Monday, December 28, 2009

How to make your cheap Squier Strat play and sound better


How to make your cheap Squier Strat play and sound better

A lot of us start of on beginner or entry level guitars or get them as a backup and then realize that these are pretty nice and comfortable to play for example my made in China Affinity Strat is a very comfortable and good looking strat in Metallic Blue.
The rose wood fretboard and maple neck has a very comfortable grip and the finish is top notch.I liked it so much that i decided to start to use it live and that is when i realized the difference between a pro level strat and an entry level strat.I was getting horrible feedback and the tuning stability was way off and i had to retune after every song.
Back home after the gig this got me thinking as to why my American strat does not have these problems and on investigation i found that the US Strat has 5 springs in the tremelo cavity and the Squier has only 3 therfore the bridge was moving about too much and causing tuning problems,i had a spare spring lying around from an unfinished project which i promptly installed in the tremelo cavity and that immidiately gave the bridge a firmer feel and it reduced the tuning problems.The floating bridge thing is a sure shot disaster for Squier type strats and one should tighten the tremelo claw spring so that there is very little rocking motion upwards a la Steve Vai on the bridge.

The squealing pickups and feedback were really irritating at the gig so i promptly threw out the bridge and the neck pickup but wait i kept the middle pickup because it is reverse wound for noise cancellation in positions 2 and 4 on the 5 way switch-cool!
I had a good stash of pickups from the last Guitar Centre sale i went to and i chose the Seymour Duncan Hot Rails for strat in the bridge and put the Fender Hot Alnico 3 American Single coil pickup in the bridge.On soldering all these parts together i did the Eric Johnson trick that is wiring the bridge pickup to the lower tone control pot and the bridge pickup to the higher tone pot so that i can control the shrillness of the bridge pickup.

The guitar sounded like a classy beast and i was feeling really stupid for having shelled out loads of money on the US Strat though i really love it the way it comes ready out of the box.

The last thing i did was put a graphtech nut and graphtek bridge saddles on the Squier and it was ready for world domination all it needed was a decal on the neck/head stock that said The Best Strat in the world in bold italics.The graphtek nut has micoscopic teflon-more slippery than graphite,rolls the strings back into tune.The graphtek saddles/string savers-super slick string savers help stop premature breakage .Microscopic ball bearing lube action makes them even more slippery than graphite.

This guitar has become my main touring axe and i plan to actually rub the Squier deacal off and write something stupid or maybe get Eric Johnson to autograph the Head stock with a sharpie cause a lot of the ideas came from studying what he does to his Fender's!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The KROSSWINDZ USA Tour 2009 itinerary

Show dates-
19th September Sacramento
20th September Sacramento
24th Sep Austin Texas(COPA PUB) - Chief Guest ERIC JOHNSON !!!!!!!
25th Sep Fort Worth Texas
26th Sep Boston
27th Sep Delaware
3rd Oct San Diego
4th Oct Tampa Florida
9th San Fransisco
10th San Fransisco
17th Oct San Fransisco
24th Oct New York

Eric Johnson at the Krosswindz gig in Austin City


Krosswindz played a great pub gig at Copa Bar and Grill Austin City Texas on 24th September 2009 and were honoured to have one of the worlds greatest Guitar players drop in to listen-Eric Johnson.The living legend walked in and watched Krosswindz play a set of Fusion including Guitar instrumentals and one special song dedicated especially to him.He hung out with the band in between the 2 sets for almost 45 minutes and had a special one on one guitar talk with me and graciously answered all my questions.

Before Krosswindz reached Austin Mr Park Street close friend and associate of Eric for years was in touch with me and he surprised me when he offered to help the band out with on stage equipment as we were not traveling with our guitar amplifiers and drum kit.He went and had a chat with Eric Johnson and hey presto Eric sent his very own vintage Fender twin reverb amp hand tweaked by Eric himself and Eric's drummer Billy Maddox lent his own drum set complete with all cymbals and hardware!!!
We were speechless when Park walked in with all this gear.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A great demo of a great guitar fx pedal

