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QRD #42 - Guitarist Series
about this issue
Guitarist Interviews with:
Ashkelon Sain
Zac Keiller
Eric Muhs
Patrick Vega
Russ Stedman
Bret Hart
Rick Ray
John William Gordon
Evan Peta
Evgeny Zheyda
Dave Halverson
Charles Rice Goff III
Calvin Johnson
Kim Chee
John G Sosnowski
Michael Walton
Annelies Monseré
Eric Quach
Robert Poss
Sarah June
Ted Johnson
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Guitarist Interview with Eric Muhs 
July 2010

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?


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.