Regal Squareneck Acoustic – # 4 of 4

on April 6th 2010 in Uncategorized


  1. Jeff

    Okay, I’m still working on the other videos. But, I had to peek at this one! 🙂

    That 1/4 Tone 3rd. sounds kind of congested to me, when compared to the JI Minor 3rd.

    And when you said there should be 4 Scale Steps, but you played the 5 Scale Steps/Pitches, the second Pitch seemed almost like it had the Reciprocal type of effects. Like taking a Breath, and adding a little Motion.

    Anyway, I’ll go back to my corner now. I still need to work more with the first videos……..

    I will say this though, that many of the Pitches you’re hitting, sound like my old Blues Records I grew up hearing around the house. And I think that these Pitches are ones I’ve gravitated towards over the years. Those “out of tune” Bends, etc. that seem to work.
    Very re-affirming.

    Posted April 7, 2010 at 9:21 am
    • Cliff

      Very nice Steve, Albert King, Jeff Beck, Frisell,
      Johnny Winter,,,they play with this pitch sensitivity (in their own way) bend, whammy, bending the neck, it all comes out different and for their own purpose.
      But the names are still new and confusing (sub minor)

      Thank you for the Regal series, I’m diggin my dobro.

      Great intro to your teachings.

      Posted April 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm
      • Kimock

        Hi Cliff!

        “Sub-Minor Third” is pretty much self explanatory, it’s the minor third sound that’s flat to the fret. Usually that would mean 7:6.
        I think it’s probably a handy term for differentiating the lower range of the blue note thing in that area of the octave without saying “blue third”, or 7-limit, which seem to have different meanings for different folks.
        So, sub minor. The minor third sound BELOW the fret.

        The terminology is confusing, but the alternative is to refer to everything by ratio, which is probably no easier at this level.
        If I can find a term that locates some area of the octave without resorting to the ratio, for example, “bright leading tone” instead of 243:128, or “sub-minor” instead of somewhere between 8:7 and 7:6, I figure you’ll at least know generally where to look for that sound if the ratio is unfamiliar. Let me know if you think otherwise.

        Thanks for taking the time to check that stuff out. Have fun!!!

        Posted April 8, 2010 at 10:28 am
        • Cliff

          Steve, it’s facinating

          Posted April 11, 2010 at 6:42 am
  2. Eric

    When do we get to talk about beer?

    Posted April 7, 2010 at 12:04 pm
    • Kimock

      Eric, I’m getting on a plane in a couple of hours to fly to the west coast where I will be engaged in intensive research on the subject. Stay tuned!!


      Posted April 17, 2010 at 7:48 am
      • Eric

        I have my home brewery up and running in Bend.

        “Small Kind Brewery”

        I’ll have to bring some of my Uncle Elmer’s IPA and Bad Hair Brown down to the Domino Room next time you are through. I can brew some requests if you have a particular style you like. Just need a 5 week head’s up.

        Enjoy your trip. Paying for my wedding is getting in the way of any travel plans this summer. What are you doing July 10th?

        Posted April 19, 2010 at 10:41 am
  3. Great little blues jam at the end

    Posted April 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm
  4. Cliff

    Looking forward to the Hopmonk show on 4/21
    I always look forward to these (home) shows because
    you have so much community connection in this area (Sonoma County)lots of good energy

    I have to say though, the heat built up in the Forestville club was to the level of “way too hot”.
    Too much community energy, lol.

    Posted April 12, 2010 at 7:13 am
  5. Jim

    Steve & West Coast Dwellers…
    Because the pitch ratio changes ever so slightly from just tuning to equal tempered tunings, wouldn’t be easier to just say that its just 3 half steps? And not include all the ratio madness.Either Way… Peace From the east coast

    Posted April 14, 2010 at 7:19 pm
    • Kimock

      Yeah, I know what you mean. The ratio thing is kind of a pain in the ass in the context of those playing examples.
      It would probably serve to just say the approximate number of cents up or down from the nearest fret. Anybody with a ‘needle tuner’ could get in the ballpark, and that’s probably the easiest reference if you’re sitting there with your guitar.

      So if you have 100 cents to the half step, that “3 half step” minor third would be 300 cents up from the tonic. The pitch we’re looking for is around 267 cents, so “33 down” would be the lick, right?

      Yeah, if it was just 3 half steps that would be easier, but that’s not the note, so I guess we’ll go with the cents off-sets from equal in the future. Cool?

