What are you playing these days??

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

What are you playing these days??

Postby stratman_27 » Sat Feb 11, 2006 2:20 am

These days I'm trying my best to relearn to play guitar on a beautiful better than I deserve American Strat. I just got her on Ebay and bought a Peavey Classic 30 to be the stage she dances on. I haven't played a guitar in nearly 13 years and I got the itch to play again so here I am. I come from hard rock (80's) as my teenage years. I cut my teeth on Def Leppard tunes and Eddie Van Halen was every teenage guitar players idol. I couldn't stomach it for very long and dove deeply into whatever "older music" I could get my hands on. At the time I had 3-4 Ibanez guitars, about a dozen effects pedals and a Bandit 65 amplifier. Looking back I realized I really didn't have much of a guitar tone other than what the effects gave it. I found Led Zeppelein and this guy named Jimmy Page played for them and he could just flat wail when he wanted to but he had something that all those guys didnt have "tone" I copied Jimmy. I also liked Cream and another Jimi. I had to have a new guitar my Yahmaha wasn't cutting it. So I bought myself a cherry sunburst Les Paul Deluxe this was when the vintage guitar market didn't exist. I payed a mere $650 for a near mint condition 1972 model in 1991. I thought it was a small fortune to pay for a guitar but I had to have it. It was then that I bought my first tube amp, believe it or not a Peavey Classic 30 and I found my tone. My tone was hard driven and raunchy but cleaned up crystal clear when you backed out of the gas(volume knob). I was playing it a sucessful "classic" rock band in the central Kentucky area. We did basically the stuff from say 1968 to 1980. Our signature sound was kinda "Led Zep/ Cream" we were a 3 piece with an friend who played keyboards/guitar would sit in for a set. I found my route to the blues through Page and Clapton.

Well me 13 years later, I'm playing Jimi, Trower, Clapton, Mucho SRV, some vintage ZZ Top, I keeping coming back to some of Zep's bluesier tunes. I guess I was a bluesman back then as well trapped in the body of the 80's Hair and 90's Grunge scene. We could always bring down the house with "Since I've been Loving You" and "You Shook Me"

Did anyone else come by the road that I did from rock to blue but really you were playing blues all the time. Like Jerry and Bob told you "What a long, strange trip its been."



You Damn Right I Got the Blues" Buddy Guy
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby caub » Sat Feb 11, 2006 3:27 am

I got turned on to blues the same way you pretty much the same way you did, only I was not playing guitar yet at the time. I started listening to a lot of classic rock but I never liked most bands more popular songs. Eventually after I started hearing more blues I realized that my favorite songs from classic rock bands were blues songs. I learned about blues by find stuff by the guys who influenced the bands I liked. Now I don't really care for the classic rock anymore, but I listen to a lot of blues.
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby mickeypainless » Sat Feb 11, 2006 4:23 am

I'd have to say my "Interest" in music started in the mid to late 60's and even at 10 years old I wanted to be Jim Morrison AND play guitar but my parents would only pay for trumpet lessons. "Whiskey Bar" on a horn just don't quite cut it!
I finally talked the folks into guitar lessons but the only ones to be had for cheap was "Lap style" guitar which I had NO interest in (To bad in hind sight) and I'd always try to fret that nasty ol' acoustic with about a 1/4 inch action. My fingers hurt so damn bad for weeks! Never went on w/ it at that time but picked the guitar up so many times over the next 35 or so years that had I stuck w/ it I imagine I'd be pretty good by now! LOL
Along the way the music I listened to varied but alot of it had blues influence! Cream end of 60's to early 70's Zepplin in the early 70's. Jimi, Johnny and Edgar Winter, Steppin Wolf, some Grateful Dead. Joined the US Navy in 75 and when disco hit I was lost for a brief moment till I discovered Southern Rock! Marshall Tucker, Skynard, Allmans.
Interspersed through out there has been alot of old school country, Crosby,Stills, Nash and Young, CCR, Clapton, Beatles, Croce, Cat Stevens even! Always been pretty open minded! I have no use for disco, pop, boy bands or Britney (although fun to look at w/out sound). Little use for new style/cross over Country. I appreciate Jazz as well as good R&B. Even some of the Rap and Hip Hop can have a pretty cool beat!
Through out it all I have dug the blues in most all the styles. Have only been back into guitar with true dedication a couple years and into slide about a year now. I've messed w/ harmonica some in the past and started pickin up some different keys a few months back.
Due to the gang on BRB I have become interested in doing research on some of the old timers and have broadened my listening base 10 fold!
This post has turned into a short story so I'll list my gear another time!
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby bigdaddy » Sat Feb 11, 2006 1:14 pm

