Greg's Opinion Greg's big blog of whatnot

31Dec/130

First Inventions (Year Four)

Splitting time in Austin away from my gear for most of the first five months didn't do wonders for maintaining much of a practice habit this past year. And while I'd hoped to do a few cover tunes, that ended up being an even-more-severely neglected aspect during my practice time. But there were a few notable accomplishments among the tidbits below. At the start of the year, I still had a fairly new Compressor/Sustain pedal that I'm not sure how I ever lived without before. And somewhere in the course of a year, I picked up an inexpensive BC Rich Mockingbird with the goal of using it to test some new and different pickups (which I have yet to try). I've already got my eye on a new toy for this coming year and there's no legislative session to take me away from my toys for much of this year. So hope springs eternal.

Here's a bit of the work that I've hit the big red record button for this past year. With a little luck, maybe you'll find something that appeals to you (or not).

[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/Tropica.mp3]
This would probably be the best noodling of the year I think I'd want to work on if I ever get around to taking some ideas into a studio.

[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/Slow_Jam.mp3]
[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/Slow_Jam_2.mp3]
Just a nice eight-note, low-string melody here with a little bit of improvised elaboration once it gets going. Most of the ideas I develop for melodies come about from developing a familiarity with the fretboard and trying some ideas based on visual patterns, mathematical patterns, or some other not-so-artsy means. This one, I'm moderately proud to say, came from hearing and took a couple of practice sessions before I felt I had all the right parts in place for it to sound nice.

[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/LiveModes.mp3]
This is an extended re-tread of a drill that I like to play to go over modes. The main, repeating lick that you hear in this is just me going up the modes until I do a full octave higher than I started. A great way to learn where notes are on the fretboard, easy to transpose to different keys, and just enough melody to keep it interesting. Whenever I initially stumbled onto the lick and recorded something with it, I didn't do the full octave. What motivated me to record this time around was that I had some trial DAW software that I wanted to experiment. I think there may be some faint harmony lines in this one, but I'm not sure. I do recall testing the software to see if it made life any easier for recording harmony lines. In any event, I never bought the full software.

[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/Zaz_Easter_Tune_13.mp3]
The title suggests that I'm ripping off something from a Neil Zaza guitar lesson I purchased. And from the sound of it, I'm really leaning on the new Compressor/Sustain pedal. There's also a very unintentional nod to Jeff Beck's "Freeway Jam" in this, too. Not bad for a slow-moving ditty.

[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/Five_Chord_Discount.mp3]
I think I should have called this one "Aldo Nova Ripoff." But then all the cool kids at Guitar Center would look at me and say "What's an Aldo Nova?"

[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/Big_Band_Greg.mp3]
Another "What the heck" moment with some of the more old-school rhythm patterns built into my drum machine. Just working with a standard arpeggio drill for me and trying to make it work with a Benny Goodman style backing. I've done worst things.

[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/Baba_Gilberto.mp3]
Paul Gilbert has closed shows with "Baba O'Reilly" when he was in Racer X and Mr. Big. The Mr. Big version was the coolest thing in the world: Billy Sheehan playing the guitar parts on bass, and Gilbert playing the keyboard parts on guitar. There's only three notes to it (all part of a B power chord). But the picking is a beast ... at least for me. This was a bit slower than I wished I could play it at the time, but it came out sounding fairly decent. Plus, I decided to break up the monotony of the arpeggios by hitting those big Pete Townshend chords myself.

[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/MegaMystery.mp3]
I didn't do a great deal of cover tunes this past year and I'll have to atone for that. This particular bit of a cover came about after listening to a lot of Megadeth, waking up one morning, and wondering how hard it would be to play the rhythm to "Peace Sells." Kinda easy it turns out.

[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/SVROPC.mp3]
[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/Imitation_Alien_Kiss.mp3]
[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/Alien_Slide_Festival.mp3]
Each of these has a bit of a Steve Vai-style flair to them ... at least in my mind. What surprises me about that is that, while I'm a big fan of Vai's, I rarely find myself wanting to sound like him because it's a very different sound than what comes naturally to me. But considering how much of his music I've listened to over the years, it shouldn't be too big of a shock that something would ooze out like these two takes. I'm pretty sure that both benefited from the addition of a Compressor/Sustain pedal, also.

[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/Descending_Harmony.mp3]
I did not do enough work with harmony guitar parts and this was an effort to do something about it. If the lick sounds familiar, it's the same one played at the end of the Slow Jam 2 tune above.

There were a few feeble efforts to play some two-tapping ideas cleanly. Some better than others ...

[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/Chicken_Fried_Tapping.mp3]
[audio:http://faithbasedblog.com/gregtunes/In_&_Out_of_Time.mp3]

And a new phone with a decent camera graduated some practice time to video archival. A more recent tripod allowed me to switch from the not-so-great front-facing camera to the much-better, 13MP back-facing camera in the last video here.

Related Posts:

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.


Leave a comment

Trackbacks are disabled.


Fatal error: Call to undefined function xwp_footerx() in /nfs/c01/h12/mnt/4748/domains/gregsopinion.com/html/wp/wp-content/themes/lightword/footer.php on line 18