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Watch the The Guitar online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Funk Fission

To make the music I want to make or provide the artistry that other artists desire from me, I dig deep into my gear and push it as far (and further) as it can go. I’ll try anything if it will make some cool sounding, inspiring music. That said, here’s where we shift gears and go into another one of my worlds. For the remainder of the course I’m going to turn you onto my use of effects and how I integrate them into my playing as instruments and not just a means of, well, special effects. What I do with effects can be (and has been) named many things: sound design, ambience, real-time manipulation, controlled chaos, etc. I just think it sounds awesome and I think you will too! Also, be sure to click on the links provided—some will be websites and others will be mp3s of various examples of the concepts presented so you can check them out in real-world applications. Even better, some of the examples will feature more than one concept. If at anytime something seems odd, you need not worry—all will be revealed.

Before we hit some stomp switches though, this segment takes a thorough look into the ultimate piece of gear: the guitar. No matter what I do to make the noise I make, it’s always related to this exquisite six-string slab of wonder we all know and love. I’ll start out with taking a detailed look at the 1973 Strat you’ve been watching thus far. While I’ve already laid out some of the specs in regards to the trem system back in the Pitch Modulation: Whammy Bar segment, this is where I tell you the whole story from where I found the axe to the many mods I put it through to be the “bionic” Strat that it is. I searched for almost ten years to find a Strat that had the mojo I was looking for and spent another two years after acquiring it from Matt Brewster of 30th St. Guitars in NYC running around between NY and NJ having many talented guitar technicians perform their magic on it. Every piece of the story is important as to why this guitar sounds the way it does so listen carefully—tales such as these helped me learn what I know. Next, I’ll introduce my artist series First Act PP-5 that was built for me by the boys in the First Act custom shop right outside Boston, MA. This guitar, which was first seen in the Introduction segment, was a few years in the making involving countless hours of research, many phone conversations and emails with the builders as well as extensive talks with the greatest artist rep in the business—Jimmy Archey. Again, listen carefully as you might hear a detail that interests you, which could in turn help you transform your own axe into something completely different.

As for strings, I exclusively use D’Addario strings for every occasion. From electric to acoustic to fretless guitars—D’Addario makes a string for it and that’s really important to me. Even better, they sound great, feel great, and hold up under some intense scenarios. An added bonus is I can find them anywhere if I’m in a pinch and forgot to pack my gig bag with backups. As for the guitars seen here, the Strat gets strung up with .011’s (EXL115) and the PP-5 gets .010’s (EXL110).

As promised you’ll find a collection of links below to the gear I mention in this segment. Some of the links will take you directly to my artist profile where you can view a full list of the gear I use from each respective company.

Both Guitars:
(find me in the Complete Players List and see all the DiMarzio pickups I use)

1973 Fender “Bionic” Strat:
30th Street Guitars

First Act Custom PP-2:
First Act