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  1. #1

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    The Robert Conti Study Group is now working on Ticket To Improv, Volume 4: Project 2 (Wave)

    All are welcome!

    Our study group has evolved a few basic guidelines that have helped us. These are based on the fact that most of us are either beginners in jazz improvisation or old hands who still feel like we haven't gotten a good grip on soloing yet. So, here's what we do:

    • We move at the pace of 8 measures per week, learning the exercise solo composed by Conti and transcribed in the digital transcription booklet on the DVD. Some get behind, some run a bit ahead, but generally 8 measures per week is the norm.
    • We post a video clip each week, typically on Tuesday, of ourselves playing the scheduled chunk.
    • We use any background track we like. Conti has one on the DVD, but many other sources exist, and we use whatever we want!
    • We don't do much critique, but sometimes do openly ask for advice. Mainly, we cheer, support, encourage, and empower each other. We don't offer criticism unless it's asked for, but positive advice is helpful.
    • We try to learn the solo as written and also to make it our own in phrasing and timing.
    • Some like to post a clip playing an arrangement of the "head" of the tune. That's fine, we enjoy it, but nobody is obligated or expected to do that.
    • We avoid detailed wrangling over theory, but seek to grow in the actual practice of playing.
    • We don't branch off much into other approaches to the tunes, other solos, other styles. We have succeeded so far because we stay focused!
    • We don't regard any of these guidelines as inflexible and we don't get in arguments about it!


    Note: This project appears to be a doozy! Forty-four bars to memorize...

    Here is a proposed schedule for posting:
    • October 30: Measures 1-8
    • November 6: Measures 1-16
    • November 13: Measures 1-24
    • November 20: Measures 1-32
    • November 27: Measures 1-40
    • December 4: Measures 1-44 (full solo)
    • December 11: Final take (optional)


    If you are planning to do this, please post a simple "I'm In!" or something like it.
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

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  3. #2

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    I'm in. I already know the head (chord-melody style) but I've always felt stymied trying to solo over it. SO this will be fun!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  4. #3

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    IN

  5. #4

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    I started messing around with the solo today and got this take. Over time, for those of us who've done a good many of these, it seems like it really does get easier!

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  6. #5

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    I'm in !!

  7. #6

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    Blooper Reel from today's practice. I should re-name this solo "I Can't Get Started"

    Using the Jamey Aebersold Vol. 31 backing track

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  8. #7
    Here's my take on the first 8 bars. Fun stuff!

    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by losaltosjoe View Post
    Here's my take on the first 8 bars. Fun stuff!

    Nice tone, nice groove. Nailed it Joe !!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  10. #9

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    Here is mine for the week-I have a very intense week coming up and thought I'd get this done beforehand. I also thought it would be fun to go ahead and try integrating the head into the clips, so this is the head + mm. 1-16 of the solo.

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Here is mine for the week-I have a very intense week coming up and thought I'd get this done beforehand. I also thought it would be fun to go ahead and try integrating the head into the clips, so this is the head + mm. 1-16 of the solo.
    Smooth as silk Lawson! It sounds like you've put in some real work on this tune. Sounds great. Congrats!
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by losaltosjoe View Post
    Smooth as silk Lawson! It sounds like you've put in some real work on this tune. Sounds great. Congrats!
    Actually I've been playing "Wave" for a good 25 years, but still feel very shaky playing solos over the changes.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  13. #12
    Here's my take on bars 1-16. I played it pretty much as written.

    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by losaltosjoe View Post
    Here's my take on bars 1-16. I played it pretty much as written.

    Cleanly played. Lovely tone from that L5 as well. I'm enjoying this solo a bit more than some of the others. Partly because this is such an interesting tune. Chord changes follow traditional harmony but in unusual ways.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  15. #14

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    Hi Guys, you are doing really well and sounding great, I have fallen behind so sorry for the late entry, hopefully I can catch up.
    Here is bars 1-16.



