Tag Archive: guitar

Open your eyes

I’ve been watching a program about the making of one of my favourite albums- Queen’s “A Night At The Opera”. It’s one of their earlier albums, and yes- it’s the one with Bohemian Rhapsody on.

This post isn’t really about the record, or the songs, or even the technical ‘behind the scenes’ that I am always fascinated by. I haven’t listened to much music recently, and this made me feel like I was letting these guys down. They clearly loved what thy were doing, but so much work from so many people went into it, and the end result deserves more than me not listening to it.

I’ve been trying to keep up on podcasts whilst washing up, and scooter riding isn’t really conducive to a musical commute.

This programme, with the lovely gentle Brian May and some interviews with Freddie I haven’t seen before, brought back memories of their music.  I remember finding a vinyl of Greatest Hits when I was about 6 years old. I didn’t know who those guys were, or what music was going to be, but I remember bugging my Mum and Dad to put it on. They gave in, and I listened with huge headphones on.

Since then, I’ve got pretty much every song they have released, some that they haven’t, and a Guild Red Special 250 of 315 from 1985. Without Queen, I probably wouldn’t have ever played the guitar.

And so, a public promise to you all: starting next week, I will listen to music again, and what better place to start than Queen I from 1973, and I’ll follow their timeline first.  One album a week, in order, on repeat. I also hereby promise not to skip Hot Space.

I won’t blog about it, but I will do it. After Queen, who knows, but that decision is months away.  Maybe something recent!

“Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see…”
Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen.


On the road again

It’s been a long time coming. I lose track of just how long, easily 2 years, maybe even 3. I know it’s a couple of years since I picked up a guitar though.

The amazing StoneChase have been booked for a (private party) summer gig, and this year nicely coincides with our ten year anniversary of that weekend at the Blues Festival Fringe when we played for over 20 hours altogether in a single weekend.

I don’t know if this will lead to more gigs, or if it’s just a one-off. I don’t know how long we’ll play for do to various injuries and us all being ten years older. I don’t know what songs we’ll play. I don’t really know much to be honest.

I do know that picking up my Irn-Bru coloured Gretsch again felt ok, and playing went ok (ish)- the muscle memory was there, eleven if the fingers weren’t as quick or accurate as when I was match-fit.

I’ve moved to heavier strings (two reasons- I’m having to relearn how to play again so I may as well try and sound as good as I can; and also Brian Setzer generally uses heavier ones than I used to). That’s a challenge in itself, but everything does feel a little tighter. I’ve also loved to different plectrums ( plectra?) as I got an awesome pressie from my awesome wife that I haven’t yet used.

It’s a whole new fretboard based adventure!

I don’t usually go beyond one line for the lyric quotes, but this one just had to include the extra line.

“On the road again, I just can’t wait to get on the road again. The life I love is making music with my friends”
Willie Nelson, On The Road Again

Breaking the silence

This weekend might be the weekend I make some guitar noise again.

I packed everything away at the close of last year, and I’ve only played three times since then (once at a party I didn’t even want to be at, once when I was tipsy the other weekend, and once for my friend Kathryn who happened to be round and essentially bullied me into it!)- a far cry from the 2 hours every night plus show rehearsals of recent times.

I still don’t appear to have missed playing though. It’s a strange feeling as it used to be the force that kept me going. This year’s events so far just seem to have broken me a little, and I haven’t felt the urge or the need.

At the very least I need to hope that my lovely Irn-Bru Gretsch has missed me and still sings like she used to. Even though it’s my newest guitar, it’s very much mine, almost as much as my first one, and we get on very well.

I’ll have to do it soon- it’s Mum’s wedding and I’m in one of the bands for the reception… No panic then!

I don’t see this as a band reunion, as I still intend that the rest of 2010 passes in a gigless manner. There’s a long booked gig in March 2011, so that year won’t be clear either, but for now, I have five weeks to re-learn a set that took 5 years to learn in the first place.

In closing, I’d like to apologise to my next-door neighbours…