“The jamming that we do and the communication that happens when we’re really improvising well together is about the listening and the chemistry of the four of our personalities. It’s not that different to me when we’re having a conversation than when we’re onstage playing; it’s a very similar kind of energy and free-form-ness.”
All posts tagged Jamming
Posted by Gillies on March 14, 2010
Tony Rice’s “Manzanita,” which I downloaded last night, is another direct hit. I found myself looking forward to putting the album on for the Metro ride home.
I think the bluegrass bender I’m on right now might point toward a good new year’s resolution. It would go something like this. I resolve to learn to play some bluegrass in 2010. Early in the year, I’d invest in a decent acoustic guitar of some sort. Then, starting around March, I’d take some bluegrass lessons. Nice and slow. The goal would be to pick up some basics and learn about six songs, perhaps with some bass (and piano?) thrown in for good measure.
In the summer, maybe there might be a bluegrassapalooza event of some sort out in the country. It would look sort of like the photo above, only with acoustic instruments.
There’s some precedent for all this. In 2007, I resolved to learn some piano. I bought the Yamaha and took lessons for a couple of months. It wasn’t exactly a smashing success – my piano skills are still de minimis – but it was worth it.
At the very least, the bluegrass resolution would make for blog fodder.
Posted by Gillies on December 17, 2009
I could probably noodle like this until the neighbors showed up with pitchforks.
Posted by Gillies on August 5, 2009
Sometimes, you have to just play with digital delay. I just set the Boss’ delay effect on 400-2000 milliseconds, added some phaser, and went to town in the key of A for a good 15 minutes.
Posted by Gillies on August 3, 2009
I’ve got two photographs to share today.
First, MPomy, right here in Washington and taking the Starcaster out for a spin. For the record, we also had a quick piano-guitar jam and a serious hang with el Sturj and wife.
Second, a pug named Daisy who is staying at FBdN central tonight. I swear this photograph was not staged. The dog climbed into the baby chair on her own volition.
Posted by Gillies on August 1, 2009
Last night I was as good as my word. I put a set of DR 10′s on my old Travis Bean TB1000S. I didn’t really get to far beyond giving the old girl new strings, getting in tune and giving her a haircut. My deposition ended a bit early because my client blew me off. Glad he’s so involved in the case, that painintheass! Anyway, I got back around four, downed a Red Bull and got out of my work clothes to see how those new strings felt. Well, I ended up rocking out so hard that the pickguard came off, as did one of the tone knobs. It was awesome! Sorry neighbors.
Posted by mpomy on July 21, 2009
Several months ago I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an amazing piece of music production software called Reason 4.0. It’s not in the same classification as GarageBand, which is a basic digital audio workstation (DAW). Instead, Reason is a sequencer/synthesizer, which means it can generate some beautifully deranged sounds. I was so intimidated by the ‘pro’ aspect of this package, that I never gave it the time and attention and generated nothing worth keeping. But today, I finally watched a few video tutorials that put a lot of the mystery in perspective. At this point, I’m feeling much more comfortable with the tech, and I can say that my next project will be Reason-based. I’ll still have to pipe it through a DAW (Reason will work pretty smoothly with Apple Logic, which I also seem to have, somehow) in order to make it into an mp3 or something.
The goal is to be able to play the tech in the same way that I play the guitar. There’s lots of more expensive ways to do this. I was first intrigued by the beautiful hardware/software combo from my friends at Native Instruments – Maschine. Then I realized that rig is a modern version of the stand-alone classic Akai-MPC. That instrument appears to be responsible for a lot of early hip-hop; the artist could trigger and manipulate samples live and make it all happen while spitting your flow. Check out this video and you can see the creative aspect of ‘jamming’ with a groovebox. I really want to be able to do that.
But rather than dropping $500 plus for a new piece of hardware, I realize that Reason has a lot of these capabilities, and a lot more as well. Unfortunately, my little Axiom 25 doesn’t seem to be the best control surface for the kind of work I’m interested in learning. So, the next step is to price some pad-oriented control surfaces that will let me rock out on Reason, slicin’ and dicin’, getting wiggy with the arpeggiator, and generally freakin’ out the neighbors.
My evil plan is to get some kind of twisted sound collage, complete with beats and synths and assorted craziness all hooked up in the heat of a jam, and then drop in the mighty riffs on the old Travis Bean or Gibson SG. I’m bringing down a power that I don’t think has ever been heard before.
Posted by mpomy on July 17, 2009
BenSpark via Flickr
July 12, 2009 didn’t bring me much blog fodder. I did record this ditty, which involves the use of two wooden spoons, a Plan Toys banjo, a drum that some friends bought for us in Tanzania, and the voice memo app on my iPhone:
This one won’t go into GarageBand, unless someone requests it. I guess stranger things have gone into the Box on this site.
Posted by Gillies on July 12, 2009
Posted by Gillies on July 11, 2009
Posted by Gillies on July 2, 2009