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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Archtop
    Sound? Terrific. All notes perfectly defined. Deeeeep basses and chiming high ends.
    Dynamics? A lot. That's usually the weak point of a solo performance.
    Sensitiveness? As much as in a Napolitan song.
    Technical skills? Plenty, and tastely used to serve your sensitiveness.
    Suit? Perfect match.
    Thanks buddy to share this with us.
    Have a wonderful Xmas.
    Freddie, Wow! Thank you sir! That was a great post to read first thing in the morning.
    The pleasure was all mine! Merry Christmas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank67
    Oh man Joe, that sounded awesome! That totally made my day. Masterful, authoritative playing and what a huge, beautiful sound that guitar has, absolutely incredible! (Incidentally, my wife made a similar comment to Vinny’s :-))
    What do you find wrong with the pickup? It sounds really good to me - crisp, clear and balanced. Fixing the electronics did improve the sound of this already great sounding guitar (it was the exact same on my SE - pickup wrongly wired - sounded much better after my luthier fixed it. I hope these things have improved now at Heritage under the new ownership).
    Thank you Frank. Tell your wife that Santa Guiseppe will play for her anytime.
    The guitar has a wide range of sound. It’s at its best with a drop D. Johnny would approve.
    The broken stock Heritage pickup is operating as a single coil. The coil on the bridge side is dead. Already poorly shielded, now it picks up all types of interference in my signal chain. I think the majority of the tweety sound is generated by my computer. But this is my only guitar that picks up the sound.
    After speaking to Kent Armstrong he told me he has been trying to talk Heritage into using his pickups for years. No go. They think their solution is the best for them. Oh well.. what do we know..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    Very nice ...
    Can you recommend a good place to get a transcription of that and any other JS Christmas arrangements?
    I need to work up a few Christmas tunes myself
    Thanks Bluedawg.
    Ive been working on this song for 2 years. I learned it by ear. Along the way, I’ve been transcribing it into Excel as I learned it. I will make it into a pdf and post it here. Give me a day or so.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by 73Fender
    That was beautiful, thank you. What amp were you using?

    I love that Heritage too. I have a few including a 575 I bought 10 years ago hoping to get into more jazz. One day when the demands of life are less (career and kids etc etc) I hope to be lucky enough to do so. For now I noodle around a little when time permits and I'll start to visit here more, great site.

    I wasn't aware Joe's grave was in NJ, one day maybe a pilgrimage would be in order. I saw him once in a small room at Kean College during my short tenure as a music major there in 76 or so, incredible to say the least.
    Thank you. I am not using an amp. I go direct into my Zoom G3 and into my PC.
    One day I will try and mic my amp. I’ve wondered about that. But I still need an interface to covert the signal to digital, I’m afraid I will still need my G3.
    Yes Joe Is buried at the Resurrection Cemetary in Piscataway.
    This is the best site on the Internet. Lots of great people here.

  4. #153

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    Hey guys,
    So I set the Heritage aside for a day, just to give my other babies some love. I remembered I changed the strings on my Gibson JS about two weeks ago and haven’t played it since. She was overdue.
    All things being equal, new strings, same environment.. My luthier actually made the HJS easier to play. Not by much. And I thoroughly enjoy the Solidity if the GJS. With new strings, I hear that same swirling of sound in the body on the GJS. The 17” Gibson feels like a runner in my hands. I almost feel like breaking out some VanHalen on it.

    I am finding the diversity of having very different guitars at my side is very pleasing. I think I am appreciating it more now. I don’t find myself thinking about what I don’t have. Quite frankly, because I really don’t WANT anything else now. God, I am so fortunate to have these beautiful guitars and thank you for giving me the ability to play them.

    Thanks guys. Like always, being able to share my musings with my bro’s really enhances this whole experience for me.
    Thank you.

    Joe D

  5. #154

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    Irving Berlin must have imagined you playing that song when he wrote it. Your playing is faultless and serenely harmonious, the melody never gets buried by the arrangement.

    I love hearing you play. Buono Natale to you and yours.

    Tony D.

  6. #155

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    You won't find a cleaner, better sounding recording on all of youtube. 5 star stuff!!!

    What a blessing to experience the gift to play that expressively - The best holiday gift! The only disappointment was that the recording ended. You sound equally eloquent at fingerstyle - You should record more FS. Thank you for the early holiday cheer JD...what a blessing!!!

