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Gigging musicians - what guitars do you gig with?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Johnny Morales, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Johnny Morales

    Johnny Morales Tele-Meister

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    I was having a conversation about gear with my former drummer. He is now a professional drummer / clinician - plays with some top acts and so forth and is actually endorsed by a major drum company.

    His opinion was that most non-famous working musicians don't gig with custom shop-type top of the line stuff (unless there's an endorsement involved). Until he got his endorsement he used a $500 drum kit he had since high school with some mods he made along the way.

    We've been out to see a bunch of bands in NYC lately and aside from the occasional Les Paul - most of the guitars we've seen have been Epiphone, Fender MIM and MIA, and Gibson studios and stuff. Of course most of them had been modified - but they all sounded great (except for the guy from the Posies who is a great player but couldn't keep his Epiphone Dot in tune).

    When I used to gig regularly I did so with a MIA tele w/EMGs and a used Les Paul Classic with Dimarzios. Its all I needed. Since I've stopped playing regularly (and begun to have a bit more disposable income) all of a sudden I feel the need to check out all of this high end gear.

    I'm curious what guitars people here who gig regularly typically bring to the gig?
     
  2. Tim Armstrong

    Tim Armstrong Super Moderator Ad Free Member

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    I'm a beach town bar band player (averaging around a hundred gigs a year), and I either play Hoss (the Telecaster bass I put together using a Fender Musicmaster Bass neck and a Fernandes Tele body) that cost me a couple hundred dollars to build, or a very nice SX P-copy that I have about $200 into (I upgraded all the pickup/electronics). I do also play guitar on 5-6 songs a night, and I either use my SX SJM-57 (a Gumby-shaped guitar with P-90s and a Jaguar/Jazzmaster style tremelo) that cost me $150 shipped or my Beloved 1966 Telecaster (refin, changed tuners and pickups) that cost me $700 in 1995.

    My brother plays either a mid-90s MIA Fender Lone Star Strat or a fairly recent Gibson SG Standard.

    Tim
     
  3. Mike Bruce

    Mike Bruce Friend of Leo's

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    Electric gigs: Strat/Tele/Godins(LG, Acousticaster, Belmont)/SX lapsteel

    Acoustic gigs: Beneteaus, Houses, Acousticaster.

    Bass: Godin fretless Freeway, OLP.

    Any might be augmented by mandolins and banjos and voice.

    Truth is, I take whatever I need and/or whatever strikes my fancy at the time.

    Mike Bruce
     
  4. cdc3jj

    cdc3jj Tele-Meister

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    Depends where the gig is. I won't take my 335 in a dive. But if it's a reputable place or at least somewhere a drunk isn't going to fall into my gear or try to steal it I take a tele mim or a tele partscaster and the 335. If it is a dive, I just take a tele.
     
  5. bradpdx

    bradpdx Friend of Leo's

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    I always use the same stuff at home, gigs and studio. Why change what works?

    I have played in hundreds of dive bars, witnessed knife fights on the dance floor, seen bar patrons set cars on fire, and once had to drag a couple off the stage because they were humping each other too close to my pedalboard. Get a room, y'all. (The Boston area was rough back then, probably still is)

    None of that stopped me from using my '59 Tele (which I later sold), my 52RI or Martin HD-28 along with vintage Fender amps. You can't get too precious about these things, they are tools. A good sense of humor gets you through most of life's curveballs, including those in bars. Besides, if you play a request from one of the hookers they might share the tips :rolleyes:

    These days the gigs are much less rowdy, but I use either my '94 AmStd Strat or '82 52RI Tele with either a real '65 DR or my DRRI. For acoustic gigs, only my HD-28 will do, thanks ;) I just don't worry about it.

    I have no MIM or MIJ guitars at all.
     
  6. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I'll use any of the ten I have, no matter what their market value (but none are worth more than 2K).
     
  7. MandyMarie

    MandyMarie Friend of Leo's

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    I travel with a hopped up standard Mexican Tele - it has Barden pickups, a Barden bridge and a '68 neck on it.
     
  8. jonzer

    jonzer Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    American Telecaster, unmodded.
    Fullerton Movibe which has been modded extensively.
    Epiphone Dot, unmodded.
    DRRI, few tube changes.
     
  9. wetland10

    wetland10 Tele-Afflicted

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    I play a MIJ 52RI with a HB. Seth Lover HB and a Done Mare 0038. I also use a Squier Custom II which I replaced certain things. I use a custom built amp as well.

