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Maddi Schieferstein

Maddi Schieferstein first crossed paths with John Petrucci in 1998 when Deep Purple was touring with Dream Theater. At the time Maddi was the bass tech for Deep Purple, but as any true gearhead would, he took an interest in Petrucci’s extensive rig. Little did he know that in time he would come to know that rig better than anyone on the planet. In this episode Maddi Schieferstein, guitar tech to John Petrucci, answers questions solicited from fans online. Topics include changing strings and adjusting string height, as well as JP’s guitar collection and pre-show rituals.

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Transcript

Evan:
Hello, I'm Evan Ball. Welcome to Striking a Chord, an Ernie Ball podcast. So we're going to try something a little different this episode. On the show we have Maddi Schieferstein, guitar tech extraordinaire to John Petrucci. We solicited questions from social media, and Maddi's going to answer a handful of those. We'll talk about string height, string changing, string gauges, also John Petrucci's guitar collection, his pre-show rituals, and much more. So let's get started. Ladies and gentlemen, Maddi Schieferstein. Maddi Schieferstein, welcome to the podcast.

Maddi:
Hello. How's it going?

Evan:
Great. Thank you for doing this.

Maddi:
My pleasure.

Evan:
All right, so we solicited questions from social media, got lots back, only within a short window, so lots out there.

Maddi:
Let's see what they want to know.

Evan:
Yeah, let's go through them. We can hit a number of them. Before we do that, let's do a quick recap on how you came to become John Petrucci's guitar tech.

Maddi:
Let's see, I'll have to go back a number of years. So years and years ago, I worked for Deep Purple who, as you know, Steve Morris is the guitar player in Deep Purple. So I was actually the base tech for them. And we did a tour in the kind of late 90s, I guess. And it just so happened that Dream Theater was one of the support acts on the tour. And so I was a fan of theirs, of course, and I got to hang around. And kind of spy on all the cool guitar nerd gear and stuff like that, that JP was using. And kind of just struck up a very casual, like a, "Hey, how you doing" kind of friendship. Just we'd see each other on gig days or whatever, but that was it.

And then right around that time, I believe the way it happened was they were looking for new management and somehow or another Deep Purple's management got involved with them. And so I got a call one day from the management office saying, "Hey, we've got this band Dream Theater, that's getting ready to go on tour. Do you want to go work for them?" And I said, "Well, okay, sure." And yeah, I actually started off with Dream Theater 20 years ago as the bass and keyboard tech. And that was on the original Scenes From A Memory Tour. And then as with most road guys, a tour finishes, you go on to do something else, and you go on to do something else, and something else. So I was away for a little while, and then I came back on the Train of Thought Tour and that's when I actually became John's guitar tech.

Evan:
Okay.

Maddi:
So I did that tour and then wanted away for a bit. And then I came back in 2009. I think it was the Black Clouds and Silver Linings Tour, and I've been there ever since.

Evan:
Yeah. Okay. And just for the audience, you wrote a blog post on the Music Man site. I can link to that in the show notes, but that gives a little more detail in your backstory.

Maddi:
I did, yes.

Evan:
And you do mention actually, to back up a little further, how when Van Halen came out, you were fairly captivated by Van Halen.

Maddi:
Oh yeah.

Evan:
And that sort of brought you into the guitar tech fold a little more. But I noticed on the article, you were less centered on his playing than the actual taking apart the guitars and the mechanics of it. Is that true?

Maddi:
That's true. Yeah, I was. Obviously the playing is what kind of grabbed me, but it was the more articles I read in magazines with Eddie, and he would talk about how, "Well, I built this guitar. And I couldn't get a guitar that I liked, so I would take two guitars apart and I put [inaudible 00:04:11] together to make something that worked for me." And I was always mechanically inclined. My father was very mechanically inclined. He had his own business and I would spend a lot of time out in the shop and just take pieces of metal and drill holes through them on a drill press, or take a piece of wood and cut it up with a saw and just kind of trial and error learning. And he would show me stuff, and some of the guys in the shop would show me stuff.

