Stephen Arnold Music

The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America

Category Archives: Guitars

I’m Weather Ready – Image Campaign and Guitar Giveaway

UPDATE:  And The Winner Is …

Watch, then enter to win a Weather Ready RainSong guitar.

Did you say “Weather Proof Guitar?”

Don’t fret about the weather with this cool, “Weather Ready” RainSong guitar! Strike a chord with you? You could win it!

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To enter, just listen to our new multi-platform weather image audio/video package, I’m Weather Ready, and leave your comment below. It’s that easy.

We’ll print out all entries, fish one out of our famous mystery bowl, and send the winner this amazing “Weather Ready” instrument. You’re looking at the RainSong Smokey SMH guitar, which uses the latest in carbon fiber and glass fiber technology to produce a beautiful mellow and resonant tone. Plus – it’s waterproof! So if it rains on your campfire, you’ll be ready with your new RainSong guitar.

View more samples of I’m Weather Ready here »

Drawing to be held on Wednesday, March 22 at 3pm CT. Click here for full contest rules and regulations.

*Note: all comments are moderated and may take up to 24 hours to appear.

Good luck!

The Six Strings of Christmas – Behind the Scenes

It’s been a few years since the successful launch of our 1st Christmas album, The Six Strings of Christmas. And with 100% of the proceeds of the sales benefiting Little Kids Rock, thousands of school-age disadvantaged kids across the nation received musical instruments and lessons at no cost. We’re pretty proud of that. So, this year, we are VERY excited to release our newest holiday collection, The Six Strings of Christmas, Volume 2. We’ve been hard at work on this project since last summer (it was sort of strange recording these holiday classics in 90 degree Texas heat). We brought together many of the finest studio musicians who work on our various sonic branding projects to perform 14 tracks on stringed instruments. It’s REALLY beautiful stuff. And again, all proceeds will benefit Little Kids Rock so that more kids can pursue their musical dreams.

All of these cuts were recorded, mixed and carefully mastered at Stephen Arnold Music’s T-Bone studios in Fairview, TX (just north of Dallas). We used a tremendous range of stringed instruments on this project, like dulcimer, nylon, steel and 12 string acoustic guitar, mandolin, double bass, harp guitar, fiddle, dobro, piano and, of course, sleigh bells! (we know, NOT stringed – but they are strung together!) Each of these musicians created their own arrangements of these Christmas classics and performed them either solo or with other musicians. We particularly enjoyed recording We Three Kings with three “kings” of guitar, all playing together in the studio in a single live performance – with no overdubs!

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ALL the musicians on this album are truly “kings” of their instruments. For example, one of our artists, Milo Deering, has toured extensively with LeAnn Rimes, and has played on most of her albums. Most recently, he has also toured with Don Henley. Chris Carrington, classical guitarist extraordinaire, grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and has served on university music department faculties nationwide. He is also a renowned luthier (that’s a guitar maker). You can check out his amazing creations here.

Hmmm…does a guitar maker who builds Martin guitars call himself a “Martin Luthier”? But I digress…

Stephen & Demitri

Stephen Arnold even played a Greek instrument on one of the tracks! One week into the recording sessions, Stephen was off traveling in Greece. While strolling through a flea market, he spotted and snagged a 50 year-old, hand-made “bouzouki” (an instrument that was introduced in Greece in the 1900’s by immigrants from Asia Minor – similar to a mandolin with a long neck). Well, it might have been Greek to Stephen, but since it only has 3 strings (each doubled), he was able to somehow make it work! You can check out this unique sound on the track Joy to the World.

So do yourself – and your loved ones – a favor, and pick up our new Six Strings of Christmas, Volume 2. You can order or download it here.

And while you’re on that same page, purchase a copy of the Six Strings of Christmas Volume 1! We’re very proud of these collections that will bring lots of joy and good cheer into your holidays. Plus, they make a great gift! And remember, 100% of the proceeds goes to Little Kids Rock. Who knows, maybe one of the kids who benefits from instruments and lessons from this project will one day perform on a FUTURE volume of The Six Strings of Christmas! As we say in the stringed instrument business … stay tuned.

Everywhere I Go – Giveaway Winners

We are pleased to announce the winners of our “Everywhere I Go” Guitar (and Uke) Giveaway.

The Oscar Schmidt Koa Wood Ukulele goes to Brad Klukow of KAAL-TV.  Next is Katharyn Devile of KLTV-TV, winner of the Martin Koa Wood Acoustic Guitar.  And finally, taking home the Gretsch 5420 Hollow Body Electric is Michael Nurse of WKBW-TV!

Thanks so much for entering, everyone, and congrats to our winners!

Everywhere I Go – Mega Guitar (and Uke) Giveaway!

UPDATE:  We have our winners!

Watch, Then Enter to Win One of Three Stunning Guitars!

We’ve NEVER done anything like this before! Here’s THREE chances to win a cool instrument, just by listening and commenting on our our brand-new multiplatform/social image package: “Everywhere I Go.”

1) First prize: Get your inner rockabilly on with this spectacular orange Gretsch 5420 Electromatic guitar.
2) Next up: A stunning Martin Koa Wood Acoustic/Electric guitar. Amaze your friends with your James Taylor covers!
3) Lastly: It seems EVERYONE is strumming a uke these days, so third place is an Oscar Schmidt Koa Wood Baritone Ukulele. You’ll be the hit of the campfire!

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To enter, just listen to the demo of our brand-new multiplatform/social image package: “Everywhere I Go,” and leave a comment below. We’ll print out all the comments, and draw three of them at random from our famous mystery fishbowl. Those three lucky winners will each take home one of these spectacular stringed instruments!