    Andyb

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by andyb View Post
    Hi Guys, you are doing really well and sounding great, I have fallen behind so sorry for the late entry, hopefully I can catch up.
    Here is bars 1-16.
    Andyb
    Nice playing Andy! Loved the tone from the Tele.
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyb View Post
    Hi Guys, you are doing really well and sounding great, I have fallen behind so sorry for the late entry, hopefully I can catch up.
    Here is bars 1-16.



    Andyb
    Study Groups are made up of those who play and those who don't. You play! Nice job on that, and if you keep getting such nice tone from that tele you're going to hurt the archtop guitars' feelings around here!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  18. #17

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    Thanks for the encouragement guys, I must admit I feel more comfortable with a tele, I have one of the DV Mark Little Jazz amps now, and am really happy with the sound.

  19. #18
    Here's my take on bars 1-24. This one caused me some grief rhythmically, so instead of the first triplet in bar 19, I played just an F as a quarter note on the "and "of beat 1 (same rhythm as bar 17). Bars 23 & 24 also took some work to execute cleanly.

    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by losaltosjoe View Post
    Here's my take on bars 1-24. This one caused me some grief rhythmically, so instead of the first triplet in bar 19, I played just an F as a quarter note on the "and "of beat 1 (same rhythm as bar 17). Bars 23 & 24 also took some work to execute cleanly.
    Yes! Sounds nice and you do some nice variations on the rhythmic phrasing.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  21. #20

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    So here's my clip for the week. I don't know why, but this is one of my more favorite projects of the Conti program.

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  22. #21

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    Hey Guys
    A couple of you know I bought Joe D.'s ES175. I have one very similar, almost identical, but Joe's price was irresistible and I know how he sets them up, so I'll likely hang on to his and maybe sell the other. No point having to virtually identical ES175s!

    So I played it this afternoon working ahead on the "Wave" solo and thought I'd post here so you could hear the new axe!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Hey Guys
    A couple of you know I bought Joe D.'s ES175. I have one very similar, almost identical, but Joe's price was irresistible and I know how he sets them up, so I'll likely hang on to his and maybe sell the other. No point having to virtually identical ES175s!

    So I played it this afternoon working ahead on the "Wave" solo and thought I'd post here so you could hear the new axe!
    Hi Lawson, Congrats again on the new ES175! Glad to know that it made it to you safely. I really enjoyed both clips of bars 1-24. I share your enthusiasm for this solo. It feels and sounds like a real jazz solo (and not one which has been "dumb-ed down" for us recreational players).
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  24. #23

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    I just can't stop playing this ES175 and moved ahead a little, so thought I'd post mm1-40, just for fun. This guitar is so nice. If you ever get to buy a guitar from Joe D., you are in for a treat. Not only was it devoid of any dings, it didn[t even have FINGERPRINTS on it. I don't' know how he managed that!

    So here's mm. 1-40 with the Jamie Aebersold Vol. 31 backing track, using the second chorus:

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  25. #24
    Here is this week's assignment, bars 1-32. In honor of Lawson's new guitar, I thought I'd use my ES-175.

    Is anyone else having trouble memorizing this solo? Tough to get old... Still 12 bars to go!

    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by losaltosjoe View Post
    Here is this week's assignment, bars 1-32. In honor of Lawson's new guitar, I thought I'd use my ES-175.

    Is anyone else having trouble memorizing this solo? Tough to get old... Still 12 bars to go!
    Solidly done. Clean, and you have some personal touches in there too.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  27. #26

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    Though I'm a huge Gibson fanboy, I also love budget archtops, especially Epiphones. So I have made a clip playing basically one page of the "Wave" solo on each of four Epiphone Archtops:

    Made in Korea/Peerless Epiphone Broadway (Seymour Duncan Seth Lover Pickup)
    Made in Japan/Epiphone Elitist Broadway (okay, not a "Budget" archtop but cheaper than an L5ces)
    Epiphone Zephyr Regent Re-Issue (Seymour Duncan Seth Lover Pickup)
    Epiphone ES175 Premium

    I play through the solo playing about a page on each guitar. Final result is that they all sound very close, they all sound really good (to my ear) and a person could really do well acquiring one of these if they wanted a nice archtop but didn't have a lot to spend. Only the Elitist Broadway is more than US $1000. The rest are easily found much lower than that.

