So which direction to go in this, the final solo of the day?
I thought of putting a turntablist here, most likely DJ Shadow, but didn't find a definitive performance that screamed SotD to me... it's more the body of work.
Next I reached for an old college favorite, SRV's Riviera Paradise, where SRV delves into his jazziest moments but is still fully grounded in slow blues. That isn't my favorite, definitive version of that song though. That's the trouble with live performances, you know? I think this might be, but the video is crap. So no matter how much I like the song, I just can't make it the SotD.
Then how about Clapton's Edge of Darkness, where he plays with an orchestra? Except his tone is too thin and the orchestra starts the second half much too fast to maintain the mood... I think he had better performances in later nights (24 nights of concerts). Or maybe I'm misremembering the recording... senility will do that to you... the old days seem warm and bright in your memory and the present seems harsh and cold.
How about a nylon string guitar solo? I love those, even though I can't ever seem to justify keeping a classical guitar around for whatever reason. Performances like this Paco de Lucia piece certainly are making me rethink that.
I think Steve Steven's performance is well deserving. Besides, I play nylon string guitars with a pick too. And I have to go back to work now.
So far I've mostly avoided typical 80s shredder types and their spawn. Although you could say Zakk Wylde is spawn-of-Randy-Rhoads, he's also fully grounded in the blues scale and will reach for the lightning fast pentatonic solo instead of going off on major scale modes, sweep picking, or eight finger tapping.
This is both by design and a matter of taste. I have been known to be amazed by the technical prowess of a lot of these shredders but find they too often ignore tone, melody, singability, emotional response, and originality in their quest of stuffing as many notes in the least amount of time possible.
I nearly chose Joe Satriani's Always With Me, Always With You, especially since he may use my current company's products (we think we found him on our forums). When I listen to it I feel a bit guilty since it's almost like it's a guitar shredder's version of Kenny G, but I like it. Especially the switch to minor around 1:15. And the slow melodic finger tapping at 2:06.
I also didn't choose the master of guitar facial expressions' Bad Horsie (finally, Vai rocks out. And he's silver. And I love heavy riffs with slide) or I Know You're Here which I mainly like for the much-too-brief-fretless-guitar-single-st
Plus, the previous 3 solos of the day were new to me as of this week. I surprisingly had never heard Marooned or Farewell Ballad and that looks like a new KJ Sawka video. But I'm today breaking all the rules. A shredder who's in utter and complete look-at-me mode, in a video I found months ago. Why?
Have you tried using chopsticks with your off hand? Or writing? Or anything generally requiring more finger dexterity than you can manage?
Michael Angelo Batio not only plays reverse-righty but also fully left handed and with both hands at the same time on opposite necks. And I just can't stop watching. So there you have it. Solo of the day.
ok, so i cheated by linking three other solos. but hey, i'm aiming at ending this series tomorrow.
The second one goes to Zakk Wylde. He can be all over the map; his studio work with Ozzy is spot on but his live stuff tends to get a little dense in the pinch-harmonics-per-minute. (Tom Morello: He gets a 10 for his "kwaa's", 6.5 for the rest.")
But Farewell Ballad gets full marks for everything, except for the fact that I want it to be a lot longer. Zakk has a soft spot in his heart for the power ballad (as do I) and his brand of intensity and tone and feel just floors me every time.
The first one goes to the guitar god David Gilmour. For having such a tasteful, melodic, achingly beautiful tone and style. For using a pitch shifter in this song to just add to the way his guitar sings, instead of as a gimmick. For inspiring me to pick up the guitar as an instrument the first time.
But most of all, for inspiring me to pick up the guitar time and time again, after months of letting it gather dust, after the callouses on my fingers long disappeared, after I wonder if I'm over the guitar as an instrument, as a hobby, as a dream.
The first words out of my mouth when I first saw her was "She's not as pretty as my old one."
A few hours later... a few adjustments, some polishing, restringing, replacing of the stupid 9volt connector... some playing, realizing how good she feels in my hands and how much more complete I feel with her... I'd debate that.
I should get some sleep soon. Busy weekend.
Saturday, February 18
A Band Called Pain
Black Snake Moan
@ Blake's on Telegraph in Berkeley
Doors 8:30pm, Show 9pm
Lethe's been around for a long time. Looong time. '93 or '94. She's been to Europe with me several times, been my main guitar through three bands and the beginning of a fourth. Four different finishes. Months in the shop. I've been wanting to build a custom guitar like her. Name her Lorelei.
I didn't realize that Inferno was on his last legs as well. I knew that he had a broken toggle switch, and I could only use the bridge pickup, and he was beat to hell, but he was always reliable til recently. Now his voice is interspersed with loud bursts of static. Not good at all.
( meet the new girl )
The plan was to have another Escape(Window) track ready by today, but I've been writing riffs for blacksnakemoan since that's ready to ramp up soon. Paige is actually on his way over here now... I'm excited to show him some of the stuff I've come up with. And show off my new girl =)
This guy has some fucking beautiful guitars.
Not cheap. But I've been lusting after a custom guitar...
The Buick warehouse (down the street from the Hamilton house) that Aaron wanted to move into is being torn down. I think it was in the realm of 2mil back then; wonder what it's worth now? And what sort of check cashing/strip mall/yuppie loft are they building in its place? Still, I suppose it's for the best that someone use the property...
( photo walk )
That led to me scouring the net for various custom guitar shops to see if I could get my dream guitar built for way less than picking up one of those. Very very tempted by Warmoth's selection (purty!). If you want high end stuff (like transparent dyed flame maple finishes with natural binding on a contoured top), you pay high end prices, but the thing is you get to choose exactly what you want.
Made me feel guilty; I haven't done any giftmas shopping but here I am shopping for myself =P
I was a bit disappointed with Lydia's tone at rehearsal yesterday. My fingers are holding up on Inferno with .011s, so today I restrung Lydia with .011s as well. Strats + heavy strings = pain. But when I really feel a solo I completely ignore the pain and just play.
In years past I tried to one-up Stevie Ray Vaughan, who played with .013s. He also repaired his shredded fingers by Crazy Glueing his fingertips to his forearm and ripping new skin off for them =P ... I'll just stick with .011s, thank you.
I also finally put a velcro strip on her, for my picks. (I think I annoyed the cashier when I bought 13 yards of velcro that they sell by the foot. But no one sells large boxes of it...) I use 50¢ pieces. The Kennedys. I've tried quarters, Susan B Anthonys, Sacawajeas... but for some reason I keep going back to the 50¢ piece. Something about the size, weight, and thickness, as well as the ridged edge. I've got a couple pennies as well, for lighter sections where I don't want to fingerpick, or for ultra-fast speed picking sections.
Jimmy Page used a metal pick. But I think I went to coins-as-picks when I read the guitarist from ZZ Top uses a peso. All their singles and videos are really cheesy, but if you listen to their bluesy songs, the guy's guitar tone rips. Serious shivers down my spine tone.
Anyway, rehearsal went really well. Afterwards Jason and I played this horror board game that I picked up at Aaron's store called When Darkness Comes. Pretty fun.