I’m pretty psyched about playing the benefit gig again for a local volunteer firehouse. We have about a month to put the set together (just like last year). Some of the songs from last year are going to make it into this year’s list. Some we’re replacing. So we have about 6 new tunes to learn. Not bad….
Again, J&H sounds great. I don’t have my Mesa Boogie MkIIb anymore. I’ll be playing through a little Fender Pro Jr. I’ve been using this for jams. And I also used this at the recital.
I’ve been getting some positive comments on it which helps. Over the years, I’ve been so used to having a “big” amp (60W, 100W, etc.). Now I don’t have one and am depending on this little guy and just keeping my fingers crossed that it sounds okay.
Actually, I love this little guy. In fact, it makes me wonder what I’ve been lugging a heavy amp around for all those years! Well… this little guy only has a 10′ cone so it doesn’t get very deep. But it does alright and I love the responsiveness. I’m not sure if the Mesa Boogie preamp tubes have anything to do with it.
In any case, it’s going to be a great time! I’m going to use the wireless this time and I’ll be able to move around the stage more. Instead of using the piezo out of the Brian Moore, I’m going to try using a A/B switch going into a Boss Acoustic Simulator. It sounds okay. Totally worth it for the freedom!
A new friend on mine asked me to help out with a recital for her (piano) students. At first I think I signed up for 3 songs. I think I wound up playing 17 (18?) at the end. It was really way too much fun… I kept asking for more songs. 🙂
This was the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. The songs are mostly pop/rock stuff. They weren’t very hard to play… maybe except for the Queen tunes which I made sure I learned note for note (and I’m so glad to have had a reason to learn these… was always too lazy to actually sit down to go over these Brian May solos… anyway…. )
Most of the students are very young. 5th and 6th graders. Some were even younger. I was so impressed with them! They all work so hard. One group of kids have their own band (Emeralds of July, http://emeraldsofjuly.com) — very talented! I wish I had that much skill and confidence at their age!
The recital was last weekend and I thought it went fairly smoothly. Usually I would list the songs but truthfully, I can’t remember! It was like a blur. First time I had to depend on charts. Hats off to my friend Lisa (the teacher) for coordinating everything!
I was saying… it was my first time performing in this type of setting and I’m really glad to have had the experience. I’ve always played in bands and whether I was a “member” or a “hired gun”, I was always part of the “front-line”. I never played guitar in a “staged show” as a musician backing up dancers, etc.
Tomorrow, I’ll be attending my niece’s recital. (No, I’m not playing) She’ll be performing in one of the world’s most famous concert halls! Wow, what a thrill!
All this is reminding me that I should continue the lessons I was posting… so… maybe I’ll get back to that in the near future…
I was never a big MJ fan. But I think that might have changed after seeing this movie.
The amount of creativity, energy, professionalism, and emotion that he puts into creating a concert experience is mind-boggling!
The movie itself was very good. It’s basically a bunch of clips of the rehearsals. I also really enjoyed the extras. There were 2 interviews that stood out for me…
One was with his keyboardist who talked about how Michael had a towel with him each day (wiping off sweat from all the dancing, I’m sure) and needed a place to put it. MJ would ask him very nicely if it would be okay to put it on top of one of his keyboard (or stand? … something like that). As far as the keyboardist is concerned, this was “Michael’s house” and he can do whatever he wanted. And he indicated that to Michael. Then the next day, again Michael would kindly ask if it was okay to put his towel with his equipment. He was a really courteous, respectful, considerate guy. I guess not the self-centered diva that some might think he would be.
In another interview, his music director described a conversation he had with MJ. They were talking about being talented and gifted. At first, his music director was playing around saying “yeah, you’re right… we are blessed…” but then MJ got serious and said to him (something like) “No… we’re blessed with these gifts and now it’s up to us to use our gifts to help other find theirs… ” I just found this so touching!