    Enjoy!

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  28. #27

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    With the support of my dog Alfie, I have caught up. bars 1-32.



    andyb

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyb View Post
    With the support of my dog Alfie, I have caught up. bars 1-32.

    ...
    andyb
    That's a great dog! And a nice job on the solo too! Glad to see we have a remnant forging on with this project.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Though I'm a huge Gibson fanboy, I also love budget archtops, especially Epiphones. So I have made a clip playing basically one page of the "Wave" solo on each of four Epiphone Archtops:

    Made in Korea/Peerless Epiphone Broadway (Seymour Duncan Seth Lover Pickup)
    Made in Japan/Epiphone Elitist Broadway (okay, not a "Budget" archtop but cheaper than an L5ces)
    Epiphone Zephyr Regent Re-Issue (Seymour Duncan Seth Lover Pickup)
    Epiphone ES175 Premium

    I play through the solo playing about a page on each guitar. Final result is that they all sound very close, they all sound really good (to my ear) and a person could really do well acquiring one of these if they wanted a nice archtop but didn't have a lot to spend. Only the Elitist Broadway is more than US $1000. The rest are easily found much lower than that.

    Enjoy!
    Interesting demo Lawson. I listened to your clip a couple of times and with my eyes closed I honestly couldn't tell when you switched guitars. It goes to show that good music is more about the player than the guitar. But we knew that! Thanks for sharing.
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  31. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by andyb View Post
    With the support of my dog Alfie, I have caught up. bars 1-32.
    andyb
    Well done Andy!
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  32. #31

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    It has been ages since I played my old Made-in-Korea/Peerless Epiphone Broadway, and I also haven't played around with the Real Book Tracks backing track, so I thought I'd take a run at the tune and the solo up to the octave section at the end. I just kind of fake some octaves there at the end. This Broadway has a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover pickup in the neck slot, and I really like how it sounds and plays. This "budget" archtop punches way above its class.

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  33. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    It has been ages since I played my old Made-in-Korea/Peerless Epiphone Broadway, and I also haven't played around with the Real Book Tracks backing track, so I thought I'd take a run at the tune and the solo up to the octave section at the end. I just kind of fake some octaves there at the end. This Broadway has a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover pickup in the neck slot, and I really like how it sounds and plays. This "budget" archtop punches way above its class.
    You weren't kidding Lawson. The guitar and guitarist sounded great. Your last two videos have me wondering why I blew so much dough on the Gibsons... Also, congrats on almost completing Project 2.
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  34. #33

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    You guys sound great! I've been so busy with family and work obligations that I've hardly been able to pick up my guitar during this session, but I'm going to try and jump on board now. I found a chunk of time last night and got the first two pages down, (with music). Memorizing it properly will be another matter, but I'll make it happen. I'm glad the TTI thread is still going!

    -Chris
    "This is so easy, it plays itself!" - Robert Conti

  35. #34

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    I love these TTI’s. But I admit one big issue I’ve been having is that the solos don’t reference or relate to the tune’s melody in any way. I’m sure if, like Conti, you’ve heard Ella Fitzgerald or even Frank Sinatra sing these a thousand times and you’ve played the same tunes daily for fifty years you can’t help but hear that melody as you play.

    But I’ve found that my audience doesn’t know these tunes any more than I do. Like me, I think there is a new generation of people who appreciate jazz for its musicality, sophistication, and inventiveness. But not necessarily out of love for pop tunes from the ‘20s and ‘30s. Beyond that, I always enjoy improvised solos that play off the melody rather than just be contrafacts.

    I know Conti’s assistant monitors these threads, so to you I say: “Keep them coming! But if we could have one or two of the project really focus on playing off the original melody, that would be GREAT!!!”


