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February 9, 2009

Weekend Update

I'm not going to go overboard with posts about my Dad, but I've had a lot of well-wishing comments, emails etc so it'd be a bit heartless not to say something.

Dad came out of hospital on Friday night, so I spent most of Saturday with him, relieving Mum of babysitting duties and, basically, chewing the fat one-to-one. It's not something we've ever really done alot. The conversation ranged from engineering, through will-writing, motorcycles and we even touched on music towards the end. Dad claims the double-whammy of both regular deafness and tone-deafness. He's never had any interest in the musical arts and definitely doesn't 'get it', but I think he sees how I light up when describing why I love certain songs. He willingly humours me when it comes to my little endeavours. At times like that I both feel his equal and also feel him being a father to me. It's hard not to feel moved.

Of course, it could just be the diazapam!

Before releasing him, the doctors administered a long-lasting epidural painkiller and restocked his supply of muscle-relaxants, analgesics and so on. The problem is something do do with his spine. There's some swelling which is pinching a nerve... Even though the root cause is age-related bone degeneration, the long-term prognosis is good. 90% of cases clear up with time and appropriate physio. I kept reinforcing with him that he needs to do the physio or he's just postponing more problems. Hopefully he got the message. What about the other 10%? Well, if it doesn't cure itself then he'll need an operation. At 75 years old that's never a good thing.

Okay, so this was going to be a short status update. Basically, he's in the eye of the storm. He's no longer in agony and even managed to walk to the bathroom with just the aid of a stick. It's been a real ordeal for him, though. He's had to rely on other people which isn't 'him' at all. I think he's feeling his mortality, particularly after being housed in the 'screamer' ward of the hospital where everyone was in pain. I'm not surprised his nerves are a little shot right now.

Okay then. How about something to do with music, eh?

Yeah? Yeah!

I got most of Sunday to myself to practice... well, Tim was physically there, but mentally he was 'at one' with Sim City. You have to understand that when Tim plugs into that baby, well, he's not really there anymore. The only signs of life were the occasional mouse-click, rapid space-bar pummeling and the occasional diva-channelling triggered by his iPod shuffling to a big-vocal anthem.

So, I plugged Red into the new Blackstar, which sounds grrreat, and got to work!

First up, much neglected chromatic exercises. Didn't get too wayward. A good warm-up routine.

Next, checking out the new Rockschool song that I've elected to learn, "Bust Up". To me it sounds very .38 Special, if you know what I mean! Lots of straight two-note partial chord downstroking, just alternating one note from time to time, for example:

e ----------------------------------------------------
B ----------------------------------------------------
G ---9--9--9--8--8--8--9--9--9--8--8--8--9--9--8--8---
D ---7--7--7--7--7--7--7--7--7--7--7--7--7--7--7--7---
A ----------------------------------------------------
E ----------------------------------------------------

...then change to...

e ----------------------------------------------------
B ----------------------------------------------------
G ---9--9--9--8--8--8--9--9--9--8--8--8--9--9--8--8---
D ---6--6--6--6--6--6--6--6--6--6--6--6--6--6--6--6---
A ----------------------------------------------------
E ----------------------------------------------------

You can find it on YouTube, anyway. The fun thing about the song is actually the turnarounds, which sound very cool in an 80's pop-rock kind of way.

I deliberately didn't revisit X-Blues III to learn the tabbed out parts, but I did spend some time improvising over the backing track. This Thursday's going to be all about how to solo effectively as we'll be expected to stand up and noodle in front of each other. Potentially high embarrassment factor.

I also totally ignored "All Funked Up". Hey ho... forgot about that one!

We're scheduled to have a band practice on Wednesday, so I had to switch emphasis in that direction. I ran through some of the old stuff but also took a look at some new song ideas that have been tabled, including:

"You Really Got Me" (Kinks)
"Vasoline" (Stone Temple Pilots)

Oh crap, there was something else, but I can't remember! That doesn't bode well, eh? I'm not a huge STP fan, but Vasoline's kind of fun to play. I won't claim I've got it all down, but it's not that hard to rock out on. Most of the actual song is carried by the vocals rather than the guitar, which just provides a backdrop. Pretty cool. Should go down well in a pub.

Ah... "DAYTRIPPER" by the Beatles. That was the third song!

Anywho, that's your lot for now. Things to do, places to be and all that!


Furtheron said...

Daytripper - used to play that in a band I was in once. Can't rememeber how it goes now.

Hope your Dad is better soon, keep on about the psysio that it will take time but my experience is that it works

Kenski said...

It seems to me that Daytripper's basically just a picked vamp and something like 4 chords. Getting the vamp consistent, though, is the key.

The thing with physio is getting into a routine with it so that you actually do it. I know that when I broke my foot I was really blase about it and only did it very occasionally... it hurt! As a consequence the healing process took forever. I'm thinking that he's like me in that way, so he needs to be TOLD what to do rather than being left to do it by himself!

Axe Victim said...

SIM City eh? Kewl...