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Gear I can't seem to live without

While I'm really not much of a gear fetishist -- musical instruments, and the tools that go with them, have come and gone a lot in my  life -- I am discovering that some gear is just too sweet to move on from.

I'm in the process of selling off most of my musical gear. A lot of stuff I have had purely for the rigors of long-term, old school, professional touring. Since I am now fully new school, I just don't need this stuff anymore. For example, speakers. I don't need them anymore. I am using in-ear monitors and I go direct to the house board. And if you don't need speakers, then you don't need power amps either.

And since I am presently processing my live instrument entirely through the laptop, then I don't need stomp boxes or effects racks either.

The process of selling off my stuff is quite slow and laborous. And it turns out, there are few things that I just can't let go. Some boxes do something so unique that I can't send them off. Other things (a compressor and preamp, for example) I had planned on selling, but when I pulled them out to check that they were in good enough condition, I just couldn't... They had something about them that just made me hold on. There was some extra life that they added to the instrument that I could feel and sense in the articulation of my hands.

Here are those items. Those ones that I just couldn't let go and be replaced by their digital counterparts. I haven't included any of my Warr Guitars -- my main tapping instrument -- as it goes without saying that I can't play without them.


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Austin Powers & the Merciful Blending of Time

“Austin Powers” is a piece by Alex Machacek that he, Marco Minnemann and I are working up for the UKZ shows in Japan. The recorded version is on Alex’s recording “[sic]”.

This “three-piece suit and a poison pen” of a tune has some of the most challenging rhythms I have ever attempted. The musical worlds that I move comfortably in, all have four, or occasionally three, subdivisions to the beat. The bars could be composed of any numbers of beats - 5, 8, 9, 13, etc... - but each of those beats are broken up in to four small pulses.

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Aikido, the Dojo & Self-Defense

I attended a very interesting meeting last week at the Aikido Dojo <Tenzan Aikido> where I practice. It is still resonating with me.

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1st Weeks Teaching

I have begun teaching in a fairly substantial way lately, and I love it. I have had a few private students over the last few years although no one has hung around for terribly long. Either their interest in studying with me was a ruse in order to meet me, and once they did the process was complete. Or, they had come to learn how to play a touchstyle instrument (Warr Guitar or Stick or that style adapted to guitar or bass). But once I showed them the work involved they quickly vanished! Who knows? Most likely it wasn’t time for me to be giving instructions. So I answered their questions and they mostly moved on.

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