Sunday, May 15, 2005

Travel guitars and amps

I flew into town for the current gig, which is expected to last about a month. Flying and guitars don't mix so well, so I didn't take one with me.

But I suffered withdrawal symptoms and had to go find a cheapie locally that I can ditch later if I can't fit it into the vehicle I'll be driving back. Or maybe give to a young relative. Nah, Goodwill sounds better - it might get destroyed either way, but that way I won't have to watch.

Of course someone else thinks they have the answer for guitarists who travel. Behold, the SoloEtte Travel Guitar. I haven't tried it, but it got a testimonial from Sharon Isbin. If she says it can help her maintain her technique and repertoire it's good enough for me.

More venerable is the Chiquita, which appeared in a Back to the Future movie and was used by the likes of Billy Gibbons. The ad says it's about a foot shorter than a Strat.

What about amplification? Here I show my age by mentioning the still-available Pignose. Or Tom Scholz' Rockman, which was noisy and had no speakers but was terrific for its time. The more modern musician might want this, which as the ad says, "great for running out of your girlfriend's house after a fight".

This gizmo probably doesn't belong here, but then why would I start showing any discipline now? Anyway, plug in your guitar, mic, line in, line out or headphones and you're in business - speed up or slow down music without shifting pitch, or shift pitch, or endlessly repeat something until you get it down - man, what I wouldn't have given for this 20-odd years ago. Throw in some Practice Tracks like these and you can jam 24-7 all by yourself, and the whole works is small enough to travel with.

Now if you'll pardon me, it's jam time...

No comments: