Letter #1 —
Hello! I'm looking for a film in which at the end credits sounds a Yo
La Tengo song, but I don't know which song it was. The film was probably of the years 1989-1994, it was a "independient" film, and it was about a group of people in a local, and a red motorcycle o car or something... bfff I know they aren't good clues, but I don't remember more...
If you can help, I will be happy! Thanks a lot! My english is bad, sorry!
That's what we in the question-answering game like to refer to as a softball. We're 95% sure that the film in question is either "Vice Versa" or that Sylvester Stallone movie about arm wrestling, the title of which is right on the tip of my tongue.
Letter #2 —
Ben from Washington D.C. is in a quandary:
I purchased a Fender Jaguar for myself about a year ago. It's a Japanese version of the classic 'cause I can't afford a real one. . . . Anyway, I had all sorts of string-slipping problems and so I changed out the stock bridge and put in a Mustang bridge, like everyone says to do. I had a professional set up the guitar after that, and everything seemed fine. But my low E continues to slip because I play pretty hard. (I'm not a metal player; I just get excited!) And it has made some recent shows my band has played into out-of-tune festivals of fun. It's gotten so bad that the low-E saddle has developed an alternate groove which the string likes to migrate toward.
I don't know what to do! I use 12's, but the low E still slips out. I guess I could get a buzz-stop, but then that would take away the lovely chiminess you can get by strumming behind the bridge, right? Filing out the saddle may be another option, but the individual saddles on the Mustang bridge don't allow for any action alteration. I just really like where the action is now.
First off, let us say that nobody in the band understands more than 2/3 of the above, so if you stopped reading at some point and went looking for some new Jad Fair drawings, we don't blame you a bit (and apologize for the lack of new Jad Fair drawings). That doesn't mean we aren't thrilled to have our letters page turn into a tech forum, and it doesn't mean we are ill-equipped to answer your questions. To the Gil Signal! This is a job for the tattooed crusader; this is a job for Totally Gil.
The answers to all of your Jaguar problems are quite simple. I have worked with a few guitar players who get excited and knock strings out of their saddles (Ira, for one). Let's start with the most important problem first.
In an earlier installment of "Totally Gil," I explored the possibilities of taming the Jaguar's buzzing bridges. The most effective way is by installing a Buzzstop. It is also the cure for your E string popping out of its saddle, since it increases the tension behind the bridge.
Now, since you like to play behind the bridge, the Buzzstop will change it a bit, here is how. With the added tension that the Buzzstop creates, the pitch of the strings will be higher behind the bridge. You can still make noise behind it, it just won't be as easy and the pitch will be higher, but it will cure your problem, and add sustain too.
Another way to increase the tension behind the bridge (and this should be left to a professional guitar technician) is to place a neck shim underneath the neck and body joint closest to the pickups. That will
tilt the neck back, bringing the strings closer to the frets, giving you the opportunity to raise the bridge more, but still maintaining low action. With the bridge raised more, it will in turn give you more tension behind the bridge (though not as much tension as a Buzzstop would).
If you play heavy handed, you may need to go down a string gauge or two, since the increased tension on the strings, may make the strings break more often (see Totally Gil May 2005).
It is popular among Jaguar and Jazzmaster owners to replace the stock bridge with a Mustang bridge. I for one believe that the stock bridges offer far more adjustment possibilities with the action and string spacing of the individual string than the Mustang bridges do. So I would recommend putting the stock bridge back on, once you have made the necessary modifications to increase the string tension.
If you are still suffering from your strings slipping out of tune, I would recommend changing the tuning machines. Unfortunately, the original Japanese tuners are not the best. There are many good tuners out there.
Fender offers many high-end tuners that would be a direct replacement for your Jaguar. Or you could go to Stewart-MacDonald or Allparts to find a good set of tuners.
I hope you found this helpful.
Letter #3 —
Finally, an email from occasional correspondent Jeff. He writes:
"So I'm listening to Prisoners Of Love for the first time...Wow. I don't like to judge anything until I listen to it at least 5 times, but the first 2 CD's contain stuff I already have...Combined like it is...it makes me cry."
We love this: the sentiment, the typography, I mean bold-face italics? Fantastic. We'll skip the next part, where Jeff continues to pile on the compliments, both out of modesty and because Gil took the name of his column a little too literally, and go right to where Jeff poses something of an FAQ:
"(Who am I writing these damn love letters to anyway? I'm thinking you guys split e-mail chores.)"
Once again, exemplary typing. But, Jeff, we're afraid you couldn't be wronger. All emails to Yo La Tengo are automatically answered by our Penpalutron3000 software, developed specifically for us by Ronco.