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The Fretboard Journal Guitar Podcast

Each week, the Fretboard Journal interviews some of our favorite musicians, instrument builders and historians.
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The Fretboard Journal Guitar Podcast
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Now displaying: June, 2022
Jun 24, 2022

On today's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to Andrew Enns, Senior Acoustic Guitar Builder at Yamaha. In case you didn't know, Yamaha has a workshop in Southern California, where Andrew and a small team are building the next generation of Yamaha's high-end acoustic guitars.

This is a fascinating chat on so many levels: Andrew is a largely self-taught guitarmaker and recounts how he started out building electric guitars on his apartment patio with the information he gleaned from the early days of the internet (including Ed Roman's legendary rants) and Stew-Mac catalogs. He then went on to work for Michael Kelly and Cordoba, where he immersed himself in classical guitar construction.

At Yamaha, Andrew's job is not only to make a great acoustic, but to constantly adjust, test, and refine his creations. Known for their high tolerances, the brand has Andrew go through dozens of prototypes for each guitar model he builds, often with the tiniest of differences. He shares some of the discoveries he's made over the years about top thickness, woods, neck joints, and more. We also talk about the new high-end dreadnought has Andrew designed for Yamaha, out sometime in 2023. 

https://yamahaguitardevelopment.com

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/guitars_basses/index.html

This episode is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); Retrofret Vintage Guitars; Izotope (use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your Izotope purchase); and Calton Cases.

To purchase our magazine or learn about the 2022 Fretboard Summit, visit us at www.fretboardjournal.com

Jun 16, 2022

On this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we're talking to Pharis and Jason Romero. 2022 is shaping up to a big year for the Romeros: This week, the duo will release 'Tell 'Em You Were Gold,' their seventh album, and their first project on Smithsonian Folkways. As if that weren't enough, at some point soon, Jason will be putting the finishing touches on their 500th banjo creation.

During our chat, we talk about how they balance their lives between instrument making, touring, recording, and family duties. We also talk about the secret tuning that Jason discovers with each of his banjos, how he builds his instruments, the making of their new record, and more.

Check out a behind-the-scenes mini doc on the making of the album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9cHx2ReaHA&ab_channel=SmithsonianFolkways

And check out the documentary we shot nearly a decade ago here: https://www.fretboardjournal.com/video/fretboard-films-trip-romero-banjos/

The banjo playlist that Jason curated can be found here: https://folkways.si.edu/playlist/the-brain-on-banjos-pharis-jason-romero

Order 'Tell 'Em You Were Gold' here: https://orcd.co/pharis-jason-romero

This episode is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Retrofret Vintage Guitars; Izotope (use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your Izotope purchase); and Calton Cases.

www.fretboardjournal.com

 

Jun 9, 2022

Imagine growing up without a father, but knowing he was alive, somewhere. Now imagine that same scenario but knowing that your dad is also a famous musician. That's the reality for Nabil Ayers - a drummer turned record label executive - whose father is legendary jazz musician Roy Ayers.

In his new book, 'My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for My Father and Discovering My Family,' Nabil describes his unique upbringing, the amazing job his mother did at raising her son, and the profound impact that music continues to make on his life. He also opens up about what it's like to be the only person of color in a mostly-white indie-rock scene, his few attempts to connect with Roy Ayers, and much more.

Order the book here.

This episode is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Retrofret Vintage Guitars; Izotope (use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your Izotope purchase); and Calton Cases.

Jun 1, 2022

Jazz musician Snoozer Quinn (1907 - 1949) is one of the guitar world’s great enigmas. In his prime, he performed alongside Paul Whiteman, Bix Beiderbecke, the Dorsey Brothers, Louis Armstrong, and others; lore has it that even Les Paul even learned how to hammer-on and pull-off from Snoozer.

But today Snoozer is largely forgotten because his only attempt at solo studio recordings completely disappeared and he died young after a long battle with tuberculosis. To add insult to injury, the only surviving film footage of Snoozer playing guitar has no audio and the only solo recordings we have of him were literally taped from his deathbed.

On this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we take a look at Snoozer’s life and legacy with Katy Hobgood Ray and Dan Sumner, who just co-authored a book entitled Snoozer Quinn: Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Pioneer (Out of the Past Music). Half of the book features Katy’s exhaustive biography on Quinn (one of her distant relatives) with rare photos, while the other half features Dan’s transcriptions of eight Snoozer Quinn arrangements.

Over the course of our interview, we learn about Snoozer’s troubled life, how he got his name, his reputation among his peers, his Gibson instruments, and more. Then Dan sheds light on the Herculean task of transcribing the complex work of Snoozer from the available fragments and breadcrumbs, the guitarist’s unique technique and tunings, and a lot more.

Snoozer Quinn: Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Pioneer is available here

The Fretboard Journal is a reader-supported magazine. If you'd like to subscribe, support what we do, and get our 50th issue (now mailing), simply click here.

We're throwing a 2022 Fretboard Summit in Chicago, where for three days you can attend workshops, panel discussions, live podcast tapings, and try out rare and priceless guitars with the staff of the FJ. Click here for ticket information. 

This episode is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Retrofret Vintage Guitars; Izotope (use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your Izotope purchase); and Calton Cases.

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