The Taylor Project – follow the progress of my gorgeous new custom guitar

I’m a big fan of Taylor Guitars. Their 8-string Baritone is one of my favourite instruments ever. Their acoustics are of course incredible. The GS-Mini is a great idea. And Bob Taylor’s book is an entertaining and informative look into what it takes to build your dream into a business.

Well, this week Taylor came to me with an incredible proposal: configure my dream guitar via the Taylor SolidBody Configurator, they will build it, we’ll document the build process (I’m unofficially calling this “The Taylor Project”), and then I will review it, use it and love it! So I’ve picked out my specs, my order is in, and I’m awaiting an ETA. Once I have my mitts on the guitar I’ll review it in text and video form, and I’ll use it in pedal and amp reviews, lessons, in photos with my band, on stage, etc. I really believe in these guitars from the time I’ve spent playing them in review and at NAMM (and at the Taylor factory), so I’m really excited about this project.

[geo-in country=”Australia” note=””]Incidentally, you can try out the SolidBody for yourself at one of these dealers.[/geo-in]

So what will my guitar look like? Well, I toyed with a few different options before settling on the design for my guitar.

First off, I let my son (who is almost 5) design a guitar. This is what he came up with:

Hmm, not bad, little buddy, not bad. But daddy doesn’t really dig that colour combo. Let’s see what else we can come up with.

First I messed around with this, which I kinda liked, but as cool as it is, it’s ultimately not flashy enough for what I’m into.

Again leaning towards the traditional, I thought I’d go for something with a groovy transparent red finish. But again, not quite me.

So what about something a little bit Texas?

Naah. Maybe I need something a bit more elegant. Something like…

Or maybe…

Not bad. Not bad at all. But then I remembered a particularly sexy SolidBody I saw at NAMM this year and decided to do something very much like that but with a whammy bar…

I do love my single coils, after all. But then again, I also like humbuckers… and I think I prefer black pick guards… so what about this?

All of these would be beautiful guitars, but after a little bit more thought, it hit me.

Taylor’s mini humbuckers.

I loved them when I reviewed a SolidBody way back, and I’ve always loved the middle pickup position on 3-pickup guitars. And for about 12 years now I’ve had a recurring dream about having a green guitar with a quilted maple top. Why not make this into that guitar?

So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you…

The Taylor Project.

Isn’t she a beauty? You can follow her build process here regularly, and as soon as I have a second post about this, I’ll create a whole page to keep updates easily accessible via the site menu bar.

Thanks so much to Taylor for suggesting this very cool idea. Also, Jon from Guitar Noize is doing the same thing, and you can check out his idea here. We’ll do some cool cross-promotional stuff over the next few months. I think you’ll dig it.

NEWS: Washburn Nuno Bettencourt N7

Just saw this one on Guitar Noize. It appears the Washburn N7 7-string that Nuno Bettencourt was rocking on Australian Idol with Rihanna is now available from the Washburn Custom Shop!

According to the Funky Munky Music forum, The stock N7 will have a Seymour Duncan Distortion humbucker in the bridge, instead of the Bill Lawrence L500 of the 6-string version. It will have an alder body, maple neck and ebony fretboard. Price will be $US2799.

NEWS: Happy birthday Guitar Noize

Today is the second anniversary of Guitar Noize, one of the coolest guitar blogs you’ll ever find, and to celebrate, Guitar Noize’s benevolent overlord Jon Bloomer is running a birthday giveaway in conjunction with Ernie Ball.

The prizes are as follows:

1st winner: 20 sets of Ernie Ball guitar strings and a Powerpeg winder.
2nd winner: 10 sets of Ernie Ball guitar strings and an Ernie Ball strap pack.
3rd winner: 6 sets of Ernie Ball guitar strings, a pack of Wonder Wipes and some Ernie Ball Guitar Picks.

