V Pick

While at the Seattle Tacoma Guitar show I also picked up a V-Pick. I’ve read about them and seen demos, but not actually tried one myself. One of the vendors there had a case of different V-picks and I was able to mess around with the different models a bit.

V-Pick

I ended up getting the Traditional Lite in sapphire blue. I liked how firm it was compared to the thinner options, but at 1.5 mm wasn’t so thick that I felt I was holding a rock when playing. I also like how it has one sharp point and two rounder points. I’ve already found myself rotating the pick in my hand from the sharp point to a rounder point when I go into a heavy strumming mode. The difference is subtle between the two points in tone and bass response, but I can hear it.

Wah Pedal answer?

In the past, I’ve mentioned my dissatisfaction of my Morley wah. I don’t like the sweep. I don’t like the real estate it takes up on my pedal board. Etc. Then I picked up an Ibanez Screaming Demon wah for cheap that seems to resolve everything but the real estate concern.

Well, it seems Fulltone has provided the solution. The Fulltone MDV-3.

fulltone-mdv-3

While not as small as the Chi-Chi-Wah, it has the on/off button in the perfect location. So smart. Impressive design. If I weren’t on a buying hiatus, I would be very tempted by this.

Edit: Too bad it isn’t a wah. I’m not a big uni-vibe person. But maybe I should be…

Girl Scout campfire

I ended up not taking my guitar to my daughter’s girl scout camp. I figured there would be skits and sing alongs with the other troops. Plus the car was filling up fast with the girls’ gear. And I was right, partly.
Most of the evenings were spent with all the other troops doing slits and singalongs in the ampitheater with all the other scouts. It was hilarious and fun, but my guitar playing would not have been a part of it.
However one night was spent eating s’mores as a troop on our own. Luckily another parent had brought their acoustic guitar and was playing campfire songs for the girls to sing.
As all guitarists do, we chatted briefly about what guitars we have, what we like to play, how long we’ve been playing, and of course share the guitar. It was so much fun! At one point all 13 girls in my daughter’s troop were standing around the campfire sing “Firework” by Katy Perry at the top of their lungs. They giggled through “Manah Manah” by the Muppets. And took turns making up lyrics about camp to the tune of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom Boom.”
Guitars are awesome, but kids are amazing! A big thank you to the parent who brought their guitar AND shared it.

Screaming Demon Wah

At the recent Seattle Tacoma Guitar Show I picked up an Ibanez Screaming Demon Wah pedal. I’ve been looking around for one ever since Dave recommended it on my post here. I was hesitant to get one because my second reason for getting a new wah pedal was because of the real estate my old Morley wah took up on my pedal board. But my number one reason for wanting to replace my Morley wah was because I was not satisfied with the sweep of the wah pedal effect. Dave was right about this one.

The Screaming Demon isn’t just an over the top metal machine as the name implies. It has a lot of flexibility and functionality built into it. I won’t go into the details myself (mainly because I haven’t rebuilt my pedal board to add it in), but needless to say you can tweak a lot of stuff! See below.

However, the price was right this time and I took the plunge! Thanks damacleod!

SeaTac Guitar Show Fall 2013

I went to the SeaTac Guitar show this weekend. I’ve been meaning to go for the past few years, but things just kept getting in the way. I saw a couple of really cool things that I probably wouldn’t see outside the guitar show (unless I went to all the shops within 1000 miles…which isn’t a bad idea…but I can’t do that anytime soon) like a:

  • Hagstrom Viking (just like Elvis!)
  • 1967 Epiphone Casino with mini-humbuckers
  • Gibson Lucille ES-335
  • 68 Gibson SG with side pull vibrato
  • lots of Fender Champs and Super Champs
  • etc.

I also saw some really cheap stuff that looked like something I would build from miscellaneous spare parts. Nothing wrong with that (hey, I love doing it), but it doesn’t seem like something that makes a guitar show special.

