We are no longer offering rental services

We would like to thank everyone for their support over the years and are very happy to have played a part in what we hope will be yours or your child’s life long passion for music!

Leading Tone has decided to refocus it’s efforts toward our passion of building and maintaining audio electronics and in this pursuit we have relocated to a new location and can no longer provide band and orchestra rental services.

If you’re currently renting an instrument we’re happy to provide support and encourage you to reach out to us with any questions you may have about returning, exchanging or repairing an instrument.

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2017 Rental Season is Underway

We are all geared up for this school year. It’s easy to RENT NOW online, or in our store. We have the best program in the Puget Sound Area. With the best in service and prices. Compare us with the others and you will find no other program compares to ours, and we are the only program that gives back to your schools music program.

  • All Instruments are New or Like New.
  • One month FREE rent!
  • Easy on line ordering!
  • All Rentals are Rent to Own!
  • Easy upgrade of instruments for fractional size or change of instrument. Equity earned is credited toward the new instrument.
  • Early Purchase Discounts for all rentals
  • Loaner Instruments During Repair/Maintenance that cannot be done the same day!
  • Delivery to Your Home or School!
  • Gives back to your school with ALL rental payments and purchases.
  • All instruments covered for maintenance, damage and loss.

Ready to get started! click HERE.

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Leading Tone Has a New Home

We are pleased to announce that Leading Tone has partnered with The Guitar Store located at 8300 Aurora Ave N. We will be moving in next week. Our focus will be on Band and Orchestra instrument rentals, sales and service. In addition The Guitar Store will be the exclusive dealer in King County for Fromel Electronics pedals and amplifiers.

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Really exciting changes coming in the next few weeks – Stay tuned!

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Labor Day and Hours Next Week

Next Monday (Sept. 1st) is Labor Day here in the States, so go out and have a barbecue! That means that we will not be in the office on Monday. We are normally closed Tuesday, but Chris will come in on Tuesday to catch up with orders from the weekend. However, he will not be in the office on Wednesday (except perhaps in the late afternoon) due to a prior engagement. So, our hours for next week are as follows:

Sunday – Closed
Monday – Closed
Tuesday – 9am-1pm
Wednesday – Closed
Thursday – 9am-5pm
Friday – 9am-4pm
Saturday – Closed

Sorry for any inconvenience this might cause and as always, please call before coming in to make sure someone is here to help you. Make all the noise!

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A Temporary Setback

I hate to make this announcement but the time has come that we need to move out of our current space. There are a lot of reasons that I won’t go into but the biggest reason is a landlord that refuses to keep the building in good repair. As many of you know I have been looking for a new retail space for over a year and have been unable to find that perfect spot. Until I can find a new retail space we will be operating out of a small office in Laurelhurst just about a mile away. The new address is 3626 NE 45th St Suite 304, Seattle, WA 98105, our phone number will be the same and we will be open by appointment only. We will continue growing our pedal and mod kit business while still offering amp repair and mods, as well as some guitar work (electronics, restring, etc) but until we have a new retail space we recommend Matthew Tolley for major repair, fretwork, and setup.

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Chris’s Christmas Wishlist

Remember when you were a kid and you waited half an hour in line at the mall to sit in some strange bearded man’s lap and told him all your secret desires? Well, you all are going to be the bearded man to my secret desires. That’s weird. Let’s move on and forget that happened.

What do you want for Christmas? I want a pony but that has little to do with a guitar blog, so here are the top three things off my guitar related wish list.

1. Gretsch 6120 Eddie Cochran Signature Model Eddie CochranGuitar

Eddie is probably the most influential guitar player in rockabilly and he had exacting desires when it came to his guitar. He made the big orange Gretch the rockabilly guitar and famously swapped the Dynasonic single coil pickup in the neck position with a Gibson P90 for a unique sound that set him apart. A couple years ago, Gretch released the Eddie Cochran Tribute model, which was ‘reliced’ to be an exact copy of Eddie’s guitar down to the scratches and pole-piece positioning. It also sported a $10,000 MSRP price tag. I chose to put the Signature model on my list for three reasons: First, it has a $3,800 MSRP ($2,000 street) price, which is still way out of my budget but is not unheard of. Second, it isn’t pre-aged which means every scratch and ding will be mine, a piece of the story I make with the guitar. Third, the Tribute model has a fixed-arm Bigsby vibrato, which is cool in that it is what Eddie used, but it isn’t very practical. The Signature model has an arm that swivels out of the way if needed.

2. Gretsch 6156 Playboy AmpGretsch Playboy Amp

Ok, so I’m a bit of a Gretsch fanboy. I realize this and acknowledge that it is a personality flaw, but I prefer to think of it as a quirk that I know what I like and I stick with it. Anyway, the Gretsch Playboy amp is one of two or three amps that were in Gretsch’s product catalog a couple years ago. It was the little brother of the bunch at 15 watts, but that is more than enough power for anything I do musically these days. It’s a pretty straight forward amp with a single channel and a tremolo, my favorite setup on an amp. The simplicity of the circuit is highlighted even more by the fact that these amps were hand made by Victoria Amps, a boutique amp manufacturer that focuses on vintage circuits and highest quality. Plus, it has a really cool looking cabinet.

3. The Nocturne Brain Atomic Brain preamp pedal Atomic Brain

Tavo is a really cool guy who makes really cool pedals with specific goals in mind. When he developed the Brain Seltzer pedal, he based it on the preamp circuit of the Roland RE-301 Space Echo to be used before a delay and add the slight edge to the sound. The Atomic Brain takes that edge and takes it even further, adding a fair amount of grit and overdrive. The Abby switch is a boost which adds volume and even more overdrive. It seems like a cool ‘always on’ kind of effect that can add just a touch of character to the guitar’s tone. Tavo also does limited runs of various hot-rod colors ranging from iridescent neon greens to sparkle blues.

Bonus Stocking Stuffer: Hufschmid Guitars Acrylic Dark Drop Pick

Hufschmid Picks$30 for a pick? Seriously? Yep. I found out about these guys during my last bout of obsession with metal music. I like my picks to be pretty thick for better control and these are definitely thick. Hand carved in Switzerland, the shape is supposed to increase comfort and decrease hand fatigue while playing. I also think they look cool.

Now that you’ve seen what I want, what’s on your list? A tweed Bassman? A hand carved archtop? Maybe even one of the Fromel Electronics pedals we make here in the store? Tell us all about it!

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The Times They Are a-Changin’

Starting today, Leading Tone will be closing at 6:00pm instead of 6:30pm. This makes our hours of operation 11:00am to 6:00pm Mon, Wed-Sat; Tuesdays by appointment; Closed Sundays.

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Get to Know Us!: David’s Top Ten Guitar Players

Though it was tough to narrow it down to just ten as there are just too many great players that I love and listen to that have influenced me in some way… but for what it’s worth, here’s my list and brief explanation for my Top Ten Guitarists:

Jim Kanas

10. Ethan Bott – I’ve always admired and respected him for his guitar prowess and he’s also a great teacher. Creative and complex in his theory and approach – he makes it look easy!

9. Jim Kanas – My guitar teacher for the first three years of my guitar life. He was (and still is) an incredible guitarist and knew exactly how to nurture my strengths and encouraged me to be the guitarist I am today.

8. Trey Spruance – Amazing player with the sweetest clean tone ever! His work on Mr. Bungle’s first album and ‘California’ still amazes me.

Trey Spruance

7. Joe Perry – The first five Aerosmith records are killer and Joe’s riffs were always fun to learn and play. Brad Whitford and him definitely paved the way for guys like Slash and Izzy.

6. Slash and Izzy Stradlin – In 1987, they brought the cool back to guitar and popular rock music in general. I spent countless days and nights as a 16-year-old learning ‘Appetite’ from start to finish on both guitar and drums!

5. Jimmy Page – Huge influence on me early on. I still play many of his riffs most every time I pick up a guitar!

4. David Gilmour – Incredible ability to play the perfect note every time. Never too flashy, always just right!

Lyle Workman

3. Lyle Workman – Amazing player with sweet tone and feel. He always used cool phrasing with unique choices of notes, most notably with Frank Black during the mid-late 90’s.

2. Jimi Hendrix – I’ve always aspired to be as cool and soulful on the guitar as Jimi and though I may not be, he will always remain a heavy influence on me, especially during my early formative years as a teenage guitarist.

