For some time I've been looking around for some musical outlets apart from playing djembe with Secret Bass. The drumming is fun, but I feel the need for something melodic. I've posted details on various sites including Facebook and Multiply. A couple of people contacted me, but nothing came of it. I also posted to more specific sites, including Muso Finder. That also generated responses. One was for a rock band that needed more commitment than I could offer, then another came in this month that sounded more realistic.
Bass player Warren was looking for a second guitarist for a rock covers band. Rehearsals would be once a week with, perhaps, a few gigs per year. He mailed me a list of songs they do for an audition a week later. So I got searching the various tab sites for tips and used Youtube both to find performances and tutorials. I was able to work out half a dozen songs.
The venue was a rehearsal studio converted from an old barn on a farm. There I met the band, Warren, singer Ben, drummer Paul and guitarist Tom. Tom is young enough to be my son(!), but the rest are nearer my age. They all seem to be seasoned performers, but I managed to play well enough for them to invite me back. And it was great fun. Just holding down the rhythm is actually pretty hard work, requiring concentration. I'm not confident enough to play leads yet, but I hope that will come. I will also be interested to work on arrangements that make the most of two guitars. The material consists of songs from Rolling Stones, Black Crowes, Free, Bryan Adams and others.
We got together again this week, but without a bassist due to work commitments. We still managed to work on some other songs and tweak the arrangements. It will be a while before we are ready for gigs.
My Gordon Smith guitar is ideal for this sort of music, if not quite as good as Tom's Les Paul. His valve Laney is also better than my old Peavey, but that coped pretty well. I just need to work out why it is buzzing so much when I'm not playing. I may have to look at getting a newer amplifier. You can get a lot for your money these days and the choice is vast. Anything from traditional valve amps through to digital modelling units with multiple effects. I think I could do with a set-up that gives me a range of sounds to suit the different material, but I'll get by with what I have for now. I will need a few accessories such as a capo for playing in different keys and some decent plectra that do not disintegrate like the cheap ones I have. I've destroyed a couple already. I did get some earplugs. Standing next to a drumkit with amps turned up to compete is not too healthy in the long term and I love music too much to risk my hearing.
Some might consider this to be a mid-life crisis thing, but I've always wanted to do something musical and never got around to making it happen. Even if this comes to nothing I will have learnt a lot of new songs and gained some experience that could lead to something else. For now I'm just enjoying the ride.