  7. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    You won't find a cleaner, better sounding recording on all of youtube. 5 star stuff!!!
    What a blessing to experience the gift to play that expressively - The best holiday gift! The only disappointment was that the recording ended. You sound equally eloquent at fingerstyle - You should record more FS. Thank you for the early holiday cheer JD...what a blessing!!!
    That was beautiful 2b.
    I remember I was afraid of the 18” body. You gave me a pep talk. You said, Joe you can handle it. I am glad I listened. I pulled my old dreadnaught out of its case tonight and played some Earl Klugh. After 10 minutes I put it away and reached for the ultimate acoustic guitar, the HJS18. What a difference. Really the ultimate guitar.
    Thanks for the wonderful words 2b.
    And thanks to everyone else here who so graciously commented so positively about my videos. Thanks boys.
    JD

  8. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by 73Fender
    No amp eh? Wow I would have guessed old tube amp with reverb. I have no clue what a G3 is but it sounds good. Thanks again. Inspiring on several levels.
    Actually, I must come clean on something.
    I use this wonderful little Zoom G3 for nothing but recording. On previous videos, I only used the equalizer (No EQ adjustments - completely flat) and I bumped up the volume just to give my recording some good clean volume. But I noticed the "touch of Reverb" that I had turned on was not generating any reverb at all. So I clicked on the Fender Twin amp simulation. I reduced the gain down to virtually nothing because I didn't like the sound. So, for the 1st time, I actually did use amp simulation in my recording. Because of my settings, I don't think it alters the sound all that much. Just gives it more volume.
    You have a very good ear to be able to detect the presence of a tube amp lingering in the sound.
    Thanks, Joe D.

  9. #158

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    Well that settles it Joe, now you need to get a Twin Reverb. They even have a line out that sounds great direct into a board.

  10. #159

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    After playing the HJS18 for about 3 months straight, I played BooBoo last night. It actually took me a while to get use to it. It felt kinda clunky in fact. One thing is for certain. You really get use to the shorter scale and the neck profile on the JS's. I could not hit the stretchies with the Tal. But it didn't take too long and BooBoo was singing. The Tal is a really great electric Jazz guitar. Acoustically dead by comparison to the JS's.
    But the bottom line is, The HJS and GJS really have the perfect recipe for a guitar build - for me. Johnny had a good sense of what would work. His signature guitars are the easiest playing guitars I've ever tried. When he and McCarty put pencil to paper and designed his signature guitar, it wasn't just some bullshit cosmetic treatment. It was a meaningful design that achieved very tangible results.

    I'm done for now. I promise I will shut up about my precious guitars for a while. Thanks everyone. This is fun.

    Joe D

  11. #160

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    After playing the HJS18 for about 3 months straight, I played BooBoo last night. It actually took me a while to get use to it. It felt kinda clunky in fact. One thing is for certain. You really get use to the shorter scale and the neck profile on the JS's. I could not hit the stretchies with the Tal. But it didn't take too long and BooBoo was singing. The Tal is a really great electric Jazz guitar. Acoustically dead by comparison to the JS's.
    But the bottom line is, The HJS and GJS really have the perfect recipe for a guitar build - for me. Johnny had a good sense of what would work. His signature guitars are the easiest playing guitars I've ever tried. When he and McCarty put pencil to paper and designed his signature guitar, it wasn't just some bullshit cosmetic treatment. It was a meaningful design that achieved very tangible results.

    I'm done for now. I promise I will shut up about my precious guitars for a while. Thanks everyone. This is fun.

    Joe D
    Why ever would you shut up about these glorious guitars? I see no need whatsoever to be silent in the presence of such majesty. Sometimes I set all my Gibsons (and Epiphone Elitist Broadway) out and just sit with them, amazed at the turn of fortune that brought them all into my life. It would be hard to justify that I "need" these, but this is what I choose instead of art, season tickets to sports events, expensive wines and spirits, and fast cars. My indulgence, and I love it.

    So do you, and your genuine respect for the instruments, the players, and the tradition they created for us is inspiring to me.

    So RAVE ON. Lots of crazies on this forum, you fit in perfectly!

  12. #161

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    Haha.
    Good one Lawson.
    I was just telling folks that I was gonna stop giving updates on every little thing I do.
    Its kind of important to me, but it might wear out some people.

    Thanks Buddy.
    Joe D

  13. #162

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    Haha.
    Good one Lawson.
    I was just telling folks that I was gonna stop giving updates on every little thing I do.
    Its kind of important to me, but it might wear out some people.

    Thanks Buddy.
    Joe D
    They don't have to read what they don't want to read!

    We need a constant inflow of positive stuff to keep the forum on balance. We need to be reminded of the love we have for this music, for the players, and yes, for the instruments themselves.

    Yesterday I had all my 16" laminated archtops in one room, playing each one in turn. It was a delight. Did I "need" to do that? No. Was it absolutely awesome? Oh yeah.

    Heritage Johnny Smith-es1x5-family-jpg

  14. #163

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    Oh my god what a great picture!
    I LOVE THIS ONE!!!!!
    Heritage Johnny Smith-figures-jpg

  15. #164

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    Oh my god what a great picture!
    I LOVE THIS ONE!!!!!
    Heritage Johnny Smith-figures-jpg
    That one's my recent CME acquisition. It's very nice. Here's another:
    Heritage Johnny Smith-es175-figured-1-jpg

  16. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    After playing the HJS18 for about 3 months straight, I played BooBoo last night. It actually took me a while to get use to it. It felt kinda clunky in fact. One thing is for certain. You really get use to the shorter scale and the neck profile on the JS's. I could not hit the stretchies with the Tal. But it didn't take too long and BooBoo was singing. The Tal is a really great electric Jazz guitar. Acoustically dead by comparison to the JS's.
    But the bottom line is, The HJS and GJS really have the perfect recipe for a guitar build - for me. Johnny had a good sense of what would work. His signature guitars are the easiest playing guitars I've ever tried. When he and McCarty put pencil to paper and designed his signature guitar, it wasn't just some bullshit cosmetic treatment. It was a meaningful design that achieved very tangible results.

    I'm done for now. I promise I will shut up about my precious guitars for a while. Thanks everyone. This is fun.

    Joe D
    Wise words Joe! It is so true - the HJS is really very different from any other Heritage (or Gibson) I have. It is not just a Golden Eagle with different cosmetics. It is a unique and highly functional design - such an acoustic canon - and what a pleasing tone combined with effortless playability. JS really knew how to design an absolutely fantastic guitar! I just spent a few hours with my HJS and I *love* it. Play your unique one in good health for a long time to come!

  17. #166

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    Joe D, you are absolutely correct in johnny smith having a strong involvement in the design of his "signature" guitars...he was very particular that things be done right..one of the reasons the deal with guild went sour...johnny wanted the top cut the way d'angelico used to do it...guild had their own way and refused to compromise..so johnny called the deal off...he was always looking for the best design and also the most consistent quality control...he'd sever his endorsement if he felt his standards werent being met..even years down the line


    he was a total guitar genius!!...in every aspect

    cheers

  18. #167

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    Love hearing about 'every little thing' and your guitars JD. You and a few others keep this part of the forum going. A few of us grew fond of the gear page because of the stories Patrick would tell...even the drama was fun. I'm sorry to say that this section of the forum hasn't been the same since his passing. But you and Vinny have kept this space going...without your continued input the gear section would be pretty dull...my .02

    Happy T-day to all!

  19. #168

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    I posted a few months ago that I received Jay Wolfe's personal Heritage Johnny Smith. It arrived with the floating pickup broken due to it detaching during shipment and shearing the wires.

    This has been a bit of a saga. I replaced the Heritage pickup with another one, but that one only had one functioning coil.

    The guy who now makes Heritage's floating pickups works out of his basement. He is an excellent luthier and a skilled pickup builder. He made for me what Heritage now uses as a floater, and it is called a "Tone Bar". This is usually a fairly low output humbucker. He told me to try it and let him know what I thought. He promised to make changes until I got what I wanted.

    I brought it back to him after playing it a few days. It seemed too bright for me.

    We spent over an hour with him taping on similar pickups with different inductance and resistance. We taped them to the top of the Johnny Smith and to the top of his 1953 ES-175 with a single pickup P-90. All of them were good. The last thing I tried was simply playing the 175 with its old P-90. That was the sound I wanted. It really was the old Wes and Kenny sparkly tone.

    The pickup builder, Rob, is a very intelligent and creative sort. He's now making a P-90-like pup that fits the size of a floater. There is a space limitation that will affect magnet placement and size. He also thinks he'll need to use 43 gauge wire to get the resistance high enough. It should be ready in 10 days.

    I post this here because Joe may switch pups some day. Two of the finest floaters I've heard are the Kent Armstrong single coil and the RC 1100. The JS and BJB pups are superb also but they don't have that single coil shimmering.

