Category: bass guitar

Alligators in the Sewers Episode Seven

Episode Seven
Sam had been burning the candle at both ends. His ambition to write novels was almost equal to his desire to become a great lead guitarist. To date, he had self published two science fiction novels. He used the Amazon platform to sell his books and was enjoying moderately good sales. Unfortunately, he required other sources of revenue to pay his bills. He got a part-time job teaching creative writing one night a week at a local community college. The rest of his income came from his cut from his band’s performances at various bars in Manhattan. With these three streams of income, Sam could usually just squeak by paying his monthly bills each month.
Sam Bradley lived in a small bachelor’s apartment in East Manhattan. He had been fortunate to find an apartment complex that had rent control. Even with this advantage, Sam was often hard-pressed to stay afloat financially and because of this, he was almost constantly stressed out.
Sam worked hard at all his endeavours. He was not a naturally gifted musician, so he practised his guitar playing daily for at least two hours. He applied an equal amount of dedication to his writing and did an admirable amount of preparation for his creative writing classes.
To add to his issues with stress and anxiety, Sam was becoming chronically fatigued. One night during one of the Raccoons’ breaks, Sam told his bass player Glenn Williams about his exhaustion. Glenn was very willing to help as they were also close friends. Glenn offered Sam a couple of little white pills. Sam asked what they were and Glenn informed him that they were Dexedrine tablets.
Glenn Williams also had to work hard as he had to pay his ex-wife a hefty amount of alimony and child support. He had to hold down a full-time job is IT technician. The small amount of money he made as the bass player for the Raccoons allowed him a little bit of spending money for himself.
Two months ago, Glenn went to see his family doctor and complained about excessive daytime sleepiness. His doctor recommended that Glenn try taking Dexedrine to see if that would help boost his energy levels. It worked like a charm and within a couple of days Glenn was totally dependent on stimulants to get them through his long days.
The Rocky Raccoons basically played classic rock and as they worked hard as a unit over the last few years, they had become very good. The Raccoons were famous in the bars of East Manhattan. They knew their audiences well and what they wanted to hear.
What was popular varied somewhat depending upon which bar they were working, but they had built up a standard set of universal favourites. The Rocky Raccoons found they could never go wrong with songs like You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC and Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne. Other sure crowd pleasers included songs such as American Woman by the Guess Who and Taking Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive. They learned these two songs from their rhythm guitar player, Kevin Watts who was a transplanted Canadian born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Sam and Keith would sit down and write some original material whenever they got the chance and some times the band performed a couple of the original compositions during their performances.
The Rocky Raccoons were so popular that they had a group of fans who actually followed the band from bar to bar across East Manhattan. The Raccoons’ followers where nowhere near the size of the Grateful Dead’s famous Deadheads, but for a local band they had an impressive number of followers, both male and female. A couple of their female fans were groupies. The Raccoons’ groupies besides providing the band with the obvious favours and benefits were valuable for another reason. Two of their groupies also serviced the world famous bands when they played concerts in New York.
Alicia and Trixie would always put in a plug for the Rocky Raccoons when they talked to the famous musicians and bands. They would also speak with the band’s managers and promoters and encourage them to book the Raccoons as an opening act on the bands’ concert tours.
Occasionally, a well-known manager or promoter would drop by a local New York bar to see if the Rocky Raccoons were as good as Alicia and Trixie them out to be.

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Keith Ross Episode Twelve

Episode 12:

“Let’s move over to the living room and watch a video while we have our snack and smoke some weed. Are you okay with that?” Brenda asked.

“Sure, is there a particular video you had in mind?”

“Did you ever like Led Zeppelin, Keith? I mean when you were younger.”

“I love Led Zeppelin I still listen to their music now. In fact, I’m trying to learn some of their songs on my bass guitar. I’m not that good a player yet, but I enjoy learning to play the bass riffs of classic metal songs.

“Wow! You like Led Zeppelin and are a bass player too. I didn’t know we had so much in common. I love Led Zeppelin’s music too and I play guitar. Like you, I don’t think I’m very good yet, but I really enjoy practicing. The video I’ve got in mind is Celebration Day, Led Zeppelin’s reunion concert.”

“Fantastic. Put it on,” Keith said.

Brenda took a look at her DVD collection on one of the shelves of her solid oak bookcase. She was very organized and had her videos arranged according to alphabetical order. It didn’t take her long to find the Celebration Day video. Keith took a seat on Brenda’s red leather sofa.

“I can’t believe it Brenda. Everything in your house is so neat and organized.”

“Why, thank you, Keith. You need to give my mother credit for that. That’s how she trained me.”

Before Brenda put in the video in the DVD player she walked over the kitchen to get the oatmeal raisin cookies and the coffee.

“Let me give you a hand Brenda. I’ll get the coffee and the smoking supplies.”

“Thank you, Keith. I sure appreciate all your help.”

After she set herself down on the sofa Brenda filled a small orange and silver colored pipe with some Killer B. Kush, a high-grade hybrid strain of cannabis. She took a couple of tokes from the pipe before passing it over to Keith. She intentionally slid very close to Keith on the sofa. Keith was a little surprised but having Brenda’s body so close to his made him very happy.






