Doug Rice


Doug - Guitar
Photo courtesy of Katie Palumbo

I have truly been blessed and I thank the Lord not only for the opportunity to share and experience music in so many ways, but also for the instruments that help me express that music.

This is one of the most visited pages on my website so I guess someone's getting some good out of it. Please feel free to drop me a line if I can help answer any questions about this gear.

Since I perform different styles of music as a soloist and with a variety of groups, it's important that the instruments and equipment I use are well-suited to each style, whether it's playing on the church worship team, a Jazz quartet, a Gypsy Jazz trio, or in a solo fingerstyle setting.

Gibson ES-175D
This is a 1979 Gibson ES-175D. It's a great Jazz guitar. It was the first pro guitar I owned. Right before my Junior year in high school, I sold a trumpet that I played and bought this guitar from my local guitar shop. Great tone and so versatile. It's suitable for many styles of music. The 175 has served me through many, many performances over the years and it's holding up very well. It's still my main Jazz box.
Eastman Uptown
This is a 2004 Eastman Uptown. This is the guitar I use when I need to get my Freddie Green on. For a few years, I toyed with the idea of swapping out the neck pickup in my ES-175 with something that would give me a more woody tone for Swing and Bigband playing. However, I knew I was never going to get that solid-wood archtop tone from a laminate archtop with two fixed pickups. The Eastman gives me that traditional Swing sound and didn't break the bank at all. The construction is amazing — all hand-made/hand-carved. Great volume, acoustically, and a neck that's almost identical to that of the Gibson.

Taylor 414CE
It had been a long time since I bought a new acoustic steel-string. My main dreadnaught was seriously lacking and I needed something that would serve better as both a good fingerstyle guitar and a good strummer. I also needed something that would project well when I play unplugged. After much (MUCH) playing and listening to various guitars around the Seattle area, I decided this Taylor 414CE was the one for me. I really like the crisp sparkle and full low end I get from it. I compared it to other Taylors (even in the 700 and 800 series), as well as other brands, but this particular guitar just stood out for me. Great guitar.
Baritone Acoustic Image Gallery
This is a custom-made, Noble baritone acoustic. I love the haunting sound of baritone guitars and the inspiration that comes from the lower tunings (not to mention tunings like the Half-Nashville tuning Pat Metheny uses). Duane Noble ( built this guitar for me with Koa back and sides, Sitka Spruce top, Boxwood binding, Mahogany neck, and Ebony fingerboard. Duane's guitars are just beautiful; pleasing to both the ear and the, all the way! His inlay and woodworking skills amaze me. I had Duane install a B-Band A2.2 XOM pickup system. This system is great at capturing the lower frequencies of the baritone while keeping the highs crisp and clear. It picks up the natural sound of the guitar very nicely and I'm extremely happy with it. For a closer look at this guitar, be sure to check out the Baritone Image Gallery.

Fender Stratocaster
This is a Fender Strat. It's a remake of the 1960's Strat, in Olympic White. I replaced the factory pickups with a set of Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups. They work great. I also mounted a Roland GK-2A divided pickup on it so that I can connect to the GR-33 guitar synth and control other MIDI instruments (I love playing steel drums on guitar!).
Line 6 Variax Acoustic 700
I bought this Line 6 Variax Acoustic 700 not long after they hit the market. I was a bit skeptical at first about buying an "acoustic" guitar that depended so heavily on electronics for it's sound. However, once I played it, and perhaps more importantly, recorded with it, I was convinced this was the way to go. It models so many amazing acoustic guitars and other stringed instruments, all perfectly EQ'ed and balanced, without the need for any tone tweaking. It's perfect for heavy strumming, light fingerstyle, and everything in between.

Carvin NS1
This is the Carvin NS1 nylon string. It has a beautiful tone that's perfect for latin Jazz, as well as fingerstyle and classical. This is the first guitar I've ever bought sight-unseen. Carvin builds each and every guitar to the exact specs of the player so I knew what I'd be getting in terms of wood, hardware, and measurements. However, I didn't know how it actually sounded until it was delivered. It sounds great. It's a very versatile guitar. The feel of the neck is amazing — much like the neck of the Noble baritone. The tone is round and warm. To top it all off, it has a synth pickup built in so I can control my guitar synth with it. It sounds beautiful to fade in strings during a soft, fingerstyle ballad.
Cigano Gypsy Jazz Guitar
This is the guitar I play in our Gypsy Jazz trio, The Hot Heads of Gypsy Jazz. Gypsy Jazz definitely has a sound all its own. Playing this music on a traditional steel string guitar just doesn't even approach the authentic sound people come to expect from the genre. Listen to players like Django Reinhardt, Stochelo Rosenberg, Biréli Lagrène, and many others, and you'll hear how important the tone and volume of these guitars is. High-end Gypsy Jazz guitars can cost thousands of dollars. I opted for a much less expensive model and then had the shop put on a professional bridge, tailpiece, and tuners, and had the neck adjusted to a more traditional Gypsy Jazz action and feel. It has a nice, dry tone for rhythm playing and can definitely cut through with bright, loud leads. It's a lot of fun to play.