    I start another thread when I have something to report.

  20. #169

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    MG,
    Priceless information MG. Wow. Nobody digs down like you do.
    I hope your guitar turns out the way you want it. I really appreciate the info that you shared. Once its done, I sincerely hope you hang on to it. This is my third HJS and I think I've finally grown up enough to actually be able to appreciate the guitar for what it is. My good man MedBlues knew exactly what he wanted to do with the 1st one I had. And he still has it and loves it. I think you and I need to live with one of these for a long while. Johnny didn't just slap his name on these guitars because he needed the cash. He had a hand in its development. And yours is the only one that he was actually photographed with. I absolutely know he would have loved the sound of the 18". He might not have been comfortable climbing on it to play it, but he would have loved the sounds that it made.

    One day when I do replace the pickup, I will go (oddly) in a very different direction. Because the 18" HJS is such a magnificent acoustic guitar that now plays better than any guitar I've ever owned, I might add a dark pickup to current enclosure (tell Kent Armstrong what I want and let him have at it..) and then add the Barbara Transducer to the bridge saddle. Then the guitar will give me 2 very different sounds in true stereo (2 amps). I think the sound would be incredibly unique and the guitar would not suffer from any invasive modifications, so its dynamics would not change. It will be a true orchestra. The shimmer of the Barbara will act like "strings" over a deep, throaty jazz guitar. I cant wait to try this. In due time..

    Thanks again MG. I look forward to your next thread about your terrific Johnny Smith.

    Joe D

  21. #170

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    I agree. The Kent Armstrong on the Super Patrick sounds just fine to me. I believe it's one of these:

    * WD Music Products - KENT ARMSTRONG® HANDWOUND P-90 RESIN CAST 6 POLE BLACK - BLACK

    "Hand wound by Kent Armstrong at his USA facility, these single coil P-90 tones are reminiscent of the golden era of archtops. The coil is tapped along the winding length to allow selecting from two different output signals. Resin casting allows for durability and a discreet clean appearance. This pickup attached to the underside of pickguard using string adhesive or two-part epoxy. Features include: Dual Alnico V magnets, effective string span of 2 inches ctr/ctr of the 6 Allen head polepiece screws. Output can be selected as 11K, or 7K by following the included diagram. Price $160.00"


  22. #171

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    Wasn't the McCarty pickguard setup a floating P 90?

  23. #172

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    Could not agree more. He's built quite a few different pickups and always has focused on the resulting sound, not the materials and layout.

    The pickup he's building for me will have pole magnets (barrels) that are flush with the top of the case. He'll wrap some coils with different wire (42 and 43 gauge) with different wraps. He can then tape the new pickup next to his old P-90 on the 175. He'll come as close as he can for that sound.

    What distinguishes this guy from other pickup makers is that he loves to experiment and it's a hobby to him, even though he's been doing this for 20 years. I very much enjoy spending time with him to learn how he alters the variables in pursuit of a sound.

    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    interesting!!!..not surprised tho...p90 is classic tone...but very dependent on it's design..its unusual!!..to try to match it with a floater is tough ie. hopeless (i think)...totally different dimensions!...you might get some tones, but not others...

    still any step forward is a good one

    just dont concentrate on the numbers...resistance figures mean little with different pickup designs...trust your ears!


    cheers

  24. #173

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    Kent wound his standard single coil floater for Patrick. Usually there is a bypass switch to drop the ohms. Patrick opted to not have that switch. The pickup sounds really special.

  25. #174

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    I'll add one more thing on pickups before we return to our regular programming.

    Heritage does not have a standard neck set. It's done by hand. The clearance between the strings and the top differs among the individual instruments. That creates challenges for the floating pickup builder.

    Heritage pickups are on the shallow side so they fit. Kent Armstrong used to, and probably still does, took the Heritage pickup and rebuilt it. That ensures the new pickup will fit. Kent is a wizard and get alter the magnets, design, the wraps, and the wire chosen to meet the goals of most players.

    His single coil floater is not a Heritage rebuild. It cleared Patrick's guitar just fine. It also has adjustable poles. I wouldn't change a thing, and I didn't.

    The pickup being built for me for my HJS will be different. The pole pieces are the magnets. The clearance is crucial because active pole pieces need to be a greater distance from the strings so as not to alter tuning or dampened string vibration. Once the magnets are fitted, he will experiment with bobbin windings.