      Posted April 14, 2010 at 8:35 pm
      • Jim

        Yeah, cents off – from equal is better( personally).
        Music Theory Joke:
        Why Did the C Ionian get rejected from the Bar????…
        Because he was A Minor….
        Hey Steve how about a show in New England ?

        Posted April 16, 2010 at 12:50 pm
    • Cliff

      I like the idea of having definitions of these little bends that put so much expression in the playing.

      Posted April 15, 2010 at 8:12 am
  6. Jeff

    “Cents Off” seems to be a pretty logical way of describing things.

    Posted April 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm
  7. KingsD

    I dunno, Steve, I like the ratios just fine!

    But then… I’m a math geek. Bwahahaha…

    Posted April 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm
  8. You should work some of this blues music you have been playing into a duo with Jon Fishman. You can call it “Tom Hanks and Russell Crowe Have the Blues”

    Posted May 7, 2010 at 7:47 pm
  9. Jeff

    Just Bumping this whole thing up, to see if anybody else is doing the work?

    Anybody else Playing, Listening and making Observations?

    Or, just Sitting, Waiting, Wishing?

    Posted June 7, 2010 at 10:22 am
    • Cliff

      always bro

      Posted June 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm
  10. Eric

    I was wondering if any of you folks know anything about Guitar Centers’ King of the Blues Competition? Ever heard of it? Every participated?

    Posted June 24, 2010 at 10:36 am
  11. Jeff

    I judged one this year, in fact.
    I was hesitant, because I said that they are slanted towards the “Shredder” types. They (of course) said, “No, that’s why we’re asking for certain people to judge”. Right.
    Well, the “Shredder” won! LOL

    One other judge and I were talking about how far down in the rankings this Shredder was. However, the 3rd. judge must have slanted things WAAAYYYY towards the Shredder Dude.
    Because there was no way he could have won without a VERY lopsided judging panel.

    All of this has re-confirmed my long standing thoughts on “Musical Contests” in general, and this contest in particular.

    Anyway, having written all of this;

    I really don’t think this particular Thread is the ideal setting for this Topic.

    So, what do YOU get from the video Lessons Mr. Kimock has so graciously provided?

    THAT seems like the relevant Topic at hand!

    Thoughts on the Video?

    Posted June 28, 2010 at 10:38 am
  12. Eric

    I get a headache from the lessons. Might as well be taught in Greek as far as I am concerned. As I have mentioned prior, I sure am thankful to those of you that understand this stuff and put it into practice.

    I was just asking about the KOTB in regards to my 20yo stepson making it to the third round in Denver. Not sure who else to ask about those kinds of things. I’m new at this.

    Posted June 29, 2010 at 10:58 am
  13. Jeff

    Congratulations on your syepson making it through that round!

    Kinda brutal, to sit up there alone, and solo for 5 solid minutes to a crowd of other Guitarists!

    I commend him for getting out there and doing it.

    As to Mr. Kimock’s Video Lessons, don’t be put off by the talk and the Terminology, etc.

    Just LISTEN hard. Sing/Hum those Pitches.
    When you can do that repeatedly, Sing/Hum the Examples without any help, you’ll have a big chunk of the Lessons learned.

    At least, that’s my opinion. Probably should ask Mr. Kimock about that, as they are Lessons HE’S teaching! LOL

    But, I feel pretty confident recommending you learning to really INTERNALIZE those Examples.

    Hope this helps, and that your head feels a little better now.

    Ciao for now!

    Posted July 1, 2010 at 9:50 am
    • Eric

      Well thanks. The kid is just gifted. In fact, I have given him every guitar, peddle, cord, and amp that I had. He does a lot more with them than I ever could. Well, I did keep the Guild although I’m not sure why.

      In reality, I am just a fan. A huge freaking fan. I love to hear people play the guitar the way I wish I could play it and I’m just not one of those people.

      It’s why appreciate players like Steve so much and will seek parental advice from any player when it comes to Aaron as he has so much to give and I have no idea how to assist him. I’ll just keep trying I guess.

      Posted July 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm
  14. kingsD

    Hey, Steve, when you have a minute or 10 would you shoot me an e-mail? (grab it off of here if you can or TGP) I have some ???s about the Phoenix (which arrived yesterday) I talked to Scott but what I was experiencing didn’t compute with him.