Line 6 Flextone III
I loved the Line 6 Variax Acoustic so much...I bought the company! Okay. Not really. I recently found myself playing such a wide variety of styles in several different groups, with several different guitars; I wanted to find one amp that could be used in all those situations. This Line 6 Flextone III was the answer for me. It'll handle everything from bright acoustic to ear-drum-rupturing thrash metal. I love the tone I get out of it when I'm comping in a big-band setting, and the blues and rock tones just...well...rock!
Fishman Amp
I got this Fishman Loudbox Mini for two reasons: it's a great sounding acoustic amp and it weighs only 20 pounds! As I get older, it seems I'm more and more interested in the weight of the equipment I buy. Of course, since it's me we're talking about, I took several months testing out lots of acoustic amps with several of my guitars. The Loudbox Mini handles everything from the baritone to the Eastman and does so really well. Very natural, airy tone with full bass. And it's loud enough to push through a 16-piece big band. It has a nice, warm reverb and even an onboard chorus. The only thing I wish it had was phantom power. I can get that in the next model up...but that would be a heavier amp. My back would never forgive me.

Yamaha Stagepas 300
This is a Yamaha Stagepas 300 PA. It's the PA I use for most every solo gig and some combo gigs. At 300 watts, it gives me enough power for medium-sized venues and it is just amazingly crystal clear — especially with the Variax Acoustic. The removeable amp locks (optionally) in place on the back of one of the speakers, making it very portable and easy to set up.
Boss RC-300 Looper
I decided to upgrade to the Boss RC-300 Loop Station. This looper has opened up new possibilities. It's three loopers in one, plus some extras. The independent foot switches for each track are a big plus and the revamped interface makes it easier to edit parameters. My favorite new feature is the ability to record loops of different lengths on the fly. Having onboard effects is nice too.

What's on the board? I swap pedals in and out, depending on the gig, but these are some I use frequently. There's a Line 6 M5 (great multi pedal), a Tube Screamer, a Line 6 Verbzilla, the amazing TC Electronics PolyTune, an Ibanez Stereo Chorus, a Boss 7-band EQ, an Arion octave pedal, and an Aphex Acoustic Xciter. I use the Zoom A2.1u as a preamp/effects pedal for Gypsy Jazz and those times when I don't want to lug a bunch of pedals around. I've also got an expression pedal in there for wah and volume on the M5.
Roland GR-33
This is the guitar synthesizer I control using the Carvin NS1 and Fender Strat. It's a Roland GR-33. Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of owning a guitar synth someday. It's so fun to play a guitar solo one minute and then drop into a fretless bass solo or a vibes solo the next. There are so many possibilities when I have all these sounds at my feet.

Washburn Rover
My wife and sons got me this Washburn Rover travel guitar for Father's Day. A while back, I found myself in a hotel room, completely inspired after a Phil Keaggy clinic, and I had no guitar with me. Torture, I tell you! The next day, I went to check out small guitars that I could easily take one with me when I travel. I played many different brands and models but this one stood out in terms of tone quality, intonation, and playability. It has a full-scale neck, solid mahogany back and sides, and a spruce top. Great little guitar. I don't gig with it but thought I'd include it here for anyone looking into travel guitars. And, a bonus...if I ever find myself up a creek without a paddle...I can use this.
On Stage Stool
Okay...yeah...I know. It's a stool. Big deal. But if you're a guitar player, you know how difficult it is to find that perfect stool. The seat has to be at just the right height so you can reach your pedals on the floor and you need a foot rest that puts your knee at just the right height and angle to hold the guitar comfortably. I tried so many stools and then stumbled upon this On Stage guitar/keyboard stool. I think I may have heard angels singing when I saw it for the first time. Maybe not. It really is the perfect stool for me though. And it's a firm stool.