On your new shop website, I cannot open the pics and videos, what can I do?
You only need to update your browser (Firefox or Internet Explorer recommended) to the latest version. In some cases, you might need to deactivate rigid popup blockers.
How many guitars do you own?
In fact, all of the equipment on my website - whether it's for sale or not - belongs to me, since I don't do consignment deals and payed for everything. But if you go to "My Personal", you'll find just that: my personal guitars, amps and effects that are not up for sale and which I use for recording and performing.
How do you afford all these guitars!
Well... whenever I need money for more guitars I ask my Uncle - he is pretty succesfull in the rice business (Ben is his name)...
How do you record the YouTube videos?
I have two signals: One coming from the guitar amp, miked with an AKG D-320 B microphone (which picks up the loops from the Boss RC-2 looping pedal, too), the other being a line-out with backing tracks stored on my PC. Both signals feed a cheap Behringer Xendix 1002 FX mixer (sometimes I add a bit of reverb - preset No. 7 from the mixer - great sounding reverb!). A line-out from the mixer (with both signals mixed) runs direct into the Sony FX-1 camera, which records everything at the same time. That's it. I do not use any recording software. I don't do the editing and cutting (the camera man Stefan is doing that, I don't know wich software he is using). There is no post-production on the sound!
What are the backing tracks on your videos?
I collected the backing tracks used in my demo videos from the web over many years. I bought most of them from commercial pages like Jamtrackscentral or Guitarbackingtracks and many others!! Sorry, there is no way I can remember which track came from which site. When I find a nice track I'll simply store it on my computer and don't bother to make a list ... too many tracks, too many sites. I could not even find a single requested track on my computer (10,000+ tracks) Therefore, please do a Google seach for "blues backing tracks" or "jam tracks" and you will find a lot by yourself.Recently, a number of backing tracks were sent to me or even made especially for me. Only in this case (or if I bought a track from a site and the credit was part of the deal) I take care to credit the producer of the track. So you might want to check the info text below the video - some of the tracks are available directly from the producer.
What are your favourite strings and picks?
I use either Darco (by Martin) or Elixir Nanoweb roundwound strings. Guitars that are up for sale are set up with 10-46 gauges, my personal guitars are set up with 11-49s. For many years, my favourite y picks were 2mm Dunlop Delrin 500s (and occasionally I still use them), but in summer 2013 I switched to 2,6 mm Chicken Picks, see: Picks
Which kind of strings sound best?
Personally, I don't care much for brands, since I change strings after every gig. Only for special occasions I prefer Elixir Nanowebs (recording, hot sweaty summer gigs, Bigsby vibratos). For everything else, I use inexpensive Darco strings or anything else that's available.
More important to me ist string gauge: Whenever I recieve a guitar that is set up with 9's or even 8's, they sound and feels uncomfortably thin and unstable for me. Of course, there are great guitarists who get gorgeous sounds out of really light gauge strings (Billy Gibbons, Jimmy Page etc.), but that's just not working for me. Typically, I'll set up all guitars that are up for sale with a standard set of 10-46s, and they immediately sound much fuller and rounder (of course, at your request, I will set up the guitar you purchased from my shop with any kind of brand and gauge you like). On my personal guitars, I even prefer 11-49 gauges. Although that is quite a stiff gauge, I like the even bigger sound and playing feel.
If you want to experiment with bigger string gauges, please remember: Only upgrade one step at a time. It takes a couple of weeks or so for your hands get along with the stiffer feel. Don not change from 9s to 11s in one step. You also will have to readjust your trussrod and your intonation every time you change gauges. If in doubt, leave it to a pro.
What are your amp and pedal settings?
I record at bedroom levels, bass and treble controls on my amp are set to 5, volume to about 1-2, reverb about 2 or 3, bright switch off (and in case you are wondering, vintage Fender amps as my original 1963 "brownface" Vibroverb or my blackface and silverface Vibroluxes do not have gain or middle controls). On my OKKO Diablo Gain+ overdrive pedal, the three tone controls "feed", "body" and "tone" (bass, middle and treble, respectively) are usually set to 12h (I may vary that little, but not by much). Gain settings vary from about 9h for bluesy low gain sounds to about 12h for a bit more rocking sound. If you turned up the bass, middle and gain knobs more than I do, you'd get sounds that are a lot fatter and with more compression/sustain in a good marshally way, which many players favour. I, however, prefer the subtlety and transparence of the lower settings. I have used various delay pedals in the past and currently I'm really happy with the German made Vahlbruch Spacetime Delay. Generally, I go for just a little added ambience, not for a dedicated echo effect. Hence I set the pedal to a longish delay time of about 500ms, and I turn the repeat and mix controls way down. The TC Ditto (and the Boss RC-2 looper on the older Videos) is only used to occasionally record a simple chord progression as a backing. If you hear full-band backing tracks, they run from my PC into the mixer, rather than from the looper through the guitar amp (which would sound quite horrible).
Can you do a review of guitar XY?
No, I cannot do videos by request. I can only present those guitars that are up for sale or that are part of my personal collection because I actually purchase all guitars presented on my channel.
Did you ever demo guitar XY?
Please go to my YouTube channel GregsGuitars and use the little search box to find out. I have demoed thousands of guitars so far, but I select guitars according to my personal taste. There is the occasional oddball or mutt, but most are classic designs and chances are, you won't find your favourite metal axe.
Of all the guitars you have had, which is your favourite?
