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 Post subject: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:14 am 
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I finally recorded something Zappa related.  It's a mainly improvised instrumental guitar solo in the style of FZ.  I usually don't try to emulate other guitarists styles, but with FZ I couldn't resist because his style is so unique.  No one plays the guitar like he did, including myself.  <br><br>It's near the bottom of the page under Solo Tracks, titled 'Tall Fescue'.  Here is the link: http://fhs.dmusic.com<br><br>Scrutinize away!<br>  

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 6:08 am 
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Thanks for the comments and for listening.<br><br>To MTF, do you mean that Frank thought of his guitar playing as a philosophy?  I know what you mean about bits and pieces, I could record a solo that was hours long and still not capture the "feel" that FZ had.  Unfortunately, I've never actually seen him play the guitar but it seems effortless, like he doesn't have to think about it or look at the guitar neck.<br><br>To RN, I think it would have been better with a real band also.  I play a Carvin DC135T, it's the best electric guitar I've ever played and it has all the features that I like in a guitar.  

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:51 am 
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Didja know that Scott Thunes was a Carvin abuser during the '81/'82 tours? Well, now ya do. ;D (Frank used some of their speaker cabinets and various otuer audio paraphenalia, too.)

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:12 pm 
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Not bad, Carvin.  I just took a listen.  I should listen to more of the music that people post.  Keep it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 6:54 am 
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To Billy, I didn't know that.  Thunes might be my favorite FZ bass player.  I really like the Thunes/Wackerman combination.  I would've loved to attend an '88 concert but I was only 8 years old at the time and didn't know who FZ was.<br><br>To Freddie, thanks for listening.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:58 pm 
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I loved it!  ;D<br><br>It has a Lydian aroma to it that reminds me of what FZ would open shows with on the Fall 1978 tour (Ancient Armaments was actually released, but I think it's mostly Dorian).  What key were you playing in?<br><br>You asked MTF what he means by FZ's playing being a philosophy; what do YOU mean when you say "in the style of FZ"?<br><br>To me, the style/philosophy of FZ's guitar solos was IMPROVISE!  That is, to me, starting around the Fall 1978 tour, he didn't play guitar solos that were an assemblage of "licks"; rather, each solo was almost an entirely improvised event.  <br><br>To me, a "lick" is a prefabricated musical phrase.  Most guitar players I know approach a solo thusly: "I'll begin with Lick #37 that I learned from Texas Flood, followed by Lick #117 that I got from Freebird, etc . . . "  IMHO, FZ usta kinda play that way.  Listen to Muffin Man from BF and Baby Snakes and one hears (at least I do) very similar "musical phrases" (licks?) on both solos.   <br><br>But beginning with the Fall 1978 tour, FZ's solos were almost entirely spontaneous composition.<br><br>Your's sounded that way to me.  Kudos, awesome job, and if you live anywhere near Northern California, I will happily accompany your solos on the drums (PM me if this is remotely possible).<br><br>I play the guitar a little bit and I have a Carvin X100B.  I only know ONE lick (Chuck Berry's "bow-dilly"), and the rest is just a bunch of improvisation; sometimes it works and sometimes it's horrible.<br><br>Great job and DO NOT stop playing the guitar that way; we've all heard those licks a million times, but when you improvise, you never know what magic could happen.<br><br>VCF

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:29 pm 
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Image<br>Steve used these Carvin amplifiers not only throughout the Alcatrazz tour, but also with Frank Zappa in the early 80's. The output is switchable 60W/100W. The upper two are connected to a Roland SDE-3000 digital delay, the bottom Carvin is a spare in case either of the other two stopped working during a show.<br><br>Image<br>Steve has been using Carvin for years, and was one of their first major endorsers. These cabinets were customized with green grille covers (green covers were also on his custom cabinets on the Fire Garden tour). <br>

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 Post subject: re: solo attempt
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 7:36 pm 
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very tasty<br><br>Image

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 Post subject: Re: solo attempt
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 1:13 am 
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[quote author=slime.oofytv.set link=board=zappaning;num=1102612458;start=0#9 date=12/14/04 at 21:36:20]Image[/quote]Wow...looks like a Mesa Mk IV.<br><br>When I was in music school I got a student loan that I didn't need and immediately went out and bought a Carvin stack. Goddamned thing was too loud for anything I was doing at the time. I was insane to have bought it, but I wanted a rig like Steve Vai. I think it was a better clean amp than dirty. But I liked the cabinets a lot. Very sturdy and bright. I eventually traded the head up for a Marshall head. I forget what ever happened to the cablinets. It's been a long time.<br><br>P.S. I listened to the solo, Carvin Abuser, I'm impressed. It really surprised me that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Were you purposely thinking about specific outside rhythms, or were you just kinda' letting it float over the top? I could tell you were definitely playing out rhythmically. The notes weren't bad either. Very circa Joe's Garage style, IMO. Not a bad tribute at all. Kudos.

