Well, what can I say? This year I am not too late.
It's the time of the year I'm finally posting a blog.. Man, what a year it has been. Yeah, lots of stuff going IRL, not getting into that, this is for my guitar skills/gear only...
I have got more pedals, that's for certain. Got myself a great OD pedal that I absolutely love and also got into delay world. To me, Flashback X4 is the best delay pedal out there.
Getting more skilled is actually something I have done. I learn things much quicker now, my alternate picking is much more accurate and faster. On top of that, I can finally use my left hand's pinky for something on the fretboard. Last year it was so-so.
Songwriting has been on a halt for a long time, but I think the main thing I've learnt is that how awesome it feels when after a few rehearsals together on a new song, everything just falls in it's place. It's very rewarding.
I have started writing lyrics again, no doubt about that. Be they better than earlier ones, that's for YOU to decide.
So, get band going strong, not really. Or well yeah, we do have a lot of own songs.. enough for one album anyways. And those that we have practiced sound very tight and together.
Things to do next year...
- Get more skilled
- Get more skilled
- Get more skilled
- Get your custom guitar
Yeah, that last point is actually true. I am getting a guitar built to me to my own specs. On top of that, it's a body design that of course already exists, but with it's own vibe.. You'll see soon enough.
Looked at the blog that I posted one year ago and I've pretty much got to the point that I wanted to in one year. I'm much better in all playing aspects. I've learned how to write songs too and some solos of my own as well..
I've changed some gear, as some have noticed and some know. I changed my Marshall to a Laney. Definitely the most pleasing upgrade of the year. Connected to a cabinet with Celestion G12T-75s MADE IN UK. Got that one bit before the head, I absolutely love the cab. Going to just need some wheels for it. Also got EMGs on my Gibson in the early spring. What else... I got in the OD world too, yeah. Digging those pedals really and I need some more. Delay for sure, EQ maybe.
But what I need more is even more skill. Now I trust myself enough that I can say that I will be better next December, that's for granted. Who knows what big will happen. Our band is doing well and healthy, yet we haven't posted anything about it, maybe we should. Then again, we don't have anything great to record with, but that could be just the smallest problem. We're starting to get really critical of our own stuff and playing our very own songs feels really, really good. We even played one of our own live 3 months ago or so. Learned that I'm pretty stage-frightened, but not crapping my pants cause of that.
It's been a great year all in all. Have no regrets whatsoever. Well, I'd like to have a job, yeah. To feed my GAS.
So, achievement list:
- New amplifier to enhance my tone DONE
- Upgraded pickups DONE
- Learned to use wah-wah I GUESS
- Get better at guitar DONE
- Learn about tone and how to enhance your sound DONE
So, what is to be done next year
- Get some pedals
- Get more skilled
- Get better at songwriting
- Start writing lyrics again
- Get the band going strong
Well, I'm out, for now, don't know when I'll be posting a blog again but I'm pretty much here every single day. Hit me up and ask me anything, especially about gear. I can give some advice, which can be really biased, but at least it'll be one way to look at things.
So, I got my EMGs running on 18 volts. The difference is absolutely astonishing compared to the fact that all I did is add a battery. If you've got your EMGs running on 9 volts and they're not part of the X-series, try out the mod. It's really easy to do. There's a really good guide on this particular site
I got a MXR Analog Chorus not too long ago. I haven't regretted that purchase at all. I have the chorus on nearly all the time, step it off for some solos on the neck pickup, cause then it would sound perhaps "too smooth" for my taste and too warm.
Life's good, as much as there is to me. I don't really have much spare time, but I try to use as much of it as possible to anything that will enhance my skills as a guitar player or my knowledge of how effects and amplifiers actually work. The latter research is simply for future investments, that I'll know a bit more about the products I'm about to test, but I don't mind going blind-folded cause I could be surprised.
That's it for the day/night/whatever, maybe even a month. Catch me here when you can, I'm active and I am easily bothered to reply.
I'm not sure when was the exact day but.. It's been 2 years from the day I bought my both ex-amp and ex-guitar. Don't miss them really. 2 years and I have to say, I've got much further in playing than what I ever imagined to. I would have never imagined that I could be able to play solos. Now, I enjoy playing them and I think I play them quite clean too.