So when I got into guitars, of course I wanted to be a guitar player or a rock star, what kid doesn't, right? But I kind of quickly figured out that I was much better at tinkering with them than I was playing with them. And that's what really inspired me. So yeah, I would get a guitar and I would take it apart because Eddie Van Halen did it, so why shouldn't I do it?

Evan:
Right. Okay. Gotcha.

Maddi:
Yeah. And of course, a lot of that back then was, the internet really didn't exist at all. So what few books were in the library or magazines, you kind of learned by doing. And you would inevitably run into a buddy down the street who had a guitar, who was maybe a couple of years older who had a little bit more experience with something, and that's how I started learning.

Evan:
Hey, I'm just curious. Is John the type of guy who's inclined to take apart a guitar and learn about the guts of it?

Maddi:
Yes and no. He's very intrigued by how it all works and how all the parts come together to formulate the tool that he needs to make the music that he makes.

Evan:
Right.

Maddi:
He's never really, I don't think he's ever said to me, "Let's take a guitar apart and swap necks." I think maybe years ago he was a little more into that, but I think it was just because it was a discovery process. And with Music Man, instead of taking a guitar apart, you make a phone call and Drew goes to work in the office and then next thing you know, this new thing comes about. So a lot of, it's like the old napkin drawings, that's kind of where it lies. And then you, you get a hold of the factory and things start to happen.

Evan:
Yeah. You kind of alluded to this in your blog post and just now on your story with Deep Purple, how you'd sort of admire JP's setup as you were working for Deep Purple because it's fairly elaborate. But if you look out across the sea of guitar players in the world, do you think John's one of the more demanding guitars to work for? Not as far as being a difficult person, I mean in the sense that his guitar playing is top level and that naturally entails more precision, attention to detail.

Maddi:
Yes. That is a definite yes, but I think that any guitar player who's on that level has a level of demands that need to be met when you're the guy backing them up, guy or girl. I always used to think when I first met John, I'm like, "Man, that's got to be a difficult gig." And then now that I'm doing it, and it's probably because I've done it for so long, it's not a difficult gig because we have a relationship, and we both have a similar mindset when it comes to guitars, and gear, and thought process and things like that. So it makes it easy for me. It feels easy.

Evan:
That's great. I could also see somebody coming in out of the blue being fairly daunted by stepping into your position.

Maddi:
And I've done that. When I was moving from gig to gig, you would finish a tour and you'd start another tour. And maybe you'd met the guitar player or bass player, whoever it was you were working for before, but never worked for them. And then all of a sudden there's a whole new person, and a whole new set of emotions, and thought process, and everything that goes along with that, but you have to knuckle down and go, "Okay, how do I become a partnership with this person?" Because really at the end of the day, when you're in a tech position, the ultimate goal is to make sure that when your guy or girl walks out on stage to play, that that's all they have to think about. They don't have to think about, "Is my guitar going to be in tune? Is my amp going to work? Am I going to trip on a cable?" You know, stuff like that.

Evan:
Yep. All right let's reach into this bag of questions.

Maddi:
Sure.

Evan:
Here we go.

Maddi:
Okay.

Evan:
How many guitars does John have set up per show?

Maddi:
That's a revolving door. Let's see, when we... On this current tour that we've been doing, I think... So we have, so let me digress on that one just for a second. We had our two sets of equipment that leapfrog around the world. We call them the A Rig and the B Rig, and they're essentially identical for as far as guitars, and amps, and effects, and all that stuff. They're identical. So with the A Rig, I think by the end of Europe, I ended up with 17 guitars. And the B Rig, I think it's 13. So we added some new guitars in towards the end of the last leg of the tour, so that's why there's a number discrepancy. So let's just call it 17.

Evan:
Okay. So 17 guitars that are ready to go for the live show? Are they all... How many are played?

