January 2013


I can only wish that there were more people in this world like Bill Lawrence–regardless of their background or occupation! I’ve been reading so much bullshit around the Internet (that I thought was true) in my knowledge quest toward learning more about the many aspects associated with acoustic and electric instruments.

I was aware of the basics–having studied engineering and all that…but until I recently began reading some of the very short and concise writings by Mr. Lawrence posted on his personal web site, I was beginning to think that the electromagnetic aspect of guitars was only known by human beings who Spock (Star Trek nerd alert!) had mind-melded with for the informational download of content and wisdom!

Here’s just one example:

“In 1959 — when I had the idea of replacement pickups — I had a clear vision for a small, non-confusing assortment of pickups – to meet the increasing demands of many players for a richer, fuller tone and a close to zero noise level. Many adopted my idea of replacement pickups, and by 1980, it had developed into a pickup circus!

Countless, different variations of the two basic pickup models are available, promising all kinds of sound and output with the most beautiful advertising slogans, like “special, hand scatterwound with aged magnets and an output of 5.9 kilo ohms to give you an authentic vintage sound. I promise, you will NEVER find such unbelievable nonsense in my writings!

I still follow my original idea and offer a small assortment of pickups to enhance the performance of your guitar, at realistic and affordable prices – made in our workshop in Corona, California.”
Copyright © 1996-2010 Bill Lawrence. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.billlawrence.com/Pages/Pickupology/Contents.htm
http://www.billlawrence.com/Pages/All_About_Tone.htm/Pickupology.htm

This is a ShredMeister Alert!

Many “old-school” musicians–as well as those who don’t play an instrument but simply enjoy listening to music, disdain modern day Shredders…and I somewhat agree when the technique is void of traditional considerations for melodic and harmonic aspects. Read as: atonal, dark, dissonant.

But to me, Page/Hendrix were two of the “fathers” of the shredding technique. Did I miss any? They were also a little before I found an interest in all things musical, and Halen took it to the next level.

Although I haven’t been to a Van Halen concert for years, it appears that, according to sources, EVH has gotten it back after finally finding a balance of booze and other vices that we all have the potential to over consume.

I’m not intending to engage in one of those “Who is THE fastest guitar picker in the west” arguments. I know, there are others such as Satriani, Vai…did I miss any? Sorry…

So, if you have a few minutes, please turn on some good quality speakers then click the YouTube link below.

Scroll ahead in the concert to 1:31:30 for a master shredder in action! (Yes, there are a few mistakes–big whoopdy doooo…perfection is for robots!)

Well, what about Rap?

Some of these once “inferior” musical instruments are really nice!
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fgwRycQ46E
 
This short video shows the results of several decades of musical instrument construction of Yamaha guitars; a Japanese company that transformed the art and science of copying The Standard to Surpassing The Standard in terms of quality and innovation. The Standard(s) were The Gibson Les Paul and The Fender Strat & Tele guitars. There are many other examples in other industries.  Can you think of any?
 
This is what happens when the craftsman, designers, and engineers who created The Originals–which became The Standards, eventually forgot to innovate for the future.
 
Well, why should they?
 
How about because they progressed from skinny to fat, poverty to riches, sharp to dull, hmm…? 
 
Perhaps it makes little difference anyhow if we juxtapose this in consideration of the BIG PICTURE OF LIFE.
(A parenthetical note: Be sure to search google for the meaning of that ten-dollar word I just used: “juxtapose.”
 
And what does the BIG PICTURE OF LIFE tell us?
 
THE BIG PICTURE OF LIFE tells all of us that time is NOT on our side and that ANYTHING we do “under the sun” will eventually turn from SHIT TO SHAT!!
 
History is THE Great Teacher. History tells all those who listen, and are interested in lifelong learning, that we can’t play king of the hill for all eternity!!  History tells us that it’s simply a matter of time for all of us who believe we can play king of a particular hill for all eternity, that one day the skinny kid at the bottom of the hill will be standing right before us: mono E mono, face to face, nose to nose, and yes–stinking bad breath to stinking bad breath!
 
He will not be a skinny gimp anymore, so it is likely we would not recognize him at first.  But then we will soon realize that while we were standing at that top of the hill all those years playing the King; We got weak. We got fat. We got dull!
 
What the phreaking hell was it, you may ask, that made him so strong? Same as it ever was; the difficult and dangerous mountain assent.   
 
According to God’s Word, in the Book of Ecclesiastes, we should all consider “The Futility of All Endeavor, The Futility of Pleasure and Possessions, The Futility of Labor, The Folly of Riches”, and eventually, “The Futility of Life.”
 
1:3-11 What advantage does man have in all his work which he does under the sun?
 
A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
 
Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; and hastening to its place it rises there again.
 
Blowing toward the south, then turning toward the north, the winds continues swirling along; and on its circular courses the wind returns.
 
All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not full.
 
To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again…
 
That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done.
 
So, there is nothing new under the sun.
 
Is there anything of which one might say, “See this, it is new”?
 
Already it has existed for ages which were before us.
 
There is no remembrance of earlier things; and also of the later things which will occur, there will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.