SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
And so it goes… Think twice before working with a Diva
Oct 21st, 2013 by FrederickRM

I had my suspicions when I agreed to this gig with G’Jai. The fact that she never mentioned any band members on her site, anywhere, was a clue that concerned me. As it turns out, I was right. After 1 performance with her, she cited a conflict in styles and let me go from the band. The audience may have disagreed but it’s her show, and ONLY her show, and no other opinion matters. I get that. However I was very up front and honest the entire process, always playing the way I play, and she knew that. If we had a ‘conflict of musical styles’ she should have known that right off. Nothing was EVER mentioned about wanting a jazz/blues style or I would have told her up front that’s not what I do. When I answered the Craig’s List ad I stated up front that my style was blues ROCK, BEFORE she even heard me. How much more honest can one person be?

So I chalk it up to experience and met some new people/musicians, some who I hope to keep in touch with and maybe work with in the future. Thanks George, Michael and Scott for the jams!

Back to visiting the jam sessions and networking with the blues crowd. And songwriting. I need to finish that CD…

I’m now officially a member ( I think)…
Sep 14th, 2013 by FrederickRM

I’ve been cruising Craig’s List for a while, looking for a good opportunity or fit for me musically in order to get back out and playing. I finally found one and after a couple of weeks of talking and hanging out on stage at a couple of D-Note jam sessions. G’Jai is local singer transplanted from Detroit. Our gain, their loss. She’s got a great voice and dynamic stag e presence. She is putting together some new musicians from the current band she has and I managed to work my way into it all. Any of the few people that saw us at the jams thought I was already part of the group but it only became official today. I haven’t met any of the other musicians for sure. I met a drummer named Michael last Wed. night at the D-Note and 2 weeks ago G-Jai’s current sax player was there. Soon enough. I’m excited. It’s where I’ve been heading for quite a while and now I started me journey.

So my first gig with G’Jai’s Jook Joint Blues Band will be Oct. 19th at the Rusty Bucket on south Wadsworth. Just a few blocks from my house. So it’s time to invite the neighborhood down for a party!

More news to follow…

An experiment in Guitar Repair – part II
Aug 18th, 2013 by FrederickRM

I don’t know how I missed it but upon looking at the Craviola again I noticed the bridge plate has a MAJOR crack in it. So I have 2 choices: Try to make a new one myself, which I think I can do, or take it to someone else who knows what they’re doing. I think I will try and shape one before I attempt removing the old one just to see how far I get. Even if I get one made that looks useable I might take it to someone to install it. Either way this project now goes on the back burner for a bit.

Set up for slide only, I am thinking about putting new nut on it so I can play it normal and slide.

Set up for slide only, I am thinking about putting new nut on it so I can play it normal and slide.

I am moving on to making a new nut for my Eastwood Delta 6. It came with a high nut ideal for playing slide only. But I have been craving the idea of being to do both since I really like that dobro sound played normal.

I took the old nut off easily. No glue so I suspect it was built to do a fairly quick change. I will keep it that way assuming the new nut doesn’t slide from side to side. Using the same Corian material I got the over sized new blank to fit nice and snug. I used a mechanical pencil to mark the fingerboard radius because it has a very fine point. Now I need to measure the height of the first fret and add to it based on Dan Erlewine’s tutorial.

I mentioned before that Corian in the form of old, used counter tops was easy enough to come by. But I found another source. Your Big Box Store! As long as your nut is less than 2″ wide, most are, you can go to the kitchen remodeling department and ask for counter top samples using man-made materials. I would use a different term or just look at them like you’re going to actually remodel a kitchen. They come in a large variety of colors including white and ivory for those traditionalists. Or get a black marbled look, green, whatever. The samples I got were 2″ square which is enough for several mistakes or 4 good nuts. I test cut one of the samples shown and it cut pretty much like the Corian but seemed a bit harder. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but the final test will be sound. If it don’t sound good it doesn’t matter. So I will probably do a test with one of these after I finish the Delta. I have a Tele copy that’s screaming for a not-so-plastic nut.

An experiment in Guitar Repair
Aug 15th, 2013 by FrederickRM

I dabble in guitar repair and setup, for myself only. On rare occasions I will do something for someone else if I feel very confident I can do it properly. And I’ve made some mistakes in the past. At least one that I truly regret (on my own guitar). This time it’s something completely new to me.

