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Watch the Phasing online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Funk Fission

What you’re going to see and hear is years of experimentation come to life through a collection of common and not-so-common effects put to use in unique ways. As I stated in the previous segment, effects for me are more often than not an extension of the guitar, not an enhancement. What I play is centered on the effect I’m using even more so than most players. I often use effects that I can manipulate in real-time to take what I’m playing even further. If you’re thinking that sounds like what guitarists do with a wah-wah, hold that thought and check out what happens in the segments to come.

To get things started I pulled out my vintage ‘orange letter’ Electro-Harmonix Small Stone Phaser that I luckily found in a vintage guitar shop in Dunellen, NJ for $75 or so—not a bad price for an establishment that makes it’s business on prices we all joke about. The kicker is this pedal was next to a mammoth-sized unit that I was not familiar with at the time as I was just starting to get into effects on a serious level. Years later I learned it was a Mu-Tron Bi-Phase—one the ultimate effects in any aficionados collection—in almost mint condition. It too was on sale for an equally discounted price as compared to what the market was getting, not to mention the value it would rise to in later years. No worries, years later I grabbed one that was a DOA in a friend’s repair shop and eventually found one of the original engineers who had OEM parts who refurbished it!

Recently I took out the Bi-Phase for a session with Graham Haynes (genre-bending cornetist/composer and son of Roy Haynes) to record on a CD we did for Ravi Coltrane’s label, RKM Music, entitled Full Circle. While loving every minute of being in Bill Laswell’s studio I decided to follow my muse and experiment with the house Ampeg BX-15 Portaflex I was plugged into for the two-day session during some down time. Contained in the track linked below, “In the Cage of Grouis Banks”, is a moment in time that was luckily captured by a perceptive engineer who happened to hit record. Aside from some percussion offerings throughout by Marcus Gilmore (grandson of Roy Haynes) and a little bit of bass and cornet towards the end courtesy of Shahzad Ismaily and Graham respectively, it’s all me. Wondering how I did it? Good—all will be explained as the course progresses.

Graham Haynes