Song of Hope intro tab

We’ve played this song a few times in the last couple of months, so I thought I’d share it here.

  1  2  3  4  1  2     3  &  4  &  
E------------|--------------------|
B-12-12-12-12|12-12-12------------|
G-15b16-15b16|15b16-15b16r15-13-11|
D------------|--------------------|
A------------|--------------------|
E------------|--------------------|

 1  2  3  &  4  &  1  2  &  3  &  4  & 
|---------11------|---------------------|
|---12-14----14---|---17----17----16----|
|13-------------16|---------------------|
|-----------------|14----14----14----14-|
|-----------------|---------------------|
|-----------------|---------------------|

There are other ways of playing this, of course, but this feels the most comfortable for me. You could play the opening m2 unison bend on the E & B strings in 7th position, but it doesn’t feel quite as natural. It may be different for you.

Bending with precision is really critical. If you put too much pressure on the strings you will bend too far. It’s really easy to overcompensate on the bends, so you’ll need to work on developing your muscle memory.

D’OH!

I’ve been working on this site for about 2 months now, and I’ve been checking Google every now and then to see if I pop up anywhere. So far, no luck. I’m getting quite a bit of traffic from links and stuff, but no search engines have sent me any traffic yet.

Well, I was just perusing through my site settings, and I discovered that I had a certain box checked under the Settings:Privacy tab. The text next to the box said: “I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors.”

Well. I guess that explains that. Oops.

Potential amp trade?

First of all, let me say that I am not unhappy with my current amp – a Reeves Custom 6. However, I recently came across a post on The Gear Page where a guy was looking to sell his Goodsell 5 combo. This is the amp that I was really looking for when I bought my Reeves, but I couldn’t find one anywhere.

If you didn’t know, Goodsell is a boutique amp maker in Atlanta who makes the Super Seventeen, which is a fantastic-sounding 17 watt amp. The 5 is based on a similar design, but it’s single-ended and it’s 5 watts instead of 17. Unfortunately, it was a custom piece and only 19 were made, hence my difficulty in finding one.

Goodsell 5

When I saw this one listed for sale, I emailed him and asked if he’d be interested in a straight trade for my amp/cab, since they’re roughly the same value. Since he didn’t say that he was looking for trades, I didn’t really expect a response. He emailed me back and told me that he would rather sell it, but that he was seriously tempted by my offer. He’ll probably sit on it for a few more days to see if it sells.

I’m kinda tired of the head/cab thing since I only have a 1×12″ cab. I would much rather have a combo at this point to make it easier to lug around.

Any thoughts?

Reeves Amps
Goodsell Amps

Stone Temple Pilots – June 28th

As you may have heard, Stone Temple Pilots are getting back together for a reunion tour. My buddy Maury emailed me this afternoon and told me that they’re coming to The Woodlands, TX on June 28th and that he could get us some advance tickets when they go on sale tomorrow. Needless to say, I asked him to get me a ticket.

STP was one of my favorite bands in high school (alongside Soundgarden and Alice in Chains), and I think that the DeLeo brothers have some up with some of the coolest riffs in modern rock. Hopefully, Scott Weiland can stay clean, obviously for his own sake, but also for the sake of the ticket-buying public.

composition, etc.

I was a theory/composition major in college, which means that I spent a lot of time holed up in my room studying scores and/or writing music. This post is going to focus on the latter.

I have written quite a few works for chamber groups of varying instrumentation. Some of them were piano solos, guitar ensembles, woodwind quintets, string quartets, a duo for flute & clarinet (which got published and put on a festival list), a brass quintet and some others. I started working on a piece for guitar with orchestra when I was close to graduation, but it kind of ran out of steam when I didn’t have a deadline.

Some of these compositions are better than others. Some of them are pretty embarrassing, but some of them are pretty dang cool, in my opinion. I occasionally find myself going back to a recording of my senior composition recital and thinking to myself “wow, I actually wrote that.”

Anyway, I’ve written songs and stuff since graduation, but I haven’t really written anything that I would consider to be serious “art music” or whatever. It’s been almost 8 years since I graduated and I haven’t really done anything with my specific education. Sure, I’m using the fact that I have a music degree to justify my teaching job, but it’s not like I really need to know how to spell a German augmented 6th chord on a daily basis. I have never told any of my students to emphasize the Neapolitan chord in a piece of music. So what did I get that degree for?

I planned to go on to graduate school and become Dr. Hintze, but you make choices in life. Some people get doctorates and some people get married and get jobs. A few people do both, but that wasn’t me. I don’t regret anything, of course. If I had done anything differently, then I would be missing out on more than I care to think about. If Jenny and I had waited a week, a day, an hour longer to start having a baby, then the specific DNA recipe that God put together to create Jackson wouldn’t have been completed and we would have some other kid instead. I know that we would have never known the difference, but it’s strange to think about.

