Don’t let the ride stop.

So, I really don’t feel like writing. I’m gonna, ’cause I need to do it.

I’m also fucking retarded. I am still opiate free. It’s horrible. Thank you, Imodium AD and allergy pills!

This sucks balls.

But, I’m gonna write. It’s not going to be good. I am not even gonna proofread this. i will not be sharing it on the sites, though someone else can. I don’t care.

This should properly be filed under lessons for performing musicians.

What I did is I looked at a file I keep – called “ArticleIdeas.txt.”

None of the ideas looked appealing. So, I picked this one ’cause it was potentially short.

Never Let the Ride Stop

What do I mean by that? Never every quite let them stop clapping and cheering. While they’re still making noise, timing this is easy, you start again.

In other words, when the cheering starts to die down, play. Don’t even really let it die down again.

Why? It keeps the emotional high going.

Like all rules, this one is not set in stone. Sometimes, you may wish to let them completely stop so that you can build suspense or tension. Sometimes, you may even time stuff just so they’ll go buy drinks. It really depends on your goals.

But, as a general rule, keep the emotional ride rolling. In fact, make them realize that the ride doesn’t stop but, if they wave you’ll wave back! Keep them emoting, in other words. If the song made people cry, don’t let the tears dry up before you make that same person dance again.

The reasons are obvious and I’m not going to write out another 1,800 words beating a dead horse or finding ways to elaborate.

[redacted a very mean paragraph]

Yeah, I’m not going to close this that way. If you’re here, you should understand the value in this. I shouldn’t have to explain it. So, I’m not going to. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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In a long overdue article, I give credit to an unsung hero.

Ol’ Buddha has been pretty fucking opiated. That really drives away your motivation to do some things. I’m not going to say I’m sorry for my lack of writing. If I were sorry, I wouldn’t have done it.

But, that has to change. I need to come to grips with my suffering, that is the pain, and move on. I need to rid myself of opiates.

So, I cut down and will be tapering off them. I’m stoned as fuck.

What, you don’t expect me to be sober, do you? I’m pretty sure we’ve been over that! ‘Snot like you weren’t warned. At any point in time, my going off on a bender is a distinct possibility.

I’m back from the precipice. I think… I can’t keep up the opiate train. Well, I can. LOL Oh, they’ll stuff me full of legal opiates. That’s not making it easy!

But, fuck that… I am a professional. I have obligations. I have a history of not maintaining while riding the opiate train. I need to maintain.

So, I’m not done writing… I’ve still got shit to say. It’s an obligation! If you recall correctly, I’ve told you this before! Sheesh… I obligate myself to writing. I like you, but I’m doing this for me. Not gonna lie to you. We’ve been over that!

Today, in my effort to fulfill my obligation (and to keep myself occupied for some time), I am going to write. Today, I’m going to tell you about an unsung hero of the guitar world.

When you think of music, you don’t actually recreate the lead guitar in your head. If you do, you’re a guitarist – and you think differently. Even then, you might not do that.

What your brain automatically recalls, and this is clearly demonstrated by use of MRI, you recall the riff.

Much of the time, and quite traditionally, that is played by the person who plays the rhythmic portion of the song in the most pronounced manner. In some case, the riff is played by a piano, a trumpet, the drum even, or even a pipe organ!

In the kind of music you probably listen to, if you’re reading this site, it’s the guitar. That’s the guitar riff and I’m not going to get into too much detail with that today – as I have a mission to complete with regards to that subject. It’s on my to-do list!

No, it’s the rhythm guitar. Strikingly, it’s sometimes done by a lead guitar player. Picture Iommi, picture Blackmore. More subtly, picture Jerry Garcia.

It’s the rhythm guitarist that makes you get up and dance. He tells you when to start singing along with the songs you know and love. He drives the music. He, and with him the drummer, set the pace.

I don’t listen to them. Fuck no… They’re just the rhythm guitarist! They listen to me! (That is a lie.)

You listen to them, however. They tell you when to dance. I tell you how hard and with what emotion.

