If you want to live like there’s no tomorrow, the only sensible course is to make the most of a career in music.
If you take care of yourself, dodge the early cancer bullet, and don't get run over by a beer truck, you may live 80 years. Sounds reasonable. Not sure why, but I've grown a bit macabre of late and perhaps a bit obsessive about number patterns. (Not a healthy sign, psychologically speaking.)
Break it down. I did the math: 80 years breaks down to 29,200 days, not figuring in leap years or any of that weirdness. If we round it up to 82.1 years, we get 30,000 days. I don't care for that number—it seems a bit like a death sentence with no chance of a last-minute call from the Governor to stay the execution. The fact that the date is somewhat distant does not mollify the anxiety of inevitability. In a matter of days, we are going to die.
Newly aware that life is a ticking time bomb, I'm feeling considerable pressure to do more fun stuff and fewer things that suck. Why the hell am I wasting so many precious days? I should be living like I'm dying. (Thank you, Tim McGraw and Chris Allen.)
Here's the rub: If you live like there's no tomorrow, you're not worried about paying bills, maintaining your health, or obeying the law. If I were to truly follow my mad impulses and proceed as if there are no earthly consequences, within a month I'd end up penniless and incarcerated with liver failure (and perhaps all types of scary venereal diseases). Given that hedonism remains impractical for the long run, the only sensible course is to make the most of a career in music.
Working for a living. I'm glad I have to work for a living. If you're doing it right, work gives you much more than money. Work forces you to be involved with life, gives you relationships with people, and offers access to experiences you wouldn't have if you were living the life of the idle. Aside from love and family, work provides life's richest aspects.
For example: A week ago I played a fan appreciation show with Randy Owen (the lead singer and principal songwriter for the band Alabama). I met Randy seven years ago, when we worked together on Nashville Star (an Idol-esque singing contest series on NBC/USA). At that time, Alabama was on hiatus, so Randy asked me to put together a band to tour while promoting his solo record. I've played with this band on and off for seven years.
During these seven years, this band has been through almost everything. Two members battled cancer, some battled debilitating depression, some suffered horrible loss, some got married, and another had kids. We all had our private battles, sorrows, and struggles. But through all of this, we'd get together to play gigs and all of that real-life stuff would move to the back burner for a bit. It was a combination work/therapy/play-cation that made the rough parts of life far more tolerable, while providing us all with a much-needed paycheck. I hate to get mushy/touchy/feely, but today everybody in this band truly loves each other. This all began with the pursuit of money, but led to a much richer life.
In a 2010 Psychology Today blog, Paul Thagard asked the age-old question: What makes life worth living? Popular responses are:
(4) Love, work, and play
Thagard goes on to explain: “Evidence from psychology and neuroscience supports the fourth answer ... Neuroscience provides a deeper understanding of how brain processes generate needs for relatedness, autonomy, and competence that can be satisfied by the successful pursuit of love, work, and play. Such satisfaction yields happiness, but even the pursuit is enough to give life meaning." (You can read Thagard's entire blog here.)
In short, if you want to make the most of your 30,000 days, you need love, work, and play—three things music conveniently provides. Even if you're not a professional musician, find some people online in a meetup.com music group. If there aren't any in your area, start one. Hang out at a music store and find people to play with or go to open mic or jam nights. Find people who seem like a good fit, get their numbers, and meet for a jam. You may feel shy and it may be awkward, but fortune favors the bold. You've nothing to lose and much to gain. Working up songs together may give you what you didn't know you needed. What are you waiting for? 29,999. 29,998. 29,997 . . .
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
Flare is a dual-function pedal with a tube-like booster and a 1970s-style ring modulator effect that can be played separately or together.
Flare’s ring modulator is based on the iconic tone of the original Dan Armstrong Green Ringer. This vintage classic was made famous by Frank Zappa who loved the unusual modulations created by generating a harmonic octave over notes. Messiah’s version offers two control knobs: a “Sparkle” tone attenuator and output Level control. Its taupe-gold body, purple and green knobs and stick-figure rock ’n’ roller holding up a flame convey an appropriately rockin’70s vibe.
In a unique twist, Messiah’s Flare pairs the ringer with a warm tube-style boost instead of a fuzz. Flare feeds the booster into the ringer for an extra punch, while preserving the Green Ringerspirit. The ringer side also turns any fuzz into an octafuzz, and it has the ability to quiet signal background noise fed through it.
The booster side features a single Boost knob to control the MOSFET circuit, making it very tube-amp-friendly with a warm, organic boost and gain of up to 32dB.
The pedal is a distinct improvement over the 1970s pedal that inspired it. “Most ringer pedals don’t track well,” Tom Hejda, owner of Messiah Guitars. “The player can’t rely on repeating the same effect even with the most consistently played notes. We carefully matched the components, so our ringer follows your every move, producing that slightly dirty octave you expect on demand.”
Messiah developed this vintage octave pedal with flexible features so that people who love that messy, dirty Zappa-esque sound can get there with ease but there’s also something for those who have not fallen in love with fuzz or the Green Ringer alone. Flare offers an array of sonic options while retaining simplicity in the controls.
Each Flair Pedal Includes:
- 3 control knobs: Boost, Sparkle, and Level
- Two effects – Ring Modulator and Boost – can be used together or separately
- Space-saving top side jacks
- Durable, cast aluminum alloy 125B enclosure with fun artwork
- Easy to see, illuminated True-bypass foot switch
- Standard 9V pedal power input
Flare Pedal Demo
Messiah Guitars pedals are designed with an explorative player in mind. Like their custom guitars and amplifiers, Messiah’s pedals are hand-crafted in Los Angeles for a long life with guaranteed quality.
Flare retails for $199.00 and can be purchased directly at Messiah Guitars or you can hear it in person at Impulse Music Co. in Canyon Country, CA.
For more information, please visit messiahguitars.com.
This feathery little guy is a joy to play because of its incredibly quick response to your right hand - much faster and more expressive than your typical auto-wah pedal.
If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and QUACKS like a duck, then it must be a duck. That's how we came up with the name for our new envelope filter. This feathery little guy is a joy to play because of its incredibly quick response to your right hand - much faster and more expressive than your typical auto-wah pedal. Trevor explains how this is possible in the launch video, as well as gives a demo on Le Canard’s operation.
The attack control determines how quickly the filter responds to the envelope, and the decay sets how quickly the filter releases afterward. The range controls which frequency spectrum the filter does its magic on. Add to this relay-based full-bypass switching with failsafe, and you've got one crazy little quacky beast. It is so expressive that you'll want to give up on your rocker-wah forever.
The MayFly Le Canard envelope filter features:
- Super fast responding envelope follower. Touch it and it jumps!
- Range control to dial in the character of the filter
- Attack control to control how fast the filter moves on that first touch
- Release control to control how slowly the filter slides back to baseline
- Full bypass using relays with Fail SafeTM (automatically switches to bypass if the pedal loses power)
- Cast aluminum enclosure with groovy artwork
- MSRP $149 USD ($199 CAD)
Introducing the MayFly Le Canard Envelope Filter
All MayFly pedals are hand-made in Canada.
For more information, please visit mayflyaudio.com.
Outlaw Effects introduces their next generation of NOMAD rechargeable battery-powered pedal boards.
Available in two sizes, NOMAD ISO is a compact, versatile tool that offers the convenience of a fully powered board plus the additional freedom of not having to plug into an outlet. NOMAD ISO is ideal for stages with limited outlet availability, quick changeovers, busking outdoors, temporary rehearsal locations, and more.
NOMAD ISO builds upon the legacy of the ultra-convenient and reliable NOMAD rechargeable pedalboard line originally launched in 2018. The brand new NOMAD ISO editions feature eight isolated outputs (1 x 9V DC, and 1 switchable 9V/12V DC) for even more versatility and clean, quiet power. With an integrated lithium-ion battery pack boasting 12800mAh capacity, NOMAD ISO can fuel a wide array of pedals, and will last over 10 hours* on a single charge.
Each NOMAD ISO pedal board includes adhesive hook & loop pedal-mounting tape, eight (8) standard DC connector cables, and one (1) reverse polarity DC cable, giving you everything you need to build your ultimate "off-the-grid" rig. A rugged, road-ready padded gig bag with shoulder strap is also included, to safely protect your gear while you're on the move.
NOMAD ISO S
NOMAD ISO S: MSRP $309 / MAP: $249
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 5 ¼"
NOMAD ISO M
NOMAD ISO M: MSRP $349 / MAP $279
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 11"
More info: https://www.outlawguitareffects.com.