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TC Electronic New Pedals

Shaker Vibrato
Time to shake things up with this awesome vibrato! This beauty features two types of vibrato: a classic true pitch vibrato and ‘latch mode’ where the effect is only active when you press and hold

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Sell Your Gear!

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Art & Lutherie: New Guitar Range!

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The Art & Lutherie collection is dedicated to rekindling the legacy of hand-built, affordable, soulful guitars that aspiring singer songwriters and working artists alike can enjoy and rely on. Whatever your genre preference –  folk, country, alt country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, the Americana, the Legacy and the Roadhouse proudly reflect their ‘Hand-Made in Canada’ heritage and are sure to inspire you!

Ranging from £299 onwards, the A&L Guitars are strictly for those seeking value for money. Such quality materials and expert guitar design for such a low price can only be found from the likes of Art & Lutherie.

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LEGACY/CW

A legacy can be a tough thing to live up to, but this guitar does not disappoint. The perfectly sized Concert Hall Legacy is a stunner that lives up to the legacy of the great bluesmen and folk balladeers of yesteryear with its vintage city vibe. The perfectly sized Concert Hall Legacy is reflective of the legendary bluesmen  42357_Legacy_CW_Tennessee_Red and folk balladeers of yesteryear with its vintage city vibe. Equipped with Godin Q1T electronics, it’s the perfect stage companion, ready to fill any room. Offered in 3 semi-gloss patina finishes, Bourbon Burst, Faded Black or Tennessee Red, this rock solid performer delivers rich dynamic response whether plugged in or all by its lonesome.

AMERICANA/CW

For just over a century these “banjo killers,” known as Dreadnoughts have been filling the air from barn dances and hoedowns to coffee houses and rock shows. Keeping the century-old Dreadnought tradition of versatility, the Americana is a reinvented classic. It’s best described as one part plow horse for its durability and two parts thoroughbred for its exquisite  Dreadnaught, CW Dreadnaught tone and articulation.  This stage and studio ready songbird comes equipped with Godin Q1T electronics featuring a built-in tuner. Get it in a Bourbon Burst, Faded Black or Tennessee Red semi-gloss patina finish.

ROADHOUSE

Comfortable as that old pair of jeans, the Roadhouse is a slope-shouldered parlor reminiscent of the iconic ‘blues boxes’ that were the musical travel companion for many a freight train hopping and hitchhiking Fishman Sonitone Soundhole Pickupmusician. Reminiscent of the days of freight train hopping and hitchhiking musicians, these parlor size guitars deliver exceptional string to string balance and well defined articulation. Whether fingerpicking gently or backhanding open chords, the Roadhouse promises excellent playability with a vintage vibe. It comes equipped with the Fishman Sonitone pickup featuring sound-hole mounted volume and tone controls. Offered in Bourbon Burst, Faded Black or Tennessee Red, the incredibly affordable Roadhouse projects and resonates beautifully alone or plugged in.

[Update: 27/12/2016]

We’re Back!
From the ashes rises the new and improved blog! We are proud to announce that we’re finally re-opening our music blog with a new writer.
What’s New?

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Flying With Your Guitar/Taking Guitars On Planes

Flying guitars?

So you’ve got a gig abroad, or maybe you just can’t bare to be away from your favourite Strat while you’re on holiday. Whatever the reason, there comes a time when guitarists and bass players may have to take their instruments on a plane with them. So what do you need to worry about? Surely a fragile sticker on the gig bag containing your pride and joy would be enough for those ever-so-careful baggage handlers to treat it with the same “kid gloves” you do? Not the case (‘scuse the pun!) unfortunately! Although guidelines have changed and a number of airlines will now happily accept guitars as additional hand luggage (generally they need to be in a soft case to be accepted) and let you take them into the cabin with you for storage in the overhead compartments or elsewhere in the crew area, there’s still a chance you’ll be forced to check it into the hold.

 This very nearly happened to me recently on a Germanwings flight. The German agent who had booked my band to play an event, had checked with the airline to make sure we could take instruments on board and what the criteria were for it to be accepted as hand luggage. However, having had issues with transporting instruments in the past, I erred on the side of caution and packed my bass appropriately for a trip in the hold. Sure enough when I arrived at the desk to check in, I was informed my bass would be too long even in a soft bag, to be taking in the cabin! Boy was I glad my paranoid over-cautious tendencies told me to use one of my well travelled and trusted Hiscox hard cases! Thankfully the bass arrived in one piece and there were no problems this time. Had I not prepped the instrument properly and used a suitable case, things may have been very different.

 

So, what can you do to protect your guitar on it’s travels?