Maddi:
Half of those. Yeah. So the way it works is we have a main guitar and then a backup guitar for each tuning.

Evan:
For each one, gotcha.

Maddi:
Yeah. So if there is say seven string, there's two seven string guitars. One is the one that he'll almost always play. And then there's a backup in case something happens. C standard tuning, D standard tuning, B flat baritone, drop D standard tuning. Standard tuning is usually where we'll end up swapping guitars more just because he'll like a particular guitar for a certain set of songs. Maybe it's whatever combination that guitar sounds better for those songs. And then like he'll switch to the Tiger Eye Majesty for a certain set of songs because it lends itself to those songs.

Evan:
Yeah. Okay. Actually, while we're on that topic, there's a question. Which strings does John use for each tuning?

Maddi:
So we've kind of gone back to the standard green packaged Slinky tens. We'll use the RPS Slinkys for the standard tuning. We'll use the seven string, 10 to 56 for the seven string sets. And then it gets a little funky.

Evan:
You have some custom gauges?

Maddi:
There's some custom gauges and really what it comes down to is it's been a formula that, that Drew and Dudley and some of the other guys at the factory worked out, to where when you drop two steps down to C standard, it still feels like a set of tens. And same with, well with the D, it's 11 to... It's the purple packet.

Evan:
Slinky's 11 to 48.

Maddi:
Yeah, that's D standard. And then drop D is 10 to 46, but instead of a 46, it's a 48 for the low string. And then C is, I think it's 12, 15, 20 plain. And then it ends up at a 54, I think it's 54, 46. Oh yeah, so a 20 plane, 34, 46, 54, I believe is [crosstalk 00:12:30]. So and then the B flat baritones, that's a whole other animal anyway.

Evan:
All right. Cool. Does John still use any of his older JP models?

Maddi:
Not on tour currently. Sometimes we'll get those out when we're in the studio and he'll just kind of say, "Bring a bunch of different stuff," or he'll go "I remember I had this guitar, it was this color," and I'll go over to the warehouse and go through the library and pick it out. Usually when we're in the studio, The Majesty is kind of his main tool, his main guitar for now. So that's pretty much... And we have enough of them I can set them up in all different tunings and it's-

Evan:
Yeah. How big is this warehouse at this point?

Maddi:
It's pretty big. It's pretty big. DTHQ is rammed full at the moment with stuff, but it's amazing how much stuff gets accumulated over decades of touring. And when you actually get it all in one room, you're like, "Wow."

Evan:
Are the guitars organized in some way? Or is it just, you just got to dig through?

Maddi:
No, they they are organized, but it's kind of fallen off the last couple of years. So I need to get back up there and get back to it again. As new guitars come out, and we get ready for a touring cycle and more guitars come in, and then they go out on the road for a while, so there's a bunch of empty cases and just because things sometimes get to be so last minute, you don't necessarily get to mark all the cases up with what they're supposed to be.

Evan:
But you pretty much know where to find what you'd need?

Maddi:
Absolutely, yeah.

Evan:
Yeah, yeah. Okay, next one. What's the hardest part of your job?

Maddi:
I don't know. It's a great question. Kind of depends on the day. I think as far as setting up and making sure the guitars are set up, and the amps, and the stage, and all that stuff that's all easy I guess, for lack of a better term. I guess the hardest part is just being on the road, being away from home. That's probably the hardest part, I guess. The actual gig itself is I don't find that hard at all. It's enjoyable for me.

Evan:
Yeah. Well, a less seasoned person would probably find it a little more stressful. If things go wrong, which they're bound to live, it's not like you're working in a studio, this is live show with a big audience.

Maddi:
Yes. Yeah.

Evan:
Do you always kind of have your fingers crossed?

Maddi:
Yeah. When I get the most worried is right at the top of the show when the house lights go out, and the band walks out on stage, and you're waiting for that first note to kick in, and just hoping that that first note hits. And once that first note hits it's like, "Okay, cool. Everything's working."

