Thursday, March 26, 2009

Whew, L-O-N-G week of rehearsals with a busy schedule. I'm tired but a happy tired. A lot got accomplished. We (Rocket Scientists) head out to Cleveland tomorrow (3-27/09) on a quick tour. I'll be back Sunday... actually Monday morning by the time I walk in the door to my home. I doubt even the dogs will be up to greet me!

I hope to see you at the venue: The WINCHESTER

with special guest vocal appearances by Lana Lane and John Payne (Asia feat. John Payne)
Saturday, March 28, 2009

Located at:
12112 Madison Ave
Cleveland, Ohio 44107

It will be a fun show, "C'mon up and introduce yourself if we haven't met already." We'll have a blast, see you soon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I'm on DVD and TV

Don Schiff at

"Hey look, I found this (image above) on the internet. If you click on it you can see when I'm on TV or when a DVD I composed music for or acted in is available. 

Looks like this movie' is currently available. I did more acting than music in that one as the film featured 'artists music' from the late 1960's.

 You can see me in the first 15 minutes of the film 'painting rocks white' in full army clothes. I don't appear in the rest of the film... no I didn't get killed or hatch any diabolical plots.... I just didn't have any more scenes! Worse I guess lol.

Excellent, take care,

The Official Streamy Awards Nominees

"The following are the official nominees for the 1st Annual Streamy Awards, honoring the best in web television from 2008, announced on March 14, 2009. This is the single authoritative list of Official Nominees. The live Awards Ceremony will be live broadcast online on March 28, 2009 at 7:30 PM. Head to to watch."

I just love the way all that sounds, in short "The Guild" is up for more awards. "Best writing, acting, directing AND...... "Best Original Music in a Web Series".

In case you are new to reading my posts, I wrote the Theme music to this show. I've done several Television Movies and Theater Movies and you are always hoping the next project you are doing gets the attention you wish for. 

Like the "Regis and Kelly" musical theme I submitted a few months back, well it got attention alright.... however not for the music I wrote. Another composers music was selected. (All my best wishes to him). 

Maybe this is the time my music will be selected for the award, and that's "Show Business!" If you do it for the love of your art you'll be fine. If you do it for the "Hope of big bucks, fame and fortune" you may become disillusioned and unhappy. "Fame and Fortune" are by products for me, not my passion for doing it. 

I have a meeting coming up next week for another "Web Television Series" that is going into production. This new medium is starting to take off. The productions on these shows is still quite involved and can get expensive as you see on the credits they run at the end with 'a list of names' just like network television. The same amount of production goes into them, they are just geared for 'internet television' which means they aren't 30 minute shows, usually each show runs 3-6 minutes. That's without commercial interruption, so that is equivalent to about 15 minutes of a network show.

Anyway, this is a new medium, a wide open new territory equivalent to when radio shows became television shows...and "we're" on the ground floor and rising! Very exciting I think.

I believe, Internet and Television will merge and you'll just select from your television what show you want to watch, either a Movie or network TV show or the Internet TV show. It will all take place on your high definition Tv in your living room. And God willing, my music will appear on many of the shows.

Hey, well all for now, I've got to get learning the songs for the upcoming "Rocket Scientists" tour. Lot's of music, lots of fun.
Be well and stay there!

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Strings and Things"

Hi Everyone!!! (and especially 'you') See it's a personal posting just for you.

I've had a few gigs come up where I was thinkin' "Ya know.... if I had a thicker string gauge on the NS melody side I could..." (insert picture of me staring into space on a gig thinking this while counting bars so I don't miss the next entrance... (suddenly I see theres a 6 bar drum solo...I think to myself, " why not just take 8 bars so I don't have to count... I can feel 8 - I'll have to count 6". --- Oh well, I'm a pro, I guess I can count to 6, let's see thats one hand and one finger... Alright! Got it - hopefully the drummers counting too!)

