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Learning Music

Forums

Gateway sites:

New (general music gear)

  • Musicians Friend  Of course.  Tough to beat these prices and great user interface, lots of sales, and great return policy.
  • Sweetwater Sound   For the serious pro with the serious bank account--looks like strictly list prices here, folks.
  • Zzounds; "The lowest prices" for new music gear on the web.  They seem to prefer to drop-ship your order directly from the manufacturer/distributor rather than keep a large inventory, though; so hot items might be on backorder instead of available for immediate delivery.

Pedalboards / Pedal Cases

  • StoneCastle (Sweden), easy to carry pedalboard in quality aluminum and ABS case

  • Steady Case, tweed!  Need I say more?

Stompbox Effects

Dealers (New/Used)
  • MusicToyz.com; awesome selection online.  Give Teddy a call and chat with him if you can.
  • 30th Street Guitars; great bunch of guys to deal with. 
  • Vintage stomp-box effects at Analog Man's site; browse huge variety of used favorites or score on a new Teese Real McCoy RMC3 Wah Wah pedal, featuring the best of the vintage-style inductors and pots plus new, adjustable ranges to dial in what ever tone you want
  • Neal's Guitars; LOTS of vintage guitars, amps, effects, etc.
Makers
  • Strymon - Newest kids on the block (including at least one ex Line 6 engineer), knocking 'em out of the park with their DSP-powered joy toys
  • BJF Pedals - Most amp-like and stack-able pedals.  Baby Blue OD, Dyna Red Distortion, Baby Pink Booster, Mint Green Mini Vibe, Little Red Trebler, Pink Purple Fuzz, Candy Apple Fuzz, Saffron Yellow Tremolo, Pale Green Compressor, Blue Berry Bass Overdrive, The Mad Professor Amp.
  • CatalinBread: Kick ass pedals, super quality; check them out!
  • SubDecay: Fun and creative pedals; give them a listen!
  • Rockett Pedals: Super impressive line up.
  • Malekko Heavy Industries: Check out the B:assmaster and analog echoes--this guy is one to watch!
  • OPM Inc (aka RoboPimp): Designer of trippy artwork and now a fuzz pedal too
  • Foxrox Electronics, maker of Captain Coconut (a 3-in-1 fuzzface, octavia, and univibe) and the incredible new Paradox Through-Zero Flanger
  • HomeBrew Electronics, LOTS of great stuff!  Not a clinker in the bunch; check out his impressive lineup of stellar-sounding effects.
  • ZVex; the funkiest, most original, and most planet-friendly effects anywhere.
  • Pedalworx, makers of the Texas Two Step (arguably the BEST TS-based overdrive pedal in the world) and the highly regarded McFuzz and McBoost pedals.
  • BlackBox Electronics, maker of the must full-featured compressor pedal, the Oxygen, plus various cool fuzzes.
  • The most versatile and transparent UniVibe clone I've played, the Ultra Vibe by SweetSound Electronics
  • Geoffrey Teese, maker of world-renouned wahs, lovingly recreated from the original Clyde McCoy wahs from Thomas, Vox, and Jen.
  • Demeter Amps, maker of the famous Tremulator, also Fuzzulator, and Compulator.  Not to mention their amps, etc...  Plus they're good people!
  • Stewart Castledine, (UK) maker of replacement circuitboards for wah pedals and his own custom inductors.  I've heard he's doing a ToneBender MkI project these days, too!
  • ManecoLooper... Hey; miss the old EH 16 Second Delay?  Seen what they sell for these days?  Check this out!  More features, better sound quality and cheaper. 
  • G.S. Wylie, Creative maker of fuzzes and sitar guitars
  • Cesar Diaz, maker of Texas Ranger, a Rangemaster clone with a 3-way tone selector, Texas Square Face, the fuzzface clone used by SRV, and the Tremodillo, originator of the half-speed switch.
  • Or check out Hendrix's own gear-tweeker, Roger Mayer. (USA distributor is North Star Audio)
  • Prescription Electronics- Great remakes and cool originals, including the dead-on remake of the classic early Page fuzz, the Yardbox, and the Foxx Tone-Machine clone, the Experience, featuring thick fuzz, octave, and sick swell effect (broken-speaker-fuzz-on-fuzz, with mushy attack and feedback-like, octavy decay)
  • Michael Fuller (http://www.fulltone.com/), maker of vintage-knockoff and innovative boutique gear.  Great website and sweet, quality effects.
  • Charlie Watkins, maker of the legendary CopyCat tape echo (new digital version available) and WEM amps
  • Check out Harmony Central's list of makers!  It's fairly exhaustive.
  • Jeorge Tripps: Designer Profile: From Way Huge to Line 6 (here's the old Way Huge site; sounds like clones of the Anderton Tube Sound Fuzz, the Ibanez TS808, the Arbiter Fuzz Face, the Colorsound ToneBender, the ElectroHarmonix Small Clone, and other classic circuits)  Now heading up his own vintage-reissue crew at Jim Dunlop
  • Jon Cusack: awesome designer and builder!  Check out his work.
  • Diamond Pedals: Super quality boutique pedals including drives and a feature-packed analog delay
  • RonSound: formerly an ElectroHarmonix geek who did some repairs and one-offs, now a full-fledged builder
Users/Collectors
  • Tom Heertjes; Nice collection of vintage Ibanez and wahs with pictures!
  • Jacques Stompboxes, kinda kooky design, passionate collector, lotsa info and pics
Gear Reviews/Information
  • Gilmourish.com; a widely-recognized source for information on the evolution of David Gilmour's music-making arsenals.
  • Tone Frenzy; the coolest gear info site with awesome sound samples
  • Tone Hunter; some info and reviews
Repairs
  • Pedalworx also does wah pedal (and other) mods and repairs.
  • Howard Davis, former engineer for ElectroHarmonix, designer of many EH products, including the AWESOME Memory Man pedals!