Evan:
Yeah, yeah.

Maddi:
I haven't accidentally not unmuted the guitar. And we have a routine at the top of the show, so it's a very, like if the routine gets out of order, then something could misfire. But we do pretty good, both him and I, of we have a routine and this is how we do it. And we know that everything's going to work.

Evan:
Yeah. Okay. So sigh of relief after that first note, has hit?

Maddi:
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Evan:
All right. Someone asked, get ready for this one. What's your favorite sandwich?

Maddi:
My favorite sandwich?

Evan:
I meant to warn you, this is a hard hitting interview.

Maddi:
You just can't go wrong with a good old fashioned cheeseburger.

Evan:
Okay. And John?

Maddi:
I would venture to say he'd be in line with a good old fashioned cheeseburger. We tend to go out and grab a burger on a day off on occasion.

Evan:
Okay.

Maddi:
Yeah.

Evan:
All right. We got various questions on string height, set up. One of them being how high or low do you set John's action?

Maddi:
Okay. Let me preface any of these answers by saying it's all personal feel, right? So every guitar player is different. For John, because of the style that he plays and especially live, I'll use live as the example because the studio is a little different live. When you're ripping through a three hour show and playing all those notes, if the action isn't super, super low, your hands are going to get fatigued, and it becomes harder to play. And when you have to do three shows in a row, sometimes four in a row, that's a big problem if your hands become fatigued. So it's okay to have some fret buzz to get the action that low, because with distorted guitars, you're not going to hear it any way.

Evan:
Gotcha.

Maddi:
So the number that I aim for IF somebody wanted to get out a ruler and measure, I use these little string action gauges from, from Stu Mac cause a buddy of mine had one years ago, he showed it to me, and I thought, "Well, that's really cool." So I go for 40 thousandths of an inch at the 12th fret.

Evan:
Okay.

Maddi:
So when you're setting up the guitar, whatever the radius is of your fingerboard, you set the bridge saddles to follow that same radius. And then I just sit there and make sure that the neck is straight. So I adjust the truss rod to make sure the neck's perfectly straight. And then I'll just sit there. And if it's not 40 thousandths of an inch, I'll start lowering the bridge saddle to get it right down near there. And then it's just a repetitive set up after that. You have to adjust each bridge saddle, you have to keep adjusting the neck because you're going to change the tension on the neck, keep retuning because you're changing the string tuning. So that's pretty much where I shoot for is 40 thousandths.

And to be honest, a lot of times now I just do it by feel because I've been doing it for so long and I know what he wants. And every guitar is going to be different too.

Evan:
Yeah, so then slightly higher in the studio?

Maddi:
Slightly higher in the studio because you're typically tracking with a little less distortion because you're layering guitars on. And it's also, you're not playing a three hour show. You can sit there and take your time with each part, so a little higher action is good for the studio.

Evan:
Yeah. It makes sense. I never thought of that.

Maddi:
Yeah.

Evan:
And you might have kind of gone over this territory already. Another one though, I can't seem to get my action right. It's either too low and buzzing or too high in buzzing.

Maddi:
Man that is a loaded question. It could be any number of things. If it's too high in buzzing, then something's off with, and I don't know what kind of guitar he's talking about or anything, so I would say that maybe the neck angle is slightly off, or the truss rod is adjusted too far in one direction. If it's a floating bridge, maybe it's not sitting parallel with the body. That's one of those things where somebody would have to look at it. Without seeing it in front of me, I couldn't diagnose it.

Evan:
Okay. All right. So before we leave this topic, any general tips for dialing in action?

Maddi:
Yeah. Don't be afraid of the truss rod. I don't know where in the lexicon of guitars, the truss rod became this voodoo thing. It's a rod that helps counteract the string tension, and it's very easy to adjust, and it might seem scary the first time you do it because you might turn it and you'll hear something creak a little bit or whatever, but it's not a big deal at all.

