A Daily Dose

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by PBO Blues, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    Let’s just say that lately my guitar time has been fairly non-productive. Aimless noodling, if I’m completely honest. So, given my OCD penchant for organization, I’ve over-engineered a weekly practice plan to get things moving forward here in 2019. Since endless repetition of scales, progressions, and technique is mind-numbingly dull, I’ve built in some fun stuff as well. Each day of the week has a theme; reward for when the muscle memory torture has been suffered through.

    To kick off the week, it's Stormy Monday wherein I dig deep into one of my all-time favorites, the Allman Brothers Band’s version of T-Bone Walker's blues classic. After a few Mondays I’ll deep dive on something else, I suppose, but they will remain Stormy Mondays in deference to the best darn southern rock band ever.

    Tomorrow, Tuesday… well, wait and see.


    Note: I originally shared this on another social media platform and followed it through the week with each day's "dosage." An effort, if you will, to jumpstart a little creativity on several fronts; writing, photography, guitar. I thought that it might be fun to repeat them here this week, though at some risk as the audience is much more musically sophisticated. Hope you enjoy them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
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  2. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Good on ya! I hope to be able to take an organized approach some day like this. thanks for posting, plus that live version from the Fillmore East album was definitely a huge touchstone for me as well. Maybe it was the timing, who knows, but it sure was amazing.
     
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  3. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    The week’s daily guitar practice themes continue. Welcome to Tele Tuesdays*. My new strat has assumed the #1 spot in the rotation, at least 'till the newness wears off, but I don’t want to lose touch with my sweet little “get back in the game” Telecaster. On Tuesdays I’ll use it exclusively.

    After torturing ourselves with the boring stuff, it and I will spend some quality time listening to and trying to cop licks from the masters of the Tele from many genres. Frank Black, Albert Collins, Bill Frisell, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, Brad Paisley, Prince, Keith Richards, Keith Urban. And the study simply must start with the TeleMaster himself, the incomparable Roy Buchanan.

    * Thought seriously about calling it Twang Tuesdays.

    Note: I was quickly admonished, on the original post, of a serious oversight in my list. Danny Gatton. The hand-slap was warranted. Lord, that man could play.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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  4. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    The guitarist’s holy grail is tone. He obsesses over it. He puts old, expensive Russian tubes in his new reissues of old, expensive amplifiers, buys road worn guitars and swaps out their pickups for arcane boutique-wound replacements, and accumulates boards full of pricey hand-wired replicas (or cheap Chinese clones) of 1960-era effects pedals; all in pursuit of the glorious sounds of his Guitar Gods. He utters the words “vintage” and “tweed” like incantations (though, more often than not, they only magically open his wallet) in the hopes of someday sounding like SRV, Hendrix, or Gilmour (check out gilmourish.com to see just how crazy this can get) and if you ever hear one whisper the phrase “Clapton Woman Tone” you’ll know that he is truly and irrevocably lost. To make matters worse, all too many are total gearheads so this crusade plays right into their sad affliction. But they persist. They search for the grail, that perfect tone and the gear that will create it, for years and years and years.

    Hello, my name is Mike and I'm a tone-aholic.

    Today, then, is Tone Quest Wednesday. A day to twist knobs, flip switches, and stack overdrives to try to find the sweet spots in my gear. Today, my friends, is a fun day. Today, I let the madness loose.

    Today, so that I’m not tempted to do it every day.
     
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  5. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    very nice photos! do you have one of that pretty red guitar (Gretsch?) without that old record laying on it?
     
  6. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    A Gretsch indeed. My poor man's 335/9. A G2655 Streamliner Center Block Jr with the original broad'trons replaced by Gibson 490R/498T humbuckers. Gibson top hat knobs and selector switch poker chip, just to keep the red/black/Gibby motif going. A fun little guitar.

    Zep Gretsch.jpg
     
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  7. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    All play and no work make Mike a poor guitar player. Therefore, Theory Thursday. While it’s great fun to just crank the amps and stomp on the pedals, real progress takes some learnin’. The difference between the musician of my teens and the one that I'm working to be will be the establishment of a better understanding of the foundations on which I am playing. Rock-n-Roll, the blues, even jazz (though sometimes you can’t tell it) all hinge on the basics of music theory and learning those guidelines make the game a lot easier. If nothing else, it provides a common language for "the band."

    Time to hit the books.


    Note: Yes, I know jazz probably takes way more knowledge of theory than it's poor cousins, but the avant-garde stuff... Not my cup of tea.
     
  8. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    You might be thinking that up to this point my practice plan sounds a bit “structured” (and not necessarily in a good way). Music needs a little spontaneity, a little improvisation, a little time outside-the-box. In acknowledgement of that, I’m implementing Free-Form Fridays.

    On Fridays I can do whatever I want or do nothing at all. My choice. Go where the spirit moves me. Circle back to something from earlier in the week. Chase a song I heard on the radio. (Wait, no one listens to “the radio” anymore.) Experiment with running a digital delay through an analog looper to see if it will send me back in time. Who knows what Fridays will hold!?

    Freedom, my friends, can be a dangerous thing.
     
  9. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    Deciding the plan for the start of the weekends was a no-brainer. Strat Saturday. Like Tele Tuesday, it will be a day dedicated to an iconic guitar and the musicians that made it one. Of course there’s the Holy Strat Trinity – Eric, Stevie, and Jimi – but there’s a pantheon of others to listen to and learn from. Jeff Beck, Rory Gallagher, David Gilmore, Buddy Guy, Buddy Holly, Eric Johnson, Mark Knopler, Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jimmy Thackery (lesser known, but a personal favorite), Robin Trower. Them, and damn near every other modern blues guitar slinger tearing it up these days.

    I’ve mourned the loss of my first for more than 40 years. I’m thrilled to finally have another. On Strat Saturdays, it'll get all the play.

    Quack On!
     
  10. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    We’ve reached the end of the guitar practice week and the question becomes “Did I get any better?” Measurements aren’t easy. There’s no real objective way to track your musical progress like, say, charting how many minutes it took you to run the mile, how many pounds you bench pressed, or how many words you got written. Instead, then, I’m closing each week with Studio Sunday.

    With a couple of simple components and this laptop I have my own little digital recording studio and I’ll finish off each practice week by cobbling together a few minutes of instrumental recording. Lay a bass line, a rhythm, and a lead over a computer-generated drum track and see how it sounds. You’d be surprised how “into” the music you get when putting it down for keeps, how focused you become on each nuance of the piece, from the composition to the playing to the editing. All wrapped together, it’s a great practice tool (and a whole lot of geeky fun). Hopefully, when listened to over time, these brief recordings will show some improvement. Hopefully.

    That ends it, I guess. Tomorrow it starts all over again with another Stormy Monday. Hope you found these posts amusing. At the very least, I had fun putting them together. Now, to execute.

    Rock on.
     
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