New Year, New Stuff, New Plans…

I’ve been dreadfully absent for a little while now- wow, where has the time gone?
To be honest, I have actually been playing and practicing more than blogging and checking forums for gear. Also, my detachment I’m with is preparing for a deployment which I am helping out with. All this has left little time for me to write fresh posts. I know it is a little late, but here is a post of my “resolutions” for the New Year. I hope this clarifies what I hope to do in the coming months.

A note on resolutions/goals is this- they should be obtainable and quantifiable. Don’t say “I’m gonna lose weight this year” as that is too broad and difficult to measure. Say “I’ll drop 10 lbs at least, and compete in a 5k before the year is up.” Goal, match, bam!

So here we are:

  1. I want to write a minimum of 1 blog post a month here. I have 5 items I want to demo as gear demos. I hope to have these “ready” (maybe unpublished, but ready) by Summer.
  2. I want to lose 2 inches off of my waist, but maintain my current body weight. Since graduating med school I have lost alot of my ‘study belly’, but need to put a bit more effort into it. Being military, I am in pretty good shape, so this will just mean a slight change of workout and a better control of diet.
  3. I will work out 3 specific exercises at least 3 days a week to obtain my fitness goal. As the summer cools, I will start and finish  another advanced program (either P90x, Insanity, or something similar)
  4. I will dedicate 30 mins minimum 3 days a week to practicing my instrument, to better my skills, and to push beyond the current state of my abilities. This will be to improve and learn to be greater than what I am now. I make this statement as practicing our sets or finding lead parts etc… for our setlists do not count as the productive, learning process.
  5. I will continue to pay off my personal debts. (google “Debt snowball” for an idea of our process!)
  6. I will have 2 or 3 papers written by the summer to work on my Fellowship (professional thing).
  7. Never, EVER judge a piece of gear until played live with a band at performance volume. Several items I was going to trade off (or keep for that matter) sounded, felt, and mixed so differently at real levels. I kept stuff I normally wouldn’t and sold things I knew I would keep.

As I chase these goals- all very doable- I encourage you to make a few goals, and right them down. When its written, you see it and it becomes more real. Reexamine them every 3-4 months and modify as necessary to reach these goals.

Now for the gearhead stuff! I’ve had a pretty good few months for gear!

  1. Scored a Creation Audio Labs Holy Fire. What a great overdrive, and very natural with my amp, the Dr Z. I would say it has very little flavor as it own, but reacts well to your amp. I would go so far to say it is a “channel” on my amp and not a pedal. Very transparent. It isn’t as harsh as a Tim/Timmy, and more transparency and headroom than a King of Tone. The KOT has a bit more of a nasal sound in comparison. However, the KOT pushing this Holy Fire is an excellent smooth, transparent lead tone.
  2. Got a used Maxon OD9 for a cheap price, in new condition! This is a true bypass Tubescreamer from the guys that used to make it for Ibanez. Since I traded my good ol’ TS9 a couple years back, I’ve kinda missed it. This is a great replacement, and I hope to put the Analogman Silver mod into it soon.
  3. Have a Boss SD1 and a mod kit from Monte Allums. I hope to do a before/after demo. This should get my soldering skills up to stuff too.
  4. Build Your Own Clone Fuzz kit. Yup, more soldering and building. I figure if I want pedals, might as well learn how to deal with them!
  5. Found a ’96 PRS McCarty in Emerald Green for a pretty good price! It is a very different animal, but very lovely to play. I enjoyed the tones on it, but was really impressed when I played it live at gig volumes. Sits very well in the mix and layers with other instruments better than my LP. I really like it!

I hope this was encouraging and shows where my head is these days. I’ll be sure to give a gear recap/pedalboard pic soon. I also need to update my gear page. There is a lot to do with this blog! Thanks for hanging out!



Saturday Surprise

When I got to my mail today there¬† were a couple of surprises….

First was from one of my best friends. Here is a great sticker I have got to put somewhere:

True. Def true.

And secondly, this showed up:

Smells like beautiful, beautiful tone.

The Toneczar Dove! The classiest of the classy boutique pedals. You open up the back and fairies, small fairies fly straight from the PCB and hide beneath the op-amps. I think they live in the op-amps. I haven’t enough time on this thing (only about 30-40 mins) to make a great review/judgment, but I dare say I’m pretty impressed so far. So I guess once my “amp chronicles” are over, I’ll talk about this thing.
See: toneczar effects for further information on this and other effects.

Wow, fun Saturday!

Small Victories…

This is reminiscing post…
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The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! (or… the LOST syndrome)

Okay, so here is a story of one of the weirdest things to ever happen to me.

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Umm…. what happened?

Yeah, this post is just quizzical at best….

I’m an 80’s child. I have fond memories of Hulk-mania, Rambo, Rocky and the Punisher. Here is a prime example:

OH yeah! Someone is going to get kicked in the head!

So imagine my shock when this popped up on youtube.

*sigh….. a death of a hero.

Interesting Performance Tip

I stumbled upon a very cool tip while researching some guitarist/gear/gearpage stuff.

Scott Henderson (think modern jazz) uses his Boss RC-2 looper in his rig to record his rhythm and a lead part. Then he walks through the venue- at all angles- to HEAR what the audience hears. From there he decides what reverb, if any, to use and what his tone adjustments should be as well as his delay settings.

I wonder what I would hear if I walked around and listened to what I play. (kinda humbling, eh?)

Its a good practice! Hmm…. I think some of us “tone crazies” should take a peak into this!

Tone Tips from a Random night…

So here I am… not having updated my blog in awhile, and playing more than I was before. I’m currently working a pretty long/tiring clinical rotation and have not had a lot of energy past going home and sleeping. 9 more months before I wrap this school thing up!

Without further to do: wow… my tone sounded awesome this past month! Now I try to figure out what I did….. Continue reading