DIY music electronics sites

Parts:
  • Effects Connection -- Highly recommended purveyor of many of the most commonly needed parts to build your own effects; also sells fine instrument cables, etc...
  • Pedal Parts Plus -- Another great place to get parts!
  • Get your Mouser catalog for free, browse the CD at home and order parts online.  They've got it all!
  • Small Bear Electronics Great source for all your DIY needs, offering complete kits, hand-selected and matched components, and hard-to-find vintage germanium transistors, analog bucket-brigade delay (BBD) chips as well as timers and opamps and everything else you'll need to build your own guitar effects.
  • The Hardware Book large online pinout, cable, and circuit resource
  • Having trouble finding a transistor for a project or need a pinout for a transistor or a chip?  Try using NTE's online semiconductor cross-reference database or their Semiconductor Index then look up the pinout on NTE's pinout chart using NTE's stock number.
  • Or you can try Electronics Directory if NTE doesn't have it

Guitar Makers & Dealers

  • Roseville Guitar Works, local Roseville guitar tech and all around great guy
  • Pagelli Guitars, incredible hand-made guitars
  • SonFather Guitars, Rocklin's own custom guitar maker; also full music shop and amp repairs.  He helped me finish the body of my Warmoth Strat; great work.
  • Beyond the Trees, meet Fred Carlson, maker of fantastic custom accoustic creations
  • Dillion Guitars, low-cost, quality alternative to overpriced brand names

Luthiers, Guitar Parts, and Mods

  • John Fisher makes his own instruments from scratch using whatever materials are available.  Step-by-step details and pictures; also amps and other DIY projects.
  • Steward MacDonald, alla yer guitar-building tools and supplies and parts in one place!

  • GuitarNuts ,lots of wiring info

  • Guitar Reranch, refin supplies and info

  • Bill Lawrence, top-rated noiseless pickups with pre-CBS Fender magic, and inexpensive!

  • Warmoth, awesome necks and bodies, plus other parts to finish your guitar

  • USA Custom Guitars--People have recommended these guys to me as the best for custom necks and bodies for workmanship and detail

  • Terrapin Guitars--Custom pick guards, great workmanship and materials selections

  • PickGuardian--Custom-make any pick guard for any electric guitar

  • K & K Sound Systems, superior piezo transducers for acoustic instruments.  Ditch that thin, harsh, tinny tone most piezo acoustic pickups give you!

