Alan is a musical Jack-of-all-trades, having
worked in most aspects of the music industry. He is deeply involved in guitar and music
technology as well as being a musician, luthier and studio engineer. He is partner, admin
and mainstay on the popular South African guitar forum www.guitarforum.co.za, where he is highly
regarded as as "a bit of a know-it-all" about guitars, effects and recording.
Alan is the author of the Electric Guitar Handbook (New Holland
Publishing, UK), which was released world-wide in 2005. Sadly, while this book sold well
globally and was translated into a number of languages, it was not reprinted, so is at end
of life. His second book Hotrod Your Electric Guitar was not
released due to difficulties with the US-based publisher, but should be available as an
E-Book in Q4 2012.
A great number of his articles and reviews appear on a wide variety of popular musical web
sites as well as in popular music magazines. These articles cover a wide range of musical
subjects, from drum and guitar maintenance to recording techniques and issues.
Alan plays mostly plays electric, fretless and nylon-string guitar, bass guitar, and
drums. He has a unique way of playing his main instrument, the electric guitar,
incorporating fingerstyle and flamenco playing techniques in a rock context. He utilises
complex effect chains and guitar synthesis to create a dense, detailed and shifting
"wall of sound" and often pushes sonic boundaries and raises the question:
"just how much noise can one man get from one guitar"? He has also played with
many of South Africa's highest regarded musicians.
Alan is a qualified recording engineer and a fanatical recording enthusiast. He has
studied acoustics and is also an electronics hobbyist. Based on this knowledge he has
built his own home studio and modified most of the equipment he owns to suit his own
Alan has also worked as a producer with some of South Africa's highest regarded musicians
such as Bill Knight, Andrew Mac Pherson (Flat Stanley/MacStanley) as well as a slew of
up-and-coming young artists.
Alan has been using guitar synthesisers since the late 1980's, and often hosts workshops
on these and other hi-tech items such as piezo bridges and effects processors. He has also
been involved in the development and testing of a number of high-tech guitar products such
as piezo saddles, guitar synthesisers, software and accessories.
Fascinated by every aspect of how musical instruments work and how they can be improved,
Alan has been taking them apart and fixing them for almost as long as he has been playing
them. He has built some of his own instruments and heavily modified the rest to suit his
own unique requirements. He worked as a luthier for 15 years and was authorised to repair
Gibson, Fender, Martin and Ibanez guitars, as well as install Fishman Transducers. Please
note: he no longer builds or repairs instruments and limits these activities to
his own instruments and those of friends.