    Posted July 2, 2010 at 7:04 am
  15. I would like to continue the discussion about temperament and tonal accuracy.

    On a previous post, I said something like “I understand that the guitar has a fundamental tuning problem that the keyboard, for example, does not.”

    The reply I got was to the effect of “The keyboard/piano actually has the same problem.”

    The poster appeared to know what they were talking about, so I left it at that, but I still don’t understand this.

    When you tune a piano, you tune each string, just as you would tune a guitar. You can get the exact note, just as you can when you tune a guitar and all the strings when played ‘open’ are perfectly in tune.

    The problem with guitar is that the instrument is not played only by plucking open strings, but usually by fretting the string somewhere up the neck. And on every guitar I have played, even when the open strings are in tune, the fretted notes are usually off.

    So, it appears to my limited understanding that because every string on a piano is played ‘open’, when tuned correctly you will encounter no problems with tonal accuracy.

    On the guitar, it appears to be a simple design flaw, and perhaps if the frets were spaced differently, as in a ratio for spacing each interval of the scale, the tuning problem would not exist.

    I am clearly missing something big about this topic. I mean, every guitar would not have the same design flaw, so obviously there was a decision of “this is the closest we can get”.

    Anyone care to help me out?

    Posted July 6, 2010 at 9:35 am
    • Kimock

      Hi Andrew.

      Look at it like this.
      If you started with a single pitch and used its overtones to make a triad, you would have a nice smooth “in-tune” chord, right?
      We all do that on the guitar, tweak it so it works for this chord or that.
      That’s “tuning” you could say, or that’s a tuning.

      Now you could keep going with this idea, which is kinda what were doing here, and build an entire scale from that first pitch, but when you see the interval sizes you wind up with you realize that you’re stuck in that key.
      If that first note was a C, you would be looking at D around 204 cents up, and E up around 386 cents above the tonic.
      So your first whole step is 204, and the second whole step is what, 182?
      So, you can’t start a new “in-tune” scale using your second pitch as tonic. You would need two keys on your keyboard, or two frets on your guitar 22 cents apart to handle both versions of D. . .
      and we’re just getting started.
      Dig, it’s not the open strings of the guitar and the “open strings of the piano” that represent the same system, it’s the keys and the frets.
      On both instruments, that D is tempered from 204 to 200 cents, so it can make do for either/or/any pitch.
      That’s temperament.

      The purpose of that temperament is to allow the greatest number of useable triads with the fewest number of pitches.
      We get to modulate through all 12 keys with some loss of purity in the tuning, but we don’t have to deal with 30 something keys or frets per octave.
      That’s the trade-off.

      The “closest we can get” is a function of the number of divisions of the octave we’re willing to put up with, so the guitar and the piano share that; the same compromise of tuning to temperament common to 12 divisions of the octave.

      Cool? Make sense?

      Posted July 6, 2010 at 11:20 am
  16. Ah. I think I am starting to see the light. I admit I only understood about half of what you said, but it made sense, and I am going to come back to it to get the rest.

    So, basically if I wanted to play a ‘tonally accurate’ D major scale, I would have to have a guitar where the fret intervals were set up for that, and it would be useless outside of that?

    When you say “We get to modulate through all 12 keys with some loss of purity in the tuning, but we don’t have to deal with 30 something keys or frets per octave,” that makes me think that an older system of tuning, with more tonal purity, would sound different than the music I am accustomed to listening to. I am curious as to what this would sound like. Do you have any examples of older music that is played in “pure tuning”, or whatever you call it?

    And thanks for the help, big guy. I am slowly starting to get a grasp on this complex issue.

    Posted July 7, 2010 at 8:31 am
    • Kimock

      You got it! That’s the whole thing in a nutshell.
      Re: Old music, “pure tuning”, any of the rest of the worlds music without keyboards would qualify, the lap guitar examples on this page qualify, but I suspect you’re just looking for 12 tone examples or comparisons of the regular modern 12 tone equal temperament with other temperaments.

      I like this guy for that routine. . .

      Posted July 7, 2010 at 10:52 am
      • Yeah, thanks. I can hear the difference in the tuning, and I can relate that to the equal divisions of the octave.

        Posted July 7, 2010 at 4:59 pm
  17. Kimock

    Yeah, there you go. Now go listen to some Albert King!!! ;^ )

    Posted July 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm
  18. Thanks.

    I remember you saying “…then you can play stuff that’s ridiculously in tune, and that’s the stuff that really lights people up.”

