Rococo

I’ll just be honest…I don’t know where this is going, or what I’m writing…just using some big words I don’t understand. Like ‘harmonic swirl.’ I couldn’t actually describe to you what that is. I’m not even sure I could describe to myself what that is. But has that stopped me from using ‘harmonic swirl’ to describe everything from pedals to amps to lo impedance cables? Oh, absolutely not! So, let’s see what happens…

  • It is fairly improbably how much I am liking that Godin. Put some DR Pure Blues’ on it, and there was much rejoicing.
  • And then I broke a string, for the first time in 5 years. Don’t know if there’s a correlation.
  • And if there is a correlation, does that mean the guitar is flawed, the strings are flawed, or that I just gave in to the joyousness a little too much? Or maybe it’s that guitars really prefer not to be hit with the speckled side of Herdim picks.
  • I hate that I use Herdim picks. I already like Edge waaaay too much, and using these just enhances the stereotype that has been forced upon me by myself. The first time I bought them, I actually was planning on debunking the whole theory. And then I took a strum with one and was like, ‘Ah, blast.’ And now they just simply must be used.
  • Fell into using a worship technique that I loathe, got called out on it, became indignant, then watched some video playback of myself and went, ‘Oh.’ Humility’s the worst.
  • Re-doing my pedalboards. Yep, there’s two of them now, as they are both in roadcases and it’s amazing how big the roadcases are for such comparably small pedalboards inside them. Yes, my life is full of pedals once again. Much less pricey ones, but little colored boxes of joy nonetheless.
  • Ray LaMontagne’s newest album is really, really something special. If you haven’t already picked it up, I would highly recommend doing so. It is so choice. And if you think you don’t like ’40′s country folk, listen to the album again. Because you do.
  • I have apparently been wrong in thinking that it’s an unwritten rule that you should ship pedals in boxes. Envelopes, ya…not so much.
  • The opinions over the last couple weeks have been absolutely across the board: ‘Your cheaper gear sounds exactly the same as your expensive gear.’ ‘Your rig lost all its guts and sparkle; bring back the other stuff.’ ‘You actually sound better now…just need to get rid of even more pedals.’ ‘Blues Junior will slay a Matchless for days.’ ‘That Godin can’t even touch the Prairiewood.’ Just goes to show you that you can’t please everyone, and that everyone is different. As long as you’re playing something that allows you to happily make beautiful music, let it be.
  • Although I still think there’s a song out there, yet to be written, that will please everyone across the board. It’ll be the ultimate manifestation of art, as it will touch not just the masses, but the entire mass of people. I’ve been pretty sure I’ve written that song about 47 times. And each time the masses (the 22 people who watched it on youtube), said no. And this is where a lot of us artists and church folk alike get into trouble. We think so highly of our own art, that when people don’t connect with it, our first thought is how unenlightened they are, or that there must have been a good deal of spiritual warfare before church this morning. And only on the rarest of occasions do we actually take a look at ourselves and say, ‘Or maybe our song sucks.’
  • I’m not saying your song sucks; but I am saying it’s something to consider. ;)
  • Why is it so hard to look at ourselves? I mean, to really look at ourselves.
  • I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have beats per minute readouts on my delays. Oh, how I love beats per minute.

Sorry, I tried to be funnier, but it’s late and I’m tired. Just pretend you’re out with friends and that one guy came along for whom you always have to plaster a laugh on your face every time he attempts some joke Alec Baldwin couldn’t even pull off right on 30 Rock the night before. That’ll help you as you read this post. hehe Oh, and just for the record, when you’re plastering a laugh on your face every time that guy attempts some joke Alec Baldwin couldn’t even pull off right on 30 Rock the night before, remember that he’s probably doing the same for you at your inexorably hysterical Flight of the Conchords references. It’s just life…and it’s a whole lot easier to get through when we take ourselves just a little less seriously. And I think that may be what God intends, and I’m constantly not getting it. And not like, just missing it either. I’m way off in some other place, chasing some other thing. And wow, it is late…I don’t know how we got here. But hey, let’s go with it. I can’t put it any better than Mr. Lewis: ‘He (God) is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly, fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about like the little idiots we are.’

Splendid.
Karl.

79 thoughts on “Rococo

  1. Karl, I love these sorts of pots. I don’t know why, but I always seem to finds little bits of wisdom that are so profound and relevant to me in some way.

  2. you’re right, maybe the song really do suck … i guess that’s why most of the songs i’ve written remains unheard even by my closest friends ;)

    btw, I’m assuming you are playing to a click for the bpm readout to be much useful?

