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Featured Artist at Lakewood Guitars!

Written by Bill on November 3, 2014 – 2:58 pm -

Bill New Pic BWMy sincere gratitude to Martin Seeliger and the entire Lakewood Team for featuring me on the Lakewood Musicians page!
It’s quite an honor to be mentioned alongside the stellar performers listed and I truly appreciate the companies support over the years.

Click here to view the page.

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Synergy Carbon Fiber Harp Guitar From Emerald Guitars

Written by Bill on August 30, 2014 – 12:46 pm -

IMG_2072There’s been quite a lot of innovation in instrument construction over the years and carbon fiber is leading the way in producing instruments that can battle the elements as well as endure the rigors of road travel.  I had the chance to get my hands on the Synergy HX7 Harp Guitar from Read more »

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Coming Home

Written by Bill on August 4, 2014 – 4:54 am -

IMG_0521I’ve come to learn that there are times when you need to, as they say, ‘stop and smell the roses’.  Our summer vacation was the perfect opportunity to do so.  We had a great time visiting family and friends, catching up with people we haven’t seen since moving to Phoenix ten years ago, as well as taking the time to spend quality moments with the kids.  For me, it was somewhat of a working vacation.  I had the chance to play some of the rooms I love to perform in, as well as play some new venues.  All I can say is that I appreciate your support for continuing to come see me play.  We’ve been gone five weeks and are looking forward to coming back home.  I do have to say that over the past 4-5 years of coming back to Ohio, this has been the most perfect weather of all the summers – none of that oppressive humidity and scorching heat!  Today we’re packing things up and we leave tomorrow.  No rest for the weary as it’s back to the grind for me.  Check the August schedule as I’m playing some new rooms and have some band gigs with both The Other Brothers and the Pete Cummings Band.  Hope to see you at a show!

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Tips and Tricks

Written by Bill on June 2, 2014 – 9:18 pm -

IMG_0117I’m always on the lookout for new acoustic guitar pickups and I’m always swapping systems in and out of my instruments in order to find the best tone.  I’ve been struggling for some time in trying to get the sub bass strings of my J. Thomas Davis harp guitar to sound the way I want and my journey has finally come to an end with the discovery of Dazzo pickups!

In my opinion, most contact transducers on the market tend to lack the headroom before feedback as well as low-end bass response.  I can tell you that the Dazzo transducers surpass this in both areas.  I’m stunned at the amount of bass response without the low-end rumble you can get on stage and the clarity of the high-end frequencies is phenomenal.

While the installation can be a little tricky, what impressed me the most is that when I called for technical assistance the owner of the company picked up the phone!  Teddy Randazzo Jr took the extra time and effort to help me in making sure I was completely satisfied with the results.  Believe me, I’ve tried almost every pickup on the market and when I called other companies with technical questions, NEVER have I been able to speak with the owner of the company!

Teddy makes different sized transducers, by hand, for all sorts of stringed instruments and I highly recommend you check out his web site for more information.

Stay tuned!


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Acoustic Guitar Pickups

Written by Bill on March 28, 2013 – 9:55 am -

Comp Pics 107There’s been incredible technological advancements in acoustic guitar amplification over the years.  I’m constantly asked what type of pickups I use in my guitars and while I don’t believe that one particular type is the best, I’d like to share what works for me and my application.  I’m by no means a ‘purist’ when trying to replicate the exact acoustic tone of the instrument, but rather, I’m going for an ‘acoustic-on-steroids’ tone. I find that a Read more »

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Purchasing a P.A. system for your acoustic guitar

Written by Bill on August 9, 2012 – 6:02 pm -

Let me preface by saying I’m not here to endorse any particular brand name, but rather suggest what has worked for me in a majority of the situations I’ve encountered.  There has been a multitude of incredible,  technological advancements in acoustic amplification over the years, and many companies are packing these features into compact, ergonomic, light weight designs. I encourage you to get out there and hear them.

If your intent is to do small coffee shop or restaurant work, I’d suggest Read more »

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The Case of the Lost Bridge Pin!

