Dan is “Slightly Stoopid!”

“Top of The World”  Slightly Stoopid’s  new album was recently released. Congrats to the fellas on well deserved success. One of my Students Kyle McDonald is a founding member of this popular group. Believe it or not they had me (AKA “Papa Dan”) add a few licks to the new release!

Slightly Stoopid’s new CD

(listen for some bluesy jazz guitar riffs infused into the grooves on a track or two)

Many thanks to Kyle, Miles, Ryan & Co. for the invite.


Here’s a recent article in the Union Tribune by George Varga


Papa Dan

Jazz Guitar Legend Lenny Breau!

Here’s Part 1 of a new film called “The Genius of Lenny Breau”

If you’re not familiar with Lenny sit back & get ready to be amazed!

His story isn’t unlike my friend & mentor’s the late great Billy Rogers. (More on Billy later)
Two incredible guitarists who both met tragic endings……

Visit the sixstring jazz Guitar you tube channel for all of the episodes in one spot @ sixstringjazzguitar

Amplifying your Arch-Top by Dan Papaila

It’s hard to beat the tonal warmth of a good arch-top! The way they feel & resonate on the stage helps to strengthen the connection between player & instrument. But arch-tops are challenging instruments to amplify. Here’s the scoop from my experience of playing arch-tops for the last 40 + years. The amps I’ve listed are selected based on a clean sound without effects. If you’re using a processed sound you have many more options. I’ve probably left a few out but these come to mind.

Fender Twin Reverb (65’ Reissue) & Fender Super Reverb (65’ Reissue)
Pretty hard to beat one of these as far as tone, clarity & presence / volume go. (The Twin outshines the Super for volume) They have been around for decades & serve as the benchmark for many of the newer amps. I’ve used both extensively & have watched George Benson, Kenny Burrell, & many more with Twins back in the day. If you’re playing the Festival / Concert circuit, a Twin is one of the most readily available & safest requests as they are generally consistent however ask for the 65’ re-issue! – There have been many versions over the years that don’t sound nearly as good. P.S. Have a good dolly, strong back, or Roadie to move it around!

Roland Jazz Chorus
A powerful alternative to the Twin but not as warm in my opinion. (Just as heavy as the Twin)

Polytone Mini Brute
A darker sound but much more portable. A favorite for Joe Pass, Jim Hall types.

Fender Princeton Chorus (2 x 10”)
I’m not sure if these are still in production as It’s hard to keep up with all of the new models that Fender puts out, but I had one back in the 90’s & recorded with it. Great sound & portable but short of power if you’re depending on it exclusively in louder situations. You can pick-up a used one of these on E-Bay or Craigslist for a couple hundred dollars. A steal!!

Boutique Jazz Amps = $$$$
Acoustic Image & Fender Jazz Master Ultralight:
These are both amazing sounding heads. When used in conjunction with a Raezer’s Edge Cabinet the tone is amazing. The Acoustic Image is more powerful but the Fender sounds more like a Fender Tube amp. Unfortunately the Fender has been discontinued. It was provided with a companion cabinet that was panned by most reviewers. The Fender is rated @ 250 watts @ 2 ohms. Trouble is the world is running @ 8 ohms. The solution is the Raezer’s Edge Twin 8 cabinet. (@ 4 ohms = 125 watts)

Henrickson Jazz Kat & AER
These are very popular as well and are a single unit so easier to setup.
The AER is about the size of a lunchbox! Not as warm of a sound in my opinion but incredibly present & loud! All have line-outs & are much more portable. Bring your checkbook & credit Card as most of these rigs are in the $1,000 plus range.

Many modern players use effects/pedal boards to “Model” their own sound. They depend less on the inherent quality of sound generated by the amp. As an old school guy, I like to just plug in my guitar & play, the fewer the knobs the better!

Dan’s Arch-Top Rigs:

Mellow Jazz Gig: Gibson L-5 with Fender JazzMaster Ultralight Head & Raezer’s Edge Twin 8 Cabinet.

Funky Jazz Gig or Light R&B:
• Same rig above with a line out to PA.
• L-5 with my Twin.
I recently discovered that using my Twin Cabinet with the Fender JazzMaster Ultralight Head provides awesome sound & volume with zero feedback! (unplug the twin speakers in back & leave the amp off. You’ll need a female x female ¼” adapter to connect to the Ultralight)

Full on Funk, Blues or R&B: Why fight it? – I’ll use the Twin & my ES-335, drink a couple of beers & have some fun!

Hope this article contains some useful information for you. Please leave a comment on the Everything Guitar page & share your solutions!


A couple of useful IPAD apps that I’ve come across.
If you have any additional recommendations please share!

1. Amazing Slow Downer: Allows you to reduce the tempo of tunes in your song list without changing keys. (great for learning difficult lines or practicing at a slower tempo – Aebersold play-a-longs)

2. ForScore: You can organize your Real Book pdf’s with this app.

Student Comment!

Here’s my 1st comment: (since the new launch)
“Thanks for your inspiration and lesson, I finally found something worth while to invest in, I’ve been struggling trying to figure out how to play jazz for some two years now but thanks to you i know i’ll be alright, thanks again!”

Special shout out to Sax Great & Web Guru Mark Lessman!