Friday, September 27, 2013

What's new this week?

September 26.................

I am still using my basic warm up prior to playing as outlined in a previous post (link). First, I stretch then I set my metronome to a comfortable 92 bpm and play a major scale 3 notes per string, 2 octaves in length. I start on the 5th string with the C major and work my way up chromatically until I reach high C. After this I usually run through chords. What I do is pick a chord and then play it in five different positions. I switch between the strings at a tempo that is at first slow then I move to a more challenging speed. Starting out fast will not help you. Try for accuracy first and later the speed will come to you.

Okay, with that out of the way... I'll let you in on what I am listing to and playing this week.

Derek and the Dominos - Great stuff. Tom Dowd and Phil Specter produced parts of this album. It's a monumental record. Many people believe this album has always been a success but it's start was rather bleak and yielded mediocre sales but the album has now reach heroic status.

The Black Keys - El Camino - Good stuff. There are some deep riffs being played this album.

Steve Morse - Mostly Dixie Dregs stuff.... Love the  alternate picking (reminds me of Al Di meola) and technical nature of Steve's playing.

Willie Nelson - The great divide! Wonderful song! Willie is an American treasure!

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings - David Rawlings is a master and the pairing of these two great talents is fabulous. I find them difficult to classify and I also see no need to really try to classify them as any one particular genre. They are very gifted artists and entrancing entertainers.

Guy Clark  - I wish I could write as well as Guy, or Townes Van Zant. Guy could sing the periodic table of elements and make it musical.

One non-musical thing I did this week was adjust my action on my Fender stratocaster a little high,  I lowered the action and reset the intonation. I also take a fine painters brush use that to get all the assorted debris off the guitar. Works great! Then I clean the guitar up to get all the sweat off. (Beware!!!) I had some sweat that stuck to the top of upper bout of my Taylor 514ce, I rubbed the sweat with the edge of my finger nail and actually left dents in the finish. I should have known better as it was a warm day and the finish was probably a little soft. It's there for good now!

Another way I warm up is to run root 6 and 5 string scales by first playing a major scale, then a dominant 7th scales, and finally a minor scale. I run it the scale from low C to high C. Be prepared as that one is a hand and forearm burner.

Besides practicing songs, I find that my basic scales and chords are an excellent way to burn an hour straight away. Start off slow and slowly increase the tempo. Speed will come eventually and accuracy is very important!

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