About The Author (Part Three)

About The Author (Part Three):
Fortunately, I have other interests besides reading and writing fiction and blogs. I have greatly enjoyed listening to rock and roll music since I was five years old. The first recording artist that I listened to was Elvis Presley. My worse memory of that time period was falling down the basement stairs and breaking one of my Elvis Presley LPs. Needless to say this incident brought tears to a young lad’s eyes. Several years passed before I started taking a serious interest in listening to music again. By this time I was twelve years old and watched the first appearance of The Beatles on the Ed Sulliivan Show. I think that the very next week I asked my mother for money to buy the first two Beatles singles that were released in Canada. These two 45s were She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand.
The Beatles were my favourite band up until the time I first saw The Rolling Stones for the first time on The Dean Martin Show.
Since that time I have become fans of more bands than I can remember. The two most recent bands that I have liked have been Nirvana and Motorhead.
Although I have little musical ability I enjoy practising both regular guitar and bass guitar. With the bass guitar I mostly practise scales and play some songs from my bass tab books. I have bass tab song books by The Beatles, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. I also have a ton of regular guitar tab songbooks by a variety of musical artists.009

A Really Rough Season (Part One)


A Really Rough Season (Part One)

Up until about the third week of July I was enjoying a really good summer. The weather was very warm and I was starting to get into some of my summer routines with activities like riding my mountain bike and taking our dogs to the dog park. In June I had bought myself a bass guitar and had determined that I was going to teach myself to play it. I was quite motivated to learn to play bass as I was always curious to see if it might be better suited to my somewhat limited musical abilities than a regular guitar. My musical prowess is quite limited. I have practised regular guitar (both acoustic and electric) off and on for several years now. At times I have found my lack of progress to be quite discouraging. I know quite a few guitar chords. I can play both cowboy chords and barre chords. I also know a decent amount of common guitar scale patterns. However, I have never been a proficient guitar player and just practise for my own enjoyment. This hasn’t stopped me from buying an impressive library of guitar tablature books. I have at least one tab book for most of my favourite musical artists. For some artists I have collected tab books for several of their albums. If I can get even a part of a song to sound right I’m fairly happy. I go through periods where I practise several times per week and other times where my guitar remains untouched and just collects dust.

Taking up the bass has also motivated me to practise my guitar on a more regular basis. Even though I bought a less expensive lower end model I like hearing the deep, low resonant sounds created by the bass guitar. I have even purchased a good selection of bass tablature books to work from. My practise sessions are now about an hour long in which I practise bass chords and scale patterns and work from my bass learning resources and from my bass tab books.



What’s Up? Summer Edition (Part One)

What’s Up? End of Summer Edition (Part One)

This has been quite a challenging summer. I was really looking forward to the holidays and for about the first three weeks things went according to plan. I got more time to do the things I wanted to do. When I’m doing sub teaching during the year I often find that I don’t have the energy for my hobbies. I have a variety of interests including spending time with my wife, reading books and listening to audio books, practising my guitar and bass, blogging, going to the gym, riding my mountain bike, listening to music, computers and assorted electronic devices and writing fiction. I may have missed a few hobbies but I can always get to that later. For the first three weeks in July I got to do all these things.
Then a series of very negative events happened. I went to an appointment with my optometrist to find out if a new prescription for my glasses would help with my eyesight. Near the end of 2012 I had surgery to repair a detached retina in my left eye. The surgeon told me that I had waited too long to get the surgery and that I would never get my complete eyesight back.
After doing many tests on my eyes my optometrist confirmed the surgeon’s prognosis. She also found that I have cataracts in both of my eyes. We discovered that getting a new prescription for my eye glasses would have little if any effect upon my present state of vision. The best I could do was to buy large magnifying glasses to help with my reading. As I read voraciously the magnifiers did prove to be useful.

What’s Up? June 22, 2013

What’s Up? for June 22, 2013

I motivated myself to go to Shapes for a workout this morning. I concentrated on a light walk on the treadmill and then moved on to the weight loss program on the elliptical trainer. Now that I am back at home I don’t appear to be feeling any bad side effects. My Charlie horse seems to have healed. Yesterday, I went for a forty minute ride on my mountain bike. Now that subbing season is almost over I plan to get in a lot more physical activity this summer. During my working season I found it very difficult to work up the energy to go to the gym after work. My goal is to lose a substantial amount of weight during the summer months. Last summer I was quite self- disciplined in sticking to a physical training program. On most days I would either take our dogs to the dog park for a run, go to Shapes or go for a ride on my mountain bike. I made some muscle gains but did not lose any weight. I guess I’’ll have to work on my diet more seriously this summer.
When I got back from the gym this morning I started listening to both The Beatles red and blue compilation albums. Their music certainly stands the test of time. This summer I’m going to try learning to play the bass lines for some of their songs from these two albums.
Yesterday marked 22 years since Martha and I first met at a Grant Singles baseball game. I remember being in a bad mood that evening and was not too interested in talking to some body new. My bad mood had lifted by the time we got to the post game wind up at Pizza Hut. The rest, as they say, is history and we are still in love with each other after all this time. God is good.

What’s Up? June 20, 2013

What’s Up? June 20, 2013

I got up early this morning and listened to one of my audio books, Pro Blogger by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett. These two guys have made a decent income from their blogging and blog related activities. Darren and Chris are definitely exceptions to the rule. Most bloggers don’t make any money from their blogging activities or at best, very little. However, there are always exceptions who make blogging work for them. Most of us just blog as a hobby.
After listening to a bit of Pro Blogger I wanted to listen to some music. I played selections from some old Beach Boys and Beatles albums. I was surprised at how good the newly re-mastered CDS by The Beatles sound.
After listening to some music I decided to write my first blog of the day. I have a WordPress blog called The Spiritual Journey. I haven’t written anything for it in a long time. I was doing some reading from a Bible promise book and got inspired to write a devotional for today’s blog. I may even put together a collection of my spiritual posts and make it into a devotional book.
I have had to put my exercise program on hold due to a recent Charlie horse injury. Today I decided to try going for a ride on my mountain bike. The ride went okay and I don’t feel any worse for wear. Tomorrow, I will busy working another sub teaching gig.
I got in a couple of practice sessions with my bass guitar this afternoon. As I haven’t practised guitar for a while my fingers will continue to hurt until some calluses are formed on my fingertips.
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