Sunday, June 24, 2007

Guitar Maintenance, and Kontrust on Sellaband

Have you ever taken your guitar out of the case, played a few of your hippest licks and been disgusted with the way it feels in your hands? Many times, you may be in a rush and put it out of your mind. Many times you just get used to it, play around the stiffness. A guitar needs love and affection. That's why it was designed to be played with your hands. It needs attention and if you give it the proper care, it will love you back more than you can imagine.

So, what to do. Change strings? Maybe you have taken the time to change strings only to find that your guitar still feels tired. Here is a tip I learned from my friend Jamie. You may have read about him in a previous blog entry entitled, "If You Know I Was There, I Did a Shitty Job" way back in April of 2006. You'll find it in the archives.

Every time I change strings on a guitar or bass, I take a little extra time to clean the neck and fret board. You can go nuts, mask off the finger board and polish the frets with metal polish but that takes time and if you are not careful, you can leave residue on the wood. A quick and very efficient method for doing the same job with a minimum of effort requires one tool which you probably already have handy.

After you remove the strings, Take a pencil eraser...yes a pencil eraser, the pink end that you don't write with, and hold it perpendicular to the fret board. Run the eraser the length of each fret 4 to 6 times, back and forth. Now feel the fret and compare the way it feels with the next one. Amazing isn't it? Cheap, fast, no muss no fuss. And when you string your guitar, you'll be surprised at how nice it feel to bend a note.

Of course, if you have time, you should always clean the fret board and give it a little lemon oil as well. But just a good erasing will make frets feel like new.

And now my review of another artist from Sellaband, the seemingly ethical alternative to the "old school" record business.

Kontrust is a band out of Vienna, Austria. I listened to the three tracks posted on the Sellaband web site and my only question is, why is this band not already being ripped off by a major record company? This is a REALLY good act! I would love to be in Vienna for their show on June 30th to see for myself if they are for real.

The songs are interesting and performed with vicious commitment. These are excellent musicians who deliver tracks with a very mature and aggressive precision. The lead vocals are masterfully performed and there is just enough grit to let you know that this is Rock with a capital 'R' although the meticulous musicianship is hard to hide.

Now keep in mind that the tunes on the web site are mp3's and they just don't sound big enough for my taste. This band should be taken in large, loud doses...really loud doses. With the proper production facilities and equipment, and with adequate financial support, Kontrust will turn some heads. They certainly turned mine.

Now go clean your guitar!

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