Introducing Our New Feature – Spotlight on a Music Student

At FFM, we want to highlight new and aspiring musical talent wherever we find it and where better than the many Music Colleges, Universities and Schools around the world. Our new feature ‘Spotlight on a Music Student’ is an opportunity for you or someone you know to step into the spotlight and share your talent, dreams and ambitions with the musical world.

All you have to do is send us your information, pictures, videos, sound clips and links  and we will compile your feature.

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Much love and happy music making,

The FFM team

8 Of The Craziest Custom Guitars

Pity the poor guitarist: there’s a lot of string-slingers out there, fretboards a-heaving with flashy licks. You really have to work hard to get noticed. And even to get in the ring, you’ll be investing thousands in the proper equipment.

Perhaps that’s why many fretboarders choose to spend their gear money in a way that’s guaranteed to draw the spotlight. There are so many ways, after all, to upgrade a guitar (and upstage your singer): mould the the body to your whimsy, add another neck or four, paint it with gore or cover it with fur… Here are some of the most inventive and downright weird guitars around.

Rick Nielsen’s five-necked guitar

Probably one of the best-known, heaviest and most ludicrous-looking of custom guitars, the Quint Neck was built for Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen in 1981. “Back at shows in the late-70s and early-80s,” he told Guitar Aficionado, “I used to stack up as many as five guitars for my guitar solo. I’d play one for a little bit, then throw it away and play the one hanging underneath it.”

For a more efficient, and frankly flashier solo, Nielsen asked the manufacturer of the last guitar in the pile, Hamer, to make a beast that combined them all. “The original concept was to have a six-neck that spun like a roulette wheel, so that I could play one neck and then rotate to the next,” he said. “But then I decided to go with something more conservative – five necks in a row!”

Hamer founder Frank Untermeyer recalled the wiring job as a “huge pain”, adding, “Rick’s out of his mind, but in a wonderful way.”

Lita Ford’s Monkey Train

The results of this partnership included some double-necked numbers and, most memorably, her black steam train guitar with a tiny Lita waving from the cab, which can be seen in the video for the 1991 track Playin’ With Fire.

Bo Diddley’s Twang Machine

Bo Diddley, the riffing legend born Elias Bates, didn’t have money to spend on fancy musical equipment when he was growing up. “I wasn’t able to buy electric guitars,” he told Vintage Guitar. “So I built them, and they worked pretty good.”

The first thing the resourceful Bates crafted was a home-made diddley bow, a common early blues instrument mate often made from a cigar box. His later guitar design, using various inventive bits and bobs in its construction (its pickup, he said, was “part of a Victrola record player where the needle went in”), retained that rectangular body, and Bates’s stage name also took inspiration from his diddley bow.

The original Twang Machine was later stolen but, by that point, he’d become such a rock ‘n’ roll hero that guitar manufacturers were only too happy to help him with a replacement. In 1958, Gretsch built him a new custom Twang Machine. According to Diddley, it had a smaller body that gave him the much-needed freedom to move around onstage while performing: he said that he’d had the idea for the design after accidentally thwacking himself in the groin with a different guitar while jumping around.

Zakk Wylde’s Graveyard Disciple

One musician who was extremely taken with Diddley’s ingenious eye for design was Black Label Society founder and Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde. “I remember talking about the Bo Diddley guitar and the Bill-Bo, Billy Gibbons‘s guitar, and I was just going, ‘These guitars are so god-awful ugly!’ I just dug ’em,” he told I Heart Guitar.

The Twang Machine was such an inspiration on Wylde’s custom-built Graveyard Disciple that he nicknamed it the “Bo Deadly”: its coffin-shaped design certainly looks like a macabre take on Diddley’s 1958 axe, although Wylde originally had the idea when his merchandising company sent him a coffin full of sweets. “Inside was a bunch of lollipops from my merch company with all the song titles: Genocide Junkies, Graveyard Disciples, House of Doom, Death March written on them. I was just like, ‘Dude, you know what’d be cool? To put a guitar neck on it.’ So Epiphone went out and made it for me, and I was like, ‘Dude, this thing’s slamming.'”

Gene Simmons’s Axe Bass

Simmons‘s onstage persona with KISS is officially known as the Demon. For a bass- playing fiend, your common-or-garden mass-produced guitar is not going to cut it, and cutting was just the look Simmons went for when dreaming up his very literal axe, designed by luthier Steve Carr in 1978. For Simmons, it showed how the bass should be handled – like a weapon.

Andrew W.K.’s taco guitar

Photo: Mario Dane

Photo: Mario Dane

Few musicians have committed to big-hearted, dude-ish wackiness the way Andrew W.K. has, and as such it should probably not surprise you to learn that he is the designer of not one, but two custom guitars based on common party foodstuffs. First, in 2012, came his pizza guitar, which came with a high-end spec featuring extra-spicy garlic marinara sauce, double mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, black olives, green peppers, mushrooms and jalapeno peppers.

This year, he unveiled his second course: the taco guitar, which features a beef taco on the front, and an eyeball on the back. “I started pondering, what’s another food that’s as party as pizza?,” said Andrew in a statement. “When it comes to edible celebration, tacos are partier than almost anything else. Pizza and tacos are among the partiest foods on the planet, and I realised that since I had paid musical tribute to pizza, I now had to pay musical tribute to tacos. I was destined to make a taco shaped guitar – it was inevitable.”

ZZ Top’s Spinning Furs

George Lynch’s Skull N Bones

Today’s FFM Stage Belongs to Claudio Fava

Singer songwriter Claudio Fava hails from Milan, Italy with his latest track ‘Hello Hello’. Spread the love by subscribing to Claudio’s Youtube channel and downloading the track at Google Play.

Cantautore milanese, impegnato in una corsa contro il tempo, alla ricerca di suoni parole e melodie senza tempo. “SIAMO TUTTO SIAMO NIENTE”

Claudio Fava on Facebook.

If this has been helpful to you, please help us by clicking on our sponsor’s ads. It won’t cost you anything but we will get a few pence per click.

Much love and happy music making,

Roger Moisan


How to Play Better Guitar Solos

Everybody wants to play better solos or write more interesting melodies!! Often we get lost in the details like what note or scale is this, and we forget to look at the bigger picture.

In this video I want to go over 3 ways that you can start to reevaluate your solos that can easily help you make them more interesting to listen to by adding variation without having to learn new licks, scales or arpeggios.

So instead of looking at what notes go where or which pentatonic scale is used, I think you can record a solo and start listening for other things that will help you improve your solos and also give you some things that you can start to work on!!

Thanks so much for checking out my weekly lesson. I hope you found this study on the soloing helpful!!

Please check back next week for another lesson, and in the meantime please catch up with me on my website and social media pages!!

Jens Larsen – MU Educator

Jens’ Website
Jens on Patreon
Jens on YouTube
Jens on Facebook
Jens on Instagram

How to play Sina Makosa – From FFM Kenyan Ambassador King’oi Mkenya

By King’oi Mkenya – FFM Ambassador for Kenya

One of the things I would like to do as ambassador is to demonstrate that Kenyan/East African music has produced evergreens that have left a mark, and stand out in expressing the themes of our lives.
I have always wanted to explain the hypnotic and catchy way in which African guitar-based popular music is often driven by just three chords in a riff that cycles over and over but has enough variation and colour to keep the audience listening and the dancers moving.
One such song is “Sina Makosa” (I have no fault), a Kiswahili classic from the early 70’s that still enjoys radio airplay today and captures ever younger audiences. It was written by two brothers, George Peter and Wilson Peter Kinyonga, Tanzanians who moved into Nairobi to take advantage of the thriving live entertainment and recording industry of the time.
They performed in smoky clubs, playing all-nighters to entertain revelers. Fortunately, they also recorded this song and many others, which are often to be found on YouTube channels.

Sina Makosa (1) (will open pdf of TABS and Notation)

What I have done is to enter the notation and TABS into Notion, generated a synthesized rendition of the two main lead guitar riffs, and provided an excellent tutorial on YouTube by a young guitarist.
It is my desire that beginning and intermediate guitarists will listen and learn the tune.

If this has been helpful to you, please help us by clicking on our sponsor’s ads. It won’t cost you anything but we will get a few pence per click.
Much love and happy music making,
Roger Moisan

Epiphone Ltd Ed Korina Flying-V Electric Guitar, Natural

The Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Korina Flying V has a solid tone-rich and lightweight Korina body powered by Alnico Classic humbuckers and is finished with gold hardware. This iconic guitar is finished in Antique Natural and features a 1960s SlimTaper D-Profile neck with a 24.75″ scale and the Flying V’s trademark “V” headstock with a 60s era “Epiphone” script logo.

Find out more

Alnico Classic Humbuckers

The Korina Flying-V is powered by an Alnico Classic™ humbucker in the neck position and an overwound, slightly hotter Alnico Classic Plus™ in the bridge position. Alnico Classics are similar in tone to the “PAF-style” humbuckers found in rare vintage Flying Vs and Les Paul Standards, and are made with Alnico-V magnets for a higher output with enhanced mids and highs.

Controls & Hardware

Controls include individual volume controls for each pickup and a master tone, all with vintage-style Black “Top Hat” knobs. The Explorer’s gold hardware includes legendary Grover® Mini-Rotomatic™ machine heads with a 14:1 ratio for fast and reliable tuning and a LockTone™ Tune-o-matic bridge and traditional Flying-V style String-Thru Body “V” metal plate along with an Epiphone all-metal non-rotating ¼” jack.

The Flying V

The Flying V guitar was first released in a very limited run in the 50s and was seen as one of the most radical designs of its time. Many of the originals found their way to the hands of some of rock’s greatest guitarists. Today original Flying Vs are some of the most expensive instruments on the market. Now, Epiphone introduces the guitar to a new generation at a price accessible to all.

Find out more


  • Historical all korina (African limba) flying-V body
  • Traditional Flying-V headstock and string-thru body “V” metal plate tailpiece
  • Epiphone alnico classic™ humbuckers
  • Vintage styled Epiphone “deluxe” tuners with tulip buttons
  • Gold hardware


  • Series: Epiphone Flying V
  • Colour: Natural

Body & Bridge

  • Body: Korina (African Limba)
  • Body Shape: Flying V
  • Bridge: LockTone Tune-O-Matic

Neck & Fingerboard

  • Neck: Korina (African Limba)
  • Neck Shape: D-Profile
  • Scale Length: 24.75″
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Radius: 12″
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Fret Size: Medium-jumbo
  • String Nut: Synthetic Bone
  • Nut Width: 1 11/16″
  • Position Inlays: Rosewood with pearloid “Dot” inlays

Hardware & Electronics

  • Bridge Pickup: Epiphone Alnico Classic Humbucker
  • Neck Pickup: Epiphone Alnico Classic Humbucker
  • Controls: Epiphone All-metal 3-way Pickup Selector Bridge Volume, Neck Volume, Master Tone
  • Pickup Switching: 3-way Pickup Selector
  • Hardware Finish: Gold
  • Control Knobs: Black “Top Hat” knobs
  • Tuning Machines: Epiphone “Deluxe” Tuners with Tulip buttons, 18:1
  • Pickguard: 3-layer; (B/W/B)
  • Suggested Case/Bag: Hard Case (940-EVCS) Sold Separately

If this has been helpful to you, please help us by clicking on our sponsor’s ads. It won’t cost you anything but we will get a few pence per click.

Much love and happy music making,

Roger Moisan.

Just Landed: Gibson 2018 Acoustic Guitars

Gibson Montana 2018

Gibson Montana 2018 Acoustic Guitars are crafted in Bozeman Montana, USA. Gibson uses a blend of traditional techniques and modern machinery to build acoustic guitars to an incredibly high standard.

Some of popular music’s greatest hits were written on a Gibson Montana acoustic guitar. For artists like John Lennon, Bob Dylan and others, the Gibson J-45 acoustic is a staple on every recording session.

We are proud to announce at that we have the new 2018 Gibson Montana range available at Gear4music. From the classic Gibson Hummingbird, Vintage Cherry Sunburst to the iconic Gibson J-45 Standard, Vintage Sunburst, you can rely on Gear4music to find the brand new Gibson Montana acoustic guitar for you.

Click image to find out more.

WIN: Seriously AMAZING guitars up for grabs 🎸

Listen up! Radio X are giving you the chance to win guitars signed by Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft and Serge Pizzorno – and help Global’s Make Some Noise too!

You might remember that last year, Radio X had some beautiful guitars signed by the likes of Muse, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Kelly Jones, Robert Smith of The Cure and John Squire of The Stone Roses up for grabs.

Well, guess what? This year, they have FOUR MORE for you to get your hands on. Each one is signed by a genuine musical legend: Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft and Serge Pizzorno…

Want to win? Hit the big button below to find out how. 👇


Music Gear for the New Term

New Term Music Offers from Gear4music are designed for both students and teachers looking for a great deal for the new academic term. We’ve selected a range of musical equipment for students, schools and colleges including great beginner guitar packs with everything a new player would need, a selection of percussion sets perfect for group work and keyboards and pianos with intuitive learning functions.

Click to see what’s on offer at Gear 4 Music

Music at schools, colleges and universities can be hugely inspirational for everyone involved with a wealth of research demonstrating the concentration and IQ benefits of music. Gear4music support music students and teachers by offering a wide range of great value musical instruments, equipment and accessories ideal for beginners.

Click to see what’s on offer at Gear 4 Music

Whatever you need, our variety of back to school music deals has been carefully chosen to offer something for everyone. From guitars and drums to violins and pianos our back to school music deals include a wide range of musical instruments plus easy to use recording equipment and accessories.


Ed Sheeran Signature ‘Divide ‘Guitar Available for Pre-Orders

In celebration of Ed Sheeran’s 3rd album release, Martin have unveiled the singer-songerwriter’s latest signature guitar, ‘Divide’ . Keeping in line with the rest of Ed’s mathematically themed albums, the latest signature sports the unique ‘Divide’ design upon its head stock and body.

Built in accordance with Ed’s favour of the comparatively slightly framed LX1E Little Martin, The ‘Divide’ Signature Edition similarly follows suit and comes fitted with a solid Sitka Spruce top and Mahogany back. Helping with the projection of mid and low register tones, this pairing of tone woods provides a balanced clarity that helps your guitar retain a deep, rich sustain allowing your chords to cut through the mix and whilst giving you a commanding presence.

A loyal imitation down to every last detail, the ‘Divide’ guitar also comes equipped with a custom interior label, Fishman Sonitone electronics and seperate gig bag. Ready to play right out the box, the guitar is a formidable workhorse that will serve the humble singer-songwriter day in day out, no matter the occasion.