Below you will find some useful links for people, products and places I reference on a regular basis. I have grouped them into categories to help keep it somewhat logical and ordered, but it is by no means a comprehensive list. Just a useful short-list!
GUITARS AND BANJOS I OWN OR WOULD BE HAPPY TO RECOMMEND:
I am proud to endorse Deering Banjos as an artist and player… The Banjo has become a permanent part of my stage presence, and an indispensable creative tool.
Deering has been on the cutting edge in Banjos for many years. They make some of the finest Banjos around!
I own two Deering Banjos, a custom D-6 (Deluxe 6-string), it’s custom features are a Walnut Resonator and neck, and upgraded binding on the Resonator. My backup is a B-6ae (Boston 6-string).
John S. Kinnard.
John happens to be a cousin of mine and is a Master Luthier. He also makes great acoustic guitars in the tradition of vintage flat-top guitars of yesteryear. He also builds for, and is an owner of the Dell’ Arte brand Gypsy Jazz style guitars. I wish I had one of his guitars in my collection.
During my tour through Northern Ireland in 2008, I had the privilege of meeting George Lowden, and had a great time trying out his guitars… They inspire you to approach the guitar in a different way.
Lowdens are especially good for bringing out more expressive playing from nearly any style! George is such a gentleman, and is passionate about luthiery and precision craftsmanship.
I had the pleasure of meeting both Rod Schenk & Brock Moller of Schenk Guitars at the 2010 Winter NAMM show. That was the first time I ever played a Schenk guitar.
I was especially impressed by the FE Grand Fingerstyle & GK Concert Windwalker models.
Juan Carlos Soto Marín
Here’s the website to another friend of mine, Juan Carlos Soto Marín in Costa Rica… I consider him to be perhaps the finest Luthiers in all of Central America!
I wish I had one of his fine instruments, especially a Crossover version of a ‘Flamenca Negra’ with Brazilian Rosewood Back, and Sides, and a European Spruce Top… perhaps someday.
As of 2016, I am very happy to announce that I am endorsing Kremona Musical Instruments’ new line of Steel-string guitars!
The instrument I now own through this endorsement is the M20e. It comes with the optional Cutaway and is equipped with an L.R. Baggs Element Active VTC system.
It has a ‘dreadnaught’ body shape, Solid Sitka Spruce top, and Solid Mahogany Back, classic ‘herringbone’ trim around the sound-hole, top & down the center-line of the book-matched back. It is a very classy looking guitar & it plays great!
It’s sound is very robust yet balanced, and it is a very fine sounding instrument for my fingerstyle technique. I am looking forward to go into new creative directions with this instrument!
I also use my vintage Alvarez Yairi DY73CS for recordings and some local gigs. It’s got a GREAT tone and smooth action!
I normally do not like the look of sunburst finished guitars, but the Cherry Sunburst finish on this guitar is by far the finest, most beautiful sunburst I have ever seen!
I’ll always try and keep this one in my collection! I have an L.R. Baggs Ribbon Pickup System installed in it… it’s a perfect match!
This was my first great guitar, and was an answer to prayer… literally!
For many years my main steel-string guitar was my Taylor DDSM (it’s a black one made in December of 2002. It was the last DDSM made that year!)
NS-6 (a 2001 prototype of what became known as the NS62-CE)! I swapped out the stock pickup for a Baggs Dual Source System)
BT3 (a 2007 Limited Edition Baby Taylor with flamed maple sides and back). I have since set it up for use with Nylon strings, and also installed a Baggs Dual Source System in it. I used this for over a year as my main instrument, and it handled the stage great!)
I also have a 2011 GSmini… I’ve been playing it so much lately, that I think my other guitars are getting jealous 🙂 Thanks Bob, I’ve enjoyed it immensely!
OTHER PRODUCTS I USE OR FIND WORTHY OF MENTION!
I choose to use L.R. Baggs electronics for incredible amplified tone! I use their pickups in my guitars, and I also use the Para Acoustic D.I. in my signal chain. It can make ANY guitar sound better simply by running through it, and the EQ is AMAZING!
So far, I still think that the most natural acoustic guitar sound to come out of a speaker has had an Baggs pickup at the beginning of it’s signal chain… it is an amazing guitar pickup for acoustic music lovers!
While at 2010 Winter NAMM, I test drove a guitar with their new Anthem system, and It really is a breakthrough! I’ll likely install it in one of my next guitars.
I only use GHS strings on my instruments for optimum tone, clarity and response! Remember, guitar strings are NOT “just an accessory”! You see, your guitar will ONLY sound as good as the strings you put on them!
I use a wide variety of their strings depending on which instrument it is, as well as what musical effect I am after. That’s one of the great things about GHS, they give you plenty of options!
Some of my favorites are:
I have been formulating a new set of strings for steel-string guitar and will let you know as soon as I am finished my R&D phase.
I also use a special selection of gauges from their Nickel Rockers and Boomers series for my Deering Banjos and my electric guitar. I am more partial to the sound of Nickel Rockers, but they are both great choices.
My favorite sets for my Taylor NS6 are their La Classique series 2300G which is the lightest gauge set they make for classical guitar. I love the ground treble strings in that set. I have also started using the Vanguard Classics 2500 set and swapping out the treble strings.
I have really fallen in love with pure nickel wound strings. Fabulous sound, great playability long life are all ample descriptions for these strings!
There are a number of other sets I use for my other guitars… too many to list! If you’ve never tried their fine strings, by all means do so. I have had the privilege to tour their factory in Battlecreek, Michigan.
Their quality controls were impressive… every string gets checked, and measured by hand to ensure they meet GHS’ ridged standards… any string that fails is immediately discarded, no exceptions!