    On a side note, he showed me how a metal back plate affects impedance a lot. This back plate is undesirable to me because of the brightness it causes. Gibson used this back plate on Firebirds to get that sound.

    I have a fundamental knowledge of electronics. Still, when I have had discussions with Kent Armstrong and my new buddy in Kalamazoo, I recognize my huge ignorance factor. Both of these guys told me to judge the results by the sound, not the specs. But they know how to use the specs to get into the right ballpark of tone. I remain in awe.
    Last edited by Marty Grass; 11-30-2017 at 01:18 PM.

  26. #175

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    I spoke to Ken Armstrong week before last. During our phone call he stated he still rebuilds Heritage floating pups.

  27. #176

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    Hi Guys,
    Well, I got my baby back. The bridge Matt Cushman made for me is superb. It added the thickness and sustain into the guitar that was sorely missed.
    I fixed the pickup myself. I found the break in the wire. MacGyver baby!
    So the guitar is perfect now. Without question it is my most favorite guitar now. Plays, sounds and looks better than anything else I ever imagined owning in my life.
    One more last thanks to Big Mikey for letting me own it.

    Here is new Video. Johnny Smiths "What's New?". This tune has it all. And its appropriate to play a Johnny Smith number on this fabulous guitar. Thanks for listening.

    Joe D



  28. #177

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    Very nice playing Joe. A tough arrangement to keep moving.
    The changes in the bridge have certainly brought out more warmth in the instrument- and I’m glad you resolved the buzzing.

    Now play the heck out of it and enjoy the music.

  29. #178

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    All that, plus you always play from memory, Joe. That's not easy when it's other people's arrangements. And it's a slightly mad arrangement, I say that with respect for Mr Smith, one of my heroes. I watched an hour-long video interview with him just yesterday, and I agreed with every word he said. He would have been delighted with your rendition, Joe. That's one heck of a guitar, one that is mercifully in good hands.

  30. #179

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    WOW !!!

    Having owned and played that guitar plugged in it amazes me how much fuller and fatter it sounds now that you fixed the pickup AND got that new bridge base. My cousin and I are sitting here listening to it and she knows jack s### about guitars, but she heard that guitar here and immediately said it really sounds good now !!!

    I'm a crazy guy, I buy a lot of gear and probably piss people off because I'm so busy buying. And I really didn't want or need to sell that HJS to Joe, but by golly I sure am glad I did... I get more out of seeing you having fun with it than any money or profit would give me.

    You're an amazing player Joe... God Bless Buddy

    Big
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 01-24-2018 at 04:30 PM.

  31. #180

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    Joe,

    That's now a perfect guitar for you. It just plain sounds better than any other JS that I recall...and you are really bringing out all of the sound with that Johnny Smith arrangement. It's just a pleasure to listen to both you and the guitar. Nice.

  32. #181

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    Joe, if I were blindfolded and your clip were played, I'd have said "Oh yeah, that's Johnny Smith. The tone, the touch, the time, the technique... " then when they took the blindfold off, I'd have smiled and said "Okay, just as good!"

    It must simply thrill you to the bottom of your soul to play the actual notes, chords, runs, and phrases of JS and to have it sound so much like him. Like when I play Jimmy Raney solos, my amp thinks it's been sold to a real guitar player...

    Seriously-that was stupendous. I'm just floored.

  33. #182

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    The HJS now sounds magical, the new bridge from Matt Cushman did
    the trick.. and the hum has disappeared. Very well played Joe as
    Rob said. Johnny would be pleased with that homage.

  34. #183

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    You totally nailed the tone of the original JS recording not to mention not a easy song to execute. Should have worn your tank top so everyone can see how nice your arms look. Poor guy has shingles folks and can still pull off JS tunes in agony. Get well soon bro. Been praying for you.

  35. #184

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    I am blown away. This was recorded directly into your interface? What a sound! Any chance you’ll share the acoustic sound with us too some day? Congrats Joe!

  36. #185

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    That is wonderful playing on a wonderful instrument ! I know that you have spent a lot of time getting to sound that good...it has paid off for you ! Love that playing and sound...I was so enthralled with JS that I bought a Gibson JS back in the 80s, but I never made the guitar sound anywhere near what you abilities have made it sound ! Great work...post more please !

  37. #186

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    Great demo JD! Let's SEE the bridge! Some of us are visual and aural you know

  38. #187

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Great demo JD! Let's SEE the bridge! Some of us are visual and aural you know
    Thanks 2b. Here you go. I left the high E string off so you could see it better.

