Blog and News!
Saturday, December 15th at 3:30 pm Evergreen Community Orchestra, in which I play bass, will be performing its 2018 Christmas holiday concert Carols & Classics.
We will be performing at Everett First Presbyterian Church at 2936 Rockefeller Avenue in Everett, Washington. If you are in the area, come on in and enjoy the music!
The performance will include favorite Christmas carols including some European tunes and Hanukkah music topped off with Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D. I’m sure you will enjoy it and like Steve Martin in the movie, “The Jerk”, you may go away saying, “Well, if this is out there, think how much more is out there. This is the kinda music that tells me to go out there and BE somebody!”
I mentioned this a while ago that I decided, as they say, “to diversify”….. into providing sheet music. I have been making notating scores, individual instrument parts and/or lead sheets and chord charts available for sale on my web site. So, as of today, I have posted sheet music for the following compositions:
- Trailer Park Santa
- Hallelujah Chorus
- All Things New
- Mary’s Gift
- Angeline the Baker
- Bluesy Bach Opus 1
I hope to continue notating scores and I will be getting the rest of the Bluesy Bach pieces notated, hopefully sooner rather than later.
You can find them on the Sheet Music page.
Here is a preview of “Angeline the Baker”. I found this tune in a book called “The Fiddler’s Fakebook” left over from my aborted attempt at learning to play the violin/fiddle. I never got rid of the book because I love a lot of the music in there and find it enjoyable to play on the guitar.
My recording of “Angeline the Baker” is an arrangement I created of an old time fiddle tune based on a song called “Angelina Baker” written by Stephen Foster for the Christy Minstrels, and published in 1850. The original laments the loss of a woman slave, sent away by her owner. The melody of the fiddle tune, Angeline the Baker differs from the Stephen Foster version.
In my arrangement and instrumentation in this recording I spiced it up and added a bit of country flavor! See my music page to buy a copy of Angeline the Baker.
Like this post? Then check out Mozart!
I thought I would share my attempt at emulating the synth bass sound in Michael Jackson’s Thriller using the Roland GR-55 guitar synthesizer and my Ibanez bass equipped with a Roland GK-3B bass pickup.
First of all, the pickup and controller installation on my bass is not ideal from a playability standpoint due to the shape and layout of my bass. I have tried mounting it in various locations and where I have it now seems to be the best compromise. One of the annoying things about the controller is that the volume knob is very loose and super easy to bump while playing which results in unintended consequences! To remedy that I pulled the knob off the shaft and added an O-ring around the shaft and put some foam into the inside knob cavity. That really tightened it up so accidental volume changes are not an issue anymore for me. The other problem is the S1/S2 switches are also easy to bump, but by being careful during playing I have been able to avoid them. However, I would like to find a more fool proof solution. If you have any ideas, let me know!
GR-55 Floorboard Settings
In the video below, the first image is the main page in the GR-55 Floorboard Editor (courtesy of Gumtown on Vguitarforums.com) and as it shows, for the Thriller patch I am using two PCM synth sounds, number 241 Synth Bass 2 and 18 Fretless Bass as well as an electric bass COSM model and some of my normal pickups blended in. I found that having the electric bass blended in added a little more definition which is needed for the staccato parts in Thriller.
The image for PCM Synth 1 shows the details for that tone. I believe that a Mini Moog was used in the Jackson recording. There is a PCM tone in the GR-55 called Big Mini that I thought could be a Moog like tone, but when I used it the sound just wasn’t right. So I auditioned more PCM tones and finally settled on 241.
The image for PCM Synth 2 shows the details for that tone which is for tone 218 Fretless Bass 1. This gave the sound it a little more edge.
The next image is for the electric bass COSM model, which in this case is number 4, Precision Bass. As you can see I have the volume and tone at 100 %.
And finally, the last screen is for the amp that I chose: A clean bass amp with middle gain. Next is a short sample of how the GR-55 Thriller Bass patch sounds.
Here’s the video.
Here is a short video I recorded while in Hawaii of the Royal Hawaiian Concert Band performing the song “Kuhio Bay“. This was on the lawn, under an enormous tree, in front of the Iolani Palace built by the Kingdom of Hawaii. As described on the band’s website, it was “Founded in 1836 by King Kamehameha III, the Royal Hawaiian Band is the only band in the United States with a royal legacy and is currently an agency of the City and County of Honolulu. The mission of the band is to promote music, preserve Hawaiian musical culture, inspire young musicians, and enrich the lives of the people of Hawai‘i…..From its royal beginnings in 1836, the Royal Hawaiian Band has entertained audiences in Hawai‘i and around the world for 180 years. Once known as the “King’s Band,” it was created by King Kamehameha III and became a staple of daily life by performing for state occasions, funerals, and marching in parades. The band accompanied Hawaiian monarchs on frequent trips to the outer islands, bringing music to remote destinations of the kingdom, such as the leper colony of Kalaupapa on the island of Moloka‘i.”
Mahalo for watching!
I thought I would share a few photos from my last trip to Hawaii. This visit was on the island of O’ahu. The photo gallery includes a picture of the stained glass window at the rear of St. Augustine church on Waikiki, flying guitars in Hard Rock Cafe – Honolulu and other miscellaneous scenes around the island. Every time I go to O’ahu I enjoy visiting the somber Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. We also paid a visit to Iolani Palace, home to the last Hawaiian royalty, which included attending a concert on the lawn outside by the Royal Hawaiian Concert Band.