Ask Eddie

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August 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm Quote #29235

PT5150
(5523)

Guitar Player ‏@GuitarPlayerNow 20 Aug Eddie Van Halen’s legendary early rig (c. 1978-79): pic.twitter.com/DL83pKz1at



EDDIE’S fingers aren’t fingers they are muscle-powered pistons that hammer guitar strings to the fretboard with the force of a rivet gun”.


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December 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm Quote #31293

PT5150
(5523)

Ask Eddie: The Addition of a Neck Pickup and/or Tone Knob
Posted on December 3rd, 2013 by MDuffy
Category | Eddie Van Halen Updates, EVH Artist News

It’s time for another installment of Ask Eddie, where Eddie Van Halen answers questions submitted by fans around the world.

In this edition, Mike Ratliff from Virginia asks Van Halen about the addition of a neck pickup and/or tone knob to the guitarist’s preferred axes over the years.

Ratliff: Hey Eddie, In the early days of VH, you almost exclusively used guitars with a single bridge pickup and a volume knob. Now, it’s two pickups with master volume and tone knobs. Has having access to a neck pickup and/or a tone knob changed how you approach certain songs?

Eddie Van Halen: Hi Mike. The reason I used only one pickup and volume knob in the early days was actually out of complete ignorance. When I tore apart my first Strat to put a humbucker in the bridge position, I didn’t have a clue as to how to wire up the other two pickups and the pickup selector switch. So, (hoping it would work) I just soldered the humbucker straight to the volume knob and, “Voila,” it worked. As time went on and I started designing my own guitars, I added the neck position pickup, because for years I actually kind of missed having one, but it does not influence how I approach songs. It does, however, allow me to have different sound choices, mainly for soloing.


EDDIE’S fingers aren’t fingers they are muscle-powered pistons that hammer guitar strings to the fretboard with the force of a rivet gun”.


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December 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm Quote #31296

ffoner
(1047)

PT5150: Ask Eddie: The Addition of a Neck Pickup and/or Tone Knob Posted on December 3rd, 2013 by MDuffy Category | Eddie Van Halen Updates, EVH Artist News

It’s time for another installment of Ask Eddie, where Eddie Van Halen answers questions submitted by fans around the world.

In this edition, Mike Ratliff from Virginia asks Van Halen about the addition of a neck pickup and/or tone knob to the guitarist’s preferred axes over the years.

Ratliff: Hey Eddie, In the early days of VH, you almost exclusively used guitars with a single bridge pickup and a volume knob. Now, it’s two pickups with master volume and tone knobs. Has having access to a neck pickup and/or a tone knob changed how you approach certain songs?

Eddie Van Halen: Hi Mike. The reason I used only one pickup and volume knob in the early days was actually out of complete ignorance. When I tore apart my first Strat to put a humbucker in the bridge position, I didn’t have a clue as to how to wire up the other two pickups and the pickup selector switch. So, (hoping it would work) I just soldered the humbucker straight to the volume knob and, “Voila,” it worked. As time went on and I started designing my own guitars, I added the neck position pickup, because for years I actually kind of missed having one, but it does not influence how I approach songs. It does, however, allow me to have different sound choices, mainly for soloing.

Thanks for posting, and no disrespect intended to anyone, but there’s 0% chance Eddie actually sits down and types these answers up. My gut tells me Matt and Jani work these up and put em up on the web.


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December 5, 2013 at 5:37 am Quote #31300

Dutchie
(1525)

I kind of agree. I would imagine that they are Ed’s answers, but I would doubt he’s sitting in front of a computer typing it all out; which IMHO, is fine. I just wish they would do more than one answer at a time.


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January 16, 2014 at 12:18 am Quote #32157

PT5150
(5523)

http://www.evhgear.com/news/2014/01/ask-eddie-all-about-the-picks/

We’ve received a ton of questions for our Ask Eddie feature, so it’s time to dip back into the mailbag to pick another gem for Eddie Van Halen.

This month, Collin Kinsella of Wisconsin poses a serious query about the legendary guitarist’s choice of picks.

Kinsella: Hi, I saw you with Van Halen at Rock USA this year – by the way, great show – but at the end of the show I ran up to the front and got one of your guitar picks. It is now my most prized possession in the world. But, I saw it was only a .6 mm pick, and I know that is really thin for a guitar pick. So, do you break your picks during the show often? What do you do when that happens?

Van Halen: Hi Collin,

I’m glad you enjoyed the show and had a great time. The pick you have is what I really use, and yes for a lot of players it may seem thin (.6mm). I used to use even thinner ones back in the ‘80s. I also use very thick picks that were made for me out of brass and copper, so I guess what I’m getting at is, I use what feels right at the time. But these particular picks (which you have one of) have served me very well for about seven or eight years, mainly because they’re easy to hold on to and don’t break. They are made out of nylon, not plastic. They do wear out, but they don’t break. If I happen to drop one while I’m playing, I just grab one from my mic stand where I have about 10 or so taped to the stand, or I pick with my index finger until I have a chance to grab another one.

Again, Collin, I’m glad you enjoyed the show.

All the best, Eddie

Submit your questions for Eddie Van Halen here.


EDDIE’S fingers aren’t fingers they are muscle-powered pistons that hammer guitar strings to the fretboard with the force of a rivet gun”.


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February 18, 2014 at 9:56 pm Quote #33096

ron
(8949)

http://www.evhgear.com/news/2014/02/ask-eddie-developing-the-floyd-rose/

Ask Eddie: Helping Develop the Floyd Rose
Posted on February 15th, 2014 by MDuffy

Each month, we offer fans the chance to submit a question that guitarist Eddie Van Halen will answer in our Ask Eddie feature.

And in the latest edition, Robert Mclemore from Colorado wonders about Van Halen’s contributions to the development of the Floyd Rose Tremolo.

Mclemore: Eddie, I just got an EVH Striped Series guitar and besides looking and sounding fantastic, I really love the feel of the Floyd Rose, which got me thinking. What role did you play in pioneering this technology? If I’m not mistaken, the yellow and black guitar was the first to see an early prototype.

Van Halen: Hi Robert,

My role in the design and development of the Floyd Rose was adding the fine tuners to the bridge. All Floyd had was a locking/clamping nut. It didn’t work very well because strings stretch, temperature changes, and depending on how hard you play, your guitar would go out of tune. So, you’d have to unclamp the nut, which involves loosening three screws with an Allen wrench, tune the guitar and re-clamp the nut down again. There wasn’t enough time to do all this in between every song live. Another problem was that when tightening down the nut, the guitar would not stay where you tuned it. Strings would go sharp, flat, but it would never stay exactly as you tuned it. To put it simply, it was a major pain in the ass and pretty useless. Adding the fine tuners to the bridge alleviated all these problems. That was my role in the development of the Floyd Rose. Basically, I made it work. I hope that answers your question Robert.

All the best,
Eddie VH


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February 19, 2014 at 8:09 am Quote #33113

jroundy
(1366)

ron: http://www.evhgear.com/news/2014/02/ask-eddie-developing-the-floyd-rose/

Ask Eddie: Helping Develop the Floyd Rose Posted on February 15th, 2014 by MDuffy

Each month, we offer fans the chance to submit a question that guitarist Eddie Van Halen will answer in our Ask Eddie feature.

And in the latest edition, Robert Mclemore from Colorado wonders about Van Halen’s contributions to the development of the Floyd Rose Tremolo.

Mclemore: Eddie, I just got an EVH Striped Series guitar and besides looking and sounding fantastic, I really love the feel of the Floyd Rose, which got me thinking. What role did you play in pioneering this technology? If I’m not mistaken, the yellow and black guitar was the first to see an early prototype.

Van Halen: Hi Robert,

My role in the design and development of the Floyd Rose was adding the fine tuners to the bridge. All Floyd had was a locking/clamping nut. It didn’t work very well because strings stretch, temperature changes, and depending on how hard you play, your guitar would go out of tune. So, you’d have to unclamp the nut, which involves loosening three screws with an Allen wrench, tune the guitar and re-clamp the nut down again. There wasn’t enough time to do all this in between every song live. Another problem was that when tightening down the nut, the guitar would not stay where you tuned it. Strings would go sharp, flat, but it would never stay exactly as you tuned it. To put it simply, it was a major pain in the ass and pretty useless. Adding the fine tuners to the bridge alleviated all these problems. That was my role in the development of the Floyd Rose. Basically, I made it work. I hope that answers your question Robert.

All the best, Eddie VH

Thanks for posting. :)


The poor folks play for keeps down here…They’re the living dead. Nobody rules these streets at night like Van Halen!!


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April 25, 2014 at 6:40 pm Quote #35215

PT5150
(5523)

http://www.evhgear.com/news/2014/03/ask-eddie-the-smallest-things-that-affect-tone/

It’s time for another edition of Ask Eddie, where Eddie Van Halen himself answers a question from a fan about his career, his gear and many other topics.

This month, the question comes from Timothy Horne from Fort Wayne, Ind. Horne wants to know if Van Halen thinks minute detai

Horne: Some players can detect nuances and differences in tone in what seems to be the most trivial of things. Like, Steve Vai mentions that the color Sea Foam Green gives his guitar distinctive overtones, and I’ve heard Eric Johnson can detect the difference in the batteries in his pedals just by listening. Do you find such small details that important to tone?

