Still Going

The RPM Challenge is over, but I still managed to play some guitar today. I’m up to three new song ideas. I was thinking of trying to do two songs per month for the rest of the year, but I just had to keep going today. I don’t think I am going to do 10 songs in March, but will I? Who knows. It’s just good to play.


Tracking is Done

I have finished all of the tracking for this year’s RPM Challenge. I added really crappy lead guitar parts to the last two songs and I am done with the recording. Finished, babie!

181/365. The focus point is on the pickup switch, I think.
The focus point is on Baby Yoda, babie!
The focus point is the word “Fender” on the amplifier.
The focus point is on the guitar, which I think was pretty obvious.


I’ve already mentioned putting vocals on four songs this morning, and I’ve already posted two songs that I mixed today, but now I am posting about putting lead guitar parts onto four songs. My fingers are killing me. I still don’t have calluses on my left hand and good heavens am I feeling the repercussions of that right now. I still have four more songs that are ready for leads but I have to take a break for a while. Maybe for the rest of the day. Jen and I might be going down to Cambridge for some tech gear after dinner tonight, so this might be it for guitar on this fine Saturday. I still have to write melodies and lyrics for the last four songs as well.

Soooo much left to do.

Baby Yoda? That’s Grogu to you, punk.

Gotta Keep Pushing

Twice this week I was going to go out and do car music before work only to be screwed over by snow. On Tuesday I probably could have done it but today there was no chance. Damn it.

I did the same thing I did on Tuesday though. If I couldn’t go out and sing, I’d stay home and record some guitars. Last night I added a couple of noodles that are now song #15. I wanted to work on lyrics last night but 24 bars of bass guitar riffs was as far as I got. After finishing my faux running (yogging) and watching episode two of Star Trek Picard this morning I worked those little bass riffs into a song form and recorded the rhythm guitars. Then I put leads onto the only two songs that are currently ready for leads. Nothing special as far as playing is concerned, but both songs are now ready to mix. Just before I punched into work I added lyrics to song #9 as well. I now have five songs ready to sing and will get to as many as I can before work tomorrow. Assuming mother nature doesn’t kick me in the balls for a third time.

Obligatory pictures:

I took the Wren and Cuff Super Russian off the board and replaced it with the Way Huge Russian Pickle. Two different copies of the old Sovtek version of the Big Muff Pi fuzz pedal

The plan for tonight is to try and write lyrics. I currently have six songs that are ready for lyrics and one more that isn’t quite ready yet. I’m at 15 songs now when I only need 10. Two of the 15 are especially crappy and might go unfinished. We’ll have to see what happens over the next five days.

I will complete this project if it takes everything I have. I am not blowing my RPM Challenge success streak.

2023 RPM Challenge – Day 19 of 28

Again, posted to tumblr:

I failed to record any vocals today. I’ll try again tomorrow. I did write lyrics to two more songs (I have seven now) and I added two more songs, complete with rhythm guitars. One of the new songs is in 11/8 time, which is a first for this prog nerd.

Vocals in the car in the morning or die trying. Not literally, or course. We buried my mother last Tuesday, I don’t even want to think about death for a while.

And now for the obligatory Les Paul pics:

So the continuous auto focus zeroed in on the mic stand. Okay.

Making Progress

I have rhythm guitars on six songs now. I had two done the other day using real amplifiers. I’ve done four today with amp sims. The Amplitube sim of a Fender Deluxe Reverb costs $30. The sim of the Mesa Boogie California Tweed costs $40. I don’t see me moving beyond the free app any time soon. Sorry.

My fingers are killing me so I am taking a break. I am going to finish season two of The Mandalorian, eat some lunch, maybe have a protein bar, go grocery shopping, and then come back for some more guitar.

Sound like a plan?


Everything Works, Now Do Something


The signal path has been tested. I plugged in this morning and made sure the guitar was getting to both amps, and the mics on both amps are getting into the interface and from there into the computer. Check.

Now I just have to learn how to play the new songs and record them. The downside of not playing since November though is that it took about two seconds for my fingers to start hurting. It’s going to be rough over the next 18 days.


Random Lunchtime Stuff

Some random thoughts as my lunch break winds down…

I read a great article from Guitar World yesterday called 20 Ways to Improve Your Les Paul. The need to have my 1978 Les Paul Custom repaired/upgraded is never very far from my mind, but I don’t have the money to spend on it and I am nervous about trying to sell another guitar to pay for it because what if I am overwhelmed with sellers remorse? Worse, what if I sell it for a lot of money and then find out I didn’t sell it for nearly enough. Oh, the stress! Anyway, the article made me want to get on with it, even though most of the things it suggests are things I wouldn’t do. Fifties wiring and PAF clones are about all I have in mind. That and frets… yikes!

Speaking of Les Pauls, I haven’t played my new Les Paul, or any guitar for that matter, in weeks. I am starting to go through withdrawals again, and I have zero calluses left on my left hand. I am soft and smooth and in for a lot of pain and unpleasantness when I do start playing again. Crap.

Speaking of Les Pauls again, I just finished listening to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in its entirety in one sitting for the second time in a week. I don’t know for sure that Steve Hackett played all of his leads on a Les Paul, but it seems that way. There’s clearly a Stratocaster on the next Genesis album, but The Lamb and the three records he played on prior to that all sound like Les Pauls to me. I think he played through Hiwatt amps back then, but I don’t know that for sure. When I saw him in 2019 he was standing in front of a Marshall and a single 4×12 cabinet (he was also not playing a Gibson Les Paul at that show, but a Fernandez Les Paul copy. I think it’s the same (or similar) model I saw Robert Fripp play that same month). I wonder if it was a real Plexi, or even cooler, and old JTM45. Oh, to go back in time with a pile of cash.

I need to go grocery shopping tonight, and I want to get an oil change for the Mazda, which is about to be Bellana’s Mazda. I want the car to be all up to date with everything when we “sell” it to her. I also want to go back to the store that sold me the jacket yesterday and get them to take off the damn security tag. I am pretty ticked off about that. I hope to see my parents this weekend if possible, but it really doesn’t seem like I am going to have the time. There are too many things going on right now, only some of which are related to the imminent xmas. I am hoping I can throw the wife and step kids into the car at some point over the weekend so we can all go out and look at xmas lights. I want that to include a visit to Boston too, but I know it won’t. I wonder if New Years Eve in the city is a possibility? The last time we did that it was followed a couple of months later by a global pandemic, so maybe it’s bad luck? Who knows.

Okay, lunch is over. Time to go be productive for a couple of hours before calling it a work week. HoHoHo, Merry weekend.