Eddie Van Halen

1. Eddie Van Halen – The guy who started it all for me. When I was 11 or so, I heard Van Halen’s first record and his guitar playing, especially on “Eruption” blew me away! It was all over after that. I will never be as great as him but I’m okay with that! The first five VH records remain in my all-time favorite list.

There are so many others like Jeff Beck, Brett Kingman, Angus Young, George Lynch, Nick Zinner, Brian Setzer, Stephen Malkmus, Rivers Cuomo, Will Ray, John Jorgenson, Eric Clapton, George Harrison just to name a few… that could have easily made this list for me but there just isn’t enough time or space for them all!

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Get to Know Us!: Chris Mulder’s Top Ten Guitar Players

Howdy folks! If you remember from my first “Get To Know Us!” post, my favorite style of music is rockabilly. New or old, if the guitar is twangy and the jeans are cuffed, I’ll probably dig it. Here is my top 10 guitar players (today, ask me tomorrow and it will probably be different, as is the nature of top 10 lists), and as you’ll see, half of them are rockabilly guys.

Marc Ribot

10. Marc Ribot – Mr. Ribot is a prolific jazz player, but he’s on my list because of his work with Tom Waits. He’s played on Tom Waits albums since Rain Dogs in 1985. Required listening: “Jockey Full of Bourbon”, “Cold Water”

9. Jonsi – Not the first to put a bow to a guitar, Jonsi took that idea and came up with a sound beyond what I though possible with just a guitar and some reverb. Seeing Sigur Ros live was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Required listening: “Svefn-g-englar”, “Festival”

8. Keith Merrow – I don’t normally go for the virtuoso style metal playing. Generally I find that kind of music offensive. Merrow is a YouTube musician from Portland, OR who plays instrumental metal and skirts that virtuoso line sometimes, but his riffs are so amazing. Also, watching his videos makes my brain hurt trying to figure out how he plays so fast and accurately. Required listening: “Pillars of Creation”, “Andromeda” and “Andromeda II”

7. Django Reinhardt – Need I say more? Two fingers paralyzed on his fretting hand and he still played better than pretty much anyone had or has since. Amazing. Required listening: “Ultrafox”, “Tiger Rag”. Required viewing: “Sweet and Lowdown”

Scotty Moore and Elvis Presley

6. Scotty Moore – Elvis Presley’s guitar player behind the big gold Gibson ES-295. Elvis would not have the King of Rock and Roll without Scotty’s guitar work. Required listening: “Just Because”, “”I Got a Woman”

5. Cliff Gallup – The guitar behind Gene Vincent. Seriously amazing note choices. His solos are deceptively complicated and his rhythm work is perfect. Required listening: “Race with the Devil”, “Red Bluejeans and a Ponytail”

4. Eddie Cochran – The father of modern rockabilly. His influence, along with Gene Vincent’s, can be heard in Brian Setzer, JD McPherson, Reverend Horton Heat, and many amazing rock and roll or rockabilly musicians. Required listening: “C’mon Everybody”, “Twenty-Flight Rock”

3. Luther Perkins – “Well, Waylon, whatever you’re looking for, I’ve already found.” This quote from Walk the Line pretty much sums up Luther’s style and what I like so much about it. Whenever anyone tries to play any of his guitar parts they always make them more complicated, but that always seems to make them worse. Luther’s charm is in his simplicity and confidence. Required listening: “Get Rhythm”, “Folsom Prison Blues”

2. Brad Paisley – Mr. Paisley (Yes, as far as I can tell that is his real name) is a modern country player, but don’t let that distract you from his amazing guitar skills. He has a jazz background which shines through and makes his melody choices amazing. I love his use of a ‘g bender,’ which he has installed on pretty much all of his guitars. Also, anyone who can rock a paisley Telecaster has to be pretty darn cool. Required listening: “I’m Still a Guy”, “Two Feet of Topsoil”

Brian Setzer

1. Brian Setzer – I know, I know… He’s the obvious choice for rockabilly guitar legend, but his recording blow me away every time I listen to them. Also, he brought rockabilly back into popular culture not once but twice with The Stray Cats and The Brian Setzer Orchestra (you can argue that the orchestra isn’t rockabilly, but it is pretty darn awesome!). Required listening: “Fishnet Stockings”, “Trouble Train”

What about you? We’d love to hear if you agree or disagree with my choices? What other songs would you recommend for required listening??

(All images courtesy of Wikipedia or ScottyMoore.net)

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