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Gigbag: March 2002

Shulman System for Brass

“I heard Randy Brecker uses a tire-jack to help him breathe properly while he plays. I’m gonna get me a tire-jack and learn to play trumpet.” That’s no tire-jack, genius, it’s the Shulman System for Brass. Featuring a resonating-balance-stabilization device that functions as an extension of your body, the Shulman System’s adjustable arm extends outward from the chest (suspended from a neck-strap) to balance and stabilize your instrument, removing excess mouthpiece pressure and body tension, and promoting proper alignment. Brecker does use it. So do Laurie Frink and John McNeil. So should you.

Wirething Guitar Pick

Even if you’re drowning in a sea of “state-of-the-art” plectrums, the new Wirething guitar pick will come as a breath of fresh air. The curved wire slides smoothly on the string, parlaying your intricate movements into a precise, clean attack that only metal-on-metal contact can produce. Speaking of contact, the clear-plastic grip is no-slip textured with teeny-tiny raised dots. Especially great on roundwound and flatwound strings, the Wirething is full of possibilities for new sounds and articulations.

Roam I & II Wireless Microphones

Jazz is all about freedom. At least, that’s what all the books say, over and over again. The liberty-minded folk at Applied Microphone Technology must have read the books. A.M.T.’s new Roam I wireless microphone system clips onto an instrument-just about any instrument, including saxophones, brass and percussion-and frees you from the shackles of cable. The Roam II system is more or less the same thing, but made specifically for violin, viola and mandolin. Be free.

Guyatone RTE-3000 Tape Echo

This is the echo unit you have been waiting for…waiting for……waiting for! Tape echo. With actual tape. Just like those Roland Space-Echo units from the ’70s, Guyatone’s RTE-3000 records the input signal on a long tape-loop and repeats it with warmth and clarity in delay times ranging from 70 to 800 milliseconds. Unlike the old units, this one has a switch to go back and forth from a “vintage” tone to a brighter, “modern” tone, and the motor that pulls the tape shuts off when there’s no signal.

Trendsetter Sax Strap

Even though Miles Davis, once he felt the funk, was down with the shiny shirts, most jazz players let the music speak loudly, not the wardrobe. But still, a little flash is fun. The post-Elvis, tastefully rhinestone-accented Trendsetter sax strap from BG France will add that little bit of showbiz glitz when the stage lights bounce off the stitched-in palm tree, music note, star, saxophone or heart designs. At last, jazzers can wear their hearts on their sleeves-well, their shoulder anyway-night after night, no matter how well they’re playing.

DW Tunerz Drum Tuning System

Progressive-rock drummers can’t afford to let their drums go out of tune. If they did, the music wouldn’t sound “perfect” enough. So Prog-pulse provider Terry Bozzio surely teamed with DW to develop their new Tunerz secure tuning system to keep his own rock kit tight, but these doohickies (tension rods combined with notched heads and interlocking flex receivers) ought to help any drummer stay in tune. After all, prog-rock ain’t that far from jazz-fusion, and then it’s just a short, silent way away to the classic, acoustic stuff.

ESP’s EC-1000 Archtop Electric Guitar

Another instrument that stays in tune: ESP’s EC-1000 archtop electric guitar. It has a locking bridge and tailpiece, bound neck/headstock and Sperzel locking tuners. It’s all locked up tuning-wise, but the active humbuckers by EMG will open the sound to worlds of smooth 7ths and crystalline chromatics. And one cosmetic option is a see-through black cherry finish over a quilted maple top. That’ll lock a gaze or two.

Originally Published