  • Shertler Audio Equipment, condenser microphone acoustic transducers  + preamps & loudspeakers

Amps (buy)

  • TubeWonder  --  Most amazing amps.  Rent for recording or buy one yourself.
  • Mad Professor  --  Well, what can we say?  It's Bjorn, the mad professor.  He knows how to create rock and roll tone!
  • Demeter Amps... professional quality amps for the professional musician.  See what they can do for you!  Good people!
  • Ultrasound, acoustic guitar amps
  • London Power, made by author of "The Ultimate Tone," these amps can give you cranked tone at apartment levels without using a powersoak or variac. 
  • Roccaforte Amps Think of the best plexi with that brown sound just screaming "shut up and listen to this guitar!" 
  • VintageAmps.com Not cheap, but great reputation; get a fully restored Marshall Plexi here.
  • Aamp's Electric Guitar Store Pignose, Gorilla, and Pegasus - get a portable mini amp or an inexpensive tube amp

Amps (DIY/customize)

  • London Power also has complete kits with instructions at near-wholesale prices
  • Steve Ahola's Blue Guitar pages: instructions on how to turn your Peavey Classic 30 into a nice-sounding, pro-quality amp!
  • Weber Remakes of classic speakers, plus custom, diy amp chassis and load boxes that utilize a real speaker motor to absorb the amp output.
  • Hoffman Amps Kits to convert a crappy amp or a carcass into a point-to-point-wired Bassman or Plexi or AC30.  Wow!  I'm serious!  Full instructions, get all the parts you need here to finish out your project (except for cabinet and coverings).  Pretty cheap. too!
  • Duncan's Amp Pages TONS of resources for the musical-electronics enthusiast with lots of links to others!
  • Velvet Black - Traynor Tube Amps
  • SwAMP, good resources for tweeking your tube amp
  • Pat's Tube & Recording Schematics - Schematics not free, but lots of info and links to tube info are!  Find that rare schematic here.
  • KCA NOS Tubes Find the tone your amp was meant to have
  • Triode Electronics Great source (cheap prices/cool selection) for tubes
  • Antique Electronics Tubes and more!
  • audioXpress Info, magazine, books, and kits for DIY hifi

Guitars (DIY/customize)

  • Guitar ReRanch; how to do a vintage refinish, supplies for sale
  • GM Arts; lots of diverse info and links
  • Fralin Pickups; Real single coils with real classic strat tone.  Add depth and subtlety to your guitar.  Also makes PAF-style humbuckers.
  • Bill Lawrence; Handmade by the legendary Bill Lawrence himself; the most pristine-sounding pickups I've heard.  I mean that in a good way, in case you're wondering.  Let me just use the word "best", if you're looking for a Strat or a Tele pickup. They're noiseless, by the way, but don't let that put you off if you're striving for authentic single-coil tone.  They lack nothing in the tone department.  I haven't tried his Gibson-style humbucker pickups yet...
  • Kinman Pickups; Noiseless vintage Strat pickup tone
  • Warmoth: order your own custom configuration with any kind of wood, compound radius, frets, nut, headstock, finish, etc.
  • WD Music Products; Lots great parts--make or customize your guitar
  • AllParts; Everything you might need for any guitar project
  • Famous Guitar Makers, et al   Good index of online guitar makers and resources.
  • Guitar Nuts, lots of do-it-yourself guitar wiring, amp, etc. info

Learn some cool music...

  • GuitarTricks.com--Video Guitar Lessons: Guitar Tricks is 45 guitar instructors with over 3000 online guitar lessons in one massive site. Guitar Tricks lessons use video, mp3 and guitar tablature so you can learn guitar online. 45 instructors cover every major style of guitar playing, including acoustic, blues, classical, country, jazz, rock and metal.
     

  • GuitarJamDaily: Plenty of online lessons plus gear reviews, columns, and information about the makers
     
  • Learn Blues, Jazz, and Funk guitar techniques from a master; Tomo Fujita.
     
  • Guitar Lessons, Guitar Tabs & Chords Crossroads online guitar tabs and guitar lessons conducts streaming instruction for advanced or beginning guitar students; try our free guitar lessons before you purchase!
     
  • Get some guitar tabulature
     
  • How about some online lessons from your guitar heroes?
     
  • Check this out; this guy's got the coolest online, interactive scale web page (go to the guitar room, advanced)
    http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/ 

Or compose your own!

  • What are you looking down here for?  You should be writing a song instead of surfing the net.   Okay; need some inspiration?  Try a random/fractal music generator.  Here are two...
    Here; professional quality, vintage analog synth and sequencer for your PC.  Try it!

Record, perform...

General Audio Info

Sell Your Music:

  • Here's a cool service that will sell your CD's online; CDBaby.com

Recommended Reading:

The Stompbox by Art Thompson

Since you've read this far, you must be a musician.  If you play guitar, you might like this blank chord chart for writing songs.  Print as many pages as you need.  I'm thinking about making a blank tab chart, too.