Using a microphone for sound reinforcement presents problems. The remedy, when finding a second instrument designed for amplification doesn’t work out, is a pickup of some kind. As I discussed in my previous item “My Struggle to Find a Satisfactory Electric Mandolin“, I have pretty much given up on getting a rich, full sound from a solid body electric mandolin, or possibly any electric mandolin with a magnetic pickup. They’re just too shrill, almost tinny-sounding, and I’ve failed to get any real “guts” in the sound of those I’ve tried. (The sound has actually been unpleasantly piercing.) So I’ve finally decided to bite the bullet, take the big risk, and have a pickup system installed in my favorite zebra wood mandolin. The risk in such an undertaking, of course, is that the modification required to install a pickup will harm the appearance or, much more importantly, the acoustic sound of the instrument. Continue reading
I was urged to prepare a song for a story teller’s party where the theme was to be “spooky”, so I quickly wrote this one. Much of it is from my personal history, of course (and I’m glad the statute of limitations ran out on some of it). Enjoy! http://youtu.be/Sf5ZkPG_WNQ
I thought you musicians out there might enjoy reading an article I got through a subscription to discmakers’ email list. They send links to articles like this every so often and the articles typically not only provide interesting guides to recording music, but also often give general ideas to make you a better musician. This one I find particularly good as it does a great job of condensing the experience of Shawn Pelton, a skilled session musician, into good things to think about when playing with others.
I hope you enjoy it. – Tim
I’m watching John Mayer putting on his usual excellent performance on the Palladia cable channel right now, and really enjoying it. He has an incredible amount of talent and has put in tens of thousands of hours of hard work perfecting his musical skills. He has more than just a skill and experience advantage over amateur performers like me, however. Continue reading
More than ten years ago I was having great fun with my acoustic mandolin, and since I love to play electric music as well as acoustic, I made a pilgrimage to Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan – my favorite musical instrument store – to try some electric mandolins and possibly buy one. As usual I had a good time trying a number of the instruments – they have as good a selection as I’ve found anywhere – and finally settled on and purchased a Rickenbacker solid body mandolin. Continue reading