Jon says: “…leave a comment wishing Guitar Noize a happy birthday, or if you prefer, how much you love Ernie Ball products and you will automatically be entered into the draw. Winners will be selected on Sunday July 5 and announced Monday July 6. Good luck and thank you to all of my readers. Thank you to Brian Ball from Ernie Ball for his generosity with the fantastic prizes.”

CLICK HERE to wish Guitar Noize a happy birthday!

NEWS: Vai’s Naked Tracks box set available

Steve Vai’s Naked Tracks box set is now available as a physical release.

This is from the latest Riot Act newsletter here in merry olde Australia: 
Favored Nations/Riot

Arguably the most amazing guitarist to walk the face of the earth, Steve Vai is set to release his groundbreaking new DVD IN September but until then check out this innovative piece of Vai! Get ready to get naked! ‘Naked Tracks’ is housed in a special limited edition digipak box set. This series of play-along CDs is designed to help create an atmosphere of focus so you can shred yourself into a personally-induced inspirational nirvana.

Included in the set are 5 CD’s featuring backing tracks from the following albums: ‘Passion & Warfare’, ‘Sex & Religion’, ‘Alien Love Secrets’, ‘Fire Garden’, ‘The Ultra Zone’, ‘Alive in an Ultra World’, & ‘Real Illusions: Reflections’!

Previously only sold on and iTunes. Steve Vai is one of the most influential guitarists of our time. An excellent practice tool for any guitarist. A must have for the Steve Vai collector. World tour late 2009-2010.

Great news huh? I bought them from an online store a while ago and I …hey wait a minute… you catch that last bit?

Let’s look at that again:

World tour late 2009-2010.


Anyway, back to the Naked Tracks: Here’s Jon from Guitar Noize rocking his cover of Answers.

NEWS: I Heart Guitar mentioned in Premier Guitar Magazine

The May 2009 edition of Premier Guitar is out now (you can see it online here) and I Heart Guitar and Guitar Noize both scored mentions in an article about Twitter on page 42.

Follow I Heart Guitar on Twitter! For more on Twitter, check out this great article on Jason Shadrick’s guitar blog, another Twitterer mentioned in the Premier Guitar story.

As many of you probably know I write for a few magazines here in Australia – Mixdown (where I also have an instructional column called Unleash Your Inner Rock God), Australian Guitar, and Australian Musician Magazine – but this is the first time I’ve seen my name in an American magazine, unless you count the time Guitar Player printed my letter about a million years ago, hehe. So I’m hella excited. Thanks Premier Guitar!

Premier Guitar’s email newsletter sums up the new issue perfectly, so here’s what they said:

Welcome to the May issue of Premier Guitar! We’re bringing you a genuine ‘plexi fest’ this month with our exploration of that classic Marshall JTM45 tone via an original (1965!), a reissue and five boutique brands that pay tribute in their own way. We also have interviews with Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham and jazz maestro Martin Taylor. The issue is also packed with a tone-dripping array of reviews—Louder & More, Genz Benz, Michael Tobias Designs and Xotic, to name a few. Plus, some of you have asked us to throw a little more of the less expensive gear into the mix so we’re responding with reviews of an Atomic Guitar Works STD1 ($895), a Danelectro Dead On ’67 ($399), an Eastwood Airline Tuxedo ($849) and Fender’s Road Worn Series ($949).

MUSIKMESSE 2009: New LTD models

Here are some more sweet ESP/LTD models unveiled at MusikMesse. While ESP does a great line of vintage-inspired designs, there’s nothing particularly old school about these new models.

First up are LTD Okkultist and LTD Shadow models for the Guitarists of Dimmu Borgir.

ESP says: Taking the darkness of black metal to profound new depths, the guitarists of Dimmu Borgir join the legendary ranks of ESP artists with their new ESP Signature Series models: Silenoz’s Okkultist and Galder’s Shadow. These guitars scream with metal attitude, equally good at shining in the spotlight or dwelling in the deepest of shadows.