You really do. When you think of a song in your head, you’re remembering the rhythm guitarist – quite frequently. Like I said, sometimes there’s a blend. Some guitarists definitely blur the line, Slash is good for that. He plays a driving rhythm and bitchin’ solos, and he’s considered a solo guitarist. (Sometimes he’s lazy.)

Izzy, is the unsung hero.

Don’t believe me? Watch, I’ll prove it.

Told you.

Want to argue?

That’s Izzy’s part (badly edited, but sufficient enough to show you).

You try playing that flawlessly and being expected to keep up with a lead guitarist,or worse, lead singer, that can’t stay on script. You try playing that with a drummer that can barely walk to his drum kit, never mind count to four.

I play lead not necessarily because I’m good, but because I’ve earned my way to that position by putting my work in. I treat them well and I do actually often rely on them to make sure I don’t get lost. My fake book doesn’t tell me everything. Lots of times, they make sure I keep my timing precise – as does the drummer.

I’m fortunate. I really am. The people who occupy those positions are professionals who take their shit seriously. Without any one of us, or any band member really – except maybe the damned bass player (I kid), we couldn’t do the things we do.

They write the sentences, and we provide the punctuation Without them, we don’t say nearly as much. There is nothing wrong with aspiring to be a good rhythm guitar player. In fact, it’s a significant challenge. It’s also a lot like work.

They get plenty of chicks too. Don’t worry ’bout them any. The lead guitarist doesn’t get ’em all. The ladies notice when you’ve got good rhythm. 😉

I have been with bands where the rhythm guitarist, which was me, was not given nearly enough respect. We often are the people who hold the band together. When the lead guitarist and lead singer get into a fight on stage, we’re the ones that remind them we’re playing music. When they get too fucked up to remember the words, we make sure the audience still knows what song it is we’re at least trying to play.

It’s fucking horrible. If you’re in a band, don’t do that.

And, again, that’s why you want professionalism. That’s what really holds you together. That’s what keeps you getting fed. That’s what keeps paying your rent.

Which leads me back around to opiates. They’re an occupational hazard! We’ve been over that! Eventually, for pretty much everyone, they sap your professionalism. You can only chip for so long. Eventually, you stop maintaining.

I am seeing the warning signs and justifying it by my injury. “Oh, I don’t have to be motivated. I can just sit here and get high as balls and ignore my to-do list. I have an excuse. I’m injured!”

I can’t do that. I have obligations.

Which means I’m pretty sure I’m going to go back to writing. It’s not a big burden, and it’s good for me to have that obligation taking my time. That’s time I’d otherwise be finding excuses to lay down, use a tablet, and just be high as fuck. The leg still hurts. The only difference is I’m high as balls. It’s going to hurt for a long time, maybe even life. I can’t just go through life high as balls. Oh, I’d like to. Don’t get me wrong. I just can’t do that.

So, I’m going to obligate myself to writing this today – and I’m going to obligate myself to submitting this today. I am going to post this at the usual sites and that means I’m obligating myself to respond for some period of time. I’ve gotta get back to keeping myself busy. Doing nothing is just a bad idea for me, doubly so if I’ve got a shitton of opiates – and a legal right to have them. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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@Crazy_Eyes tells us a story!

I am still not quite back into the saddle and writing regularly again. It’s not easy to sit in one spot and really concentrate. On top of that, my herbal inspiration doesn’t help. Anyone who says it helps with pain is probably making that up! Me?

I’m honest. I smoke pot to get stoned. It does nothing for the pain! Even worse, it makes me think about my leg! It also makes me overthink my movement on crutches. So, I’m not smoking any pot lately!

I’ll be making a more formal announcement, but I’m working on a project for the Friday Night Guitar Thread (FNGT). Basically, it’s to function as an archive and repository of resources, while allowing communication and providing us with a backup site, should we need to host the guitar thread elsewhere.

It’s pretty slick and I’ve put a ton of hours in. You’re more than welcome to preview it, and even use it already. It seems to be feature complete and I think I’ve ironed out the bugs. If you’d like, and you probably should, you can visit the Friday Night Guitar Thread Community. Please feel free to hammer on it, as well.

