So this week was a bit of a wash – HOWEVER, I DID book a slot at the NAC tent for BBQ Fest with Tin Lolita – so that’s a good thing, right? ALSO, I’m waiting on a call back from Ribfest – I booked a wedding ceremony for that weekend already, so we’ll see how that goes. exciting!
Here’s some behind the scenes footage of Matt preparing for his surprise birthday/engagement party for his now-fiancee, Michelle. I always enjoy recording with Matt, and Im glad to have him and Michelle in my life 🙂 Congrats, you guys!
I get asked a lot about the chord fingerings I use, and how to grab them quicker. I’ve been planning on sharing that information, and the time is about right for that, but I’m going in with some assumptions.
About once a week I’m going to start posting a new episode of Get a Grip: The Chord Voicing Show. I’ll be skipping the straight cowboy chords (C, A, G, E, D) and some of the beginner’s fingerings like Am, Dm, A7, Em, and stuff like that. If you don’t know those, check this link out. The easy, basic open voicings for these chords can be found here:
Once you’ve been primed with that information, we’ll be ready for the big job – being able to play through chord charts without needing a chord dictionary.
Barre chords are for scrubs. Here’s Why.
Barre chords are the enemy of the beginning guitarist, and only barely efficient in most scenarios. I play more than 200 gigs a year, and I almost NEVER use them. They make my thumb tired. If I’m playing with a full band, the notes get lost in the mix – I might as well be playing power chords. They stomp all over your bass player, and God forbid you’re playing with a keyboardist. Geez, the damn things are useless. But somehow, every beginning guitar player thinks that they hold the key to opening up the flat keys and more complex play. False. They get in the way of you being able to learn songs, write, and perform. Beginners got weak first fingers, and barring all six strings makes them cry. Their pinkies are weak too, but we can worry about that later. Either way, stop wasting your time, and start learning how to play guitar. We’ll start next week.
DALE TIPPETT, JR is my solo project, with backup band Tin Lolita, which is Ezra Lange on bass and Agustin Jaramillo on Drums. We play original roots/rock/blues music that’s accessible to the casual listener. Some covers, mostly originals.
So I’m always teasing Nikki about how serious she takes everything… Maybe I’m being an ass about it, but I don’t mean to be, sometimes things are just funny to me. Everybody’s got their quirks.
Anyhow, we were out with the kids for breakfast one morning. Addi was coloring, and Nikki was holding her iPhone aloft and trying to get a good pic – as is her custom. She looked super dramatic and focused, so I snapped one of her – as is mine. Took it home and while she busied herself with some design work, I cranked a few of my own out. Hope you like em!
So about once a year, I get asked about what kind of strings I use. It’s usually because somebody wants to get me a Christmas/birthday present, doesn’t know about my toy collection, and also is unaware that I love getting a bunch white socks – as boring as possible, so I don’t have to spend much time matching them.
Anyway, this usually gives me pause, because I have a really hard time remembering what I use on my acoustic guitars – the ones I use the most, but restring the least. So I figured I would write about it today so next winter I can just google “what kind of strings does Dale Tippett Jr use?” and get a faster answer.
Here’s the rundown:
On my six-string electric guitars (my primary is a fixed-bridge Schecter Hellraiser), I use ten-gauge D’addario strings. Playing on a six, I lean on clean or slightly pushed tones. Ten-gauge strings don’t go as sharp when I hit em hard, as is my custom. I use a lot of my acoustic technique on clean/pushed electric guitar music, which means a lot of percussive picking and hard pick strokes. On lighter strings, that causes the notes to go sharp, and that’s a boo all day long.
On my seven string Schecter Hellraiser, I use nine-gauge D’addarios. Nines can bend wildly, which allows for a couple different things. There’s a lot of give, so bending is super easy, and a little vibrato goes a longer way. The action on my seven-string Hellraiser is set REALLY low, so with the strings light and the action low, I can play for hours without much fatigue. On top of all that, Something Beautiful tunes a half-step low (Bb,Eb,Ab,Db,Gb,Bb,Eb), so the strings are even looser than they would be in standard. All these factors make shredding about a million times easier. My technique on that guitar is much more gentle – I let the gain from the amplifier do most of the work, and playing more percussive parts with a lot of incidental string sounds is generally undesirable in a high gain situation.
I always need this video:
I have two Schecter seven-string Avengers, that I write on, but rarely play live anymore. They’re fixed bridge (the seven string Hellraiser has a Floyd Rose on it) so I treat them with a lot less care, and a ton more aggression. Since I hit them so hard, I use ten-gauge strings on them. That keeps them from going sharp, and I can just go to town. It’s a bit of a challenge to play very fast on these two, but sometimes that’s enough to give me a new idea for a solo.
My main acoustic guitar is a zebrawood (what?) Ibanez that my gorgeous Nerdy Girl got me for Valentine’s Day. I was restringing it this morning and that’s what prompted this post. I put a set of EXP11’s on it. That’s D’addario 80/20 bronze, twelve-gauge. what’s that all mean? I don’t really know, but they sound good as hell. Most new strings do, but more on that later. That guitar has the usual Ibanez fast-action, pretty low, so I’m ridiculously happy with it. The electronics amplify beautifully, so I don’t get in awkward micing situations and it’s plenty clear for small rooms. Real balanced output, too, so nothing weird comes from my percussive right-hand technique. So good, and also real good for soloing.
A few years ago, Auggie from 5 Minus X, Hubbard Union and Tin Lolita got me a Fender Twelve-String Acoustic. I tend to go lighter with that one, eleven-gauge – to prevent fatigue on account of the big grip of strings. Technique is more gentle on a twelve, with focus on arpeggios. I even prefer a lighter pick on that. Not sure why though.
So why all D’addario? Durability and cost are really the main driving factors for me. I play more than 200 gigs every year, and that wears my strings down quite a bit. If you’re not gigging very much, you should be changing your strings 3 or so times a year, but with that many shows, my strings go dead faster, and that makes playing a lot less fun. Breakage happens, but mostly on my six-string electric, because I play it so hard. Overall, I have fourteen guitars (I think) and getting super fancy coated strings can get pretty expensive. D’addario’s last long enough and don’t break so often that it complicates gigs.