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Last post Author Topic: Do we have any musical people on DC?  (Read 65621 times)

40hz

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #100 on: December 09, 2014, 08:07:24 AM »
It also makes it difficult, depending on the music even impossible, for me to sing and play at the same time.

FWIW that is a very common situation with many, if not most, bass players. Bass players that can simultaneously sing acceptably while holding down a bassline seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Possibly too many brain centers engaged for most people (or at least bassists)  to handle at the same time.

Don't know if you've run into this as often as I have - but one of the first questions I usually got asked when auditioning as a bass player was: "Do you sing?" And if I answered in the affirmative, the very next question was: "At the same time?" Which I think nicely illustrates (a) playing bass while singing is not all that common; and (b) you can never have enough vocal talent in your band.

I do remember seeing (long time ago) an early draft study about something like "split roles" in musical performance that was trying to find what (if any) neurological basis there was for some musicians being able to handle multiple roles (instrumentalist/vocalist) in a musical context. I don't know if it was ever completed. Or if it was, and came to no conclusion. I tried a search but I can't seem to find anything. Maybe I just half remembered it from a conversation I had with one of my GF's cohorts when she was getting her Masters in experimental congnitive psych...

theGleep

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #101 on: December 09, 2014, 09:33:00 AM »
Wow.  It's nice to know that my inability to sing and play at the same time isn't an anomaly! 

(Actually, I find that *SOMETIMES* I can sing while I'm playing...but it's often that it's just a couple of vocal lines, then I have to go back to just playing)
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Vurbal

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #102 on: December 09, 2014, 09:36:30 AM »
It also makes it difficult, depending on the music even impossible, for me to sing and play at the same time.

FWIW that is a very common situation with many, if not most, bass players. Bass players that can simultaneously sing acceptably while holding down a bassline seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Possibly too many brain centers engaged for most people (or at least bassists)  to handle at the same time.

Don't know if you've run into this as often as I have - but one of the first questions I usually got asked when auditioning as a bass player was: "Do you sing?" And if I answered in the affirmative, the very next question was: "At the same time?" Which I think nicely illustrates (a) playing bass while singing is not all that common; and (b) you can never have enough vocal talent in your band.

I do remember seeing (long time ago) an early draft study about something like "split roles" in musical performance that was trying to find what (if any) neurological basis there was for some musicians being able to handle multiple roles (instrumentalist/vocalist) in a musical context. I don't know if it was ever completed. Or if it was, and came to no conclusion. I tried a search but I can't seem to find anything. Maybe I just half remembered it from a conversation I had with one of my GF's cohorts when she was getting her Masters in experimental congnitive psych...


In my case it's a little more extreme than usual. I have almost no capacity for task switching, which essentially means I have to learn the vocals and bassline for a song as one single part, where some people can learn to simply (note that I call it simple rather than easy) switch from one to the other.

Ironically, if I could do that it would solve my problem of being able to be a front man. It's amazing the distance simply playing an instrument puts between me and the audience.

On an unrelated note, there's a funny story about the one song I used to sing lead on. When I started playing professionally, my new bandmates sat down with me and taught me about 30 simple 3 chord songs over the course of 2 days. They talked about playing Taking Care Of Business, but didn't know all the lyrics. I mentioned that I knew them, thinking I could be helpful and write them down, at which point they decided that should be the first song I would sing.

Fast forward a couple months. I've never even thought about singing anything besides backup vocals and although we all know Taking Care Of Business, we've never worked on it together. We have been playing 4 sets a night, 5 nights a week in a little out of the way hotel bar - usually to so few people it was more of an extended rehearsal.

One night a bunch of nursing students come in after final exams. After they've been drinking an hour or so, we're going on break and one of them catches up to me and asks if we play Taking Care Of Business. Without really even thinking about it, I told her yes, and from that night on I did.

Personally, I think we butchered it every time . Partly it was how bad I thought my oversimplified bassline sounded, and partly it was just the fact it's just hard to pull off with a 3 piece. It always went over well, though, which is ultimately the only thing that really matters.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

40hz

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #103 on: December 09, 2014, 12:36:08 PM »
Wow.  It's nice to know that my inability to sing and play at the same time isn't an anomaly!  

