Music Theory

Music Theory

Everything you want to know about music theory. More »

Finished replica of Eric Clapton's "The Fool" guitar

Building a Clapton “The Fool” Replica

It took me about 2 years, but I turned a cheap SG kit into a pretty good Eric Clapton’s The Fool guitar. Check out how I did it here!   More »

Back again!

Sorry everybody, I’ve been away for long time. Sorry for not replying to your comments but last two years have been very busy. My wife and I built a new house and that took lots of our time and energy. But the house is finished and it includes a guitar man-cave (my amps can be turned to 11 now!). I might post some pictures.

Anyway, a lot has happened. Saddest event of course was the death of Prince. I couldn’t believe my eyes when a friend sent a whatsapp with the sad message, it took me three days to recover. The best concerts I ever saw were by the little genius from Minneapolis (Lovesexy in 1988 and 20Ten in 2010) and I am absolutely going to miss him.

Not surprisingly, the death of Prince has caused an immense number of videos on youtube which are not being deleted. My favorites: Prince with Sheila E – ” a Love bizarre”, the Grammy performance of “Baby I’m a star” in 1985 and “Dance 4 Me” live on French television from 2009.

Other personal (guitar) news. Bought a second-hand Hohner G2T. My  Hohner G3T has some issues with the zero-fret which I had to replace. In order to always have a replacement I bought a second-hand G2T (the ‘2’ stands for the two humbuckers of this model instead of the ‘3’ which is the HSS set-up). I only totally had to ‘rebuilt’ the G2T and I decided to paint it in a groovy sparkling red color. Pictures coming up!

I got myself a BOSS GT100  multi-effect. Check my article on this nice piece of gear although it took me some time to master this beast (and I still haven’t completely mastered it…). I also added some articles on music theory, hope you like it.

Still working on the mini-Falcon (sorry Paul) and my Prince telecaster project. But plenty of time ahead! Keep coming back!

Prince @ Paradiso Amsterdam

Firiday 9th of August, 17:30, my friend Peter calls completely out of the blue. ‘Ed, you know who’s coming’, euhhhh no clue Peter… ‘PRINCE!! Already this Sunday, two shows, one at 19:30 and one at 0:00, I wanna see both or at least one, ticket sales starts in half an hour, get as much tickets as you can….’

So I installed myself behind my desktop, got myself a login and password for the site and waited. At around 17:45 I got myself a place in the queue and about 20 minutes later I was able to order two tickets for the 19:30 show. later I found out that all 3000 tickets were sold out in 7 minutes. Ticket price was 100 euros, lot of comments in the dutch press but I can tell you it was worth every cent.

My friend Peter managed to get tickets for the same show so Sunday we were queuing with our girlfriends for over two hours. Of course, Prince is a superstar so he can let his fans wait for as long as he likes. In the meantime, the queue was from Paradiso to the Vondelpark and people started to get nervous.

Around 19:00, the doors finally opened and we managed to get a seat at the balcony at the right side. The place wasn’t too overcrowded. Average age of the people well over 40 so we felt young 😉
Important to mention, it was well explained that it was absolutely forbidden to take pictures during the show. And indeed, I saw at least 5 people taken from the crowd by security.

Anyway, around 20:10, Hannah the drummer came on stage to ask again not to take pictures but to enjoy the show as it was. It was an honest request to the audience and I must admit it was a relieve not to see hundreds of mobile phones light up during the show. Hannah took place behind the drumkit, the rest of the band (all girls) came on stage and started to play. And then finally, the master himself with a nice afro joined the band (first playing trombone, couldn’t see it correctly from our point of view) and ripping up a slow heavy rock version of ‘Let’s go crazy’. It was a good show although not the best Prince show I have ever seen (this was my 5th Prince concert by the way) . I loved the fact seeing Prince in such a small venue but to be honest, I don’t like Prince playing rock that much. His latest songs with 3rdeyegirl miss the maturity of lets’ say Led Zeppelin (the song ‘Plectrum Electrum’  is largely influenced by Led Zeppelin’s ‘The Ocean’ but not half as good).

 

'Illegal' picture!

‘Illegal’ picture!

I liked the band especially the drummer (she was hitting as hard and as precise as John Bonham in his best days). The guitar player had some issues with the pedal board but she laid a good groove and did some nice soloing sometimes together with Prince. Cool that Prince offers such young artists an opportunity to excel.

Around 22:00 the show was over and it was time to have a cold beer at Leidseplein. Rumors are that Prince nowadays lives in Paris so hopefully he will do more of these small venue shows in Europe.

 

G3 at HMH Amsterdam

Friday 20th of April, my bro, my pal Paul and I got together to see guitar legends Steve Morse (nope Paul, it’s not inspector Morse), Steve Vai and Joe Satriani play. The concept is simple, all get around 50 mins to do their stuff and then there is a 20 min ‘jam’ with all three of them.

G3 Tour Europe 2012

G3 Tour Europe 2012

Steve Morse being ‘lowest in hierarchy’ kicked off in what I call a rather boring set. The songs he played must date fom his solo work (Steve Morse band) or earlier bands (Dixie Drags) and were unknown to me. It didn’t make me run to the record store. The riffs are boring, chord changes predictable and always these tempo changes to get some movement in the songs. Had to make some phone calls anyway so left the hall for a while and almost missed his (in my view) the best song of the set, a ‘chickin’ pickin’ kind of tune hat made the audience dance and cheer a little.