Oh yeah, I had an idea going. It goes like this. At times I like to play 'across' the neck because of the "tones on that area of the neck". Especially say the "Eb" on the open "D" string and of course the "Ab" on the open "G" string. (first fret on those strings for us 'tab' readers).

SUre, if it were just a matter of 'string thickness' I could always play those notes higher up on the previous strings... however the tone is different on that part of the neck (even though it's the same pitch).

I love the regular NS/Stick gauge but the melody strings are to light to pluck "bass player style" on those open strings and lower frets. You get the 'thwack' sound if you dig in.

NS medium/regular


(I substitute a .09 for the thinnest string that normally is an .11).

"WHY?? the .09" I hear you ask.

Because you can use the old .09's to slice cheese and donuts!! "Really... no." BUT you can "Bend" the heck out of it and it won't break!

ON the light gauge a technique I sometimes use is to pluck the bass strings (like a bassist) with my RH - first and second fingers. Then for the other half of the rif switch my hand shape to pluck the melody strings with my thumb, 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers. Very 'guitar-esk'.

I do that to 'capture' the feel. I want my bass notes to sings like a bass player and my melody strings to sing like a guitar player.

(Tip 'o the day: Just playing the right notes isn't good enough - Music is about 'feeling'. If you don't capture that, then you've only told half the story.... leaving out passion and interest).

I visited Stick Enterprises and Emmett had already thought this through and had the thicker gauge set all mapped out and ready for us to try. All I thought about was, "Gee I hope the "G" string is around a .40 cause that's what I like my Fender to be around. And of course, as serendippity would have it, he was right in there. Emmett you are "incredible".

So, now I've got my 'new' gauges to try out.

NS Heavy gauge set:


Of course it's 'different' so my first reaction is... "I can't bend the strings like I used to - WHAT HAVE I DONE!." However this thicker gauge makes plucking bass notes into the melody strings feel good and it is easier to hold the tone without the 'thwack' sound of "over powering" the string.

Yes, learning to pluck across 8 strings and navigating to the correct ones at times feels like jumping the Grand Canyon on a tri-cycle... however once you get it!... Ohhhhhh, ahhhhh, the wind in face, your feet pedaling like crazy, then the lift off!!! ahhh very nice. A great technique, worthy of this new gauge.

So off I go out from SE with my 'new' gauge intact to the first session. That's the only way I know is to just "take it in the field' for the ultimate test.

Session #1: Singer/songwriter session. Great tune by the way and very picky producer/engineer. Really liked the tone and I liked the extra melody tension and tone their as well. A success for the new gauge.

Session #2. High end studio, I saw this band play live at the Whisky on Sunset. Great presence, tunes, playing and Ohhh darn fine look too. A couple days later I got a call from their producer and engineer to do their CD. Here's the fun part. Average age of the band SEVENTEEN!!! Kids today I tell ya. Fortunately no mirrors were in the studio so I wasn't able to see me lookin' like eveyone's dad! LOL.

The producer and engineer where seasoned music veteran and had there minds set on using an old vintage Fender Jazz bass. I brought the NS. I played both. Both sounded great, I would have prefered the NS but... because I think they had mentally decided on the Fender, "And that's what NIRVANA used" that tipped the scale for them. They then marked future songs for the NS. So we'll get there on the next session.

Well, let me still experiment. Quick synopsis: As I still 'miss' the regular gauge, as I love to finesse the strings with vibrato, bends and such. Yet, the heavier gauges gives us a deluxe relaxing bass feel and allows ease of 'tone' on the first few frets plucking the melody strings ('bass player') style.

"Rocket Scientist" quick tour coming up. C'mon down, I'll shovel the snow outta the way for ya.

with special guest vocal appearances by Lana Lane and John Payne of (Asia feat. John Payne)
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The Winchester
12112 Madison Ave
Cleveland, Ohio 44107

I'll try the new gauge on that gig and I'll have more to say about it then. It's an ongoing experiment and I'll keep us posted.
"Be well, play Loud 'N Proud"