with Davy Curci
Name: David Curci
Bands: The Real Deal, The Acoustic Outlaws, Gaining Merit (work in progress)
Websites: www.therealdealhatesyou.com, www.facebook.com/therealdeal
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Davy – A Slammer V guitar with a silver burst paint. Still have it in my basement.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Davy – Gibson Es-137 Classic, Dimebag Wah pedal, Turbo Distortion Boss pedal, Boss EQ pedal, Visual Sound Chorus/Delay pedal, Boss Super Shifter pedal, Boss phaser pedal, Xotic pre amp pedal, Boss Noise Suppressor pedal, BME contour rack EQ, MX200 rack reverb/compressor, Korg DTR-2000, Technical Pro DB meter, Furman Power Factory Pro, all going to a Crate BV-100 (usually use a Blackheart BH-100 head but it’s out of commission).
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Davy – Guitar definitely. I adjust the neck myself & the pickups cause I know what I want & get it.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Davy – The Blackheart Hothead 100 watt amp. I like it cause its beefy & clear sounding. The class A option (50 watts) is the best sounding amp I played through that wasn’t boutique.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Davy – Gibson ES-137 Classic. I love it because it’s a hollow body & makes it so much easier to play live. The clean sound I can get out of it is great also. The balance of the guitar is really good also. The only problem with it is it’s a pain in the ass to repair the pickup selector.
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Davy – Probably close to a Gibson LP Custom, with a blue burst like paint job & gold hardware (that doesn’t fade).
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Davy – It would be a pre-amp pedal, with a compressor, a reverb, & a noise reduction all in one. These are all essentials for a good guitar tone in my opinion. There would be individual switches for each effect & the lighting scheme would be from green to blue, also it would be made out of heavy duty metal. No shit plastic.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Davy – 5 guitars.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Davy – In their cases & in my basement.
QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?
Davy – Built in guitar stands & to be more durable.
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Davy – Easy playability.
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Davy – Usually around 1K.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Davy – Planning on upgrading the nut & bridge when I get enough cash.
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Davy – I usually just buy it & if I don’t like it I don’t use it anymore.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Davy – Every year I would change it a minimum of 3 times. Usually for the better, more effects or better quality effects to replace the older ones.
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Davy – I have recently found the one I’m looking for after passing my Lexicon unit through the effect loop of my amp.
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Davy – Gibson LP Custom Alpine White, the new blue Gibson LP studio, the Dean Dimebag Cowboys from Hell guitar. For amps I would have to say the Bogner Uberschall & there is a boutique amp that I can’t remember the name of, so oh well. For pedals I would have to say EHX Talking Machine, EHX Wiggler, EHX Freeze pedal, an Ibanez Tubescreamer, BOSS loop station, & the Damage Control Liquid Blues pedal.
QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?
Davy – Good tuning keys.
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Davy – Best is the Xotic pre-amp pedal. Worst is my wireless system (cannot disclose the name of the company).
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Davy – Boss, Crate, Furman, Gibson, & Korg are all dependable brands that I never had a problem with.
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Davy – Probably an E major chord & then whatever I feel like.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Davy – 12 years old.
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Davy – Probably 17, then I found the awesomeness of drinking beer & stopped practicing scales & what not.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
Davy – It just seems right when I pick one up.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?
Davy – I think piano should be everyone’s first instrument. Sadly it wasn’t for me.
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Davy – Most of the time an ally. Sometimes it will get in the way of working with vocal melodies, which then comes to sacrificing vocal melody or guitar riffs.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Davy – Dimebag Darrell, Aaron Barrett, Roger Manganelli.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?
Davy – Don’t really have an opinion on that subject. People can do what they want.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Davy – I was drunk at this small club in Winnipeg, Manitoba & was standing next to the road cases housing the power amps for the speakers. I did a guitar spin flipping it over my shoulder backwards & the top of the neck hit the case & it chipped a piece of the headstock.
QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?
Davy – Play some random scales I can still remember & learning songs that I thought I wouldn’t be able to play.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Davy – Probably around 5-7 hours when I don’t have a scheduled practice with my band. I should practice at least 2 hours a day though.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Davy – Dunlop Tortex .88 mm sharp picks. I love the sharp pick, it makes accuracy so much easier when playing single notes. I also use that gauge because it’s thick enough to be able to pick fast & not too soft to feel like nothing is in my hand.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Davy – 10-52 Skinny top heavy bottom Ernie Ball. Coated strings.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Davy – Once every couple of weeks if I’m playing often.
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Davy – Once in a couple of months.
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Davy – My fretting hand, I didn’t spend enough time practicing my rhythm. Which in turn makes me able to play awkward rhythms since I’m not really stuck to one thing.
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?
Davy – Set it up myself. I do it because it’s not hard & when you get the hang of it, it doesn’t take long.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Davy – Standard tuning, just because I always used it.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Davy – I just record my ideas on my phone.
QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?
Davy – Hell if I know.
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Davy – Beer.
QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?
Davy – I would assume any other string instrument. Piano would be more for the technical aspects (reading & writing).
QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?
Davy – Sweep picking. I’m not patient enough to get it right.
QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?
Davy – Too many to list.
QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?
Davy – Don’t remember it’s been too long. I’m trying to practice my finger picking though.
QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?
Davy – String cutter & string winder.
QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?
Davy – Finger picking. Would help with my acoustic abilities.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Davy – Yes I did. I learned a lot, about the techniques & what not. But there are some things you just can’t teach.
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Davy – The different parts of the guitar, so they know the instrument they are playing.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Davy – I use a lot of flare when playing live, especially with my rhythm hand.
QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?
Davy – Annoying to fix, therefore I just put stoppers so it doesn’t move.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Davy – Rarely, I play with the volume switches & the pickup switches to generate different tones.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Davy – Mostly the quality of playing, but stage presence has a lot to do with it too.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Davy – Hell no. That’s why it’s called a band; you gotta all be good at your craft or your just mediocre.
QRD – What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?
Davy – Dimebag’s. He’s my biggest influence.
QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?
Davy – Can’t say, I haven’t been listening to much music because I’m trying to make sure my composing isn’t inspired by anyone.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Davy – On The Real Deal’s album FUN. The secret song has the most technical playing that I’ve recorded.
QRD – Anything else?
Davy – Just hoping one day people will start respecting music again. A lot of people take it for granted & don’t realize how much goes into it. That is all.