I believe many of us found our way to the blues from rock and roll. I liked pop music growing up. That stuff on the radio. We burglarized a head shop when I was 15. My friends took Zep, Sabbath, ect. I took James Taylor "Sweet Baby James." I have The Monkees, Beatles, Leslie Gore, stuff like that in my CD collection. I am a big Leslie Gore fan. I played drums in rock/metal bands but was never satisfied even playin' my own songs in that style. Then arthritis hits the left hand and couldn't fret the neck for to long. Looked into open G tuning and the blues. I have always liked the blues and I think everyone does. I lean towards electric powerhouse blues. Great stuff. These days I play the bass. I swallow MSM to help with the hand joints but I don't really fret the bass like I fret a guitar. On my strat I have developed a blues style of my own. I like playin' it and when I busk on the street people stop and seem to like it also. I dig the blues because of the honesty and stories in the songs. I still play my own songs and my band backs me on that so far. To me, writing your own songs and expressing your own ideas is what a musician does. Cover bands are okay but I don't tend to give them the same status original bands should have. I mean, why recreate the Mona Lisa a 1000 times? We do 6 covers out of 30 songs that we play. We also rearrange the covers as we see fit. People will jam to good music. If we play a song and don't get a reaction out of the crowd then we pull it and stick another. Right now our sets seem to get everyone moving.
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby maxx england » Sat Feb 11, 2006 2:48 pm

Never played anything but blues. Got into the music because all the stuff I liked, all the ignorant people around me kept saying "that's only 12 bar blues, that's rubbish". Trouble was, my head and my heart know they were, are and always will be wrong; so like so many of us, I live in a state of rebellion against smug, false and processed commercial crap.
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Britney comment

Postby stratman_27 » Sat Feb 11, 2006 3:07 pm

I agree 100% Britney is best when she's muted on MTV with something like LA Woman playing in the background. GRRRRRRRR

"You Damn Right I Got the Blues" Buddy Guy
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby trguitar » Sat Feb 11, 2006 4:46 pm

Stratman_27

I hear you man. I'm still a classic rock guy but love the blues. I started playing guitar in the late 1970's. I did all the hair band stuff and some grunge and yes I remember (kicks self is ass) when there was no vintage market and I saw Les Pauls selling used for under $500! Back in 1992 we had a classic rock band, me and a bunch of younger guys. We did do our share of Guns and Roses but my song choices were always classic rock numbers. Heck, even had the police show up at a BBQ right in the middle of Stairway to Heaven. They said it sounded good. lol I've been playing the whole time. I still got my Jackson Stealth although I don't really play it. My latest guitar is a resonator. Welcome back!
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby lorilu » Sat Feb 11, 2006 5:14 pm

I started in the 70's playing air drums at 13 years old to Led Zeppelin (Jon Bonham). It took me many, many years to finally get real drums. Good thing I think I'm still really young. I got to the blues through Bonnie Raitt and Muddy Waters when I was 18 and 20. Got busy with life and found Zapp's Park 14 years ago, a hole in the wall tiny bar here. Live music, blues, musicians which led to it becoming my main focus and interest.
I always loved lyrics and songs and the sounds of instruments and vocals. Someone gave me Steely Dan's "Pretzel Logic" when I was 13 and that opened some things up for me besides Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, LZ. I was also given a Joan Baez album with old english ballads at 12 and wore that one out. That led me to Bob Dylan and The Band and George Harrison. Woodstock and, of course, Janis. I listened to Pearl day and night.
I prefer originals or like Big Daddy said what they do to covers. I don't go see cover bands. Especially not doing 70's music. The blues is a bit different and there are so many songs. But I don't want to hear all the same stuff over again. Take what I love and make my own.
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby ricochet » Sat Feb 11, 2006 5:44 pm

>I swallow MSM to help with the hand joints

When my shoulder gets to aching from playing a lot, I rub some of that "not for human use, sold as a solvent only" DMSO on it. Kinda tingles and itches a little, but it sure does make my shoulder feel better. Downside is that it makes me smell like a dead skunk beside a fresh steaming dogpile in the middle of a garlic patch, downwind from a paper mill. (Speaking of which, DMSO is a byproduct of paper pulp manufacture.) MSM's a DMSO derivative.


