Ted Nugent And His Guitar Amplifiers Used On “Cat Scratch Fever”


Guitar Amplifiers-Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent performs August 26, 2016, Using The Guitar Amplifiers Used In “Cat Scratch Fever” Sterling Heights, Michigan

The story of Ted Nugent and his guitar amplifiers and using an early Sixties brown Fender Deluxe to record “Cat Scratch Fever” has become modern guitar folklore. Over the last three decades or so, dozens of books and magazine features have repeated this tale, often citing it as an example—along with similar accounts of Jimmy Page’s Supro and Eric Clapton’s Champ—of how a small amp can deliver big sounds in the recording studio. This story was repeated so often that we didn’t think twice to question its accuracy when we wrote about the rig Ted Nugent used to record “Cat Scratch Fever” in our June 2018 “Tonal Recall” article.

The problem, as we quickly found out after Mr. Nugent himself saw the article, is that this story isn’t true.  My guitar amplifiers were not fender “I’ve never owned a Fender Deluxe and have never recorded with one,” Nugent says. “I used a 1964 Gibson Byrdland through a Fender Twin Reverb amp pushing a Dual Showman 2×15 cabinet loaded with Electro-Voice SRO speakers. I double-tracked the whole damn song, and most of the entire album for that matter, playing through an ancient Gibson-made Bell 15RV combo with a single 12-inch speaker. Of equal impact on the spirit of the recording was the pure rock and roll ears and touch of producer Tom Werman and engineer Tony Reale, both of whom brought a phenomenal craving and understanding of killer music and killer sounds. The energy, attitude and spirit of my team were the ultimate ingredients to make that song so damn cool.”

Guitar Amplifier Speaker BoxNugent’s  vintage Gibson-made Bell 15RV amp

We can attest that this story is no revisionist history, as while doing further research we came across Nugent’s cover interview with Tom Wheeler on his guitar amplifiers in the August 1979 issue of Guitar Player. “For me, and my guitar amplifiers a really great recording amp is this old Gibson I have with a 12-inch speaker and tubes that glow and breathe fire,” Nugent said during that interview, which took place less than a year after Cat Scratch Fever was released. Why this detail was ignored and how the brown Fender Deluxe story took its place is a mystery, although the first account we could find of the Deluxe appeared in Aspen Pittman’s The Tube Amp Book in 1987.

“It certainly was a mystical alignment of good-luck planets to stumble onto that old Bell amp at that time and is certainly one of my favourite guitar amplifiers I have ever owned,” Nugent recalls today. “As soon as I plugged into it, it made thick, nasty, electric, fat, greasy-ass tone magic with my Byrdlands. I floored all the tone and volume controls and used it on most of the album along with my Fender Twins. Listen to the flurry intro of ‘Out of Control’ for it at its purest scream-growl-fire! I still have that amp today.”

Nugent didn’t mention whether he used the Bell 15RV on his upcoming album, The Music Made Me Do It, but he promises to reveal the secrets behind the album’s recording process and his current live and studio guitar rigs to us soon. “We are super excited about these new songs!” Nugent raves while also noting that he’ll be road-testing several new songs on tour this summer and fall. “Greg [Smith, bass] and Jason [Hartless, drums] rocked their royal soul brother-funk brother-blood brother asses off! My gung-ho production team included the musically gifted Michael Lutz, master of Brownsville Station and author of “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room,” along with tone and techno geniuses Andy and Tim Palatan.

“Everybody gets excited about their new music,” Nugent continues, “but wait until you hear the guitar dreams every song is based on. Each song throttles a killer guitar signature timeline and goes from there. We had so much fun making this record, it’s stupid! For more than 60 years, the music made me do it! Not a damn thing I can do, and now I’m gonna do it to you!”

Read more: guitarworld.com

Heres The History of Heavy Metal Guitar All in One Song

A Short History Of Metal Guitar Playing

‘Heavy Metal guitar sure has evolved a lot over the years. Throughout the decades, the genre went from a type of heavy blues rock to death metal to out there sub genre to doom, leaving scores of new mixed genres in its wake.

In this well-conceived video on YouTube, whose videos have been featured on this site in the past, we watch as a faceless guitarist (equipped with a seven-string Ibanez) tracks metals progress over the course of one five-minute song, from blues rock to djent.

Heavy metal (or simply metal) is the use of highly-amplified electric axe in heavy metal. Heavy metal guitar playing is rooted in the playing styles developed in 1960s-era blues rock and psychedelic rock, and it uses a massive sound, which is characterised by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos and overall loudness. The electric and the sonic power that it projects through amplification has historically been the key element in heavy metal. The heavy metal sound comes from a combined use of high volumes and lots of distortion.

