Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Don't Even Know What I'm Hoping To Find

Tonight was practice night.

Imagine a guy who kicks the bass drum like Bonham. On a kit with a double pedal so he can make a drum roll without using his arms.

Add a bassist with a five string whose chief influences seem to include Cliff.

Plus a Hammond organ and a grand piano.

Plus me on acoustic. He wants me on acoustic.

In a band like that, an acoustic guitar is as useless as a screen door on a submarine. Nobody will be able to hear me. Probably not even myself.

So, I'm disappointed.

In the mean time, I've been playing the vid on the last, nameless post. Playing it while having the tab sheet open. You see, I was doing scale exercises last night and came onto a bit that sounded like "Running on Empty". I was on electric, not one of my steels, but I was still pretty sure it was in A. And I was right.

Isn't it great when you're right?

So I played it again, trying to play along. I found the first steel bit, at about 50 seconds in. It took me a bit by surprise. It's an A arpeggio. It's easy on a steel, because hey, you don't even have to move the bar, but guitarists want to hit the scale notes beyond the chord notes. But if you play around A major near the 12th fret, you'll find most of the notes you want.

So I took out my #2 lap steel, a repurposed Epiphone Les Paul Peewee with a nut extender, tuned it to A Sebastapol (like open D, except up to A on a smaller instrument), brought up a Sebastapol tuning on my scale and chord tool, and started to play the scale. Then I plugged into my Frontman 25R and tried to dial in the tone.

Nobody is ever going to mistake a Frontman 25R for a Dumble. But that's my amp and I'm happy with it. Use the Drive channel but with the Gain only up to 3, I got a bit of the wailing tone. I'm not sure, but I think there's some phaser in there, too, because I don't have it, but I have a decent tone to start with. Maybe it's just screaming tubes that my solid state amp just can't mimic.

This is what I have of the main lead, tabbed in standard tuning.
e ------------------------------------------------------
B --------------------------------15-15-14-12-----------
G -14-14-14-11--------------11----------------14-11-----
D -------------14-11--11-14----14-------------------11--
A ------------------------------------------------------
E ------------------------------------------------------

e ------------------------------------------------------
B ------------------------------------------------------
G -14-14-14-11------------------------------------------
D -------------14-11--14-11-------11--12-11-------------
A --------------------------12-14-----------12----------
E ------------------------------------------------------

I guess it's the F# where I lose it.

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