Anyhow, Crazy_Eyes decided he’d share a story with us. I’m just going to edit it up and submit it without further comment. Continue reading “@Crazy_Eyes tells us a story!”

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Things look different from the stage, #11.

As many of you know, I’m pretty physically messed up. However, I still have obligations to myself, the band, and to our clients. As such, last Saturday I took to the stage in a wheelchair.

Rather than appeal to their sympathy, a simple thing to do, we chose a different angle and we went with, “That cripple can sure play the fuck out of that guitar.” This was actually quite successful. That shows that we’re really, really getting good at playing together as a cohesive unit – a band.

Our client was a corporate client and our performance was actually in a warehouse they’d decorated and filled with everything from a bar to a stage. We have another show scheduled with them – at the same place and for a higher fee. Why is it a higher fee? Because we’ll be lugging the stage down and setting that up.

That’s right, it’s going to be the first time we’ve officially used the stage for a show that we’re getting paid for. (We have played on the stage before. We had it setup for the 4th of July festivities, though it didn’t quite belong to me at that point.

The show as a fairly simple one. We played just two sets. Their configuration/schedule was weird and we were due to stop playing and they’d continue their party for their employees. It was not a very big show, only about 250 people were there, according to my eyeballs. They weren’t actually counted.

There was no real encore, but I played solo between sets. Getting on and off the stage was simply too long a process, so I just sat out there in my wheelchair and played for them. We ran that into a jam session, as people came back on the stage, and then we ran that into Mary Jane’s Last Dance.

That song would normally be somewhere in the middle of our setlist. Why? It is familiar but doesn’t have any strong emotional attachment. People just like it. So, that’s one that we’ll use before pushing into something that is more emotionally evocative.

We also chose to do the song then to ensure that the Eldest Hoodlum could get her stage time. Her onstage antics are amusing and the audiences eat it up. I introduce her as my guitar student and one of our sound people (though she does most of the sound work) and people are continually surprised at her ability.

One of the things we showcase is our actual talents. We take advantage of our musicianship to actually demonstrate the skills we have, not just to replicate music but to create ambiance. She fits into that quite well, because people expect her to not actually be that good.

Little do they know… She’s got the guitar in her hands for at least six hours a day, pretty much every single day. If there’s one thing to be taken away, it’s that dedication to effort does, in fact, pay off with ability. She impresses not just them, she impresses the remainder of the band and myself.

When we drew the show to a close, and our emcee work was done, I ran away and headed back to the hotel (technically camps) and settled in for the night. However, the clients had provided free food and some free drinks to the band. (I gave my drink tickets away.)

Up above, you saw me say there was no real encore. There wasn’t. After I was long gone, some of the band continued to play on – after having some food and drinks. We were supposed to pipe music for the remainder of the night, but they took to the stage and even had some of the (now intoxicated) audience members sing with them.

I’m told that was a rousing success and we’d discussed that potential going in. I wasn’t there, so I really can’t opine. They didn’t record it, so I’m not even sure how well it went – but I’m told it went very well.

That’s a good thing because, as I said, we have one more scheduled show with that same client. What we’re hoping to do is to become their regular band. We’d like to be their band. They pay our fees without complaint and in a timely manner. They’re easy shows. They’re not very demanding and say things like, “I’m sure you know what best to perform.”

What’s not to like?

There was a previous band that did most of their work. They broke up and that’s how we ended up with the show. The world of performing musicians is pretty small, so being recommended to fill the roll is not really surprising. That and we’re pretty niche and exactly the type of band they want performing.

EH wants to learn enough to be able to sit an entire setlist. That’s a daunting task and would mean we’d have to create a setlist that suited her ability. We’ve not yet discussed that in great detail, but it may be something we do. I’m pretty sure she can do the work. She’s reached the stage where many techniques are available to her, but she’s at the stage where learning to use them and make faithful replications takes a significant amount of time and effort.

We shall see!

