Much like several other well-known manufacturers, Guild has, through the years, changed ownership, locations, and identities. Guild was founded in 1952 by Alfred Dronge, a teacher and music-store owner in New York, and many of his first employees were former Epiphone workers hired after that company moved production to Philadelphia. Guild’s first guitars were shipped

Steve Cropper

Homage to Lowman Pauling

All but forgotten today, with his low-slung guitar, stylish rhythm licks, and tasty leads, Lowman Pauling was one of the great guitar heroes of the ’50s. Guitarist for the R&B doo-wop band the 5 Royales, not only did Pauling pick melody lines and play leads, he also composed many of the band’s songs, sang in

Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66

Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66

Welcome to the Machine

Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66 Price: $2,799 (list) Contact: www.redplateamps.com Redplate builds boutique amplifiers with point-to-point wiring and meticulous hands-on attention to detail. Their BluesMachine66 1×12 was created for the discerning guitarist with a predilection for British flavors. Its 12AX7 preamp tubes run at 50 watts using KT66 power tubes. The BluesMachine66 has knobs and switches galore,

Buddy Guy

Keeping the Blues Alive and Definitely Kicking

It was February 21, 2012. As part of the White House’s music series, “Red, White & Blues” featured a cavalcade of blues and blues-influenced greats including B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Keb’ Mo’, and guitar legend Buddy Guy. President Obama thanked the performers as they wrapped up the evening with

DigiTech iStomp

Morph For Less

DigiTech iStomp Price: $149.95 Info: www.digitech.com/istomp If you’re the type of gearhead who turns heel and runs from DSP effects, let alone any equipment with a lower-case “i” in front of its name, set your preconceptions aside and dig into the DigiTech iStomp – a hardware stompbox that can be instantly reconfigured into the pedal

Home Feature Image

Rickenbacker Electric 12-Strings

Double-bound for Glory

George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacher founded Electro String in 1931 to manufacture what everyone would soon call “Rickenbacker” guitars. Success with musicians came early. Rick steels were the measure of quality and performance; their tone established the standards. On the other hand, the company’s fully electric bass viols and violins excited segments of the industry,

ORVILLEGIBSONA-HOME-MAIN-BIG

Orville Gibson A model

All carved-top guitars and mandolins trace their ancestry back to Orville Gibson of Kalamazoo, Michigan. However, as this A model mandolin illustrates, Orville’s designs went through considerable refinement through the early years of the Gibson company’s existence to reach the standard of design that we know today. The highlights of Orville’s life are well-known: Born

Oddfellow Caveman Drive

Oddfellow Caveman Drive

Tone Evolution

Oddfellow Caveman Drive Price: $174.99 (list) Info: www.oddfellowfx.com. Handmade in California, the Oddfellow Caveman Drive is a boutique pedal whose simple layout belies its tonal complexities. But even before hooking this stompbox into your signal chain, right off the bat, you have to dig the cardboard box in which it comes. Sure, this looks like

Buzz and Frank Rogers

Wood, Wire, and DNA: A Dad’s Day Talk With

Fathers and music – two of the most influential things in the lives of most guitarists. No matter if their jams happen on a worldwide stage or the living-room floor, guitar players speak loud and proud of dear ol’ dad – the person who often put that first guitar in their hands! Each year, VG

Justin Hayward

Prolificity and Perceptions

In addition to touring and recording with the legendary English band, Moody Blues lead guitarist/vocalist Hayward released his most recent solo album, Spirits of the Western Sky, in February. Such work affords him the option of writing songs in a different style. One of numerous aspiring musicians who as a youngster listened to Radio Luxembourg

Gibson’s 17″ Pre-War Electrics

ES-300 of 1940-’43

Among musicians and collectors, Gibson’s pre-World-War-II ES-300 may be less popular today than the ES-250, but in terms of sheer numbers, it was Gibson’s most popular 17″ pre-war electric, despite the adverse context of the early 1940s. Truth is, most of the more-prominent guitarists of the period continued to favor installing an old-style bar pickup

Michael Staertow

Michael Staertow

Gramm Backer

You may not recognize the name, but Michael Staertow has been playing some of classic rock’s most memorable riffs for Lou Gramm, the voice of Foreigner. Hailing from Gramm’s hometown of Rochester, New York, Staertow also performed recently with the Buffalo Philharmonic, and at the 2014 Rochester Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, sharing the

Hallmark Swept-Wing

Brief Flight from South of Bakersfield

Bob Shade exemplifies the adage “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” The guitar builder has an enviable assortment of ’60s Hallmark guitars and basses, and they’ve inspired his own creations. Hallmark was founded by Joe Hall (1938-2011), a former Mosrite employee who in 1965 opened a shop in Arvin, California, just down the road

Joe Negri

Royal Handyman, Jazz Legend

Long before becoming Handyman Negri on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” he had already been a teen guitar prodigy, first-generation bopper, and a peer of the giants of jazz guitar. Though New York beckoned, he stayed home and became a star, anyway.

Ian Lemmy Kilmister. Moterhead

Lemmy Kilmister

In the 25-plus years that Motorhead has been purveying its fast, furious, high-decibel entertainment, there have been changes and there have been constants. The World’s Most Brutal Heavy Metal Band has been through five guitarists and four drummers, but has always been anchored by Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister. Another constant is the band’s effort to regularly

ToneTron Feature Home

ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker

Best Amp You've Never Heard of

ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker Price: $1,200 Info: www.tonetroamps.com. On a quiet residential street in Minneapolis lives a mad scientist. Erstwhile rockabilly guitarist Jeffrey Falla is the brains behind ToneTron. And from his laboratory come some of the best-sounding amps you’ve never heard of. Falla began modifying and building amps as a ’70s teen, launching his custom-build ToneTrons

Frank Gambale Vintage Guitar magazine

Frank Gambale

Soulmine

Frank Gambale has had an amazing career playing the music he loves. From being the go-to guy for sweep-picking, and later replacing Al DiMeola in Return To Forever, Gambale drops jaws wherever he goes, and whether playing straight jazz, instrumental rock, or contemporary fusion, he plays from the heart and head. Gambale’s current project is

Dickerson Standard Lap Steel

Though today they are viewed as little more than curious relics of a lost era, during the Great Depression, “mother of toilet seat” Hawaiian lap steels were one of the most popular types of guitar. You could argue that these little electrics blazed the trail for the later popularity of electric Spanish guitars. There were