Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Studio Monitors


I picked up a pair of studio monitors at my local music shop on Christmas Eve. I was getting tired of playing through my headphones and mixing with them. It's liberating to just have speakers to play through. I could use my amp to use amp/stompbox modelling software but I couldn't get it to sound right. These monitors are neutral so I know what I hear will sound pretty much sound the same on my ipod.

You can hear all the little nuances, and it forces me to clean up the tracks that insert into songs. Here's a link to the speakers:

http://www.zzounds.com/item--MDOBX5A

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jacko the Producer!

I've been playing guitar for two months and I wanted to start recording some stuff. My recording guru friend JMan suggested that I try Tracktion 3 because of its intuitive interface. It took me about an hour to get going but now I'm in love with it. I use my Pod XT Live to connect my guitar to my computer to record.

I've been recording for the past two weeks and I'm getting the hang of it. After my second night of fiddling with Tracktion 3 I recorded a quick mash up of We're Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister) : Downlard the MP3. I later recorded some other tracks. You can listen to more at my website http://www.sloppystrings.com/.

I found a little software on the web called Beatcraft to generate drum beats and insert into Tracktion as a track. I then record through Tracktion 3 to accompany the drum beat. In the song Breaking the Law (Judas Priest) I even included a bass section for the song.

I'm just learning this recording and mixing business but it's a real good time. I look forward to learning more and improving my tracks.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mic!



I've been looking for a mic in order to record a bit of vocals and different things. I went to my local store to see what I could find. The guy showed me the Apex 435 condenser mic with shock stand for $60. Since this type of mic needs "phantom power", I'm not exactly sure what that is but it's power to activate the microphone, I had to get a small mixing board with mic inputs and phantom power. He showed me the Behringer 802 for $90 which is great for what I need it for.
I also got a mic stand to go with it. I also had to get a mic XLR cable and and a stereo-out with 1/4" jack to go to my POD XTLive so I can actually record on my computer. The cool thing is that I got a $20 gift card from the store because of a special that week on the mixer, and the cables were actually part of the promotion for the mic. The whole thing cost me $175 and I'm all mic'd up and ready to go ... and with a cool little mixer too.
It took me about 30 minutes to set everything up and record clips with good levels.
Gotta love toys.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Pimp my Axe, Part II




I finally received my new pickguard in the mail Friday. It only took three friggin weeks! Ah well, at least I got ite. I bought it off Ebay for about $30, shipping included.

I had no idea what it would look like underneath the pickguard. The first surprise was that the volume/tone buttons are bolted to the pickguard. Same with the pickup selector and pickups. That's great because pickguard's holes were not placed exactly like my old one so I didn't have to modify the pickguard too much.

I only encountered a few little problems: 1) one of the screws for the double pick up somehow got stripped so I had to make an improvised bolt for it with wood. 2) The other thing is that the pickup selector hole wasn't the same as my other one so I had to use a drill to expand it a bit. 3) the double pickup hole wasn't big enough for my pickup so I had to file it down (the pickguard) to make room for it.

I really should have cleaned the fretboard because it's pretty bad dirty. I'll have to look into what products to use; I have no idea. I also have to get new screws to hold the pickguard too because the old ones are a bit rusty. Shouldn't be a problem finding that.

Now I have to choose what color pickups and knobs I want to use. I might just get a black double pickup for the back and keep the front ones white. I might get one of those Zebra (1 black 1 white) double pickups I've seen around. I'm not sure what color knobs I want to use either ... black, or keep the white ones.

The whole project took about 2 hours. I know they next time I'd be able to do it in about an hour.

One thing that never occured to me: My Les Paul and Lado are the same color! I mean just about identical. Their both vintage (cream) white. I like it.












Monday, December 3, 2007

Barre Chords ... Ouchie.

