What if you really could have all the guitars you ever wanted? Hugh Middleton from indie rock outfit Mid Ayr investigates that very question for Australian Guitar, mining his mind for the ultimate axe collection.
MY DREAM GUITAR COLLECTION
12-string Rickenbacker 330
I first saw a Rickenbacker in the hands of John Lennon when I was just a boy. Totally mesmerised by its bizarre body shape and the sound of it. Then caught Daniel Johns playing a 12-string 330 ‘Fire-glow’ on their Diorama tour and was sold. The six-strings have a real rockabilly jangly sound about them but doubling the string count just adds such a shimmery depth to it.
American Vintage Fender 65 Jazzmaster
I’m a fan of that drenched out, reverberated, Chris Isaac ‘Blue Hotel’ whammy bar infused guitar tone which the Jazzmaster is great for but is also capable of pulling off a wholesome My Bloody Valentine-esque trashy guitar swelling vibe. Gravitated to the Jazzmaster because of its potential for extended techniques—including unorthodox vibrato use, manipulation of the strings beyond the confines of the fretboard and creative pickup switching. It’s a beautiful thing.
I played a Fender Coronado at our first single launch for Mid Ayr. It belonged to my mate Sam who has a whole range of fancy guitars and we were fortunate enough to have him as our guitar tech. Such a beautiful shape, feel and colour. Just because I have so many strange specific tunings it was easier to jump onto something else with a similar feel to my Electa instead of awkwardly winding pegs and changing capos between song. I noticed it has a little more bite to the top end of the pickups which gives it a little bit more of an overall jangly sound.
Höfner 500/1 Bass
I fell in love with the Hof purely after picking it up and realising how light the thing is. It feels like a Styrofoam toy that you can walk those fingers up and down with such ease. Also such a fan of that Paul McCartney, mid-range, ‘60s sound that the Hof does so well. The bottom end is warm and wholesome without compensating for that punchy mid-range. We ran it through a bunch of distortion and fuzz pedals also which turned it into more of a dirty Moog synth than a guitar. Just such a reliable, fun to play bass with great feel huge low end.
Fender Mexican Telecaster
Came across one of these when I was a kid and fell so hard for it. Telecasters can have a tendency of sometimes sounding a little thin and harsh but I felt that the Mexican and the Japanese make didn’t lose that low-end depth and warmth. Love the shape and feel of it. Just does what any great guitar is meant to do and makes you want to get busy with it. It also inspired a whole range of different styles and shades to that I wouldn’t normally play.
Mid Ayr’s new EP Elm Way is out this Friday 21 April and you can catch them on tour on the dates below!
Friday 28th April – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney NSW Tickets
Friday 5th May – The Grace Darling, Melbourne VIC Tickets
Saturday 6th May – The Foundry, Brisbane QLD Tickets