Band Practice Recap

Another three hour rehearsal last night.  We only have one more before the next gig.  We dropped a couple of the new songs.  Dropped is the wrong word.  We really punted them to the next, next gig.  They just won’t be ready in time for this one.  The new songs that are still on the set list all got a thorough working over last night and are starting to come together.

As a group, the theme of last night was something like, “oh crap, we haven’t played that one in ages.”  There were a few instances when a song title was called out and we looked at each other thinking, how does that one go?  That’s the down side of having a large repertoire.  It’s also the downside of taking long breaks from rehearsals in between gigs.  That’s why you have rehearsal though, to shake off the dust.

For me personally, my rig is a mess.  I am getting to the point where I can foresee not having a single fuzz pedal on my gig board.  I just can’t get the Big Muff style pedals to cut through the mix.  When I’m in fuzz mode I lose the low end battle to the bass, and the high end battle to the cymbals, and there is no mid range to speak of.  I need volume to get through and I can’t get enough through the pedals alone.

I’m thinking of shuffling the pedal order around so that the dirt goes D&M boost, D&M over drive, Big Muff clone, then either the Keeley Super Phat Mod that I got a couple of weeks ago, or maybe the Tube Screamer mini that is on the home board, and then the Spark Mini.  80% of the time I’d be using the D&M drive for rhythm and the D&M and the Spark for leads.  If I want fuzz I would go D&M boost, Big Muff cone, and then the extra over drive to act as a volume boost/mid range push for rhythm, and add the Spark for an additional volume boost for leads.  That might work.  If it doesn’t work at next week’s practice, I might go fuzz-free at the gig.

I finally took the Fuzz Face off the board last night and replaced it with the new Super Phat Mod, which is a modified clone of a Boss Blues Driver.  I am 100% prejudice against all Boss pedals and this is as close as I will ever come to using one.  I just threw it on in place of the Fuzz Face, so it was first in the signal chain.  I prefer dirt pedals at the end, but Fuzz Faces are super finicky and pretty much need to be first (unless you buffer the signal correctly, which I am not equipped to do and would probably screw up anyway).  There were a couple of times that I shut off everything except the Blues Driver and it sounded great.  I might be rethinking my setup even more than I already mentioned.

I had sort of resigned myself that I would be playing a new guitar yesterday, but that didn’t happen.  I played my Les Paul.  My trusty #1.  My ES-335 is still in the shop and I have no idea if I’ll have it back for the gig.  That means my Stratocaster needs to be my backup.  I’ve never played it in front of an audience before.  I brought it to a gig, but never took it off the stand.  Maybe April 28th is the day that changes.  Maybe the Strat will make an appearance in the third set.  I should probably start practicing with it more.

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