It took two tries but I passed the naturalization exam and I have the Certificate of Citizenship to prove it.
Such an honour.
If you think you might be a Sufferlandrian, you can try the quiz here.
Honor, glory, victory.
My concert pedal board. It is big and it is heavy. It also needs a fair amount of tap dancing during a set.
I am playing out this weekend with with my small pedal board. And it is small.
Tuner, Tube Screamer, Boost and Delay. The other little Road Rage pedal is the tap tempo for the Boss DD-7 delay unit.
All of the essentials in a very small package. I will be using it this weekend with my Swart STR Tremolo, a very compact 5-watt combo amp.
Mind you, I still love playing through a big rig; large pedal board, large head, large 4×12 cab.
Lorraine tells me that she can’t hear a difference between the two setups.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Most of Collings’ electrics are tribute guitars and they do make their guitars to a very high standard. This one, a tribute to Gretsch no doubt, is the Collings Statesman LC.
Here is a Gretsch:
They do look similar don’t they?
I have a beautiful Custom Shop Gretsch that was crafted by Master Builder Stephen Stern. The custom shop Gretsch is finished to the same high standard as a Collings and it looks like there is enough of a design difference with the Collings guitar to keep the two companies out of court. I would love to play a Statesman though. There is something about the way that Collings builds necks.
I know, I know. The last thing I need is another overdrive pedal.
I mean, look at this list:
- Fulldrive II
- Fulldrive III
- Fulldrive III Anniversary Edition (it was orange)
- Rockett Archer
- Xotic BB Plus
- Wave Cannon
- PCE Aluminum Falcon 2 (very interesting experience with that pedal, I did finally get one and it did not work when I received it. Never sent it back for reasons in this thread)
I have some other boost pedals — they don’t count as overdrive pedals do they? — as well as a few distortion pedals.
But this obsession I have with overdrive pedals. What is up with that?
The good folks at Strymon let me know that their Riverside pedal was ready to ship. I am a big fan of their work. I run a Mobius, Timeline, Deco and El Capistan. I rarely play without the Timeline. And, if the pedalboard has space, I will always make room for the El Capistan.
They had to make an overdrive pedal. And I had to get it.
Maybe tomorrow? It is very close to home right now.
This has been my home office for the past few weeks. When I am not at work, I am generally here in my woodshed, practicing for the big Celebrate Christmas concert in December.
This video will give you a better sense of the space. A beautiful place to spend time practicing and learning how to make music.
I am only a few weeks away from our big concert of the year, Celebrate Christmas. This will be our eighth year presenting this concert to our community in Kingston. Our team gets together this weekend for our first of three rehearsals.
We will be doing a jazz set as part of the program this year. Out of the roughly 20 songs, 4 will be in this genre. I have a jazz box that I will be using for the event. I rented an upright acoustic bass for my son to use. However, the instrument was not equipped with a pickup.
What to do?
I came across several suggestions that are a variation of the picture above: suspend a microphone underneath the back of the bridge and point the capsule towards the neck. Some people even use rubber bands to hold the microphone in place.
Several gigging bassists told me to use a very basic stage mic, the Shure SM-57. The proximity effect of these mics adds a great colour to how the sound of the instrument is captured.
I will be trying this technique out later this week.
Hopefully it will do the job.
Capo is one of those remarkably useful apps that I cannot live without.
I am often asked to play covers or to tackle more challenging tunes like Buble’s I’ll Be Home For Christmas (pictured above). Capo is a reverse engineering tool for the musician. I use it extensively to learn guitar parts.
Capo can slow down a song and maintain pitch. This really helps me to learn the parts by ear — go slow to go fast.
Can’t say enough good things about Capo. If you are a player then give Capo a try.
Time to rebuild the large pedalboard. I needed to raid some pedals off one of my other pedalboards.
Although the time to rebuild this larger pedalboard took almost 6 hours to complete. Aside from getting the pedals into an optimum position, which seemed more like a twisted game of Tetris, I changed my mind a few times on whether to use a bypass looper or not — the bypass looper is the long silver pedal at the bottom right of the pedalboard. And would I use a 7 or 10 switch bypass looper. I wound up using the 10 switch bypass looper.
I use soldered cables for my pedalboards as I do not trust the solderless ones. Solderless cables have failed me too many times. Soldered cables? Not yet. With the big pedalboard, I have 23 cables connecting to the looper as well as a few other inline cables. I had to do a fair bit of soldering when rebuilding this pedalboard.
I finished it all up this morning just in time for practice this evening. I’ll be taking it out on the weekend and hopefully everything works without any issues.
The order of this pedalboard (ignore the switch labels on the looper in the photo above, I had to change them given the rebuild of this pedalboard):
Guitar -> EP Booster -> Keeley Compressor -> Looper Input -> Pog -> Fulltone Wah -> Timmy Overdrive -> Alpha Dog Distortion -> Big Muff Distortion/Sustain -> Volume -> Mobius Modulated Effects -> El Capistan Delay -> Timeline Delay -> Wet Reverb -> Looper Output -> Deco Tape Saturation -> Amp
The looper has a dedicated switch for mute and tuning. And I have a Strymon preset control switch on the lower left side of the pedalboard.
Which size do I prefer? The smaller the better. However, for some of the dates I play, bigger is required. Lots of tone tools on the bigger board. I like being able to kick in either the Alpha Dog or the Big Muff when an opportunity to solo comes along.
So heavy that big monster. So very heavy.