Metal guitar bands often have two electrics, with one playing rhythm and one guitarist playing lead parts. The rhythm guitar player is part of the rhythm section of the band, along with the bass guitarist and the drummer. The lead guitarist plays guitar solos, instrumental melody lines and melodic fill passages. In power trios, which consist of a guitarist, bassist and drummer, with one or more members singing lead vocals, the single guitarist will switch between rhythm guitar and lead guitar roles as needed.

Popular Metal Guitar

Rhythm guitar

Metal guitar isn’t only for the lead guitarist but also for the rhythm guitar player who is part of the rhythm section of the band, along with the bass guitarist and drummer (and in some bands, a keyboard player). The rhythm guitarist typically plays power chords and riffs using an electric guitar that is plugged into a guitar amplifier, with either the amplifier and/or a distortion effect pedal creating a thick, heavy, distorted sound. The rhythm guitar player plays chords and riffs that create, along with the bass and drums, the rhythmic sound of a metal song. The rhythm guitar also plays the chord progression of a song, along with the bass player (and, if the band has one, the keyboard player).

In 1966, the British company Marshall Amplification began producing the Marshall 1963, a guitar amplifier capable of producing the distorted “crunch” that rock musicians were starting to seek. With rhythm guitar parts, the “heavy crunch sound in heavy metal…[is created by] palm muting” the strings with the picking hand and using distortion. Palm muting creates a tighter, more precise sound and it emphasises the low end.

One of the most noticeable elements of metal bands is the screaming vocals that seem to be present in this genre of music. Some rhythm guitarists sing lead vocals or backup vocals simultaneously as they play guitar.




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The Three Pillars of Improvisation

Guitar Improvisation Techniques

Guitar Improvisation

In one of Jude Gold’s recent No Guitar is Safe podcasts, we got to hear fusion extraordinaire Dean Brown discuss a bunch of interesting topics including guitar improvisation.

The interview took a turn mainly down the path of guitar impro. and inspired me to create an in-depth video based on Dean’s wisdom—plus some experiences I’ve had along the way.

The three pillars of solo improvisation support one another, so the stronger you get in one, the more effective you’ll be at improving the others. Ear training is the first pillar, and it’s also the hardest to quantify. Possessing a “good ear” can be subjective, but typically it means being able to fit into a band situation seamlessly, using good vibrato and playing off of other musicians in a lyrical way. The best way to improve this pillar is to learn some of your favourite guitar players’ riffs and guitar improvisation without any tabs or notation. This method forces you to depend on your ear to navigate the neck.

Pillar two is lexicon (that’s Dean’s word, not mine). You want to have a strong vocabulary of licks when using guitar improvisation to be fluent in whatever genre you choose. Ear training is obviously important as a supporting pillar, as you’ll rely on it to learn the licks of those who came before you.

Watch the video below to learn the final pillar of guitar improvisation and how they each support the other to help you focus on becoming the best improviser you can be.

Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric website Music is Win. His entertaining guitar-related content receives hundreds of thousands of video views on Facebook per month, and his online guitar courses that talks about guitar improvisation a lot, has more than 1,500 students with a cumulative 4.7 rating on Udemy. Get in touch with Tyler on Facebook, watch more of his guitar lessons and vlogs on YouTube, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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12 Free Texas Blues Rhythm Guitar Lessons

Texas Blues With Corey

Texas Blues

Grab your guitar and step inside the factory with Corey; for some Texas blues playing where  you’ll find yourself in good company — inspiration from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lightin’ Hopkins, Doyle Bramhall II, Jimmie Vaughan, Albert Collins, Freddie King, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Billy Gibbons, Chris Duarte, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and many other giants of Texas guitar style are found within. Corey…



Texas guitar playing is a style of blues music. It usually has more jazz– or swing-influences than other blues styles.