That’s just one of the reasons why I use GHS strings.
When I was in Stuttgart, Germany in 2008, I had the pleasure of visiting Carlos Juan’s shop, and getting to know Carlos a bit.
He sells a great product (which I have been using successfully for years now) called Power Nails.
I used to use acrylic, but quality varied way too much, and it has really harsh fumes. When I was playing guitars, and talking with him in his shop, he offered to let me try his product to see what I thought…
Well, after giving them a go, I was sold on it, and I’ve been using Power Nails ever since, and am so happy I found out about it and made the switch!
While I was there, I also played a guitar equipped with one of his pickups. It had quite a unique dynamic feel or “air” about it for an under saddle pickup. Carlos does not make an inexpensive pickup, but on the other hand, you get what you pay for. From my experience, I’d say they are worth every penny!
Fred Kelly Picks
These are the folks who make the thumb picks I use. They are the most comfortable thumb picks I’ve ever used!
For the most part, I use the Doyle Dykes style Speed Pick, extra thick gauge, with the EXTRA LONG tip. They make a nice assortment of very comfortable, great sounding, and playing picks. These are the perfect for most of my needs on guitar and banjo.
I also use their Slick Picks (heaviest thickness) when I play my GSmini. For some reason that pick style sounds better than the Speed Pick on THAT guitar, rather than the Speed Pick, while the Speed Pick sounds better on the rest of my instruments.
Their Bumblebee Picks are wonderful inventions and very versatile for many playing styles… I own a few and use them on occasion when I need more of a flat-picked sound but still want the flexibility to do fingerstyle. This is not my standard choice, but I highly recommend them for those who may do more flatpickin’ than fingerpicking.
These are the cables I choose to use because of their superior material, design & sound. Zaolla uses 99.997 percent pure silver for their core wire.Silver, being superior to copper as an electrical conductor, makes for a significant boost in tone as there is less resistance for the signal to travel the length of the wire.
Not only do they use a superior material, the way it is made is even better. Rather than the standard ‘pulled’ wire like your regular copper wire. Zaolla uses cast silver wire which is superior in design.
I could hear the difference when I switched, and I know you will too. If you want the very best for your tone, make sure Zaolla is in your gear bag!
ARTISTS, INSPIRATIONS AND ICONS I ENJOY LISTENING TO:
was my first guitar hero… in fact, before I even knew who Chet Atkins was! The Lord used Doyle to inspire me, and mold my playing style early on. Over the years, I have been blessed to get to know him, and am proud to say that as awesome a player as he is, he’s just as genuine, and kind! Here’s the Official website to my guitar hero, mentor and friend… Master Fingerstyle Guitarist, Doyle Dykes!
I love listening to his style of Flamenco! It’s been quite an inspiration in my own playing. I love his musical approach, and the unique way he, and his group bring out the best features of a song!
His songwriting is quite clever I think. I can still remember the first time I heard his song, “Here Kitty, Kitty”. My dad and I heard it on the car radio many years ago. Check out his website and order some of his music. I’m sure you’ll be blessed if you do!
Paco De Lucia
I believe he is the greatest Flamenco guitarist I’ve ever heard. His music is what God used to inspire me to start learning Flamenco playing techniques!
It is always inspiring to me when I listen to recordings of his music.
I discovered his music while surfing around on YouTube, and was totally impressed… Gipsy Jazz guitar is such a unique style, and so different from what I play, but I fell in love with a video of him playing his rendering of Bossa Dorado… Great playing!
White Sands Panhandle Band
I was blessed to get to know Brad Hanssen, the Banjoist, and founding member of WSPB. He is a great guy, a great picker, and loves the Lord! If you like Bluegrass and Country Swing, you’ll LOVE his group!
Their Myspace page is: www.myspace.com/whitesandsband
MISCELLANEOUS WEBSITES FOR MUSICIANS:
If you’re in the United States and are looking to purchase some sound gear, you should definitely check them out. I’ve had great customer service with them.
You can visit their website or call 1-800-222-4700 and speak with Ed Nystrum ext.: 1646 and tell him “Buddy Tetreault, the Guitar Guy” sent you!
Audio Influence Recording Studio
Dave Stroop is a great guy to work with. I recorded my CD “Happy Fingers” in his studio! If you are looking for a place to record, check him out! He’s located in the greater Indianapolis, Indiana area.
During my Tour in Idaho in 2010, I happened to be staying only about five minutes from them, they generously sponsored me for my time there, and allow me to showcase one of their showroom guitars for each of my shows!
If you’re in the greater Boise, Idaho area near Caldwell, stop in and meet the friendly folks at American Music!
Tampa Bay Fingerstyle Guitar Guild
If you’re in the Tampa Bay, Florida area be sure to check them out. I haven’t had the pleasure of paying them a visit myself, but I will the first opportunity I get!
MISCELLANEOUS NON-MUSIC RELATED WEBSITES:
Men’s Barn Meeting
For those of you in the Pensacola, Florida area you’ll be richly blessed if you go to the Men’s Barn Meeting. The Porter family who organizes, and hosts it are super folks. It has been a blessing to get to know them over the years.
Good Tidings Missions
This is my family’s missions website with information about us and the ministry we are involved in!
Bay Shore Camp
They have a great ministry for families and children in Michigan.
Ubuntu Operating System
For several years I have used Ubuntu Linux. I made the full switch from proprietary OS providers to Ubuntu in 2012 and haven’t looked back since!
In fact when I have had encounters with the 2 other OS offerings recently, it solidly reinforced to me how happy I am that I made the switch! Having used Linux, I would be miserable using either proprietary OS again.
Linux may not be for you right now, maybe not ever (though I doubt that), but I think it is worth considering.