    Heritage Johnny Smith-50acd13e-5460-4149-9394-f51a06c545e8-jpg

  39. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    Thanks 2b. Here you go. I left the high E string off so you could see it better.

    Heritage Johnny Smith-50acd13e-5460-4149-9394-f51a06c545e8-jpg
    I love it! A touch of D'Aquisto there. I've always been a fan of the wide bridge base look of D'Aquisto and Trenier. I'd like to order one of those bridges for my 18"!

    Hey bro, I hadn't read the thread beyond your entry. I was not aware you were experiencing an illness. I'm wishing you a speedy recovery! Amazing that you can play that well while ill. That's it, I'm turning my guitars into kindling...I don't stand a chance!

    Thinking about you, and get well soon!!!

  40. #189

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    Heritage may displace Gibson in the carved archtop world. Beware!!

    So you got the JS sound going there. I've never said that before because I've never heard any other player match the sound.

    The bridge may well have helped. But getting both coils in your pickup to function had to be part of it.

    I'm very, very impressed. I listened carefully. The notes are consistent across the strings and up and down the neck. The sustain is excellent in the high frets and the sound is not shrill. It very much sounds like the real JS. I'm not bullshitting here. I've listened to a ton of Johnny's work again and again. That's the sound from his humbucking days.

    Someday I'll post on my Heritage Johnny Smith. After a long saga getting the right pickup, I got her back last weekend. It's a complete joy to play. But that's a different story.

    Congrats, Joe. You've done. I never thought I'd hear that sound from a living person again.

  41. #190

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    MG,
    i am a very emotional person. Most of the time, I redirect my emotions and I am able to control myself. Your last sentence actually made me weep. Seriously. I got choked up and I couldn’t hold it back.
    There are so many reasons for this emotion. Most obviously, I played the song. But even more, I believed in this guitar from the minute I first opened the case. The rose, the signature yeah that meant a lot to me and you know that. But this guitar transcends anything you can put into words. There is an aura that surrounds it. I never wanted anything to work out more than this. You driving 13 hours each way to rescue it. Mike doing what he did to allow me to own it. All the help I got to get it perfect. This is not just a guitar to me. It’s my friend. I say goodnight to it every night. Ok, so I’m a little nuts.
    Thank you for what you said. I’m glad I got to know you MG.
    I cant wait to read your review of what could be, the best JS ever made.
    Thanks Buddy. Joe D

  42. #191

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    I love it! A touch of D'Aquisto there. I've always been a fan of the wide bridge base look of D'Aquisto and Trenier. I'd like to order one of those bridges for my 18"!

    Hey bro, I hadn't read the thread beyond your entry. I was not aware you were experiencing an illness. I'm wishing you a speedy recovery! Amazing that you can play that well while ill. That's it, I'm turning my guitars into kindling...I don't stand a chance!

    Thinking about you, and get well soon!!!
    Definitely, definitely have Matt make you Bridge. If you think your guitar can be better (and you know guitars, let me tell you..) have Matt make you a bridge. If NOTHING ELSE, you will turn the wheels to raise and lower the strings, just for the hell of it! Just like George Benson always adjusts his volume. You will raise and lower the strings. The smoothest bridge ever made.
    Yeah, I’m a week into shingles. It’s friggin brutal bro. The Dr told me I may have chronic pain in my shoulder because I waited too long. That’s ok. What’s another pain right?
    Thanks 2b.
    Joe D

  43. #192

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    Joe, being of the same general age as you (methinks), I really want to know how long it takes you to learn and practice one of these arrangements!

    I find that for me it takes weeks, and that's for a chord melody that I put together myself. The timing includes its construction of course. And I hear it in my head at work, while I'm jogging, actually it becomes annoying at some point. But it's necessary or I just don't learn the song.

    The work you put into this guitar makes it more special. Sometimes people who only buy pristine instruments and insist on perfection from the get-go miss out on that. It's inconvenient, but when you just know a particular guitar should be a certain way, you want to get it there. It can pay off big time.

    Congrats and thanks for sharing your many performances, including this special one.

  44. #193

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpguitar
    Joe, being of the same general age as you (methinks), I really want to know how long it takes you to learn and practice one of these arrangements!

    I find that for me it takes weeks, and that's for a chord melody that I put together myself. The timing includes its construction of course. And I hear it in my head at work, while I'm jogging, actually it becomes annoying at some point. But it's necessary or I just don't learn the song.