I’ve installed new nuts a few times, including adding the grooves in. But never MADE one from scratch. I recently opened the case of my  Giannini Craviola, which I’ve had since 1972 (bought it NEW), and discovered the 40 year old plastic (probably) nut had broken without provocation. My first thought was “I’ll order a new TUSQ nut from StewMac and put it on”. I did a little web surfing and found a video by a guy who had done exactly this on the exact same guitar model. So that was my plan. Until I came across some little tidbit about a CORIAN nut on a guitar! Corian? I have BIG pieces of that in my garage. Enough for THOUSANDS of nuts (they’re small after all). I read more about it and discovered that, while many purists prefer bone, TUSQ and CORIAN are an acceptable second choice, some even preferred them. So that was that. I’m going to cut off a slice of CORIAN and make my own nut for this old girl.

I found a tutorial on StewMac.com that explained pretty much everything  I needed to know about cutting, grooving and shaping it properly. It’s a great site for tools and parts but Dan Erlewine also shares his, and others, vast knowledge of guitars with the public. So I started by getting the thickness of the blank to fit snug. I cut it on my chop saw, moving the blade down slowly so nothing went flying. After measuring with my cheap $10 Harbor Freight digital caliper, I started sanding with 100 grit sandpaper on a flat surface to get it close to the thickness I needed. Once it was close I test fitted it and moved to 220 grit, then to 400 grit and it fit perfect. I cut it roughly to the width of the fretboard, leaving it a good .25″ wider on each side. I have my blank ready to finish up. That’s all the further I have gotten tonight. Tomorrow and this weekend I will continue following Dan’s instructions and get the height set, then groove it, cut to finished width and shape it. I am anxious to see and hear how it sounds, assuming I don’t mess it up. I am being VERY careful not to go too far with any step and leaving the power tools unplugged. As hard as Corian is, it won’t take long to ruin it with a power sander. Not to mention a piece that small is very hard to hold onto.

By the way, CORIAN is a man made material primarily used in counter tops. It’s a fairly old formula by Dupont. Somewhere in the late 1960’s or so it came to be. There are companies using the material under different brand names but finding old counter tops tossed out is fairly easy. I don’t have a method to tell if it’s CORIAN or something similar like Meganite, but take a piece of sandpaper and see if it sands at all. If not then it might be something too hard to work. CORIAN sands very nicely and works with standard tools. It’s basically a very hard plastic. I even used some to make a stylized unicorn head for my daughter on the scroll saw. My pieces are all white but it comes in lots of colors. Making a blue or red nut could be interesting…

 Corian Nut Blank

 

Jam Night at the D-Note
Aug 15th, 2013 by FrederickRM

I’ve been meaning to start going to some of the Blues jams around Denver, and there are a LOT of them, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. Until last night.

I’ve been talking with a local blues singing transplant from Detroit, G’Jai, about joining her band and she wanted to meet up there and play a few tunes to get a feel for me. She brought her sax player Andy and we took the stage for about 3 songs with a host of other players. I only know a few names but Alan Knight was playing guitar and Tony was on sax with Andy. To those other gentlemen: Sorry I didn’t get your names but you were all great.

We ran through Rock Me Baby then slowed down for I’d Rather Go Blind then rocked it with Shaky Ground. Lots of great soloing and G’Jai was hot on vocals. Rhythm section was great with smooth dynamics and following the songs. Tony and Andy were hot on sax and Alan is obviously a veteran player. Hats off to the poor keyboard player who was off-stage. We kept forgetting about him but he followed everything without fail like a pro.

At one point before we got up to play, 3 kids joined some of the pros for 4 tunes. One was on bass guitar, he followed the sings really well, stayed nicely in the groove and even got nice solo in. Sam was on sax and did fairly well but looked shell shocked most of the time. To be expected. Then there was this kid on vibraphone! He was SO good it was frightening. He played with style and a good melodic sense and was barely tall enough to get a good angle with the mallets. And they were all about 13 years old! I didn’t even start playing guitar until then let alone going to jam sessions. My hats off to them for taking that step with their music!

All in all it was a great time and I got to see an old friend Robb Hendershot too! I plan to do it more often but next time will be ready to do some vocals as well. I’ll even publicize when I plan to be at one so any of my friends who are interested and available can go check out some local talent.

Changes coming soon.
Aug 3rd, 2013 by FrederickRM

I am going to change this site to completely music and leave all the design examples and other career stuff to my other site: frederickmatzen.com.

I’ve set it up already for that and it just makes sense to make this all about music, maybe a little more.

I am also going to put some work into the site look and feel to make it more my own and more music oriented. It’s currently just a stock template I found and liked but never took it further than that. So on with the show!

SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa