Q&A: Advice Pasal Equipment Untuk Beginners

(Part 3 of 4)

Sorry for taking too much time since the last post in this series.

Electric Guitar
Basically ade dua jenis electric guitar: solid body and hollow body.

Solid Body Hollow Body

Well, aku takde experience sangat pasal hollow body ni. Yg aku tau
cuma body dia hollow la. Of course la kan. Pastu dia usually ade “f-
holes” macam violin. I think this type of guitar is favored by jazz or
blues guitarists. Usually aku tengok orang main gitar ni sound dia clean,
tak pon crunsh sket. Nothing heavy.
All I can talk about is solid body, since I know a little bit about that. And
most of you are probably interested in that anyway.
Bile nak pilih electric guitar ni, ade beberapa benda penting yg kena
consider. Antara soklan yg aku selalu terima ialah pasal bridge.

Basically ade 3 jenis bridge: fixed, non-locking tremolo and locking
Fixed ni yg macam kat Les Paul atau Telecaster. Kalo tak penah tengok,
fixed bridge ni usually look very simple. And gitar yg bridge camni takde
tremolo bar (but just because tak nampak tremolo bar doesn‟t mean it‟s
fixed, since orang tu mungkin tak pasang tremolo bar dia). So gitar fixed
bridge ni tak leh la nak buat effect “dive bomb” ke. But that doesn‟t
mean it‟s bad. I heard that fixed bridge ni transfer vibration tali tu ke
body gitar tu dengan baik, since from the string to the body is
completely rigid. And bridge jenis ni tak yah pikir pasal bridge springs,
that you have to worry about in other types of bridge.

Fixed Bridge

Non-locking tremolo ni macam kat gambar Strat kat bawah ni. Dia
dipanggil non-locking sebab nut dia tu tak dikunci. Bridge camni cuma
boleh tekan jek, tak boleh tarik. So it‟s one way. Maknanya bile main
satu note, boleh tekan tremolo bar tu kasi pitch tu direndahkan and
release bar tu kasi return to the original pitch, but tak boleh tarik
tremolo bar kasi naik pitch. And since gitar camni nut dia tak dikunci,
so kalo pakai tremolo bar tu, tuning akan lari sket sebab tension tali ni
dari bridge sampailah ke machine head berubah. But bridge jenis ni
offers tremolo capability, and better sound transfer berbanding dengan
locking tremolo. Lagi satu spring dia senang sket nak manage, because
tension spring tu mesti lebih tinggi dari jumlah tension tali gitar ni.

Non-Locking Tremolo System

Locking tremolo, atau Floyd Rose is something else. Since aku selalu
dapat soklan pasal bridge ni, and aku more experienced dengan bridge
jenis ni, I‟ll talk more about it.

Locking Tremolo System
As you can see, nut dia lepas tuning kena lock pakai allen key. This
ensures that bile pakai tremolo tu, tali punya tension hanya akan
berubah dari bridge sampai ke nut jek. From the nut to the machine
head tak berubah. That way, the tuning will be more consistent. So kalo
pakai tremolo tu extreme gile pon the tuning will be ok. This kind of
bridge is favored by aggressive players I think.
Bridge dia pulak, as you can see, is more complicated than fixed bridge
or non-locking tremolo system. Bridge camni dikira floating, sebab
boleh tekan and boleh tarik. So, when you play a note, you can change
the pitch up or down by using the tremolo bar. And bridge camni, since
contact point dengan body gitar kurang dari jenis bridge yg lain, sound
transfer to the body isn‟t so good. Sustain dia pon kurang sket since the
bridge is not rigid.
But that‟s the least of the problem with this kind of bridge. Kalo nak
bridge camni, beginners kena amik masa untuk belajar and biasakan
dengan complications that comes with it. When all the strings are in
tune, bridge ni mesti parallel dengan body guitar ni. That way you have
clearance to push and pull it. So, nak kasi bridge ni parallel, spring kat
belakang gitar ni mesti diadjust kasi tension dia sama dengan jumlah
tension semua tali ni. Because of that, bile ko tukar gauge tali, ataupon
nak guna alternate tuning ke, you have to readjust the springs. So gitar
camni tak praktikal kalo nak buat main macam-macam tuning. Pick a
tuning and string gauge, and stick with it. I don‟t find it so hard to
adjust the springs because I‟ve had this kind of guitar forever. But still,
it‟s not worth the effort to play drop-D tuning or something. Kalo ade
banyak guitar that‟s fine. But dulu aku ade satu gitar jek, for like 10
Well, somebody recently brought up pasal device yg membolehkan kita
tukar to drop D quickly. The thing about it is that kalo kat floating
tremolo ni, first kena block dulu tremolo tu. That way tak boleh tarik, it
becomes a one-way tremolo. And then only buleh engage the device to
lower the 6th string tension to make it a D instead of E. Kalau tak block
dulu tremolo ni, the tension of the springs will be higher than the
collective tension of the strings. That‟ll mess up the tuning of other
Lagi satu pasal gitar camni ialah bile tukar tali, kalo tak perlu cabut
semua tali skali gus, DON‟T. Baik cabut satu tali, pasang tali baru, tune
it. And then repeat for other strings. Let‟s say ko cabut semua tali tu,
pastu tukar semua tali, tune the 6th String. Pastu tune the first string,
pastu second string etc. By the time keenam-enam tali dah tune, the 6th
string will be way too flat. You‟ll have to do it so many times until they
converge, meaning that the tuning stays the same. Any kind of guitar
pon kena buat camtu. But it‟s much harder dengan floating bridge ni.
Intonation pon leceh sket. Nak adjust intonation, kena longgarkan dulu
satu tali tu, baru boleh access screw untuk tali tu. I don‟t wanna go too
deep into this. Let‟s just say that it‟s not as easy as it is on a Strat.
The last thing pasal locking tremolo ni, kalau beli gitar yg murah tapi
ade tremolo jenis ni, expect problems. The thing is tremolo camni
complicated sket. You can‟t expect cheap guitars to be equipped with
high quality bridge.

So, takde satu pon jenis bridge that offers everything. Kalo ade dua gitar
yg sama, satu non-locking satu lagi locking tremolo, the locking one will
cost more, just because it‟s more complicated to make. But that doesn‟t
mean it‟s the best for you. Kalo aku nak beli satu lagi gitar, it‟s gonna be
a fixed bridge, because I wanna have one like that. Actually sebelum aku
angkut JS tu aku memang plan nak angkut fixed bridged guitar. But
because I love the JS so much I just had to get that one instead.

Satu lagi soklan yg orang selalu tanye ialah pasal pickup. Generally ade
dua jenis: Single coil dengan humbucking pickups. Single coil ni macam
kat Strat dalam gambar kat atas. Humbucker ni macam dalam gambar
locking tremolo tu.
Gitar Strat traditionally ade 3 single-coil pickups. Gitar jenis “super
Strat” pulak, macam Ibanez RG sometimes ade dua humbucker jek, atau
dua humbucker plus one single coil in the middle.
Which one is better? It‟s a matter of need and taste. Single coil ni tone
dia tend to be brighter and thinner. Kalo main clean or crunch, aku
memang suka single coil. Humbucker pulak tone dia fat and heavy.
That‟s my choice kalo main heavy rhythm or solo. Sometimes aku pakai
single coil untuk sound heavy yg “hollow” sket, macam dalam video
Seribu Tahun Takkan Mungkin tu. Dalam post aku sebelum ni pasal
Pickups ade ade demo sket beza sound dia.
Oh, one thing about single coil is that it tends to be noisier than
humbucker. Without going too deep into the physics, humbucker ni
kedua-dua row magnet dia menyebabkan hum tu dicancel. That‟s
actually why dorang invent “fake” single coil macam DiMarzio Area „58
aku tu. That way you get the low noise quality of a humbucker, and get
the tone of a single coil.
Single coil ngan humbucker ni configuration pickup tu. There are also
active and passive pickup systems. So basically, ko boleh dapat passive
single coil, passive humbucker, active single coil, active humbucker. Nak
tau pasal active and passive pegi tengok post Pickups tu.
So bila beli gitar, ko kena decide nak pickups yg cammana. Maksud aku,
nak yg S-S-S ke, H-H ke, H-S-H ke etc. The thing is, lepas beli gitar tu,
nak upgrade single-coil to a better single-coil, or upgrade humbucker
dengan humbucker yg lain senang gak. But nak tukar single-coil to
humbucker, or vice versa is a little more work.

