Just {One + n} More Thing(s)

A multi-pronged post, people.

Yes. That’s some linguistic finesse. I like that.


Eat that, Hemingway.


To re-cap (before John’s brain enema): post with prongs.

Firstly, it was my birthday yesterday (I know, postal service isn’t what it used to be, we did send it a week ago, John, but those thieving gits will take anything not surgically attached to a Pinscher, yada-yada-yada), so I tried to celebrate in a manner befitting to the occasion.

Yes, there were drinks.

Yes, there was a cake.


a) Riotous boozing long into the wee small hours, culminating in much destruction of neighbouring BMWs?


b) A quiet, but ultimately emotionally memorable evening with friends and family, culminating in a spiritual awakening and moral epiphany?

OR, comedy last option:

c) Transcribing and learning Frank Zappa xylophone parts?

If you have any prior experience of me, you’ll already have shut this blog window in disgust, and kicked your cat out of sheer frustration.

Learnt the parts, though.



I need to advertise a video blogger (who you’ll have heard of anyway, given his incredible ‘net status) whose profundity and lucidity (and humour) have made me giggle and pensively stroke my chin: www.zefrank.com . Genius.

It brings to mind the sort of biting intellectual satire brought to us by ‘gods-amongst-mortals’ such as Chris Morris (Brass Eye) and Bill Hicks, both of whom are yet to wear out their welcome in my heart.

Old age turns one quite poetic, dunnit.


I’m a big reader of music journals/magazines and I place a lot of respect on the writers in them. Specialist journalism requires a huge amount of passion for the subject, especially given the naturally select nature of its readership.

So, I was distraught when one such article gave out potentially damaging advice. I won’t mention the publication, or the author (something to do with politics), but they haven’t printed my letter (e-mailed the day the publication came out, near the end of April) so I feel it necessary to point this out here.

William Brown, please seek other advice on your playing tension! The advice given was, in my estimation, lacklustre, and potentially damaging.

If your picking technique causes you pain in the elbow – that’s due to unhealthy strain ON the elbow during the playing process. It’s not, as the scribe felt fit to posit, a result of not playing some scales before a gig. Warming up is essential, but if there is a fault in your playing, YOU WILL STILL HURT YOURSELF.

Slow your playing down, and relax. Focus more on a wrist action (it’s tempting, when playing extreme metal as you do, to use the elbow for more aggression, but it really isn’t necessary), and on control, rather than tensing the muscles, setting them on ‘fast’.

My closing statement in this letter which will almost certainly never see the light of day (thank some unspecified deity for editors):

Shortcuts are not in the best interest of players with long-term aspirations.

Spleen vented.


In closing, I though I’d give you all a treat. Although you can’t see me hopping on one foot singing through the assorted works of Verdi in a pleasing falsetto, I’m dedicating it to you. Yes, you.

But since you won’t believe me (why should you?), here’s something tangible:


It’s a nice little mixolydian phrase in quintuplets, for any Shawn Lane fans out there. Notice the use of economy picking, on every crotchet/quarter note. Due to the (literally) odd note configuration, this means that every group of 5 has the same picking. Ah, not just a pretty face, this one.

Note, if you will, the bi-dextral addition at the end. I do the two tapped notes with my middle and ring-fingers. It sounds oh-so-like-a-keyboard. Sort of.

You may also wish to experiment with alternate note choices – fer instance, substituting either the G# or B with the b5, Bb, for a nice E9#11 implication.
Or, for the more rhythmically-perverse out there, you could create a pleasant 5-over-4 isorhythm by changing the subdivision to semiquavers/16ths. Or triplets, or septuplets, or…

Please post any variations or additions you come up with!

Well, that’s all from me.

Er, you can go now.

Stop wasting your time on the internet and do something useful.

I don’t know what. It’s YOUR life.

Tea needs to be made, televisions need to be watched, grass needs to be cut, fish to be fed (probably), Hollywood movies to be made, and so on.

I mean, I’m flattered that you’re still reading (“John, how could you know if I’m still reading? I mean, I’m in a camper van in Utah, and you’re all the way over in the United Kingdom of Scotland.” Well, my friend, you know that glowing light on your monitor? You know, the one that you thought indicated the power status? Yeah, it’s actually a camera. And that foray on the web last Saturday? I can assure you, that wasn’t “research”. You’re fooling no-one.)

Boy, Freud would enjoy this, wouldn’t he? (I hear he was big into his blogs)

Right. Time for some tea-mouth synergy.



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Filed under diatribe, Guitar, humour, music

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