Evan:
Any risk in cranking it around too much?

Maddi:
Well, sure. Yeah. You take it in small increments, eighth of a turn, quarter of a turn, you don't need to take it in a full clockwise 360. Then you're asking for problems.

Evan:
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:21:32]

Maddi:
It's a piece of wood. It moves, it changes with weather. I've adjusted John's truss rods while he's in the middle of playing a song sometimes. Yeah, that was kind of on the extreme end of-

Evan:
Some acrobatics.

Maddi:
Yeah. Yeah. I got these handy new Music Man truss rod tools though. So I'm looking forward to getting those back on the road.

Evan:
All right. We got some string changing questions, pretty basic. But nonetheless you've probably changed as many guitar strings as anyone on the planet.

Maddi:
Yeah.

Evan:
So any tips?

Maddi:
I don't have any tips per se. I can tell you how I do it, which is I usually do them two at a time. I hardly ever take all the strings off unless I have to really work on the bridge itself or something like that.

Evan:
Okay. Any particular order? You take two off at a time.

Maddi:
I start with the low strings and I work to the high strings. So it'd be the E and A would be the first ones. So I'll loosen them, take them off, put the two new ones on, tighten them up, stretch them a little bit to get them to settle, and then move on to the next pair, same process, last pair, same process. And then once I get all six changed, then I'll put the guitar on in playing position and I'll finish out my stretching and tuning and I'll play them for a little while. So I'll probably noodle along for five or 10 minutes, and just bend them, and play with the bridge, dive bomb it, pull it back, just kind of get everything moving so it'll all settle in.

And then I'll put the guitar down and move on to the next one. And then after I get through however many I'm changing that day, I'll go back to the beginning and I'll pick them up and tune them and play them for a few minutes. And by that time, the atmospheric conditions in the venue are changing. Maybe the venue is cooling down because they've turned the air conditioning on, or it's an outdoor show and the sun's going down so the temperature is getting cooler, and that will all cause the guitars to shift around a little bit.

Evan:
Yeah. How long before the show starts do you change the strings?

Maddi:
I typically start changing strings, if it's a normal day and everything's moving along like it should, usually between 2:00 and 2:30 is when I start changing. And I'll usually have anywhere from four to six a day that I have to change.

Evan:
Okay.

Maddi:
I keep them on a rotation. So some guitars only get played for maybe one song, so I'm not going to change those every day. I'll let those go two or three shows, especially like the lower tuning stuff, there's maybe only a couple of those songs in the set list.

Evan:
Have you ever timed yourself changing a set of strings?

Maddi:
Yeah.

Evan:
Yeah?

Maddi:
Yeah I did. I think the fastest I did it, and this was like fully stretched, tuned, it wasn't going out of tune, probably somewhere between nine and 10 minutes.

Evan:
Yeah. In planning conditions?

Maddi:
Yeah. Yeah. I mean to change one single string, you could probably do it under a minute if you really wanted to. But sometimes, I've had this happen to me, sometimes you're trying to get it done so fast, you're stretching and you overstretch and you break the string, and then you've got to go back and do it again.

Evan:
Yeah. All right one more before we leave this realm. How do you block The Majesty trim for string changing?

Maddi:
I don't.

Evan:
All right.

Maddi:
I don't. So that being said, for normal string changing I don't. If I have to take all six strings off, what I'll usually do is take like the thick shammy polish cloths that you guys have, that Ernie Ball has, the gray ones, the real thick ones-

Evan:
Yeah, [crosstalk 00:25:46] microfiber.

Maddi:
Yeah. I'll take one of those and I'll fold it in half. I'll dive the bridge down. I'll shove it under the bridge and let the bridge come back. And that usually holds it pretty close to playing position so I can take strings off. Because really what you're trying to do is just not let the spring tension in the back pop the bridge up off the posts because then you can chip a post or something like that.

Evan:
All right. I'm not sure how expansive the title guitar tech is, but someone asks what hair products does JP use? We should ask about his beard products.

