New Category – Bass / Guitar Techniques

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Even though I’ve been playing for 23 + years, I don’t consider myself an “expert” bass player. I’m always learning new things. But I like to give advise when asked. I spend some time over at Talk Bass, a bass guitar players forum. A young player asked this question:

Middle finger attacking much harder than index

Is there anything I can do to work on this? Its only really apparent when playing the usual groups of 8 or so root notes. The problem I guess is that my middle finger seems to hit the string a bit harder than my index finger, causing the beat to “pulse” a bit. I’ve been playing for about a year, and this has only started happening recently. When I was starting out both fingers were pretty much even, but now theyre out of whack.

When I was a younger play, I also had struggled with this problem. Here are a couple of solutions.

Two possible tricks or work-arounds.

What level is your bass strap set at? A low / hang-dog setting, because of the angle you hold the bass in your fret hand, will create a natural angle where the two fingers hit the strings in a more even fashion. I don’t play with the bass that low. One drawback is that you can’t easily use the other two fingers on your hand to pick notes.

Another solution is to learn to use your fourth finger to alternate notes. Those two fingers are closer in length and will naturally create a more even tone between the two. It also frees you to use your middle finger to either deaden another string… or, better yet, flip some jerk off while you’re playing , as he commented earlier that you suck because you’re not playing any Rush songs in your set!!!

Very soon, I will have yet another new category. New Music! I’m finally ready to record some of my own songs. Yeah, I know – promises, promises……

It’s A Bug… You Know What That Means. Road Trip!

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Eew. It’s a HUGE bug, a Goliath Beetle. The road trip isn’t nearly as large…. or gross. We’re going to Auburn to visit Greg’s sister and brother, their spouses, and celebrate the New Year. New Years Day, we may head up to Tahoe to play in the snow. Hope everyone else has a good New Year.

From The Fantastic, Deliciously Awesome Brian Setzer Concert 12 / 22 / 2009….

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A Gretsch Guitar give-a-way! The yellow one to my left, the one autographed by Mr. Setzer himself, WILL be mine. I can feel it! The drawing takes place on Jan 20th. Hope I win.


Bloggers Beware: How Stupid Reporting / Editind/ Editorializing Can Distort A Story.

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I come across this problem a lot, especially when blogging about politics or global warming.  Based on This Story about an AC / DC concert being threatened because their big sound poses a danger to rare birds I started to write this post titled:

Rock Band AC / DC Set To Kill Birds With Music!

What The Flock?????

This may well be an all-time low for environmentalists stupidity (or high, depending how you scale it). EnviroCrazies are trying to stop an AC / DC concert from going forward because the loud music would threated a large flock of birds. Whaaaaa????     OK, that sounds stupid enough, but here is the kicker – the concert is at an airport. Yes, an airport. A place where loud planes noisily take-off and land throughout the day. Now, Wells is a modest airstrip by most standards,  but all airports are noisy and…..

Then I looked at the picture of the airport again. Hmmmm. Is the problem with this concert event, not the music itself, as you were led to believe in the original article, but the actual terrain on which the concert will happen? The band will, I assume be set up in, or, in front of the hanger. The audience will be out on the tarmac or on the grass. Perhaps this is the real problem, as the  birds probably build nests in the grass, and the poor little baby birdies would get trampled by the hoards of ravenous drunken AC / DC metal heads.  One news piece on the subject says animal rights campaigners say the concert could take place anytime from mid-June and it would no longer be a threat to the birds. It’s not as if a rock band has canceled a concert for less, drunken / rugged up bastards that they are. Not that I’m calling them drunk / drugged up bastards, but Brian Setzer and Pat Benetar have both canceled show that I held tickets for. Both eventually made up for their head-fake by putting on fantastic shows.

So anyway, if this is the problem, then yes, why not move the date of the show to June or August, after the birdie brood has come and gone, has fledged and flew the coupe, so to speak. I will be completely honest and admit I am a bird lover. Now let me be perfectly frank when i say that when other bird-loving people say shit like this – Hans Uhl of NGO BirdLife says he and his colleagues felt they had been “mocked” as the concert had been arranged to take place on the same day as the International Day of Diversity of Species….  well, that stupidness just makes me want to buy tickets to the show and trample the poor little birdies!

Motivated… Not!

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I’m taking some time off from blogging. After the rush of Climategate, I don’t seem to find anything interesting at the moment to scribble about. Plus, it’s almost Christmas and I’ll be busy with the in-laws.  Of course, every time I declare I won’t be blogging, something always blasts its way into my focus.

“This is not renaming the post office. Make no mistake — this bill will reshape our nation and our lives.”