"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby jeffl » Sat Feb 11, 2006 6:04 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Feb-11-06 AT 01:05 PM (EST)]I gotta be honest: I'm playin' anything I can these days. My band(s) situation kept crumbling under my feet during a 3 month period of time,so gigs were sporadic,some weeks there were no rehearsals,and I've kept goin' by goin' to a jam once a week,and sittin' in for a few tunes at clubs with acquaintances of mine. I've played alotta blues/rock harp,and blues,and even a little country harp with these different bands, and I'm glad to be playin' anything. Thank God I've got a good piano at home to play in between practicin' and jammin' harp alone at home. I'm invited down to a club about 10 miles from home tonite,to sit in and jam with a band I played a few tunes with last nite,and I'll prob'ly go. The guitar player/singer is a great talent (the rest of his band is good,as well) who has his own recording studio,and it can't be a bad thing to get to know those guys,in case they have some opportunities for me in the future- whether on stage or in the studio. I used to share an apartment with the drummer,30 years ago,and we had a blast then,so it's been good to play with him again. I'm very thankful to be playin' every week-somewhere,somehow- regardless of what kind of music it is. You can always jam the blues.
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby lorilu » Sat Feb 11, 2006 7:13 pm

Right on. Have a great time, Bubba. I didn't mean to sound like a music snob. And I'm not really. I do get tired of the arrogant guys that play in cover bands and think their s..t don't smell like how Ricochet was describing...Nice job on that description Ricochet, you are truly a poet and a scholar.
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby allanlummox » Sat Feb 11, 2006 7:36 pm

After taking some "time off" I've started the new season - there's evidence that I was getting grumpy.

Yesterday, I warmed up busking on Telegraph and played my first "scheduled" show since Christmas - at my beloved "treehouse" bar, the Missouri.

Some newer songs, played in public for the first time, were "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning", Skip James' " Crow Jane", and "Lean On Me".

As ever, my set is a mixed bag of Blues from various eras and songs I just plain like. Another recent addition - one I started playing around October - is Jimmy Cliff's "Sitting in Limbo". I also played the song I "Learned before coming to California - for all the Deadheads there" - a solo guitar version of Scarlett Begonias.

My musical guest was a new aquaintance - Brad Rinker, an acoustic Tapper with some serious technique.

Nice evening. Slight hangover, but that fuzzy elated feeling that I'm back on the track.
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby bighollowtwang » Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:37 pm

I am eternally grateful to my dad and his fantastic record collection for steering me the right way when I was a kid. Thankfully I bypassed all that 60s-rock-posing-as-blues stuff that seems so popular with folks around here.
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby bignick » Sat Feb 11, 2006 9:07 pm

Wow you guys have been at this for years. I feel like I don't even belong on this post haha.

Here is the summary of my beginning: Born in 1981, missed out on all the cool stuff. I caught the GAS from Jimmy Page, got a Squier Strat pack at 17. Decided to switch to drums after about a year of fiddling. Played ACDC and 80s covers with a shredding buddy of mine. Recieved a football scholarship to GVSU, didn't have a whole lot of time to play. Switched back to guitar after blowing my knee out a couple years back and ending my football career. Caught the blues bug after a string of bad relationships. Standard tuning traditional guitar wasn't doing it for me creatively..picked up a slide. Traded my nu-metal guitar in for a strat. Bought a resonator, never looked back.

I've been on slide for about 3 years, but didn't really start playing consistently until last summer.

I am currently playing on an early 90s Oscar Schmidt Les Paul copy with EMGs, Fender Deluxe Strat with Duncans, Epiphone Dot with Duncans, and my Beard Gold Tone Resonator. All of it played through a Fender 40watt Tube Deluxe.

I play my own tunes but love Eric Sardinas, ZZ Top, George Thorogood, Warren Haynes, and Miss. Fred McDowell.
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RE: What are you playing these days??

Postby lorilu » Sat Feb 11, 2006 9:13 pm

Hey Big Nick,
You sure have done a lot and have some taste.
Zack,
Now, now.
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