Anyway, that was kind of a weird tangent. I started this post to mention that I started writing something today, but it veered off course a bit.

The new piece is a guitar trio. I’m writing it with students in mind, so I’m trying to give it some specific limitations so that it won’t be too difficult. I’m trying not to write anything too complicated rhythmically, no fast position shifts, etc, but that’s proving to be somewhat difficult to do and still be remotely interesting to listen to. I think that it’s going to be pretty challenging, and it will probably take a few efforts.

I want to get back into the rhythm that I fell into in college where I was always working. I spend too much time doing nothing – screwing around on internet forums or watching stupid TV. I need to get into the habit of making myself a better person.

This post is already much longer than I intended, so I’ll just wrap it up here. This discussion will probably continue.

My strat

I go through extreme phases in my guitar choices. I’ll go for months and just play one guitar, then I’ll decide to play the other one. It was worse when I had more than 2 electrics. One of them would inevitably go untouched for months. I guess that’s why I’m back down to 2 guitars now. I played both worship services with my strat today, and my tone sounded pretty great, imo.

My strat is a ’94 American Standard that I bought new just before I graduated from high school in ’95. It’s a 40th anniversary model, so it has a little medallion on the headstock. You can see a picture of it if you click the ‘my gear’ tab at the top of the page.

I have pulled out the guts many times, and it doesn’t have any of the original electronics in it. I’ve tried various pickups of different flavors, and I currently have a set of single coils that I picked up from Reverend. They sound much warmer than the stock pups, and I’m pretty happy with them. I also removed the second tone control from the circuit, so the single tone knob controls all three pickups.

Several years ago, I was having serious problems with strings on this guitar. I was breaking strings left and right. I installed some Graph Tech saddles on it, and there was a dramatic change. It’s probably been 8 years, and I’ve probably broken 5 strings on that guitar since then.

I string my electrics with 10s. Anything lighter than that feels like spaghetti (especially on the Les Paul). I never use the trem (I don’t even know where the bar is), so I have the screws on the back tightened up so that the bridge is pulled all the way down to the body. I have my action set pretty low so that if I dig in with the pick, the strings kinda snap on the fretboard.

I wish that it had a nitro finish. It has that poly-whatever finish that’s just about harder than diamond, so it’ll never scratch or crack or look much different than it did on day one. Worn guitars are just cool-looking, unless it’s fake wear. That’s just stupid. Don’t use sandpaper on your brand new guitar so that it’ll look old. You have to earn that kind of thing. Anyway, My guitar is like 14 years old, and there are a couple of tiny dings, but nothing you can really see. At least the maple is yellowing and not white like it was at first.

Anyway, that’s my strat. It’s not perfect, but I’ll have it forever.

hybrid picking – sixths

One application for hybrid picking is playing sixths. Here is an example of a D major scale harmonized in sixths.

You could play this example with just the pick, but you’d have to mute the G string and you’d get that chunky muted sound. You might want that kind of sound if you’re looking for a more rhythmic attack, but it could be distracting if you’re trying to play something more melodic.

Here’s a little recording that I did. First, I play the scale with pick and fingers, then pick only. Listen to the difference in the sound of the two pick styles. I had the recording input level a little too high – you can hear the pick-only part peak a couple of times. I close out the track with some hybrid picking, using the “Wondrous Cross” melody as a starting point.

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incoming: new delay

After much research, I have decided to go with the Boss DD-20 for my new delay. I sold my Tone Press yesterday (it sold really fast) and found a used DD-20 for $150. That’s a pretty good price, so I jumped on it. I’m hoping that it’ll show up by Saturday so that I can play with it on Sunday, but I’m not holding my breath.

I’m kinda disappointed that the Tone Press didn’t make more of an impact on me, but I think that the DD-20 will prove to be much more useful. I’ll be sure to post my thoughts once I’ve had a chance to play with it for a while.

pedalboard update

pedalboard

Well, I took the Tone Press off the board this afternoon and moved some things around. I decided to put the volume pedal back on there – I just miss doing the faux-pedal steel volume swells too much. I’ll have to move things around again before too long, but this’ll work for the time being.

Once the Timmy gets here, it’ll probably take over for the LTD. I’ll probably look into a pedal for leads, and I’m thinking about the Jetter Gain Stage Red. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and it’s supposed to do that smooth Dumble tone (think Abraxas-era Carlos Santana).

I need to figure out a way to mount the Pedal Power under the board. There’s a guy on the Gear Page who machines Pedaltrain pedalboards so that you can do that, and I might take him up on it. Check out the link. I’m not crazy about somebody cutting holes in my pedalboard, but it would save a bunch of room up top.