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  1. #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



  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #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.

  4. #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.

  5. #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.

  6. #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.

  7. #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.

  8. #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.

  9. #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.

  10. #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!

  11. #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 !

  12. #186

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

  13. #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

  14. #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!!!

  15. #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.

  16. #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

  17. #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

  18. #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.

  19. #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

  20. #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!)

  21. #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!

  22. #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.

  23. #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.

  24. #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!

  25. #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!

  26. #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.