Next is the LTD FL-600 Bass from Frédéric LeClercq of DragonForce.

ESP says: As the thunder that holds down the bottom end of DragonForce, Fred LeClercq is a force to be reckoned with on his own. His innovative bass playing spans the realm from ultra smooth to chainsaw harsh, and his new ESP Signature Series LTD FL-600 bass allows him to combine melody, power, and speed into an unmistakable sound.

Then there’s the monstrous LTD Hex-7 from Nergal of Behemoth, which I wrote about here.

ESP says: If you like your blackened death metal extra dark, there’s no better place to turn than Behemoth. Their founder and frontman Nergal has designed his ESP Signature Series LTD Hex-7 to be about as extreme as a guitar can be.

Finally there are three new Graphic Series Models.

Renowned UK-based artist Mister Sam has once again created the ultimate hybrid of man and machine with his custom artwork on the new limited edition Clockwork Zombie Graphic Series guitars for LTD. The EC-CZII, EX-CZII, and Viper-CZII combine skeletal remains with metal cogs, flywheels, and gears on these sinister and unique instruments.

Kudos to Jon from Guitar Noize for bringing this to my attention via this article.

CLICK HERE to see ESP guitars on eBay.

NEWS: News for March 20, 2009

Metallica ‘Broken, Beat & Scarred’ single
The forthcoming Metallica ‘Broken, Beat & Scarred’ single is one for the diehard collectors, as well as geeks like me who once upon a time may or may not have religiously collected the Star Wars Fact Files or something similar. A-hem.

The release of the singles will be staggered, beginning April 3.

CD 1 Digipack (With two clear trays to allow additional CDs)
* Broken, Beat & Scarred
* Broken, Beat & Scarred (live)
* End Of The Line (live)

CD 2 J Card (To be collected and to insert into CD 1)
* Broken, Beat & Scarred
* Stone Cold Crazy (live)
* Of Wolf And Man (live)

DVD Single (To be collected and to insert into CD 1)
* Broken, Beat & Scarred – Promo Video
* The Day That Never Comes – Promo Video
* Death Magnetic EPK (Electronic Press Kit – running time – 17:25)

CD Maxi Single
* Broken, Beat & Scarred
* Broken, Beat & Scarred (live)
* End Of The Line (live)
* Stone Cold Crazy (live)
* Of Wolf And Man (live)

Source: Metallica
CD 1 CD 2 DVD Single

PRS Signature Series cable
True gearhounds know that your guitar cable is an extremely important part of the signal chain. You may have the best pickups and guitar woods in the world, but without a good cable it’s going to sound weak and stinky. PRS to the rescue! PRS Guitars and Bond Music Research introduce the PRS Signature Series Cables, including guitar and speaker cables manufactured to exacting specifications. PRS Signature Series Cable is manufactured from the finest materials by noted UK-based cable stalwart Van Damme. Paul Reed Smith himself said “Every inch of a PRS guitar is based on decades of testing, rethinking, and reinventing. We continue to push the curve and, in regard to our new PRS Signature Series Cable, the same holds true.” PRS Signature Series instrument cables range in price from MSRP $49.95 to $64.95 depending upon length. The company’s loudspeaker cable carries an MSRP of $49.95 to $89.95. PRS Signature Series Cable is available through authorized PRS Guitar retailers and is available now. Every cable includes a full lifetime warranty.

Source: Paul Reed Smith.
BUY: CLICK HERE to see Paul Reed Smith guitars on eBay.

Guitar World launches news site – and I Heart Guitar is on it!
This could be quite cool. Guitar World has launched a new site which collates news from various blogs, kinda similar to Digg. I Heart Guitar is listed there, as are some of my fellow guitar bloggers including Truth In Shredding, Guitar Noize, Strat-O-Blogster, Guitar Lifestyle, Me and Mace, Random Chatter, and Jason Shadrick’s Guitar Blog.

Source: Guitar World.

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