All you ever wanted to know about GuitarGeek.Com – and then some. If this informative FAQ doesn’t address your innermost thoughts and desires please feel free to drop us a line.
Q: What is the history behind Guitargeek.Com?
GuitarGeek: The quest for unraveling the mysteries behind guitar and bass player’s rigs started at a very early age for GuitarGeek founder, Adam Cooper. During a childhood trip to Disney’s Magical Kingdom, Adam was found wandering to the front of the Tomorrow Land stage to see what those “big noisy boxes” the Surf cover band, Papa-Doo-Run-Run, were playing through. In later years, this curiosity continued as some of the Geek staff went on to publish the critically acclaimed underground music-zine Whirlpool. Early versions of the GuitarGeek layouts appeared within Whirlpool’s earnest and idealistic pages. This exposure led to the GuitarGeek layouts being featured from time to time within the slick pages of the alt-rock magazine Alternative Press. The first internet version of GuitarGeek appeared on the web in late 1994. The simple block-like diagrams of the Geek’s early days were a far cry from the site’s current eye-popping schematics but the site soon became the holy grail of onstage rigs on the web. Since then, GuitarGeek.Com has won numerous online awards for design and unique content as well as being featured in GuitarWorld, GuitarPlayer, Guitarist UK, Total Guitar UK, The Net UK, and The Boss/Roland User Guide.
Q: What computers do you use at the top-secret GuitarGeek Compound?
GuitarGeek: We enlist the aid of the following high tech gadgetry to keep the GuitarGeek healthy and happy:
Arizona Desert MainFrame Facility:
Macintosh Quad G5
(Guitar Geek Design, Website Development, Sound Design and Internet)
Macintosh Powerbook G4
(Internet and Punishment)
Q: Where do you obtain the information for the layouts?
GuitarGeek: Close to 95% of the information we use to construct the GuitarGeek layouts is gathered directly from the artists or road techs in detailed interviews. In the case of reclusive or deceased artists, we compile their rigs from eye-witness accounts, live concert footage, old magazine articles, or biographies.
Q: What computer programs do you use to draw the layouts?
GuitarGeek: We use a simple combination of over-priced graphics programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to render the fetching images you see on the site. We basically illustrate all the images in Illustrator and prep them for the web in Photoshop.
Q: Is there a Computer Program that generates all these amps and pedals automatically?
GuitarGeek: We wish! Each and every gadget on the site is painstakingly drawn up – one by one – by the Geek staff to bear a striking resemblance to the original product.
Q: How long does it take to make a GuitarGeek layout?
GuitarGeek: That depends on the complexity of the rig. The Cape Canaveral size setups of guitarists like Toni Iommi or Eddie Van Halen can take a week or so to construct, whereas smaller rigs that consist of only a single pedal or amp may only take an hour or so. We also spend a enormous amount of time drawing up new and obscure pieces of gear as they are needed.
Q: I play guitar! Can you post my setup?
GuitarGeek: Just because you and your good buddy Skeeter just bought a new metal-flaked V-Wing guitar, the newest Super Fantabulator pedal, and have written 3 “freakin’ killer tunes” in your papa’s woodshed doesn’t mean that it’s time for you to submit your “rig” to GuitarGeek.Com. I really wish we had the time to accept submissions for every axe-slinger out there in riff-land but, unfortunately, we can’t. Aside from all the major label guitarists featured here on the Geek, the remainder are artists that are either signed to small independent record labels or have releases out on their own well established labels. The big difference between these folks and young Skeeter is that they are actively releasing records, getting press in big magazines or small zines, receiving extensive college radio airplay, or touring the world in a beat up Ford Econoline van. Get it?
Q: I play in really “awesome” cover band. Can you post my setup?
GuitarGeek: Uhhh No.
Q: Where can I get the images to make my own layout?
GuitarGeek: Be creative and draw them up yourself!
Q: I love those cute little pictures! Can you send me the gear images so i can make my own GuitarGeek setup?
GuitarGeek: That’s very flattering but I’m afraid it’s just not possible. We’ve spent countless hours developing the look and feel of the GuitarGeek site and would rather the images remain within the design savvy realm of the site.
Q: I’ve seen people posting their own crude versions GuitarGeek-style setups on the internet using your images. Can I do the same?
GuitarGeek: Only if you like breaking copyright laws and doing hard time in a federal prison.
Q: Why doesn’t GuitarGeek.com show exact amp and pedal settings in the layouts?
GuitarGeek: We have two fundamental reasons for not detailing exact amp and pedal settings. Reason #1: Most major label artists are on extremely tight schedules and we are typically allotted only 15-20 minutes to speak with most of them. Since we chart the exact signal flow of each and every rig, this is usually barely enough time to cover the all the basics. Reason #2: Start twiddling knobs yourself! Part of the fun in getting new gear is exploring the sonic limits of it. We’ve taken an enormous amount of time to track down all this gear now it’s time for you to come up with your own unique sounds and tone. Have fun!
Q: How long will it take for my GuitarGeek request to appear?
We have no way of knowing really! Some artists don’t do interviews, some only do interviews for a few weeks out of the year, some are no longer releasing records, some are in the recording studio and can’t be bothered, some are on well-deserved breaks from touring, and some are, sadly, dead. Lining up these interviews is a very challenging job and often takes zillions of phone calls, a million or so faxes, twice as many emails, and then sometimes, months and months of waiting. Add up all these various factors and you see what we’re up against! We are as as curious as the next gearhead to see more rigs but sometimes these things take time!