    The work you put into this guitar makes it more special. Sometimes people who only buy pristine instruments and insist on perfection from the get-go miss out on that. It's inconvenient, but when you just know a particular guitar should be a certain way, you want to get it there. It can pay off big time.

    Congrats and thanks for sharing your many performances, including this special one.
    hey Roger,
    1st off, thanks for your post.
    This took about 3 weeks. I’m sure you go through this, but my biggest challenge is remembering the old ones. Like this song is definitely going to push something else out of the back of my head.
    I do the same thing you do. I live the song. So in the end, it becomes a war of attrition. You gotta love the song. Or else, you won’t ever play it again. Like Minor Detail, by Joe Pass. I’m happy if I never play that song again.
    And quite frankly, I could write my own arrangements of all these songs. I’d rather play Johnny And Joe versions because they are just better. Very simple. I spent a lot of time on 2 arrangements, Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs Jones” and Tony Bennett’s “The Good Life”. My arrangements were ok, but compared to Johnny and Joe’s they sucked. I’ll never play them again.
    After I learn a song, I go on a mission. I cycle through all the older songs and relearn the parts I’ve forgotten. That’s fun for me because I challenge myself. I think I have around 30 arrangements that I play straight through start to finish without referring to charts. But, I do write down all the arrangements I learn by ear, in tab. Just in case I forget parts.
    your gonna laugh. I hate tuning a guitar. So I keep my GJS tuned in standard E. The HJS stays in the Drop D. So when I practice, I sort the standard tuning on top of the list and the drop D stuff goes to the bottom. It gives me an excuse to use 2 guitars when I practice. Once I can run through my list of 30, then I start thinking about learning something new.
    In fact, the last song in my bucket will be Exodus. But I won’t start it for a couple of weeks. And that’s gonna take a while.
    thanks buddy!
    Joe D

  45. #194

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    Whew. Three weeks is still impressive, but at least I'm not crazy in that it does take you some time. I was hoping you wouldn't tell me you're good to go in a few days!

    I find I am better at remembering an arrangement when I come up with it myself, especially because I usually have several ideas I can use in various sections, just in case I forget one of them. Plus I'm too lazy to study other people's arrangements note for note, at least most of the time. That is one reason why classical guitar never sticks with me, even though I go through periodic phases of absorbing a few pieces. It is somewhat mentally exhausting while also being very satisfying when finally complete.

    30 memorized arrangements is really an accomplishment. But I tune my guitars a lot more often than you do, so we're even... (Not!)

  46. #195

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    That's a lot of notes to memorise, Joe. I was good with memory twenty years ago - all of Bach's lute music, his first three cello suites, and a violin sonata and a partita - all in the memory banks for instant recall. These days the story is very different. It's not just age, though that's a factor, for sure. The thing is, I got better and better at reading, while also playing with feeling and nuance. I've heard people say readers don't play with feeling - utter rubbish. Maybe some do, but not all. I realised I didn't need to commit everything to memory, which is not to say I don't memorise anything - I do, but I don't worry if something won't stick, I just read it instead. So, I've a huge repertoire, and no hangups about playing the dots. Some of the stuff is in tab, but mostly standard notation.

    I also get your comment about your own arrangements being okay, but those by JP and JS, etc, are better. I could say exactly the same. I'd add Barry Galbraith - I'll never reach that level of poetic sophistication. His arrangement of Monk's Round Midnight is as good as anything written for the classical guitar: perfection. So, although I still make my own arrangements, and improvise others from the chord sheet, I much prefer to spend my time in the company of the Masters. I avoid those arrangements of Joe Pass, though, as I just don't have the technique, and probably never will. No problem, though.

    Keep it up, Joe!

  47. #196

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    I can read music but cannot read and play instantly. My brain simply will not work that fast. I must study and memorize everything. I would never make it as a studio musician.

    Rob you certainly have a Bach like talent.

  48. #197

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    Just beautiful Joe. The past few days we've been down with "flu-like" symptoms. My wife and I both got the shot but it wasn't very effective.

    Just started feeling better today. Listened to your dreamy arrangement and it acted like a tonic. No need for MDs, no need for hard to find "Tamiflu"; just needed to listen to you.

    In the right hands, a jazz guitar is capable of expressing human emotions. The lyrics to "What's New?" express the sadness of seeing a lost love again. Your arrangement and execution, in my mind, captured the melancholy essence of those lyrics.