I heard barre chords were pretty tough. Conclusion ... yeah they're pretty tough. I found a neat little article in Guitar World that deals with barre chords. You cycle through E, A, D, G and C. I already knew these chords so that was a good start. By barring the next string up and doing the chords you move up one half step. E becomes F, A become A sharp, etc. You work your way up the neck. You're a tough man if you can make it to the 12th fret without stopping.

I found a video on Youtube that also helped me learn to play barre chords. The main thing he stressed was to practice doing the chords with the free fingers. For example, you'd usually play the E with the first three fingers of your fretting hand. But to learn to do barre chords quickly you should first play the E with the last three fingers. Once you can do that, you just barre the entire fret with your index finger. Easy as pie ... yeah sure. I've been practicing barre chords for the past week. I'm really getting there but the G shape variations are still pretty tough. Getting there.

Keep on rockin' and strummin'.

Oh, here's the Youtube videa I was talking about:


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Practice Time!

When I picked up the guitar in October I found this online course on Ebay: How I Got Killer Chops While Still in High School. I decided that I'd practice at least half an hour every night before learning songs or just noodling on the guitar. It basically consists of great exercises for alernate picking, hammer-ons / hammer-offs, finger stretching, tapping, scales, etc. Basically you start on the high E and do 1,2,3,4 , then 2,3,4,5 etc until you get to the 12th fret, then work your way back, all by using a metrnonome and timing yourself to track your progress in a Student Log. It beats the crap out of my fingers but I see progress all the time. Alternate picking is second nature to me now. I used to only use down picks, which limits your ability to do quick solos. I also had a hard time with pull-offs at first when I'd move to the lower strigs working up the strings from the high E, but now I can do pull-offs on every string and actually get notes!

I hope I keep this ritual because it'll help me progress a lot faster.

OK back to practicing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

POD Live XT 2 : Digging In

Last night, I had a chance to play with the free Line 6 Edit software that gives you a computer interface to edit the settings of the POD XT Live floorboard. It's a lot easier to figure out than trying to use the floorboard's tiny duotone LCD monitor, which I did the night before.
You can set what effects pedals you want, choose a wah pedal, add some extra effects, choose an amp with extension cabs etc. Once you're done editing, you can save it to one of the 128 channels. The channels are set up in 32 groups of A, B, C and D.
It's great to have all these variations at your disposal, for example using weird and wacky synth sounds, but gosh darn it, I just wanna play guitar! That's the exact feeling I had when I shut it off at midnight to hit the sack. I think it'll be fun to play with but I don't want become a slave of twiddling all these effects all night long instead of playing.
So far so good, I'll try some more settings tonight, but not before my regular 1/2 hour of finger exercises.
Cheers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Got my Line 6 POD XTLive!

I got home and the unit was sitting on my front step. It wasn't stolen so I'm happy.

I was so pooped by the time my wife got home at 7:30. I get to be Mr Mom Monday and Tuesday nights. I went to bed for a "quick" nap which unfortunately lasted until 6:30 am this morning so I didn't get a chance to play with it. Hopefully tonight!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pimp My Axe


This is a photo of my first real guitar I got when I was in grade 9. My first guitar was a red Gisbon SG copy my parents bought me to see if I'd stick with it, then help me get a good one later.

It's a Hawk series by Lado. I can't find much about it on the Web but I know Lado is a Canadian guitar company. They are real high end guitars but mine is one of the Korean cheaper models. I bought it used at the guitar shop.

I wanted to get a black pick guard, but it got me thinking that I might try to just spray paint the pick guard since I know any new pick guard I'd get wouldn't fit perfectly plus I'd have to cut a big hole for the humbucker pick up the previous owner had installed. Then I thought maybe I could just take the pick guard off, trace it on wood or plastic and cut out the holes. I might even install a piece of plexi glass to show the guts. We'll see. I'll see what kind of materials I can find at the hardware store.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pedals, Pedals, Pedals ...



I've been looking at pedal modelling for the past few days since I wanted to get a delay pedal and thought this might be a solution instead of getting more pedals.

