Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Punk Pop

The number of punk pop bands on myspace astounds me. I was sort of keeping track of the genre without much interest or enthusiasm.

"Oh yeah, Green Day. They sound just like the Ramones"
"Oh yeah, Blink-182. They sound just like Green Day"
"Oh yeah, Fall Out Boy. They sound just like Blink-182"
"Oh yeah, Panic at the Disco. They sound just like Fall Out Boy"

I guess I've been missing something, because according to the myspace music charts punk pop is the only viable sound for a working rock band in the mid-Atlantic area.

I'm gonna go back to listening to "53rd and 3rd" now.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Guitars and Amps

The Les Paul through a Marshall stack has a lot of good sounds - I'm not sure that there are any bad sounds with this combination. For a clean, jazzy lead sound I was using a Roland Jazz Chorus with the neck pickup and a sine chorus, but lately I have replaced that with the Marshall with the gain and drive turned down. For crunchy rhythm I was using a Fender Reverb Deluxe with everything turned up to 10, but I have been playing most of these kind of parts on the Telecaster.

The Telecaster through a Soldano head and Marshall cab is a great, hi-gain sound. For straight blues the Fender Bassman and a TS-808 tube screamer is an excellent sound (the screamer is not nearly so effective with the Les Paul), and with the pedal clicked off I can get that Keith Richards crunchy rhythm sound. The Telecaster sounds good through the Marshall stack as well, but whenever I go there I realize, "yeah, this is good, but it would be better if I was playing the Les Paul right now".

Friday, March 10, 2006

Guitar book recommendations?

I'm an intermediate player and know some theory. I want to improve my playing but don't have time, money, or any desire to take lessons from someone.

Can anyone please recommend a book for self-teaching? What's the best book you've used? I don't want to be steve vai. I'm an indie-rock-blues type player, looking for improvement in that vein.

I like Rikky Rooksby. He is very prolific, but he basically just rewrites the same book, "Rock Music Theory by Example", over and over again so pick the one that seems to relate the best to what you want to accomplish. The books have no music scores and minimal tablature (sort of like leaving the equations out of a science book) but use prose and song examples to teach and illustrate basic music theory.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bands and Sounds

Belle and Sebastian
Subjunctive mode character lyrics
Major 7/Minor 7 chords
Piano or retro keys
Acoustic or small electric guitars

Death Cab for Cutie
"I" pov thought feeling lyrics
Electronica drum loops
Synth bass
Piano or retro keys
Acoustic or small electric guitars

"I" character pov melodramatic lyrics
80's analog synth
Electric rhythm guitar

White Stripes
Electric blues lead guitar riffs or piano
Drums - bass snare hi hat ride primitive

Everything But the Girl
Electronica drum loops
Acoustic guitar
Alto vocals
"I" feeling lyrics

Steely Dan
Character pov lyrics
Major 2 and jazzy minor chord voicings
Piano/retro keys or bright electric lead guitar
Double tracked vocals
Drums - bass snare hi hat funky
Background bass

Synth drums drum loop
80's analog synth stabs
Bright electric bass
Electric funk guitar stabs
"I" want lyrics

Rolling Stones
Electric rhythm guitar riffs or piano/sax/vocal chorus
Electric blues lead guitar or slide
Small drums swing
Background bass

Stevie Ray Vaughan
Electric blues lead guitar
Backing organ
Small drums swing
Background bass

Jeff Beck
Electric blues lead guitar or 80's analog synth leads
Electric bass
Big drums

Monday, March 06, 2006


Yes Beyonce, you are bootylicious. It's indisputable. No Beyonce, you're right, I can't handle just how bootylicious you are. Now, will you please take that hook out of my head?