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7-7-13 - 7-25-13

Back again for more. Summer is here and the heat has been FIERCE the past few days over here in NY. A few things to talk about first...
<moronalogue> The Zimmerman verdict. I'm not quite sure what to say or think regarding this latest media hyped OJrrific trial. Things that enter my brain are, "well if someone was banging my head into a sidewalk and saying that I was going to die that night and I had a gun...I would consider using it." Another thought enters my head saying "why is this dude taking the law into his own hands? Why was he following him?" Ok that said if someone were to ask me what I thought about the verdict I feel that I am thoroughly unqualified to give an informed answer. We are not privy to hearing everything and the stuff we are hearing is being filtered through the media. The only people who were qualified to really give an opinion about the trial were the six women on the jury. They thought Zimmerman was innocent...so I guess he's innocent. Who am I to say he's not?

Another bout of idiocy has passed through the bowels of Rolling Stone magazine. It seems that glorifying a terrorist is the new cool, edgy thing to do. Well in my opinion...its not. The cover shows the surviving terrorist in a brooding head shot a la Jim Morrison. The writer of the article gushes over him. Descriptions of this person (and i use that word loosely) include, and I quote..."Beautiful" "Tousled haired boy." "Gentle demeanor". "Soulful brown eyes.." "A dude you cold always just vibe with." "He had morals." "He never picked on anybody." "A calm collected kid who always knew how to talk to the police." "He is a golden person, really just a genuine good guy who was cool with everyone." "A nice calm, compliant, pillow soft kid." "Great three point shot." "One of the realest dudes I've ever met in my life." "He was just superchill." "Girls went a little crazy over him." "He was sweet, he was too sweet." ---Ok are you nauseous yet? I don't know if I want to throw up or get a rocket launcher. This "sweet tousled haired" boy helped to kill 5 and maim 280 innocent people. Someone please tell me what the fuck is going on here! Is this publication so completely unengaged and delusional that they feel like its ok to glorify this evil act? Really guys? This whole attitude is so completely twisted and far beyond anything I can think of. Needless to say I will not be picking up any Rolling Stone magazine ever again. Are they even fucking relevent?

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Lots of things to talk about this time around. I sold a lot of gear and a few vital organs to acquire the following goodies. First thing is the absolutely killer Fractal Audio AxeFx II. If you are a guitar player then I'm sure at this point you have heard of these units. I was lucky enough to acquire a standard a long time ago and this thing just takes it to the next level.

Furman Power Conditioner
AxeFx II
Mesa Simulclass 2:90 (180 watt tube power amp)

What can I say about this thing? This box is so deep that it'll literally take me years to really get to understand it and use it to its fullest capabilities. Fractal is alway updating and improving their products. They are constantly updating the software with new amp simulations, effects and cool functional elements that make this thing invaluable.

Next up is the Strandberg* Boden 8 string guitar. I made a video below which will tell you all you need to know about this revolutionary guitar.

Sexy Pics!
 
 

Pics from the NY Amp Show 2013
Next up the U Music crew had a nice little field trip to this year's NY Amp show (which is strangely in NJ). Anyway we got to try out a whole bunch of cool amps that I could never afford. I finally was able to try out the Kemper unit and satisfied my curiosity on how it compared to the AXEII. It basically doesn't, at least to my humble ears.

Trying my new Strandberg* through amps I'll never be able to afford.
Awesome old school rock amp!
Making time with the Kemper. Glad I finally got to try one!
First stop of the day!
Very cool module solution.
Last stop and best clean sound of the show.

A lot of very cool gear and interesting people this year at the show. It was great having our U Music amp modder/repairman Steve Magnotti along to ask the hard questions while we geeked out playing them. It was a real treat carrying around my 4lb Strandberg*. I garnered a couple of "WTF is that thing" 's so I had to run down the explanation of why this guitar is shaped/built the way it is. etc etc.

In other news I'm writing new material and the "live" bug is biting me again. It might be time for this old dog to get out and play. ;)

Thanks for coming by!

 

3-27-13 -- 4-10-13

Whoa! what a winter! Doesn't seem like its over yet! I did manage a run today with shorts so that is a good sign.

The rant is on <moronalogue> As the internet and all its social media outlets continue to make the world a smaller place I've found a somewhat disturbing aspect relating to musicians, guitar players in particular. A lot of the videos I see of young players focus on the circus act mentality of playing guitar. A lot of going for the craziest tapping sequences, sweeping progressions and the general "look how fast I can play the Flight Of The Bumblebee" insanity. In my experience when I get a new student who has been playing for a bit and has gone to youtube looking for the coolest things to learn they skip ahead to mainly mechanics based playing. That meaning they go for technical lines that mainly rely on a rote sequence of notes played at a certain tempo. In my opinion I think its important for new players to build a solid foundation first. Learn about harmony, melody, rhythm, basic theory. After having a basic understanding of these things when they do find that killer technical line at least they'll be able to transpose it to a different key and apply it at will. Also knowing some theory they would be able to understand why the line works melodically over different harmonic content.

Rhythm and playing in time is one of the most overlooked basic musical aspects I find these days. If someone comes in and plays a super technical line as soon as I try to play something underneath that line or put it to a click to imply a tempo the line goes right out the window. If you're out there trying to play as fast as you can at least play to a click to check yourself. Also experiment with different types of rhythms and tempos. That 32nd note line that you can play up to speed? Try and play it with a triplet rhythm or slow it down and see how it feels with a swing type feel. Geez if it took you 6 weeks to get it down you might as well use it in as many different scenarios as you can. ;) </moronalogue>

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These past 3 months have been busy. I've been working with Guitar Impulse in creating video content for their site. Their site is subscription based. You pay a small monthly fee and have access to their video library. They have a great collection of instructors over there! So far I've made 4 videos. Three are based on contemporary blues lines and one is the beginning of an arpeggio series that I'm working on, very in depth. I've also been involved with another online guitar site, completely different, called Strum School. Strum School is an online on demand lesson site. You get access to about 40 free basic guitar videos. The videos will talk about everything from how to hold the guitar, to how to change strings and how to play barre chords. The site is in beta now but is fully functional. Soon each teacher will have their own page and be able to book their own online lessons. In addition there is staff available to answer questions via chat. Lessons will run a dollar/minute. If you are interested in taking lessons with me online feel free to contact me at splinterhead2009 (at) gmail.com and we can set up a time that's convienent. If you are within driving distance of Peekskill NY I'm still teaching at U Music School on 20 Welcher Ave.

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The good news? I'm finally writing some new music. I'm going to be approaching things much differently this time around. I'm hoping to play live again. More news to follow.

thanks for comin' by!

 

 

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