Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Good vs great guitar effects pedals

Someone -- I think it was The Edge, in a YouTube interview where he shows off his guitar rig -- said that with most guitar effects pedals you can get at least one useful sound out of them -- and I think that's true.

I was messing around with some effects pedals this afternoon, and with some of them, yeah, I could get a useful sound. 

But with two of them, I could get many different useful sounds.  And -- probably not coincidentally -- the sounds I got made me want to keep playing and playing and playing. 

I guess you could say that the difference between a "good" and a "great" guitar pedal is that a great pedal makes you chortle, and want to keep playing.  And probably inspires recurring riffage.


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Friday, April 19, 2019

Better to be diplomatic than to accuse

If you start the interaction with an accusation it puts the other person on the defensive; it also means that if your accusation was wrong you need to back down and apologize, or else dig in further (even though you know you're wrong).

This is particularly true when using e-mail -- where there's no vocal inflection to carry the tone, just phrasing.

Instead, perhaps be humble; frame it as a confirmatory question.

Example #1:  "You should never submit Form Z without manager's approval!", try "I just need to confirm:  it looks like you submitted Form Z without getting manager's approval:  is this correct?"

Example #2:  "I sent you this e-mail a month ago -- and you haven't replied.  I guess that's an answer in itself."  Instead, try "I'm just following up:  I don't have a record your response to the below e-mail from a month ago:  could you please forward your original response, or provide a response now?  Thanks!"

To my mind, the underlying aim isn't about blame:  it's about accomplishing or clarifying something (e.g. "verifying that form was properly approved; if not, reminding the worker of the level of approval needed for that form"; "discovering the answer to the initial query".

Maybe there's a reasonable explanation for what you think is the other person's mistake or oversight.  Or, maybe there isn't.  Regardless, I don't see a lot of advantages of starting the interaction aggressively rather than mildly:  you just come off as an unpleasant person.


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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Three minor musical advances

Three minor advances in music, for me:

1)  As I think I mentioned, a few months ago I bought an acoustic guitar for about AU$15 (around US$12):  nice tone -- but the bridge only allows the middle four strings.  And then when I was re-stringing it, I broke the D-string -- so it's just [blank] A [blank] G B [blank].  This set-up is making me play differently (I noodle around while watching t.v.), with more use of "drone strings" and playing up and down the neck, rather than across.

2) As I might(?) also have mentioned, for the last four(?) months I've had drumsticks in the car:  at stoplights I play the steering wheel.  My hand work is improving (although not my feet) -- but the interesting thing is that Tuesday of (I think) two weeks ago (so, April 2nd?), on the way in to work I noticed that my drumsticks (a matched pair) actually had a slightly different diameter:  and now I can't un-notice that.  So that's an extra level of sensitivity.

3) With the exception of two songs from about 15 years ago, all of my songs are either standard major/minor chords, or power chords.  But last night I wrote a song (verse and chorus guitar; no melody line or further arrangement yet) with a verse of major chords (but with a suspended 4th occasionally added on the A) -- but the chorus alternates between a D-major and the four thinnest open strings (which is D G B E -- so I guess a Gminor2?), and finally ending on a power chord with the root on the A-string, seventh fret.  So, something a little different.

I'm still not in a situation (or current inclination) to easily record:  one of these days...


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