Maddi:
Yeah. I know he's got some beard products that he really likes and for the life of me I couldn't tell you right now what they are.

Evan:
All right. You've got other things to worry about, I suppose.

Maddi:
Yeah. It's a great question though, and I do know some of it, but I can't remember what it is, I'd have to call him or something.

Evan:
All right, well let's take a quick break and come back and dive into more questions.

Speaker 5:
John Petrucci's Majesty guitar is now available in four brand new striking finishes, Pink Sand, Red Phoenix, Smoked Pearl, and Ember Glow. Equipped with John Petrucci's signature DiMarzio Rainmaker and Dreamcatcher pickups and an onboard piezo bridge system, The Majesty offers up a highly versatile palette of tones, head to music-man.com to learn more. That's music-man.com.

Evan:
All right, which JP model is his current favorite?

Maddi:
The Majesty.

Evan:
Any a particular color scheme?

Maddi:
Well, the Tiger Eye has been pretty much the main... If he takes a guitar for a day off at a hotel or something, that'll usually be the one. But right towards the end of the European tour, we got a Purple Nebula, which is a 2020 color, and that one instantly became a favorite.

Evan:
Okay, how do you EQ the piezo on The Majesty?

Maddi:
Most of the time, I don't even touch it. It's however it comes out of the factory. But what we've been finding out recently is depending on what the guitars made out of, meaning the type of wood that the body is, kind of plays into that a little bit more. And most of the time, the piezo he uses blended in with a clean sound, so it's just kind of riding in there, but on this current tour, he's using the piezo a lot by itself to cover acoustic parts. So we've been dialing them in, but it's per guitar. Sometimes you have to lower the bass down and turn the treble up, sometimes you have to do the opposite. Sometimes you have to just take them both down or both up, it's really guitar dependent. And we'll just sit there and he'll play it, flip the guitar over, I'll make the adjustment. He'll play it again.

Evan:
I think this questioner is looking for a scientific answer. Just how cool is John Petrucci?

Maddi:
Just how cool is John Petrucci?

Evan:
Yeah, so if you could quantify his cool.

Maddi:
If I could quantify his cool... Well, if I knew what the periodic table of the elements was. No, he's a great guy.

Evan:
Very cool.

Maddi:
Very cool. And as I said earlier in the interview, we have a relationship and we've known each other a long time now. It's a great relationship. Not only working relationship, but personal relationship too. You Can't not spend this much time together with somebody and not have some sort of personal relationship with it. So he's a great guy. I love him.

Evan:
I agree. All right, my whammy bar can't stay in place. I've tried everything, help.

Maddi:
Okay. Did they give a hint as to what kind of whammy bar it is?

Evan:
I'm assuming it's a Petrucci or a Majesty.

Maddi:
Okay. Well, there's the set screw on the backside of the trim block.

Evan:
Hopefully that has been tried.

Maddi:
I hope so.

Evan:
Yeah, just in case.

Maddi:
Just in case. So if you put the guitar on your lap, take the tremolo, push the bar down so the back of the bridge comes up. And if you look kind of directly behind where the bar goes into the top of the bridge, you'll see a little allen screw. And what you want to do is you just want to tighten that up. And that tightens the collar that holds the tension on the bar and try that. If for some reason you've tightened it down and it doesn't work, then I would say call customer service.

Evan:
Sounds good. How tight does John like his tremolo?

Maddi:
He likes the bar to be movable, but wherever he puts it, that's where he wants it to stay.

Evan:
Okay.

Maddi:
Yeah, so not like really floppy, loose, where it's just dancing around by itself, and not super tight either where you have to go looking for it.

Evan:
Okay. We have a question about show prep, rituals, or superstitions.

Maddi:
Yeah, we have a whole routine.

Evan:
Oh, right.

