the kiss


An improvisation using the tremolo channel of the AC 30.

I encountered this fountain in the center of my hometown, and instantly decided to make up a post named “the kiss”.

The world fades away in this special moment, water freezes, and only the echoes of togetherness remain. The word “tremolo” this time made me think of weird expressions like tremor amoris or fontana tremi.

Again, the resonance strings of the Jaguar and switching to different sounds can be heard.

guitar & gear: Fender Jaguar, 1967 Vox AC 30, Tube Reverb

she don’t like roses


It’s the best-known song of an excellent singer/songwriter and an excellent blogger, too: Christine Kane. It inspired me to contradict in sympathy: how can anyone dislike this beauty?

But I understood the meaning of the song’s title. She is not a woman like a woman is expected to be. She has her own mind. And that’s why I love this song.

Dear Christine,

I hope you don’t mind me doing this – it’s completely non-commercial. This song was an inspiration, and that’s true also for many other songs you wrote and performed. I know I forgot some bars in the chorus. I had to record this within a few minutes, but I also think it doesn’t make much difference on an instrumental. I omitted the bridge, but I will never forget the words of that part:

And if all your dreams come true/do your memories still end up haunting you/is there such a thing as really breaking through/to another day and a lighter shade of blue?

Thank you, Gary

guitar & gear: Epiphone Les Paul Custom on three tracks, Vox AC 15 Heritage, Tube Reverb

switches and caps

My new Jaguar has a whole bunch of switches that repelled many a guitar player before. You know, they usually like to play without having to think about knobs or buttons. Just plug and play, and that’s okay.

But for me switches are paradise! I now have three different capacitors instead of one in my guitar, and I can even switch from foil to ceramic, if I like to, and I simply love all of the sounds they produce.

For years now I use to modify my guitars by replacing their tone capacitors by better ones. Capacitors obviously are the poor cousin of even the best manufacturers. Usually you don’t see them, and that seems to be enough of a reason to provide only the cheapest ones.

But anybody with ears to listen can hear the difference, though it’s never spectacular. With a Gibson Les Paul or the like I prefer foil caps that give a much smoother sound than the ceramic caps provided. You can turn the tone control all the way down to produce the “woman tone”. Still it will sound good and present, while ceramic caps strangle the tone until it virtually disappears!

With a Fender Guitar, they say, you should use a ceramic cap, but one that’s much bigger than the cheap ones. It is called “Orange Dime”. But the really old Strats had foil capacitors, too. After trying one of them, I would never return to a ceramic cap. But that’s a thing you can argue about.

With the Jaguar it took me some time to find out the right items, though. As always, it was trial and error, and I had to change one capacitor’s value from 0.01 uF to 0.005, for instance. The result is amazing. There is a right-in-the-face Rock sound as well as a smooth Jazz sound, and so the Jaguar has become the most versatile guitar I ever played. Oh, I forgot to tell you about the “resonance strings”: they have their own, harp-like sound adding to the many possibilities of this guitar.

For those who want more information, there is a recent post on guitar caps here.

Max Ernst tree


Max Ernst (1891 – 1976) was an exponent of Dadaism and Surrealism. Trees and the woods were essential to his imagination. His recollections of walks with his father gave him a mystic approach to this subject.

That’s what I always liked about his art: it resonates with my own childhood memories. And for me “psychedelic” is very similar to “surrealistic” – only the two belong to different decades of the 20th century.

So, when I “met” this really surrealistic tree, I decided to compose a fitting music. This time I cut the recordings into pieces and made them into a collage.

guitar & gear: Fender Jaguar, Fender Stratocaster, Gibson EB3 Bass, Tweed Champ, Tube Trem, Big Muff, Tube Reverb

minor only


Around the time when most people are super-busy in preparation of celebration, I often find myself in a mood which is best described by the exclusive use of minor chords in this piece of improvisation.

Mostly simplified as musical sadness, minor is like the Yin side of music, not action, but reaction, shade as opposed to the bright light of day.

Listening to the completed track, I found it totally adequate to my current mood. And then I listened again…

guitar & gear: Fender Jaguar on three tracks, Fender Tweed Champ, Tube Trem, Cry Baby Classic, Tube Reverb