    I think this relates to what we were discussing pretty directly. I think the job of the musician is indeed ‘lighting people up’, in other words allowing them a moment to see the world with brighter lenses. That is why people come to the shows, because they get those moments.

    Similar to the overarching theme of enlightenment… that the world is full of stuff, but because ‘the light is not on’, sometimes we think it is empty.

    My question to you, then, is about how the ‘lighting up’ happens. I mean, it obviously takes a very skilled and dedicated musician, that much is clear. But does it come from more of the tuning side, or is it more of what I would call ‘the music itself’.

    For example, Trey Anastasio, one of my all time favorite rockers, and someone you had the grand honor of performing with, talks about this idea of lighting people up as being the encouragement and gratification of performing. But I think he is coming from it not from a tuning perspective, but more from his ability to orchestrate solos and build the music to a soaring climax.

    I am assuming a ‘tuning purist’ such as yourself has a different idea, but from my experience of a member of the audience (because that’s really all I have been), is that I am more illuminated when the orchestration of the guitar playing is beautiful.

    Posted July 9, 2010 at 10:52 am
    • Kimock

      Those are good observations Andrew, nice. . .

      First from the ‘tuning purist’ perspective, that’s not exactly the bag I’m working from, although it’s easy to see how it could be interpreted like that. There are obviously a whole bunch of fantastically gifted and creative musicians working under that rather large roof of composing in Just Intonation, using all manner of tunings and different divisions of the octave, and a lot of the music that results from those efforts is genuinely new music. That’s important work.

      My own thing, the attitude, the examples, the application, isn’t that so much.
      It’s not ‘tuning purity’ leading the charge in the service of new music.

      What I’m doing here, while it leans heavily on Just Intonation or overtone series principles as a benchmark, does so largely in the context of 12 tone equal temperament.
      So for the most part it’s about “Tune-on-the-fly” or Adaptive Just Intonation, applying overtone series tuning to existing 12 tone roots, in the context of electric guitar performance of existing music styles. Rock, blues, jazz, funk, whatever.

      In my own experience, I’ve found a considerable disconnect between the application of existing basic music theory concepts and the guitarists responsibility or goal of achieving consistent results on a gig to gig basis.
      I think there’s two main reasons for that, one being that the theory itself is based on observations of different music, and secondly it’s largely tied to the keyboard in a notational sense,
      So, any theory based on a different music on a different axe is gonna require a tweak here or there relative to performance application every couple of hundred years. I think that’s not unreasonable.

      That’s what’s going on here.
      Just trying to update some of the methods by which a modern electric guitarist might obtain more consistent results in performance by acknowledging the fact that a greater degree of pitch resolution is required to accommodate the electric guitar’s greater potential for pitch variation. whew. . . blah blah blah. . .

      Also acknowledging the fact that somewhere between 18th century Vienna and 21st century NYC, the music we’ve evolved leans heavily on African influences that lean heavily on harmony deliberately bred out of the European system.

      So yeah, you’re gonna need to update some of that at some point.
      What I’m attempting here is to do that from a performance application perspective for electric guitar.

      Alright, so “Does it come from the tuning side?” Is that what lights it up, or something else?

      Certainly no one single aspect of the experience is gonna carry it alone if the rest of the deck is stacked against it, but in my opinion, no single aspect is more likely to pull the whole thing together than the results of the process of studying pitch specificity in harmony.

      When you look hard at the issue, you know, really put it under a microscope as a specialized field of study, it forces you to look back through history, and the further back you go, the more that specialized field of study rejoins general knowledge until the whole thing is just observation of the physical world.
      That’s the origin of “harmony”, the way things are together.
      You begin to see that very specialized field of study as the distillation of all human experience of the natural world, and in the polarity of that, every observation of the natural world is a lesson in harmony.

      So to differentiate the practical aspects of working the axe and the long term benefits to the person studying harmony, from the working the axe angle, the pitch specificity is just one component.
      The painfully slow emergent property of the study of pitch specificity is the appreciation of the harmony of the natural world.
      Which would be all the rest of it, so to answer your question. . .

      Yes and no. . ;^ )

      Posted July 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm
  19. Wonderful. Your theoretical accuracy, melodic stability, and pitch specificity in the context of a song are all reasons why I keep coming to see you, and keep putting your tapes on to initiate my friends into the world of Kimock.