I currently have BOSS Equalizer, Chorus, Flanger, Heavy Metal, Fuzz and a Pro Tone Fuzz pedal and the Slash Wash pedal.

I decided to get a Line 6 XT Live pedalboard. This beast has all kinds of presets in it for all kinds of stompbox effects and amp modelling. I can also record with it since it has a USB in/out. I'll be able to to download oher effects that people share on the Web . I'm likely going to get rid of everything except my EQ, Heavy Metal, Pro Tone Fuzz. I might keep my flanger pedal because it's so sweet. We'll see.

My only concern is that it appears to be quite big. If it's a problem I'll just sell back on Ebay and get the Line 6 XT "bean" and get a smaller pedalboard to go with it.

It's all good. It seems like all I talk about on here is gear but I have been practising a lot. I'm picking up speed every week.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Flight of the Bumble Bee


I've always been impressed by this song. One of my drinking buddies is an amazing shredder. We used to get sloshed every Fiday night during university. Back then I didn't play guitar but I'd always get him to play Flight of the Bumble Bee. It always tripped me out. His name is Conrad Simon. You have to check out his Myspace page to hear some of his amazingly clean and fast picking.
I'll never be able to play like him but I want to learn to play Flight of the Bumble Bee because it'll be a nice challenge for me.
Wish me luck! By the way, the photo here is one I took of a live bee with my macro lens and my 10D ditial SLR camera.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Slash: Part II



I'm about 200 pages into of the new Slash Autobiography. What a character. It starts with his life as a young hooligan, hanging out in the streets of Hollywood. He discovers the guitar at 15 then goes on to dedicate most of his time to playing.

I hope he's not one of those artists who are dead set against music piracy because they're pissed that their music gets stolen. He's stolen so many things from so many people and businesses, mostly music related stuff.

It tells of how Guns n' Roses got together and the crazy stuff they did. They were all broke, crashing out at different friends, screwing anything that moveD. I find out that Slash was a heroin addict ... maybe he still is? They took forever to find a producer and a manager for their band. Basically Slash was a friggin' mess when the band first got together. Drinking and doing drugs all the time. They'd smash anything their management group would provide them, such as apartments, equipment, rental vans, etc. It sure is an interesting read.

I have been looking at a wah pedals and settled for the Slash signature Cry Baby pedal. It looks sweet and I like Slash's sound. I got it off Ebay which was the cheapest I could find. The Canadian dollar increased significantly in value over the US dollar so it makes buying US stuff a no brainer. Five years ago a dollar Canadian would only get you $0.62 US. Now the Candian dollar will get you $1.07 US. Thank you George Dubayah Bush for fucking up the US economy and getting your currency devaluated.

I've been listening to some Guns n' Roses all week, and I must say that I'm impressed by the guitar work. Slash really has some sweet melodies to carry their music. G n R was never one of my favorite bands but now I've really come to appreciate their stuff. The Slash Bio gives a lot of background on the songs they prepared for their debut album Apetite for Destruction.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Slash !!!

I picked up Slash's new book yesterday afternoon after seeing it mentionned by Jman .

Mental note ... buy books online. The increase of the Canadian dollar over the US green back has not hit brick and mortar stores yet. I could have bought it a lot cheaper online. I don't mind because it's a great book.

I never really paid attention to Slash and his guitar playing, even though a lot of people see him as a guitar God. I listend to some Guns n' Roses last night again and listened to his guitar work. Wowsa. I love his style.

I've read about 50 pages of the book so far and I'm hooked. It starts off with his years as delinquent teenager, the result of a broken home. He discusses how he became a kleptomaniac, stealing complete catalogues of tapes of bands he liked. His passion was BMX until he discovered the guitar, which completely changed his focus in life. I look forward to hearing about his crazy stories as a rock star.

This should be a great read.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I'm going to be Eddie Van Halen!!!

