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Messages - Fretless Johnny

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Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / slight buzz
« on: May 24, 2007, 03:42:39 AM »
I have a slight buzz right now and it's no problem at all.

Hard to say without looking at it, can you post some pics?  A safe, easy way to tell if you need to file the fret is to put some masking tape on both sides of the fret and lightly run a magic marker across the fret (from low E side to high E).  You will see lighter tracings from the marker on the tape anywhere the fret is higher than the rest.

Washburn is pretty good with their fretjobs, though.  Take a look at your nut.  Is the E string cut lower than the rest?

No, I'm only just learning how to play guitar...started teaching myself about a year and a half ago after twenty years of playing bass, which is my main instrument...and yes I almost exclusively play fretless.


The deal is that the band leader has been playing his whole life but got a law degree as a safety net and had a succesful practice in Texas...sound familiar anyone?  When he turned 40 he sold his practice and invested in his music.  So he's got a good head for running a business but not a music business.  

He's producing his own records and just kind of throwing money at things in order to fix them.  He paid $9000 out of his own pocket for his new CD, including $1500 for the art work, which his art-school neice did.  Spiritu made our first album with Jack Endino for $1500.  That's that kind of poor decisions I'm talking about.  

So, yeah he has four CDs, on his own label, but no distribution and no producer with decent ears to tell him when things aren't working.  The whole CD is mixed to the center, nothing is panned right or left.  Why?  Because the drums are off.  If you split the Guitar and Bass right and left it becomes really clear that the drums are loose and rushing.

And that sucks because the guitar and bass are getting after it.  The old bass player could really get down, and the guitarist/singer is flat out bad ass.  Great songwriter too.

What I'm considering right now, and what I've pitched to him, is to use his CD as a demo and let me invest in the production of a new one with a better producer, me playing bass, and hiring a great drummer to redo the parts.  I've got an indie label with international distribution that would release it if I produce (pay for) it as part of my new production company.

Go hear and give it a listen.  Check the opening riff on the first tune...dude can get down.


Originally posted by YerDugliness

Originally posted by George Wendt

As a classical guitar player, it is more practical to be sitting than standing.

Try to find a performing classical guitarist who stands, just try.  

I present the World Fingerstyle Champion, former Segovia student, and Classical guitar teacher at the University of New Mexico, Michael Chapdelaine...

I've been reading this thread closely because I'm really trying to pick one position for live playing and start practicing that way.  I play acoustic sitting almost exclusively, mostly because an old rotator cuff injury makes reaching around an acoustic body painful.  When sitting I can tuck the guitar next to my side and avoid that.

But Squint once posted about how the back of the guitar resonates and that when you stand you have more control over that aspect...probably not an issue with laminates.

Part of me thinks I should be standing live, but I'm also playing piano on stage, so I figure I may as well just stay sitting.  

Now I'm more confused than ever.

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / Wagjam
« on: May 22, 2007, 10:18:51 PM »
Check that out!  In the back I spy some butcher paper with lyrics and chords so everyone can see them...darn fine idea!

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / Wagjam
« on: May 22, 2007, 05:08:38 AM »
I am Soooooo jealous right now.

and the drummer couldn't even keep time!  Can you believe that?

I answered an ad on Craigslist looking for a bassist to tour immediately with a professional, experienced Rock/Blues band on their 4th CD and second US tour.  I guess their bass player was a jerk on the road, so they needed someone to replace him asap.  First gig was in a week, followed by six straight weeks of shows.  Looked like a good gig.

I spoke with the guitarist/band leader over the phone and drove all the way to Colorado the next day for an audition.  The guys were nice and very professional, except for the fact that the drummer couldn't switch from quarter notes to eighths without speeding up, couldn't play a fill without losing the beat, an wouldn't know how to syncopate if his life depended on it.  

He was all over the place, ahead of the beat, off the beat, never really dead on, and never, ever behind the beat where he should be for this type of music.  I tried to guide him into playing behind the beat, and he even told me the guitarist had already talked to him about it before, but he hadn't done much to fix it because he didn't know how.

I spoke briefly with the guitar player, this is a blues-rock power trio, so the bass and drums have a LOT riding on them, and he said I would need to get the drummer in shape during rehearsals while on the road.  I asked if I was getting paid extra for giving the drummer groove lessons and was told no, it was just part of the gig.

F-that.  I hopped back in the truck and drove home at midnight wondering just how the hell some people get the gigs they do.  I guess there's a lot to be said for band loyalty.  

But seriously, this guy has interest from Alligator records and the one thing holding him back is this drummer.  How can a guitarist really explore a tune or solo if the drummer isn't holding it down?  That said, how can anyone on any instrument really do their best when the drummer is all over the place.  There's no back bone to build on.  But these guys just put their blinders on and played like everything was fine.

I'm just venting I guess.  Really reconsidering going back out on the road, at least reconsidering going back out and starving in a van for six weeks for music I don't believe in.  

It's moments like these when I refer to the wisdom of the ages.  WWJD?  Indeed, What Would Jaco Do?

For those of you who are kind of new here...just watch.  These kind of posts are pretty normal around here.  I too have been on the receiving end of forum generousity and I can tell you that nothing has restored my faith in humanity as this little chunk of cyberspace and, more important, the folks who hang out here now and then.

