Bob’s pick of the week – Dunlop Original Crybaby Wah

Dunlop Original Crybaby WahMy personal pick of the week is a real classic, the original Dunlop Crybaby Wah pedal. This pedal has been used by such greats as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett. While there are other good Wah pedals made by various manufacturers, there is just something about the sound of the original that’s like wrapping up in your favorite childhood blanket. Warm and familiar in its sound and feel, it cannot be surpassed or even completely duplicated.

It does take a little practice to master the technique of playing a Wah pedal but once you have it, it becomes an extension of your playing and is well worth the effort! So pick one up and have a wahkah-chickn’ good time!

Intro to Guitar Effects Pedals

This week I want to focus on Electric guitar effects pedals. Think about your favorite songs and what the guitars sound like on the recording. Chances are there are some popular guitar effects pedals that were used to create the feel and the sound which became a signature for that band or guitarist. One of my favorite songs of all times is Unchained by Van Halen. The guitar sound at the beginning of the recording was created with the help of a MXR Phase 90 effects pedal. This is what I’m talking about when I say it’s a signature sound.

Effects can be created in a variety of ways, but most guitarists rely heavily on one or two and up to six or eight effects pedals. The most common effects pedals create overdrive, distortion, reverb, delay, chorus and the almighty Wah, Wah (or as my wife likes to call it the waka-chicka pedal J). Some pedals create more distinct effects like pitch shifting or octaving (making the notes sound an octave or two lower, eg. Led Zeppelin’s Fool in the Rain guitar solo). A Flanger can be heard in the opening guitar rif of Heart’s famous song Barracuda.

Each of these effects can be found in their own separate pedal,which is how I like to roll, but these pedals can be costly. Hence the invention of the multi effects pedal boards. These boards have been known to have up to 100 different guitar effects jammed into one digital unit. Personally, I think you loose way too much tone and character with the boards to make them effective. It’s much better to save up and buy a few good, individual pedals than to waste your money on the economy boards. You’re tone will thank you for it!! The quality and durability of the individual pedals which are usually medal far exceed that of the multi-effects units which are normally made of plastic. After all they do call them “stomp boxes” so you want something that will hold up under the pressure of your steel toed Doc Martens.

In the video I’ve created this week, I’ll show you some of my favorite effects pedals so you can hear and see for yourself what I’m talking about.  Check it out!

Top 5 Guitar Effects Pedals

Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808

Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808

Electric guitar effects pedals (Bob


Organization. I just did a show for a National act that had an opening band. I had the mics selected, what was going to each channel, effects already set up on the front of house console, and input list together.

Day of show arrives and so does an extra band that was not originally supposed to be there. This is where preparedness and attitude (which I spoke of in the last tip of the week), are everything.

Double, double double


JBL Vertec VT4888
JBL Vertec VT4888

JBL Vertec 4888 line array concert speaker

Bass guitar–caring for your strings

Whether you’re going into the studio or playing a live show, good sound starts with good sounds. I know this sounds basic, but the obvious can often be overlooked. Simple things like making sure that your equipment is working at optimum playing condition. Using good quality cables is a must. Putting new strings on your bass or guitar and replacing the heads on your drums is the foundation for getting a good sound no matter what style of music you’re playing.

There’s nothing worse than listening to instruments that are out of tune or having drums that sound like cardboard boxes, so having your instruments tuned and properly intonated is essential to getting a good sound that everyone will be happy with. Even with all the studio tricks and reverb in the world sound guys and studio engineers cannot remove the bad notes, so playing together as one unit that is in tune is super important.

Electric guitarists and bass players, make sure your amps are in good working order. If you have any outboard pedals be sure to have fresh batteries installed and spares just in case. Even if you do happen to have an electric power supply, you still need to carry extra batteries as power supplies can and sometimes do fail. It’s amazing what a little time and preparation will do to help get you ready to rock the crowd’s face off.

My focus this week was on the bass, so I’ve created a couple of videos that will give you just the basics of re-stringing your bass and tuning if you don’t want to take it to a shop and have it done professionally. If you are changing string gauges like going from a light to a medium gauge string however, you should take it to a shop and have it properly set up by a qualified technician. Now go rock out!!

1.  Looking for “brand new” tone on your bass guitar but don’t have the money for new strings? In this video, I’ll show you an old school trick to getting some more life out of your old bass guitar strings.

Boiling Bass Guitar Strings Youtube Video

2.  Here I show you step by step how to change the strings on your bass guitar.

Changing Bass Guitar Strings part 1

Changing Bass Guitar Strings part 2

Changing bass guitar strings part 3 -Tuning

Bob’s pick of the week-Shure SM58 microphone

Shure SM58

Shure SM58

The almighty Shure SM58 dynamic microphone – Every sound guy needs one (or 10!) of them in his arsenal. If you don

Top 5 Components for a Complete Bass Rig

My top choices for a complete bass rig

(for the budget conscious player)
1. Ibanez Ergodyne 5 string bass
2. SWR Working Pro 15 bass combo amp
3. Boss TU2 tuner pedal
4. CBI ML Ultimate cables
5. Whirlwind IMP 2 direct box

(if money were no object)
1. Fender Victor Bailey Jazz bass
2. Ampeg SVT 3 Pro power head and the Ampeg SVT 410 HLF speaker cabinet
3. Boss TU2 tuner pedal
4. CBI ML Ultimate cables
5. old Sans Amp bass direct box (if you can find one!)

What About Bob

Bob 7 20 event What About Bob

Bob Ranalli is the owner of Noteworthy Music located in Gettysburg, Pa which was started by his father in Philadelphia back in 1959, originally called Ranalli’s Music Service. He is a master instrument repairman who apprenticed under his father for many years and then went to Western Iowa Tech for his Associates Degree in Band Instrument repair.

For six years after college, Bob worked in D.C. for Music and Arts Center in their band shop. It was there that Bob really started playing in live bands all over the Metropolitan area. He played saxophone in several bands including Laughing Sam’s Dice. He began cutting his teeth doing sound shortly after that and began a very successful live sound company that operates out of Noteworthy Music.

For over 15 years, Bob has been providing pro audio, technical support and mix engineering for rock bands, jazz groups, big bands, folk musicians, country artists, and outdoor festivals. He also does church sound installations and consultations.  For the past seven years he’s owned and operated a home recording studio as well, recording a wide variety of groups and artists.

Bob can be reached at Noteworthy Music, phone 717-334-3522 or email him at

Bob’s gig schedule

IMG 1267 1024x768 Bobs gig schedule

May 31 – Memorial Day ceremonies on the Battlefield in Gettysburg and evening concert in Chambersburg, PA

June 5 – Alumni weekend at Gettysburg College 

June 18 – 27  – Live sound at Gettysburg Festival, featuring  The Willys, John Pizzarelli, and Kevin Eubanks

July 17 – Gettysburg, PA Irish Festival    and  Chambersfest in Chambersburg, PA

July 24 – 101.5 Bob Rocks  Battle of the Bands

Labor Day weekend – Hanover Chili Cook off  featuring the Kelly Bell Band

September 11 – 12 Gettysburg Wine Festival

September 11 – Relevant Worship in West Virginia