The first and most important thing, is to make sure you have a good strong case which is suitable for transportation on a flight, in the hold of the plane with all the other luggage- a full flight case! There are varying styles and build qualities of cases on the market. Some of these are described as being “flight” cases but wouldn’t necessarily survive the journey. If you treasure your instrument, don’t scrimp on the case. Wouldn’t you rather spend £100 on a case instead of having to replace your guitar? Even the excess on your instrument insurance may be more than this (that’s another topic I’ll come to later!). Therefore, read some reviews, do some research to see what other people are using and recommend. In the 17 years I’ve been playing professionally, I’ve had dozens of basses and a multitude of different cases. I’ve tried all the major brands and been disappointed by the quality and level of protection offered by some of the so called market leaders. A regular hard case supplied by a lot of manufacturers, isn’t up to the job. You may know someone who’s flown all over the world with their trusty Les Paul in it’s factory case and they’ve never had an issue, there again, you might know someone like one of our customers who flew his Jazz Bass in the Fender case and when it was dropped from a height by the baggage handlers, the case came apart and caused irreparable to his bass.  

So, here are a couple of recommendations for cases:

For all the most popular guitar & bass shapes, try Hiscox Cases. their Liteflight and Pro series cases have served me well for years and are often cheaper than some of the other brands such as SKB, GATOR etc. Even their standard range will protect you guitar under (up to) 500kg of weight! The cases are relatively lite and not too cumbersome considering the amount of protection they offer. The way they close tightly with a double overlapped edging strip appealed to me as they are more water resistant and they are thermally insulated.

For a good all rounder, you can’t go wrong with these whether you’re flying with them, putting them in your car, tour bus or band van.

Prices start from £99 for the base model and go up depending on spec and size.

For those of you with guitars that are a little different, you may need to go down the route of a full flight case, manufactured by one of various companies, which will look a little something like this:

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Or you might just prefer the look of the “standard issue” full flight case. Popular for years with artists all over the world and manufactured to varying specs by hundreds of companies. This tried and tested design is often favoured by the touring muso, who’s guitars spend more time in planes, and in the backs of lorries than they do at home. Prices vary depending on where you get them from.

Electric Guitar Full Flight 

So why do I still favour the Hiscox for my basses? Weight and bulk, that’s it! Wherever I’m off to for my gigs, they’ve never let me down and they are very portable (well as portable as guitar cases ever get I guess). With decent handles and a fairly even balance, they aren’t all that bad to lug around. The larger full flight style cases are great if you’re loading them in vans and trucks or if you’ve got roadies to do it for you, but they start feeling rather heavy and cumbersome if it’s just you making your way through various countries and airports with other luggage as well!

Right! So you’ve got your case! Know how to prep your guitar for travel? Some simple steps can help ensure your axe will make survive whatever it has to go through. Let’s not forget that along with the rough and tumble of baggage handlers, it’s potentially going to suffer extreme temperature shifts unless your plane has a heated hold.

 

Here’s a list of the basic preparations you should make:

 

  1. Firstly, make sure you make a note of your instrument’s serial number, make and model, take some pictures of it showing it’s current condition.
  2. Make sure it is insured and the policy covers travel to your destination.
  3. Loosen all the strings so there is only enough tension to keep them attached to the guitar. If in doubt and if it’s feasible, remove them completely and fit a fresh set when you arrive at your destination.
  4. Slacken the truss rod to remove all tension on the neck. This should only be done if you’re confident in making truss rod adjustments to your instruments. If you’re not, then best leave it alone, you shouldn’t need to slacken it, but it’s just an extra precaution. By following this and step 1, you are removing the tension/load on the neck. That way, if the guitar were to receive a shock by being dropped, there is nothing pulling on the headstock that could cause it to break. Snapped headstocks are very common among guitars that are damaged when flying. Mostly those with angled headstocks where they are attached to the neck by a scarf joint.
  5. Now you’ve seen to the neck, If you’ve opted to leave the strings attached wrap some newspaper or tissue paper around the neck and tape it into place. This will hold the strings in place and stop them from flopping about in the case and potentially damaging your pride and joy!
  6. Make sure your guitar can not move in the case. Any extra space in the case should be filled so the guitar cannot move at all. Ensure you use something soft that won’t mark the guitar. If you’re taking clothes with you (which hopefully you are!), you can use small garments such as underwear to fill the gaps. Of course if you have a bespoke case, this won’t be an issue if it’s been made to measure.
  7. Moisture can be an issue if the hold on your plane isn’t heated, not always an issue but with the change of temperatures, condensation can form inside. Some companies manufacturer humidity control devices and some case companies even incorporate these in some of their models. A money saving tip for this is to save the little packs of Silica Gel which find their way into everything. These are designed to trap moisture and they do a good job too. 2-3 small packs or a couple of larger packs should do, just leave them loose in the main compartment of the case.
  8. Is your guitar active? does it have any form of battery in it even just for a tuner? If so, be sure to pop this out just in case it happens to leak. Put it in a plastic bag or at least tape over the terminals so it can’t come into contact with anything metallic and create a circuit.
  9. If you’re likely to need any tools to tweak your guitar once you arrive at your destination, your flight case is a good place to put a small selection of the essentials. Make sure you’ve got you’re truss rod key (especially if you slackened it off)! A small multi head screwdriver is always handy for adjustments and tightening anything that’s come loose. Spare battery for your active circuit and any spare strings. A pair of small pliers wouldn’t go amiss and anything else that might be useful and you can squeeze in. Don’t forget to check with your airline, what is acceptable hand and Hold luggage before you get to the airport!
  10. You’ve got your guitar all set to go in it’s case,take a couple of pictures of it on your phone, make sure you get the serial number in one. Now put it in the case and take another, then close the case and take some more. Make sure you have these with you so you can show any airport staff, what your instrument and case look like, should it go missing. When you check it in at the baggage drop, you’ll be given some labels to put on there, take some pictures of these on the case too.
  11. Now you’ve got your guitar in it’s case, pictures as proof it exists and you’ve squeezed some extra swimming trunks and socks in the case, just to make sure your guitar is nice and cozy, now you can close up your case. If it has locks on it, make sure they work, then lock them prior to travelling. We all know they won’t stop someone from breaking the case open if they were trying to steal the guitar, but they will (hopefully) keep your guitar inside the case, should it burst open. To be on the safe side, I always fasten a couple of luggage straps around the middle of the case. This is just a precaution, should all the catches be be ripped off the case by some sheer fluke. You can put some tape over the catches to help protect them too, although it probably won’t make much difference. I’ve know some people to shrink-wrap their cases to prevent them from opening up inadvertently. That’s fine but if your case is checked by security then you’ll be left with nothing around it.

