Unique Guitar Picks Created by Some Dude’s Pesopicks Stuart Brady

Before I get to my talk with Some Dude’s Pesopicks creator, Stuart Brady, I want to say a few words about the humble guitar pick.

If you play guitar, you probably know there are picks of all shapes, sizes, colors, thicknesses, designs, etc. 

You might even keep several guitar picks handy, and stop by the local guitar shop regularly to re-stock.  Picks are usually kept at the front of store and sold for under a dollar, near the other relatively inexpensive musical accessories like guitar strings, capos, etc. 

For such a small object, guitar picks are certainly an important part of guitar player’s setup.  They help define the sound, even though they don’t generally get a lot of credit.  

Guitar players can get rather particular about their picks, the more they develop a certain sound.  It is at this point that guitar players start to notice the different characteristics in the picks they like or dislike, and their preferences get more particular.

Some players want picks that have a grip, others like ’em smooth.  Some want them thicker, others want them paper thin.  Some like gimmicky picks that are covered in logos and designs, others like them with no symbols on them in just one color only. 

The type of pick you use depends on your own playing style more than anything, and that can take time to develop.

It’s worth mentioning, for the sake of beginner guitar players out there, that the type of pick does contribute something significant to the sound that’s being produced by the guitar. 

That said, guitar picks, for the most part, are made of plastic and many players don’t think about them much.  You just buy 10 for a dollar as you’re making other purchases, and if you drop them on the ground and lose them, many would say “Who cares?”

But some picks you might not want to lose.  

Pesopicks

The thing is, not all picks cost $0.25 and look cheap and shoddy.  Some guitar picks are worth showing off.

Enter: the Pesopick.

These unique picks are made from actual Mexican pesos by a dude by the name of Stuart Brady, AKA Some Dude.  In fact, his business name is Some Dude’s Pesopicks.

Here is the Pesopickdude himself standing with the late great Bill Paxton.

Stuart makes a living producing these Pesopicks by hand in his home state of Texas, home of some of the greatest guitar players of all time. 

He started making Pesopicks decades ago, in an effort to create a more durable, unique type of guitar pick that creates a deeper, richer sound.  They have other benefits as well, such as outlasting the person using them.

We were lucky enough to talk with Stuart about his prized creations.  We just had to get the lowdown on them straight from the source. 

Enjoy our Q&A with the the Pesopickdude!


What are Pesopicks?

Pesopicks are authentic Mexican pesos handcrafted into guitar picks.

How durable are these things?

They will last forever…the first one I made is owned by my best friend and is over 40 yrs old.  He still uses it everyday…they are heirlooms.

What do you like about the metal on metal sound?

They make your stringed instrument a little brighter and louder, creating awesome pinch harmonics…they are super fast due to less friction than other picks.

How much does a Pesopick cost?

They start at $50.00 and go up in price depending on type of peso and the work done to it.

What’s the difference between a Pesopick and your typical $.050 plastic guitar pick?

They don’t wear out and they wont harm strings…kinda of a nickel on nickel thing.

Is it true that Billy Gibbons has a soft spot for these picks?  Also, why does he like them so much?

Yes, Billy Gibbons loves them and I am currently making him a large order of them now. I believe he likes them because of the tones they create plus the mystique of the peso as a pick.

Who’s the intended audience of these types of picks?

The intended audience is anyone that wants to improve their technique and tone.

How long does it take to make one of these babies?

It normally takes me about an hour to complete one single pesopick…but I do about 30 to 50 in stages.

Do you ever run out of stock?

Sometimes I do run out of stock…but not for long…I have a lot of contacts.

How unique is each pick, would you say?

Each pesopick is unique, but they are consistent with the shape and size of a regular fender 357 style pick…they are never the same because of dings, dents and scratches on the face of the coin.

Do you use any other coins these days besides the peso?

Sometimes I’ll make a pesopick with a lire or shilling, or any cool high quality metal coin large enough.

