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Golden Smoghead

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About Golden Smoghead

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    Grasshopper Greensnake
  • Birthday 12/31/1978

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    People's Republic of Maryland

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  1. Having done this many times, I'd just advise to try to sing the vocals as clean as possible. I usually change SOMETHING in the vocals when I am performing live -- which I think is a good thing for shows -- but those really annoy me later on with these projects. Alternate concept: I'm just not a great singer and can never make a great-sounding vocal take live.
  2. Huh. I had no idea that is how that sound is produced, thanks for spelling it out.
  3. Oh come on. You don't know a song that has D / A / G? That's literally all it takes to try out the five-string capo at the second fret. The only, only thing different is strum the bottom string when you play the D. I promise, that is exactly the only thing you have to do different ... but it might get you hearing slightly different. This is why I started the thread, because some of the ideas in here don't sound too hard but get me thinking. (and i do think of this as basically the songwriting / gear forum on the site) Like I've never messed with harmonics other than tuning, but Moss has me thinking about the times I'm already noodling at a harmonic fret, why DON'T I try out the harmonic notes and see what that sounds like? That's exactly the kind of idea I wouldn't think of on my own, but seems obvious to Moss. (and yes I realize that's not exactly what Moss is talking about but I don't fingerpick / scared of trying to pluck while picking)
  4. I like the entry you got! (OK so just another vote that you seem like a good dude doing good things and keep it up.)
  5. A long time ago I was watching a video of Guy Clark playing and saw him use a capo for just five strings. I just copied him, thought it was cool and didn't think much about it. But then in a music store a few weeks ago I was doing this and the instructors there all gathered around to think about it. I was a little surprised, so I am wondering if you guys do anything you thought everyone knows about, but you've gotten questions on. The technique I assumed everyone knows about: It only works with those alligator-clip type of capos, you basically would capo five of the strings at the second fret (for D-shape chords) or fourth fret (for C-shape chords) so that the bass string rings the root. More or less, with the capo at 2, it's in drop-D except you can still fret the bottom string for standard chord-shapes that use the bass (like G or C/G or F). Definitely fun at 2, but I actually use it more at 4 because I like the barre-type chords you can slide between with the root ringing. (actually A and B, shaped like F and G) I am not sure if this is a great topic thread or not, but what got me thinking about it was the Nashville High Tuning stuff we talked about on this forum a couple years ago. I just wonder what other tricks you guys have up your sleeves, because I really had fun with the Nashville Tuning experiment. The only other kind-of-unusual thing I do is tune into DADGBD, which I know is close to DADGAD so common in bluegrass etc, but I like the chords you can make with the B in the normal tuning. (and still be able to riff around with a chord at the bottom)
  6. FWIW, I strongly prefer "bluegrass gauge" strings when I can get them for my acoustics. I seldom strum the top strings (will strum middle or bass sets) so I like how they ring out (sharper with less sustain) when I reach for them with the lighter gauge up there. Also I like having more sustain on the lower strings, especially the E and D strings end up having to hold down roots while I noodle around sometimes. I DO think that different body types / tonewoods / whatever do sound better with different string-types though. So for me I have owned some cheaper guitars that sounded like total garbage with lights, but OK with medium and above. (Thinking of the cheapo Fender I learned on here.) I have never known anybody who played with heavy gauge acoustic strings. I think I'm probably too weak to do that myself, plus I feel like some heavy-metal guy I knew really liked them which made me dislike them. My electric strings are almost always just matched to my guitars, so for example I use a wound G with my guitars that use humbuckers. When I had a strat I liked the more-standard unwound G instead. I used flats for awhile on my Gretsch a couple years ago, but switched when I adopted a more rockabilly sound.
  7. Just in case folks aren't on their mailing list... There's a presale on for some May and June dates if you join. I will be catching them the Monday after Bonnaroo (in Columbia, MD).
