Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Video Tutorial with Rob Anderlik

Check out Chicago based Musician and Teacher Rob A
nderlik's new Youtube tutorial of the classic Lindley tune 'Look so Good'.

Rob said about the tune "Look So Good was the very first song I ever heard on the Weissenborn and also the first song I learned to play on the instrument. My rendition is not a note for note version, but more of an attempt to capture the spirit of the tune."

You can download the tab for this tutorial at Robs website: http://www.robanderlik.com/

Rob is a long time slide maestro and shares his thoughts on his new Style 1 at 10.47.

Rob's Style 1 at the shop, shortly before heading out to its new home in Chicago.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Iggy and the Stooges, Ron Asheton tribute

Last month in Ann Arbor Michigan, Iggy and the Stooges played a benefit concert celebrating the life of Ron Asheton.

Just before the show ended, Iggy Pop and James Williamson sat down to perform a special acoustic tribute, called 'Ron's tune'.

The original music was by James Williamson, with the lyrics by Iggy Pop. The arrangement was performed live on a Tony Francis Style 4 made for James in 2010.

David Dominic Jr. Photo

Thomas Oliver - 'The Moment'

Check out Wellington based musician Thomas Oliver's latest slide guitar instrumental, 'The Moment'.

Recorded on a Tony Francis Style 3, I asked Thomas about the inspiration for this track and the Major 7th. -TF

"The inspiration for ‘The Moment’ was simply following the melody and harmonic movement I heard in my head one day when I sat down with my Style 2. The Weissenborn has an amazing ability to conduct itself, and sometimes writing music on the instrument for me is just a matter of keeping up with the melodies that seem to build themselves when I play. However, the lap-slide guitar can be a very limited instrument, due mainly to the fact that it’s played with only a flat bar, and this means that part of the art of playing it is achieving the melodies and harmonic movement you hear, within the restrictions of the instrument. This is why I retune the guitar before and after each chorus in ‘The Moment’. The initial tuning is open C# (C#-G#-C#-F-G#-C#), and the top string is very much required in the melody of the verse. But as I wrote the chorus, the melody I heard in my head had the F note in the top (ie the major 7th on the IV chord), but I simply couldn’t achieve this with only a flat bar, as the bar was occupied in holding the rest of the IV chord. This led me to tuning the top string down one semitone at the start of the chorus, and back up again at the end. My challenge was to compose the melody at the start and end of the chorus in such a way that would incorporate this mechanical change without disrupting the flow. I think that, with the Weissenborn, it’s easy to fall into the trap of playing/writing using your hands and the mechanical motions they are accustomed to, but the writing of ‘The Moment’ was very much about creating a strong melody, then finding ways to incorporate the harmony or bass notes behind it, and structuring it like a song to give the melody a strong sense of voice.

The inspiration for the title came one night when I was filming a music video with my band and it was somewhere around 3am as it was a night shoot. We had just finished “lunch” and everyone was talking and mingling as the camera crew began setting up the next shot. I grabbed my Weissenborn and started playing this song, just to myself, really. I wasn’t really paying attention to what was happening around me, so I didn’t realise that, as I played, more and more people began to stop what they were doing and watch me play this song. Some people sat on the ground around me, and others stayed standing, but eventually all 25 people in the crew were silent, and listening to the music. It seemed that, despite all the pressures of the shoot, everyone was lost in the moment, until I finished playing. I was stoked to have brought such a tranquil atmosphere to an otherwise buzzing environment, so I named it ‘The Moment’." - Thomas Oliver

Monday, February 28, 2011

Weissenborn Reproduction Hardware

Following the recent restoration thread, I have had a lot of inquiry's about the hardware I am using, so I wanted to blog about this in further detail.

Custom made for my own modern reproductions of 1920s and 30s Weissenborn guitars, and also as a much needed direct replacement for vintage Weissenborn guitars, I am happy to make these available to the market. Patterned from original parts, these are the finest quality available and in true 1920s specifications. Made in Germany (Pins, buttons and tuners), and the USA (Precision machined Aluminum saddles).

Sold by the set or individually, classic long grained Ivoroid bridge and end pins. Old style Aluminum wire saddles and plate style tuners featuring jumbo eyelet bushings. These are a perfect fit to your vintage Weissenborn and require no modification.

Classic 1920s spec Ivoroid, and Aluminum wire saddle.

These are the same Ivoroid pins as above, distressed. They are designed for use in restoration work. Because they are distressed using a process that is chemically very similar to natural aging, the color is very near identical compared to a vintage part.

1930s spec black. Although rare, some of the latest Weissenborn featured scalloped back tuner plates with back buttons and pins. I am very happy to make these available, and hope to offer a version of these classic late 1930s models available in the coming months.

Comparison shots of the Ivoroid, Distressed Ivoroid, and Black.

Reproduction tuners of the vintage Waverlys used by Weissenborn.

True to vintage spec and tone, these tuners have the original low profile style of post.

Also available distressed for vintage replacement.

As well as the reproduction hardware, I also have a limited supply of original hardware and parts. Please contact me with what you need, and I will do my best to find the correct part for your guitar.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Weissenborn guide in Acoustic Guitar Magazine!

In the February 2011 issue, Acoustic Guitar Magazine features a guide to contemporary Weissenborn-style guitars, penned by noted lap steel author Andy Volk. A clear and concise reference for both long time aficionados and guitarists new to the instrument, Andy's piece is essential reading. Among the short list of top luthiers building in the old style; Bill Hardin, Bill Asher and Tony Francis.

Read it here!

Duelling Tony Francis Style 1's.