Mark Lucas | Guitarist | Live | Session | Arranger

A MODERN TAKE ON THE JEFF BECK TELE-GIB GUITAR

One of my favorite recordings is Blow by Blow, by Jeff Beck. I still gain inspiration from it, in terms of Beck's phrasing, compositional strength, overall musical cohesiveness, and a certain timeless quality. Jeff is by far, head and hands above most guitarists on this planet, in my opinion.

In 1974, Seymour Duncan was working in London at the Fender Soundhouse; Jeff was recording at AIR Studios nearby. Seymour, like most guitarists at the time, was so enamored of Jeff's playing that he put together a guitar for him. He found an old Tele body, and had to repair the neck, the pickups(which were broken), and put new hardware on it. He presented it to Beck, who found it to be the best combination of a Tele and a Les Paul; a bolt-on neck with a Gibson stop tailpiece and bridge, along with 2 PAF rewound humbuckers. He recorded 'Cause We've Ended as Lovers' with this guitar. 

Over the years, companies like G and L, Fender's Custom Shop, and Seymour Duncan have reproduced similar versions; most of these are rather expensive.

A few weeks past, I was looking at the Sweetwater site and came across a new Charvel guitar; the Pro Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH HT M ASH. An exceptional guitar at any price, more than exceptional at the price it is. It's a 2 piece ash body, with a maple neck and fingerboard. The HH neck has a compound radius of 12-16"with jumbo frets. The pickups are none other than Seymour Duncans; a 59 in the neck and a JB in the bridge. History does indeed repeat itself with the Jeff Beck pickup! The body is contoured with a belly cut in the back and a forearm cut in the front, so it's as comfortable to play as a Stratocaster. It also has locking tuners and a hardtail bridge. In my opinion, this is the closest thing to the famous Tele-Gib that Seymour presented to Jeff. The volume knob has a pull switch that allows either the neck or bridge pickup to be converted to a single-coil, and the tone knob has a 'no-load' tone control.The neck and body are bolted together with threaded machine screws, making it ultra stable.

This instrument can cover almost any musical ground easily. The fit and finish is remarkable, perfect. Truly a player's guitar.

On my facebook page, there is a clip of me playing 'Cause We've Ended as Lovers' with the Charvel.

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