 

You’re all set to go, aren’t you? Don’t forget to double check you’ve got the key to the lock on your case now you’ve locked it! When you arrive at your destination, be sure to let your guitar acclimatise before you set it it up to play again. I’ve had instances where I’ve arrived at a hotel and my bass is still really cold when I open up the case. Let it warm up to the ambient temperature, then string it up and adjust the truss rod. That way you shouldn’t have to tweak the neck again.

 

And that’s about it! Don’t forget to repeat these steps for the trip home and your guitar should arrive safe and sound.

 

Good luck and safe travels!

 

www.musicmattersdirect.co.uk 

MU-Series MIDI/USB Controller Keyboard

MU-SERIES MIDI/USB CONTROLLER KEYBOARDS

Controller keyboards with full size velocity-sensitive keys for use with MIDI sound modules or PC/Mac via USB. Additional control is available via assignable pitch and modulation wheels, slider and 4 dual function rotary encoders. Further menu and parameter settings can be edited from the Edit and +/- keys in combination with the note keys and 3-character LED display. Designed as a central part of any DAW system and for live MIDI control.

Guitar Accessory Gift Sets

Now in stock for Christmas.

The perfect gift for guitarists.

Assortment of accessories for guitarists in a single pack.

  • Backlit LCD clip tuner
  • Tin of celluloid plectrums
  • Mic stand pick holder
  • Spring capo
  • Guitar polish & cloth
  • String winder

£29.99 – Save £6.99

Christmas at Music Matters

Welcome to our new Blog page.

With Christmas fast approaching we are quickly filling up the shop with some great ideas for you. Guitar packages now starting from as little £89.99.

CAL63PK ELECTRIC GUITAR + AMP PACKAGE

Complete guitar package comprising a CAL63 electric guitar, 10W amp with switchable overdrive, digital LED guitar/bass tuner, strap, lead, 3 plectrums and a gig bag. Ideal for beginners and students.

  • Full spec CAL63 guitar
  • 10W guitar amplifier
  • Chord gig bag
  • Digital tuner
  • Supplied in a full colour gift box
  • Guitar typeCAL63 electric guitar
  • Guitar: Dimensions330 x 995 x 60mm
  • Guitar: Weight3.84kg
  • Amplifier: Power supply230Vac 50Hz
  • Amplifier: Output power10Wrms
  • Amplifier: FunctionsDrive, OD switch, Volume, Treble, Bass, Phones out
  • Amplifier: Dimensions250 x 240 x 125mm
  • Amplifier: Weight2.9kg
  • Tuner: FunctionsGuitar (6/7string), Bass (4/5/6 string)
  • Tuner: Input6.3mm jack or internal mic.
  • Tuner: Power supply2 x AAA batteries (supplied)
  • Tuner: Dimensions96 x 50 x 17mm
  • Tuner: Weight34g
  • Gig bag: Dimensions1030 x 420 x 30mm
  • Gig bag: Weight42

 

Check out our new Chord guitar packages – NOW IN STOCK.