    I am going to come back to that epic post at a later date to better understand it, but Steve, thanks for taking the time. Really.

    Posted July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm
  20. One thing that has been on my mind is taking ideas from other forms and adapting them to music. This comes partially from frustration, as I can’t seem to find the music I have been searching for. So I have been learning about architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Walter Gropius, and trying to absorb their ideas and adapt them to string instruments. Also going back and reading ancient poetry… I feel like those ideas shed more light on my playing that any music I could throw on.

    Do you think this is healthy development? I’m not saying that one should come at the expense of the other, but can other forms eventually translate back to music? Is there really some inter-connectivity?

    Posted July 20, 2010 at 8:45 am
    • Swain

      Well, if your Music is an extension of or reflection of yourself, then yes.
      Whatever you soak up, will eventually be wrung out of you.

      Posted July 20, 2010 at 8:15 pm
    • Cliff

      hmm, eye based communication vs auditory

      There is something special with auditory communication, that’s why so many good players play with their eyes shut, like Steve.

      Posted July 22, 2010 at 7:25 am
  21. I agree with both of you. There is one side of it, where any depth one can find in the world is a good thing, and will add more depth to their craft. The other side says that some aspects of the craft must be developed in its own sphere.

    Posted July 22, 2010 at 11:39 am
  22. Steve,

    Do you listen to any Caleb Quaye? He is my favorite new guitarist.

    Posted August 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm
  23. Jim

    HEY STEVE … I am aware that this is supposed to be acoustic. However, Can I make a request for some electric lessons? Anything to enlighten to us non- slide playing guitarist. Thanks

    Posted August 20, 2010 at 4:05 pm
    • Kimock

      Hi Jim, I was just doing the acoustic lap guitar to avoid the inevitable “gear-talk” running along with the intonation stuff.
      Coming soon then, frets, regular tuning, plank and amp(s).
      Anything special you want to start with?

      Posted August 20, 2010 at 9:27 pm
  24. Cliff

    Might I suggest “It’s Up To You”

    I know it was discussed on TGP but not here, it seems like a good typical Kimock format that has many discussable topics just waiting to burst forward.

    My question is “tuning on the fly” demonstrated at 13:30, this sounds like slide without a slide, I have a good idea what’s going on, I transcribed it
    but I would like to hear your thoughts.
    At 16:20 is a better, longer example of “on the fly tuning that sounds a bit like slide”.

    Posted August 21, 2010 at 8:59 am
  25. Cliff

    Might I suggest “It’s Up To You”

    I know it was discussed on TGP but not here, it seems like a good typical Kimock format that has many discussable topics just waiting to burst forward.

    My question is “tuning on the fly” demonstrated at 13:30, this sounds like slide without a slide, I have a good idea what’s going on, I transcribed it
    but I would like to hear your thoughts.
    At 16:20 is a better, longer example of “on the fly tuning that sounds a bit like slide”.

    Posted August 21, 2010 at 8:59 am
  26. Jim

    Hey Steve , I understand. However, I personally don’t get off on gear…Not that there is anything wrong with gear heads. I am more interested in what exactly you may be “practicing”?. Also, beacause so many guitarists have a unique visual/physical approach I think the easier the lesson the more applicable. So Standard Tuning ?maybe scales with metronome? Chord Voicings? Licks and Timing?…

    Posted August 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    • Kimock

      A lot of what I “practice” looks like the acoustic lap video demonstration stuff. lol . .

      But yeah, I get you, can do.
      I’ll try and dig up somebody to run the camera this week before I have to take off AGAIN, and I’ll show you some of the straight up physical stuff on the standard guitar.

      Posted August 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm
  27. Swain

    There is a great YouTube clip of you (Steve), playing “Spoonful”.

    So smooth and full sounding! Aahhhh!

    I’m always up for some King!

    Posted August 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm
    • Kimock

      Really? maybe it’s somebody else, I don’t recall covering that one, and I’m reluctant to squat on the mirror. . .

      Posted August 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm
      • Cliff

        that’s a funny way to put it. lol

        Posted August 23, 2010 at 9:47 am
  28. Swain



    Isn’t this you? If not, it’s a pretty good Dub:

    I think Willie Dixon had the “good stuff”, you know? LOL

    To me, he was “The King”!

    Posted August 22, 2010 at 5:00 pm
  29. Eric

    I guess nobody can expect Steve to remember everything.