In a related note, the missus has complained less about going to do the sound. My guess is that she’s worried about my physical health and that she wants to keep an eye on me. I’m happy to have her there and I’m glad she’s concerned about my well-being. It’s nice to have someone who cares and I’m blessed with quite a few folks who care.

And, I’d also like to take a minute to thank all the people who have expressed interest and wished me a speedy recovery and good health. Thank you. The vast majority seemed sincere and that’s not something I think most people expect at the sites I tend to frequent. You online people are very valuable to me. I appreciate your readership, attention, and emotions.

That said, I’m going to bring this to a close. I will not be submitting this. I will not be posting it as a shared link. However… You’re certainly free to do so. In fact, I encourage you to do so. I don’t do so because I can’t commit to being there to answer responses today. But, if you’d like to share it – please do. I’m guessing other people would like to read it. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

(Also, I didn’t even remotely proofread this. It’s probably riddled with errors, but it is what it is. I’m slowly starting to get into a mindset where I’m willing to write. Please be patient with me and my activity will resume and become more frequent – hopefully.)

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Some notes and an update!

As most of you probably know, I was involved in a rather spectacular automobile accident. I am pretty fucked up, but I am on the mend.

I expect to resume writing for the site. However, there are some caveats.

As you may recall, I only submit the links to other sites if I’m going to be on those sites and able to respond in a timely manner. As such, I’m unable to commit to doing that daily. I simply lack the time.

If you’d like to get a notice of when articles are published, simply register on the right. That will send you a notice to tell you that new content has been published.

I can’t commit to doing this daily, at least not at this point in time. I have appointments, physical therapy, and even a nurse that is on-duty in my home. As such, I have other matters that are more important.

Summary: I ain’t publishing shit daily. I ain’t submitting it to the various sites. If you want it, just register. I promise, I won’t spam you with stupid shit.

That’s it, actually. That’s all I have to say today. Huh… That’s weird feeling. Anyhow, there it is. I’ll submit the articles if I have the time to monitor the responses. If not, you’ll have to find ’em on your own.

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Think about Story Telling, Musicians and Bards…

A long, long time ago in medieval Gaelic and British culture, a bard was a professional story teller, verse-maker and music composer, employed by a patron (such as a monarch or noble), to commemorate one or more of the patron’s ancestors and to praise the patron’s own activities. (Wiki Definition)

Bards kept track of the history of their people and would observe humanity and sing about it; whether local or foreign they would tell stories, counsel against wrong behavior and sing about the consequences of attitude.

Shakespeare would not have been far removed from the Bards. The Bard order having become troupes of performers and artist guilds over time would have a lasting effect on musical story-telling. I am personally very fond of the telling a story in music!

It is often called the language of the soul and the best example I can think of is David playing skillfully for King Saul to drive evil spirits away and refresh him (I Sam 16:14-23).

In fact, according to an Assyrian bas-relief, King Sennacherib asked for a tribute from King Hezekiah in the form of male and female musicians. It seems that they were first-class performers BUT David stood out among all virtuosos!

David’s divinely inspired compositions excelled in many ways. His songs include both contemplative and pastoral psalms. They range from expressions of praise to narrative history, from the joys of the grape harvest to the pomp of the palace inauguration, from reminiscences to hope, from request to entreaty.

We must remember man is not the inventor of music but rather the mouthpiece of history, stories, news, emotions and will; a messenger of words in rhythm and tone that can affect the course of things to come.

Yes, music can alter our moods and even Neurologists have discovered that music activates many unexpected areas of the brain like emotion and memory. Even Crazy_Eyes can vouch how one of his songs drove several women wild with anticipation. I will ask him share the details with you if you and him so desire.

Here is a good example of a song with story telling including a warning in a Bard-like fashion and based on one of my favorite books: The Pilgrims Progress.

Take a listen as he tells you about a place and an experience.

Nate Currin – Vanity Fair

Also thebuddha is a great storyteller who engages our senses with his words and  expresses the emotions of others in his music so well!

Speaking of which, I have missed his storytelling these last few days and I hope he is okay? I hope he brings us a good story!

