Archive for October, 2008

23
Oct
08

The Tonemeister

My friend Fletch sent me this and I am posting it here for the edification of all guitarists who seek the holy grail of tone as an obsession.  Thanks Fletch!

I was reading a new colegue’s blog who I have connected with based in the U.K, thought you would relate as I do with this.

 

I once again caught myself thinking (as I do ) about my tone. I realized that I’ve spent a large part of my professional career focused on achieving great tone. I obsess over it, I lie awake thinking about it, indeed many of the products you’ll see in our catalogue have been inspired during periods of insomnia. So is it really that important? I could’ve just said ‘ Of course it is, don’t be stupid you plonka…get on with it’, but It’s been ingrained in me that there is no knowledge gained without thorough analysis. So i grabbed all of my favourite CD’s and started doing some investigation. I went through all the guys that really push my buttons musically. Jeff Baxter (Steely Dan), Stevie Ray, Dave Gregory(XTC), Andy Summers (Police), Niel Finn (Crowded House), Jeff Beck, Robben Ford, Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Wes Montgomery, BB King and Derek Trucks. (There’s loads more but these are the guys from the CD’s I had at hand.) I went through each track trying to work out what it was that connected with me. Each of these guys has a unique voice, there’s no confusing them, and without fail, every single one of them sound fantastic. 

 

So i do an experiment. I set up a rig and on purpose I make it sound ordinary. I hook up a bunch of inline buffers (6 in total) from a bunch of pedals into an amp that’s desperate for some new valves. So I know that by the time my signal hits the amp, it’s already not all it can be, and the amp’s not really singing. So how did it sound? Well, it sounded OK, I set up a rhythm loop, hit play and recorded the session to see what I come up with. Listening back, it was fine, nothing amazing but it was OK.


Next step was to re-valve my old Vox, set-up my pedal board and try again. I now know that my signal is clean and the amp is sounding really great. I hit record again to see what I come up with this time. It did feel different but listening back I was stunned to hear the way I played. I just seemed so much more connected with what I was doing. The richer harmonics in the sound led me to play different things. It was fascinating. The tone that you use is the vehicle through which your voice is heard. Suddenly my tonal obsessive compulsive disorder doesn’t seem so crazy. And the thing is, all these guys knew it as well. Think of the lengths that these guys go to to get their gear sounding right. Even guys like Derek Trucks who plug straight in still experiment loads with speakers and components to make sure that they’re squeezing every last drop of tone from the amp. Yes, it’s in the fingers and the way that you play, of course it is, but we’re not talking acoustic guitars here people. If the tone isn’t right, your fingers are going to struggle.

My life has been validated. What a relief.

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17
Oct
08

Concert of Worship

Tonight we held our Concert of Worship.  I just want to say this night was one of the most amazing and enjoyable times I have ever had playing and singing.  Right out of the gate, in the first minute of the event you could sense the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit.  It was amazing.  We had set up a bunch of things to set a really worshipful atmosphere, and when I get some pictures in I will post them for you to see.  From a special entrance to our sanctuary with multimedia stations to set people’s hearts for the evening, to a big cross set in the middle of the sanctuary, to candles, etc. it was a great evening.  The best thing about it was that people’s lives were transformed.  We had a part of the evening dedicated to allowing people to write down their burdens on pieces of paper and lay them at the foot of the cross in the center of the sanctuary (we removed almost all the chairs).  It was beautiful.  I feel priviledged to be a part of this church, to serve this body, and to have am amazing team of friends to worship with!

07
Oct
08

You’re not hardcore unless you live hardcore

Okay check this guy out.  You think you’re hardcore?  Forget about it.  I am lame compared to this dude.  This pic was snapped by Anna Holt on the streets of Israel and she gave it to me.  I play guitar every week.  So what?  I have both my hands!  This guy is missing an arm and he plays his instrument with his feet.  He won’t take no for an answer.  That’s hardcore.  What’s your excuse?  

02
Oct
08

Song of Living Praise

Click Here to Listen: Song of Living Praise  As most of you know, we’re all about writing a new song to the Lord here at MSC.  We just recorded a Concert of Praise and over the next few months we’ll be producing it and creating our 4th CD.  In preparation for that event we recorded some of our church services and created some demos of songs so the team could rehearse with them and learn the tunes for ongoing church services and also the Concert.  I am going to start posting some of these songs out here for you all to enjoy.  First is “Song of Living Praise.”  This song was inspired by many scriptures but the keys ones are Romans 12:1 and Acts 1:8.  Here are the lyrics, enjoy the tune (recorded post-service on a Sunday morning). 

Song of Living Praise

Verse 1
You poured Your Spirit out on us
A Father’s love displayed in grace
Now that I’ve tasted living water
I sing a song of living praise

Chorus
To be a witness for Your glory
A banner of Your love
Lord I’ll live to tell the story
Of Your grace,     of Your unfailing love

Verse 2
And where Your rivers go they heal us
Now there is life where there was death
We are Your chosen generation
Our lives a song of living praise

Bridge
And I’m ready now, Lord send me out
To sing a song of a heart set free
I will be Your hands and feet

Copyright 2009 Destinysong




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