Interview with Eric Muhs
Name: Eric Muhs
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Eric – Fender duo-sonic. I sold it to a vintage shop. It was very vintage, but kind of crappy.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Eric – No typical set-up - I try different things all the time. Right now, a Digitech GNX4 & Electroharmonix 2880 four-track looper.
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig – guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Eric – Probably the effects really.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Eric – I think the new Vox amps sound great.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Eric – Mid 70s Telecaster. I rewired with new pickups & put phase switches on both & I have a B-bender.
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Eric – My Telecaster. Unbeatable.
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Eric – I like the GNX4 a lot. I also like how it talks to my computer.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Eric – Electric Telecaster, Rickenbacker, Gittler, Epiphone SG, Guild acoustic 6 & 12 strings.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Eric – Generally in the case, except for the last one I used.
QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?
Eric – When that case is closed, nothing should move around in there. I often add some foam.
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Eric – I always install strap locks & redo the action & intonation. So easy, but most guitars are setup badly.
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Eric – You can start to get something pretty good for around 500 dollars. Craigslist has inflated the price of older guitars ridiculously.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Eric – Upgrade.
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Eric – The internet makes this easy.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Eric – Yup.
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Eric – I am a chameleon.
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Eric – I’m pretty happy right now.
QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?
Eric – A low action on beginning guitars is very important for tender fingers. I like thin strings for that reason, too - they don’t have to be quite as tight.
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Eric – That duo-sonic, for being vintage,
was just a sucky guitar. The vintage aspect made it unattractive to modify.
I love my telecaster. I think I paid 300 for it
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Eric – Dislike Marshall stacks. Really? You need that?
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Eric – No predictions.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Eric – 14.
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Eric – I’m still getting better.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
Eric – It’s easy.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?
Eric – Sure.
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Eric – Ally.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Eric – Neil Young, Bill Nelson, Robert Fripp, Steve Hillage.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?
Eric – At its worst, it’s harmless.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Eric – I’ve dropped them or let them slide to the floor. Letting other people play it is always a risk.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Eric – 2.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Eric – I like heavy nylon picks with some kind of grip.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Eric – Extra light, easy to bend.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Eric – As needed.
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Eric – Once per 50 hours - not much.
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Eric – Right hand.
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?
Eric – I do it. Not rocket science.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Eric – Standard, open g, open e.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Eric – I record.
QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?
Eric – Long.
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Eric – Not practicing.
QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?
Eric – Ukelele.
QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?
Eric – Learning a lot of other people’s songs.
QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?
Eric – The one I’ve just discovered.
QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?
Eric – I have a LOT to learn about my GNX4 pedal.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Eric – Nah.
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Eric – How to not sound like a guitar.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Eric – Be daring & original.
QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?
Eric – I LOVE TREMELO.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Eric – Up all the way, almost always.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Eric – Nothing.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Eric – Nope.
QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?
Eric – I like many of sounds Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse. I’ve been into Robin Trower lately.