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!

Hits: 16

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

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!

Hits: 74

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

@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!”

Hits: 48

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

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.)

Hits: 41

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

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.

Hits: 13

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends: