７０年代の名作ＷＨＩＴＥ ＲＡＢＢＩＴを再生しながらジョージベンソンがこのアルバムに対したコメントの意味が分かった。ベンソンがこう言った：「自分のアルバムなのに僕が楽団員みたい。」もし本人との出会いがあったら、そのコメントはＷＨＩＴＥ ＲＡＢＢＩＴについての話かと聞くと思う。
Every fives minutes my amp belches a nasty sound like an old buzzer. The blast lasts for less than half-a-second, but it is consistent. This is irritating enough to destroy my concentration when practicing stuff like my new octave-switch exercises (more on that later!) because it shouldn’t be happening. The wiring in my house appears to be poorly filtered and isolated from the surrounding houses. Recently machinery noises from a construction crew working in front of the house next door found there way through the power lines and out the amp’s speaker. So I think the fault lies with the power supply, not the amp.What to do…what to do…
Major blunders from last night’s gig at O-nest were limited to two, and actually hilarious: First, the cable from my pedal board to the amp somehow got disconnected, so when the guest vocalist counted off the tune for my intro, all that can be heard was the unplugged sound of my semi-acoustic guitar. The singer was exceedingly cool about it, and said “Okay, I guess this is gonna be a really mellow. Wan-tsu-sree-foh….”
“Uh, actually I’ll need eight…” I muttered as I ran back to the amp with my Monster Cable to bypass my pedal board. This got a few extra laughs from the audience members close enough to the stage. The disconnecting didn’t end there though. On his exit, the singer tripped over the amp’s power cord and yanked the plug out of the socket! Fortunately this was during the outro, so I was able to cover by taking the mic and doing my usually MC schtick.
The disconnected amp was a Fender Twin. Surprisingly, my OD820 sounded so bad with it, I checked for speaker damage initially. Since the Twin is all tube, I don’t actually need the Tubeman as a preamp. The Twin is actually the amp which inspired the Tubeman’s ultra-clean FUNK mode. Still I was glad I hadn’t left it at home because I could use it as an overdrive in BLUES mode instead. To use it as a stomp-box, I had to reconfigure the pedal board layout again (see below.) The Tubeman’s footprint meant I had to loose the Echo Park for this gig. I didn’t miss it because the Twin has GREAT reverb built-in.
My playing was as near to perfection as I could hope given my the limited preparation time. The only self-criticism I had was for the timing of my picking, cause there was a bit of a lag making certain chord changes playing rhythm AND soloing. A new pick, and lots of practice should fix that. O-nest has lots of large dressing rooms with tables, sofa and shelves for the musicians and their instruments, so I was able to get a lot of additional practicing.
It’s really true that practicing slowly is much more effective. For example, I recently learned one of our tunes is originally a famous enka ballad when my friend sang it at karaoke. So I tried playing it at the slower tempo then our up-tempo walking jazz version, and suddenly the simple changes made much more sense. Also, I understood that for guitar (and other stringed instruments) I think it’s especially important to separate the rhythm from the melodic and harmonic content because these two elements are handled by either hand. There was a very cute violinist plucking away at her fiddle for hours in front of her score. Besides being really cute, it must be the best way to learn her music under pressure.
Wednesday’s gig requires a wah-wah pedal for some awful 80’s Japanese disco tune that my wife had already learned to hate in elementary school. As a result, I had to rearrange my pedal-board like so:
I’ve had this Vox V847 since I was 17. Until I can afford a new one, I’m experimenting with some modifying this one. I replaced the switch myself to make it true-bypass, and tried a new potentiometer a few months prior. It felt bumpy so I put the old one back inside. It’s scratchy after 16 years, but I fixed that with some contact spray. Still, I want to try a different replacement pot, and then mess with the resistors and other components to get more bass and slightly less Q so it doesn’t distorts at certain points in the sweep.
Before I get to that, I need new patch cables for my pedal board — or at leat for this configuration. You can see in the photo that some the cables are actually above the pedals, and they get in the way. I’ll buy a bunch of shorter ones for Wednesday’s gig.
Unfortunately, the wah-wah pedal is heavy, and exacerbates the stress on my shoulder when carrying it in the soft case. It might be time to get the backpack attachment by Wednesday, too. To cope with the weight, I also considered leaving the Tubeman and Echo Park behind. After the wah, these are the heaviest stompboxes and also the ones that require the power supply. So if I eliminate them, I can eliminate the power supply. Unfortunately, the Tubeman sounds too damn good. Maybe I can skip the delay this time…