It made me think “is this it??” I mean… is this all there is? Maybe everyone would be much happier and the world would be a more peaceful place if everyone knew what their gifts were and were happy doing whatever work they were meant to do.
I think I’ll have rent this one again or even buy it. Very inspiring.
I found a very-good condition (used) Martin D-1R at Parkway Music. I wasn’t 100% sure at first but after taking it home and playing it side by side with the other guitars, it’s perfect! (Not my actual guitar in picture)
It fits just right sonically between the Takamine N10 and the Larrivee L-05E. The Tak has a very quick attack and very good mids response but is a bit lacking in the bass area. The Larrivee on the other hand has very good bass and upper-end but is kind of mellow and smooth. The Martin has the attack like the Tak and the bass response I’ve been looking for. And it’s incredibly loud for its size!
About 2 years ago, a friend of mine went back to India after having stayed in the US for a few years and had picked up the guitar while he was here. A year later, he contacted me and asked me to try to find him a “nice” guitar (in his price range). I visited Parkway and found him a really nice Martin for a great price. I was almost sad to see go… I wanted it for myself! Ever since then, I would think about how great his Martin was and wished I could find one.
After Christmas, I went searching for something to compliment the acoustics I already had. In the back of my mind I was thinking wouldn’t it be great to find one just like that Martin from a year ago.
So I was at Parkway and I didn’t see anything on the floor that’s what I’m looking for and within my price range. I was talking with Matt and I asked him if he had anything else. I almost couldn’t believe it when he said, “Hey, remember that Martin you bought but and you said you couldn’t keep it for some reason… Someone traded in one just like it yesterday. It’s still in the back waiting to be setup but do you want to check it out?”
One week, a setup job, 2 guitars and a bunch of pedals I wasn’t using later… I took home the perfect addition to my acoustic collection!
I only kept it for one night. Right now I’m waiting for them to put in a pickup (LR Baggs Active Element). I can’t wait to bring it home and welcome it to the family!
Notable Mention: Time After Time – Eva Cassidy (2000)
There are remakes and then there are remakes. A lot of times, remakes are not as good as the originals. But sometimes, an artist puts their own spin on an already great song and the result is even better than the original.
This title was held by by Alien Ant Farm for a few years with their remake of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal which is still one of my favorite.
Eva Cassidy’s version of Time After Time was recorded in 1996 but released in 2000 four years after her death. The first time I heard it was on the Smallville soundtrack.
Great songwriter. Great talent. Great album. (Seemingly) Great future. Then… nothing!
Did You Know? Teddy Geiger was the “talent” on the cable show Love Monkey.
Haven’t heard it? Google/YouTube it. You’ll hate me later.
It doesn’t get more cheesy teen-pop than this but I just love singing to this song.
In this decade, we also saw country become more and more mainstream. In fact, turn on a country station and you might not even be able to tell. So many country songs could easily be pop songs. And so many new country artists sound like rock.
Who Says You Can’t Go Home is my favorite crossover. Hey, who says you can’t be a 20+ year old band and build new fan-base by venturing into another genre doing a duet with an up-and-coming artist (of that genre).
I’m sorry. I just can’t stand this song!!!! Why does she have to be so whiny!!! ARGH!!! This song was overplayed the first time it was played.
Mmm… let’s say you’re young, hot, (some what) talented and trying to break into the industry. What’s a good way to get your song noticed? I know! Drop a name of someone famous who’s already in the industry.
I mean, sure, there’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere (Alan Jackson drops Jimmy Buffet) and names are dropped left and right in rap songs. But how many chicks says “hey, when you think of some macho dude, think of me”?
This category really should be “Best Song Santana Wasn’t On”. Seriously, though, as a guitarist, I love the concept of the rotating lead singer! 😀
Outkast – Hey Ya! (2003)
Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard (2003)
That’s What You Get – Paramore (2008)
If you’ve seen some of my other posts, you’ve probably noticed that I really enjoy the theoretical/thinking side of music. I love pop radio which usually tends to lack “musical depth”. So I love it when I hear a song with some interesting twists.