Don’t get me wrong. There was great stuff. My first stop was at Mr. Black effects, but it was a designated quiet time (no playing) so I couldn’t test their pedals. They made a point of not having any fuzz pedals. Ha! I really liked the guitars from Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar table. Joe Riggio had sold most of his guitars to Japan, but his reliced sunburst tele with a humbucker shoved in the neck position looked fantastic. Boltronix had some cool amps and stuff too.  I spent a while talking to the guys at Ampersand Sound Solutions. Their amps were absolutely gorgeous. They have a truly unique approach to amp and speaker cabinets that I haven’t seen before. I liked them a lot! Tom Curneed had some beautiful hand made guitars that really stood out. I also spoke with John Macdonald of Johnny Mac Guitars for a while. I really liked the stuff he was doing. If I were 20 years younger, I think I’d want to be him. Or at least doing the builds he is doing. Very cool.

Overall it was a good show. I was able to really wander and explore. I got a few things. But I wasn’t there to buy a bunch of stuff. It was just fun!

Reignwolf

How have I missed Reignwolf? He’s even relocated the Great Northwest of the USA…Seattle!

 

I understand he sometimes plays with a backing band, but I am loving his performances with just his voice, Gibson ES-335, and bass drum. Awesome!

Makes me want to dig out my homemade acoustic stompbox. Oh, and learn to play and sing at the same time. Minor issue.

Next Guitar?

Luther Dickenson’s (of the North Allstars) explanation of how he plays electric guitar pretty much nails what I currently think is my playing style goal. I don’t actually play like this right now, but I think this is how I want to play. This is what I want to learn and develop. Check out his comments that start at 0:55 but really hit their mark at 1:24.

This was his interview for zzounds about his signature Gibson ES-335.

His new signature guitar is a semi hollow body.

Fender has announced the re-release of their semi hollow body Starcaster.

I’ve been eyeing a used Epiphone Sheraton VSB semi hollow body (which I found out yesterday has been sold…sad that it wasn’t to me) or some other hollow body guitar.

Everything seems to be coming together for my next guitar purchase. Everything but the financial side of it.

Mahna Mahna

My five year old has really been getting into music lately. He plays little tunes he makes up on the piano. He listens to lots of music. And he runs around with a cheap acoustic guitar strapped around his body.

The last couple of days he’s been playing Cake’s cover of Mahna Mahna on his little CD player over and over while he pretends to play along on his guitar.

He calls it the “rock and roll Muppet Song.” Of course he’s known the original for years already.

But neither of us were familiar with this 1969 version.

So tonight I looked it all up and found the songsterr version was the easiest to follow and learn. Great song! Now I just need that semi-hollow body guitar to play it on like Cake…oh, and actually learn the solo!

Camp Fire Wannabe

I went camping with family and friends this past weekend. It has become an annual event with this group and we have a lot of fun! This year we decided to stay multiple nights, which is new, but our kids are all getting older so we figured it was worth a shot.

I also decided it was worth a shot to take my guitar and play some of the camp fire songs I’ve been working on for my daughter’s girl scout event in a couple of weeks. I really enjoyed having my cheap Ibanez acoustic there. I strummed and played and noodled through all the stuff I normally do. It was relaxing and a great way to occupy some of the down time after setting up camp and before hikes and other activities.

Then came the evening campfire with s’mores, jokes, stories, chatting, and now singing. I started with Fireworks a la Katy Perry. I could only remember the words to the first two lines and the chorus. Thankfully a couple of the 6, 7, and 8 year old girls knew all the words and took over singing duties. With singing out of the way I got a lot more into playing the four chords over and over, changing dynamics, picking patterns, etc. for the different parts of the song. And the girls just kept singing it over and over until I finally stopped us.

There was clapping and congratulations.

Then I did head, shoulders, knees, and toes with the kids taking turns leading the actions. That was good, but I had to sing to keep them on track…and it was tough!

The next couple songs I got out my lyrics sheets with chords to play off of. I was not able to play any songs without assistance.

That means a couple of things to me. First, I need to practice more. Second, I need to practice a lot more. Third, playing the guitar is hard, but singing while playing is even harder. For those of you out there who sing and play, my sincerest compliments!