Plugged straight in tonight. I could have posted later tomorrow after the rest of our services, but I don’t feel like blogging tomorrow. Man, this honesty is going to kill me.

  • Forgot I was also leading. Effects are very useful when you’re leading. Allows you to do less and focus on the vocals. Usually when I do this, I’m not also singing. So, that was bad.
  • Actually tested my guitar straight into a direct box. Actually, not bad. Helped solidify my theory that the guitar is the most important part of the tonal equation. But then, I plugged into my amp. And…
  • Mmmm. Matchless are amazing. So surprised at their versatility and responsiveness. EL84′s shouldn’t be able to go from crystalline and indie to warm and bluesy with the flick of the pickup selector. Or maybe they don’t, and I just hear what I want to hear. I mean, the amp you currently own is always ‘hands down’ the best sounding amp ever conceived by living beings, right? Oh ya, and ‘nails’, ‘tone for days’, ‘for the win’, ‘no contest’, and all the other ultra-un-humble adjectives we guitarists are known for when describing our own gear.
  • Speaking of responsiveness, throughout practice, I found myself turning up the amp higher and higher. Not to be louder, but to give myself more play for finger and picking dynamics. Made a huge difference, and something I need to remember with an effects board as well.
  • Rock.
  • I didn’t even plug into my tuner. Well, pre-service ya, but not during. That’ll make you feel very naked, very fast. Like, ‘riding-your-bike-through-the-school-locker-hall-oh-blast-there’s-the-girl-I-like-maybe-she-won’t-notice-nope-she’s-laughing dream’ naked.
  • Played more intricate riffs than I’ve played in a while. Kind of fun, but I think I was bordering on being distracting. (And intricate for me is…well. Let’s just say I’m not Eric Johnson up there.)
  • But at the same time, man it’s fun to plug straight in, switch to the neck pickup and pretend you’ve got more soul than you do!
  • ‘This ain’t no place for the weary kind.’ Nothing to do with anything whatsoever, but I am stuck on that song so much right now. And, as you’ve probably noticed, my computer doesn’t seem to have a delete key.
  • Contrary to what you might think, I actually thought about harmonies and theory less, because I didn’t have to worry about where delayed notes were falling rhythmically or into the next chord, or which effects to turn on to blend over a certain chord progression, or how the harmonics in an overdrive were sitting. It was actually easier.
  • And then, at the same time, it was harder. Because, let’s face it…I’m a much better soundscape artist than I am a riff artist. (‘Better’ being the operative word there. Just because you do one thing ‘better’ than another, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ‘good’ at either. Unfortunately. Like, I am ‘better’ at being long-winded, than I am at getting to the point. Wait…that one’s different. Let’s stop.) But that’s why it’s nice to practice both.
  • It would have been awesome had I remembered to turn the right side of the house speakers on.
  • I did learn that sometimes it’s cool not to have this awesomely decaying delayed tone, filling everything up. Just strumming a chord and letting it decay naturally, mixed well with the other instruments. Gave them a chance to come forward more.
  • I do think it’s time to try Scumbacks.
  • Floor monitors are highly underrated.
  • People dig country.
  • There’s very little feeling like feeling the stage sink into the ground and then you’re just all singing together. (That’s metaphorical…our stage doesn’t literally sink.)
  • A chord can go a long way.
  • Do I really have to lose an hour of my life tonight? This seems highly unfair.

Overall, effects are good. And usually, very necessary. But so is feel. A lot. Every time I do this, I end up incorporating a new level of feel into my playing with an effects board, which in turn helps my sound immensely. Also, turning on a delay pedal.

Splendid.
Karl.