This is a top-five style list. But it’s my top-five list. This is the list of my five favourite guitar moments from 2015. This is the Scarebear 2015 in review article I never thought I’d do. What can I say, I’ve rediscovered the blogging bug.
I’m pretty sure there’s a cure for that. I just don’t care to take it.
When I look back on all that happened to me in 2015, I realise the year was a seriously good one for me. For example, I flew to the USA, I purchased quite a bit of gear for a 12 month period and I was introduced to many very cool people and their creations. I doubt very much that I will ever have another year like this one. So I’d like to take this moment to thank every single person I interacted with while representing this Scarebear persona I’ve lived for so long.
If we interacted on Twitter, then I thank you. I’ve met quite a few very encouraging people there and this journey would not be the same without them. If you’re one of my followers on Facebook—I really don’t know why any of you are there to be honest—then I also thank you. If I met you at the 2015 Winter NAMM show, then thank you for contributing to what is going to always be a personal highlight in my life. I really hope I get to visit NAMM once more before I leave this earthly plane.
Anyhoo … Let’s get into the moments.
My five favourite guitar moments of 2015
I was approached by the folks at Stringjoy through my Instagram account from memory. I had seen their work and was quite honestly excited by the possibility of custom gauge string sets. I jumped at the opportunity and remain incredibly impressed with the string quality they’re providing guitarists with.
Actually, truth be told, I haven’t changed strings on my seven string Ibanez since writing my post about the custom set they sent me back in August. My guitar is not stored in a case and the strings still feel amazing. I haven’t played as much as I’d have liked, but still … the strings have fared incredibly well.
I really do need to order my next set or ten soon.
Guitar Center USA
I’d be lying if I said I had no interest in visiting a Guitar Center while in the USA in January. I was lucky enough to visit not just one, but two Guitar Center stores. The first was in Hollywood—where I took my most popular Instagram photo ever—and my mind was blown. The second store I visited was in Orange County. That experience was simply amazing. I knew that I was leaving America with a new guitar. There was no way I was not letting that happen. What I wasn’t prepared for was walking out of that store—with full support of my wife no less—with two brand new guitars.
My two new Ibanezes—I’m sure that is the correct way to apply a plural to Ibanez. Or is it Ibani? Who knows …
I’d written about Tonewood-Amp before and I’ve written about them since my visit to their booth at the Winter NAMM show. There simply aren’t words good enough in my vocabulary to explain how impressive this bit of guitar gear is. I can still remember how blown away I was when I heard the Tonewood-Amp in a sound-proof booth. And when I played the guitar with this device on it … I have honestly never sounded as good as I sounded that day.
I keep telling people that I’m a terrible guitarist. I have incredibly high self esteem as you can tell. But the way the Tonewood-Amp alters the natural sounds the acoustic guitar provides without any amplification is phenomenal. It’s better than that.
But as I mentioned, I don’t have the words.
I really do need to get off my arse and pre-order this device to be honest. If you’re not Australian you may need to do the same—although you’d probably need to get off your ass. Same difference.
The 2015 Winter NAMM Show
I’ve referenced it here already, but seriously, if you’ve never experienced this event and you get the opportunity to do so … do it! There is nothing like it. My experience was amazing. For starters, I went to the pre-show Roland event and saw gear before it was officially announced to the world. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t blow my mind. Then NAMM itself happened and I didn’t know what to do with myself.
It. Is. Massive.
You are most likely going to see celebrities there and if you’re lucky, catch a performance or two. Here’s a couple I captured while I was there. My mind is still blown. NAMM rocks.
I’ve written about them a bit. I’ve not finished doing that either. I’m currently trying to put together a video to showcase my Kramer with Dialtone Pickups successfully installed. I’ll get there. Next year.
I wouldn’t have considered going to the USA if it weren’t for the Dialtone Pickups crew offering me access to the 2015 Winter NAMM Show. In all honesty, walking out of there with my own set of Dialtone Pickups was still the highlight. That’s no easy task by the way. One does not simply walk out of NAMM with gear—security is serious and tight there!
My ongoing interactions with Dialtone Pickups continue to amaze me. I’ve recently installed my second set of pickups—evidence to come I promise—and I am in love with their tonal offerings. Having the word Scarebear embossed on the back of my custom white pickups doesn’t hurt either.
I really hope these pickups do well. They’re incredibly unique and aren’t just a novelty item. They’re the real deal. They’re one of the greatest guitar moments I had this year.
And there you have it. My five favourite guitar moments for 2015. There were more moments for me during the year, but these five were the winners. If 2016 is half as good as this I’ll be happy.