My all-time favourite guitar - my absolute No. 1 for life - is a heavliy battered and chambered 1968 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, converted to 50s specs, featuring original vintage PAF and Pat.No. humbuckers. Go to My Personal Guitars to find it described in detail.
Why do you use always the same amp and pedal setup?
I occasionally do record a different amp or pedal, but I cut down the amp and pedal business to a minimum. So I just use what I have around the house and what I really like. I need to record demos quickly, and I simply cannot afford the time to borrow a pile of amps to produce any classic sound a guitar is capable of. Also, IMHO using the same setup provides a reliable framework to get an idea about the individual guitars.
Why do you always play in the same style?
Depending on my mood and on which kind of backing tracks I have found recently, my demos vary from bluesy to jazzy to funky to even reggae or rock styles, but not in a systematic or organized way. It seems I developed a taste for certain kinds of grooves and sounds, and I developed a certain playing style, too - whenever I play, I sound like me. And my playing will be always blues based because that is where I'm coming from and what I built my career on. IMHO, slow blues is a great way to present what a guitar can do in terms of expressiveness, dynamics, touch sensivity, overtones, sustain etc. If a guitar can do all that well, it will excel at all other musical styles, too. Also, I need to record my demos quickly as I am always short of time, that's why I want them to be loose and spontanous, rather than planned out. That way I can record demos every week, year after year, without getting tired of it. I am sorry, if I don't meet your personal musical preference, but there are thousands of other YT channels for that ...
Your guitars all sound the same ...
That's intentional - I want to sell them ALL, and if one of them happens to sound not quite as good as the others, nobody will buy it ... (just kidding)
Seriously: Remember that YouTube puts quite some compression on the videos and limits the bandwidth considerably - I cannot help that. But sometimes it simply helps to crank the volume some and play the videos through a better sound card, better speakers or better headphones. You might be surprised what you've missed so far. Sometimes my pedal setup is blamed for making everything sound the same, but I have to disagree. My pedals are of high quality only with true bypass switches and discrete circuits for best sound quality with as little coloration as possible. For almost every guitar, I record either one clip clean all the way through, or at least a part of a clip will be clean (i.e. no overdrive). My delay is rolled way down, just to add a little ambience. Also, my overdrive pedal, the OKKO Diablo, is set to fairly low gain settings. While the OKKO does colour the sound a little bit (think of a refined low-gain vintage Marshall sound), it is the most transparent and dynamic OD I've ever come across so far, and it certainly does not mask the sound. I only use it to emulate the sound of an amp slightly cranked, since I can only record at bedroom levels in my apartment. IMHO, this is a true real-life application as I would set up my guitar sound like this for a studio recording or a live gig. Very few guys record or play their guitars completely dry. But as I've said in the previous paragraph, the most important factor is that I developed a certain playing style - whenever I play, I sound like me. I cannot and would not want to change that. Check out my video Your guitars sound the same all the time - if you cannot hear the differences (as subtle as they may seem), I cannot help it ...
If this guitar is actually as good as you claim - why is it up for sale then?
Because selling guitars - not keeping them - pays my bills. Also, often there are very good reasons why folks part even with outstanding guitars: Because they like to have a new guitar every once in a while, because in the meantime they found an instrument that suits them even better, because they need money for another purchase (e.g. a real vintage guitar instead of a reissue), because their collections grew to large, because the car went down, because their band disbanded, because they changed their musical style, because the wife is complaining ... etc, etc.
Can you notify me when you happen to find a certain guitar that I am looking for?
Sorry, there is no automatic notification system integrated with this page. I am a one-man business and I simply cannot keep up hundreds of requests like these.
You request an asking price, if I want to trade in a guitar or an amp. OK, let me ask this way: How much would there be left to pay if I wanted this or that item from your inventory and offered you my such-and-such as a trade-in?
Haha, very clever. No, you tell me what your asking price for your instrument is, and I tell you if that's a considerable deal for me, ok?
Can I send you one or more guitars or amps of mine and you sell them on your page as a consignment?
Sorry, as stated earlier, I don't do consignment deals. But if you have quality items to sell at a decent price, I might consider to buy them. Just tell me your asking price.
Can you reserve a guitar for me wihout obligation until I decide if I want to buy it?
... and tell a customer who definetily does want to buy it, "sorry, it's reserved for somebody who hasn't decided yet"? I am very sorry, but whoever pays first, gets first. Although occasionally I do reserve guitars for reliable customers with serious buying intentions.
Why don't you sell guitars with Floyd Rose or other kinds of locking trem systems?
Because I don't know how to set up those damn things and I whole-heartedly hate anything only remotely related to 80s metal. (Only 1 answer is true)
Do you also teach?
How can I improve my outside playing?
Grab your guitar, step outside and don't forget to lock the door behind you (just kidding). Seriously, there are many books, videos/DVDs and online tutorials out there. .
How can I seriously improve my sound?
Buy all the most expensive guitars, amps and pedals from my page and you'll sound just like [insert your favourite player here]. If you cannot afford that, I am happy to tell you the mother of all secrets: It's called practice!
Could you just check eBay auction #1234567890 and tell me if the deal is OK?
I seem to have problems to save the fotos of your guitars on my pc, what can I do?
Easy: go ask your kids.
I do NOT use any nail polish ...
What kind of chair is that in your videos?
I bought that a very long time ago - sorry, there is no label attached and I don't remember the brand.