WAMPLER PAISLEY DRIVE
In 2009 Wampler Pedals discovered that country music guitar virtuoso Brad Paisley was using Wampler pedals. Starting out with the Faux Analog Echo, the guitarist eventually added an Ego Compressor and an Underdog Overdrive to his recording and live rigs. Still was not entirely satisfied on the overdrive sound he was getting from his live rig, Paisley joined forces with Wampler to create a signature pedal, the Paisley Drive.
Overdrive pedals can be tricky to get right; there’s the vital transparency that players will gravitate towards for that ‘real’ amp-driven feeling, response and sound, but then there still needs to be room to take things into stronger gain and sustain settings without losing said transparency.
The Paisley Drive delivers the aforementioned requirements exceptionally well. It functions well with Telecaster style guitars but it will also react positively with any humbucker-loaded guitars. There are three control knobs for controlling volume, gain, and tone. Each control seems to possess a subtlety that many other overdrive pedals lack. Added to this are two switches, one for mid contour which shifts the overall sonic ‘space’ that the pedal occupies, and one for presence which gives the tone that little high-end ‘kick’ that many guitars and amps will react well to.
Hand made in the USA and featuring high-grade film capacitors and resistors chosen for their quality sound and response, true bypass, and the option of running on battery or mains power, The Wampler Paisley Drive (although tricky to find in Australian stores) is well worth a listen at a retail price of around $235.
ROCK SCHOOL GUITAR METHOD BOOKS
At this time of year when younger musicians are heading back to school, and older would-be musicians have made that new year’s resolution to start learning an instrument, the focus is often placed on exactly where and how to get started. The Rock School series of grade books have been designed to give emerging guitarists all the resources needed for genuine development in one package. Each book is accompanied by a CD featuring full mixes and backing tracks to accompany each of the performance pieces, as well as tutorials offering advice on the more technically demanding aspects of each piece.
Each book contains six performance pieces in six contrasting rock and pop styles. There is then the option of sitting an official grading exam for each book level, making this series a viable option for music schools or teachers looking to encourage their students to move forward or maintain positive goal-setting throughout the teaching year.
There are fact files in each book containing background information on each style along with recommended listening information, an introduction to guitar tones with amp setting suggestions. In the Debut book (the series runs from Debut to Level 8), the main skills studied are chords, power chords, string crossing, rests, major and minor pentatonic scales, riff playing and playback / performance skills.
For those students who are so 21st century they have never actually opened a physical book, the entire series is available for iPad from the app store using the KR Player (which is free) to purchase each level for around $12.99. The ‘old school’ format is available from most music stores for around $19.99 per level.
Reviewed at Advanced Music, Ellenbrook.