Hope not. I can't really - and I am the last person in the world you'd consider unique! ;D

Quote
(Actually, I find that *SOMETIMES* I can sing while I'm playing...but it's often that it's just a couple of vocal lines, then I have to go back to just playing)

I sorta can. Just not very well. Certainly not what I'd consider performance worthy. But that never stopped Paul McCartney. Listen to an isolated Beatles bass line and you'll hear him muffing the time and hitting technically wrong notes all over the place. But it didn't matter. What he played worked within the context of the song. And he had that unique voice which never screwed up anything on the vocal tracks. Ever.

There's a lesson there I think.  8)

In my case it's a little more extreme than usual. I have almost no capacity for task switching, which essentially means I have to learn the vocals and bassline for a song as one single part, where some people can learn to simply (note that I call it simple rather than easy) switch from one to the other.

Ironically, if I could do that it would solve my problem of being able to be a front man. It's amazing the distance simply playing an instrument puts between me and the audience.

Even without the challenge you have I still can't very well. I can do harmonies just fine. And since I enjoy adding an occasional harmony part, as well as being able to come up with counter-melodies in my sleep, not being able to "take lead" doesn't bother me in the least. I have never once wanted to be the frontman in a group. Not my thing, although I have also never felt distanced from the audience. There's always one attractive woman in the crowd who is really into the bassline. I'll briefly make eye contact to say "hello," then spend the rest of the set playing for her. It's an approach to bass playing that has stood me in good stead over the years. Two guesses how much my guitarist GF is into the bassline...  ;)

I think my two biggest problems with playing bass and singing lead come down to (a) my early musical training; and, (b) a certain hangup I have...

When I was first taught an instrument, my instructor (an old school jazz man) had me sing everything I was going to play. His feeling was you needed to hear and feel in your innermost soul what you wanted to play on a bass. Once you could sing it, playing it became a "simple" matter of linking your hand to the voice you heard in your head. He described the process as "Linking your soul and heart and ears and hands with the mind of God." (He came out of a Gospel background so he used a good deal of religious imagery and metaphors when he taught.) When he was in a less divinely inspired frame of mind he'd say: "You gotta learn to sing through your instrument, kid. Everything else is just showin' or jerkin' off."

Whatever and however - it worked for me. If I hear it and I can sing or hum it - even just in my head - I can almost immediately play it. At least in most cases. Or with a try or two. But now the problem is, whenever I vocalize something (especially with lyrics), my hands immediately try to follow it. And there's few times when anything sounds more bozo than the bass suddenly playing the main melody in a song. Same goes for playing in parallel with the melody line (even for a bar or two) except (maybe) for emphasis. Or to create a special effect.

My previously mentioned hangup is I'm into tone. Almost to the point of mania. If I'm singing a lead line I want to primarily concentrate on vocal tone and expression. And the words. I myself can't do that while playing bass. Not enough brainpower or rapid task switching capabilities I guess. And when playing bass - as the bassist - I want to primarily concentrate on the bass tone. Doing a vocal harmony doesn't interfere (too much) with that. But I don't have to sing every song. Or sing all the way through it like the frontman or lead vocalist does. So I can put my hands on autopilot and do a harmony line for four or so bars without getting too antsy about it. But I never offer to sing. And I'll only do it when it's truly needed for the song. Or I'm not playing bass.

But that's me. I have my own take on the role and function of the bassist in a group. (Don't even get me started on my theory of "strut & glide"when it comes to creating a bass part! ;D We'll never get out of here.)

Take all this with many grains of salt. A nice Margaritas in fact. :) :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 12:45:24 PM by 40hz »

40hz

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #104 on: December 09, 2014, 12:56:09 PM »
Personally, I think we butchered it every time . Partly it was how bad I thought my oversimplified bassline sounded, and partly it was just the fact it's just hard to pull off with a 3 piece. It always went over well, though, which is ultimately the only thing that really matters.

Absolutely! That is the attitude of a professional performance musician regardless of the level of musicianship displayed. It's not just about us and what we think. What the audience expects (and gets) is the other part of the equation.

 :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:

Vurbal

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #105 on: December 09, 2014, 01:13:55 PM »
Unfortunately even when it comes to harmonies I'm mostly faking it when I play, but then again I also share your hangup when it comes to my playing. If my tone suffers or, even worse, if I lose the groove, I don't feel like anything my vocals could add would make up for it. As a recent suggestion for a bass player's t-shirt went, 'They're listening to you but they're dancing to me'.

Ironically, if I keep things ultra simple, like nothing but roots simple, I can hold the groove pretty well (on a few songs anyway) and still sing better than most. The problem is, knowing my own capabilities, I can never sing up to my own standards.

I could never play as well as I can sing, but I would never get on stage if I wasn't playing. Besides, there's just more value in being a serious bassist. At the end of the day, it's a no-brainer which one I should focus on.

Personally, I think we butchered it every time . Partly it was how bad I thought my oversimplified bassline sounded, and partly it was just the fact it's just hard to pull off with a 3 piece. It always went over well, though, which is ultimately the only thing that really matters.

Absolutely! That is the attitude of a professional performance musician regardless of the level of musicianship displayed. It's not just about us and what we think. What the audience expects (and gets) is the other part of the equation.

 :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:

Yep, if you want an audience - and once you've had one it's just too addictive for most of us to give up - you had better learn to understand how to make them happy.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

40hz

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #106 on: December 10, 2014, 07:43:37 PM »
There are few music videos that have made me happier or feel more vindicated about something than this one. Capacitor types are something I have gotten into more pointless arguments over than anything else. The conclusion Joe Gore reaches is the same conclusion that I had reached years ago when it came to the tone capacitor type when used in passive guitar wiring.



Some interesting comments on the video can be found on Joe's webpage here.

« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 08:00:51 PM by 40hz »

tjbray

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #107 on: December 11, 2014, 07:08:56 AM »
@theGleep: The first instrument you (re)finish will always be one of your favorites, regardless of how refined your work gets down the road. My son's 12 string tele is far from pro grade, IMO, but the fact that I made it when even I had doubts on its outcome (and even though the finish is far from what I would deem fit for selling, it plays and sounds beautiful, praise God!), it is my first. I offered to refinish it now that I know more about what I'm doing, but even my son loves it for it being the first one.

I, too, used the hanger method, though I'm thinking about cutting a 6-8" 1X3 to fit in the neck pocket, and attaching it to a mic stand with some conduit straps (no idea of their real name--those straps that hold conduit against the wall). That way I can twist it around as I apply the finish, and loosen the straps to slide it off for sanding.ake sure the wire goes through the body with plenty of extra so it won't slip off as you spin it around. It's happened to me, and ales for extra work.

Jeans are fine. On a nice day, I've sanded plenty of times with the body sitting on my lap while enjoying the sun. Definitely do your stain prep (alcohol and sanding) with gloves, and don't handle it bare handed until you move into the shellac phase. Shellac has great adhesion properties, especially  de-waxed shellac, so you won't have problems past there.

Ever clear is a great choice, with no toxins (a must when I work inside, we have 5 parrots)

Lifting the grain with the alcohol and lightly sanding the grain down has to be done just prior to staining. I'd do the grain lift both just prior to your prep coat and prior to your stain, to be on the safe side, though not much lift will occur if you get it all the first time.

I advise you is dewaxed shellac, for the best results. If you use shellac from a can, Zinsser has waxed and dewaxed. Most premixed shellac is made in a 3 lb "cut," or 3 lbs of shellac flake per gallon of alcohol. Go to http://www.finewoodw.../mixing-shellac.aspx to read the proper conversion to dilute it to about a 2 lb cut (you can store it in a mason jar). This will give you thin, glossy coats. I put a good 10-12 coats before sanding, to give plenty to rid myself of brush strokes. Take care that you don't sand through all your coats and hit your stain. Too much shellac is not a problem that sanding can't remedy. Too little can make a grown man cry.