Are they only good for rock music?

They work excellent on any electric guitar, acoustic guitar, or bass guitar without harming the strings.

Where can people get them?

They can be had by contacting me on Facebook at this time…however, a website is in the works and should be up and running soon.

Check out the Pesopick Facebook page!

The Rickenbacker 4000 Series Bass Guitar and its Musical Applications

In the world of bass, Rickenbackers are known as high end items. They are all hand-made, a bit less ubiquitous than Fenders, and have a very specific sound. They have an instantly recognizable curvy shape with a headstock to match. Pictured below is a Rickenbacker 4001.

Rickenbackers are not the most commonly used basses but they have definitely made their mark in rock and roll and music in general. They have been used widely by a host of famous rockers across genres, from The Beatles all the way to Metallica.

What makes these particular instruments unique? Well it should come unsurprisingly that basses tend to have a deep, bassy tone. After all, they underpin the music as the backbone of the song on the low end. Rickenbackers of course fill this role but their musical niche actually comes from their high end capabilities. Rickenbackers have a far greater range of high tones, and the bassists who are known for their heavy use of Rickenbackers tend to make use of this ability. Here’s an example of this in the metal genre. Cliff Burton of Metallica, bassist known for his legendary talent and songwriting as well as his tragic death in a car accident, solos on the high end of his Rickenbacker (Rick solo starts at about 0:50 seconds, the first solo is pretty killer too).

Cliff is running his bass through a smattering of distortion effects to achieve his intense tone, however at the bottom of it is the Rickenbacker’s natural high-end depth as well as its marked sustain.

Beyond metal, Rickenbackers are also known as prog-rock basses for the fact that many of the biggest progressive rock bands seem to pick Rickenbackers, probably because the Rickenbacker’s unique sound suits the demands of progressive rock’s musical unorthodoxy.

Three of the biggest progressive rock bands in most prog fans’ books all use Rickenbacker basses. These are Yes, Rush, and Genesis. They all manage to extract a different tone out of there Rickenbackers, all of which suit the individual musical niche of each band. Yes is the jazziest of the three while still maintaining a core rock sound. Rush is more hard rock oriented, at times seeming to cross the threshold into metal, and Genesis seems to sit pretty much between the two, dipping into jazz at some times and harder riffs at other times. Their Rickenbacker tones mirrors this genre alignment.

Chris Squire

Chris Squire, the bassist of Yes, has an extremely high, poppy bass tone, and plays the high notes of bass more than the low notes. This is well demonstrated in more or less the entire Yes catalog, and in this performance.

Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee gets an extremely grinding, growly tone that is impossible to ignore. Geddy used the Rickenbacker primarily in the early days of Rush, which were marked by first hard-rock that slowly transitioned into ever more complex hard-progressive rock. Geddy Lee is considered by many to be one of the best bassists of all time, and his tone reflects it. It’s very prominent and distinctive, and strangely seems to be higher in treble than in bass without losing any of the underscoring qualities that bass of course needs. A good example of this would be the Rush song “The Trees” off of the 1978 album “Hemispheres”.

Mike Rutherford

Mike Rutherford has more of a traditional bass tone and showcases the Rickenbacker’s versatility as not solely for incredibly unorthodox tone. He plays it prominently but much bassier than Geddy Lee and Chris Squire, and thus more traditionally. In Yes and Rush, it could be said that the bass playing is one of the lead draws to the music, but in Genesis the bass takes more of a traditional role to enhance the entire musical experience. Genesis is known for their philosophical art-rock concept albums, where much of the focus is on the lyrics and singing, and Rutherford plays his part perfectly for this purpose while still demonstrating his chops in his own right. A good demonstration of this would be on the title track “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”.

While not used as commonly as their Fender counterparts, Rickenbacker basses have cemented themselves in rock history as a unique craftsman’s tool. Many of the top bassists known for their distinct tone and playing style have used Rickenbackers, and that fact in my opinion speaks for itself. If you are chasing a specific bass tone, have a listen to any of the bassists above and give the Rickenbacker 4000 series a try.