  3. Hahaha… That 30Rock/Conchords joke guy is me…

    And the perfect please-everyone song has already been written. It’s called I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. (Also would have accepted Talk or The Scientist as runners up, or anything U2 did at all before 1990.)

  4. Agree with Sam – these random posts always include a few gems, often which help me realise the absurdity of myself.

    I have 3 Herdim picks which are like gold to me, as you cannot buy them in Australia at all – hence I am extremely protective of them. The other day one of my roadies (ie. my 2 sons age 9 and 7) left one behind on the floor and I nearly had a heart attack. He redeemed himself when he picked it up and I asked him why it is so precious – he knew the right answer “because it is The Edge’s pick!”
    I’m so looking forward to taking them to see U2 in December!!

    I’ll admit I play holding them backwards about half the time as well – love that chime.

    Also +1 for Ray LaMontagne. Great CD. A bit more country than his last album which in my book is a good thing. :)

    PS : this is the same son who named one of his teddy bears “Adam Clayton” – no idea why, but I love it!

  5. The Godin might need a fret dressing. On my Parker it used to break strings, there was a burr on one of the frets.

    And Mr. Lewis is correct…. we are idiots.

  6. I’m rather curious about the loathed technique you used.

    Also, I’m thinking that song, the perfect one, already happened in the form of Wicked Game by Chris Issak. You may at first not like the song, but you are mistaken. One needs only to listen to it more to realize that it is awesome. (This actually happened to a friend of mine who I showed the song to.)

    Also, again, I just want to you know for what seems like the tenth time now that your blogs make me really happy and always encourage me.

  7. I don’t know about the dd20… I’m really struggling with it compared to my m13. I was really excited to get a better sounding delay but I can’t seem to get the delay as prominent in the mix. I’m not sure if it’s just that I was used to hearing more delay and that sounded bad and I should just be ok with not hearing it as much? Or if it really is bad that people can’t hear the delay effect as much anymore?

    • in my experience (i’ve owned the Echo-Park, the DD-20, and an M13) Line 6 delays have a very different flavor than Boss delays. I think line 6 delays are more washy and boss delays are more percussive. Also the delay level knob on a dd-20 is completely different from the mix knob on the m13. Basically you have to turn it up higher, to like 3 or 4 o’clock. (which you probably already know, but it took me a while to figure out)

      • I’ll agree here…. I think the L6 delays are a bit better sounding, but I’ve had a hard time getting them to stand out in the mix. Boss are more percussive and it takes mix to get them to stand out. I also find the Boss easier to dial in.

        That said, my backup delay, or delay when I need to throw one in the guitar case is the Echo Park. Always works.

  8. Sam–thanks, bro! :) That’s really encouraging, especially for my rambles. hehe

    Guy–haha For sure! We gotta be real! ;)

    Rhoy–haha I have a couple of those, too! And ya, we play to a click at my home church, one other church I play at, and then any other church or band I can talk into it. hehehe Also, any studio work, and engineers will love you for not having to ask for a longer lead-in so you can re-tap. :)

    Andrew–haha Ya, Still Haven’t Found is very high up there, you’re totally right on that. Haven’t heard many people who don’t like that song. And I dig almost all U2′s post-1990 stuff, as well as almost all U2′s stuff from any time period. My exceptions would be the 2nd album and the latest album.

    Oh, and by the way, if you’re looking to get into any post-Rattle and Hum U2, the last 3 tracks on Achtung Baby are a great place to start. They really give you a sense of what U2 were trying to do with that album; there’s a real dark and satirical view of love that that album embodies, due to the fact that Edge’s wife left him right around that time. The first time I heard that album after loving Joshua Tree, I was like, ‘What is this? Is this the same band?’ But those last 3 songs really won me over, and served as a gateway into the rest of ’90′s and 2000′s U2. Which was great for me, because some of those songs (Until the End of the World, Please, Electrical Storm, Miracle Drug, etc.) have some of the best Edge anti-solo’s ever. :) Which I have sense ripped off for worship songs. hehehe

    Nate–the self-indulgent ending every song epically accapella one. Yep. hehe

    Andrew–haha You just love music!! :D And ya, I dig In Rainbows.

    Baggas–your kids are officially the coolest kids in the world! :D

    And I think the country part is fantastic too, on his latest album!

    Sal–haha Yes, we are!

    And thanks for that…I’ll check the frets.

    Dan Price and Ben G–oh, I might do that! Maybe a constant webcam. hehehe

    Colton–thanks, bro. :)

    And great call on The Wicked Game. Killer lyrics.