Maddi:
I guess I can divulge the routine because I think it's on video somewhere anyway. So when John gets up to the stage, he usually comes up about anywhere between five and 10 minutes before showtime. And that's all dependent on if he's warmed up backstage or not. Some days he wants to do a really light warmup, so he'll come up on stage a little earlier and I'll give him the guitar and I've got a stool and a foot rest for him, and he'll just sit there and warm up for a few minutes and kind of get everything moving. If he's warmed up a lot backstage he'll come up five minutes before showtime, I'll hand him the guitar that he's going to start the show with.

Maddi:
And then the first thing we do is when it's like, okay, let's go, first thing we do is check the in ear monitors to make sure that he's got his seated in and they're sealed up the way they're supposed to be. I'll make sure the cables for those are tucked in. Let's see, I got to remember the steps because it's just a flow thing. So we do the in ear monitors and then what we do is we do a shot of Listerine because good oral hygiene is always good, especially when you're in close proximity with people.

Evan:
Really?

Maddi:
Yeah. Yeah. So we do a shot of Listerine.

Evan:
So that's not a superstition, that's like a courtesy to anybody who's-

Maddi:
I think it's both now. I mean it sounds good to say it's good oral hygiene because you're in close proximity, but it's probably more superstition now. So we'll do that and then we do a fist bump, and then we do the I say "Going live," and I'll hit the mute button for the guitar rig. And then that way, when he walks out, it's live and ready to go. And that's when I'm anticipating the first note. Yeah. That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

Evan:
That's great. Okay. How hard is JP on his guitars?

Maddi:
I would say he's not. I mean he plays them, he doesn't swing them around. He doesn't do acrobatics with them or he doesn't toss them off stage or anything like that. He plays them, so the normal wear and tear is going to occur, but he also likes his guitars kept in really good shape, so he doesn't like dings and bumps and scratches and stuff. So he's always trying to take care of that. You don't put a ding in the guitar when you're putting it back in the case or anything like that.

Evan:
Cool. All right, let me see. How many Majesty's does John own and how many does he actively use? We referenced the size of the warehouse, I don't know if we got numbers.

Maddi:
There's a lot of guitars and there's a lot of prototypes.

Evan:
I bet, yeah.

Maddi:
In fact, I can vividly remember the very first prototype that was sent, and this was very early on in the design process. So if you looked at the guitar now you'd go, "That doesn't look like a Majesty. It looks kind of like a Majesty, but that's not a Majesty." And of course it wasn't. They were trying out something and it was like, "Okay, well here's a physical thing to hold in your hand." And then, so there's a lot of prototypes and there was some interesting stuff way back in the design process that's fun to go back and look at now. And occasionally when I'm up there, I'll snap a picture of one of the early prototypes and send it to Drew and I'm like, "Hey, remember this?"

Evan:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Maddi:
This was really cool. Or when paint samples were being made and it was like, "Well, what do you think of this color scheme?" Or "What do you think of that?"

Evan:
Yeah, with prototypes, you've got to be racking up numbers pretty quick.

Maddi:
Oh yeah. But there's a good chunk of Majestys. It kind of like, I think he's got at least one of every color that's been made so far.

Evan:
Cool. All right, Maddi guitar tech extraordinaire. Thank you for imparting your expertise and thanks for being on the podcast.

Maddi:
Evan, my pleasure. It's been great and hopefully we can do it again.

Speaker 5:
Thanks for tuning into Striking A Chord, an Ernie Ball podcast, and big thanks to Maddi for agreeing to do this. And thanks to those of you who submitted questions. Maybe we'll do another if there's demand. Feel free to email us at [email protected]

Evan:
Well thanks a lot, Maddi.

Maddi:
Thanks Evan.

Evan:
We'll meet in person next time.

Maddi:
You got it.

Evan:
But who knows at this rate.

Maddi:
I know, right?

Evan:
The new world. Yeah, crazy.

Maddi:
The new world.

Evan:
I've done all the interviews in person until now, so I did the first remote one yesterday.

Maddi:
Wow.

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