OK, not really. I can skip the rehab, divorce, cancer, and dealing with David Lee Roth. I received a Van Halen Guitar Method DVD in the mail this week; I won it on Ebay and paid $10.50 plus $6 shipping. It has 50 Van Halen riffs including Eruption! The DVD has a .pdf file with tabelature for the 50 riffs. It's a simple concept ... the guy plays the riff full speed, then a close up of the riff played in (1/2?) reduced speed. It's great.


I already learned the first riff, now I'm working on the second one, which is part of Eruption. Eddie has always been my favorite guitarist so I'm super stoked about getting this. I'm using my second guitar, which is a Strat copy with a Floyd Rose system so I can go nuts like Eddie.

Rock on!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Ugliest Guitars of 2007

I have no idea how I stumbled on this one but what a hoot!

Ugliest Guitars of 2007

Oof:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rooooaaarrrrr: Traynor YCX 12 Blue

I picked up my extension cab for my YCV50Blue amp yesterday afternoon when I got my new Les Paul. This thing rocks. I didn't have a chance to crank it so I went home for my lunch break and blasted it. Nice. It really fills in the sound. I drove back to work with my ears ringing. Check it out:

Monday, October 29, 2007

My First Gibson!

Wowowowowow. I went to try out a Gibson Studio because I wanted to upgrade from the Epiphone I just got to celebrate my new promotion and raise. I look up and see a Gibson Vintage White Classic Les Paul. My jaw drops. Check it out:







OK back to playing. I'll write more about it tomorrow. Woohooooo!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Guitar !!!! .... Already?

Yep, it is what it is. Didn't I just get a new guitar? Why yes I did, but I'm going to see tomorrow if I can return it and buy a real Gibson Les Paul. Why? Because I got a promotion and a nice raise last Friday.



I went to the guitar store and checked out the Les Paul Studio models. Sweet. I want the Alpine White one with gold hardware. I'm going to see if they can take it back, taxes and all, and give me a credit to buy the Gibson Model. It goes for $1200 US so I'll see how much they want for it. $1200US is about $1140 Canadian. I think I saw them at $1500, which is quite a spread. I'm following the exact same guitar on Ebay with the auction finishing in 24 hours. If I can get a good deal I might go that route.

Still practicing with the lesson I got off ebay that I mentioned yesterday. I did the Super Chops Workout #1 which covers alternate picking and Hammer on/Pull offs. It really is a workout. You start on the first string and alternate pick 1 2 3 4 then 2 3 4 5 up to the 12th ascending then descending. You do this for all 6 strings. Then there were things like 1 3 2 4 and 1 4 2 3 up and down the fretboard for all 6 strings. Then hammer on starting on the 6th string 1 2 3 4, then when you reach the first string pull off back to the start ... up and down the fretboard again.

My left hand is sore. Rock on!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ebay Guitar Lessons: Part II

I had a chance to check out both courses.


I popped in the DVD for the first one is the Jam Guitar DVD. Pretty much garbage. First off, the guy who does the video is a geeky dork. I think I'm like most other guitarist wanna-be's out there: "I wanna be that guy" is what I should feel. Euh not this one. The stuff he teaches is so basic that it's crazy, plus he just sits in front of some drape for a background. The production quality is in the crapper. He'll be showing the notes "This is C, D, E oops no this is E" I'm just gonna leave it with a rating of 1 1/2 sloppy strings out of 6. The only reason it gets 1/2 sloppy strings is that it might be usefull for a TOTAL beginner. Waste of money at $9.95. There are tons of better learning videos on Youtube.