    And my worship awesomeness was over-estimating everyone’s connection to the song and starting to end every single song with the slow accapella deal. Not good. hehe

    Ben G–it has a little more depth than the Line 6 stuff, making it fit with the rest of your guitar sound a little better, at least in my humble opinion. Try the modulate setting, with the rate on 30 and the depth on 65. The modulation will help give it that Line 6 quality and make it stand out a little more. :)

    Dan W–ya, good call on the delay level! A lot of the time, I have mine dimed on the DD20.

    Larry–for sure on the Echo Park. Great low profile, low price, grabngo delay. :) And my ‘choice’ comment was a Ferris Bueller homage. hehe :D

    • Wait… where are you seeing numbers? When I roll the dials there is no number readout. Is that a setting in the menu or something? Or are you just setting max at 100 and lowest at 1 and saying 30 and 65 relative to that? I agree with the sound of the dd20. The analog and tape delays on it are AMAZING sounding… when I can hear them :) I’m just hearing them while I’m playing. Maybe that’s just me without in ears or something?

      • Put it on “modulate” and then hold down the right footswitch, you’ll see an “r” and then a number. Thats the modulation rate. Then if you push in the delay time knob (while still holding in the right footswitch) the “r” will change to a “d” and a number, thats your modulation depth.

          • Yeah, there are alot of deep level adjustments you can make on that pedal. You can download the manual from boss.com in .pdf format. You just have to create a user account first. Its free and worth it to get the most out of the pedal.

    • I was wondering if the “choice” comment was another Conchords reference.
      Saying things are choice is a very characteristically New Zealand type of speech, especially if combined with “bro”..

      for example : “these fush and chups are heeps choice bru”

      • I’ve always associated “it is so choice” with Ferris Buler’s Day Off when he was talking about getting a Ferrari if you “have the means”.

  9. 1+ on the boss/line 6 delays. I have not used Line 6 delays near as much but my DD-5 has a very pronounced sound but I usually keep the mix dimed. Some people complained that it was too sterile but I love it. It’s really great for dotted 8ths

  10. I was wondering what your worship ‘faux pas’ was as well.
    thanks for sharing. I also wanted to thank you for leading me to my hartman fuzz, which came in the mail today. It does well playing both kinds of music. ;)

  11. Yeah I always thought of Achtung as their transition album in a way. It’s not that I don’t like their newer stuff (although No Line makes me sick) it’s just that I don’t like it nearly as much as their older stuff. Boy, Unforgettable Fire, Wide Awake In America (that counts!!) War, October, Joshua Tree, Rattle/Hum (I’ve owned that movie in 5 different formats…) etc. I LOVE it. And it’s hard for mento listen to new U2, when I see new U2 as “The Edge, and three guys that majorly hold back The Edge” even though Adam and Larry are fantastic, the music just ends up being me waiting for all of Edges great riffs, compliments, and antisolos to show up, while I bang my head against the wall because Bono doesn’t realize he can’t sing as high as he used to haha (it’s not a HIIIIIIIILL it’s a MOUNTAAAAAAAIN)

    Which brings me to my next point. WHAT WOMAN IN HER RIGHT MIND WOULD LEAVE THE EDGE??!!?!?!?!? I don’t care if he was a bad husband, this is DAVID EVANS were talking about here! I mean seriously, there are thousands of guitarists who would kill to spend their lives with that man. Haha. Kidding…mostly. Sorry lol that joke went overboard but you get my point: Edge is amazing, U2 used to be the greatest band of all time, now they still are but in a different way, no artist has ever released a song as good as “Bad” on said Wide Awake in America, and your blog is my drug. There we go.

    Splendid,
    Andrew

  12. Karl – where do you buy your Herdim picks? I’m dying to try these things just to see what all the fuss is about. But they’re not exactly a guitar shop standard…

  13. Ben G, Anonymous, Dan W–ya, there’s a lot of hidden settings in the DD20. They offer the manual for free, though. In any given mode, I just always hold down the on/off switch, and then press the time knob…you never know what might happen! haha But Anonymous is right, that’s what you do to get to the modulation settings.

    Baggas & KennyG–haha It does sound like Flight of the Conchords.

    And Ferris Bueller is so choice.

    Andrew–eh, to each his own. :)

    And Bad is a great song. Thanks for the kind words on my blog, bro!

    John & J–I used to buy them Prussia Valley Dulcimers online. But last time some guy on ebay was selling them in bulk for really cheap, so I’d search there first. :)

    Rhoy, James, & Nater2–oh my. haha Hey, I guess if that makes you happy, or reminds you to worship, then awesome. haha

    • Holy smokes. I just got my Herdim picks in the mail today (Prussia valley was fast!).

      All I can say is wow. The difference between them and my yellow tortex picks is remarkable. It’s certainly not appropriate for everything, but when you want that gritty, bright attack, these picks are lights out brilliant.

