My Guitar Gear

This page is for all those who are interested in the guitar gear that I am using. I have quite a few guitars, ranging from solid body electric guitars to nylon string classical guitars. I also use some great guitar amps and other recording gear.

Electric Guitars For Band Work

When playing in bands, my main two solid body electric guitars are my Strat and my Tele. My Strat is an Amercian Standard, Alpine White Stratocaster and my Tele is a Butterscotch Blonde, Elite Telecaster. Both guitars have maple fingerboards.
american standard fender stratocaster guitar

Fender American Statocaster

elite fender telecaster guitar

Fender American Telecaster

The amp that I use when playing in bands and for recording is a Kemper Profiler. Kempers are incredibly versatile amplifiers, allowing me to play through pretty much any model of amplifier that I choose.
kemper profiler head

Kemper Profiler

Acoustic Guitar Gear

When playing solo acoustic guitar or in my duo with Claire Barker, my main steel string acoustic guitar is a Taylor. I play my Taylor acoustic guitar through an AER Compact 60 amplifier which provides a great sound in a very small box. This setup gives a great acoustic sound and takes up very little room.
taylor acoustic guitar
aer custom 60 acoustic guitar amp

Taylor Acoustic Guitar

AER Custom 60 Acoustic Guitar Amp

The BJH 7 String Archtop Jazz Guitar

The guitar that I use for playing jazz gigs is my BJH 7 string.

The guitar is 3" deep with 25" scale length. The body has a spruce top and maple back and sides. The neck is mahogany with an ebony fret board. The tail piece, finger rest and headstock veneer are made from ebony. The low string is tuned to an A. The strings are a set of .013s with an .085 for that low A string. The top and back plate are hand carved and this baby sounds huge! This guitar is amazing!!

The amp that I use in conjunction with this guitar is a Polytone Minibrute IV. These amps are quite difficult to get hold of in the UK nowadays. If you can get hold of one, then buy it as Polytone guitar amps are great amps for playing jazz as they give a full, rich, pure tone that compliments an archtop perfectly.

BJH seven string arch top jazz guitar

BJH 7 string Archtop Jazz Guitar

6 String BJH Archtop Jazz Guitar

BJH archtop jazz guitar

Strings, Picks And Other Guitar Bits And Pieces

Apart from my archtop jazz guitars, I now use Elixir coated guitar strings on all my guitars. I destroy regular guitar strings as I play hard and I seem to have extremely corrosive sweat created by my hands. Regular guitar strings will last two gigs maximum as I will definitely break one or two strings on a third gig.

Since switching to Elixir guitar strings, I can now use the same strings for many gigs and they will often last a couple of months. The strings are much more expensive than regular guitar strings, although they save me a fortune in the long run. They also sound great until I change them and the intonation stays constant.

The guitar strings I currently use are as follows:

I have been using thumb picks for the past couple of years. It has taken a ridiculous amount of time to adapt to using a thumb pick, although there are techniques that I have incorporated into my guitar playing that were not possible with a regular guitar pick.

The thumb picks I currently use are as follows:

Guitar plectrums have a big impact on guitar tone. The thickness of the pick and the material it is made of both contribute towards the tone that is created.

For many years, I used Jim Dunlop, 3mm Big Stubby picks. These picks sound great and are not overly expensive.

A good friend of mine introduced me to Jim Dunlop Primetone picks on a gig and after some experimentation, I switched to these picks. I used the 3mm, Large Point Tip variation. These picks are more expensive than the big stubby picks, although I preferred the tonal difference (especially with archtop guitars) and I used these picks for many years.

When playing solid body electric guitar in bands and hammering away on the strings all night, I would often break strings. In an effort to cut down the frequency of string changes, one change I made was to use a lighter pick. I finally settled on Jim Dunlop Petrucci Jazz III picks. The guitar tone isn't as fat as with the Primetone picks, although they still sound great.

Regular guitar picks:

Guitar Capos:

For many years, I used a Shubb Capo and it served me well. I now use a G7th Performance 3 capo.

Recording Gear

My studio is equipped with some great recording gear, allowing me to record great sounding tracks. An important part of my recording setup is my UAD Audio Apollo. This amazing piece of equipment allows me to have access to accurate recreations of the best preamps, compressors, EQs and most high end audio hardware in a tiny box. Modern technology can now create amazing sounding results in small studios which was not possible in the past.
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