Gretsch Astro Jet

Gretsch Astro Jet

Guitar Gavel Lick Of The Week with Stevie K

Steve takes us on a journey through consonance and dissonance, tension and resolve, by using a symmetrical finger pattern.

Gretsch Astro Jet

“Hey man, if you could just make the headstock a little more squiggly to match the body, we’re good here.” This not so successful creation stemmed from Gretsch’s Jimmie Webster, who otherwise had a long and very successful career with the company. 

Jimmie was a well accomplished guitar player and demo-guy for Gretsch, traveling around the country promoting Gretsch guitars to dealers and media outlets. He was also an astute marketer and responsible for signing Chet Atkins as an endorser and getting Chet’s first signature guitar created. 

You may know Jimmie for something else… he innovated a certain guitar technique he called the “Touch System”. It’s now called finger tapping. 

I’m including a couple of links that I think are worth your time. One is a recording of Jimmie’s “Fountain Mist” track off his 1959 album “Web’ster’s un’a-bridged”, produced by Chet Atkins. His finger tapping is prominent in this song.


The one is a 4-minute history lesson about Jimmie, the guy was something else. 

Not only could Jimmie play, market and sell guitars, He was also a designer and his list of credits include the White Falcon, White Penguin, Sparkle Jet wrapper (from Gretsch drums), and the neoclassical fret markers. 

Given all of Jimmie’s hits, there definitely has to be a few misses and the Astro Jet was one of them. Debuting in 1964, the only catalog appearance this guitar enjoyed came in 1965, and production fizzled by the time Baldwin Piano took over in 1967.

1964 Gretsch 6126 Astro Jet specs: Mahogany body and neck, Ebony fretboard with MOP thumb inlays, SuperTron blade humbuckers, Master volume and two tone controls, 3-way switch, Tone selector, Standby switch, Space Control bridge, Burns vibrato

Wyatt Wednesdays- Soldering: A novice conversing with a pro

This is not a "how-to" solder video. It's a conversation between a guy who's a professional with a soldering iron and a guy that is a beginner.

Wyatt offers up some tips and tricks when starting out while David talks about burning himself and soldering LED lights on the wrong side of a PCB.

Wyatt's tips: don't use your precision wire snips to clip guitar strings. Do use hemostats. Use a needle tip or chisel tip. At your own risk, Wyatt prefers using leaded solder wire. Don't inhale!


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