      Thanks for turning me onto them!

  14. I really like the chorus of this one: Better than a Halleluljah ( sung by Amy Grant, written by Chapin Hartford and Sarah Hart) Guitar connection? Well Vince Gill does play a bit of solo at the end ( Amy’s husband)

    Chorus
    Em C2
    We pour out our miseries
    G D
    God just hears a melody
    Em C2
    Beautiful the mess we are
    G D Am Em7-C
    The honest cries of breaking hearts
    C2 G
    Are better than a Hallelujah.

    Better than a Hallelujah
    VERSE 1
    G
    God loves a lullaby
    Em7
    In a mothers tears in the dead of night
    C2 G
    Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
    G
    God loves the drunkards cry,
    Em7
    The soldiers plea not to let him die
    C C2 G
    Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
    CHORUS
    Em C2
    We pour out our miseries
    G D
    God just hears a melody
    Em C2
    Beautiful the mess we are
    G D Am Em7-C
    The honest cries of breaking hearts
    C2 G
    Are better than a Hallelujah.

    VERSE 2
    G
    The woman holding on for life,
    Em7
    The dying man giving up the fight
    C2 G
    Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
    G
    The tears of shame for what’s been done,
    Em7
    The silence when the words won’t come
    C C2 G
    Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

    (CHORUS)
    BRIDGE
    C
    Better than a church bell ringing,
    G Am C
    Better than a choir singing out, singing out.

    (CHORUS)x2

  15. Karl, I think all these talk about picks warrants another shoot-out. I personally use Jazz III (RED) so if you can please include that :)

    and another vote for a “Pedalboard” tab!

  16. Karl, I got those picks, too, and I really like them. Actually, I found one of my old roommate’s lying around and I started using it. I’ve always respected Edge a lot, and I really enjoy his tone, I have also enjoyed some U2 in the past, but It’s not like I worship Edge. But I like these picks a lot. It doesn’t necessarily sound like you’re ripping Edge off. It’s really useful.

    Regarding your gear. You know, I don’t really think expensive gear necessarily sounds way better, but I have found the pricey stuff to have a lot of features on it, especially the pricey delays. The DD-20 is cool, but you can’t do everything with it that the Timeline does.

    But if you can manage to tweak your gear, you can achieve the same “type” of sounds and diminish the importance of all that really expensive stuff.

    By the way — and I’m sure you know this — recently I have discovered the greatness of Wampler pedals. Pretty darn decent price, if you ask me, for high-quality boutique pedals. I’m really diggin the ecstasy drive so far.

    oh, and regarding the bpm on the delay, I can’t imagine how great that would be. It’s SOOO useful. I’m getting so sick of tapping. I really hope the new strymon delay has one; although I’d be willing to bet it won’t.

  17. I just got my Herdim picks in the mail (based on this post). I went with some shop called Strings and Things at $.99 each and got them in 3 days. They seemed to have a good price on strings so I got several pack of Elixirs and go the free shipping. Haven’t used them yet but they are interesting. I was worried about them because they’re called “heavy” but they’re still more like a typical light-medium pick. I’m glad I didn’t go with anything lighter. I would say I’m going to try them out later but I’ve got some soldering to do tonight. Just got my order delivered for my TV Jones Classic pickups I’ve been waiting on (yet another great company to do business with).

      • Installed them last night in a Duo Jet I got off eBay for $1250. It previously had the DynaSonics. Very cool sound but didn’t really overdrive the way I wanted them to. I went with the Classic Plus in the bridge for a little extra bite. I figured an extra $300 on good pickups still makes the guitar a steal. The only thing I don’t like about it is the fact that I’ve seen a lot of other P&W guitarists playing them to copy the Hillsong tone. Because of this, I’ve removed the pickguard to make it not so recognizable. Now people mistake it for a Les Paul!

        • Awesome! I was gonna ask if it was a gretsch! I have an electromatic that I’m thinking of putting a Wolfetone Mean P90 in the neck and a Wolfetone Legend HB in the bridge to match the sound of the duesenberg starplayer he plays. It will be different as my guitar is cheap wood and complete hollowbody but I don’t want to be an exact copy :) Those duojets sound pretty sweet!

  18. Sorry, I had a really busy weekend and wasn’t around here much. I thought about responding to everything, but in the words of Inigo Montoya, ‘Let me explain…no, it is too much. Let me sum up.’

    Herdim picks rock, Prussia Valley Dulcimers is cool, pick shootout coming up, I might actually be selling one or both of my bypass loopers in the next few weeks, and Jared, let me check with my wife on the 14th. :)
    :D

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