Sunday, April 22, 2012

6 String for 30 Days

Hopefully by now you are all as obsessed with TED as I am. For those that just thought I switched teams and have the hots for Ted Danson, please go check out the TED site. I have yet to watch a video from TED that I did not get something out of. Recently my friend Sara posted this video:

After posting the video she declared that she was going to do a 30 Challenge to workout to some dance/cardio videos she purchased. You know me, I love a good challenge, so I was immediately on board, but instead of workout videos, I decided I was going to play guitar every day for the next 30 days. To some of you that probably seem pretty easy; but, for me, it is a challenge. 

I almost never play my guitars. You have to remember I am a singer. The guitar is kind of a means to an end. Don't get me wrong, I love that I can play guitar and am still pretty shocked when I can pick one up and make it sing to me. Very few people that learn to plan an instrument at 21 have any success, but I did. Still, it is not my first love. That is singing, followed by writing. So, when I don't have a band, and I am not writing a new song, they line the walls of my jam spaces, staring at me with neglected string. Even when I am playing solo shows, I don't practice for the shows until the day before shows. I do not recommend this, by the way. 

I had intended to wait until May to start this challenge, so at least I could be relearning songs, since I will be able to sing again, but Sara was a little more aggressive and kicked hers off on Thursday. Now, you know this did not sit well with my OCD leanings. I mean start something in the middle of the week, well that is preposterous! But, I manned up and decided to follow her lead. This makes the challenge even harder for me because for 10 of the days I will not even be able to sing while playing, just playing for the sake of playing -- insert noodling here. But, I figured, if only through Facebook, we could hold each other accountable. I also decided I would take pictures of whatever I played, as proof and way to document my 30days. 

Day one I used the same guitar from my last post here. It is the one that sits out by my desk, so it will get a lot of attention during the next 30 days. Day two was Friday, and I knew I probably wouldn't be home all day, so after my morning workout, I sat down with my Taylor 412, and practiced some finger picking. It was like 5:15am. I am pretty sure my neighbors appreciated me not ripping into some blistering leads with amps on 11.

On Saturday, I had some time that was unaccounted for, so I cranked up the live rig which consists of a split amp between a 2x10 Clara V-Verb and a 15" Peavey Delta Blues. The Peavey gets dry signal, and the Clara gets it wet. I realize I lost all but three of you, but those three appreciated the details. I started with a nice finger picked loop and then just built chaos on top of it. At one point, I am pretty sure every pedal on my board was in use. I was playing my modified Epiphone Sheraton, and she sounded lovely. 

Today has probably been my favorite day so far. In direct opposition to yesterday, I went totally minimalist, using the cheapest gear I have which is a Epiphone Valve Junior I bought for $100 from my buddy Corey and a project kit Strat I bought off CraigsList for $200. The guitar has Lipsticks in it, which was a tone I did not have in my arsenal, so I snagged it. The amp is 5 watts of tube tone, an 8" speaker, and one volume knob. What is not to love about that? What made today fun was I was laying leads on top of songs from a playlist I have on iTunes. It is always interesting to work the guitar around the other instruments and vocals.

At this point, I have not mapped out what each day will bring, but I know I will play a guitar every day, and I am looking forward to May when I can sing while playing.

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