Written by Bill on March 30, 2012 – 12:36 pm -

I’ve always been one who likes to be prepared for any situation that might arise at a gig.  There’s nothing worse then not having a crucial piece of equipment or an accessory needed for a performance. Case in point…

I was performing last week and I happened to be playing on an elevated stage that was floored with 2 x 4’s.  There was a slight gap between all the boards and in the middle of a song I broke a string and the bridge pin popped out, sailed through the air, and as fate would have it, it fell between the cracks, into the dark oblivion under the stage.  Now who ever thinks of carrying extra bridge pins around?  Well hears a little trick for you.  Take a small piece of stage tape and tape an extra bridge pin on the outside of your guitar strap.

Stay tuned for more tricks of the trade!

Bill Dutcher


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Pimp My Axe!

Written by Bill on January 30, 2012 – 8:59 am -

I remember when I first started driving a car and tinkering with its’ engine to make it perform better.  Bigger tires, air shocks, bigger fuel injectors, hi-test gasoline, etc…  my Dad called these “go-fasters”!

Well…there are some little “tweaks” you can do to “hot-rod” your acoustic and I’m here, today, to share those with you!

Bone Saddle and Bone Nut:  Most mid-line production guitars come with a plastic saddle and nut.  Replacing them with bone will dramatically improve the tone.  Bone is much more dense than plastic and helps transmit the vibrations much more effectively.

Wooden Bridge Pins:  Mid-line production guitars usually have plastic bridge pins.  Replacing them with wooden pins will again, increase the sound and sustain.

Tuning Machines:  A majority of my original compositions are in open tunings and I’m constantly changing the tunings, according to the song I’m playing.  I’ve been a big fan of locking tuners since their development and I HIGHLY recommend them.  These type of tuners eliminate the need to wrap the string several times around the string post.  This is where slippage occurs.  Locking tuners enable you to pull the string all the way tight to the point that once locked down, you’ll only need to turn the tuner a few times to bring the string into pitch.

“Wanna See My G-String”?  Don’t get any crazy ideas!  What I’m talking about is the G-string of the guitar!  Most sets of acoustic strings use a .024 or .026 wound string for the G-string.  Try using a .022 guage instead.  Yes, this means you’ll have to buy one when you buy a set of strings but after swapping it out you’ll be amazed on how much easier it is to bend notes on that string!

Custom String Gauges:  Alot of manufacturers offer custom gauge sets of strings.  Try using the bottom three strings from a set of medium guage strings and the top three strings from a set of light gauge strings.  You’ll have the best of both world’s!  You’ll have a nice fat low-end for your chords and you’ll have the ease and comfort of being able to bend the high notes on the top three strings.

Have Fun!

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Acoustic Guitar – F/X Pedals/Outboard Gear

Written by Bill on July 22, 2011 – 10:50 am -

It amazes me at the advances in electronics for guitar players.  Adding effects to your sound not only adds color but also can inspire you to play different, as well as come up with new ideas.  While many of today’s traditional f/x units are geared for electric guitar, don’t be afraid to try these devices with your acoustic guitar. If you’re going to delve into adding these to your sound I would first recommend buying a compressor pedal.  It’s great for controlling the dynamics of your playing and can be used to smooth out your sound.  It can also be used as a volume boost to make your solo’s jump out a bit.  Time-based effects such as delay, chorus and reverb pedals add color and dimension to the sound.  There’s no rule-of-thumb that if it’s “designed for electric it won’t work on acoustic”.  USE YOUR EARS!  If it sounds good, use it!

Distortion pedals are great for electric guitar but are somewhat problematic when trying to use them on acoustic guitars, depending on what type of pickup you use.  If you wish to try one, it will work best with a magnetic sound hole pickup or an under-the-saddle piezo type pickup.  You’ll have to experiment!  If you have a microphone in the guitar, forget it.

Get out there and try as much of these as you can.  Chances are you’ll find something that sparks your interest! Read more »

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Humidity – Instrument Care

Written by Bill on June 16, 2011 – 8:03 am -

Proper care and maintenance of your acoustic guitar is essential in making sure it lasts a lifetime.  A big issue I deal with out here in Arizona is the humidity level, or lack of humidity.  When I lived back in Ohio I had no problem with making sure my instruments had enough humidity….sometimes I had too much.  Out here in Arizona during the summer months the levels can get down as low as 5%!  There are some tricks you can do to make sure your instruments don’t dry up and shrivel away. Read more »

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