A great demo of a great guitar fx pedal

Monday, June 1, 2009


Fireflies Presents Guitar Gurus -the concert
5 of the hottest guitar players from all over India namely Amit Heri (Bangalore), Derek Julien (Pune), Sanjay Divecha (Mumbai), Vikramjit 'Tuki' Banerjee (Kolkata) and John Anthony (Chennai) will come together on one stage. Each artist will play for one hour and the show will end with a mother of a jam involving all artists
Event info www.strangebrewcrew.com
May 30th Fireflies Kanakapura Road Bangalore
8 pm onwards (All night long)
What exactly is Guitar Gurus?
Guitar Gurus, which we hope to make an annual affair, is a rare congregation of some of India’s finest guitar players, each a master in the art of wielding an axe.
What’s the program?
The evening will begin at eight sharp (we’re serious). Each artist will occupy the stage for approximately one hour. The show will end with a mother of a jam involving all artists. Somewhere in the middle of all this, one lucky devil in the audience will win an accoustic guitar signed by all artists!
When and where?
May 30th, 2009 at the Fireflies Ashram on Kanakapura Road. Located about 40 km from Bangalore, this open-air amphitheatre on the banks of a lake, is easily one of the finest venues in and around Bangalore for a concert.
Please note, this is an outdoor event. To make the most of it, we suggest you bring umbrellas / raincoats, mosquito repellants, picnic rugs etc.
Three ways to book your ticket (Rs. 500 only):
1. Click here to book online www.bookmyshow.com
2. Call Book My Show by dialing 3989 5050
3. Buy your ticket at the venue

Friday, April 3, 2009

‘LET’S BRING KOLKATA INTO THE GLOBAL MAP OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY'


Publication:Times Of India Kolkata; Date:Apr 3, 2009; Section:Special Report; Page Number:26



‘LET’S BRING KOLKATA INTO THE GLOBAL MAP OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY'


Growing up in Calcutta in the 70's and 80's, I remember standing in line and buying tickets for mega international bands like Wishbone Ash, Shakti, Ritchie Heavens, Woody Shaw, Dizzy Gillespie, etc. I still remember feeling the adrenaline rush as I walked down Southern Avenue and I heard Wishbone Ash sound checking. I was running to get to OAT now called Nazrul Manch. The show left me speechless and the venue was bursting at the seams, there were people literally falling out of the stands. That was the level of interest an international Rock concert generated in those days. Sadly now there are hardly any sponsors who want to come forward and sponsor a real mega international act and Kolkata is getting sidelined. I wish sponsors would support live music more and get international bands to Kolkata just like Bangalore and Mumbai get all the big names.

In cities like Edinburgh, Austin (USA), London and San Francisco, music festivals/fairs are a common phenomenon. I have been to the Kolkata Book Fair from childhood and have often felt it's a missed opportunity for musicians. I have been left with a sense of loss at what could be achieved from a musical standpoint. With a little bit of support and organisational ability on the part of local event managers, the Kolkata Book Fair could take on a different colour like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with parallel music concerts in and around the fair. A festival along the lines of WOMAD held in the UK or South by South West in Austin USA could easily be organised in Kolkata and it would be so nice to have continuous music performances, seminars on music and technology happening all across the city for an entire week like abroad. It would give a platform for new artists and experimental music performers to showcase their talent.

One problem I face quite often is getting my guitars repaired or modified to suit my playing style. I miss the fact that Kolkata

does not have a dedicated custom guitar craftsman. The only one I know lives in Pondicherry and I cannot afford to leave my instruments in a far off town. An indigenous custom guitar/instrument manufacturing company would be a welcome addition to the musical landscape of Kolkata.

I also miss the fact that Kolkata does not have a modern performance based music school like the Berklee College of Music in Boston or the Julliard School of music. I think performance as an art form has moved on and modern elements of the art form should be taught like in universities abroad that teach music production, music marketing, etc along with standard music theory and grammar.

I believe Kolkata has the heart of a truly magical cultural city that can blossom into an epic centre of the creative arts. I think people should come forward and nurture this special magical facet of the city and chip in our own ways to bringing Kolkata into the global map of the music industry. We are all in this together let us help each other bring our best facets to the front and help Kolkata rise to be a truly international city.

(Banerjee is the band

leader of Krosswindz)


VIKRAMJIT “TUKI" BANERJEE