    How about the entire band falling back into Jumping Jack Flash after finishing the tune a few songs back?

    Posted September 21, 2010 at 9:50 am
  30. Bill J.

    Steve i love kimocks korner i has helped me tremendously in my arduous process of learning to play guitar especially slide. Thank You.

    Posted October 12, 2010 at 9:41 am
  31. I agree with the previous poster. This whole ‘music lesson’ is really a cool feature. I also have been slowly learning how to whip a slide (steel) and Steve has been a huge inspiration and motivation.

    It’s interesting how the tangents eventually loop back to the mainstream.

    Go team go!

    Posted October 14, 2010 at 12:21 am
  32. seltz

    wow! amazing stuff! feel like a first grader sitting in on a calculus class! cool to be a fly on the wall and soak up whatever crumbs i can understand. rythm work really coming along! been exposed to listening to the best over the years,so it’s at least in the soul. Mr.K.,simple question on siting vs. standing while playing. you were one of the first guys,i noticed sitting a lot electricaly. i used to play standing,until a broken leg forced me to sit. even though now healed,much more comftorable sitting. feel more control. i realize you stand as well, and there is fun in free movement,but you seem to have played sitting even more in the past. comments on the pros and cons? also i see you have some time off fom live playing the next few months,with the exception of the cool thing you’re doing with jorma at his ranch. any studio stuff going on?

    Posted October 14, 2010 at 9:56 am
  33. seltz

    amazing stuff! like calculus for a first grader! just being a fly on the wall and soaking up what i can. rythm playing coming along. MR.K.,small question on sitting vs. standing while playing. noticed,years ago that you seemed to be 1 of the few to sit while playing electric. i realize you also stand,but seems you liked to sit a lot. i’ve also gone from standing to completly sitting at this point in time.feel more control. any thoughts? also notice you seem to have some “free” time from live playing,next few months,exception,cool thing you’re doing with jorma. anyting going on in the studio?

    Posted October 14, 2010 at 10:07 am
  34. Swain

    Hopefully, I’ll be able to share something listenable soon. I’ve been working on the video lessons, and am feeling like there’s some gold I’ve found……..

    Posted November 15, 2010 at 11:14 am
    • Cliff D

      Looking forward to that Swain

      Posted November 17, 2010 at 7:04 am
  35. Jim

    Steve, what tuning/ tunings do you use with lap steel?

    Posted December 11, 2010 at 9:20 am
    • Kimock

      On the acoustic it’s usually some kind of DADGAD modal type trip, sometimes as low as A for the tonic.The “g string” is where most of the changes take place, it could be as low as unison with the string below or anywhere in between that and the 4th.
      I tend to leave the root five root drone on the bottom 3 alone.

      On electric for the rock and roll stuff, FCFACF, like E 1/2 step, same as a lot of the David Lindley live electric steel playing. I like that sound!

      For the funk/blues sounds I’m partial to E7, BDEG#BE, but I’ve been working on E9 as well, DEF#G#BE.
      Mike Neer hipped me to that, he likes it better than E7 and I’m starting to see why.
      E9 is a more versatile tuning in a lot of ways, the E7 is a pretty blunt instrument in comparison but I’m a lot more familiar with E7 and it is a good fit for my slightly raw interpretation of the blues and funk trip.
      I’ll need a couple of years with E9 before I can really say, I haven’t even taken it onstage yet, but it’s a very cool and logical tuning with lots of great single note and slant possibilities.

      The conventional wisdom seems to be that the tuning itself isn’t as important as how you connect the notes, so whatever floats your boat that you’re willing to spend some time with should work as well as anything else.
      I get the impression that that conventional wisdom doesn’t apply so much to the straight triad bottleneck guitar tunings as it does to the more steel guitar specific tunings tho. . .
      You just have to try a couple of different tunings and see what grabs your attention.

      Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:20 am
  36. seltz

    happy new year steve,and 2 all! you’re alive and well here in thailand! lots of your sweet and joyious music blasting out of my home,as the palm trees sway. doing a set of music for friends new years day afternoon. fridays child worked up. rythm uitar wok coming along nicely! just finished listening/watching new years at the gothic dvd. in the mood! peace to all!

    Posted December 27, 2010 at 11:02 pm
  37. Hi Steve-o,

    Sorry to sound like a broken record, but after a while of not really thinking about it,the intonation thing just popped back in my head. I am thinking about the equal subdivisions of the octave, and how that would compare to a tuning system where all the notes are ‘as in tune as they can be’.