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by losaltosjoe View Post
    You weren't kidding Lawson. The guitar and guitarist sounded great. Your last two videos have me wondering why I blew so much dough on the Gibsons... Also, congrats on almost completing Project 2.
    Never fear! The Gibson Magic remains undimmed!

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  37. #36

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    The ES175 was jealous and wanted to play too, so in keeping with upholding the Gibson Fanboys:

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  38. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Never fear! The Gibson Magic remains undimmed!
    Hey Lawson, Your performance gets better with every video! Makes me want to un-invite the in-laws for Thanksgiving and get back to practicing. You have the tune ready for prime time. And yes, both Gibsons sound terrific.
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by losaltosjoe View Post
    Hey Lawson, Your performance gets better with every video! Makes me want to un-invite the in-laws for Thanksgiving and get back to practicing. You have the tune ready for prime time. And yes, both Gibsons sound terrific.
    hey thanks so much for that. This is pretty much the only audience I play for, so it counts! I still am having trouble with the octave passage on mm. 41-44, and I have memory blanks generally on page 5. But overall this solo is hanging together nicely.

    Part of the fun here is that I just adore "Wave." It was one of the first chord-melody projects I ever undertook 'way back when I first started playing jazz guitar in the 1990's. It took weeks to learn a Steven Crowell arrangement of it--a really good one--but when I was done I had something fun to play. But I never got comfortable soloing over it, though it's actually a pretty easy progression. This Conti solo is helping me with the soloing aspect of this tune.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  40. #39

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    Here is my first "Final" post with the head and complete solo, including that infernal octave passage at the end, which I get about half right.

    Anybody else having the problem in m. 42, when the finger on the 4th string 12th fret doesn't mute the 3rd string but produces a harmonic? This is driving me nuts. I don't want to "pluck" my octaves, but mute/sweep them because I like that more Wes-like, swooping sound. I'm thinking about re-positioning mm42-44 to avoid that 12th fret problem.

    Anyhow, I hope to get this more polished, but thought I'd post now so you could say "Well I can do better than that!" ;-)

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  41. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Here is my first "Final" post with the head and complete solo, including that infernal octave passage at the end, which I get about half right.

    Anybody else having the problem in m. 42, when the finger on the 4th string 12th fret doesn't mute the 3rd string but produces a harmonic? This is driving me nuts. I don't want to "pluck" my octaves, but mute/sweep them because I like that more Wes-like, swooping sound. I'm thinking about re-positioning mm42-44 to avoid that 12th fret problem.

    Anyhow, I hope to get this more polished, but thought I'd post now so you could say "Well I can do better than that!" ;-)
    Well played Lawson! I'm having all kinds of trouble getting the octaves at speed. I've tried strumming and plucking the octaves, as well as repositioning them. I need more time in the shed!
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  42. #41

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    Octaves what octaves, I haven't got that far yet.

    Seriously though Lawson you are sounding great, this a really nice sounding solo. I am also enjoying hearing all your guitars being played, and wondering just how many do you have?

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by andyb View Post
    Octaves what octaves?
    Good point Andy! We're only suppose to get through measure 40 this week. I still have 2 more weeks to practice...
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  44. #43
    Needed to get something on tape despite the long Holiday weekend. I took a few liberties with the solo as written. Too many notes to memorize!

    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by losaltosjoe View Post
    Needed to get something on tape despite the long Holiday weekend. I took a few liberties with the solo as written. Too many notes to memorize!
    Well done! I think you nailed the solo as written, with a couple of very nice touches of your own. Solid job on it all the way around.

    What amp are you using? I'm always puzzling around on the best way to record my guitars.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  46. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    What amp are you using? I'm always puzzling around on the best way to record my guitars.
    Thanks Lawson. I have a fairly crude recording set up:
    - Guitar: 1957 Gibson ES-175S (single pickup; newly re-fretted).
    - Amp: Brunetti Singleman (16-watt 1x12 combo Class A with two 6V6 tubes).
    - Microphone: Blue Yeti USB Microphone.
    - Backing Track: Band In A Box; Played from the PC headphone jack through a Yamaha G100 (solid state) amp.
    - Recording Software: Windows Movie Maker.