Q: How often do you update GuitarGeek.Com?
We strive to post one new setup to the site every week. However, due to the availability of your requested artists, and everyone’s various scheduling snafus, sometimes this noble goal is thwarted. Please keep in mind that we are continually working “behind the scenes” tracking down your guitar heroes and fiddling with new gear.
Q: “_________” (fill in guitar hero) is the most popular guitarist of all time! I can’t believe you don’t have him/her on the site! Geez… and you call this a Guitar Site???
A: It’s all about getting interviews with the artists isn’t it? Keep in mind that the bigger the artist, the harder it is to actually get an interview with them.
Q: Why isn’t my guitar hero on GuitarGeek.Com but this other wanna-be is?
We don’t play guitar hero-worship here! Within the amazing GuitarGeek database we spotlight artists that sell millions of records as well as underground artists that sell less than 1000 records, artists that are world-reknowned virtuosos and some artists that can’t play two chords to save their life, artists that cherish their instruments and artists that smash their instruments. We love ‘em all and hope you can learn something new from every single rig depicted here. Just because you see one artist on the site and not another doesn’t mean a thing. It just means we haven’t been able to interview your hero yet.
Q: Most guitarist’s rigs are posted all over the internet. Why aren’t they on the site?
A: There is a lot of information posted on the internet for most famous guitarists. The problem with most of this information it is that it is usually just made up of simple gear lists. While this is informative, it hardly gives us exact details on how the artist’s charts the signal flow of their rigs. We prefer to interview the artists or their techs to get the whole scoop.
Q: I have a Big Muff and my cables plug into the top of the pedal but you show them plugging into the sides. I’m confused!
A: Well don’t be my friend. In case you hadn’t noticed these layouts are basically cartoons. We take a bit of artistic license in placing where input and output jacks go on various devices. This is mostly to keep the pedals, amps, and effects modular so we can lay out rigs in a timely fashion.
Q: What gear do you use to test out new gadgets with?
We test all incoming gadgets with the following:
1970’s Gibson 335 – 1963 Fender Jaguar – 1990s Fender Jazzmaster – 1990s Fender Stratocatser – 1970s Fender Telecaster – 1960s Wurlitzer Pawnshop guitar – 1990s Rickenbacker
1960s Fender Princeton Blackface – 1960s Silvertone Twin Twelve – 1990s Ampeg Reverb Rocket – 1960s Magnatone Model 450 – 1970s Fender Vibro-Champ – 1990’s Line 6 Pod – 1980s Roland JC-50 1×12 Combo.
Q: Where do you test new equipment at?
All of our gadget tests are conducted here at the Top-Secret State of the Art Guitar Geek Test Facility located deep within the heart of the Arizona Desert.
Q: What happened to all the great artists you used to have?
You can still access all th old rigs! With the relaunch of the site in August of 2011, we changed the way the mainframe server displays our wonderful guitar and bass rigs. All the older rigs safely reside in the archival section of the Guitargeek mainframe. We are slowly redrawing these rigs and adding them to the new database with our monthly archival updates. Please sign up on the Geek Mailing list to be informed of these updates.
Q: Does Guitargeek illustrate the rigs that appear in Guitar World magazine every month?
Yes! We’ve worked closely with GuitarWorld for many years doing illustrations and even a few gear reviews. That relationship led to the creation of a section of the magazine called “Vulgar Display of Power.” We draw up the rigs and Nick Bowcot (of Grim Reaper and Marshall Amplifiers fame) or Paul Hanson (formerly of Boss USA) does the text. It is found on the back page of each month’s issue and is the longest running column in the magazine’s illustrious history.
Q: I’m a Guitar Geek! Can I get a job?
There are no jobs here! We are all doing lifetime internships.
Q: Is it really illegal to try and make your own geek diagram?
Q: This is the coolest site ever! How do you do it GuitarGeek?
We drink from the divine and never-ending well of sweet caramel nectar known to you mortals as Coke-a-Cola.
Q: There are a lot of missing artists in your guitar database.
Not really a question is it? That said, you can’t really expect every single guitarist in riffland to magically appear on the site. These things take time my query-less friend!
Q: What do the GuitarGeeks do for a living?
Good question. Truth be told, we are all highly unemployable but do manage to survive by freelancing in the computer-related world of programming and design. Oh yeah! One of the GuitarGeek staff once lived a whole two days off of his whopping ASCAP royalty check of $38.56.
Q: Does GuitarGeek.com need any new guitar or effects reviewers?
If you’d like to write full-blown gear review for us please send in a few samples of your review-esque writing here. If you’ve never been published just fabricate something. Whatever you do, do NOT send in a resume’ this will only infuriate us. We hate our own resumes so why would we want to see yours?
Q: Where can I find other sites like yours?
You can’t! We ARE The Guitar Rig Database! BwWahhaHahaHah!!!
Q: What if my favourite band has already broken up? Will you even try and get their rigs?
Of course! Most of our favorite bands have bitten the dust. Just click on the request section of the main page and make it happen. Uhmm… William Reid, if you are reading this, please send in your Jesus and Mary Chain guitar setup!