By Cole Parkinson
While I’ve known this for a while, I’m addicted to buying, selling and trading guitar equipment.
This is a vice that affects many who decide to pick up an instrument whether it be guitar, bass, drums or whatever it is you play.
The need to have a new guitar comes and goes frequently but when it strikes, it is hard to let it go.
Since I started to play guitar in 2005, I’ve had a total of 10 guitars and one bass pass through my collection, which to some it probably seems extreme, but as I said, I have a problem.
Right now I have six guitars and one bass, which is the absolute maximum capacity for storage.
Again this may seem unnecessary to have that many guitars, I use every single one of them, most of the time once a day.
A goal of my gear has always been to have a number of guitars that can spread out over a wide range of sounds and styles for my band, The Hockey Moms.
One of my favourite video series on YouTube is Premier Guitar’s rig rundowns so since I’m nowhere near big enough to get on, I figured I’d do one right here.
Like every rig rundown, they start with guitars so let’s start there.
First up is my only bass which is a Fender Mark Hoppus signature Jazz Bass in seafoam green.
I’m no bass player but I’m a big blink-182 fan so when I found one for a great price I jumped on it.
Without boring you with technical stuff, though I’m sure some people love discussing gear mods, the bass is completely stock and plays like a dream.
Next up is my only acoustic guitar, a Seagull S6 sunburst spruce top.
Seagull may be the best line of acoustic guitars that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, while also offering great guitars.
Plus they’re a Canadian company so it’s a win-win.
Once I put some heavier strings on it, the guitar really sounds great and I would A/B it against any top of the line acoustics.
Next up is the fun stuff — the electric guitars.
First up are some Fender guitars starting with my Fender 60s Lacquer Jazzmaster in surf green.
Fender’s are great because they come in awesome colours and surf green is probably my favourite colour they offer.
I’ve always really liked the look of Jazzmasters so after selling one of my older guitars I jumped on the 60s Lacquer model for a decent price.
The guitar ships with a white pickguard and Stratocaster knobs both of which have been replaced for a tortoise shell guard and traditional witch hat knobs which are usually used on vintage Jazzmasters.
Jazzmasters totally have their own sound and while I have five other guitars to choose from, this one scratches an itch none of the others can.
Lastly in the Fender category is a Fender USA Telecaster in all black.
I’m a big fan of The Clash and Joe Strummer played a sweet black Tele so I always knew I’d get one similar, though I have a black pickguard whereas Joe used a white one.
Once I found one, I instantly knew it was something I had to have so once again I sold off some gear and nabbed it before someone else did and from the sound of it, it was close to being someone else’s.
Loaded with Fender custom shop pickups and one of the best necks I’ve ever played, it’s one guitar I’m sure will never be sold off.
Now on to the Gibson side of things.
One thing about Gibson guitars are they are usually expensive so every guitar has either taken me months of saving or offloading gear in order to afford them.
The first guitar I ever bought new was a 2011 Gibson Les Paul Junior in TV yellow.
Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day was the main reason I got turned on to Jr’s and man do they absolutely rip, so when I finally had enough money saved up to buy a new guitar, the decision was easy.
While sacrilegious to some, and for vintage guitars I completely agree, this one is completely decked out in stickers of my favourite bands.
While being one of the cheaper Gibson models and being into punk music where almost every guitar player has a guitar covered in stickers, this one was always destined to be stickered.
I put a Bareknuckle P-90 in it and it has remained like that ever since and since I like the pickup so much, it will stay that way.
The simplicity of the Jr’s is a big reason why I love them so much.
One pickup, one volume knob and one tone knob, it doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Hence why I had to pick up another one when I found a Billie Joe Armstrong signature in sunburst and with the original case.
Of all my guitars this was one that was bought when I really didn’t have the funds but since I had waited for over 10 years to buy one, I decided I couldn’t let it slip by.
I was starting college in only a few days so I knew funds would be short but my addiction can run rampant sometimes.
That being said, I wouldn’t change one thing.
Funds were tighter than I would have liked at some parts during the school year but being able to play this guitar made it worthwhile.
It’s my number one and it’s the one guitar I will never sell and I mean never.
It comes stock with a Gibson P-90H pickup, which I don’t like at all, so I finally settled on a Fralin noiseless P-90 and man, the Jr absolutely blows the doors off.
Last of my guitars is my newest pickup, a Gibson Les Paul Studio in alpine white and gold hardware.
Since every one of my guitars has a single coil pickup in it, I wanted to pick up a Les Paul with humbuckers and while I’ll probably replace the stock pickups at some point, right now they are doing the job just fine.
I had a different Fender Telecaster and a few other spare parts I traded straight across for it and I’m glad I did.
I’ve only had the guitar for a few weeks but after playing a gig with it this past weekend, I know for sure it is a keeper.
After a quick swap of tuners and a new pickguard, it’s exactly how I imagined it would look after I picked it up.
Finally, over to my amp and pedal board.
After deciding to part ways with my old half stack, I found a Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 36 head and Orange 2X12 cabinet.
The Orange cabinet is the best I’ve ever heard and paired with the Hughes and Kettner head, it really is a killer combination.
My pedal board is really simple and as small as it can be with only the essential pedals that I need for our type of shows.
Starting the signal chain is a Diamond compressor which is basically just used for cleans and a touch of added sustain.
Next is the MXR Phase 90 which adds a bit of flavour for a few of our songs and for guitar solos.
Then the Fulltone OCD which is used as my ‘clean’ tone with the drive turned almost all the way down but it adds a bit of grit which I really like.
With the OCD always on, I stack it with a Proco Rat as my main dirty tone, though the gain still really isn’t all that high as I like my sound to be fairly low gain with my strumming doing most of the work.
Lastly is the most important pedal on the board, the Boss tuner.
I, like every other guitar player ever, hate being out of tune and I’m constantly making sure I’m in tune between songs.
And that’s it!
Make sure to get out to support your local music scene because there are plenty of great bands and artists out there who you’ve never heard of and you can thank me later.