Watch the Gear Talk online guitar lesson by Johnny Hiland from Ten Gallon Guitar
Now is one of my favorite times because I get to share all this wonderful gear that I'm using to capture the Johnny Hiland tone. There's so much gear out there these days that it's very hard to make a decision on what suits you best. I have some of the best endorsers in the world and they treat me so wonderfully and you can find a whole list of the gear I use on JohnnyHiland.net
. First off, I want to show you some of the guitars I use. This first one is my number one, it's a honey burst Ernie Ball Music Man Silhouette and I love Ernie Ball Music Man guitars. I've been playing them now for about five years. They are well built, very balanced, and very comfortable to play. The neck is nice and slick. They oil their necks, so there's no lacquer on the fret board. This makes them very fun to play and easy on the hands. This Music Man Silhouette features 24 frets and a tremolo that stays in tune when I dive bomb with it. I'm able to cover any genre of music with this guitar. Here are two of the things that makes this guitar so special. I work with a company called Martin Six String Customs, we have developed some custom Johnny Hiland products. The wiring harness that is in this guitar is my signature wiring harness. You can go to martinsixstringcustoms.com
and check out the Johnny Hiland wiring harness, which is awesome, and a lot of people never take into consideration how important a wiring harness is. It has made a huge difference in my life. MSSC offers custom Johnny knobs, too. They have rubber grips around them, which makes them good for volume swells. You can pick those up at the MSSC website, as well. The pick-ups in this guitar are signature Johnny Hiland Six Shooter Singles made for me by Electric City Pick-Ups. You can visit electriccitypickups.com
. These Six Shooter Singles are made for Stratocasters or Silhouettes. I'm very proud of the sets of pick-ups that Billy Megela has designed for me. The bridge pick-up is based off of a 49 Broadcaster pick-up. When I go after my old chicken pickin’ sound this pick-up will really do it. The middle and neck pick-ups are like old Strat pick-ups out of the sixties. They're all A3 magnet loaded and full of tone. The Runbarr is an innovation that should have come out years ago. The Runbarr is right in between my neck and middle pick-up. This product is designed to where it raises your pickguard up so that when your pick goes through the strings, it only allows you so much pick space so that you don't lose your pick and gain better pick control. A lot of times when people play fast or when they want to do sweep arpeggios, they can easily lose their picks down in been the strings so this gives you more pick control. It's an awesome product. I want to demonstrate how this affects me. This is device is designed for people who want to pick faster and for peoplw who want to speed pick and play Heavy Metal. For me, I tend to use it when I'm doing arpeggio sweeps. I'm playing and sliding my pick over the Runbarr and every note is cleaner, as the Runbarr makes it easier for the pick to sweep. So the pick control is just amazing. You can find out more information on the Runbarr at www.ezrollguitar.com or you can also go to my website at johnnyhiland.net and I will be glad to hook you up. Email me directly at email@example.com
, if you want more info.
Here is my first silhouette and I love this guitar.
Now Goldilocks is a Music Man Silhouette. This is the first one that Music Man ever sent me, this guitar is very special and dear to my heart. There's a reason I brought her out to show to you guys because I used her a lot in section one. This is a prototype set of pick-ups that Billy Megela did for me at Electricity City Pick-Ups. This is a truer form of a telecaster pick -up, which is in the bridge of this guitar. We actually have a set of Johnny Hiland telecaster pick-ups that you can get through ECP. All my guitars are decked out with MSSC wiring harnesses, Electric City Pick-Ups, and my custom Johnny knobs. I love this guitar because it has more of a tele appeal for chicken pickers. If you own a telecaster to play country guitar with, we do have pick-ups for you. I also want to showcase Levy's Leathers that I use for all my straps and gig bags. I've been with them for 12 years and they've always taken such great care of me. Part of the chicken picking thing is that you have to a nice big western belt buckle strap and of course Levy's Leathers makes those and their leather quality is just fantastic and beautiful and all the gig bags they make are great. I want to give Levy's a big shout-out because they've been so kind to me over the years. I just had to share my little Goldilocks with you. She's a prize possession of mine. I wish I had known about Music Man guitars years ago when I first started playing because they have been become my favorite guitars I've ever owned in my lifetime.
Next is my beautiful Bill Comins Jazz Box . When people ask me about this guitar and why I need it, seeing as I'm a chicken picker, they can get their answer throughout this course. As you've seen, I love western swing and jazz elements thrown into the chicken pickin’ world. It does happen. This is a beautiful hand built guitar, I'm very proud of this guitar. I just recently got to know Bill and he's a dear friend of mine. This a high end jazz box. When people ask me about this guitar I say "I'm legally blind so I can't drive a car or a motorcycle. I could never actually own a Harley Davidson or a Rolls Royce or a Cadillac. So this guitar is my Harley Davidson, and Cadillac all put into one". With as beautiful as this guitar is, you can see why I call it that. Bill Comins is based out of Pennsylvania as well as MSSC and ECP. I got the Pennsylvania connection going on. This guitar has one of Billy Megela's pick-ups from Electric City and wiring harness from Matt Martin at MSSC. You can check out Bill Comins at cominsguitars.com
. Bill is one of the most amazing men I've met, a fantastic builder of jazz boxes. He's even done guitars for D'Angelico in the past. These guitars are sensational. Again, this is my Harley, Rolls Royce. You're going to pay for a beautiful jazz box like this but I can guarantee you when you do you will be so happy and pleased that you will never want to put this guitar down. Bill puts so much passion in his construction. If you do contact him through the internet, tell him Johnny Hiland sent you.
There's two guitars that I've brought with me that are made by Godin guitars up in Canada. This is their Multiac Slim, nylon string guitar and it helps me get that Jerry Reed tone. Jerry played a lot of nylon string and so did Chet Atkins in country guitar. Godin guitars for me make the best nylon guitars. Buster B Jones played one of these as well. What I love about Godin guitars is that when I would play guitar onstage, I would play electric and I would have a hard time transitioning from a thin body electric to a thicker body acoustic. So with Godin, I found that it was amazing, you could virtually plug this acoustic style guitar into any amplifier or into a direct box. I've plugged these into four twelve half stags and they sound amazing. The biggest thing for me was the thickness of the guitar. It's about the same depth as an electric guitar. Godin guitars are fantastic. This is my Multiac Slim nylon guitar. Let me grab the other guitar I want to show you. This is another beautiful Godin guitar. This is Acousticaster. It looks just like a tele and it feels like a tele when you play it on your body.
Dava grip picks. This little pick is amazing and rubber coated and that's why they're called grip picks. There are 3 lines-if you reach out to the first line, it's a light, if you go to the middle line it's a medium and if you grab on the inside it's a heavy. They come in different colors but they're all the same thickness. Dava grip picks rock and I need to give a shout-out to them. Dave Story runs the company and I love these picks. Getting back to my Acousticaster, this little guitar is amazing. If I'm on the bus or actually traveling somewhere, and I want to warm up before a show and all my gear is onstage, I will always grab by Acousticaster and practice in the room and warm up. It's got a maple neck, Canadian spruce top, the back is mahogany. The craftsmanship of Godin guitars is unbeatable. They sound great. They're fabulous guitars and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Godin guitars. Check them out at godinguitars.com
. Tell them I sent you, they'd be tickled to hear that!