    I think people should play whatever they think feels right for them and gets the tone they want. But, I have found that many local musicians that I know use high end equipment.

    Wayne
     
  10. asatfan

    asatfan Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My old G&L Asat with the Evans Pull String. It's priceless to me, but I wouldn't gig without it.
     
  11. vjf1968

    vjf1968 Poster Extraordinaire

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    For The Absinthe Drinkers a Gretsch 6120-1959. For my Americana band I use my Tele
    I use 2 different effect rigs for each but a DRRI for both.
     
  12. ASAT-Sean

    ASAT-Sean Tele-Meister

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    <---------------this one :) and my 63 Tele or my FDPLE Strat. I mostly play the ASAT Dlx SH, it just kinda fits everything I do. Never thought that I'd feel that way about a humbucker axe......will wonders never cease?

    In our theater, I use the ASAT and acoustic(Breedlove) a mando and dobro.

    The ASAT is just a great all around guitar.
     
  13. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'll use any guitar I own depending on the gig. I do want to get a "beater" acoustic with a built in preamp so I don't have to trash my good acoustics. For my last guitar gig I used my '86 Tele '52 RI, a '46 National Lap Steel and a Taylor 812C. Saturday night I'm taking a P-Bass made of a Japanese body and Warmoth neck and an Ovation Mandolin.
     
  14. hollowman

    hollowman Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Modded MIJ tele 72 custom RI
    Yamaha archtop
    Mexi martin acoutic electric
     
  15. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    a MIJ or homemade tele or variax embedded tele by rhomco
    either my tone king amp or my twin or an old musicman
     
  16. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    i switch around a good bit, mostly just to keep myself interested, but i mostly play a 2001 carvin strat style with a floyd rose. it has humbuckers that can be spit to a very usable single coil(s) sound. an extremely versatile guitar and a dream to play.

    i always bring along a 2nd guitar (in case of string breakage) which can be a heavily modified stratacoustic (dano pup in the sound hole; along with replaced fishman piezo under bridge saddle pickup) that i can use as acoustic or electric. but, many times ill play a modded strat with lollar (neck) keystone (mid) duncan (bridge), or one of my 4 teles that have been modded to various pup configurations, etc. on a rare occasion, i will bring along a les paul studio or modded epi 335 copy. but its almost always the carvin... and one of the others.

    i like to mix it up and experiment with sounds... although i have to admit, that outside of a few minor differences in timbre, i/it really doesnt sound all of that different between any of those guitars.

    rand z
     
  17. Paulie13

    Paulie13 Tele-Holic

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    EJ Strat and Hot Rod Tele to every gig.

    They are starting to get some character to them.
     
  18. Tele295

    Tele295 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Electric guitar gigs are usually MIM Fenders (Thinline, Esquire) or Epiphone ES-295 (MIK)

    Electric bass gigs are often '73 Fender Jazz, Squier Classic Vibe SCPB (MIC), or Hohner fretless (MIJ)

    Acoustic gigs are mostly MIC Gitane DG300 (same as John Jorgenson uses onstage), MIJ Yairi AY116 classical, or MIA Guild F47

    Sure I have a CS Tele and plenty of cool vinatge stuff, but those aren't working gig instruments. NOt that they aren't good for that, but for gigs the other instruments are more reliable, versatile, and frankly, playable. The vintage stuff is just fun, but I wouldn't want to have to rely on it.

    I have a buddy who's a full-time pro, currently working on cruise ships. He's a Berklee trained jazz guy who hasn't had a non-music job since 1966. Back in the 70's he was a big time East Coast 335 guy in the Carlton vein, and had the first Mesa Boogie ever shipped to Pennsylvania. For the past 20 years, he has refused to play gigs with any guitar that cost more than $150. He has an endless stream of Squiers, and is currently loving his MIC Tele that cost him $50. He makes it sound as good as any vintage sunburst Les Paul or 335 I've ever heard. He goes for a thick sound, not quite so twangy - MIC Tele, Boss ME-5 and whatever amp is available.
     
  19. goldtopper

    goldtopper Friend of Leo's

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    1st year HWY 1 tele and a Martin D 40.
     
  20. electrablue

    electrablue Poster Extraordinaire

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    Road Worn 50's Strat, American Deluxe Telecaster, or Les Paul depending on the set list.
     
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