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QRD #68 - Guitarist Interviews XI
QRD - Thanks for your interest & support
about this issue
Guitarist Interviews:
Chris Ruffolo
Greg Kozlowski
James Youngjohns
Chandra Shukla
Raine Liimakka
Shane de Leon
Aaron Snow
Lauri Hyvärinen
Rainstick Cowbell
Jasper Stadhouders
Marcus Skinner
David Dobbs
Bonnie Mercer
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Guitarist Interview with Rainstick Cowbell
May 2014
Rainstick Cowbell

Name: Rainstick Cowbell
Bands: Rainstick Cowbell
Websites: rainstickcowbell.comrainstickcowbell.bandcamp.com/album/damage-control-damage

QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?

Rainstick – Cheap Korean Fender acoustic I purchased when I was 18.  It’s the guitar I still play.

QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?

Rainstick – Fender sound-hole pickup & a bridge pickup.  Two 1/4” into the two channels on my Fender Twin Reverb.  No effects.

QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?

Rainstick – Guitar.

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

Rainstick – Fender Twin.  I’m not a gearhead, I just like the sound.

QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?

Rainstick – My acoustic has great bounce.  I can get pretty spastic when I play & that fucker can take a beating.

QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?

Rainstick – Acoustic with high action & fat frets.

QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?

Rainstick – Don’t know shit about pedals. 

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

Rainstick – One.

QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?

Rainstick – I keep her sitting on a stand, ready to play.

QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?

Rainstick – Protection from damage.  I bought a SKB flight case for touring & that thing is solid.

QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?

Rainstick – Haven’t been on the market since 1988

QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?

Rainstick – I don’t like change.

QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?

Rainstick – Whatever current song I am working on.

QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?

Rainstick – Eighteen.

QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?

Rainstick – Somewhere in my 40s.

QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?

Rainstick – We’re in this thing together.  It’s my hands that give me trouble.

QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?

Rainstick – Threw it & broke the headstock at a totally out of control show.  Alcohol!

QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?

Rainstick – I sing.

QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?

Rainstick – 10-20.  Sometimes more.  That’s about right for me.

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

Rainstick – 12’s.  They’re nice & thick.

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Rainstick – Every 3 weeks or so.

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Rainstick – Few times a year.

QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?

Rainstick – Both those bastards are a pain to work with.

QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?

Rainstick – Sent it to a pro once when I had money.  That was cool.  I don’t know shit about that stuff.

QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?

Rainstick – I keep it in my head. 

QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?

Rainstick – Fucking up on the critical parts.

QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?

Rainstick – Good guitar playing.

QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?

Rainstick – Being really talented & proficient.

QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (Ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?

Rainstick – I use a capo.

QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?

Rainstick – Tuning.

QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?

Rainstick – No.

QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?

Rainstick – Play it like you mean it.

QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?

Rainstick – Drink a lot of beer & not give a fuck.

QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?

Rainstick – Come see me live.  Shit gets stupid.