A Change of Effects

I’ve had my Digitech Multi-effects board for quite awhile now. And I have always struggled getting the sound that I wanted with it. I started with the factory presets but they seemed overly done for what I needed. So at first I just started modifying them to make them what I wanted but never could get a quite right.

Then I tried simplifying the equation by turning off the amp/cab selections and just working with the effects. But that too failed to provide a simple method for effects. So I reversed that and started with the amp models without any effects. I actually found some of those that were much closer to what I was looking for.

Recently I was playing at church and had one song that needed an acoustic sound with a little chorus and two that needed more of an electric overdrive sound. I found most of what I wanted in two of the amp selections and played that day. But in the end I felt that the sound of the overdriven amp was really noisy.

When I got home, I selected a number of amps with overdriven settings and distortion and found that they all seemed to have that high pitched noise.

So I decided to change routes and go with standard pedals. I read a bunch of reviews and watched many youtube videos. I’m not much into the latest/greatest/best gear. I just wanted something that would do a reasonable job of providing the sounds I wanted.

I did look at some of the mini style of pedals because I’m a bit of a minimalist when it comes to size but in the end I went with the Behringer line of pedals. I’m a little concerned about the plastic cases but in all of the videos and comparisons I reviewed it seems that they have plenty of good and expected sound. And they’re cheap.

I picked 9 pedals, a board, and power supply to get me going. I figure they will do for now and as I get used to using them I can look for better models later if I see the need. The pedals will be here in the next few days. I’ll do a post when I get the board all put together.

Playing Bass

My instrument of choice for many years has been the acoustic guitar. I’m not all that good at it but I’ve led youth group worship and played in a worship team years ago. In recent years, I pretty much gave it up due to the health issues I was having. But since I went through the pain program and have been on the road of recovery for 6 months. I picked it up again.
I had been working on “Via Dolorosa” for a last supper re-enactment at another local church and decided that I would do a practice run at my church one Sunday. Afterwards the worship leader asked why I wasn’t playing with them on Sunday, so I told her I would. After I considered it for a while I decided that they already had an acoustic guitar player but what they really needed was a bass.
I had never played one before but my son-in-law had one that he let me borrow and the next week I was playing my first songs with the praise team.
Since starting with them I have found that I love playing the bass. So far, I’m just playing the roots or inversions of the chords and kind of feeling my way around. I did have trouble with the music that the team uses is written in one key but played capo’d. Which is easy for the guitar and the electric piano. For me however, I would have to translate on the fly and that was a bit much for me.
So I found all of the songs that they do in the chordpro format and downloaded a piece of software called Songbook. I can use it on my laptop or Ipad and it allows me to quickly transpose the music when they want to change keys.
I play along on a lot of the songs with youtube versions of the songs and I pick out the bass parts if I to figure out what they do. At some point I hope to learn scales (which I never did on the acoustic) and work on being able to improvise a bit. Later on I’ll update you on how I’m progressing.

An evening at the Gathering Place

Tonight I had the pleasure of enjoying some incredible guitar at The Gathering Place in Glenwood, IA. Kay and Linus LeFever hosted David Michael Boyd a solo musician singing and playing original music who explores various musical genres including rock, blues, jazz, classical and “experimental expressionism.”

It was “Slow Breathing” from his GuitarArt album that was my favorite tonight. If you have read some of my articles on pain management, you may remember that I struggle with relaxation techniques. Somewhat because of the tendency for relaxation CD’s to follow far eastern religions which I’m not a fan of and that I’m just not a “turn the mind” off kind of guy. Not saying that’s wrong. I understand very much that I desperately need to relax my mind. But I digress.
This song “Slow Breathing” really captivated me. David introduced it as the night letting out it’s breath as if it’s exhaled all of the trouble from the previous day. I really liked that thought and as he started the song and continued singing, I felt myself being drawn in to a state of relaxation.
I didn’t get to stay for the whole program. Coming up on 8:00 pm it was time for me to find some ice after a long day at work. On the way out I got a moment to talk to David and express my appreciation for that song. He told me that he had several works that followed that genre. I have been on his site and hope to communicate with him more as I explore some CD’s to help me relax. I think I might have found what I’m looking for.
If you have a chance visit his site and listen to some of his music. He is an extraordinarily talented musician and wonderful Christian man.