    Path: Guitar => Amp (no pedals) => Microphone (set on floor between the Brunetti/guitar and Yamaha/BIAB amps) => Windows Movie Maker (Windows PC).

    If you look at the latest video you can see the Brunetti amp and Yeti microphone on the floor behind me. You can only see the corner of the Yamaha, which is to the right of the mic.

    There is no multi-tracking, just a single live mix. While crude, it truly is WYPIWYH (What You Play Is What You Hear). There is no post-production work on the sound. But I admit, it would be nice to be able to balance the backing track with the guitar track without having to re-record each time. Maybe I'll find some time over the holidays to experiment.
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by losaltosjoe View Post
    Thanks Lawson. I have a fairly crude recording set up:
    - Guitar: 1957 Gibson ES-175S (single pickup; newly re-fretted).
    - Amp: Brunetti Singleman (16-watt 1x12 combo Class A with two 6V6 tubes).
    - Microphone: Blue Yeti USB Microphone.
    - Backing Track: Band In A Box; Played from the PC headphone jack through a Yamaha G100 (solid state) amp.
    - Recording Software: Windows Movie Maker.

    Path: Guitar => Amp (no pedals) => Microphone (set on floor between the Brunetti/guitar and Yamaha/BIAB amps) => Windows Movie Maker (Windows PC).

    If you look at the latest video you can see the Brunetti amp and Yeti microphone on the floor behind me. You can only see the corner of the Yamaha, which is to the right of the mic.

    There is no multi-tracking, just a single live mix. While crude, it truly is WYPIWYH (What You Play Is What You Hear). There is no post-production work on the sound. But I admit, it would be nice to be able to balance the backing track with the guitar track without having to re-record each time. Maybe I'll find some time over the holidays to experiment.
    thanks for the information! Currently I ended up with 2 DV Mark amps, the Micro50 head and the Little Jazz, so I plug the backing track into one, the guitar into the other, run them through a PreSonus AudioBox iTwo-which was the cheapest 2 track Digital converter I could find-and from there into my iPhone via USB/LIghtning. I get both tracks separate in the iPhone file, which allows me to adjust the levels.

    On the guitar, sometimes I mic the cabinet and I have the same mic as you do, but also use a beat up of Shure SM57 sometimes. Other times I use the XLR out from the amp. Odd thing, I rarely can tell the difference in the recordings!

    It's always fun and interesting to hear how every body does this. You're getting IMO very good results from your set-up.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  48. #47

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    I managed to get the whole solo done today, there are a few mistakes and the octaves are not there yet.
    If I get chance I will have another go, or perhaps try to make my own solo.



    andyb

  49. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by andyb View Post
    I managed to get the whole solo done today, there are a few mistakes and the octaves are not there yet.
    If I get chance I will have another go, or perhaps try to make my own solo.
    andyb
    Great job Andy! A very clean take and I think you navigated the pesky triplets with style. And I liked the way you plucked the octaves. Congrats on making it through the whole 44 bar solo!
    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  50. #49
    Here is my take on the full solo (bars 1-44). In bars 41-44, I ended up plucking the octaves and changing some of the positions.

    For this recording I used my 1957 Gibson ES-175 through an early 1980's MiniBrute II (12" speaker; No reverb). I added a touch of reverb via a tc electronic Hall of Fame Reverb pedal. As an aside, I notice that I dial all of my amps and guitars to sound about the same...

    I hope to post one more take with the head and the solo.

    "Your biggest discoveries come by playing" - Robert Conti

  51. #50

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    Unless I have some major breakthrough with the octaves, this is my final take on the solo. Still not happy with the octaves, still getting that 12th fret harmonic on the "D" octaves. I should re-position, but I hate thinking that every time I play octaves I can't use the 12th fret.

    Otherwise, I'm happy with the solo and enjoyed learning it and playing it. I likely won't do another post with the head+solo unless you guys want to do that too, then I'm happy to play!

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town