  8. Thanks for those links, very helpful. I didn't realize the M1A was active (duh from the name) hence the confusing DI question. So yeah sounds like you could run the same setup on the post-pre-amp DI since it's just for color. On that note, I am not super-impressed with the Fishman Aura in my Martin as far as sound-shaping goes. I know all electronics are going to sound fake to a degree, but the Aura is just unsatisfactory to my ears, even with all those settings to mess with. I have been wondering if it might be because the Aura is linked into the piezo (and it's really piezos I don't like rather than the Fishman gear itself). So that's why I'm probably going to try out the M1A, see if in general I just like the sound of magnetic acoustic guitar pickups better. Then I'll look at if I want to try out another DI -- basically I'm guessing if the M1A just sounds a ton better to me without other DI, I'll never get the rig in the Martin to sound the way I want. P.S. no idea why i spelled "Martin" "Marting" not once but twice in my last post. And agree on the Seagull. The only guitar I ever miss is a Washburn acoustic I had a couple years ago... Some of these low-end acoustic manufacturers can really have individual gems here and there.
  9. Thanks for the tips, man. I don't play solo very often these days, for that part of the question. I play a Marting D-18 with on-board Fishman Aura pickups (where you can blend Aura with piezo) for the most part. However, my second acoustic guitar is a currently-uninmic'ed Seagull which I like a lot. I'm thinking about playing it as my second guitar and installing the Baggs you mentioned. Mostly with it tuned DADGBD, for about four speciality songs I have in that tuning. So I guess what I'm looking for is mostly what you mentioned / what I saw on your soundboard (xciter / how many lines do you run / etc) for both a new Baggs setup plus my Aura/piezo deal between the cheapo and the Marting. I really doubt I'd be smart enough to configure a setup for each guitar vs. running both into some kind of post-pre-amp environment (thinking of your xciter here).
  10. I'm currently in the final stages of refurbishing (gently) my granddad's 1961 Les Paul (really an SG body type). Had to re-wind one of the humbucker coils and a few other bits of this and that, will re-post when I get some pics ready. I find the toughest thing for me when it comes to gear is really more on the acoustic-guitar side of things. I go back and forth in shows (probably 3/4 electric, 1/4 acoustic) and I always find that my acoustic gear is just so shit-tacular as to sound much worse by comparison. Do you guys have any tips for what are sort of must-have electronics to use for rolling an acoustic through a PA? I have a Fishman setup in the guitar and it sounds OK but everything just always sounds so cold to me when it comes to amplified acoustics. I think straight-piezo is the worst for this, so I blend it with the Fishman Aura sound to a point where it sounds OK. I think ideally I'd have some amazing microphone and play into that, then modify the sound a bit with vocal tools. But for the small places I tend to play, it's always a feedback disaster plus I play standing up and tend to move around a bit too much for regular-miking. So more or less, please help with some tips for acoustic guitar gear that can help unfreeze that sound.
  11. Another vote in favor of this album. I disliked a lot of their previous work, this is very solid to my ears. I think because it's more consistently roots-based. Their old stuff sounded very indie-rock -based and that wasn't a good thing to me.
  12. I'm with those who say "better than their last and let's hope they keep with this trajectory."
  13. I just wanted to go back and visit a topic from a couple pages ago. Coming to Bruce relatively late in his cycle (after 9/11, in my 20s), I actually found BITUSA a lot better than you guys give credit. I had heard the tracks a few times as a kid but thought the song BITUSA was some kind of jingoistic deal and didn't care much for Dancin' in the Dark, so I was surprised by how good that album is overall. I also find Nebraska a bit boring. I know that's sacrilege, but face-to-face, I'd rather listen to Devils & Dust any day of the week. Dunno, different strokes for different folks, but I think some of these late Bruce songs like Maria's Bed are the bee's knees. I would also say that production values from the 70s really do not sound that great to a more-modern audience. I really hate all that jazzy saxophone and theatrical sound all over the place, I much-prefer the more stripped down / rocky live versions of some of the classics. Not to say the songs themselves aren't great, but I think the only original version that compares favorably, out of all those tracks, is probably Promised Land. Even The River, I'd rather hear one of the live versions to the studio cut.
  14. This is a great track, thanks for pointing it out!
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