Communication Breakdown Solo

This is an excerpt from one of my TrueFire.com lessons. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t made a video of this solo earlier. I figure since I had to reacquaint myself with it for the lesson, I may as well get some mileage out of the effort and share it here and elsewhere.

My fingers are plenty pissed off already since I haven’t:

A. Played this in a while and just played it 10 times in a row,

B. Done any bending recently and I use 11s on my guitars.
(The tone, maaan…)

Anyway, crank it up!

-Justin

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Mardi Gras Gig at Westminster Canterbury

0209161852I have played Westminster Canterbury many times, but this is just the second time for Mardi Gras. Many of my gigs here have been guitar and bass, some guitar and voice, but this one was guitar and trumpet.

The trumpeter was Ernest Deane. I have known Ernest for a number of years and he is a fantastic player. As a matter of disclosure, he is one of the musicians I met early in my career who intimidated me. Not from his personality, because he is a great guy, but from his playing. He, like a couple other folks, is one with whom I finally feel adequate enough to play.

Tonight’s gig was really fun. We were familiar with the tunes, but haven’t rehearsed them much. We didn’t have any issues, but not knowing what to expect tonight was a lot more fun with Ernest than almost anyone else with whom I’ve played. I don’t think it’s a matter of skill or professionalism, but rather a matter of comfort with the unexpected: that little something we should be able to expect from a great player. I think most of us, especially me, are too afraid to make a mistake and just do not trust ourselves to sound great.

The residents of Westminster Canterbury were very receptive. We usually have a good response there with any musical arrangement, but tonight was especially responsive. I think this is really saying something since it’s the middle of winter, these are elderly folks, and we played from 7-8pm.

Ernest will be playing in The GoodFoot too, and that will make a great difference because I will have time in the rhythm section making a groove. That is something I think has been missing in just a trio format.

Our setlist was:

Basin Street Blues Bb
Mardi Gras Mambo Bb
Joe Avery’s Blues Bb
Iko Iko D (C7 Bridge)
House of the Rising Sun Am
Just a Closer Walk with Thee Bb
Mardi Gras in New Orleans Bb
Mess Around Eb
Jambalaya G
When the Saints Go Marching In G

You can find these on YouTube and can purchase them from plenty of places online. There’s no reason not to start building your Mardi Gras music collection for next year. Maybe you will discover some great music that you wouldn’t hear otherwise.

Happy Listening!

-Justin

Ragtime: The Last Musical at Heritage High School’s ‘Old’ Building

Tonight was the closing of Ragtime at Heritage High School in Lynchburg, VA. What a great production from all involved. It’s great to witness such talented young people, both musically and theatrically.

It was kinda weird being in a production without my daughter, Celeste. She commented (Tweeted) regarding the strange feeling of being in the audience for a show at her alma mater. She was great in all her roles, of course.

From the ‘Guitary’ side of things, the music wasn’t terribly difficult. Now, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat was tough; especially the parts adapted from piano to guitar. Well, adapted is being used very loosely here: copied directly would be more accurate. There were many arpeggiations in seconds in the piano, and subsequently guitar, part.

Anyway, the book was 141 pages and, while we cut some tunes and there were sections for alternate keyed songs, the show was still 2 1/2 hours long.

It seems the toughest part of this show for everyone from the soundman (He was there since the first show in 1976.), to the students in the cast and orchestra pit, was the fact that this is the last musical in this auditorium. The new building will be ready for use in the 2016-2017 school year.

Natually, the current building will be demolished. I plan to watch this process if possible. I’m sure it will be emotionally touching as well. I went there, my wife, Angela, went there, and Celeste graduated from there in 2015.

I took some fuzzy pictures of this run with my ‘Flippy/Floppy’ phone.

They are:
Tech Week,
Show,
Show,
Last Pep Talk,
Last Pit Performance,
Last Show,
and Last Show.0128161900 0204161855 0205161907 0206161854 0206161908 0206161908a 0206161908b

Certainly, it will be exciting to be in a new building, but it’s always a little sad when major components of our life become history.

-Justin