The second video is called How I Got Killer Guitar Chops While I Was Still in High School: Confessions of a High School Shredder
Wow! What a title but what a package for $19.99! The course comes with 3 CD-ROMs: 1 e-book and 2 audio CDs for the exercises. The author taught himself a disciplined approach in high school to really improve quickly. He went on to go to University for music and and later write a bunch of books. The course contains a systematic approach to improving your guitar skills. He encourages you to use the Student Log to track your progress. The excercises are grouped under Alternate Picking, Hammer-Ons and Pull Offs, Stretching, Tapping, String Skipping, Sweep Picking, Scales, Arpeggios, Songs, Additional Areas of Study, Super Chops Work-outs (his own combination of stuff). You track your date, duration, and metronome tempo used for each exercises. I did the first two exercises of Alternate Picking which wasn't too bad because i had been practicing that a lot with scales, so I could get 200 beats per minute fairly easily. Then I tried two Hammer-on / Pull off exercises. I did each for 3 minutes with a tempo of 120 bpm. My hand cramped up.

I'm super stoked about this course. I had been looking at a way to give more structure to my learning and this fits the bill perfectly. I haven't gone through all of it but I will give it a tentative 5 sloppy strings out of 6 because I can truly see how this will help any guitarist improve dramatically by using a structured approach vs. going at it randomly. The only thing I'd like to see would be a bit of video thrown in for motivation, though I really don't mind the format it has been presented in.

Cheerz.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ebay Guitar Lessons

I got two sets of CDs/DVDs in the mail today. I found them on Ebay and I'm going to check it out.

The first one is titled How I Got Killer Guitar Chops While I Was Still in High School: Confessions of a High School Shredder. This one seems pretty interesting. It came with 2 audio CDs and a CD with and e-book with hundreds of pages.

The second is called Jam Guitar DVD. I'm going to throw it in my DVD player and check it out right now. Apparently you can go to their website to download the tabs.

I'll write little reviews later.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Six String Bliss !

I've been listening to podcasts for about a year now. I find it's a great way to distract myself at work. I was looking for a great guitar podcast and I found it: Six String Bliss.

It's a weekly show produced by Pipes and PT. They typically do a Guitarist Of the Week (GOW) where one of the two picks a great guitarist to review. This is great because I've learned about guitarists I had never really paid attention to. It also inspires me to check out the guitar work on new albums. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

They also pick a song every week, usually from the Podsafe Music Network that highlights great guitar work .. very very very inspiring stuff. They review stuff they've tried, interview industry professionals, think up cool little contests and they're funny as heck to boot. They're just a pair of laid back guitarists who like to share their passion for guitars with the world.

I'm on a mini marathon, having listened to episodes 13 to 30 in the past two weeks and I plan on listening to all of them (84 episodes so far).

I also have to introduce myself in their forum section. Seems like a nice little community in there.

Check 'em out:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pedal Board II

I got two pedals this weekend. I'm cleaning out the basement and decided to sell most of my CDs and XBOX old school games since I didn't use any of them (I have the XBOX 360 now). I grabbed an Equalizer pedal because I know I'll be tweaking my sound a lot, and got a new Heavy Metal Pedal because my old one hums too much. I wanted to play with the settings, but being the lazy guy that I am, I decided to find a way to not have to bend down all the time. Eureka! Put the pedal board on a the wtf is that called? The thing that holds music sheets?


Now I can teak my sound on the comfort of my couch while watching Sunday Night Football.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Online Metronome!

I've been using a cheap electronic metronome to practice my scales. It sounds like beep beep beep BOOP, beep beep beep BOOP, which was getting pretty annoying so I decided to look online to see if I could find something that I can customize the tones. I came across this:




I also found this great Online Drum Machine if you want a custom beat to accompany chords or scales.

I'd like to find an online metronome where the tempo increases at whatever intervals you want. For example, you could set it to increase by 2 or 5 units of tempo every 4 notes. It would help me build up speeds in increments. I'll keep looking.

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's heeeeere!

My guy at the music shop called during supper time to tell me that my new guitar was in. Woohooooo! So I grab my 4 year old son Sam and head for the store. He was trying to break everything in the store until I told him that we'd go play piano if he'd listen to me. Somehow it worked.

