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House of Rock

05 Jan Ant’s new (oldish) SG and his musical beginning (Story)

Hello to all Solodallas members and a Happy New Year!

Ant here and my first article for this heavenly site of good old Rock n Roll and well it’s been quite a while coming, been approx. 3 years since getting back into playing guitar and finding my roots in terms of playing style.

I can now safely say “this kind of rock is my thing” :) (AC/DC and all the other oldies including blues)

Who do I have to thank for this….. Number of people really, yep you can guess Mr Fil 😉 but this is only in recent years don’t get me wrong Fil is a legend but where did it all begin, the journey that made me the guitar player today?

My Dad :), he has been a big influence, he doesn’t play guitar (has tried and still is) but used to always play old style rock and roll when I was at quite a young age, whether it be in the car on cassette or his old record collection at home, Status quo, Hendrix, The Who, Zeppelins, ACDC, Judas Priest, Queen (Queen used to put me to sleep at bed times I always wanted it left on in my room lol awesome stuff) and others this is what I believe set the seed that would later on in life affect my taste in music and ultimately learn to play music.

It wasn’t a guitar i started off on; nope it was a Tin whistle….

Yep that’s right lol a small brass tin whistle playing folk songs while at a caravan site in Wales with my Mum and Dad usually every other weekend. Learning the notes and learning different hand positions to make chords was a lot of fun for me at the time.

After that I then moved/phased on and started to play the piano.

At school every lunchtime or break time even after school I would have a quick go on the piano they had there and I got quite good at it, mum and dad were very supportive and bought me a clavinova piano Roland KR-177 which I still have today (gathering dust)

Roland KR-177

I even did a duet twice with a long gone friend in front of the entire school that was to say the least nerve wrecking 😛 that was my first performance, I then played at my Nan and Gramps 50th wedding anniversary which was yet again nerve wrecking, that time I played on my own, iconic points in my life.

By this time (still in school) my dad had purchased 2 guitars back in 98 or 99 an Epiphone Green Sparkle Top Les Paul and a Red Charvel Charvette typical run of the mill thing.

 

My Brother also had purchased an official Fender Stratocaster Made in Mexico as he was a guitar player, he liked nirvana mainly which I wasn’t interested in and he mostly stayed confined in his room

 

The Charvel was intended for me but it was merely an idea than wanting a guitar, it got dismantled by my brother whom he made a new body for it for a school project (turned out crap) I have recently restored it back to its original state as seen in the pic, Dad tried to play guitar but kind of gave up, the status quo riff was his limit.

Note: I didn’t take much notice of guitars then as I was still into my piano playing, covering boogie woogie stomp and that :D.

Times changed I grew up some more and then it happened one day I looked at my dad’s guitar in its soft bag and thought wow this is sweet i picked it up and started playing (random strumming and that as a typical newbie would lol), It quickly grew on me but it was very short lived all I managed to learn was the Voodoo Child Hendrix lick and a bit of the Status Quo riff my ears were already tuned into how notes should sound because of my so far upbringing so it was quite easy.

It was short lived because of work, gaming (lots) and study even my piano playing got left behind, but since I had finished studying and got into full time employment I picked it back up again this time it was different I felt more serious about it I started learning more riffs mainly Hendrix as he was a good influence to me at the time, started listening to his live performances and that mostly self-taught listening to the notes and trying to work it out myself.

I then found myself starting to cover a wider area of bands exploring different styles and I stumbled across Mr Fils old YouTube tutorial on Back in Black (doing it right) and I was blown away :) (as everyone else really) I was already a fan of ACDC at the time but this hit me like no other, pure inspiration from that day on I was practising that Back in Black riff and lick till the frets had curves in them (seriously look at the pic lol)

 

Ten years on from playing piano for my nan and gramps 50th I then did a performance for their 60Th anniversary this year, did a cover of Red House and would you believe it Back in Black only seemed fitting as I practised it more than any other song lol (will upload a vid), I was applauded for my Red house but no so much BiB lol still.. I did it for my grandparents :D. So here i am today, writing up an artical about my kind of short (compared to some) musical history on solodallas.com :)

 This is my music room, full of noise pollution, bit small but suits me fine!

 

This is James also known as Jay, been playing guitar with him since meeting my girlfriend Beth (she is Jay’s sister), he plays heavy metal Metallica and we jam ACDC sometimes we have been progressing together for some time now but that’s yet another story :)

So that’s pretty much it.

Now down to it! If you’ve made it this far in the article I thank you for taking the time to read it “thanks” :) after all this is a site for emotional learning.

I’ve been wanting and waiting for one of these for quite a while now and have taken a lot of thought and consideration into it but after purchasing this SG Standard I gotta say, it is definitely something different! Worth every penny, good old eBay! 😀

Here it is my just recently purchased 2004 Gibson SG Standard in near mint condition.

   

  

It’s All Stock bar a replaced G tuner, minor wears hardly any buckle rash just a bit of dinging only had 1 owner I suspect it was just left in the case for long periods and neglected. Purchased in my eyes at a steal price of £650, bare in mind availability of SG Standards in the UK is very low and to find one that is under £700 is a mega challenge 😛

All the reviews I have read and heard about really are true, the action, weight and tone is by far better than anything I have ever played. I can’t compare to any other copies as I have never played one but I am very very happy with it!

My first thoughts when looking and feeling are:

It’s smaller than I imagined! (Lol) Frets are a fair height…. (Come to play)…. Holy cow is bends almost effortlessly its light (3-4 bags of sugar light) and the neck feels great (like butter as Fil would describe) and not to mention the access to the lower frets of the neck truly a joy to play.

 

And so here I am at the end of what I believe now is the start of my journey with my SG to becoming an even better Bedroom (music room) Rock and Roll Guitar player with the help of Mr Fil and all you members in this Epic sanctuary for Classic Rock and Roll!!!

Everyone’s got their story so here is mine shared to you :)

Me left 😛

Your fellow member and rocking freind!

Mr Ant

p.s videos to come 😉

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31 Dec Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the (New!) Years” Featuring Mr. Elliott Randall (SoloDallas cover, SVDS)

It was one quick email exchange with Mr. Ken Schaffer (his personal site here) that suggested me (well, he did) a possible title to end this year and bring on the next one.

Given my recent meeting with Mr. Elliott Randall (and my past as a listener to Steely Dan since I was oh 17 years old) I just had to try and wear much larger shoes than mine: Mr. Randall’s, in fact.

So it is another sweet pleasure to introduce you to “Reelin’ In The Years”.

To those of you who haven’t listened to Steely Dan yet – please do so. There is world to learn about music into Steely Dan.
(more…)

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