Continuing with the Grunge nostalgia, here’s a song by one of my top bands from the whole Seattle Grunge scene – Alice in Chains! I’d uploaded a cover of this song a long time ago on YouTube, but this one is special. I spent some time coming up with an acoustic arrangement for the song, and did a proper recording on GarageBand with some video editing help from my wife, Nina. And I’m uploading it as a tribute to this amazing band on the 21st Anniversary of the release of their debut album Facelift.
This is the second, and in fact my favourite, track by Soundgarden from the Road Rash soundtrack. I’ve already gone over how I came across this and Outshined in my last post, so I’ll go straight to the video here. I skipped the somewhat longish intro, unfortunately, because it was tricky to align it with the backing track which had not metronome ticks. I’d been practising it alongside that other track, and so here it is!
I’m going through a bit of a Grunge nostalgia these days. Back in college, I went through a phase when I was really into this genre of music and went to great lengths to get my hands of music by bands from the 90s Grunge era. And I also enjoyed learning to play many of these songs but never got down to recording them in any form.
I recently realised that although Soundgarden was one of my favourite bands from that time, I never really learned to play any of their music, which brings me to this video. The title track for this legendary album – Superunknown! This is hopefully the first of a few Soundgarden tracks I’ll be uploading. There’s also an in-progress version of this track I uploaded with my two little buddies flying about as I recorded the video if you go to my channel :-).
I’m also playing this song in a drop-tuning with my PRS, and the backing track also tuned down.
Here’s another one from my early teens! I’m not such a massive fan of The Offspring otherwise, but this album holds a very special significance to me given when I bought it and all the special memories I associate listening to it with. And this song, while not necessarily one of the more popular ones from this album, is definitely one of the most fun and energetic ones when it comes to play! The last video of the year, with hopefully more to come in the next year. Merry Christmas and happy New Year everyone!
It’s a shame that the word ISIS has ended up with such a ghastly reputation, because the pioneering post-metal band by the same name happens to be one of my all-time favourites. There’s not one album released by them that I feel anything less than love for! I’ve always wanted to play songs by ISIS, but I kept putting it off because I knew they used non-standard tunings as well as heavily down-tuned guitars, both of which as many guitarists would agree are a nightmare to deal with if you have a guitar with a Floyd-Rose tremolo arm.
Having purchased my PRS with a fixed bridge about a year ago, it became really easy to re-tune it to non-standard tunings. I also happened to figure out only quite recently that my Boss GT-100 pedal contained a pitch-shift effect that allowed me to tune whatever I played up or down by a number of semi-tones, which led to the recently published Meshuggah cover video.
And now I took a shot at quite a simple and very trippy ISIS song called C.F.T: New Circuitry and Continued Evolution from their debut full-length album Celestial. I couldn’t find a backing track for it so I’m playing it over a metronome beat, plus the guitar is not tuned all the way down to the same note as that in the original. Like I said, it’s more about satisfying this urge to play any song by this band than anything else here. Hopefully, more challenging and better recorded songs in the future!
Here’s the third and final Primus number from my list before I switch to some different music for a little while. This one was quite challenging, especially when it came to the second solo. Some tricky note-transitions in it to work with. And I was also surprised to see what actually constituted the guitar and the bass parts while learning to play it. Larry Lalonde at his best!
These three Primus songs – Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver, Jerry was a Racecar Driver and John the Fisherman – gave me a good sense of Larry’s unique and quirky playing style, which I have really come to admire, but there’s still more interesting songs like My Name is Mudd, Welcome to this World and many others that I’m really looking forward to playing in the future when I get back to Primus after a break!
Here’s the second I’ve been learning of five Primus songs in my list to do by the end of August – Jerry was a Racecar Driver! One of Primus’ more popular songs. A nice and easy exercise in volume swells, and a crazy solo that jumps in and out of scale like it doesn’t care, in order to work with a crazy bassline.
I’ve always been a big fan of Larry Lalonde’s playing style and how it so cleverly accompanies Les Claypool’s challenging and unique basslines in most of Primus’ songs. I recently decided to learn to play five Primus songs in order to develop a greater appreciation for this style. The first of these is John the Fisherman. Not a difficult song, really, and fun to play. A great one to get started with!
This is also the first video with my beautiful new Ibanez RG-3120 guitar!
I wasn’t so taken by this song when I first heard it, but I revisited it while warming myself up for the release of Tool’s Fear Innoculum last year, and somehow got really hooked onto it, so much that I ended up learning how to play it. This is the first video I’m posting with my new PRS SE Mark Holcomb Signature Edition electric guitar! I play it in the guitar’s standard tuning – Drop C.
Two years ago, I successfully passed the RSL Awards Rock School Electric Guitar Grade 6 exam with a distinction. Since late last year, I have been preparing for the Grade 7 exam. As I’m no longer living in the UK, my guitar tutor Nicolas and I decided that I would do a mock exam over Skype that he would assess and give me a score, unofficially. We did this yesterday evening, and I’m very pleased to say that I passed the exam. And as per Nick’s assessment, it was a “strong performance” and I received a score of 88 out of 100 which is just short of a distinction. Of course, this is not an accurate assessment given the constraints we were under but it’s heartening for me to know that I obtained a score that is a certain pass.
I hope to appear for the next, and final Grade (Grade 8) in the Electric Guitar track in the next year or two. And, as in my previous RSL Awards post, here are YouTube videos of the three songs I chose to perform in the exam…