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 Post subject: Re: solo attempt
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:24 am 
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[quote author=Echidnas Arf link=board=zappaning;num=1102612458;start=0#10 date=12/15/04 at 03:13:37]<br>Wow...looks like a Mesa Mk IV.<br><br>When I was in music school I got a student loan that I didn't need and immediately went out and bought a Carvin stack. quote]<br><br>Echidna,<br><br>A stack like the Carvin or Marshal is quite big.<br>I'm surprized you did not get yourself an amp that was more fitting for your needs at the time. <br><br>As you very well may be aware the two Carvins shown in the photo along with a Marshal stack are the three amps that Frank used exclusively on the 1981 tour.<br><br>He additionally kept around an extra head in case one of the two blew. <br><br>It was important that Frank have all three operating. <br><br>I had the luxury of talking to Frank and Midget Sloatman regarding the setup of those amps back in 1981.<br><br>The Carvins were used for the Clean and Mids and the Marshal was used for the dirties.<br><br>Frank was able to adjust the feedback on those big suckers with the ring modulator that was built into his  Les Paul.<br><br>The smaller Carvin seen in your photo was a great little amp while I was also thoroughly impressed with what I beleive was called The Roland Jazz Chorus (Twin Reverb).<br><br>Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew made much use of these throughout the eigtees.<br><br>It seems as if these two amps may have been more fitting for your needs at that time.<br><br>Hopefully you had a chance to try them out before you bought your Carvin Stack.<br><br>While I had always wanted that Carvin stack myself I always realized that a stack in general was way beyound what I needed.  <br><br>I've seen Steve Vai perform in extremely small venues where he struggled to get a good sound with several versions of his Carvin Stack.  <br>  <br>

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 Post subject: Re: solo attempt
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:26 am 
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[quote author=Trendmonger link=board=zappaning;num=1102612458;start=0#11 date=12/15/04 at 06:24:08]Frank was able to adjust the feedback on those big suckers with the ring modulator that was built into his used mostly Les Paul.[/quote]<br>Not a ring modulator, a parametric EQ.<br>

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 Post subject: Re: solo attempt
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:41 am 
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[quote author=swiftkicknow link=board=zappaning;num=1102612458;start=0#12 date=12/15/04 at 06:26:31]<br>Not a ring modulator, a parametric EQ.<br>[/quote]<br><br>1981 was a very long time ago but from my memory  parametric EQs were <br><br>(A) on the amps containing many frequency ranges that were adjusted by teh typical sliding levers.<br><br>and <br><br>(B) a Ring Modulator that was something built into many of his guitars.<br><br>That was a specific type of parametric EQ that Frank used to adjust feedback. Once adjusted for a given hall he would stand in a given spot and move his guitar ever so slighly to move feedback in and out into his guitar tone.<br><br>As opposed to in the Pete Townsend method of burrying the head stock literally inside the amp.  <br><br>Considering your reply I will investigate some published literature but from my conversation with Frank & Midget Sloatman I beleive they told me that the so called parametric EQ that was built into his guitar  was specifically called a "Ring Modulator".

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 Post subject: Re: solo attempt
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:50 am 
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[quote author=Trendmonger link=board=zappaning;num=1102612458;start=0#13 date=12/15/04 at 06:41:06]<br><br>1981 was a very long time ago but from my memory  parametric EQs were <br><br>(A) on the amps containing many frequency ranges that were adjusted by teh typical sliding levers.[/quote]<br>No, that's a graphic EQ. <br><br>These words actually have meaning. These devices are actually used for specific purposes. You don't use a ring modulator to adjust the feedback on your amp. Do you have the slightest clue what any of these devices actually do, or are you just spitting out "buzz words"?

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 Post subject: Re: solo attempt
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:16 am 
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[quote author=Trendmonger link=board=zappaning;num=1102612458;start=0#11 date=12/15/04 at 06:24:08]<br>I'm surprized you did not get yourself an amp that was more fitting for your needs at the time. <br><br>It seems as if these two amps may have been more fitting for your needs at that time.<br><br>Hopefully you had a chance to try them out before you bought your Carvin Stack.[/quote]<br>I was 18 at the time and knew even less then than I know now about tone, which is still basically nothing. At that time it seemed bigger = better, which is the reason I got the full stack without thinking about it. I also didn't have any concept of the value of money at the time either, so there I was with a couple grand in my pocket and I wanted something BIG for it. I've played professionally on the European festival circuit and have never needed anything greater than a half stack in any venue we played. Most stuff is close mic'ed these days anyway.<br><br>Now I have a Fender Champ and a Peavey XXX 112 combo that I just bought this week. I feared the 65W tube combo would even be too big for my needs now (I don't gig anymore, only play casually), but it's nice to have a modicum of headroom I guess. I chose the Peavy for pure dirt worthiness. I was almost going to get a Mesa Nomad 45/55 but most Mesas are too clean and mid-range'y for my tastes (unless you're into a "classic sound" which is boresville IMO), though I know they're great amps.<br><br>I don't think I'll ever play more than a combo. If I got serious about gigging again and playing really loud, I'd look into a half stack at best, but I'd shell out for something superlative like a Soldano, Rivera or Budda head if I did.<br>