My gear, yeah, it has changed a lot. Got rid of my Line 6, sold my Ibanez, got a nice Blackstar HT-1 to be my home practice amplifier and got a Gibson LP Studio to be my main guitar for many years to come. I seriously enjoy the guitar, every single bit. The neck, the feel, the tone. Of course the pups could be better, but I'm quite broke at the moment.
My rehearsal amplifier however, changed from Marshall into.. Marshall. From a Valvestate model 8080 to a JCM2000 DSL401. The tone is tremendous and the amp totally delivers! I don't feel any lack of tone, I just need better pups and I think I already know what I'm getting for my LP. Oh, and of course, I bought the original Dunlop Crybaby, which I love to use when I play leads and definitely use it nearly all the time when I play solos. Hopefully Aimo or the other guys in the band won't kill me for that.
But don't worry, I won't be Kirk Hammett #2.
Now then, as my skills have improved a lot, my only goal that during this next year, they will improve EVEN MORE. I'm still not satisfied. The quest for my tone, before making any albums, is nearly over. The quest for improving my skills will never be. There's always something out there, something that I can get better at.
So, all in all, biggest accomplishments this year:
Gibson LP Studio BOUGHT
Blackstar HT-1 to replace Line 6 DONE
New awesome amplifier for rehearsals DONE
Improving skills MORE THAN DONE
Get critical of tone DONE
Buy the Coffin, the discography of Sentenced FINALLY
Learn to use wah-wah STILL IN PROGRESS
So guys and girls... Time for me to end this blog, still waiting for the real winter to arrive... I hate hot weather...
Which is of course Marshall. Come on, did you expect anything else? DSL401, it's an excellent amplifier, seriously, OD1 with drive set to 3 o'clock, treble 12 o'clock, mids 3 o'clock and bass to 1 o'clock with my LP and I'm ready to play some old school thrash!
With OD2 however, gain set to 10 o'clock (yes, only 10 o'clock) with the same EQ, maybe a bit more bass and I'm set to a really good and nice both rhythm and lead tones for any kind of metal I want to play.
And to have the footswitch and an actual clean channel.. It's just marvelous. I'm pretty tired of using either the volume knob and/or switching the pickups for going from clean to distortion. It's not really handy either using just the pickup switch, footswitch is!
I uploaded some pictures... Hopefully some day will give a nice review, but now I just have to find first all the tones and EQ settings that I find to my liking.
And what I got changed my sound totally.. It's a Dunlop Crybaby. The standard one, GCB-95. I tried it out at the local store, I could not leave without it. It's just so good and has changed my soloing for forever to the better.
Now, I can actually start soloing some stuff and try to do something interesting with the wah, either use it as a crazy effect or a slight boost or something in between.
Pictures will be uploaded when I have time to take some and edit them to a proper size!
I guess I could tell you guys about this one. I will be away for a while, going out of the city and enjoy the "countryside". As a matter of fact, it's not far from here, but far enough. I actually feel myself living there more than in this place I call home. I guess I can log on with my cellular to check something, possibly leave some comments and stuff.. but still, I thought that you could kind of want to know where the fuck I am if you haven't seen me online for 5 days or so
Also, this vacation will make me able to refresh my mind, my ideas... Makes me able to forge something new.
So yeah, I'll miss you guys, dead serious. But I will be away for maximum a week. I will see you later then I guess.
Finally, after.. what.. nearly 2 years of waiting I have completed the purchase of probably one of the most important things to me: The Coffin of Sentenced. It includes whole discography, all the lyrics for the songs, the Buried Alive DVD.. Everything. Now I can officially call myself just not a fan, but a fanatic.
Finally, after a whole 6 months of waiting, I have obtained a new guitar. Of course so that I could afford it I had to sell my old one. I do miss my Ibanez, sort of, but my new guitar is better in every aspect. It fits me well, it plays well and it sounds awesome.
The guitar.. is a Gibson USA Les Paul Studio in Ebony Black finish with chrome hardware. It does have the chambered body as this one is a brand new. I had it immediately set up for .12 gauge strings, as I am used to heavy strings and play in D standard mostly. I love the guitar really much, it feels like it's the "right one" of all the guitars out there. Only thing I hate about, is the strap buttons. Those things look like they will drop the strap any moment.. I'm about to get strap locks when my budget allows me to do so. This guitar truly is superior.
For now, I'll just keep rocking and keep rotting in the free world! Be free to do the same!