Next stop Steve Vai. All lights went out, the band enters the stage except for mr. Vai who makes some recognizable talking/scratching sounds before rushing on stage. That’s what we call an opener. Rushing into ‘The audience is listening’, not my favorite but his control, tone, dedication and enthusiasm makes he audience go wild including me.

The set was too short, Vai playing his well known songs including ‘Building the church’ which didn’t really have the detail as in earlier performances. Liked the fact that the bass player used a Steinberger headless bass for one song.

Last, the ‘organizer’ of the tour, Joe Satriani. He kicked in with ‘Crowd Chant’ changing smoothly into ‘Ice 9’. Didn’t like his sound, it was very aggressive and I couldn’t suppress the idea that Satch didn’t like it as well. His playing was nit very precise I must say. I’ve seen him many times being completely in control, in such a way it became even boring. Now it seemed he had to work for the money, it became more rock-n-roll. Maybe the fact that he didn’t have a second guitar player (something that Steve Morse should absolutely have!) made good old Satch having to work harder.

All well known songs wer played, sadly not ‘Spain’ which is my favorite.

After Satriani’s set, the new amplifiers were pushed on stage to have the ‘jam’. Between quotes of course because every note the gentlemen play seems to be predefined. The jam songs were ‘You really got me’, ‘White room’ and ‘Rockin in a free world’ so I was missing something to commemorate John Lord who tragically died from cancer that week. Would ‘Smoke on the water’ not be a good option, just to say thanks to one of then thriving forces behind hard rock? But maybe hat’s too much improvising. The jam set was utterly boring with standard solo’s, no risks and I couldn’t see any joy in their faces except fro the ‘American’ big smiles. No, they can skip this part.

G3 Concert Heineken Music Hall Amsterdam 2012

G3 Concert Heineken Music Hall Amsterdam 2012

Maybe  I’m too negative and this is what the majority of the audience likes, but with that much talent on stage… Anyway I had a fun night, though if they were to play next week again I would skip…

Marley

If you have the chance, go see the documentary ‘Marley’. It gives a good overview of he life and the career of one of the most influential musicians of the last 40 years.

"Marley" Movie poster

“Marley” Movie poster

The documentary is definitely made by a fan, so most of the times the movie isn’t that objective, but it gives you enough information to learn more about the person Bob Marley. On the one hand the sheer adoration nowadays, on the other hand the discrimination and racism (Bob Marley father was ‘white’) in his youth. The poverty when he was young, the conservatism of the Rastafarian movement (women were not allowed to wear trousers), his political involvement in the ‘civil war’ in Jamaica in the 70’s (was it political interest or was he just naive?), his tragic end etc. etc.

Go see it and most of it enjoy the fantastic music!

Chuck Brown dies at 75

On May 16th 2012, Chuck Brown the godfather of go-go died at 75 of pneumonia.

Chuck Brown, not very known to the public, especially in Europe, is regarded the godfather of go-go. Go-go (the music goes and goes because the underlying rhythm never stops) being a sub genre of funk in which endless Caribbean rhythms and jazz are mixed with a good portion of funk. You have to be an absolute non-musical idiot if go-go doesn’t move your hips. It’s the ultimate party music and therefore it’s sad most people don’t know his music.

I was introduced to Go-Go by a review of a Chuck Brown live album somewhere in 1987. It still took me about a year to get hold of this album (I was able to rent it from the Rotterdam Discotheque which has one of the largest record collections in the world) and it changed my world. Just listen to ‘Run Joe’ or whatever song on this album and gone are the rainy days.

Chuck Brown and The Soul Searchers – Live ’87

I was never able to see Chuck live. I remember he played North Sea Jazz once but sadly I missed it.

Get his stuff at www.windmeupchuck.com

Van Halen tour 2012?

The guys are warming up, look at this great footage:

Eddie at Club Wha 2012

Eddie at Club Wha 2012

And I must say, the first single (Tattoo) sounds good, better then Chickenfo……????

 

Stunning 12 year old jazzer

Check his video:

I think I’m gonna tab parts of his solo, always steal from the best!

And did you also notice the guitar brand? Not a bad sound for a Richwood! But I like my RE-125 better!

Check this solo!

Just listening to ‘Red Hot Mama’ from Funkadelic. The guitar solo is great, just as smooth as Eric Clapton in the 60’s but with an American vibe. A real vault of licks. More coming up on this one!

George Clinton @ Patronaat

Whenever I tell people I’ve been to a George Clinton concert, people look a me with

November 2011, it was showtime again at Patronaat in Haarlem. It was my first time at Patronaat, a bunket like venue that can host about 800 guests I guess. together with my conct buddy Paul we had a good meal beforehand and were ready for a long show. George Clinton is notorious for having shows that last easily over 4 hours. In 2009 I went to a show in Paradiso Amsterdam that lasted 5 hours ( I had to leave after 3 hours).

Now, George (70 years old) came on stage already after a couple of minutes. And I had problems recognizing him, he didn’t have dreads anymore!

Music Theory

Music Theory

Everything you want to know about music theory.