Spin – Most songs on the radio follow a very predictable pattern of 4. That is, phrases tend to repeat after 4 measures/chords and/or they repeat in multiples of 4. In the verses, the pattern repeats every 3 instead of 4.
Hey Ya! – This is another great example of changing how the count. This pattern repeats every 5 1/2 measures and it does this through the whole song.
Ocean Avenue – There isn’t a lot of playing with numbers and count on this one. I just love the rhythm the guitar is playing on this song on the verses. It’s almost like a prog rock song.
That’s What You Get – Another example of changing count. On this one, the song starts out as 6/8 then switches to 8/8 for the chorus. Check out the counter patterns between the drums and bass on the verses.
Simple. Acoustic. Crowd Pleaser
Some people might recognized Falling Slowly from Amierican Idol (covered by Kris Alan). If you haven’t seen it, you got to check out the movie Once. Awesome soundtrack.
The first time I heard Decode was at FYE waiting at the check out line. They were actually showing a video of it and (as I mentioned above) I went “Holy ***!” These guys are awesome! I love the drumming on this song (listen for the snares).
This leads me to my next set of categories. I figured I’d rate artists too…
First American Idol rocker to do well on radio.
In 2005, a brand new artist came on the scene with a song called Breathe (2AM) (a song way that should be too long for radio, BTW). A year or so later, on Oct 6th, she performed at NorthernLights. After a great performance at the meet-and-greet/CD-signing, she wrote and sang happy birthday to me because it was 2 days after my birthday. 🙂
Paramore has already won in a few categories. It should not be a surprise that I think they’re one of the hottest new acts.
Need I say more?!
I have been using a home-made pedal board for a long time. When I first started, I was using short (3″-6″) right-angled cables by different manufacturers. They did okay but they were always too thick to allow the pedals to sit closer to each other.
I switched to George L’s a few years ago. For a time, they worked great. The cables are thin. They conduct well. And the plugs are very small especially the right angled ones. But after a while, the cable started failing (on stage sometimes!). I think there’s a flaw in the design of the angled ones. The way they work is the you push the cable in then bend it 90 degrees. Then a screw is used to keep the cable in. The screw would push against the cable. In some of the ones that failed, the screw had rubbed away some of the rubber.
I recently switched some of the George L’s with Planet Waves Solderless ones. They seem to be working well but time will tell if they’ll have problems too. But at least the plugs are designed a bit smarter. The cable is pushed in but not bent. The 90 degree angle is built into the plug (I guess there could be a cable that’s bending there but at least it’s not exposed or rubbed against with a piece of metal… I hope). Once the cable is pushed into the plug, a set screw is used from the side to hold the cable in place. This should be less ware and tare on the the cable.
The draw back, though, is that the planet waves cables and plugs are a bit bigger so now I’m not able to fit as many pedals on the board again. But they’re still a bit better than other cables.
E Phrygian : E F G A B C D E
F Lydian : F G A B C D E F
G Mixolydian : G A B C D E F G
A Aeolian (minor): A B C D E F G A
B Locrian : B C D E F G A B
Dorian : W H W W W H W
Phrygian : H W W W H W W
Lydian : W W W H W W H
Mixolydian : W W H W W H W
Aeolian (minor): W H W W H W W
Locrian : H W W H W W W
Now if we apply these patterns to the same root we can see the differences between the modes (which is really the important thing to remember):
C Ionian (major) : C D E F G A B C
C Dorian : C D Eb F G A Bb C
C Phrygian : C Db Eb F G Ab Bb C
C Lydian : C D E F# G A B C
C Mixolydian : C D E F G A Bb C
C Aeolian (minor): C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
C Locrian : C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
In some upcoming posts, we’ll start looking at what scale patterns might look like on the fretboard of the guitar.