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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ndcaster, Apr 19, 2017.
It's not in the middle. A is in the middle. It's the great guitar paradox.
It might not be in the middle, but it sure ain't at the front!
Gig with my first full band in eight years. We're working up a set list now, mostly originals, and honing our sound. Super exciting!
Working on it now, year three of jazz lessons. No specific goal, other than maybe live to age 160 or so, which is when I may be up speed as a jazz guitarist ...
For me it generally depends on band opportunities.
I've recently contacted a jazz ensemble that was looking for a guitarist, turns out there rehearsal schedule is in direct conflict with my work schedule, so that's a no-go. I've also contacted a rockabilly vocalist looking for a guitarist, but after an initial excited reply, he's suddenly faded. CL listings, what are ya gonna do *shrug*
It's all good though, I've always got a couple irons in the fire. I'm currently finishing up studio work with my "main" band, and I've got a gig coming up for my honkytonk band, probably our final show.
I have so many unfinished projects.
To say they are all works in progress would be a big fat fib.
Their unfinished state keeps me thinking musically during the day though.
Find a darned Lead Guitar layer that fits in with the band, and sticks around for more that 9 months!!
Getting into a real, productive practice routine instead of just noodling, wanking and watching YouTube lessons.
Just heard from this cat, so looks like we're not dead in the water yet
Blues is all about falling down. Phrases end on a downward turn, and guitar solos always seem to be pulled down by gravity on the pitches. I love those falling lines, than convey so many things: failure, rest, inevitability, home, roots, death, oppressive weight, etc. But it doesn't work out so well if you don't know how to snake out a line. This is when, instead of ascending or descending step-by-step, you prolong the arrival on the lowest note by changing direction once or twice. Scale patterns that we grew up practicing are sometimes a good example of this.
But, scale patterns suck, in my book. That's because they are usually based on a pattern of 3-6 notes that are repeated as sequences, either ascending or descending. The problem is that, for me, two iterations of the pattern is too much, as the process sounds mechanical and copy-and-paste. Rote, practiced.
My approach is to use note patterns that change with a sequence up or down. In the blues, you only in two or three of these in a run. When I play them, I often use the notes of the minor pent, but switching out b3 for 2, b7 for 6, and vice versa. This usually sounds pretty good to me, but I'm still working out some little twitches. Oh, one pretty important thing: I don't repeat these runs, unless I'm stuck on the sound that I am getting and just grooving on it, seeing how I can milk it with just my hands on the guitar.
My composing is going well, and I am pursuing several types of approaches or techniques and trying to delve into them as deeply as I have done this at other times in my life. I don't feel right about what I am doing every day if I don't feel like a break-through of some kind is imminent. Almost every day for the last 50 years, has been "today's the day!"
I agree. It's a necessary evil, distraction, and a barrier that has to be dealt with, ignored, worked around, or whatever. I take this thread to be more about musical direction and technical progress.
Playing in public anywhere. The last time I did was the parent band a few years back, prior to that band reunion in 09, prior to that my bands last concert sometime in the 80s. It is getting harder to enjoy practicing and playing in a music room by myself without an outlet. It is starting to feel like tennis lessons where after all you do is hit against a backboard.
I'd like to find a capable bass player and drummer and play some rock and roll in my jam room.
I bought a cheap little Sho Bud Maverick and I'm trying to learn to play it. My intonation is terrible, finger picks feel alien, and all I can play is "Roll Another Number" really poorly. But I'm super excited about it.
Aside from that I've started playing at a bluegrass jam once a month and it's been the first time I've really played with people in a while. I want to learn some cool bluegrass songs, learn to sing harmony, and attend some different jams.
Find some better folks to play with. I think I've hit my limit with the band I'm in. Too many coooks in the kitchen, amongst other things.
Leave it to me to get too deep into distractions to even let music happen. Remodeling the home studio ( currently bare sheet rock) while trying to do Zappa's " Montana" as our next cover tune on Sound Cloud. It aint working.... need the studio finished but cant part with recording long enough to let it happen.
My next musical goal is to finish getting my current band off the ground. Get back out gigging and write a few more songs so I have enough to complete an album.
Three sets of goals:
Immediate: Find out what instrument I'm playing on the worship team Sunday and show up prepared to play and sing the songs.
Medium term: I'm playing on the worship team for a conference next month. I do this about twice a year with some really good musicians. We'll probably have about an hour, maybe or maybe not including sound check, to actually be in the same room to prepare. So I need to show up prepared AND ready to adjust based on who else plays what.
Long term: Back in the 80s I was in an acoustic trio that had enough talent to go somewhere if we had been in the right place at the right time and stuck it out a little longer. We've been asked to do a reunion show next year--and as long as we're bothering to do one maybe we'll do more. This will be tricky because I don't think we've all been in the same place at the same time for 25 or 30 years. And we live in 3 different time zones. I think we'll be in the same place this October for a few days. So we'll try to play some songs together and see what it feels like. I always felt, legitimately, like the weak link as an instrumentalist with these guys. My contribution was that I could play rhythm and sing harmonies--and play a little harmonica. I'm a better player now, 30 years later. But I've spent more time playing electric than acoustic for the last ten years. And I can't really sing the high harmonies any more. Age will do that, I suppose. I'll need to get my chops up on acoustic guitar and mandolin, and work on my country harp licks (as opposed to the blues I gigged all over socal for most of the 90s and still play at jam sessions), to figure what I bring to the table with these guys.
Unless I can talk them into hiring a rhythm section and doing a blues show. Then I'm golden!
And one more:
Find a weekly blues jam and hit it regularly. I go to a once a month jam most of the time. But it would be great to have a more regular option. I love playing with different people and seeing what we can do together.
I think it's time to put the band back together. It all fell apart at the end of the summer when our keyboardist, and jam space owner, split up with his wife and moved out. We had already lost our incredible lead guitarist in the spring when he retired and moved up the coast. So, it seemed like a good time to take a break.
But I really miss playing in a band, and I think I'll email the others and see if they want to get back together. Either that or find another band to join.