A Quick Guide To The Different Types of Electric Bass Guitars

Bass guitar is kind of like the Alfred to the Batman of lead guitar. Batman is obviously the lead attraction, but there is no way Batman can do what he does without the constant support and assistance of Alfred working away in the background. In music specifically, the bass follows the musical structure and underscores it with the bass notes to keep the structure together. Unless you are a bass player or the song has a particularly catchy bassline, such as “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen or “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5, you probably don’t notice the bass, however if you take it out of a song there is a clear feeling of something missing.

There are a couple of models of bass guitars that constitute the standard bass guitars used in rock and in music at large. They all have slightly different tones and uses and we’re going to go over them and describe their essential sounds with musical examples.

Fender Jazz Bass

Fender is of course a huge company in the world of bass guitar just like it is in the world of lead guitar.  The Fender Jazz Bass is probably what most bassists would consider the staple bass, sort of like the bass equivalent of the Stratocaster, a cardinal of bass playing. It is very diverse and versatile, and has an all-around tone of low rumble in addition to punctuated twang. Basically, you can do what you want with it. Its not too low to be poppy and not to poppy to be low and rumbley. Some good examples of Jazz players are Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, John Paul Jones, and later period Geddy Lee.  

Fender Precision Bass

This is the counterpart to the Fender Jazz. Slightly older and more “classic”, it has a deeper bass tone and lower rumble. It was produced before the Jazz bass, and the Jazz was designed to contrast the Precision as a bit brighter with a range of slightly higher tones. The Precision is larger and bulkier than its Jazz counterpart and sounds like it. Its been made famous by Sting, who almost always plays the same beat up 1957 Precision, as well as James Jamerson (the bass player on all the Motown hits), John McVie from Fleetwood Mac, Steve Harris from Iron Maiden, and John Entwhistle from The Who.

Rickenbacker 4000 Series

Rickenbacker 4000 Series

There are indeed other Bass manufactures besides Fender, and Rickenbacker is probably what most bassists would consider the next one on the list. Rickenbacker 4000 Series basses have a unique voluptuous look. There sound is noticeably brighter and higher-sounding than the Fenders that have been previously described. The high-end tones are extremely noticeable on songs and tend to be far more in-your-face than other bass tones, which mostly meld into the background. There two 4000 models that are extremely similar in tone with very minor differences in design, the 4001 and the 4003. They tend to be a bit more expensive than Fenders but most bass players would say the commensurate uniqueness in tone and general high quality manufacturing is the reason why. Three of the most famous Rickenbacker Bass players are all progressive rock musicians, and the Rickenbacker Bass has earned a reputation as the number one prog rock bass. They are Chris Squire from Yes, Geddy Lee on the earlier (and most progressive) Rush albums, and Mike Rutherford of Genesis. Chris Squire in particular highlights the high-end tone of the Rickenbacker 4000 series, whereas Geddy Lee makes it growl for hard rock, and Rutherford is somewhere between the two.

Hofner Basses

The last of the fundamental Basses is the Hofner Bass. It has a distinct smaller frame and very symmetrical body shape. Hofners are not as widely used as the other basses in this article, however they deserve a spot on this list because this is the bass Paul McCartney played more or less exclusively both in the Beatles and throughout his career solo and with Wings. The Hofner has a unique thumpy tone, not quite as high as Rickenbackers and not quite as low as Precisions. The Hofner is responsible for that driving, walking bass tone that is present on almost every Beatles song. Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys is also known to have preferred Hofners, making it somewhat the iconic bass of early rock and roll. It has seen a bit of a resurgence due to its use in the modern psychedelic band Tame Imapala.

Every bass is unique and these models all have their strengths and weaknesses. The perfect bass for every musical need and niche exists somewhere out there if you do the homework, but whatever axe is chosen, it cannot be understated that the fundamentals of tone is always in your fingers. No amount of research will ever replace pure practice and dedication.

