Two recent studies have shown that just holding a guitar makes men more attractive to women. Of course, if you’re an astronaut, you probably don’t need the help. But it never hurts to up the stakes by cranking out a Space Oddity cover from the international space station. But what if you’re the world’s most awkward and annoying boss? Let David Brent (Ricky Gervais) from The Office teach you the absolute essentials. “I’m not going to start be telling you all the chords, you won’t use half of them”
Having a classical music background alongside my love for rock and metal, the influence of Yngwie Malmsteen has been significant in my development as a guitarist and composer. Not only is he one of the world’s greatest guitarists, but his sound is extremely unique. In the many genres of Metal, much of the guitar tone becomes very thin and over-compressed, even with heavy detuning. Not that there is anything “wrong” with that, but the vintage-style tone of a Fender Stratocaster allows for great dynamics and clarity.
In my quest for killer tone, I wanted something similar to the Fender Yngwie Malmsteen Stratocaster (Model : 010711), but without the hefty price tag. Here’s what I did:
I started with a stock Fender Standard Stratocaster (Model : 014460). Rather than use a generic, aftermarket body, I opted for an official Fender body to ensure that the tone wood would be up to spec. The first modification I did was to replace the stock pickups for a set of Seymour Duncan YJM Fury Pickups. Stock pickups on Strats, while having clarity, tend to be very brittle. The YJM Fury pickups maintain their clarity while offering power and warmth to the sound.
Next, I replaced the stock neck with a scalloped Fender-licensed YJM neck manufactured by Mighty Mite. It has a vintage headstock, a 9.5 inch radius, and a 22nd fret as a bonus, making that high E just a little easier to bend. A scalloped neck allows for very easy string bending and thick vibrato. Having the wood carved out between the frets completely eliminates any friction between the fingers and the fretboard. While this sounds like it would make it easier to play, it does only if you have a very light technique. Muscling notes on a scalloped neck will only push them out of tune. I play with a light touch anyway, so the transition was not awkward at all.
Connecting the neck to the body was very easy, as was transferring the tuning machines. The string tree took a little longer, but proved to be relatively simple.
The final modification was installing the brass nut. The advantage of this is that the metal has a much brighter sound than the stock nut, and it adds clarity to open strings and chords ring more clearly.
After my guitar was completed, I saved hundreds of dollars by modding a stock Stratocaster, and it plays and sounds great! \m/\m/
For my personal setup, I use Ernie Ball 9-46 Hybrid Slinky strings, detuned 1/2 step.
Parts purchased from:
Body: Fender Standard Stratocaster (Artic White) zZounds.com
Seymour Duncan has just published a handy guide on soldering guitar parts. It’ll walk you through using a soldering iron, how to protect your guitar during the process, and other useful tips. Learning how to solder is a cost saving way to upgrade your guitar (new pickups) or fixing it (loose wires). Check out the article for complete instruction and video tutorials.
Goodsell’s Super 17 guitar amp has gained a lot of acclaim over the years. Now there is an overdrive pedal to add to the experience. In this video, Richard Goodsell will start by explaining some of the core features of the Overdrive Pedal. Then it’s Jody’s turn to show you the pedal in action. You’ll be able to hear before (bypassed) and after (with the pedal) playing sections using both a Les Paul and a Strat. This should hopefully give you a feel for the clean boost and crunchy type tones you can create with the pedal. Learn more on the Goodsell Overdrive Pedal product page.
Mick Mars’ guitar riffs created the core of many Mötley Crüe classics. Our new premium guitar lesson, Mötley Crüe Style, by Matthias Young will help you recreate some of those riffs along with a solo. Matthias will take you note by note through the music, pointing out the techniques and soloing ideas that helped Mick Mars develop his signature style. For convenience, we’ll use standard tuning for this lesson instead of tuning down a full step. Once you’ve learned the material, you can practice along with the included Girls, Girls, Girls inspired backing track. The lesson includes video instruction, a pdf of the tab, and a mp3 jam track.