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:11 am 
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To VCF and Echidnas Arf, I appreciate the comments.<br><br>I'm playing in the key of E.  I think that every guitar player has their own personal style, but FZ actually invented a new style.  I've never heard anyone play like him before.  That's why I wanted to try to reproduce it.  While I was recording it, I was only thinking about how Frank would approach the solo.<br><br>About improvisation, I actually don't like to learn other people's guitar leads note for note, I prefer to improvise.  In the cover band that I'm in we usually don't play the songs exactly like the original we play them our way, it's more of a jam band.<br><br>About Carvin amps, the only one I owned was a Quad X and I didn't like the sound.  The best amp I ever played through was a Hughes and Kettner Triamp.  Now I have a Yamaha DG130H which is close to the H & K but the best thing is, I don't have to worry about replacing tubes.     <br><br>I'm mainly a rock/blues guitar player, but I'm trying to branch out into more Jazz oriented styles.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:30 am 
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[quote author=Carvin_Abuser link=board=zappaning;num=1102612458;start=15#16 date=12/15/04 at 08:11:57]About improvisation, I actually don't like to learn other people's guitar leads note for note, I prefer to improvise.[/quote]<br><br>That is very evident in your playing.  I much prefer that kind of guitar solo  ;D to the ones that merely compile various "Arlen Roth Hot Licks" [Insert Yawning pumpkin here].<br><br>VCF

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 Post subject: Re: solo attempt
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 2:12 am 
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[quote author=swiftkicknow link=board=zappaning;num=1102612458;start=0#12 date=12/15/04 at 06:26:31]<br>Not a ring modulator, a parametric EQ.<br>[/quote]<br><br>I thank swiftkick for bringing to my attention an error on where I reported of the use of a Ring Modulator in Franks guitars.<br><br>Upon investigation I have learned that the device Frank spoke to me of was indeed a Parametric EQ.<br><br>I beleive he may have used the term "Dial In" and somehow my brain was thinking "Ring Modulator" and this was a total miscue on my part.<br><br>I also distincly remember him getting really excited when he spoke of Tommy Mars use of a Poly synth.<br><br>While I had played the guitar quite a bit in the 70s and 80s I generally kept things very simple using a Twin Reverb, Big Muff and Wah Wah with a 1975 Gibsom Les Paul Deluxe and accoustic.<br><br>Having not used the specific affects and not playing much in the last 10 years i can see how easily I confused the issue.  <br><br>Many of us could only dream to have had a rig setup like Frank.<br>

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:28 pm 
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If any of you is interested-<br><br>I recently uploaded an original song to our band page.  It's a heavy, riff oriented song called "Dookie".  Our lead singer, who is also a Zappa fan, wrote the lyrics which were inspired by Frank.  Comments is welcome.<br><br>http://fhs.dmusic.com (scroll down to the originals section)  

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:56 am 
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   Carvin Abuser... From a fellow guitarist and FZ fan...Keep doing what you're doing! <br><br>    What did you use for effects on "Fescue"? Sounds nice and pillowy like Frank's out of phase Dynaflangers on SUAPYG. <br><br>    I use Carvin stuff too... Quality on a farmboy's wages.<br><br><br>    Keep on rockin' in the free world!!!(limited time offer) ;D ;D ;D


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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:02 am 
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Thanks parkit for the comment.  I was using flange and reverb from a Digitech VGS2120 multi-effects processor.  I like trying to simulate Frank's guitar sounds with it.  Lately I've been trying to get that sweeping flanger in the background sound like on Yo Mama and watermelon in Easter Hay.  It's like the flanger keeps going even after he stops playing.  I plan on recording some more Zappa-ish solos.  What sort of Carvin gear do you have?

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:49 am 
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 Last check I just have Carvin Speakers in one of my amps and an A/B switch. I put one of those Bolt neck guitar kits together a few years ago for my nephew... nice axe! Had a Carvin Lefty fretless bass at one time (bought it used) had some fun with it then ending up trading it in when I got my Boogie MK1 reissue. I love the fact that you can get almost anything they make left handed. I've had my eye on a DC for a long time... someday I'll get one. Theyyrrre GREAT!<br>    You have the tone, the taste, technique, and hopefully the tenacity to keep on keepin' on!<br><br>-parkit


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 Post subject: Re: Solo Attempt
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 6:15 am 
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Thanks llorch for the compliments and taking the time to comment.  My improvisation method is basically just to go with my ear.  I get inspired by and learn from many musicians and groups.  I have my own style, so I'm not trying to take Frank's style as my own, just trying to re-create it, because as I mentioned, I've never heard anyone play the guitar like him before.

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