    "What's New?" was the first tune that my guitar teacher back in 1961 wrote out for me with basic chords and some rules for arranging chord melody tunes. His first rule was move the notes up an octave and the last was: "you play a chord over the note that works and sounds good." I keep trying--but you nail it.

    Thanks,

    Tony D.

  49. #198

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    Rob,
    i am learning that for me to remember I have dedicate some time to break from what I am working on and only play the old stuff. I didn’t do that this time and I am suffering because of it. I am having a difficult time playing my other stuff. But I have been through this before. I will keep working. It will all be back within a week.
    I can read. But I can’t sight read anymore. Identifying the notes is not a problem it’s the timing. If I know the song, then no problem. Sight reading is ok because I am cheating.
    I write down most of the stuff I learn so I can always go back and polish up.
    I am amazed by your ability to read with feeling. You are just different. On a totally different level. I am a fan.
    Thanks buddy.
    Joe D

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    That's a lot of notes to memorise, Joe. I was good with memory twenty years ago - all of Bach's lute music, his first three cello suites, and a violin sonata and a partita - all in the memory banks for instant recall. These days the story is very different. It's not just age, though that's a factor, for sure. The thing is, I got better and better at reading, while also playing with feeling and nuance. I've heard people say readers don't play with feeling - utter rubbish. Maybe some do, but not all. I realised I didn't need to commit everything to memory, which is not to say I don't memorise anything - I do, but I don't worry if something won't stick, I just read it instead. So, I've a huge repertoire, and no hangups about playing the dots. Some of the stuff is in tab, but mostly standard notation.

    I also get your comment about your own arrangements being okay, but those by JP and JS, etc, are better. I could say exactly the same. I'd add Barry Galbraith - I'll never reach that level of poetic sophistication. His arrangement of Monk's Round Midnight is as good as anything written for the classical guitar: perfection. So, although I still make my own arrangements, and improvise others from the chord sheet, I much prefer to spend my time in the company of the Masters. I avoid those arrangements of Joe Pass, though, as I just don't have the technique, and probably never will. No problem, though.

    Keep it up, Joe!

  50. #199

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    Wow, we're going back today! Arrangements with teachers in 1961, and arrangements of 'Me and Mrs. Jones'. Joe, I didn't think you were old enough to know that tune. I was in high school during that Billy Paul hit in 1972, so you must have been in elementary listening to the music of your parents? 1972 was a very good year! Friday night football, after game parties til' 3 in the morning with that punch bowl...punch, yeah right!

    Those were the daze!

  51. #200

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    Hi Everyone,
    I’ve kept myself busy during my absence from the forum. During that time, I’ve been asked by the group of friends who I’ve kept constant contact with over the past couple months to return to the forum. And I wanted to. Before I came back, There were a bunch of things I needed to take care of. One thing was to fix my relationship with Jack Zucker. Over the years we had our differences. But, I’ve developed an incredible amount of respect for Jacks knowledge and playing. Me and Vinny say that he has the most amazing control with both hands. We say he has hands like a “spider”, quickly crawling across the fretboard with speed and precision. Well, if you get to know him offline, he is equally as outstanding as a human being. I am glad he let me get to know him.
    I started a website, which was on my bucket list for quite some time. The name is ArchtopWorld.com. Check it out. Let me know what you think.
    I’ve also been working to perfect my Heritage 18” Johnny Smith. I’ve never owned a guitar that wanted to work for me more than this one. Through fret leveling, A Matt Cushman masterpiece bridge, new nut, re-wiring and most recently a new pickup I think we’ve made the big girl the best guitar I’ve ever owned.
    I’ve been busy learning too. The little brain I have is officially on overload. But I am having fun. Living out my dream.
    I recently recorded a bunch of new tunes prior to doing the latest modification to the HJS18. Well, since I had Kent Armstrong completely rebuild my pickup, I started re-recording everything on the HJS18 with Kent’s pickup. Kent’s pickup is called the PAF05. I sent him my pickup and pickguard and he returned it a week later with his pickup built and sealed into my into my existing structure. The new sound took a day to get use to. There are no more Microphonic elements to the sound. As Kent puts it, “I built the pickup to represent what I think an electric guitar pickup should sound like” The result is a powerful, efficient and balanced.. Well you be the judge.

    These 2 videos were recorded with the new pickup in place.

    Please watch this one to the end.. I threw something in there.


    And this one too..


    Its nice to be back.