Reading - March 2017

Guitarist (March 2017 / Issue 417)
The Week (4 March 2017 / Issue 1114)
Guitar & Bass (April 2017 / Vol 28 No 07)
Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
I read this often - at least, I thought so, but I can't find any note of this for the last several years, so maybe this is the first time in a while. For something now over two hundred years old, it is still a wonderfully easy read and an absorbing story. And I do like a happy ending.
The Week (11 March 2017 / Issue 1115)
The Week (18 March 2017 / Issue 1116)
The Week (25 March 2017 / Issue 1117)
Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce (1958)
A twentieth century classic for good reason. I've been reading it to Z for the last few months and although it took him a while to get into it, by the end he could hardly wait to find out what happened. The fact that it's fifty years old does throw up some dated aspects, but not as many as expected.
Different Seasons by Stephen King (1982)
I got this collection of four novellas from the library specifically to read Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redepemption, the source of the film. The film follows it closely, so there's nothing new in it and I think the film is more powerful (although this may of course be because that's what I saw first). The other stories - two of which have also been turned into films - don't really appeal. King is a superb story-teller of course, but mostly he tells stories I don't want to know about - they're too unpleasant. I found myself being drawn into the next story, Apt Pupil (also filmed) but peeked at the end and decided I didn't want to read it, so I left the book there.
Guitarist (April 2017 / Issue 318)


Solo of the Month #25

March 2017

Here we have a simple 4 bar repeated pattern in E major, with a rock 'n' roll feel. It seemed to call for a rockabilly style, which is unfortunate since I can't play that at all.

In fact, the first question for me was whether I should use a major or minor scale. The track itself is purely major chords, but a major scale felt far too polite and not rock 'n' roll enough. A minor pentatonic isn't "right" but it does fit with the expected feel of a piece like this, so that's what I went with.

To give it the right sound I set up a slapback delay on the MXR Carbon Copy, with lashings of reverb from the spring emulation on the TC Hall Of Fame, and a single coil (tapped) setting on the neck pickup which gave it the right wirey-ness.

I worked over the track many times, making up for a slight lack of ideas by repeating a few notes over multiple changes (I'm sure I've heard Rory Gallagher do this ...). I particularly struggled with some of the quicker playing at about 38 seconds, but I was pleased with my ending. Sometimes I piece the solo together from multiple takes but this didn't have any gaps, so I had to practice the whole thing enough to get it acceptable when played right through. Once recorded, I just balanced the levels a little in Reaper and that was it.

And et voila:

I didn't do the two months' SotM before this, due our kitchen refit - the first I've missed in almost two years. The amp and pedals were packed away, but I still intended to record it with an amp sim in the box. In the end I just didn't have time.