What a beauty! It's an Epiphone Les Paul Custom Alpine White. Epiphone is owned by Gibson USA. It pretty much felt the same in my hands as a real Les Paul in the store. It looks as hot as I thought it would.


Man my friggin' fingers hurt. I better take a break for the night before they fall off.

I got a few pedals today too but more about that tomorrow.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Alternate Picking

The Master of Puppets intro (Metallica) was the first thing I wanted to learn when I started playing guitar a few weeks ago. I hadn't started working on Alternate Picking yet. I just played with downstrokes across all the notes and chords which slows down the execution big time. I have been working on scales with alternate picking. I use alternate picking to play all the new stuff I've learned , but the Master of Puppets bit is stuck in down picking only because that's how I learned it. Over the next day or two I want to play with alternate picking so I can speed it up to the same tempo Metallica uses.

I found this Great Exercise on Guitarists.net. What's nice with that lesson is that it showed me that I have to remember to be efficient with my picking. For example, on the first three notes I was doing Down, Up, then Down for the next string, when I should have been doing Down, Up, then Up again to the upper string. Works for me!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Woohoo!


I got my new amp yesterday! The guy from the music store called me at noon to tell me it was in . I picked it up at 2pm and went to bed because I had a huge headache from cleaning the house. I had to pick up the kids at 5:00 but I woke up at 4:30 and blasted the fucker. Hoooooly it rocks. It has two channels with each their volume knobs and a master volume knob. I gave it a good workout. It's an all-tube amp so it sounds amazing.
I sold 3 photography lenses on Ebay. The auctions ended at $1200 total, which was $200 more than I was hoping for. I'm also selling another lens to a friend for $300. That'll cover the amp, the extension cab, and my little Orange amp. I'll be keeping my main lenses and my Canon 20D camera because I still intend to do photography. I just haven't been using the other ones that much as of late. With the extra bucks I'm getting the YCXBlue which is two more 12" speakers. Why do I need the extra power? I don't, but I just can so screw off. I ordered it today.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pedal Board!

Woohoo! My NY Giants won their 4th game in a row (4-2 record). They really kicked butt tonight. They might make the playoffs after all. I started learning Black Dog by Led Zepplin while watching the game. I also did some noodling with scales I found on the web today.

Oh yeah, I cranked both my amps this morning. Kaabrrrriinnnnngggggggg! Even my little 10 Watt Orange Crush amp cranked it up. It's amazing how such a small amp can blast away. The 40W lender was great but I can't wait to the get the one I'm supposed to get: Traynor YCV50 Blue . The music shop said I'd get it by Friday but I doubt it.

I got tired of bringing my pedals to the basement living room when I watch football/tv so I decided to build a pedal pad. I bought a black shelf piece at home depot and stuck some industrial velcro on it: female end on the board and the male end on the pedals. Then I drilled two holes on top and created a handle with rope, cardboard and duct tape. It works great. The top part is raised with a foam tube I screwed to the shelf piece. I'll have room for a few more pedals.





I'm home alone tomorrow again so I'm going to blast the big amp some more playing Black Dog.

G'night.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Doing it Right.

Good times, good times. I've been playing quite a bit of guitar during the past two days.

When I started playing again a few weeks ago I decided to learn how to play it right. When I briefly played 20 years ago I just tried to figure out songs by myself. Play the song, rewind, try it on the guitar, rewind, try it again, get frustrated and try a new song. Repeat until bored.

I decided I'd use the web to learn guitar stuff. I googled "beginner guitar mistakes" to try to avoid common booboos. To my great surprise, I was holding the pick wrong. Rough start. I also realized that everyone was preaching the need to practice scales. Ew. So I tried a few scales I found HERE to learn how to use alternate picking (up, down, up, down, up, down) since I always only used downstrokes. I actually like practicing them now. Tonight I watched football while pratcicing the scales. I also learned that I should use a metronome while practicing scales, so I got one.

