Chris Buono is a good personal friend as well as one of my best test pilots. For the last decade he has fearlessly played anything I’ve built — often sight unseen…and before a live audience. The only exception I can think of is the Harp Guitar (but we are also in the midst of a pandemic).
With the possible exception of Steve Sjuggerud, Chris has certainly played the greatest range of instruments I’ve built, which makes him uniquely qualified to make comparisons and discuss preferences. If you ever want an objective opinion about my work from a working professional…contact Chris.
I’ve never (ever) asked any of my artists to be exclusive to the guitars I’ve gifted or sold them. I believe in free markets and free association. If an instrument is a good match, it will naturally become an honest favorite. Chris owns a Goshawk™ which seems to appear on a high percentage of his work since it arrived to him.
A good sign.
Chris is a master teacher. Hit him up to take your playing to next level.
Windows open, cool early spring air offsetting the warmth of sunlight on the building. Trees just beginning to bud, Robins and Red Wing Blackbirds in lively song all around us. My dog, Lena, content to lie in the grass and wait for our run.
I set up the Apple laptop, Apogee converter on my workbench. Direct into Logic, with one channel each for guitar and sub-bass. Capture the sound of this instrument as accurately as possible.
All twelve strings tuned: EGABCD sub-bass, EADGBE guitar.
Pause. What will I play?
I slowly breathed. Let the thoughts fade, emotions replacing them. I asked myself: “What are you feeling?”
All of humanity feels what’s coming. Storms just beyond the horizon. There is a weight to this moment. If ever there was a time to take out Skynet and eradicate the fucking filters, this would be now. While we can still connect as a species, person to person, beyond the systems of corporate and government power. Communicate necessary truths peer-to-peer across geographic and political borders.
I picked up my guitar pick and clicked record.
“This thing looks incredible.” (Tosin Abasi)
“Gorgeous all around! I just listened on the big speakers. The lows are excellent. Those basses sound beautiful!” (Killick Hinds)
“Hope it won’t offend you to say the first thing I noticed was the excellence of your photography. Might have been a different career path in another life. What to say about the guitar? It’s another of your creations that could easily be displayed in a museum. More practically, I’d love to hear a player with a classical background try it. Wonder what some of the teachers at Berklee would make of it?” (Steve Blucher)
Wow Rick…I feel like I have just glimpsed decades into the future! This must be the ‘poly-metal alloy’ construction…I enjoyed your commentary too, very poignant. (Alasdair Bryce)
“NAMM was an excellent experience – and thank you so much for offering your outstanding guitars! Little Angle Wing exerted a magnetic pull on anyone within eyesight of it – I am serious, even NAMM officials came up to ask about it and our booth enjoyed a constant flow of visitors as a result. I was able to see that guitar in the hands of several gifted players at the show – I am less of an 8-string player myself but I loved the Goshawk, all tonal planets are in alignment with that instrument in a way which is quite unique, the variable split concept being only one element of the synergy going on there. Steve was a pleasure to be around from start to finish and an excellent ambassador too – not to mention a great player!” (Alasdair Bryce)
“My good friend Bryan (owner of the “Modern Guitarist” company, which I am an original member and moderator for), went as my proxy of sorts and checked out Little Angle Wing at NAMM – he basically said ‘it’s a guitar from 2121’ and was just floored in how deliberate it was in execution, aside from being the most incredible 8 string he’d ever played.” (Matt Richards)
“Jason from NSF Controls is a real guitar player. And he was blown away. Loves the guitar and the switch. Good times. Man, the end result is everyone loves both guitars…in different ways. Most people were instantly in love with Goshawk™ comfortable right away and seeing it as a premium instrument. Most were simultaneously very curious and fearful of Little Angle Wing. Only young players could take it on full flight.” (Steve Sjuggerud)
“Man I’m telling you, the clarity of Little Angle Wing is something I haven’t heard in other guitars. The tension is so good on it, no flub and pure sustain. I experimented with tapping on the 20-24th frets and no dead spots. Just awesome.” (Gabriel Levi)
This year I have teamed with Alasdair Bryce, inventor of the Free-Way™ Switch (NSF Controls), for NAMM 2020. Steve Sjuggerud has invented an add-on to the Free-Way™ which will completely revolutionize the sound and performance of pickup coil splits.
I will not explain Steve’s invention at this time. He and Alasdair will be at NAMM in person to demonstrate this important new technology. Go experience.
NAMM Show: Booth 2726 Hall E
Little Angle Wing 8-string guitar.
Hi Rick, I wanted mention that your 8-string fan-fret guitar will be the pride of the Free-Way booth and we are hugely appreciative to be hosting it at NAMM!! That guitar is a fusion of worlds ideas and materials – an absolute masterclass. (Alasdair Bryce)