Werewolf Pat brings you awesome guitars, restoration projects, DIY tips and tricks and much more!

I had the great privilege of being invited at the Rickenbacker factory in Santa Ana, California and interview Ben Hall, the factory’s general manager. Ben let us walk around and film every step of the construction of Rickenbacker guitars and bass guitars which are an integral part of the rock legend of the 60’s… Many famous musicians have used Rickenbacker instruments through the years including The Beatles, The Byrds, The Rolling Stones, U2, Tom Petty, the list goes on and on… In addition to building high quality instruments Rickenbacker also performs restoration services for famous artists… In fact you will be able to see before and after footage of the restoration of Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister veteran bass guitar… The result is astonishing… Rickenbacker will soon resume production of left handed guitars and I intend to get one!

Rickenbacker Guitars factory tour and more!

Phil X is a talented guitarist and very cool guy! I contacted him after watching his demo videos for Fretted Americana, a Los Angeles based shop specializing in rare vintage instruments. Phil goes there once every few weeks to demo a handful of instruments… Other than that Phil is a highly respected session musician working with pretty much all famous musicians in the Los Angeles area… He also has his own band “The Drills” and writes music for TV, radio etc… Phil kindly accepted my request for interview and invited me over to his house in Los Angeles… We spoke about his work, his plans and the Evil Robot, an amplifier modeled after the Tone Master, an amp that a lot of people are crazy for! At the end of the interview, I challenged Phil to play one of my left handed Stratocasters upside down! Not an easy thing to do when you never tried! Phil was able to figure it out in a few minutes and he played the chords almost perfectly! Phil is the man! Since YouTube only accepts 15 minute videos and the interview is well over 30 minutes, I had to split it in 3 segments… Check it out and send your comments!

Phil X interview, part 01

Phil X interview, part 02

Phil X interview, part 03

Phil X talks about music, the Tone Master amp and tries out one of my lefty Fender Stratocasters!

Al Farnell specializes in composite guitar bodies. He uses high tech epoxies and foams, not to be confused with plastic! Making such guitar bodies is not easy and requires a lot of research, trial and error, modifications etc… I must say I was impressed with the quality of his guitars because they look great, are very light but are also very comfortable to play… The concept is very interesting and not only his guitars are really lightweight but they sound excellent… He uses a lot of proven parts such as Gotoh tuners, bridges, Graph Tech nuts, Sperzel tuners, EMG active pickups etc… As of now his guitar necks are standard wood construction but he told me he has been experimenting with composite necks but wants to retain a wood fingerboard and probably switch to stainless steel frets… We wish Al great success and look forward to the next Farnell guitars!

Al talks about his composite guitar bodies and his plans for the future!

I drove down to Los Angeles to meet with Doug Rowell, an artist who specializes in guitar carving… Doug has been sculpting guitars for about 40 years and prior to that he was a musician and experienced the Summer of Love as well as the famous Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, a place where Jimi Hendrix was introduced to the American public… Doug also had the privilege of jamming with Janis Joplin and Big Brother and The Holding Company and many more artists… One of his first carving jobs was a banjo he did for actor Steve Martin and since then he has done many interesting pieces! Stay tuned for a photo gallery of some of Doug’s guitars!

Doug Rowell shows us his latest creation: a Fender Telecaster

Merry Christmas to all! I just posted this video that I shot in Santa Barbara last month… I was there hanging out for a few days preparing my upcoming interviews… Everything I am talking about in this video I ended up doing and I must say that everyone I interviewed was absolutely great! I would like to thank Phil X, Al Farnell, Doug Rowell and Dan Altilio for their kindness and patience! I hope you will find the videos informative and please, don’t forget to send your comments!

Werewolf Pat hangs out at the Santa Barbara harbor and talks about upcoming interviews…

I recently bought this handy little tool for less than $20 and I must say it was the best $20 I spent in a long time! This thing will make the changing of strings on your guitar or bass and absolute breeze… Although it has quite a bit of torque you can see that they designed it well so it won’t destroy your tuners! Being the owner of 12 guitars I cannot stress enough how helpful this thing is. It uses 4 AA batteries and works in both directions, extremely easy to use, just make sure you don’t over-tighten the strings, always finish by hand with your favorite tuner and you’ll never have a problem… Highly recommended…

the best guitar and bass string winder on the market

This excellent guitar tuner costs around 100 US dollars and is very well built! The display is very bright even under intense ambient light and the unit is very accurate… I have only good things to say about it! It will work with 7 string guitars and 6 string bass and it is very intuitive… You can also use it to do “drop” tuning up to 6 semi tones… Check out the photos and don’t forget to visit my sponsors for the best prices!

best guitar and bass tuner

The Boss TU-3 is definitely one of the very best chromatic tuners out there...

Fender just announced a new line of electric guitars: the Blacktop series. They basically took their existing models and modified them to be more like Gibson or Epiphone guitars! I love Fender guitars and I think this was long overdue! Only a few models were previously available with humbuckers but this is now a thing of the past and you can now buy a Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar or Jazzmaster fitted with quality humbuckers… I am now looking more closely into the features of these new guitars and will post a complete article very soon… In the meantime enjoy these photos courtesy of Fender USA.

fender blacktop series electric guitars

Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar and Jazzmaster with humbuckers

5 September, 2010

If you ever wondered how to find out what size pot your guitar has, search no longer! Check out my full size diagram plus some other potentiometer photos including matched pot sets from Germany and USA plus the great Fender TBX kit… you can also read the full article here: Click here for full article on guitar pots.

guitar potentiometers fender tbx tone kit

A comprehensive diagram to help you identify your guitar pot's size