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Start Playing Guitar's 'The Bridge', Vol 2, #4 - I want THAT one!
April 30, 2007's 'The Bridge'

Volume 2, Issue 4: I want THAT one!

New Content on

Recording Guitar To Computer

The technology brought to market over the past few years is remarkable: Cell phones send picture messages and record video, palm-sized devices guide you to your destination using satellites thousands of miles above the earth, and your personal computer can do the work that used to require an expensive recording studio. Learn all about how to record your guitar, including the four most commonly used methods, lists of advantages and disadvantes for each, pointers to some of the most popular equipment available, and more, all contained in the new Recording Guitar On Your Computer page.

Guitar Beginner FAQ Updated

Ever wonder how much you'll need to practice, or how you should practice, to become a world-class guitarist? Believe it or not, experts have studied the question. Learn the answer on the updated Guitar Beginner FAQ page.

Guitar Tuners Guide

Tuners are getting easier to use, come in some very unique form-factors, and include more features for your dollar. Learn more with the Guitar Tuners Guide, posted this month.

Work In Progress:

Coming soon to the web-site!

  • New Songs: In the end, the reason we're all trying to learn about guitar is to play songs. So, for May, I plan to select at least two songs to post on the site. Now that I know how to record guitar, I may even post sound samples of the songs.
  • The Metronome: Some love them, some despise them. You'll find instructors on both sides of the fence. I believe they are another essential tool for improvement. Learn why, and much more, when I post my guide to metronomes.

SIDEBAR: Keep up to date with all the changes by subscribing to our RSS feed (click to open a window of help and subscription instructions). It will keep you up to date with new pages and other special announcements. I will not overload you with every grammar-fix, new image, or other minor mod.

I want THAT one!

When visitors to the web-site are kind enough to offer feedback or ask questions, I always thank them. Not only do I learn from researching or explaining a topic, but the site is improved for later readers. The origin of this article came from a question I received though my Contact Me page.

The question was 'can you tell me what guitars Keith Urban is playing in the song Stupid Boy?' The reader said that the acoustic and electric used in this song produce the sound he'd like to produce at home.

After some research, my belief that you can't reproduce a particular sound without significant expense and experimentation was confirmed. You might want that guitar, so you can produce that sound, but it's just not that simple. To put it another way: you can buy a guitar, but you can't by a specific type of sound. Let me illustrate with the answer to the visitors question.

After some research I discovered that Keith Urban plays Fender and Gibson electric guitars, often with Bad Cat amps. But it's more complicated than that.

Artists tend to build their signature sound over a number of years, piece by piece. They'll pick up an instrument here, an amp there, try a new pickup, change the placement of equipment and settings, add a microphone and a pedal, etc. Over time what you hear isn't just a particular guitar, it's a series of components and settings. It becomes almost impossible to walk into an guitar shop and "buy a Keith Urban guitar". Only a few exist, and Keith Urban owns every one. Even if you could purchase one of his guitars second hand, you'd still have to match strings, pickups, cables, amplifiers, amp-heads, settings, pedals, mixing boards... on and on.

But, you can identify the types of guitar, and some of the customizations. Keith, for example, often plays a customized Anniversary Nashville Fender Telecaster with an EMG-SA pickup (a pickup intended for the Strat, but Keith had one installed in his Tele.). There may be other modifications I'm unaware of. Keith is also known to play a Fender Clapton Stratocaster and a Gibson SG.

What about his stage equipment? I don't know how it changes from night to night, or from one recording session to another, but you can find a description of one of his touring setups and a home-setup that mimics his sound, at The Gibson Site.

Back to this particular song... At least four guitars are used, and they're played by three different people: Keith himself (who plays at least two different guitars), Tom Bukovac, and Dann Huff.

In the video for Stupid Boy, you'll notice that Keith uses at least three guitars. They might be the same guitars he used during the recording session, or they may be what was lying around during the video shoot.

The guitar shown in the studio scene appears to be a J45 Gibson jumbo acoustic. Because of poor video quality, I can't be certain, but the acoustic shown on stage is probably the same model with a different finish. There is a third acoustic used in the video, but I don't can't identify it. The electric guitar Keith uses near the end of the video is a Gibson Les Paul Junior, which reportedly has a single p90 pickup.

One final peice of trivia: Keith uses Drop-D tuning for this song (the low-E string is tuned down to D).

Other sources for this article were:

Wikipedia, and
Gear Review (UK)

Now go and create your own signature sound!

Go For A Big Finish!

I hope you've enjoyed this issue of The Bridge. See you next month!


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