Van Halen: Hi Timothy,

I agree with you to a point. Detecting nuances and differences in tone in the most trivial things are not always trivial. I tend to agree with Eric Johnson. I can hear (and feel) when the batteries in my wireless unit lose just the smallest amount of voltage. I can hear the difference between a 1-foot cable and a 3- to 5-foot cable, etc. Every little bit affects the overall sound you get in the end. Pertaining to Steve Vai and the color Sea Foam Green, that is a bit of a stretch if you ask me. The thickness of the paint or how many layers of paint or if the guitar has sealer on it or not can drastically affect the tone of your guitar. But a certain color? Not in my experience. But then again, if Steve hears it, Steve hears it.

All the best, Eddie VH


EDDIE’S fingers aren’t fingers they are muscle-powered pistons that hammer guitar strings to the fretboard with the force of a rivet gun”.


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April 30, 2014 at 3:08 pm Quote #35401

ron
(8949)

http://www.evhgear.com/news/2014/04/ask-eddie-the-denver-snow-show/

Ask Eddie: The Denver Snow Show
Posted on April 23rd, 2014 by MDuffy

In the latest edition of Ask Eddie, Robert Kelly of New Paltz, N.Y., has an awesome question for Eddie Van Halen about the memorable 1995 Van Halen where snow rained down on the band and the crowd at the Fiddler’s Green in Denver.

Kelly: Hey, Ed! Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to ask you questions! My question is about the Denver show you did on the Balance tour. That was the show when you played in a snowstorm. What was that like? Was there heat on the stage? Could you even move your fingers? I am just so curious about that because it’s so insane and crazy. Thanks- Robert

Van Halen: Hi Robert, how can I ever forget that Denver show on the Balance tour?

It is the only time I have ever played “music” in the snow. Actually it was more of a snowstorm, and yes it was totally insane and crazy, yet it was so crazy that it was great fun. I remember showing up at the venue and everyone saying, “We have to cancel or postpone the show.” Certain people didn’t want to go out and play because they were afraid of getting sick.

Alex and I took one look at the audience and said “You guys are nuts, we have to play, there are over 20,000 people (who looked like human Q-tips covered in snow) out there that have been waiting in the freezing snow for over two hours to see us play.” I remember saying, “This is Denver, they go to football games in the snow, and if they’re staying, were playing.” So we proceeded to put on extra shirts, cut holes in socks for our fingers and we went out and played. There were heaters but they did absolutely nothing because it wasn’t just the cold, it was snowing. If it wasn’t snowing and the wind wasn’t blowing, the heaters might have helped, but they were useless. Regardless, it was actually a lot of fun sliding around in the snow and playing for our fans, who were completely covered in snow to the point where we could barely see them, but we could certainly hear them. They were as loud and crazy as any other show. Maybe even more so because it was such a crazy night. At a certain part of the show it snowed so hard that I had to stop playing. Of course it had to happen in the middle of my guitar solo spot. So much snow dumped on me that the strings on my guitar would not move or resonate to make a sound. I had to stop, clean off the snow and then would just started playing again. I have to say it was probably the craziest, most interesting gig we’ve ever played. Definitely one for the record books, and yes, it was F’n cold too! But I hope you had as much fun as we did Robert!

All the best, Eddie V.H.


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April 30, 2014 at 3:56 pm Quote #35403

sickman
(2368)

Cool story, thanks for posting it Ron. For once I feel like that was actually an answer from Eddie and not Matt.


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April 30, 2014 at 4:52 pm Quote #35405

PT5150
(5523)

Cool story..
Certain people didn’t want to play…


EDDIE’S fingers aren’t fingers they are muscle-powered pistons that hammer guitar strings to the fretboard with the force of a rivet gun”.


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April 30, 2014 at 8:24 pm Quote #35412

jroundy
(1366)

PT5150: Cool story.. Certain people didn’t want to play…

I’m sure it was Sam…. can’t imagine Mike saying something like that.


The poor folks play for keeps down here…They’re the living dead. Nobody rules these streets at night like Van Halen!!


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April 30, 2014 at 9:06 pm Quote #35415

thismusicsux
(523)

Yeah think it was a Sam-slam. Haha

Still feels like someone other than Ed formatted and edited a bit. But some cool details from Ed for sure


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April 30, 2014 at 9:30 pm Quote #35416

VAiN
(2768)

thismusicsux: Yeah think it was a Sam-slam. Haha

Still feels like someone other than Ed formatted and edited a bit. But some cool details from Ed for sure

You can tell Ed didn’t write it because it’s not laced with F-bombs and a story about how he started on drums.


Resident dickhead. I will hurt your delicate feelings.


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May 1, 2014 at 12:10 am Quote #35423

Dutchie
(1525)

Wasn’t that 5150Rob’s question to Ed? I seem to remember Rob mentioning that he ask the question to Ed recently…???


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