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September 26, 2008

What Would Satan Do?

Right, first off I missed a major milestone a few days back. The Project entered the final 100 days. Yes folks, were down to double digits. I need to sit down, look at what time is left and actually figure out what my goals to be achieved by New Year's Eve are. I always knew that my action plan would have to be adaptable, but in truth I've kind of left the rails on that front. Must get more rails. I'm very glad to be starting a new guitar course in under a week as I found the last one very motivational.

So, having said that... what would Satan do?

On Tuesday evening I spent a few hours trying to get back into metal music, playing through some of the Metallica that I'd quickly taught myself in preparation for the jam with the metallers a few weeks back. I was painfully [cough] aware that I needed to play catchup if I was to join in successfully this coming Sunday. About 2 hours into trying to get my droning back up to speed I felt my tendonitis start to kick in. Ow!

Smart 39 year old kid that I am I figured I'd just keep going, only stopping when the shooting pains up my right arm got too bad. Clever, eh? Mama didn't raise no fool! So, because I'm an idiot, I had to take a break from playing on Wednesday, only resuming practice last night. Pretty soon after starting in on "Master of Puppets" the pain was back with a vengeance. I tried making the "Sign of the Devil" a few times to see whether that helped. Nope. Besides, playing with a pick and doin' that hand thing isn't possible. It ends up looking more 'pinkie out' tea sipper rather than hardcore headbanger.

"Screw this," I said to myself, reverting to playing less aggressive, less right hand intensive stuff... the Allmans' "Don't Want You No More" intro riff (the first thing I ever played on Red, which had make me instantly fall in love with My Precious)... Slash/Kravitz's "Always On The Run"... "Walk This Way". Pain subsided. Joy was felt.

Wait a minute!

Joy was felt! I was enjoying playing this lightweight stuff, whereas I wasn't getting the same kick out of playing the metal tunes. Okay... soooo, let's see... I don't particularly like listening to metal and I don't enjoy playing it, not least of which because it causes me pain! I did enjoy playing it with the other guys, but that was partly because of the whole band camaraderie etc. Noise making is fun, no matter what the noise.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I may keep playing with the metal guys on and off over the next few weeks and months, I need to not lose sight of what I enjoy. Makes sense?

I was actually going to post a video of my droning speed using different pick angles, as tilting the ol' pleccie is something that significantly decreases string resistance so you can play faster. It also noticeably changes the tone, and when you accidentally [cough] clip the strings with an upstroke you get quite a cool double-time sound. BUT... that was about the same time I decided to lay metal to rest for the night, so... you, loyal reader, get nuffink.... bumpkus... RIEN DE TOUT!

"Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien qu'on m'a fait, ni le mal
Tout ca m'est bien egal"

Ah, that Edith Piaf... she knew a thing or two about nothing, eh? (Basic translation 'a la chav': "I don't regret nuffink... not the good fings wot av been done ta me or the bad... it's all the fukkin' same ta me, innit?")

What? WHAT?

Oh, I give up. I wanna rock out, but metal's not for me, not long term at least. I have a note from my doctor...


Dave Jacoby said...

Just because there's a discernible melody, the singer doesn't sound like Cookie Monster and the distortion is slight and sweet instead of so cranked it sounds like a band saw, that doesn't mean the Allmans are light.

And so what if they are, anyway.

Kenski said...

I've always felt, rightly or wrongly, that the Allmans' approach to music is kinda trancendental, that it's somehow so pure and simple yet at the same time melodically and rhythmically complex. It's the sound that pulls my soul most strongly.

By 'lightweight' I simply meant that it's not the heavy overdriven screaminess of heavy metal, is all :-)

After all, "Whipping Post" is one of the heaviest songs I know, especially when played live...

Col said...

Southern Rock is the only kinda good rock for us Allman types don't you think? Metal is not, well, us.

Kenski said...

I quite like Brighton Rock, but it's not good for the teeth, eh?

The Allmans and other so-called Southern rockers aren't riff-tastic in the same way that some bands are, relying on effects, sonic trickery and all that stuff. They use rolling riffs to build tension but at the end of the day they're about so much more than simply choosing the right 6 notes to string together. 3 minute radio-friendly jingles have never been their bag. They're about the journey as well as the destination.

They're kind of the Marmite of music. You either love them or you hate them. There's no sitting on the fence.

Dave Jacoby said...

The way I think of it, the Allmans are fundamentally a jazz band, while Skynyrd and the Outlaws are fundamentally rock bands. So the standard approach for the rockers to build tension is to go faster and go higher. Compare "Freebird" and "Green Grass And High Tides", which is unfortunately too long for jerks to request as a joke. Great songs, but simple licks played over and over at lightning speed. Duane had some fast licks, but the band, when when they wanted to create drama, everyone went everywhere, then they came back with a unison pentatonic lick and they all turned left together like a flock of birds.

Kenski said...

I like that... turning like a flock of birds. Good imagery! They did have a way of doing their own thing then coming together and spontaneously heading off together in parallel.

Bizarro Aunt Jackie said...

Well then just enjoy the others' pain by listening to their metal to rock out, and then play what makes you feel good inside.

It'll all work out, and you can still bang your head until you're dizzy. ;)