips for success when recording with a minimal setup.
  • After getting our hands on the brand new Technics SL-1210GR turntable, we connected with some of the most respected DJs in Hip Hop culture, the Beat Junkies, to give the new decks a spin and help teach us how to scratch, live from their newly built Beat Junkie Institute of Sound.

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