Archive for the ‘Guitar’ Category

Product Review: LOXX

Posted: February 5, 2012 in Guitar
Tags: , , , ,

I just picked up strap locks from a lesser known company named Loxx. Made in Germany, Loxx straplocks are basic and to the point. With a claimed 220 lb. of pull out force, these German engineered strap locks took me about 2 minutes to install with a screw gun. As said in my previous post, I’ve been faithful to Dimarzio Clip Lock straps. When I got my Betty strap, I needed strap locks. Now, although the Loxx strap locks won’t quit fit on the Betty strap unless I ream or punch out the hole a bit on the strap, these locks are quite nice. I like that they are very low profile and that the flat bolt has teeth that mount on the strap from behind. Its funny because the only other strap locks I’ve ever used were Schallers and I quit using them because the nut came loose and so did my strap. So I never used strap locks again. Loxx happens to have a nice comparison on their website between their product and Schaller’s. I can’t speak for other companies. Since I’m not really wanting to make the strap hole bigger on my Betty strap, I may try Ernie Ball strap locks and see how they compare. For the price and the quality, I would recommend Loxx. By the way, check out the Loxx history of how they came to be. Its actually kinda cool.

Side Note: Any time I decide to review something, I am in no way paid by or endorsed by any company. I just call it how I see/play it. I could only wish for free products and money and perks.


Over the years I’ve kinda developed a devotion to DiMarzio Clip-Lock straps. In fact, I have them installed on my 4 main guitars. The others haven’t got one yet because those guitars usually don’t make it out on stage. After spending $2k on my Music Man guitar I wanted to get a more suitable strap. I was willing to pay a little more but desired comfort. I would have really loved to pick up a strap from Anthology. In my opinion, they make the most beautiful straps out there but they come at a price. After much research and debate I decide to keep it West Coast and go with a CA company named Mono.

I’ve had a lot of people tell me to go with a particular strap from Levy’s, but as I don’t like to go with the grain, I chose the Betty guitar strap from Mono. But more than that, the strap just looked comfortable on their website. It appeared to be well constructed with great materials and had the perfect length and width I was looking for. I felt the only thing I would miss out on is the smell of leather. The strap comes in 5 colors and color plays a role in the material used. I chose ash which uses a Duraweave material(Black and Steel Grey use a material called Sharkskin). They all have a neoprene underbelly to prevent sliding around while playing. The core of the strap is memory foam. That may not mean much with a lighter guitar, but it will definitely provide some comfort if you’re slinging a 7-string all night. I did feel like I was taking a little bit of a gamble with this purchase. With so many materials being used, there was sure to be a lot of stitching. More stitching/sewing can be a nightmare. One loose string and the whole thing could unravel. I can assure you that Betty is well built. Between the metal hardware and stitching, this strap will be around for a while. The only con I have is with the “hidden” guitar pick pocket. In theory, its a great idea. However, I would use it just as a storage and not as an “on-stage-oops-I-dropped-my-last-pick-emergency” solution. My fingers are little thick and it takes a while to dig a pick out that pocket. And don’t use a pick with any kind of “grip” texture or finish. I will get caught up in the neoprene.

Mono Betty Guitar Strap

Mono Betty Guitar Strap

Pushing Your Maximum BPM

Posted: October 28, 2011 in Guitar

One of the things I don’t do enough is disciplined practice with a metronome. I found this article at that helps to “psyche out” your speed to get a desired result.

Guitar Strength: Pushing Through Practice Plateaus in Under 7 Minutes

Eric Gales

Posted: September 21, 2011 in Guitar
Tags: , ,

Eric Gales is a phenomenal guitarist. Unfortunately, life on the road and addictions have been a demon that has set him back. Here’s an interview with him while he was locked up in Shelby County Detention Center. I believe he’s doing well these days but this definitely serves as a good example of how drugs can hold a good musician back.

Here’s some life performances:

Get The Funk Out

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Guitar

A Funk Primer

My New (old) Tube Tester

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Guitar, Uncategorized

I’ve got a few dozen tubes laying around the house that might work; they might not. I have been looking for a tube tester, a good tube tester, for quite some time now. Ebay has dozens of them but since tube testers are kind of a thing of the past, you have all of these jerkholes listing their testers for a ridiculous amount of money. They add the word “vintage” to it and the price increases to $200. So I decided to shop on Craigslist. I found one in San Jose for $50 and just happened to be back in Salinas. I was about to go get it when I found one listed on the Bakersfield Craigslist. I called up my friend and PayPal’d her some money. I scored. I got me a nice, very vintage, tube tester. Complete with charts and manuals for $50. I have yet to use it. I’m almost afraid to turn it on because its so old. My research has led me to believe that this tube tester was made in the 1930s. I was told it still works and I’m going to go through the manual to make sure I use it correctly. I wouldn’t want to burn it up. I’ll post my results and experiences as they occur.

You can read more about this tester at

Am Pentatonic 5 ways

Posted: August 9, 2011 in Guitar, Uncategorized

Here’s a cool little tab showing the Am pentatonic scale played in 5 positions. The pentatonic is a great basic scale to know. Its always been a nice “go to” scale for me when I’ve had to play lead on the fly and improvise. (Tab is borrowed and will redirect you to