Gitar ape yg aku recommend? Well, macam yg aku sebut kat atas, it
depends on your needs lah. Kalau minat main style blues ke, maybe a
Strat is a good idea. Strats are versatile enough that main rock pon
sesuai. Kalau nak main metal ke, shred ke, it‟s probably better to find a
guitar that‟s designed for that, yg ade humbuckers.
If you‟re looking for a Strat, aku suggest cari Squire. Squire is the
cheaper version of Fender, owned by Fender. Of course Fender knows
how to make good Strats, they invented it.
But kalo nak main rock, I think I‟d suggest an Ibanez. Ye la, aku ade 3
Ibanez, I may be biased. But Ibanez is known to give you more value for
your money. Ibanez takde legendary status macam Fender or Gibson,
but they make quality guitars for reasonable price.
But the best suggestion I can give you is to try them. Survey gitar-gitar
yg within your budget, try them. Aku memang pentingkan comfort. You
have to feel comfortable playing the guitar. And you want to find
something that makes you wanna keep playing. Sebab aku try la aku
found out that Gibson Les Paul isn‟t for me. Everybody loves that guitar.
But bile aku try sendiri, I like something else better. Maybe someday I‟ll
buy it for the sake of luxury, but it‟s not what I need right now. Macam
yg aku sebut sebelum ni, it‟s not about what other people like. You have
to like it. Consider la orang lain punya review, but remember that not
every opinion is applicable to you. Selera lain lain.
Bab harga pulak, try spend more than RM1000. Kalau ko absolute
beginner, tak reti langsung main, you probably shouldn‟t spend that
much. But kalo dah reti gak, please spend more than RM1000. It‟s really
not much. Aku ulang balik ape aku sebut dalam first post in this series.
Think about what you spend on other stuff. Ko ade BlackBerry or
iPhone or other smartphones? How much are those? In 5 years are you
still gonna use the same phone? Confirm tak. Sebulan bape ringgit abis
kat bill? And phone mahal-mahal, bill tinggi sume, if you spend a lot of
time with your phone, will you be a better, more charismatic speaker? I
doubt it. But if you spend a lot of time on a good guitar, it is very likely
that you‟ll be a better guitarist. Aku bukan nak masuk campur hal
kewangan korang. Just pointing out something worth considering.
And aku bukan nak cakap jangan beli iPhone or something. If you like
those stuff and you have the money, go ahead. You know your priorities.
Nak tau aku pakai phone ape? Bertaun-taun aku pakai Samsung cabok
yg dapat free with phone plan. Stok buat baling anjing punya (please
don‟t abuse animals). Pastu taun lepas baru tukar Nokia 5310, tu pon
dapat free gak. Can I afford the latest iPhone? Yes. Can I afford to switch
from one cool phone to another every 6 months? Yes. But that‟s not my
priority. I don‟t need to watch a movie on my phone, that‟s what my TV
is for. I don‟t need internet everywhere I go, I‟m at home a lot. I‟d rather
spend my money on good guitars. You don‟t have to follow me, follow
your priorities. ;)