Use wet-dry sandpaper and a lubricant Like mineral spirit or even a few drops of olive oil. I'd wait a week after your final coat of shellac if you aren't sanding  a little after 3 or 4 coats, but doing my shortcut method of many coats and sand. Otherwise, you can sand a day later and reapply until you get it smooth as glass. Don't apply pressure other than the weight of your hand, and inspect the paper for buildup frequently. Buildup will mar your finish like a grain of sand.

When you've got it sanded smooth, work up to at least 1500 grit paper. You can  buff then with a quality car polish like McGuires and use their swirl remover to finish it up. Or, after the sandpaper, apply a few coats of varnish, sand some more, then buff.

BTW, Merry Christmas to all, should I forget to post that later!


tjbray

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #108 on: December 11, 2014, 07:13:25 AM »
Should've proofread the last post, sorry for the many errors! ;-)

theGleep

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #109 on: December 11, 2014, 10:56:21 AM »
@tjbray: Thanks for all the advice.  I read it three times.  I asked questions.  I re-read it.

Then I got so excited to get the job done that I just followed the directions on the MinWax cans...

That was before your last post.  :)

It's hanging in my basement right now, stained and dry ... I plan to start shellacking using an airbrush this weekend.

Maybe - if I can the right shellac, thanks to your advice in that last post.  Really.  I'll follow it this time.

:)
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theGleep

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #110 on: December 11, 2014, 11:42:58 AM »
Uh-oh.  I don't know if I can afford to do shellac right...how much would I actually need?  Is there another option that would be cheaper?

*** I could probably afford it if I were patient enough to wait for *next* payday.  But I think I've established my position on patience.
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tjbray

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #111 on: December 11, 2014, 06:30:59 PM »
@theGleep:  I've goy a dozen coats on this one, haven't used a cup. Especially since you'll be thinning it with alcohol to a 2 lb cut.

theGleep

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #112 on: December 12, 2014, 09:49:24 AM »
@tjbray:  Well, that's good to know.  I suck at math, so I'm not sure - but 2oz of flakes gets me 2 cups, right?  I think I could afford that! 

At least to get started.
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theGleep

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #113 on: December 12, 2014, 03:34:12 PM »
@tjbray:  OK, I ordered 4 ounces of flakes...should have them within the week (I'm thinking Tuesday, since they're just a state away).

So - when it's time to apply, I could get thinner coats if I use an airbrush, right?  And they'd dry faster since they're thinner, right?

I'll be looking forward to your opinion on "noob using an airbrush to apply shellac" :)
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wraith808

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #114 on: December 12, 2014, 03:39:52 PM »
I'm getting ready to move, so decided to look around, and there was a Music Resource Center in the area that provides music instruction + studio time to under-privileged kids in the area.  I've been taking this trombone with me from move to move... but I don't really play anymore.  I didn't even know if they'd want it, it's so old and dinged up, but it works.  The excitement that they had to get the instrument was worth way more than the sentimental value of keeping it around.

Just food for thought, as I'd not even thought about looking into it before now.

superboyac

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #115 on: December 12, 2014, 05:07:14 PM »
There are few music videos that have made me happier or feel more vindicated about something than this one. Capacitor types are something I have gotten into more pointless arguments over than anything else. The conclusion Joe Gore reaches is the same conclusion that I had reached years ago when it came to the tone capacitor type when used in passive guitar wiring.



Some interesting comments on the video can be found on Joe's webpage here.


His faces!  Hilarious!
Yes, i'm beginning to confirm BS on 90% of this audiophile stuff.  I'm pretty skeptical about anything not involving noise/hiss/distortion or something obvious like that.  But maybe I need to listen to them on better headphones.  Like these!  only roughly $10k for the headphones and required amp:
621606_408794699170027_1968374507_o.jpgDo we have any musical people on DC?

I'm also observing that those who claim to hear things that I can't are also more *superstitious* than I am as well.

40hz

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #116 on: December 13, 2014, 08:05:33 PM »

I'm also observing that those who claim to hear things that I can't are also more *superstitious* than I am as well.