Until next time, keep the story alive and sing me a song!

 

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Something Witty Goes Here!

Man, we gotta talk about this publication schedule. I’ve published something every single day – for a long time. (With the exception of when someone has done it for me.)

This is horrible! Whoever came up with this idea needs to be fired.

Wait, that was me… Well, I’m firing myself.

Have some videos – they’re Les Paul and they are being posted ’cause I just learned some neat information about Steve Miller and Les Paul. Les is dead now, but they used to be friends and it’d appear that Les was Steve’s godfather.

Things I learned…

Anyhow, have some videos:

I found this again! I knew this existed, but had been unable to find this to post to one of the earlier articles, ’cause I smoke pot presumably. Sure enough, it has Steve Miller in it.

I hadn’t connected the two previously. I’d write about it but that whole concentration thing isn’t doing well. But, if you play guitar, maybe listen to the runs that Steve does and then think carefully about what Les played in his traditional style. It’s food for thought.

That’s really all you’re getting. They’re both delightful videos and I’m going to guess that many/most won’t have seen either of them.

In the interest of pretending I care enough to make this longer, I’ll add that the important part is (to me) the interaction between the musicians. I don’t always listen to the music, I look and listen for things unlike what most probably do.

It’s actually a bit like work. It’s an analytical thing and I’m seldom listening purely for enjoyment. I’m not even really able to passively listen to much music anymore. People are sometimes surprised by exactly how little music I actually listen to.

I’d write more but I’m gonna blame concentration and lethargy. The truth is somewhere around there, but part of it is just wanting a nice easy day today. I ain’t even going to proofread this! Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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Closed for the Holiday

Today is the Day of First Appreciable Snow Event at Ol’ Buddha’s.

Drinking cocoa. Listening to music. Wearing fuzzy slippers. Got a fire going. Sitting in living room with a laptop and looking out the window. The wind is excessive, but the advisory expires in a few more minutes (though they’re probably lying).

Yup… Winds gusting upwards of 45 and 50 mph. It’s as awesome as you might imagine, but not enough snow to call it a real storm. That’s okay, it’ll do. It’s pretty good, but not spectacular.

Anyhow, not writing a damned thing today. Closed for the holidays. Until next time…

Shut up and make me a snowman!

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TheBuddha Approves #8: Some rock history.

Update: I have been back to the witchdoctor and I’m still on various restrictions. Physically, I’m doing pretty well. It’s the damned lethargy that’s killing me.

For whatever reason, this lethargy has made it damned difficult to concentrate. I’m used to being able to focus and I’m used to being able to complete tasks. This is currently a problem.

For example, this is the third draft that I’ve written today. The other two subjects were just more than I could handle. I just can’t seem to get more than a few paragraphs down before I’m no longer able to write.

I’d smoke some pot, in hopes that it’d help, but the witchdoctor has suggested I not smoke much. Well, okay… That’s how I interpreted him saying that I shouldn’t be smoking anything. I do have edibles, but I really can’t be that fucked up today. I’ve got shit to do!

So, I’m going to use today to cheat and I’m not doing anything heavy/major. I can almost guarantee that there will be no Guitarist Better Than Hendrix tomorrow. I started researching that yesterday, artist already chosen, and just couldn’t even start outlining it. (That’s pretty much the only article category that I put that much effort into. The rest kinda tend to get written on the fly, but I strongly suspect you’ve figured that out!)

Well, that was a long paragraph. Moving on…

So, today, I’m just gonna straight up cheat! I have a wonderful video that you may enjoy but, the truth is, I’m mostly sharing this video ’cause I’d like to share it with a wonderful friend named @COF.

You might recognize that name and you may know him from our sister site, Music For Us – Keeping The History Alive. If you’re here, you probably know who we are, but you may not have visited that site. I’d love it, if you did. It’s a labor of love and we struggle to share the history of the music we know and love. We’d love it, should you join us and we’d love it even more if you’d contribute!

