guitar, lizardfish, Uncategorized

Band Practice Recap

Last night was the first band practice since the July 1st show. We didn’t plan on taking a whole month off, it just sort of happened. We planned on learning a bunch of new songs. One went okay. The others were weaker than usual. We also tried learning something at the practice. Not sure how that worked out. I can say that one of the new songs is a Beatles song, so hopefully my beloved wife will be happier out our next show. (love you sweetie!)

None of that is out of the ordinary. One other thing was. It was weird. Very weird. I brought my Strat. Every now and then I feel the need to bring it to practice to sort of justify the fact that I payed money for it. You know, see wallet? I’m using it with the band. It wasn’t a waste of money. The weird thing was how it felt. It felt… good. It almost felt natural. I’ve always said, since the day I bought the thing, that it is so different than the two Gibsons that it never really felt right to me. Last night though… it felt good. The action is still a little high, and the bridge is much harder to mute with the palm of my hand, but otherwise. It felt good playing it. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but playing a Fender Stratocaster felt good.

What’s wrong with me?

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garageband, guitar, music, music, recording, song writing, guitar playing, recording, song writing, Uncategorized

50/90 – Day 10

Two of the last three nights have been 50/90 progress free. Am I slowing down? Yeah, probably a little. Is it okay? Well, I’ve got 18 songs in the works and there are still 80 days left… so yeah, I think it’s okay.

If there is a hangup, it’s in the demo recording. I don’t want to use any amp sims at all. I want all of the guitar sounds to be my Fender Deluxe Reverb. All or nothing. I’ll probably change my mind on that eventually, but for now I’m sticking to it. That means no recording in the living room while the kids are watching tv. That’s a big deal. We’ll see how far this goes.

Most importantly, I’m still having fun.

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fiftyninety, garageband, guitar, music, music, recording, song writing, guitar playing, Uncategorized

That 50/90 Thing

Remember back in February how I was ranting on and on and on about the RPM Challenge and how I was sketching out music ideas in Garageband without actually recording any instruments and yadda yadda I’m going to have all the songs written but none of the recordings?

So 50/90 started six days ago and it’s the same thing only much, much crazier. In the whole month of February I think I got to 18 songs complete. Now, six days in… less than a week… and I’m at 16 songs. SIXTEEN! I haven’t actually recorded a note, but I have 16 songs in the works. One of them even has lyrics (sort of) and melody (sort of).

I don’t think any of them are any good, of course, but that goes without saying.

Now, having said all that. I went to the 50/90 page and checked to see how other people were doing. Turns out there is one participant who is actually finished. Finished. 50+ songs in less than a week. Now that is just batshit crazy.

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guitar, lizardfish, music, Uncategorized

Pre-Gig Rituals

I haven’t played a paid gig since 2005. (I wonder if I could find our old website on archive.org and maybe get the exact date. hmmmm) I know there were things I used to make sure I did before I left the house to load in at the bar, but what were those things? 11 years seems like such a long time.

This morning before work I did the ceremonial trimming of the finger nails. Skipping that step has in the past resulted in me having to rip them off mid-set, which pretty much guarantees they’ll be way too low and hurt a lot.

I spent my lunch break performing the ceremonial changing of the strings. Both Gibsons are ready to go, although I only plan on playing one of them. The other is an emergency back up. During the string changing, one of the old strings tasted blood. A clipped end stabbed the side of a finger on my right hand and drew a little blood. Nothing that will be an issue tonight, unless I develop tetanus or something.

I have a little pile of stuff on the dining room table that I will throw into my backpack. Extra strings, extra cables, an extra fuzz pedal, an extra glass slide even though I have no intention of playing any slide tonight. You never know.

What else?

I skipped eating lunch in favor of strings, so I have to feed. I’m working from home, so maybe I’ll order a sub.

I have not yet had the ceremonial vomit. That wasn’t always a thing, but it has happened. Given the 11 year gap, it wouldn’t surprise me if I order a sub and then hurl it later tonight.

Too much information? Yeah.

Less than three hours left in the work day. Then it’s load out of Mike’s house, load into the bar, play three sets over 3+ hours or so, then load out of the bar, load into my house (maybe the garage?), and GO TO SLEEP YOU OLD MAN!

Murtaugh, indeed.

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guitar, lizardfish, Uncategorized

Amplifier Comparison

Song #1 here is through my ’65 Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue. The rhythm guitar is through the bass big muff and the little solo is through the tone wicker big muff. The rhythm sounds okay, but the lead… doesn’t.

Song #2 is through my Marshall Valvestate VS265. Same pedal configuration. Everything is much toppier. Isn’t the norm for Fender vs Marshall the opposite? At least through the Marshall the wicker big muff sounds okay. I think I might have toned it down a little too.

So the moral of the story is maybe to not use two fuzz pedals and just crank the fuzz on one and use it all the time. Oh, and turn up the bass on my Marshall amp (if it’s not full up already).

Next practice is Sunday. No dicking with gear allowed as it’s the final run through before my first bar gig in 11 years. The goal is to just blow through everything we know in as short a time as possible.

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What is That Sound?

I was in the cellar tonight, working on my pedal board. I took everything off and then rebuilt it (in a new signal order) one pedal at a time in the hopes of finding where the awful noise I was hearing last Sunday came from. I never found the noise, but that may be because my amp was down as low as I could get it and still hear it.

The first pedal I put in place was my tuner. I plugged it in and played through it, knowing that it wasn’t the culprit, but also wanting to be methodical. I started noodling around because my ES-335 going clean into my Deluxe Reverb sounds pretty wonderful. To my surprise, I did hear a weird noise. What is that sound? It was a high pitch sort of rattle. It was intermittent. Is there something wrong with the spring reverb? Is it related to how hard I pick the string? What is that? I stopped playing. The noise stopped. I started playing again. The noise came back. Okay, I’m getting pissed off now. I stopped playing again and the noise stopped… for a second, then it came back without me playing.

It was not my amp. It was not my guitar. It wasn’t even in the house.

It was a bird.

Singing along.

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