GAS Arrival

I came home to a small box on my front porch. I’d already been fooled by the box on the front porch yesterday that ended up containing my soon to be three year old’s birthday present, so I was hesitant to get my hopes up. But the return address matched my poorly stifled hopes and I got excited!

Woo hoo! New gear! A brand new Boss DD7 Digital Delay effects pedal still in the plastic!

That pearlescent paint job. All the knobs set to 12 o’clock.  The user manual. The product registration card. The 2010 product catalog. It was all there!

After the kids went to bed I plugged it directly into my amp and started testing all the functions at very low volumes. Everything worked! It is going to take some practice to use the hold function, but the rest of it is pretty good. I couldn’t get the reverse to sound good, but I can’t play forward very well, let alone in reverse, so I’m not surprised.

I didn’t hook it up to my pedal board chain. I’ll save that for another night. Right now I just enjoyed the pedal for what it is. A fully functional delay pedal with some looping capabilities. I will need to make myself an external tap tempo switch, but for now, I can use the pedal itself for that function. It is surprisingly easy.

Inspirational Tones pt 2

In keeping with my last blog entry, here’s another guitar tone I try to get from time to time.

I know this may be blasphemy, but sometimes his tone is a little harsh to me. Like he’s got to much low end. But in this song he hits that perfect tone dead on  in almost every recording I’ve heard.

Dead Stuff

I saw this blog entry a while back about the internet being dead and I really liked it. I don’t know if I will ever do something truly creative, but I like to think that I’m adding to the world by enjoying things that are dead. Or at least I’m enjoying things that have seen their popularity wain, just not their usefulness.

I feel like guitar effects pedals are kind of the same. I’m not familiar with too many guitar effects pedals that are entirely new in sound and concept. They all seem to be rehashes or imitations of some standard group of effects that already exist. I’m still trying to learn about all the different textures and effects out there, so videos like the following are always great for getting more exposure to what is out there. Thanks!

 

GAS Excitement

It’s in the mail! Not them most boutique or unusual or cool pedal, but the top one on my list…a Boss DD7 digital delay! I’m so excited!

I can’t wait to combine it with my ToneMod Analog Delay and other pedals. I won’t play this well, but here’s a few more musical uses of the loop function.

I’ll keep you posted!

Trail of Dead

Had the joy of watching And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead at the Capital Theater Backstage. Good show with only about 100 people in the audience. For those of you who don’t know, the audience stands at the back of the stage and the band plays with their back to the auditorium seating. Basically, the don’t use the auditorium so you get up close with the artists while they play. Very fun!

The band was very relaxed and talking with the audience in a fond manner. Turns out they knew most of the audience members from when they had lived in Olympia. They even added a song at the end of their set that was not on the playlist.

They were a four piece at the show, but different from the group in the video above. And they played the instruments in this version:

According to wiki,  the group I saw last night was: Conrad Keely, Jason Reece, Autry Fulbright II, and Jamie Miller. I got the impression Miller hadn’t played the song in a while. It was fun to watch each of them try to remember their parts and then put them all together. It was fun!

Of the opening bands, I most enjoyed Follow That Bird.

They have a different bass player now (or he dyed his hair red). He had this awesome short scale bass that I wanted to ask him about, but felt a bit embarrassed to so obviously geek out on his gear. It looked like some 60’s Japanese made instrument like my ’68 Teisco Del Rey.

Returns

I took back the hard shell guitar case. The more I played with it, the more I realized my Warmoth guitar didn’t fit as well as I wished. Also, that money could go toward parts for different projects that will be used sooner and more often.

More importantly, I played with my (new to me) ohnoho Chk Chk Boom feedback loop pedal. I put a DOD Stereo Flanger FX 75-B and an Electro Harmonix Stereo Pulsar tremolo in the loop. I turned everything on, hit a power chord, and then pressed the button on the Chk Chk Boom. Nothing happened. I held it down more. I twiddled the knob on the side. It made a squawk and that was it.  I thought it must be broken and thought that must have been why it was in the sale bin. Then I turned off the tremolo. I got this cool sound. I held it down and the sound oscillated slowly. I tried it without strumming the guitar. Same sound. I tried it with strumming the guitar. Same sound.

Then I turned the tremolo back on. Nothing. So I held the button down and I got random beeps with the indicator light of the tremolo. It was like samples from the oscillating noise of the just the flanger. Very cool! I turned on my ModTone analog delay set to maximum time, mix, and repeat. It was even more fun. I strummed the guitar after kicking on my ElectroHarmonix USA Big Muff Pi and Marshall Guv’nor plus. It was a wall of sound with these weird bleeps and noises on top of it all. I kicked on my ElectroHarmonix Holy Grail Reverb. I turned on my Morley Wah and started to randomly move it. It just added to the sounds.

Talk about a blast!

Feedback Loop

Went to my local guitar shop’s parking lot sale today. Man, did I score! First, I got a cheap economy hard shell case for my next guitar project, but more importantly, I think  it fits my Warmoth project guitar!  I also got some power supply cables that will work between my Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Plus and my pedals. You may recall when I got the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Plus at a local thrift store for $5, it only had a couple of the original power supply cables. I made some, but these seem much more sturdy. I also got a 3 inch guitar cable for connecting two pedals.  I got some string sets for 99 cents…not the best, but the price is right! I also got a yamaha acoustic sound hole cover for free. Nice way to avoid feedback on an acoustic-electric guitar on the stage (assuming the acoustic-electric guitar is plugged into the PA).

And finally, the score of the day: I got an OhNoHo ChkChkBoom momentary feedback effects pedal with the Joy Button. I assumed it didn’t work since it was in the same bin as all the old cables and stuff for under $5, but hoped it would be a good pedal enclosure and parts for my planned effects loop pedal.  It may still be the future parts of an effects loop (sorry ohnoho), but I will play with it first!

Late to the Party

I guess everyone else is already aware of Guthrie Govan, but i wasn’t until he got the cover story for Guitar Player magazine this month. I am not into shred, but it is still interesting to read about all styles of guitar players. I really liked his interview.

Guitar Player asked, “What’s the best way for [players] to improve if they’re not in a music school?”

GG: This might be infuriating, but this is the best answer I have: They should ask themselves, “Why am I playing and waht do I want to achieve?” until they know that, there isn’t a correct way forward. In the past, at seminars, I’ve been guilty of preaching that everyone needs to learn stuff by ear as I did, and that if you can’t do that, you’re not really a musician, you’re just a typist – you’re just copying things off a trarnscription or an instructional DVD. Then, one day, i got a wakeup call from a guy at one of my clinics. He was about 50, ahd a lovely Paul Reed Smith with the most exotic top you’ve ever seen, and he stopped me mid-rant and said, “I appreciate what you’re saying but I’m a gynecologist. I get top lay guitar about 20 minutes a week. I don’t need this ear that you’re talking about, becau7se that’s not why I’m playing. If I could learn to play ‘Layla,’ it’d make me happy every day for the rest of my life.” That guy made me reassess things. No matter why you play, it’s always good to have a clear goal. If you don’t have a goal, you’ll certainly never achieve it. If you do, you might achieve it.

What a great answer. And it is really nice to read about how he also changed his views. I won’t get into my goals and whether I’m moving forward, but I will say that it is a good reminder.

And for those of you who can’t seem to settle on one goal. Here’s what Guthrie Govan did back in 2005.

Talk about versatility. Wow! And he does his own stuff too!