August 4, 2014

This week (while on holiday) I’m investigating some specific technical aspects related to my sound-rig and guitar practice:

I began by establishing a correct posture for guitar and pedal board playing, adapting the Alexander Technique (which I studied several years ago). It’s my custom to play while seated, so that I can have both feet free for ‘pedalling’. A solution presents itself only when all functions of the player’s activities are taken into consideration together, and simultaneously operational:

The first step was to place the problem in an extreme position: I placed the guitar very high on my torso. But the Les Paul (shown on the left) cut under my right breast due to the sharp angle joining the side and back profiles of its body. In principle, the guitar’s body and the player’s body should touch snuggly. So, I stepped back from the extreme and extended the guitar strap from 90 cm to 101 cm in length. The guitar was then sufficiently elevated upon my chest but not so low as to obstruct movement in my upper thighs. Furthermore, its neck was fully and comfortably accessible, and I was able to manoeuvre both hands without exceeding an obtuse angle at the wrists.

The height of my seat was set at 62 cm from the floor, enabling me to remain poised, counter the weight of the guitar pulling me forward, and have full articulation of the feet and lower legs on and above the pedal board. I can now counter the discomfiture that I’ve been experiencing in public performance:

In the evening, I reconfigured and explored the effectors on Handboard 1, which I constructed in July. The board’s potential for guitar filtering and the production of intrinsic sounds is enormous. And therein is the problem: How does one map and preserve the settings in such a way as to make them reproducible, time and time again? For therein is the art, too. My strategy is to experiment with each effector in isolation, beginning with the ElecroHarmonix Flanger Hoax. The device is capable of much more than the manufacturer intended.

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August 5, 2014