I also found an interesting site on short solos HERE. I noticed that I'm already getting faster at picking and moving from fret to fret.

Tomorrow is the big day : I'm on vacation and I have the house to myself. I'm going to crank my two new amps and see how they sound. Right now I'm using like 1/4 of the way to the 1 level on each. Poor neighbors tomorrow.

Well back to watching football and practicing my scales. I learned part of the intro solo of Fade to Black by Metallica over the last few days with the help of Guitar-Pro. I'll post a short video here so I can cringe later.

video

Tonight I' m going to look up For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica. That should be a fun song to play. Cheers Folx.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bastards!

It's Friday at 2:30pm and I finally get the crap off my desk that needed to be done before I head out for a week of vacation. Woohoo.! First thing on the agenda: pick up my new 50W amp at the guitar store so I can rock out with my cock out. I'm pumped. It's a 50W Traynor all-tube amp:
http://www.bmusic.com.au/prod4051.htm

I walk in and ask for the guy I dealt with yesterday. He tells me they rented the amp I had put on layaway ...

wtf.

x'squeeze me. "Rented? Until when ?" "There was a mistake. ". "Euh dude, I'm on vacation all of next week and I need my friggin amp". "Sorry we can rent you a Marshall Stack for free, I'm so sorry" ...

Anyways, I ended getting the 40W model lower on the totem pole than the one I wanted. I didn't want to get the one above it (80W) because I'd end up buying it. That's the bad news ... the good news: that 40W amp friggin rocks! I'm still getting the 50W though. Apparently they'll get my amp by the end of next week.

I just have to figure how I can kick out the wife and kids so I can crank it and break some windows ...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Rock Out!

Well well well. I'm 35 and I pretty much just picked up my guitar two weeks ago to play it for the first time since 1988.

It had been sitting in its case for almost all that time. I always wanted to start playing again after high school but I never got around to it. Actually I took it out late year when I set up my "Man Room" in my basement with my 46" LCD tv and mini fridge. I still didn't play it much. Two weeks ago I was listening to the White Stripes and I thought to myself: "I wanna play like him". So I pick up my guitar (Lado Hawk - pictures later, I'm sure, and my Peavey Studio Pro 40) and realize why I quit ... I had no idea how to play now or back then. A couple of power cords, that's it. It didn't stop me from forming a band in the 9th grade to play Crazy Train and a few other songs in the talent show. That's the last time I played in front of an audience. I formed a band in the 10th grade to play a few Anthrax, Metallica and Celtic Frost bass lines. That didn't last long. Then came the drinking, the girls, the high school graduation, the MBA, the job, the house and mortgage, the first kid, the second kid, the pot belly. Now here I am having decided to get into guitar again.

Back to the White Stripe thing. I knew about Guitar Pro, a software that shows the tabs. for the notes on the guitar fretboard. I learned the song Icky Thump and I was hooked ... bad. Real bad.
So last Saturday I went to our local music shop to take a look around, having decided that if I'd play until Christmas I'd get a new guitar. So I walk around the store and drool for about an hour, and fall in love with the Les Paul Guitar. I go online that night and start looking and drooling some more, so Tuesday at lunch time I order an Epiphone Alpine White Custom Les Paul:


http://www.woodbrass.com/images/woodbrass/LPSTAWGH1.JPG
Hmmm how do you get this thing to post a hyperlink with text and not an address? Beats me.



They had a black one but I really wanted the white one. The friendly salesman told me they'd get it in 10 to 20 days. I'm a big boy; I can wait. I also put a new amplifier on layaway because I didn't have the van with me. I'm going to trade in my Peavy Studio 40 for the amp tomorrow after work. It's an all tube 50 watt amp and sweeeeeeet. More about it tomorrow. In the meantime I got a small Orange 10W amp at lunch today to practice and carry around the house. I can't wait to starting cranking the new 50 watt tuber.