Guitar-Muse: A Reflective Glance at 2012

Steve Vai virtuoso electric guitarist Ibanez Steve Vai signature Jem

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The Guitar-Muse 2012 Retrospect

Let’s get nostalgic. 2012 is now over and done with and we’re tickled shitless to have made it through another year. We’ve striven hard to make everything fun, funny, informative, and just plain damn awesome since the beginning and now it’s time to look back at what we’ve pulled off in our second year on the internet. What wonders will this trip down memory lane resurface? Let’s get past this dull introductory paragraph and find out, shall we?

News Highlights

The Official Guitar-Muse Forum

Ibanez Tube Screamer Electric Guitar Overdrive Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal
2012 was the 30th year for the beloved Tube Screamer

Perhaps it’s a bit odd including this one since we opened the forum just a few days ago, but hey. We’ve opened up our very own forum and it’s pretty much the incarnation of awesome. We’re already developing a satisfying community with and we would love for you to join us, the Guitar-Muse staff, as well as other guitarists for discussions about the only thing that matters in existence. Guitar stuff.

Plus as of this writing we have a contest going on involving the forum with an EHX Crying Tone expression pedal on the line. You should definitely get in there with the rest and put your two cents in.

Indie Reviews

At the dawn of the year we began reviewing independent recordings and albums from various guitarists who were armed with nothing more than their guitars and whatever recording equipment they had at their disposal. Granted it’s been a while since we’ve actually reviewed an independent’s music it’s something we do still work on and we encourage people to submit their music so we can help give you more exposure.

We’ve had some awesome submissions from a lot of talented artists including Taka Minamino, Pajoche, and Eli Davenport.

In Other News

Paul Wolfle shared his immediate thoughts on guitar preservation when a hurricane hits back when Sandy drilled New York in “Where Do You Put the Guitars if a Hurricane Strikes?”

Oh and the world came to an end, but that’s over now so we can all go back to sleep.

Gear Highlights

Guitars and Amps

It’s been a big year for guitars that’s for sure. Eric Joseph’s hand built guitars have proven to be as awesome as ever, and LTD’s tribute to the legendary Bela Lugosi in a limited edition guitar won the hearts of horror fans everywhere. And then there was the gTar guitar that was made to use an iPhone as a critical part of the guitar’s function.

Fender’s limited seafoam green 65 Princeton Reverb came out and looked every bit as beautiful as it sounded. And since we’re talking about amps there was that time that Adam Jazairi wrote that series of “Speaker Quest” articles that reigned supreme.


Tons of awesome gear came out this year, but some of our favorites include Ibanez’s 30th Anniversary Tube Screamer and the Pigtronix Fat Drive. The Tube Screamer’s a classic pedal and sets the bar for most other drive pedals has proven yet again why it’s been able to stand the test of time while Pigtronix’s Fat Drive offered a greatly reliable and crisp new variation on an old concept.


DiMarzio’s new Steve Vai signature Gravity Storm humbuckers hit the shelves as the first line of defense in acquiring a sound like what Vai garnered for his new album The Story of Light. On the other side of the spectrum Seymour Duncan presented a new 7 string twist on Mick Thomson of Slipknot’s signature humbuckers. And speaking of pickups there was the time where Seymour Duncan and G.M. Jameson put heads together to make the “Swapping Out Pickups: Advice from Scott at Seymour Duncan” article to show the ropes of swapping pickups to anyone ready to make a change.

Lesson Highlights

Steve Vai virtuoso electric guitarist Ibanez Steve Vai signature Jem
Steve Vai’s photogenic side.

Nicholas Tozier’s remarkable ability to find things that really speak to guitarists and make them as inviting of a read as possible has been demonstrated thoroughly throughout the year as seen in his “Why Rhythm Guitar is the Creative Backbone of Any Band”, his thesis on “Why Mastering the Guitar is Like Massaging a Dead Octopus”, or his entire “Handcuffed to the Fretboard” series.

And what would a lesson highlight section be without paying respects to Dave Willard’s works? Dave’s put his time in developing some damn good and effect ways to look at studying the fretboard of the guitar like in his “3 Fun Guitar Exercises: to Perfect Your Timing” article or his “Rhythmic Brain Teasers: Fun with Scales and Metronomes” article. Both rocked faces then and they still do now.

And then there were my chess articles.  Parts 1 (Opening Game) and 2 (Middle Game) of my chess series were published offering people one of the weirdest and arguably clunkiest ways to go about writing a song. It’s been among my most daunting tasks to date and at the very least it makes for a damn interesting essay to read. 2013 shall mark the arrival of part 3.

And how could I live with myself if I didn’t mention that time where Scott Collins worked with Steve Vai to put together a rhythmic ear training lesson based off the song “Velorum” off his album The Story of Light?


Scott Collins has been an interview machine including interviews with Steve Vai, Miroslav Tadic (part 1, and part 2), Kent Kantor of ZT Amps, and Rob Nishida and Lucian Tu of Origin Guitars fame. Scott’s knack for knowing what guitarists care about, what to listen for, and how to play off the answers to questions make for great reading material and keep his interviews from coming off as stale stock interviews.

And since we’re on the topic of interviews lest we not forget Oscar Jordan’s kick ass interview with Joe Bonamassa. It’s awesome.

In Closing

Of course there were many more articles that occurred throughout the year and they’re all of unprecedented awesomeness. You should all read through each and every one of them every day of 2013. That being said it’s 2013 now so happy new year, everyone. We rock, sure, but you guys rock more, so make it a good one.

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Kyle Smitchens

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.

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