The Legends Of Classic Rock

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bass Playing Guru and Member of Tool Justin Chancellor--How he builds his sound around his rig

 By Mark Grove

Tool is a band that defies the norm as far as innovation and experimentation with time signatures and their approach to music as a whole. They look at other forms of music as well when considering how to bring new shapes and variations on chord structures. It's not just their music it's self that draws the attention of other musicians. Tool is a band that has always had their collective musical minds on using equipment that will take their music that much farther, and tweaks it to their's and their fans advantage.

Since how you build your bands sound is highly dependent on how you use amp settings along with the right cabs, guitar and minimal effects to define your bands textural and tonal nuances. Tool Bass man Justin Chancellor is a purveyor of sounds that give justice to new phrasing and rhythm based lines. Justin's take on it all is to approach it differently, but not so much that it changes his overall approach to the low-end of the spectrum. Mr.Chancellor changed his amp heads for 10,000 but kept the same cabs as before, which he did for Lateralus the bands last album.

Justin's amp and cab set-up:

He changed from Mesa-Boogie heads to Gallien-Krueger heads based on the fact that the Mesa's were muddy and distorted in a way that was not conducive to the sound that he was looking for at that time. The G-K's had more of a tone that wasn't so based on playing heavier metal, but had a clarity and thud that he was having a problem getting before with the Mesa heads. I don't know if players like Justin use too much in the way of effects, and in essence it muddied up the sound. That's just pure speculation on this writer's part.

Justin's cabs were kept the same as before. He was using Mesa-Boogie cabs which are the 8x10 versions. Justin also said in an interview, that he likes the older version Mesa's based on certain workings within the cabinet it's self. I feel that Tool is a band that is always looking, not just to change their sound because they want to be different, but because of the fact that they listen to different types of music.

That becomes ingrained in their becoming not just great musicians -- but students of music who want to teach each other and others that you can't be single minded in creating sounds with just one type of music or the equipment you use. Keep that in mind on your next album, blues jam or band practice.

Mark Grove

The High School Head---The Hippest Lads In School Who Listened To The Best Rock And Roll And Blues-And Had Great Connections For The Best Dope--Were You That Guy?

The High School Head---The Hippest Lads In School Who Listened To The Best Rock And Roll And Blues-And Had Great Connections For The Best Dope--Were You That Guy?                            
                                                                                   " If You're Havin' Trouble With The High School Head He's Givin' You The Blues"
AC DC ---"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" 1976

I think of the high school head not as the principal you hated, or that teacher who gave you grief about everything because they thought you were going to prison soon.

The high school head to me was always that guy who always had the best dope, listened to music that took you to new levels,could teach you about the road less taken, and was pretty clear about life.

I was that person in high school. Not to brag or be a big-shot. It's not often you get called "Acid" in high school, but I loved doing hash, oil and acid. Plus a myriad of other pills and assorted concoctions. I discovered beer and booze later.

As well, I also loved doing B and E's. Yep, break ins. Out of my little crew in the small town in lived in, I loved doing it more than anything else, expect being involved in music. To me it was another education.

I always went to the best parties and concerts. But Blues was my introduction to the masters of music. For a while in the early 80's I went to Toronto and searched out blues and jazz clubs. Even when I had no place to stay or money, I just plopped myself down in an abandoned house or building. To me this was glamour despite having to stay in less than ideal surroundings.

I always wanted to work in the music business as a writer, and started writing reviews on albums and interviewed the blues cats who came through London. I was only 19.

Making money was never a big motivator for me. Probably why I hitch hiked constantly in the late 70's, early 80's, and was totally obliterated all the time. I just went. Now that I have cash in my pocket, I don't.

Funny how things change over the years. Mind you I don't do the things I did before. Your body can't do it unfortunately--especially in your 50's.

In the 90's I met a bluesman named Dee Curtis who changed everything for me, and hooked me up to other musicians to learn from. Dee is from Detroit and taught me so much about music and what it's all about.

He gave me an education you can't get anywhere. If you're in the music business you should learn from real musicians, not the wannabes or also-rans. Do yourself a favor if you're a musician or fan of blues or jazz---learn from the best. People who excel in the music business will take you where you want to go, if you follow their success and what they can offer you.

At the time I write for several small blues labels, and blues artists as well as writing guitar and gear tips, music business articles and artist profiles here on the blog.

Enjoy your life, and don't do things that aren't right for you. I realize we all have our realities and have to pay the bills, but don't regret not doing what you know you were meant for, being a great musician or in the music business.

Being the high school head, can take you on a trip that's a wild ride and take you places that excite and accentuate your life, and make it better. If you focus on it.

Like I said, the high school head is not the principal. It's either you,  or the hip lad who partied and educated you about music. And helped out a few musicians and other partiers along the way.

I don't have a social safety net of any kind, and you shouldn't worry about all that if you're a musician or otherwise. Worrying about all that won't take you where you want to go, and that's to a job or business you love! Being a musician or involved in music is the greatest gift for you or helping musicians get to where they want to go.

The High School Head--Just gave you some good news for a change. Now go out and get it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How To Play Hendrix Material Your Way---A Little Audio That Will Help You Be More Interpretive When Playing And Recording Jimi's Stuff!

I originally put up an article on this, showing players how to play Jimi Hendrix material their way, and not just copying Jimi's stuff.

