Flurry of Posts

I will be making a series of posts. Basically, I find the stuff I write on twitter is hilarious :D And it's only available on twitter.

Also, I was working on a guitar project. I am a huge fan of The Kinks. So I recorded myself playing guitar along with the entire Kinks - We Are The Village Green Preservation Society album. It's my favorite. The project was: Record myself playing guitar, figure out the songs that same day (usually, I did know a few already), it would have to be recorded on my cell phone, and mistakes are allowed!

So generally, the quality is bad and the playing is ok. The music is still great though. Here it is, the Village Green Office Sessions

For twitter posts, I'd probably like to write something that scans twitter for my posts tagged with a certain tag and import them automatically as posts. But I'm in a transition period on this site. Basically I want to learn Google's Cloud suite of tools and rebuild it there. So updates will have to wait.

Today I figured out Logic Express

And to some degree, Mac OS X. I record with an audio interface (Yamaha GO46) through FireWire. This required no setup in a Mac at first. I upgraded to Leopard and probably got an update to Logic Express 8 that I just said, OK install it. This caused some problems.

One of the next times I went to record, I got no sound on monitoring. It would record, but I couldn't record another track with no feedback. So my next few recorded songs were single tracks. Until I really wanted to record more than one track, this was fine. I then had to check the internets for an answer.

Some forums were like "Create an aggregate device in the Audio MIDI Setup tool." I was like, yeah. I tried this but had no idea what the implications were. I found an Apple article that basically solved all of my problems. So I set up my aggregate device, set my audio interface as the first device and the 'clock', and set my built-in output as the second device. Worked like a champ... until I tried to "bounce" the songs I was recording.

The way I had it set up, inputs 1-4 and outputs 1-6 were the audio interface, and outputs 7-8 were built in output. So, I could hear everything as I was recording, but now I couldn't get any sound when I bounced to mp3. This is because the default bounce method bounces outputs 1-2. I had to bounce 7-8, my built-in outputs. Anyway, I have to go babysit. Here's the songs I recorded recently.

Jamaica, I'm excited for my trip.
Improva. I was calling this one "Improv in A" but shortened it.

The Guitar Player

I threw out any attempts to act like a musician on this latest song (and I got rid of most of the buzzing! Thanks Todd, I just moved the amp away from the laptop and network of wires by my bed and it took care of most of it... the ground trick will probably take care of the rest, so if it gets unbearable, that's what I'll do). Instead of being crafty, I just decided to wail on my Gretsch. The rhythm guitar is still top notch though :) It's a slow blues back beat with some hard clean soloing. You'll hear the Gretsch's signature piece of hardware, the Bigsby (TM) somewhere in there. Keep an ear open for it. I don't really put it at a hugely inventive or creative spot, I just throw it in there on a G chord :P (it's at 1:03).

It's here... the filename is "SoBad.mp3" but I didn't come up with the name of the song until after I uploaded it and my laziness rivals any in history. So after you download it, just rename the file to "TheGuitarPlayer.mp3", which of course is named that after I attempted to be a musician for a few songs, instead of a guitar player... being a musician is hard, but I've been playing guitar for almost 13 years now. Even though I still suck... :(

More upbeat stuff coming soon

I like rap and stuff with good beats that can make you dance. My next few songs will be like that. My favorite thing about guitar is its percussion. Particularly about my Gretsch going through the Blues Deluxe and my microphone to my computer etc. I love the sound of it. Before I start recording, I usually sit there for a good hour with my eyes closed just listening to the output of the microphone through my headphones. It just sounds so f#%@#$ing good. Compared to my old way of recording, you hardly got any percussive variations no matter how much you tried. Now, just hammer on that B and roll a bass line in E, and it just sounds incredible. No more old way for me!

Also a word on guitar. Again. I noticed that when someone who doesn't play guitar listens to my song from last week (here), they usually judge it based on my soloing ability. Whereas when I listen to it (over and over for hours), I listen to it for the rhythm guitar. Just a thing I noticed when my coworker, the smercenary, and I were on our way back to the office after a client meeting in Exton, and we had to take a back way because it was around 5pm and the Schuylkill Express was jam packed. I decided to put on Jimi Hendrix' "BBC Sessions", a two disk album, which got us through, and "Driving South" made me easily do 90. I didn't know the area that he was taking me, and we were coming up on a turn and he almost missed telling me to take it, and he said "I almost missed the turn there because Jimi's guitar playing is so f%@$ing good." It was just rhythm playing :P Scott's a musician too. But I typically love Jimi's rhythm playing too.

When I practice, lately, I'm practicing my rhythm, so my soloing skill has been declining. I don't wonder if it's because I'm getting better at rhythm that I tend to favorite it and practice it more, getting even better in the process. It's my favorite whether I suck at it or not.

In totally unrelated, totally geeky news, I saw an article about a moon on slashdot that was tagged with the most hilarious tag ever: thatsnomoonitsagasstation. Be sure to read the article.

New Song

I actually recorded this over the weekend. I wasn't going for a melody, since I really don't do that in most songs. I usually just try to screw around over the chord progression, oftentimes forgetting what chord I was playing at a certain part of the song. Especially when it gets a little complex like this song. It's called Sexy :) Happy Valentine's Day!

(I know, I have to fix that buzzing in the background...)

The Gretsch is Fabulous

It's got a hell of a tone to it, but any guitar really sounds great brand new. What really separates the great one from the shitty ones is how they sound after a year of abuse. I'm a big fan of Brian Setzer, and he's what turned me onto Gretsch. Of course, his Gretsch is almost 50 years old, made in 1959. I don't know how much longer he has with that thing, because as we all know, wood is not the most durable piece of material. It warps and bends, cracks, splits, splinters.

Anyway, I wasn't planning on learning any Brian Setzer (Stray Cats) songs only because I thought they'd be too hard. There are some tabs out there on the 'net, but on no sites that you'd want to visit (not on Windows with IE anyway), but I figured since I have the Mac and Firefox, I'd be fine checking them out. So I learned Stray Cat Strut all the way through in about 30 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to learn it that quickly, considering how long I've taken to learn comparatively simple songs. I'm talking solos, chorus, verses, everything. Intro, outtro. Bridge. However, relative to all Stray Cats songs, that song's pretty easy to learn. Next up... Sexy and 17. That song is my favorite.

I tried the rockabilly picking again, this time without thinking (because no brain makes that a difficult task)... SO much easier!! I can pick the bottom strings with my index, middle and ring fingers, and pluck the top two strings with my thumb. The pinky is worthless. Actually, I did it so much, that right now I'm typing so fast and not making any mistakes. I can type so fast, I could probably fill this post with a whole bunch of boring stuff. I won't though.

GOOD NEWS! Jim and Kate, in England, had a DAUGHTER!! LillyAnn (one or two words, and/or one or two 'L's, I'm not sure, but you get the idea)!! Welcome to this world, LillyAnn, make yourself at home. I will be her godfather!! Woohoo!! I'll probably get assloads of pictures of her tomorrow. And I'll take some of my guitar.

Last news... I ordered an amplifier. Hartke GT60c 1x12 tube amp. Should be sweet.

Gretsch Update

No guitar yet. When I ordered it, I was so excited and forgot to get it shipped to my work. I have been kicking myself all day. Well, ever since I ordered it even. But especially today because they tried to ship it. I called Fedex and they said I can have them hold it for me to pick it up, but the hours of operation at the warehouse that it's at tonight are only from 8 to 5. Of course, I called at like 6:30. So, as of the time of this post, I'll have it in 8 hours. I'll bring it into work, they'll appreciate it. Two other known musicians, and at that place, that's 30% musicianship. I'm going to wake up early no matter what time I get to bed, I'm excited to see this thing. So pictures tomorrow (or later today technically).

Should be da bomb. I've gotten the basic fingerpicking down so that's good, time to move onto some more advanced stuff. I will probably make a trip to the local music shop this weekend and see if I can pick up a cheap version of the amps that I've been eyeing on Samash.com.

Of course, I don't have to learn to fingerpick just to own this guitar. I don't have to learn anything. I just want to expand my horizons.

All I know is...

I tried to play my guitar picking it rockabilly style, and my brain fell out.

Not that I'm horrible.

I never really got good with fingerpicking though, so I have to learn that first. Then I have to get the thing down where you do the bass line with your pick and melody with your other three fingers. But, anyway, how about that Internet and its invaluable resources. You can really learn whatever you want. Hopefully there's a brain replacement video out there somewhere.

Today is the day my Gretsch gets here.