Congrats millenium, and good on you Jerry.


Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / Just Say Yo!!
« on: May 22, 2007, 02:55:29 AM »
Hey Deacon!  Good to hear from you bud!  Glad you are doing okay.  Take care of your self will ya?  Or else one of us is going to have to come down there and make you take a break. Glad you're staying busy.


Ah, it's nice to be missed.  I hope everyone is doing well.  

I'm just super busy and haven't had much time to post.  Though I do hop on almost everyday and read what's going on here.  

The short June tour I was on got cancelled 'cause the guitarist slammed his hand in a car door.    

I'm also rehearsing with Stu Nevitt from Shadowfax and getting ready for showcasing his new album in the fall.  I've been transcribing his set list by ear into chord charts, which has been keeping me busy about four hours a day, but I'm almost done.

I'm also studying my butt off with Todd Johnson, who is really pushing me harder than anyone has in fifteen years.  My playing is almost back to the chops and fluidity of my music school days...but with the (hopefully) taste of maturity.

I'm also writing songs and publishing them through ASCAP for my own alt-country/darkly funny Americana record where I sing, play acoustic guitar and honkeytonk/gospel piano.  Kind of like John Prine with some jazz chords and motown basslines. I'm studying with someone who's been playing gospel piano for fourty mom.  She's recently retired, so I spend a couple hours a week sitting next to her on the piano bench getting schooled on the keys.

I'm leaving my fulltime job and starting a music production company, which is basically an umbrella company that includes tour/session work, music publishing, producing, and teaching.

So, yeah, I'm pretty dang busy.  But, I'll be the first to say that it was you folks here who lit the fire under my ass.

I'll be around.

Ship, I replied to your email.  Didn't you get it?


I wouldn't go so far as to say they are just tools and no more, but I don't name them either.  I trade and buy/sell guitars all the time, usually for professional reasons like I need a bass or something.  But I have a few that I do love.  They sound and feel different than most and they speak to me in a specific, almost individual way. Like Squint was saying, when an instrument opens up and starts to reveal its character is when I start to fall in love with them.

I'm just jumping in here to say hi to Pike, who I haven't heard from  in a long while...well, I've been MIA too.  Hiya Pike!


Originally posted by luvmyshiner

Originally posted by wordsworth

I knew I could throw the direction of this thread in the gutter...

Come on wordsworth, honestly, it's not that hard with this group.[:D]

The girls:

Washburn D10S
Washburn Cumberland J28SDL
Washburn D46S12
Washburn OE30!
A beautiful nylon string classical sold in a garage sale!

LOL! I was surprised no one jumped on me when I say I pull out the upright.  Then again, that may be a bad time to jump on me.

So back to practicing...focus people really cool thing I'm working on now is focused or close listening.  Pick tunes you want to learn or play or play better, ingest some of your favorite illicit substance (not necessary just advised), and listen to song after song with no distractions, no rewinding, no guitar in your hands. Lay on the couch.  Use headphones.  Listen to the way the chordal instruments intertwine with the bass or horns.  If it's a slow tune, try to match your heartbeat to the groove.  It's just another step to visualization, which was a great suggestion and something I've really seen work over the years.  But always, always listen close when you can.


Hmmm, I'm hearing a whole lot of rationalization in these posts.  Yep, life gets in the way...but we all have to choose our priorities.  If it be work or school or family, so be it.  But don't complain about not getting any better on your instrument.  

I only have two priorities, my son and my music.  I work 40 hours a week at a desk job like a lot of people.  Then I spend as much quality time with my son as I can.  Quality is the key.  I don't practice or even play music when I have him.  I spend my time focusing on him.  As soon as his mom picks him up, I am pulling out the upright.

I'm currently logging about 30-40 hours of music work a week, more if I have a gig.  I'm getting my butt handed to me playing with this drummer...guy's got a Grammy, so he's all business.  Nine minute fusion tunes with numerous parts, mostly weird World beats like an Afoxe in 13/16 or Rumba in 9/8.  But guess what.  If I want to keep the gig (and I do, bad) I have to learn all these tunes by ear and transcribe them into chord charts so I don't have to learn them twice.  Then I have to spend time actually playing them and getting the grooves locked tight.

Then I have my own songwriting/music publishing company that I'm trying to get off the ground, so I've made a decision to publish at least one song a month, which means spending at least ten hours a week writing and recording.

Then I private lessons with my teacher, who would fire my on the spot if I didn't keep up.  Then I have to work on my intonation on both upright and electric.  And work on some Motown tunes for a dance band side project.  Then I try to make time to just play, for fun.

Do I have time for all of this?  Not really.  But I've arranged my life and my job to get the most out of my time.  I work a ten hour shift overnight, then come home, take my kid to school, work out for about an hour, practice for two then crash out and do it again.  On the three days when I'm off, I practice/play at least six hours a day.  Though it's usually two on, one off (cleaning the house or running erands).  I'm not getting much sleep and my house is never really clean, but my relationship with my son, my playing and my professional career have never been better.

So it can be done, but it requires a lot of sacrifice.  Again, it's just a matter of personal priorities, and one is just as good as the next.


Wow, structural ingenuity, lotsa guitars, and a pretty blonde.  That's my kind of thread.

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