Texas blues began to appear in the early 1900s among African Americans who worked in oilfields, ranches and lumber camps. In the 1920s, Blind Lemon Jefferson innovated the style by using jazz-like improvisation and single string accompaniment on a guitar; Jefferson’s influence defined the field and inspired later performers. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, many bluesmen moved to cities including Galveston, Houston and Dallas. It was from these urban centers that a new wave of popular performers appeared, including slide guitarist and gospel singer Blind Willie Johnson. Future bluesmen, such as, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Lil’ Son Jackson, and T-Bone Walker were influenced by these developments.[1]

T-Bone Walker relocated to Los Angeles to record his most influential work in the 1940s.[1] His swing-influenced backing and lead guitar sound became an influential part of the electric blues.[1] It was T-Bone Walker, B.B. King once said, who “really started me to want to play the blues. I can still hear T-Bone in my mind today, from that first record I heard, ‘Stormy Monday.’ He was the first electric guitar player I heard on record. He made me so that I knew I just had to go out and get an electric guitar.” He also influenced Goree Carter, whose “Rock Awhile” (1949) featured an over-driven electric guitar style and has been cited as a strong contender for the “first rock and roll record” title.[2]

The state’s R&B recording industry was based in Houston with labels such as Duke/Peacock, which in the 1950s provided a base for artists who would later pursue the electric Texas blues sound, including Johnny Copeland and Albert Collins.[1]Freddie King, a major influence on electric blues, was born in Texas, but moved to Chicago as a teenager.[1] His instrumental number “Hide Away” (1961), was emulated by British blues artists including Eric Clapton.[3]

In the late 1960s and early 1970s the Texas electric blues scene began to flourish, influenced by country music and blues rock, particularly in the clubs of Austin. The diverse style often featured instruments such as keyboards and horns with emphasis on guitar soloing.[1] The most prominent artists to emerge in this era were the brothers Johnny and Edgar Winter, who combined traditional and southern styles.[1] In the 1970s, Jimmie Vaughan formed The Fabulous Thunderbirds and in the 1980s his brother Stevie Ray Vaughan broke through to mainstream success with his virtuoso guitar playing, as did ZZ Top with their brand of Southern rock.[4]

The post 12 Free Texas Blues Rhythm Guitar Lessons appeared first on TrueFire Blog.

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Flying with a Guitar: 7 Tips You MUST Know For Keeping Your Guitar Safe

7 Tips For Keeping Your Guitar Safe On Planes

These days, things aren’t so simple when you’re flying with a guitar. The dynamics — and the overheads — of airplane travel have changed so much that keeping your guitar safe, close by, and in one piece has become a lot more difficult than you may think.

Sometimes you will get away with putting your guitar in the overhead cabinet; other times you’ll get a stern communication from an overworked flight attendant instructing you to commit your precious guitar to the frigid no-man’s-land of the airplane’s belly. On that occasion, by all means, make a case for flying with a guitar in the cabinet or in a coat closet. Just remember that a taser to the throat is the TSA’s signature response to passenger disobedience, and it leaves a mark. You may realise still this is not keeping your guitar safe so how do you protect your precious axe.

Yes, in some situations all you can do is swallow hard, send your guitar to the bottom, and brace yourself for the impending stomach ulcers. To help you avoid that situation, we offer these seven tips for flying with a guitar and keeping your guitar safe, with special mention to international expert, producer and session player Jeff McErlain for his insights.

p.s. If you enjoy the quick tips and advice offered below, join free for more!

Keeping Your Guitar Safe On Planes

Flying with a Guitar

1. Loosen the strings on your guitar

Temperature and pressure changes in flight can put enough strain on your guitar to snap that perfectly angled mahogany neck — unless your strings are loose. Whether you can fit your guitar in the overhead bin or have to nervously watch as it slips out of sight on the luggage belt, you should always loosen your strings before you go flying with a guitar. Taut guitar strings have over 300lbs of tension – you don’t want that to work against you.

2. Stuff it like a turkey.

Guitars are fragile. Most of us know this. But a lot of people don’t. It’s a good idea to give your guitar some extra padding and support by stuffing a few t-shirts, socks or hotel towels into the cavities of your guitar case. Pay special attention to the headstock and neck – these are the most common break points, especially when flying with a guitar. You want to minimize movement of your instrument within the case and at the same time provide some cushion to soften blows from the drops, falls, and throws of disgruntled airport employees.

3. Know which airlines allow guitars as carry-ons.

Keeping your guitar safe is mandatory if you want to play it at your booked gig. To make it easier for you, we put together this list of airlines that are guitar friendly. If an airline is not on this list it’s because they don’t make stated carry-on exceptions for instruments or we couldn’t find any info on their site. It’s still a good idea to call ahead after checking airline websites for carry-on policies about flying with a guitar this will go a long way to keeping your guitar safe. They often have provisions for instruments.

American Airlines 
United Airlines
Southwest Airlines (Southwest accepts instruments on a “conditional basis”; i.e, proceed at your own risk.)

* Knowing in advance what type of aircraft you’ll be flying in will help you decide how to pack your guitar. If you’re flying with a guitar in a small commuter plane you should pack your guitar in a sturdy hard case because you will most definitely have to stow it below deck.

4. Get a travel guitar.

Why? Flexibility. Travel guitars aren’t just novelties anymore: you can get gig-worthy travel axes ranging from custom boutique jobbers to penny-pincher models. Here are a few brands to get you started:

Traveler Guitar.com ($299+)
Best Travel Guitars.com voted the Speedster model a 9.7 out of 10 for best travel guitar. Though it’s not recommended for gigs or serious sessions, Jeff McErlain says, “When I go on vacation for more than a few days, I’ll bring my Speedster, a pocket Pod and a pair of headphones. That’s all I need to survive, it’s great. ”

Voyage-Air Travel Guitars ($399 +)
Their motto is “go anywhere with Voyage-Air,” and they’re right. These fully featured electric and acoustic guitars fold in half (fitting into a specially made backpack) and are easily unpacked for your gig. Thom Bresh never leaves home without one.

First Act 34” Acoustic Guitar ($39.99)
Yes, this is a children’s model acoustic. Which means it’s small, lightweight, and dirty-faced affordable (in case it breaks or gets lost). Not to mention it has decent tone for the casual player. I’ve been known to take one on camping trips and to potentially dangerous field parties.

5. Pack it up and ship it out.

Shipping is not always ideal for the uber-transient guitarist, but it’s a safe and viable option when flying with a guitar is not an option. If you’re going to ship your guitar within the continental United States you can expect to spend about $25 (ground) with insurance. You definitely want insurance.

6. Invest in a good guitar case.

A good, sturdy guitar case will last you a long time and it’ll pay for itself the first time your guitar makes it out alive from the wilderness of the airport luggage bay. We’re not just talking dollars and cents here – peace of mind is a valuable commodity when flying with a guitar. Take a peek at these sheaths to see what’s out there:

Gig Bags

The strength of a gig bag isn’t in its nylon fabric; it’s in the negotiating power it gives you when you’re pleading your case to a stewardess.  Says Jeff, “The slim, smaller size of a gig bag means you can politely ask the flight attendant to put it in the coat check, which almost always works when flying with a guitar. And it’ll lend you extra sympathy points when you’re working the airport authorities: ‘This is a $3,000 guitar and there’s no doubt it will perish if you send it below! Couldn’t you please ask someone else if they could send their suitcase full of clothing to the bottom? Pretty please?’ Be polite, but don’t give in either.”

Also, carry a gig bag like a suitcase; you want to keep it inconspicuous, especially if it will be out of sight during the flight. BEWARE! Take a gig bag at your own risk. There is no guarantee that you will be able to sweet talk your way out of every situation. If you’re forced to send your guitar below deck in a gig bag, you might as well have stuffed it into a pillow case.

These guys throw their guitar flight cases off roof tops and pummel them with iron hammers to prove their ruggedness. Not to mention, the company boasts a clientele of pro players as well as the U.S. military. While you could probably never take these cases as a carry-on, they do offer protection from the indigestion you’d otherwise suffer worrying about flying with a guitar in the cargo hold. Get one of these and leave the Pepto at home.

SKB has been around for over 30 years and makes some of the best hardshell cases out there for transporting and protecting guitars. As a rule, form-molded, plastic cases will give you the most flexibility when flying with a guitar — just don’t expect to stow it as a carry-on.  But if you have a good case, it’ll be rugged enough to go toe to toe with the burliest of luggage handlers.

These are road cases, the kind you see roadies hauling out of tour buses and stacking backstage. Solid, rugged, and TSA-approved, they’re perhaps the best protection you can get when flying with a guitar. Like those mentioned above, you’ll never get it past as a carry-on. These babies are stow-away only and are best deployed with a foul-mouthed ex-pat Briton roadie lugging it around for you.

7. Always be polite.

No matter how much you prepare, you can’t be ready for every scenario. Your guitar could get stolen or the flight might be too full to accommodate your carry-on case. But in those rare instances of doom and desperation, the best thing you can do is keep your cool and get smart.

Jeff says: “Sometimes I just lie. I’ll say, ‘They told me at the front desk that it was fine…’ Or I’ll make sure that I get a seat in the back of the plane so I can get on first and hide my guitar behind my neighbor’s bag in the overhead bin. No matter what, flying with a guitar is a nerve-wracking experience. But when all else fails I explain that I’m willing to put it anywhere on the flight so long as it doesn’t go below. If you’re polite, respectful and make sure you stand your ground, you can get through almost anything.”

And remember, if you’re flying with a guitar that’s not replaceable then you should get evaluated by a psychologist as to why you are traveling with it in the first place.

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