Mark Singleton holds the distinction of being a smokin’ guitarist as well as, for the past 24 years, a builder of boutique guitars and basses. One side of the coin influences the other, with Singleton’s real-world playing experiences informing his colorful guitar and bass designs. Located at the simpler end of the Singleton lineup, the

Fender Precision Bass

The “Final” Configuration

The Fender Precision Bass was the first commercially successful solidbody electric bass. Played somewhat like a guitar and sporting a fretted neck, the “P-Bass” won over players in almost every genre who previously had to contend with the cumbersome upright bass. In its original configuration, the instrument, introduced in 1952, had a maple neck with

Rick Richards

Bona Fide Sweet Southern Tone

Rick Richards exudes sweet, classic Southern Rock tone like finely distilled bourbon. From his work with the Georgia Satellites, former Guns ’N Roses guitarist/songwriter Izzy Stradlin, and now The Western Sizzlers featuring Blackberry Smoke front man Charlie Starr, Richards’ playing is hot as ever. The Sizzlers dropped their debut record (For Ol’ Times Sake) in

Saga Gitane DG-250M

Saga Gitane DG-250M

One Loud Blond

Saga Gitane DG-250M Price: $949 Info: www.sagamusic.com Features: Open-gear 14:1-ratio tuners, solid spruce top with “petite bouche” oval soundhole, birdseye maple back and sides, ebony fingerboard, maple neck, zero fret, bone nut, mustache bridge, Selmer-style tailpiece, wood binding. Saga Instruments has established itself as a keeper of the vintage flame: the company, with its Chinese

George Lynch

George Lynch

Home Run with KXM

Creative chemistry is an under-discussed topic when it comes to a successful collaborative effort. With the right people, sparks can fly and the good stuff is born. George Lynch’s partnership with Korn drummer Ray Luzier and King’s X bassist Dug Pinnick is one such collaboration. It brought out inspired elements within his playing never heard

MTD Kingston Rubicon 6-22

MTD Kingston Rubicon 6-22

Crossing the Rubicon

MTD Kingston Rubicon 6-22 Price: $999 Info: www.mtdkingston.com Intuitive, player-oriented design, prime materials, and first-class execution distinguished Michael Tobias’s work even before he began concentrating on innovative electric basses in the late 1970s. And let’s not forget Michael Tobias Designs (MTD) helped introduce the newfangled term “ergonomic” to electric guitars and basses. The Kingston Rubicon

David Allen Bazooka Overdrive

David Allen Bazooka Overdrive

Ka-Boom!

David Allen Bazooka Overdrive Price: $250 (list) Contact: www.dallenpickups.com An Internet search for “overdrive pedals” yields 1,610,000 hits, indicating a well-saturated market. The Bazooka Overdrive stands out from the crowd. Pickup maker David Allen offers a broad line of guitar and bass pickups, all lovingly tweaked to achieve what he calls “The Sound.” Who better,

Blackstar’s HT Series Pedals

Gain to the Third Power

Blackstar Amplification is known for its successful Artisan, Series One, and HT amp lines. Its new HT effects line includes boxes for delay, reverb, modulation, distortion, drive, and boost. All pedals in the series use a heavy-duty 6.25″ x 4.75″ x 2.25″ die-cast chassis with top-mounted controls, side-mounted 1/4″ jacks, tube window, on/off stompswitch with

Elvis Presley

The Albums Collection
Guitar Royalty

Should you ever forget why the King is the King, this ultimate boxed set of Elvis’ 57 albums and soundtracks, plus three CDs of rarities and outtakes, will set you straight all over again. Yes, Col. Tom Parker may have sent him off on a wild goose chase with his film career. And yes, there

Sun Rises Again

Sun Rises Again

January, 1950: 27-year-old Sam Phillips opens Memphis Recording Service, soon to become famous as Sun Studio and launching rock and roll with the 1951 Jackie Brenston-Ike Turner ode to an Oldsmobile, “Rocket 88,” and Elvis Presley’s epochal 1954 tune “That’s All Right.” January, 2014: 27-year-old Matt Ross-Spang completes a six-year crusade restoring Sun to its

B.B. King - Ode to the King of the Blues

Ode to the King of the Blues

Guitarists Reflect on the Passing of B.B. King

B.B. King was truly peerless. Beyond his ability to pull an audience up via a single long, vibratoed note, he exhibited an incomparable charisma and style, and his influence carried far beyond the way he plucked a guitar. Fans ranging from simple listeners to world-class guitarists display a reverence for King that is reserved for

Beyond the Parlor Part Three: Women

Beyond the Parlor

Part Three: Women

Ed. Note: In the final installment in his series on the guitar in 19-century America, Tim Brookes offers a study of several women who played the guitar, and what the instrument meant to them. The first two parts are at Part One: The Guitar in Non-Anglo America and Part Two: Man and Machine. “The guitar before 1850 was a

Vega Model 120

Viewed from our contemporary perspective, it’s difficult to fully appreciate how different the music scene in general – and the guitar scene in particular – was back in the early part of the last century. When the electric guitar hit the ground as a viable entity in the mid 1930s, everything was up for grabs…

Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+

The Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+

Early Mesa/Boogie Mark Series amps were something of a sensation, but even with the line now having stretched all the way to the massively featured Mark V, many fans of these powerful little beasts feel the evolution peaked at the end of the Mark II range, with the Mark IIC+. Though at the time they

Fender “Mary Kaye” Stratocaster

The Fender “Mary Kaye” Stratocaster. A term guitar aficionados have come to associate with 1950s Strat with blond finish with gold-plated hardware! Although Mary Kaye never owned one and Fender never offically listed a “Mary Kaye” model, her name has become synonymous with this Strat. Though there are rarer custom-color or one-off prototypes, the “Mary

Ray Cummins demonstrates Chet Atkins fingerstyle tune “Good Old Summertime”

Chet Atkins – Good Old Summertime

Ray Cummins demonstrates Chet Atkins fingerstyle tune “Good Old Summertime” In his first exclusive video tutorial for VG Online, Ray Cummins demonstrates a few jazz-chord substitutions along with some pull-offs in the melody to the Chet Atkins fingerstyle tune “Good Old Summertime.” Grab your semi-hollow, set the amp clean, and enjoy! Keep up with Ray

Mary Osborne

Charlie’s Angel

Jazz guitar pioneer Mary Osborne was the only female guitarist to realize a significant impact on jazz in the 1940s and ’50s – and many aficionados agree that her swinging style earned her confirmation as one of the early architects of R&B and rock and roll. Born July 17, 1921, in Minot, North Dakota, Osborne

Amptweaker’s FatMetal Distortion

Amptweaker’s FatMetal Distortion

Metal To the Pedal

With all of the subgenres of heavy metal out there, it was only a matter of time before the pedal industry began tweaking its many circuits to meet the needs of discerning heshers everywhere. Such is the case with Amptweaker’s FatMetal Distortion – a variation on the brand’s TightMetal, but warmer and – according to