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That is the reaction from Senate Minority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, on the vote to pass the Senates version of Obamacare. The GOP leadership is licking their chops, as this as seen as a real opportunity to win more votes from the independents who voted for Obama and Democrats in 2008. At this point, it’s not news that this group of voters has been slowly dropping off the Obama bandwagon since June, and this votefor even more expanded government, in the eyes of the GOP, is going to accelerate that process. Though I do believe the GOP is cerrtain to win back more than a few seats in the House and Senate lost in the 2006 and 2008 elections, I’m not sure that Obamacare is going to be that much of a dealbreaker for the following reasons:

Read more »

Busy Day Today

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My internet activity will be very lite this week-end (blogging, facbook, etc) I have some spa work to do, and with Christmas almost here, there’s family, and shopping, and…..

Dopenhagen – Yep, It’s All About The Money!

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U.S. to contribute to $100B climate fund to help developing countries.

From the article:

Emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and South America must agree to be open to internal verification of international carbon limits under the plan. “If there is not even a commitment to some sort of transparency, then that’s kind of a deal-breaker for us,” Hillary Clinton told a press conference.

Though supposedly we’re not contributing the whole 100 billion, we’ll probably end up giving the lions share. Let’s hope, for our wallets sake, that China is as opaque as usual. And come to think of it, our own government hasn’t exactly been transparent with its own government. Senator Reid, I’m looking your way.

Best Blogpost From Instapundit… Ever – “SAVE THE PLANET: Eat more brie.”!

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Cheese causes global warming! But there’s good news! Some cheeses are greener than others!

Steve Zeng, a dairy researcher at Langston University, singles out feta cheese as one of the best options in terms of processing impacts and notes that chèvre, brie, and Camembert are also pretty green. Same goes for American’s top-selling cheese (mozzarella), since it doesn’t require any aging.

Lord MonCkton – The Christopher Hitchens Of Climate Skeptics?

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As many of you know, I absolutely love the provocative Brit Christopher Hitchens. He’s smart, bombastic, and has an especially acerbic sense of humor. He has absolutely no fear of calling out someone when he thinks they are wrong, cowardly,…. or stupid! Lord Monckton, whos first name is coincidently Christopher, has the same lack of fear when it comes to confronting the scientific consensus we know as climate science. Just today, he takes on Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, and blasts him for using bogus statistics and charts to exaggerate global warming during his Dopenhagen presentation (I have no love for the aforementioned Pachauri either).

There will be those who will simply dismiss Lord Monckton as a bald faced liar (who non-the-less absolve “serial” lair Al Gore of the same sins), and many will no doubt point to this post at RealClimate, issues on May 2nd of this year, as proof of malfeasance by Monckton. But hold on, is this proof of Monkton lying, or does it actually bolster the case that Monckton is more truthful than RealClimate? In the RC post, Gavin Schmidt, climate change scientist and RC author, accuses Monckton of using wrong and manipulated graphs to show that the rise of CO2 is not happening in the way that the climate models predict, which, if Monckton WAS correct would throw the projections of the models in question. Dr. Schmidt uses graphs in the post to show that Monckton is wrong and a liar. Monckton, though, seems to have proof that he is indeed correct on this matter, and the leaked CRU e-mails that, according to lazy AP journalists, show no evidence of data tampering or manipulation, prove it.  Here is video of Monckton at a recent presentation. The important part starts at about 5:50 into the vid.

Is Monckton correct, that one of the leaked e-mails affirms his contention, and shows that Dr. Schmidt is the one twisting the data? Here is the reference from the e-mail.

> On Oct 14, 2009, at 5:57 PM, Tom Wigley wrote:
>>> Mike,
>>> The Figure you sent is very deceptive. As an example, historical
>>> runs with PCM look as though they match observations — but the
>>> match is a fluke. PCM has no indirect aerosol forcing and a low
>>> climate sensitivity — compensating errors. In my (perhaps too
>>> harsh)
>>> view, there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model
>>> results by individual authors and by IPCC.
This is why I still use
>>> results from MAGICC to compare with observed temperatures. At least
>>> here I can assess how sensitive matches are to sensitivity and
>>> forcing assumptions/uncertainties.
>>> Tom.
>>> +++++++++++++++++++
>>> Michael Mann wrote:
>>>> thanks Tom,
>>>> I’ve taken the liberty of attaching a figure that Gavin put
>>>> together the other day (its an update from a similar figure he
>>>> prepared for an earlier RealClimate post
. see:
>>>> It is indeed worth a thousand words, and drives home Tom’s point below. We’re planning on doing a post on this shortly, but would be nice to see the Sep. HadCRU numbers first,
>>>> mike

Though the exact graph used by Dr. Schmidt is not specifically mentioned, this dialog in the email does appear to back Moncktons claim that the data was used in a deceptive manner to try and prove Lord Monckton wrong.

Counting the Pachauri smack-down – Lord Monckton 2, Gavin Schmidt 0.

PS. And because I am not going to pull favors for the skeptic side, where I sit, fellow skeptic Lucia, on her blog The Blackboard, does indeed also criticize Monckton for overstating the IPCC figures in another graph. Note that the Monckton graph used in Dr. Schmidt’s post is not the same one that Lucia dissects.