The Most Fun Playing Solo with Your Guitar

By: Jessica Deets

I still like to play with toys... and there's a great little amp that looks like a toy, but is packed with features. I'll tell you about it in a moment.

I've got an EVH Wolfgang and a VOX Valvetronix AD60vtx and they just go great together, but it felt like sometimes I'd play and have fun... and sometimes things just wouldn't come together (couldn't play worth a darn, couldn't get the right sound, or it just didn't feel "right"). Have you ever had times like that?

But I found something simple and easy that has renewed my enthusiasm... and expanded the depth of my guitar playing. Don't laugh... but I'm going to tell you about the Fender G-DEC.

I know it looks more like a kids toy than a serious amp. Afterall, you can't get much out of 15 watts... or can you?

I found the amp is great for beginners and even for those that have been playing for a while. The box says it's got the "Drummer and Bassist Included" and all that is need is you. It's true. My wife got it for me for Christmas (yes... I opened it early) and I can't stop playing it. In fact, my legs want to give out from the hours of standing and playing this week.

If you're a beginner... you absolutely need this amp. It will make your playing sound balanced and be a real boost to your confidence. I bought my 8 year old a Fender Mini Strat and I know he's gonna have a blast with this amp... as it covers over a multitude of sins.

If you've got more experience, this truly makes for a fun practice amp. It comes with 50 presets that you can fully customize and has lots of effects. You can change or remove the drums, you can remove the bass, you can change the effects and keep playing... all in real time.

It can really crank out some of those old Fender surf sounds (Dick Dale blast-back time) and it emulates other amps well. It's got a little AC/DC in there, some Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Clapton, Queen, Van Halen (well... kinda), several Country varieties, Jazz and Latin.

I find that I take the amp songs and settings that I don't like (I used to not like latin, but with this amp I've changed my mind) and then play some songs there to add variety in what I play... by doing this, I actually get a different kind of experience in my playing. You can also store another 50 of your own settings and the G-DEC has a MIDI input, so I've got a friend that is the absolute MIDI expert, and we're looking through his thousands of files to see what we want to add to this amp.

The other night I was playing to the "surf" setting and before I knew it, a couple hours had passed. Then we cranked out Clapton the next night. Last night it was Dixie Rock (I couldn't imagine ever playing this style... now its enjoyable).

There's no way that this amp can keep up with a real drummer in the room... but when you're just by yourself, you can get almost "loud" and really enjoy the sound you get. With the door open, your neighbors walking down the street can hear it... and it's just loud enough to impress your friends.

The Fender G-DEC amp runs about $300, some places have it as low as $270. You can find the description at Fender's website. It's money well spent and I believe you'll have a great time with it.

Copyright 2006.

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By Jessica Deets with her guitar friends. You can find information about guitar tabs and news at the website at

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