Monday, 21 January 2008

Acoustic Sessions

By pure coincidence, those Acoustic Open-Mic Sessions that used to happen about six months ago, have started up again. This time they're at a different pub downtown, just down the road from the old one. The pub even supplies a small PA as well. Extra bonus!

I played/performed yesterday evening (Sunday). First few songs I just sung and played on my own, just using my Ibanez acoustic guitar. Lovely acoustics in this small live room. The place went quiet as I sang and played, which was either a really good sign, or they were shocked into disbelief at how bad it was! [kidding] Nah, I was able to really relax both my playing and voice, and make a nice warm personal sound. I had a great time. Easy to play stuff, easy to sing - but effective sounding. These kinda performances give me a chance to play stuff I would never play any other time. Yay.

Then about an hour later, Matt arrived straight from work. I'd text'd him and suggested he should come down after work and join in. So he did. He literally walked in the door, we stepped out the back and tuned up. He asked me, "So, what are we gonna do?"
I just smiled, showed him the lyrics folder in my hand and said simply, "We're on now - let's do it!", so he had no time to think about it or get nervous.

And he absolutely blitzed it!

Matt on a gorgeous-sounding Hoffner Classical guitar (and me on my Ibanez acoustic), we started off the opening section to Pink Floyd's "Breathe" - and the whole place went quiet and really listened to us. It was really satisfying playing and bouncing off each other. Matt's playing was awesome - he says he plays best in front of an audience. And he really played well. Really good. Some amazing touches and tones and little licks pulled out of nowhere. The audience was, I don't wanna boast, but they was dazzled! And we were just improvising!

The combination of nylon and steel-strings sounded brilliant together. You should have seen the look of amazement on peoples' faces when we started singing the lyrics to "Breathe"! People were slightly stunned and amazed.

You know, people in pubs might do "Wish You Were Here" or something, if they're gonna do Pink Floyd. Nu uh. We do "Breathe" - and we gave it heaps of space too. Sounded great.

We did about 5 numbers and then got down. We even got the audience singing at one point. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. But we enjoyed it more.

Tis always good to play in front of people. Gives you some kinda feedback as to how you are actually singing and playing. I can sing easily in those low-key situations for hours. That's not a problem for my voice. Give it all sorts of tone, feeling, space and emotion. Same with playing... you can do almost anything it's so relaxed and informal yet intimate. Lots of space and feel.

Then Matt and I hung around for a little bit to watch a few more of the acts, before heading back to his place for a quick selfish proud back-patting session! hahahahaaaa

Needless to say... it's good to be back out playing live again, even if it's an informal acoustic session.

The added beauty of it was... there were none of the "Little Old ladies" there who would otherwise get me to be their mobile jukebox, and play all sorts of horrid songs. Huzah! There was none of that. Just the way I like it. Everybody got the chance to do their own thing in their sets. Just the way it should be. Huzah!

I'm so silly. I've been trying to figure out if I need a separate guitar amp, to go with my new electric. I've got a cute little 30-watter, but it's only got 8" speakers, which are a little tinny (albeit with some great warm clean sounds... perfect for mic-ing up or recording with). I've been having a look on eBay and doing a bit of exploration online for various amps etc etc... anyways...

I had a lightening bolt. My 300 watt basshead has two channels... simply, I can use one for bass and one for guitar! Too bloody easy! In fact, it's so obvious it's staggering in its simplicity! I just plug one lead and pedals into one, and another lead and separate pedals into the other channel. The speaker cabinet is 23o watts, so I think that's more than I'll ever need anywhere ever! Bingo! Problem solved!

There's no need and more importantly no point in spending $500+ on a new amp, when I've already got a rig right now right to go.

Plus I can always run my 30-watt amp as a stereo extension amp. Oooh... lush sounds live on stage ahead! heh heh

(NB. That's the amp on the bottom of this pic)

Now my next task is to get a nice guitar sound thru that basshead. It's gonna be easy... plenty of people use them as guitar amps! plus I will NEVER need to use 300 watts, let alone 100 watts. I never have in all the many and various live situations I've been involved with.

The more I think about it, the possible combination of sounds using two amps is kinda mind-numbing! With modern amplification, you simply plug the amp directly into the PA mixer, and get a mix of the two sounds together. Holy wow... the possibilities are endless!

It sounds really obvious, now I've stopped and thought about it. But yeah. Problem solved - and fun ensures as a result.
Peas be with ewe

Subscribe Subscribe to this Blog


  1. You're right, Breathe isn't heard that much in live venues, particularly where alcohol is served, punters just can't sit still that long ;)

  2. That's great. Lucky thing. Wish I'd been there.