    Are we simply contrasting equal temperment with just intonation, or is there a system other than just intonation where you think there is an ‘accurate’ or ‘ideal’ tuning.

    I have been thinking about the contrast between fretless and fretted… When I play fretless bass, I can hear the ‘correct note, and it is usually right on the line. If I try to ignore the lines, and say starting with a tonic of D and going up the major scale, just trying the play the next interval of the scale the sounds the most ‘correct’, I will end up playing on the lines. And when I play fretted bass, the whole tuning just sounds that much sharper. So I am confused. Even when I listen to you play your guitar, as you do so well, when you play the fretless jazzmaster type thingy, I can hear what I would call ‘tuning anomalies’ that are not present when you are playing the strat or any of your fretted instruments.

    I understand that these perceptions may be just that, due to years of my ears being conditioned on a musical system built around equal temperment. Never the less, I am unable to put this issue to rest.

    We need your words of wisdom, Kimock. Lol. Hope all is well.


    Posted January 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm
  38. I understand that my perspective as a bass player might be flawed, as the frequency difference from the tonic to its octave is significantly smaller than with treble instruments. Because the frequency difference from one pitch to the next is so small, maybe just intonation and equal temperament are much closer to being the same thing. Still, I feel like if we can understand how to ‘do it correctly’ on one instrument, we should be able to figure it out on the rest.

    I did another experiment today where I plugged my fretless bass into a tuner, made sure the string when played open was in tune, and then checked the tuning of each note, meaning each half step up to the octave. Surprisingly each note was perfectly in tune. At the same place, where the end of my finger meets the beginning of the fret line, both my ears and the tuner confirmed that the note was in tune.

    You want a tuning system that allows you to play the ‘correct’, or perfectly tuned note, while giving you freedom to play any of the 12 notes and any combinations thereof.

    When we started this conversation you said something like, “Everyone who is worth listening to does it, and people who don’t do it aren’t worth listening to.” I believe referring to the ‘tuning on the fly’ thing, getting around the deficiencies of equal temperament. I have been thinking a lot about this… maybe because I am not yet fully aboard the ‘anti equal temperament ship’ as you are, but I do think that is a really large statement. In saying that, I think you discount a lot of great musicians who may accept the equal temperament system for whatever reason, but still have something valuable to say. This is something we can talk more about, because I think you need to explain in greater detail what you meant by your original statement.

    Again, I think this is a complicated issue that will not be understood without due study.

    Maybe equal temperament has caught on despite its flaws because it has proven itself useful and user friendly, almost like an automobile or a computer.

    By the way… I am a grad student in a recording arts program. If you are ever in need of free studio time, please hit me up.

    Posted January 30, 2011 at 11:52 am
  39. WOah… are Killling Me !!! I miss you ..I want to hear more about the HOUse of Ali Akbhar and St. PAtricks Breastplate. How can we talk more…Much Aloha, Love and Light, Betsy (Praire Grasssssss)p.s Mahalo Plenty and Ohana ( no one left behind)xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:34 am
  40. seems like I have to post another comment, ok well I’ll go with it. I’m canning a peck of pickled peppers today. Thinking about the hurricane making it’s crazy way up the East Coast wonderingf about the beach on the south shore of massachustts where I grew up and still get to go every year. Love you Steve, I hope you get this xoxoxoxox Peace On

    Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:37 am
  41. Charlie


    I recently saw you perform at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, MN. I just wanted to say that I was a great show, very inspiring. As an audience member it was a very exciting show to be at, it felt like new territory was being explored every moment, it was like being somewhere else completely for those couple of hours, a different realm, an I just wanted to say thank you for that. Bernie, Andy, and Wally were phenomenal as well. It was very refreshing, quite unlike any other show I had been to before. To me it encompassed everything that music is all about, thanks again!

    Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm
  42. a

    It is really a nice and helpful piece of information.
    I’m glad that you simply shared this useful info with us.
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    Posted June 22, 2014 at 9:56 am
    • Kimock

      Glad to hear that was useful to you.
      Probably won’t have time to add anything new until the fall.
      I’d be on it more often if I wasn’t such a Luddite, but honestly I can barely figure out how to work a camera, let alone a computer.
      Nonetheless, time for “progress” when I finish summer tour.
      Thanks for checking in.

      Posted June 23, 2014 at 8:25 am

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