Anyhow, moving on again…

So, today is just a video! That’s right, y’all ain’t gotta do a damned thing except press play. You don’t even have to watch it – you can just listen! Pretty sweet, huh? It’s about an hour long and will make an excellent bit of background noise for you. Who knows? You might even find it informative and entertaining!

Trust me. It’s lovely. Pretend it’s a podcast! Also, no news on the pipe organ. I’ll email ’em again in a couple of days! I ain’t scared. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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Measuring Sound and Your Voice

Yes, you produce sound or noise every day!

The difference between your sounds is caused by intensity, pitch, and tone.

What is Intensity?

Your sound is a wave and waves have amplitude, or height. Amplitude is a measure of energy, how much oomph you put into it! The more oomph you give the higher the amplitude.

When energy increases, Intensity increases. Simple, hey?

The smaller the space the less energy is required to achieve the same Intensity. We tend to call higher intensity sounds, louder. Loudness cannot be assigned a specific number, but intensity can.

Intensity is measured in decibels.

The human ear is more sensitive to high sounds, so the next time you are stranded, twist your knickers and make the highest sound you can. You will be heard as this type of sound will travel further. That is why we scream for help when in trouble as  a natural reflex that is effective in getting attention! REEEEEEEEEEE……

Decibels and intensity, however, do not depend on the ear. They can be measured with an instruments. A whisper is about 10 decibels while thunder is 100 decibels.

Listening to loud sounds, sounds with intensities above 85 decibels, may damage your ears. If a noise is loud enough, over 120 decibels, it can be painful to listen to. One hundred and twenty decibels is the threshold of pain but thebuddha may dissagree on this.

Sounds and their Decibels

Source of SoundDecibels

Boeing 747

140
Civil Defense Siren130
Jack Hammer120
Rock Concert110
Lawn Mower100
Motorcycle90
Garbage Disposal80
Vacuum Cleaner70
Normal Conversation60
Light Traffic50
Background Noise40
Whisper30

What is Pitch

Pitch helps us distinguish between low and high sounds.

Pitch depends on the frequency of a sound wave. Frequency is the number of wavelengths that fit into one unit of time. Remember that a wavelength is equal to one compression and one rarefaction. Frequencies are measured in hertz. One hertz is equal to one cycle of compression and rarefaction per second.

High sounds have high frequencies and low sounds have low frequencies. Thunder has a frequency of only 50 hertz, while a whistle can have a frequency of 1,000 hertz.

The human ear is able to hear frequencies of 20 to 20,000 hertz. Some animals can hear sounds at even higher frequencies. Sounds that are too high for us to hear are called ultrasonic.

What is Tone & Harmonics ?

When a source vibrates, it actually vibrates with many frequencies at the same time. Each of those frequencies produces a wave. Sound quality depends on the combination of different frequencies of sound waves.

How is this knowledge useful in everyday life?

The more harmonics a sound has, the fuller the quality the sound is. All the different overtones of a sound help give it a unique pattern. This is especially true for a person’s voice. Everybody in the world has a different voice print, or pattern of overtones within a certain range.

What specific voice type or vocal range do I have?

If you do not know what your range is then you need to find out. It is important to know what range your voice is in to perform songs confidently.

It’s best use a five-note scale, singing up and down the entire scale until your voice cracks or you cannot hit a note. It is recommended that you sing the scale with a vowel sound — try “ah” — making sure to pick a comfortable middle pitch to start the scale on. From there, move your voice up a pitch. It is generally recommended to scale up in half notes — a small step musically — so you can ascertain exactly which notes you can and can no longer hit. 

Here is a Two Minute Video on how to find your range.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IejHKpfHso

The famous French vocal teacher Tarneaud defines the typical ranges of the four voice types as follows: Sopranos can typically sing B3 to F6
A
ltos perform D3 to A5
Tenors belt A2 to A5
Bass singers rumble out B1 to G5.

Basically, Sopranos and Tenors Sing High — Altos and Basses Sing Low, simples

Congratulations you have now discovered your Range and how we measure sound!

So keep the sound alive within your range and watch your intensity while delivering good pitch! You all are such good students here… 🙂

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