Roger Waters Fender Precision Bass Review

roger waters precision bass review

As one of the most successful and celebrated rock bands of the last 50 years, Pink Floyd have earned their name and the prestige which is attributed to them, in no short part due to founding member and bass player Roger Waters.

Roger_Waters_Fender_sunburst

The Fender Precision bass has been Waters choice of instrument since the early 70’s and in 2010 his own signature model was released through Fender. With a couple of additions to emulate the original bass design, Fender has created the perfect piece of gear for any Pink Floyd fan and the subject of today’s review.

roger waters fender precision bass review

This signature model takes the classic design and sound of a standard Fender Precision bass guitar and adds some additional features to give it an authentic Roger Waters feel.

The most recognizable feature of this bass is the dark finish. In addition to both the body and scratch plate; all of the hardware on the lower half of the instrument is in a jet black colour, including the tone and volume control knobs, the strap buttons and the pickups.

In appropriate fashion the bass has a distinctive 70’s look and feel, with the addition of 1970’s styled open gear tuners which have the Fender script logo stamped on the neck of the instrument.

The chrome neck plate continues the 70’s theme, with the classic Fender logo adding another level of authenticity to the instrument.

The bass is fitted with a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Split Coil pickup, also known as the SPB-3; it is one of the most popular bass pickups in the Seymour Duncan range. This pickup gives the bass a “punchy” sound, boosting the mid-range frequencies giving the tone a full and thick texture. This particular tone lends itself well to classic rock; however the pickup allows the instrument to be used in a number of different musical situations and across a variety of different genres.  Or you can just jam out some Pink Floyd with it…

Bassists who also utilise the SPB-3 in their instrument include Mark Hoppus of Blink 182, Jay Bently of Bad Religion and Justin Meldan – Johnsen of Nine Inch Nails and Beck.  Other features of the bass include a thick neck, giving the fingerboard a 9.5 inch radius and a brass nut, which improves the sustain and adds some brightness to the tone.

Pro’s and Con’s

Pros

Sounds and looks like the original – It goes without saying that this bass is hands down the perfect instrument for any bassist who is a big Pink Floyd fan. Although obviously it’s not completely identical to Waters own precision bass, this signature model comes as close as possible to replicating it. Whether you’re looking to start tribute band or if you’re casual bassist, this instrument is ideal for you.

Quality Pick Up – As previously stated the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pick up is the most popular bass pickup in the companies range and for good reason. It gives a slightly more modern tone than previous Seymour Duncan alternatives such as the SPB- 1 and 2 and while commonly used by bass players seeking a hard rock tone, the pickup has a tonal diversity that allows a variety of different genres to be performed.

roger waters precision bass review

Cons

Relatively Expensive – At around $880 at most retailers, the Roger Waters Precision Bass is relatively expensive for a Mexican built Fender model. A similar priced instrument, which is also made in Mexican, will be a fair bit cheaper, for example a Fender Standard Precision bass will be priced at around $600. The Roger Waters model does capture the look and feel of its name sake however and for many musicians; particularly fans of Water’s bass work, these additional features may be worth the extra price tag. 

Conclusion

As has been mentioned throughout this review, the Roger Waters Fender Precision Bass is perfect for the avid Pink Floyd fan. For a musician looking to start a Floyd tribute band this is the obvious choice allowing you to look and sound like the legend that is Roger Waters. This bass is also a solid investment for any beginner bass player, the versatility and reliability that comes with a Fender instrument makes this an ideal choice. In addition to being a signature model, the bass also stands out in regards to its features and quality, with the brass nut and thick neck being just two examples of such components. Although the price of this bass may dissuade some, the unique qualities of the Roger Waters Fender Precision Bass make it worth the additional cost.

Feature Pick

Fender Roger Waters Precision Bass – Black

Buy On Amazon