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December 5, 2008

The Die Is Cast...

...and George Harrison rocks on!

Okay, it must be Friday with a ropey connection (or lack thereof) like that!

Band stuff: I think we've all basically agreed that at the practice session next Thursday (for which I'll have to skip Rockschool again) will be without Jon. The original lineup was:

Jo: vox
Rich: bass
Jon: drums
Bo: guitar
Me: guitar

The new line up we're going to try is:

Jo: vox/bass
Rich: drums
Bo: guitar/vox
Me: guitar

We've not said anything to Jon yet. I feel really shitty about it as I don't buy into the whole politics thing. I know the other guys feel bad, too, and nobody really wants to kick him out of the band. Hopefully Jon's absence doesn't throw a cloud over things.

We're going to have a chat after the practice session. After that we'll either talk to Jon and tell him that sorry, you're surplus to requirements, or we'll ask him to come to the next rehearsal as if nothing's happened. That doesn't sit well with me, but I'm not going to invest any emotional crap in the politics otherwise I'll lose the sense of fun about playing. I have no real choice but to be mercinary.

We'll see what happens. I really liked Rich's bass playing so it'll be a shame to lose that. Despite being a guitarist, he was really getting into it, laying down a good fat groove for us to jam over. Will Jo be able to fill his shoes? Will Rich play better drums than Jon?? How many rhetorical questions can I ask??? How many question marks are strictly-speaking necessary????

?

Oh, go on... one more...

?

[sigh]

I think I need a cigarette, and I don't even smoke.

I didn't go to the Rockschool Christmas concert last night. I just didn't feel that using my free time to travel across London and spend an hour and a half with beginner musicians was high on the bangs-for-bucks scale. Instead I stayed home, cranked the amp and rocked out on Red Dog.

Felt good, very cathartic.

[Is that the right word? Ach, who cares!?! Ooh, exclamation points, too!]

Started off with some of our band standards, but wasn't really in the mood so I switched to Rockschool homework and took another look at George Harrison's solo on "Let It Be". It's not too complex, but contains most of the elements of standard electric rock 'n' blues playing: pentatonic licks, slides, bends, hammer-ons, pull-offs etc. No sweep-picking, fretboard tapping or playing with the teeth!

One thing I don't practice enough is string bending and last night I kept going sharp, which is the big no-no! Go flat, you've got room to correct and pretend you meant it. Go sharp and you're ske-re-ooed. Next happy note's a looooong way off!

I decided to crank the Marshall a bit more, illiciting a gorgeous hollow tone from the amp (accompanied by an annoying whine that I couldn't get rid of... too late to ask Santa for a new amp for Christmas?... Ach, I'll order a replacement preamp valve for a tenner and give that a go first). Standing up and letting go a bit, suddenly everything came into place. Here's the real skinny folks, when you stand up and play, you subconsciously use the weight of the guitar to anchor your bends. Do it. Be a rock star.

Sounded good. Better than George... or at least better than Ringo!

The weekend is MINE, ALL MINE... so I get to put in some serious practice time, hopefully nailing everything on the band playlist and maybe bringing something new to the table. In these times of change it'll be smart to be seen to be invested, eh?

2 comments:

Jon said...

Well thanks a lot!
And I thought you bunch of bastards were my friends!

[Runs away crying...]

Kenski said...

Well, if that is Jon then we are your friends and we've not managed to actually meet to discuss what's been said. Nothing is set in stone. We've not managed to find time to meet and discuss everyone's opinion.

If it's not 'the real Jon' then yep, that'll be about how I'll feel if we do decide to move on without him. Thanks!