Tone: The Crazy Comes Out

Tonight I really wanted to take my crazy for ride. I didn’t, but hey, it was clearly there. What you ask? What sort of crazy?

I went to my local music shop, Easy Music Center, for the Taylor Guitars Road Show. Naturally enough one the guitars caught my eye and I simply had to have it. Luckily I escaped, but only because I had somewhere else to be. If I’d have stayed I don’t doubt I’d have ended up with one – especially as there was a bit of discount involved. Whew…sigh of relief.

What guitar? It was the Taylor T5z. And no, because you’ll ask, I didn’t play one. And yes, I know, I should play one before I buy. I will if it comes up again – hopefully it won’t.


Mostly I wanted it because it looks cool and they had a fantastic guitar player there who coaxed some great sounds out of it. Wayne Johnson, a real pro, was along for the show and he’s been around, playing with Manhattan Transfer, Bette Midler, and a host of others. It may not be the guitar I want, it may be his tone.


But as I said, I had to leave and I did it in style. Well not from the store actually, but hey…

I took my first ride on Honolulu’s bike share system, Biki. I’ve used bike shares in other places, most recently in Manhattan where it was great for getting around. Turns out it seems okay here too. It’s expensive I’m told, $15 a month for unlimited 30 minute rides, but there seem to be a lot of stations around, more planned, and at least for now, the bike are in good condition. I rode from my neighborhood to downtown Honolulu, did my thing, then got another and rode back to a couple blocks from my place. Nice.

Once home, I change the settings on my new DI a bit and got a nice fat tone on my guitar, then played with Ditto for a while, over and over.

Ditto Looper: Second Iteration

As often happens when I get a new toy, I’m anxious to try it out. So yes, that’s the first thing I did when I got home after work yesterday. I had some other plans as well, but first, the new Ditto Looper. So how is it?

Great. I was warned at Easy Music Center, the local shop I patronize, that as a neophyte looper I might prefer one with two switches, one being a dedicated off button, but it turned out I’m okay at stomping. It’s not all that hard…you stomp once for on, again for stop, twice for really stop, three-two-one-three-one for real confusion, and…nah, it’s easy.

Here’s the thing. For some reason with the looper on my Trio+ I could never quite get my timing right. I can when I use it with the Band in a Box feature, but not when using it just a looper. It’s me I’ll grant, but still. I had no such trouble with the Ditto. I’m not perfect, but I can get a pretty seamless rhythm track going. My neophyte secret…

  1. Use a metronome.
  2. Play through once, or at least the ending before ‘starting over.’ That is, don’t begin playing and recording at the same time – play for a bit first then come back to the start and loop.

That’s it…no big secret.

But sadly, this has brought out something else I need in my signal chain…sigh…always, eh? I need a decent DI. I have several guitars with pickups now, the Martin has the Baggs M80 which is pre-amped. The others, not so much. So…back to the store for more.

What happened to just playing a nice acoustic guitar?

Ditto Looper: First Iteration

My buddy Andy, a better guitarist than I am though he probably won’t admit it, has suggested I play around with a looper, specifically the Ditto. He really likes the simplicity of it. I’ve actually got a looper on my Trio+, but it always sounds a bit muddy to me. Now keep in mind, I often sound muddy to me, so I’m not suggesting it’s the pedal, it’s me, but I did get to thinking maybe simpler is better to start.


So I’m willing to give it a shot. Basically I want something that’ll improve my rhythm. I do use a metronome but I also like the idea of looping some chords and playing over them. I do that right now with my Trio+, with Band in a Box (I love biab), and even with GarageBand and Logic Pro X. All of those work, heck. so does recording with my phone. But I’m looking for something to use quickly, easily, and with a minimum of fuss. I’ve been assured this is the real deal.

We’ll see.

Learning to Record

I’ve been spending some time, and money, on learning to record myself playing guitar and even singing. It’s a blast, but there’s a ton to learn just to get up to speed. Currently I’ve got these tools:

iMac 27” 2017
Logic Pro X
Band in a Box 2017
Focusrite Solo (2nd Gen)
Guitars (a variety)

So far I’ll admit I’m just noodling around. Here’s me:

That’s more or a less a riff on Blue Moon. I used Band in a Box to create the backup, drums, piano, bass, and dragged those tracks to Logic Pro. Then I recorded the solo, along the lines of, but not completely in tune with Blue Moon.

I used my Martin 000-15M with a Baggs M80 pickup and tweaked the tone a bit in Logic.

Is it any good? No, not really, but hey, it’s fun. 🙂 And, as I learned from Frank Vignola, listen for the good stuff and build on that. That I don’t hate that recording is a good thing.

Here’s the YT of Frank recently answering my question about recording yourself for practice:…

STATRIX.ORG has been removed for now. I wasn’t using it and paying for something I don’t use is…well…and outsized ambition, eh?

No, I haven’t started up a non-profit with the hope of solving one of the world’s problems. It’s not a bad idea and I’d be the last to say I already do enough, but in all honestly, I’m not that creative.

No, this is really about another website I have just started playing with. When I picked up it was with the idea of a statistics consulting business. That never worked out and I kept the name (which really means statistical tricks), using for this blog. I also picked up a few other domains including, and so forth.

Well I’ve finally gotten around to playing with it.

I’m using Grav, a flat-file CMS to serve pages, running on DigitalOcean, and using Git to keep it updated. In short, I’m playing around. It’s good fun.

I can’t say the content is much different from here – indeed there’s not much of it yet, but that’s where I am at the moment. If you don’t see me here, check there: