Mo’ Fun with the GB-10

Fun fiddling with my GB-10 this week. Youtube browsing brought me around to the coolest James Bond theme ever, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I can’t think of any better way to break in a fuzz than playing John Barry’s brilliantly ominous line of half-notes. With my Keystone-loaded G&L , the SD Tweak Fuzz produces some very nice, thick distortion but didn’t get get the raspy, nasal nastiness you hear on 60 and early 70s recordings. It doesn’t However, with the GB-10’s hotter mini-humbuckers, I can nail that tone. I got a hint about this from watching Freddie Stone using an semi-hollow, like a lot of guys probably did back then. Something about the attack must help get this tone.

Shortly after finishing with the Tweak Fuzz, I took the GB-10 to Guitar Lab to have the new Gotoh brass/aluminium ABR bridge installed. Ito-san said he could slot the saddles in an hour and for 30% less than his initial estimate. When I came back, he let me test it through the ’68 Silverface Twin in his shop ,and the guitar sounded better than ever. Even with the bright new DR Legend flatwounds, the guitar had the round, warm jazz tone I have been seeking for over a decade, minus the sharpness and hardness I sometimes get with this guitar. It also sounded better unplugged, but everything is a trade-off. The extra-sustain and warmth comes at the cost of some funkiness and presence, but it’s still worth it.

Last night I went to a soul/funk jam session in Akasaka for a field test. On the way up the steps in the subway, I tripped and the gig bag hit the stone stairs hard, but the guitar was fine — a testament to the durability of the design. However the tuning pegs still confuse me. The repair guy mistakenly replaced the high-E string with a .013, and I tried changing it before my turn to play but didn’t get it quite right. All the players at the session were very good, but everything they played seemed rehearsed. Before playing, I was presented with a book of charts to choose from, and was delighted when I saw that Too High was in there. However, the other musicians couldn’t play more than just the vamp.

Forget trying to call anything that wasn’t in the book. I called Everybody Loves the Sunshine. The bassist on the stand knew it, but the house keyboard player didn’t, which surprised me. My friend Yosuke wanted to play Do Me, by Prince. This is easy enough, but later he said he was disappointed at the lack of effort these younger less experienced musicians put into performing. They weren’t particularly friendly either, not like the other session we usually hit. I thought maybe they were intimidated, but it was more likely just a the sort of college in-group vibe where everybody’s interests are similar, but unfortunately not really open to anything else. Still, I think I’ll go back with some of my own charts next time.

広告


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