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Having Fun With My Telecaster And New Strings

I am not sure when exactly it happened, but the B string on my Telecaster broke one or two weeks ago. But I didn’t change the strings because first I have some other guitars that I could take, and second I am sometimes pretty lazy. Yesteday I played a bit of Drop D tuning with just 5 strings on my Telecaster , and that works pretty well. But then I decided to change all strings, because damn I love to play that guitar. The strings I used previously were factory strings, probably 9 gauge strings. That is ok, but I like 10 gauge strings more. I still had several packs of Regular Slinky Ernie Ball strings in a drawer. So, after I changed the strings, I started noodling on my guitar, and with 10 gauge it sounds a bit warmer or fuller now. I should have recorded it, because I came up with some nice tunes. On the other side, it was great that I waited a day because I prefer it if strings are broken in or used for a while. I grabbed the Telecaster today again and played an improvised solo over the backing track chords I recorded yesterday. Here is what I came up with, it’s a short improvisation…

I played mostly the pickup middle position, it sounds less like a Telecaster then since it sounds warmer than the bridge, but it did totally fit to my backing track anyhow. But at the end I couldn’t resist and played the last licks on the bridge pickup. That’s how it sounds like a Telecaster, the bridge is where you get that tone in my opinion. I think I could have used it for the whole solo, but in this case I somehow liked the warmer sounding middle position. Before I record a song, I usually decide which pickups I want to use. I don’t use the pickup selector very often during a solo, and maybe I should incorporate this into my songs, but I need to practice it, or getting a feeling for when a different pickup selection would make sense. Anyway, I’m a living room player, I don’t have to stress myself or make it overly complicated (laugh). Things happen with time anyway. I hope you liked my short improvisation, I am not sure how it sounds with loudspeakers, I record and do the mastering with headphones since I don’t have studio monitors yet.

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2 Comments »

  1. Sounds great! Reminded me a little of neil young. I find that new strings are for the player more than the audience – they are just easier to play. Don’t you find that? Also nice drum crunchy drum track…a loop? Or a VST? High hat particularly good.

    • I like Neil Young. I guess even if unknowingly, we’re probably influenced by many things we’re listening to. I personally always thought my style is also a bit influenced by Nirvana, the MTV Unplugged type of style. Listened to it up and down when I was younger. Some things really did stick with me, the melancholia, the way they kept it slow but gritty there. But I guess that’s generalized, there is more going into our style. But I definitely like sad and slow stuff. 🙂

      About strings. I prefer it if they are used for some days or weeks.. I like it more if the surface of the strings starts to feel slightly more abrasive and less slippery. I do especially find G, B and E string more difficult to play when they are new, too slippy. Also bendings are kinda strange with new strings. That’s where I prefer older strings unless they are completely done like in guitar stores where you can’t even get them in tune anymore lol. To me the magic is somewhere inbetween. New is not good, too old is not good. It really takes a bit of playing until I am happy. Don’t know exactly when, but there is usually a day when they start to feel more natural to me. But definitely not the first day.

      Yes I use a VST for the drums. It’s Sennheiser DrumMic’a, you can get that for free after registration and it comes with some nice midi drum files: http://sennheiser.us/drummica.html Totally fits my style because it has some drum midis for ballads or slow stuff, I barely use the other genres that come with the midi folder. I can suggest that VST. Out of the box that VST is rather too soft, definitely needs mastering before export. I added upward compression to the drum track, that brought it up a lot. Grab that VST, it’s fun for jamming. 🙂

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