View more samples of “Everywhere I Go” here »

Drawing to be held on Thursday, September 29, 2016.  Click here for full contest rules and regulations.

*Note: all comments are moderated and may take up to 24 hours to appear.

Good luck!

Promax 2016 – Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Guitar Giveaway!

Promax_NY_Guitars_1At the PROMAX Conference at the Midtown Hilton Hotel in New York City, June 14-16, Stephen Arnold Music (SAM) will again be conducting an exciting guitar giveaway. Be sure to stop by the Stephen Arnold Music kiosks, which will be prominently displayed at the Conference, to check out this year’s “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” selection of legendary Beatles guitars. To enter the raffle, just drop off your business card in the box near the display. You could win a replica of Paul McCartney’s famous Hofner Violin Bass guitar!

The drawing will be held at the SAM guitar display on Thursday, June 16th, around 4:15pm during the “Networking Break.” You must be present to win. So don’t miss it! You’ll get to see some cool guitars, learn a little something and maybe even win that Hofner bass!

Here’s some cool facts about the collection:

2005 Re-issue Gretsch G6122 Country Gentleman (George)

When the Beatles started to get famous in the early 60’s, George bought a 1962 Gretsch Chet Atkins “Country Gentleman” guitar. George can be seen using this instrument more than anything else on stage, but he didn’t use it as much in the studio. It’s interesting George would use this guitar, as he admired and was inspired by much of Chet Atkins’ work. In 1965, the original Country Gentleman flew off the top of their tour bus and was destroyed. As George recalled: “Fourteen of our guitars were strapped to the roof of our Austin Princess, and the only one lost was my Gretsch. It fell onto the road and into the path of the oncoming traffic. About thirteen lorries went over it before our chauffeur could get near it. Then, one of the lorries stopped and the driver came up with the dangling remains of it and said, ‘Oh, has this banjo anything to do with you?’ Some people would say I shouldn’t worry, because I could buy as many replacement guitars as I wanted. But you know how it is. I kind of got attached to it.”

1959 Gibson J160e (John)

johnLennon2John Lennon couldn’t quite afford his first Gibson J-160E in 1962, so he cajoled Beatles manager Brian Epstein into co-signing for the guitar. Epstein obliged, and ended up purchasing one for George Harrison as well. Both guitars ended up making rock and roll history with the Beatles, appearing on countless studio recordings, movies, and live performances. This is the acoustic-electric guitar John Lennon used in his initial songwriting with Paul McCartney, writing such classics as She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Please, Please, Me, All My Loving, From Me to You, and others. John’s original model was lost in 1963, but mysteriously re-appeared in Los Angeles in 2015 and was auctioned for close to one million dollars. Today’s Gibson J-160E replica features the same round shoulder body design, with a Sitka spruce plywood top and mahogany back and sides, producing a full-sounding, balanced tone with warm, rich lows and crisp, presence-laden highs.

1990 Rickenbacker 355 Limited Edition Signature, 148 of 2000 (John)

0eacbf5b8c380b812d4fff4ae52b1dd1John Lennon had seen guitarist Toots Thielemans, of George Shearing’s Quintet, playing a Rickenbacker 325 in 1959. He immediately decided he had to have one. In Hamburg in 1960, John and George went to Steinway MusicHaus, where George bought a Gibson amp and John bought the “guitar of his dreams”, a Rickenbacker Capri 325 in natural finish. When recalling the purchase of the amp and the guitar, George Harrison remarked: “I think we bought them on “a knocker.” One pound down – and the rest when they catch you. I don´t know if we ever paid them off, but…” True to fashion, John soon had his Rick painted black, so as to appear different from the other garden-variety 325’s on the scene.

The 355 guitar is one of 3 Lennon models that Rickenbacker re-issued in the early 1990’s. The set included the ¾ scale 325 model like the one Lennon used live, on recordings and in the film “Help!.” The 355 model is like the 325, but in a full-scale length, while the 355/12 is the full-scale, 12-string model. All the pickups have that unmistakable “Rick” single-coil twang that made them synonymous with The Beatles, as well as the sound of the 60’s British Invasion.

Hofner Violin Beatle Bass (Paul) – GIVEAWAY

SMG_Paul_McCartney_63_HofnerAfter bassist Stu Sutcliffe left the band in 1961 in Hamburg, Germany, Paul reluctantly stepped in as the Beatles bassist. Looking for an instrument, McCartney recalled finding himself in Hamburg’s Steinway Musichaus. “I remember going along there, and there was this bass which was quite cheap. I couldn’t afford a Fender. Fenders, even then, seemed to be about £100. All I could really afford was about £30, so for about £30 I found this Hofner violin bass.  And to me it seemed like, because I was left-handed, it looked less “daft” because it was symmetrical.  Didn’t look as bad as a cutaway, which was the wrong way.  So I got into that.”

McCartney would soon become forever associated with this distinctive model.  He used this bass on stage and in the studio through “With The Beatles,” at which point Hofner gave him a new model.  So in 1964, he had his first bass refinished in sunburst and installed new hardware, after which it generally took a back seat to its newer brother.  It appeared again in late 1968, minus the pickguard, for the “Revolution” video, and was last seen in footage from the film “Let It Be.”  Soon afterward, it was stolen, most likely from a closet at Abbey Road studio. But Paul continues to play a Hofner violin bass guitar to this day.

PromaxBDA: The Conference is being held this year at the New York Midtown Hilton in New York City from June 14-16, 2016.