At least you were polite enough not to mention their webbed feet. ;D

tjbray

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #117 on: December 13, 2014, 09:43:16 PM »
@theGleep: this is concert weekend for us, so I haven't been able to get on here. Your calculations are right, one good thing about going brushless is you won't have the  brushstroke issues, so you will sand off far less  waste than I do. I, too, have a patience deficiency, and when the time is available for me to work on a guitar, I can't rely on Ohio weather, so I just resolve to brush and sand my way to completion!
Expect the first coats to dry quickly. Even with a brush, the alcohol evaporates very quickly, and I'm  able to recoat  in an hour. I like to give the shellac extra time to cure before sanding ng. With my multiple  coats of 10-12, I wait a week. With an airbrush, you will be able to sand in a day, two tops.
I haven't had time to touch my project since last posting, and it's KILLING me!!!!

If you're interested in how my son's Skynyrd/Allman Brothers first show went (at the school, really more of a dress rehearsal), the Mason School of Rock page on Facebook has videos posted. He's the really tall guitarist on the far right on "Sweet Home Alabama" in the white flannel with blue/black stripes. Oh, the outright beautiful Les Paul style guitar he's using? I only wish I could claim building it! It's a Raven West Guitar. I am going to overhaul it this spring, however. Stainless frets, all new gold hardware, Page style wiring with a kill switch hidden under the pickguard for that staccato effect. Maybe a stainless guitar nut as well. My guitars I make nuts out of fret material, kinda my 'thing.'

I'm going to try to send you a copy of the forms I currently use for builds after I clean the bird cages to see if you think they can be put on a computer or tablet type program, even iphone for that matter. If I don't get to it today, I'll try to get it sent on Monday (I need to switch to a laptop!)

superboyac

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #118 on: December 14, 2014, 01:15:34 AM »

I'm also observing that those who claim to hear things that I can't are also more *superstitious* than I am as well.

At least you were polite enough not to mention their webbed feet. ;D
Argh!  I don't get the reference.  You know how many hours of google research your posts have caused me over the years??
So...webbed feet, what is that?  A reference to luck?

40hz

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #119 on: December 14, 2014, 02:25:32 AM »
^Actually it's just a lame joke on my part. I was inferring they're mutants. Sorry. ;)

tjbray

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #120 on: December 14, 2014, 11:00:06 AM »
@40hz: I just listened to the tone test Superboyac posted, that'll save me a few bucks down the road.
On that same note, I thought we should pass along that Guitar Fetish has a small supply of the Epiphone "Lucille" rotary switches with 5 or 6 different valued capacitors. A sure way to extract a slew of different tones from your guitar (though I hope they have enough in stock for me to pick up a few after Christmas.)

40hz

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #121 on: December 14, 2014, 11:10:39 AM »
@tj - same here! Thx for the heads-up. :Thmbsup:

And here's the schematic in case we miss it: ;D

GB.pngDo we have any musical people on DC?

If you're into tenor or cigarbox guitars, G.B. Gitty Crafter Supply now offers 3 and 4-string adjustable hardtail chrome  bridges for very reasonable prices:

 EpiLucille.jpg

"Changes everything" doesn't begin to describe what this will do for this sort of project.

GB is a good source for inexpensive parts for homebrew instruments. :Thmbsup:

Vurbal

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #122 on: December 14, 2014, 03:07:09 PM »
^ That shop looks handy just for the cigar boxes.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

40hz

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #123 on: December 14, 2014, 04:42:38 PM »
.
^ That shop looks handy just for the cigar boxes.

They have some fun stuff. Nothing too expensive - plus some things you won't find most other places. I've bought from them before and have been very happy with their products and service.

BTW, it's amazing how good some people can make these little 3-string cigarbox guitars sound. Like Brook Williams when he does the old blues standard On Top of the World:



 8)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 07:54:34 PM by 40hz »

theGleep

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Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« Reply #124 on: December 15, 2014, 03:45:52 PM »
@TJBray - I'll look forward to getting the forms (Might even have them already - haven't checked my messages). 

And I'll plan to do the airbrush thing...we've mentioned my patience deficiency, right?  But I'll be doing the work in my basement...probably really dusty, but I can actually *do* it :)  I'll just expect to have to sand dust bumps out.

If I'm airbrushing, should I maybe even go with a thinner mix?
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