Black coffee & G3. What a way to spend a morning

Today I decided to wake the house up with this:

It just had to be done. Twice, actually (well, OK maybe 3 times). It’s not so sunny today so not feeling wildly motivated to get up and leap about the place so I thought a bit of musical assistance was called for. This certainly did the trick. I played the rest of the concert too but My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama, really gets me moving of a morning.

Homework wise, I still have lots of Eric to learn and also, a bit of back treading and using Evil Eye – Yngwie Malmsteen, as a speed exercise.
Definitely getting faster. Chatting with another guitarist, online, he said that he was using a metronome to give a beat to pick to. He, like me, said that he learned a run, a few notes at a time to memorise but then found himself putting pauses in where there wasn’t one, as that’s the way he’s learned it. Section by section. I tend to do this and have the same problem with tiny pauses between the sections that I’ve learned so it all sounds really choppy. The first run in Cliffs of Dover, I have been playing in 3 parts, with tiny pauses between and it sounds horrible beyond belief. I’ve played it slowly, with the metronome at 90bpm so it’s much smoother now, so now speeding up and up. Same with the Evil Eye bit.

Not totally sure what Leigh would think of this. I guess that he’ll know when he reads it, but it’s helping me speed things up and lose the horrible pauses. I am having a lot of fun with it. I’ve been working on rhythmn generally for a couple of days. I don’t think that I am improving at all but Leigh does, which is the main thing, I guess.

This week is quite quiet, work wise, so I am going to try and knuckle down and get more practice in. I hope to get a good 3 half an hour’s practices in a day this week. I have a database to finish for Norwich Guitar Academy, but my internet has got a bit on and offy. Waiting for a new hub thing as they think that the one they supplied is faulty. You are telling me! My internet is up and down like a yoyo. Not helpful at all.

Breakfast is calling now, so I shall clear off and then back to my guitar after.


Coming along, I think

Firstly, I had a look at that Fender in PMT. It’s bloomin’ lovely. However, I do need to play it, plugged in and through some headphones. Firstly so I don’t come across as a complete numpty in a public place with my rather pants skills (or not), and secondly, I can hear so much better through the headphones, all the little nuances and whatnot as I change volume, tone etc. I guess this comes of a lot of midnight and small hours practice with headphones so as not to annoy the neighbours.

Leigh says that I might want to look at a couple of Mexican Strats while I am at it. I can trade in my Epiphone Les Paul and my Epiphone Dove, which are eating their head off and not doing any actual work here, in my office. I rarely play acoustic at the moment and we do have a Takamine with a single cut out, which is easier for my rubbish hands at the fun end of the fret board. I do occasionally play the Les Paul, as I feel sorry for it because Kenn never plays now.

Alone With You, seems to be shaping up nicely. I’ve got the intro sussed, but not quite up to EJ speed. However, by the time he’d recorded that he’d been playing 15 years or so, and I’ve been playing 18 months. Nearly 19 now, so that’s that excuse busted. I love that track. Cliffs of Dover is improving. Definitely improving. I need to get a bit (lot) more hand stretch going on to improve but I have exercises for that, which I do. Both on and off the fret board.

We are all very happy here today. I put a comment on Eric Johnson’s Facebook feed after he posted :

I just said that I had posted this on the Norwich Guitar Academy website to illustrate versatility to our students. I got a like from EJ himself. Warm and fuzzy feeling abounds. Check out the track, available on iTunes but I couldn’t find it on the UK iTunes which is a bit of a downer. It said ‘no go away’ or words to that effect.

Back to the practice then. I’ve critiqued the new blurb on our new homepage, that is being built for the NGA website. The new version will be up soon, even if I have to get in there and push. If I don’t practice, I won’t improve.

Chat soon


Practice practice

I’ve had a pretty good practice day today.

I started with Alone with you.

Trying to get those slides and whatnot is playing havoc with my fingers, but I practice them in 5 minute bursts and they seem to be coming along.

Cliffs of Dover intro, is blooming hard work. Finger are getting faster. I work at the first bar, and get some speed up, then the second bar and then the 3rd bar. Then put the whole lot together, rinse and repeat. Then the 4th, 5th & 6th and so on and so forth. Steve Vai says to practice giving every note it’s own zip code. I’m assuming that he means postcode, with me being of the English persuasion. I figure that Steve Vai probably knows what he is talking about, so that’s how I practice.

I’ve been going really of piste today with some CCR, some easy exercises and chord changes to mix things up a bit, then back to the EJ. I have bought 2 new EJ CDs today too. Live in Europe and Up Close – Another Look. Can’t wait for them to arrive.

Things are moving along on the Norwich Guitar Academy front too.
We have had a chat about prizes with a local guitar shop, which was very positive. Very positive about the NGA-day we are planning in the near future as well. I’d better order some extra biscuits in if we are having people over.

While in the shop, I saw the most gorgeous, 2nd hand guitar too. Nearly £700 though. I’m wondering if I can take my wages in guitar 🙂

Back to work then.


Sadly lacking in the blogging department

Well I have been.

I am still trying to get to grips with Cliffs of Dover but have been somewhat sidetracked by Alone With You, from Eric Johnson’s Seven Worlds album. I just love it

I wish that I had the time to get more practice in but it’s been hard lately as life keeps getting in the way and practice at midnight (with headphones) is fast becoming the norm around here. With an ill husband, dogs, work, cycling and a seemingly never ending stream of stuff that really needs to be done before I can have fun, my poor guitar has taken a back seat of late and I’m getting a bit fed up with the situation.

I need to sit down and work out some sort of schedule. Since stopping my dog grooming business – last lot of accounts being sorted and the tax return being done in the next couple of days – my life has been a bit strange without its usual structure. When I was working properly, I had time to do things. Now my days are more flexible, I don’t. All the too-ing & fro-ing with Husband, to the hospital is not helping matters.

On the upside, the sun has been shining of late so I’ve been able to get out and do some nice, outdoor exercise. Still not practice though, but it seems such a shame not to get out on my extortionately expensive bike and get some miles in while I have the weather.

I did teach myself Up Around the Bend the other day, which was great fun. I’ve also had a wee crack at Whole Lot of Rosie too, as well as re-learning Parisienne Walkways, as I’d forgotten most of it. I’m playing most days but would like to get a couple of hours or more in a day.

New work, is going OK. I am building databases, talking to customers, organising things and trying to get a meeting with one of the local shops so I can offer a prize for a wee competition we are going to run. Having a whole week, out of action and in horrendous pain, in the run up to Easter, hasn’t helped much at all. I couldn’t think, let alone talk to people. Actually, one side of my head was so swollen, I really couldn’t talk to people. My Husband said that I sounded drunk, and as I don’t actually drink, he found it quite amusing. I was a bit all over the place on some pretty pokey painkillers and failed to see the humour in it all.

We, at Norwich Guitar Academy, will have some fun news soon. Things are in the pipeline and deadlines set. I will blog more and will get news up on here as soon as I have it. Meanwhile, I’ve got some Eric Johnson to learn.