But I thought that Jimi's material is so important to the history of music and not to just copy it note for note. Even Jimi wouldn't want that. Even Jimi wanted to play material that took him to a different plane in regards to texture and phrasing when playing his own material took him to heights most musicians never got to. And having someone like Eddie Kramer as his Recording Engineer helped take his material "on a ride" even Jimi was grateful for.

In my audio I make it simple for you to play Jimi's material your way, and to make changes to his material that take your playing back to a time when real rock and roll meant something.

I think Jimi would be proud of ya.

PS: I even include some obscure Hendrix material you can take and play your way as well.

Much success players!

Just click this link to how to play Jimi's material your way.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How Your Band Can Stop Procrastinating---And Start Succeeding

Just click the link above

This little audio will show you how to do the small things as musicians to get to where you need to go to as a band, and a musician. Most musicians won't even attempt to do these things I've listed and I don't think that's you. I got this idea from a well known internet marketer who creates a lot of value for others. Thanks to Jason Moffatt.

Jason's site helps people grow as individuals and help people in business too. Back to my shit now.

By taking care of the little stuff in your band you'll go farther as a result and come out ahead, and other musicians who you thought were better than you and had more on the ball, will fall by the wayside. That's not saying you wish them to fail. You don't. That's why the Musicians Instant Press Kit helps create value for you and other musicians you help out.

It's a short little audio that will help you and your band to start taking action, and get moving!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Guitar Effects Pedals--What Your Favorite Overdrive Pedal?

I was just reading Guitar World's take on their top 10 pick of Blues type Distortion pedals and the benefits each has to offer. Their picks did leave something to be desired, and even a couple that got left out like the Zakk Wylde OD, and the Boss DS-1 pedal. Just surprised, that's all.

Now don't leave this page because it's about blues type OD's. That's where all music starts, in the blues region if you want to create that signature sound.  Most OD's are not blues based, but rather rock based.

It goes back to the 60's even before Hendrix made Roger Mayer's Octavia famous.

GW's pick for the top one was a new one that some of the top roots music players are using, and pedals that run the gamut in either vintage OD, or more midrange ability to drive your signature sound into the nether regions.

My top 10 would have been different. I'll leave you today with a link to Guitar World's review and pick of their top 10 list of OD pedals. Thanks to Chris Gill of GW for his painstaking work on this.

But I'll leave with this as well. It's something Chris said in a previous article on picking an OD pedal to buy and use. Test some out before you buy. It's kind of like the " Shiny Object Syndrome" as I call it. Don't buy the first pedal because a top player uses it, or players you know use it. It may not be right for you.

And don't base it on price either. You can't exactly budget price quality gear. Not if you want to be a better player. Just buy an OD that's right for your music, and can blend in well with your band. I'm not shitting you.

Okay, here's the link to Guitar World's top 10 OD pedals.,4

Yeah, it's an excessively long link but it will take ya to the piece by Chris Gill of GW.

Thanks again man.

PS: I'll have something up soon from Dee Curtis our resident guitar guru and consultant here at Canadian Guitar Player on how to pick the right pedal.

Enough said, now go get that OD that will complement your tone.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rickenbacker Transonic Amps---A Throwback To Better Amps And More Creativity in The Studio And Live

By Mark Grove

Rickenbacker came out with a series of amps called The Transonic Series in the late 60's that SteppenWolf, Jeff Beck, and Zeppelin, used and endorsed. The Transonic series unfortunately failed and were taken off the market within three years.

Rock guitar in the 60's brought along with it the hankering for more power, and with that power meant a demand for more powerful amps. Bob Rissi was the head of Rickenbackers Electro String Amp Division at that time from 67' to 70'. There were two types of amps: First there was a 200 watt 100 series amp along with a 350 watt 200 series. The 100 was a one piece unit that had an open back and on board effects such as Reverb, Tremolo, and Fuzz. All these effects had separate controls for mixing these effects together.

The 200 had a closed back and a detachable head and two types of speakers; 12" and 15 " by the Lansing company.An option available was a Rick-O-Gain unit, which was a power amp and speakers which could attach to the Transonic 200, and give it 700 Watts at full power.

These amps are scarce today according to Richard R. Smith who penned the book, The complete history of Rickenbacker Guitars. So Both the Transonic 100 and 200 series amps sound like they would be a good collectors item for musicians.

Amps haven't changed that much over the years being they have the same basic effects only they are digital to some degree now, and aren't as natural for recording purposes. The early amps were harder to learn to get used to and control the distortive tones, which meant stretching your playing ability little by little. The Transonic Series amps definitely fell into this category. So if you come across one of these amps learn to play it, you won't regret it a bit.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant Gives Some Advice To Musicians On Why Full Albums Are Better

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Robert Plant talks about why full albums are the true mark of a band, and that singles don't hold any weight. As well that real fans were buying albums in Europe in 1975 and in North America we were buying singles that Atlantic Records put out. Your band could turn around that marketing and use singles to market a band. But a true sign is it's creativity and original work in a full album, not  singles.

I think every band out there should watch this short interview with Plant and gain some insight on how to market like a true band. As well I'm doing some research on some old Jimmy Page interviews, and I'll have some gold nuggets on how Page used his recording studio wizardry in the age of Analog to his band's and other band's benefit.

This is a short interview your whole band should watch to learn from.

Mark G