Step two...

The next phase of online self indulgence.
I made the mistake of monkeying around with my original BLOG located here and ruining it.
I am useless.
I am starting over..and here we go.

Monday, March 31, 2014


Music has been my thing for the past twelve months or so.

It has been liberating, and frustrating all at the same time.

I have written a few little pieces of music and I am considering the notion of recording them..
...and I mean more than on my Canon camera/ Youtube...

Might be a fun little project...but it requires effort and I find that getting off my ass to do anything on my days of rest takes at least heroic measures.

It would be a shame if I didn't at some point though....

Here is a melody over a set of simple chord changes that I starting humming and couldn't get out of my head.

I can't help but wonder what it would sound like 'fleshed out' with a drummer and a bass player...

Sunday, March 30, 2014


So it's tax time..and spring..

For the past two or three years I have been promising myself a little treat as the winters months recede. The dangling carrot to reward myself for surviving yet another year full of compromise and the frustration of working a job that is most assuredly destroying my soul.


It doesn't have to be musically related but it has been for the most part.

I plan on doing my taxes this coming week and that will usually give me about a grand in mad money more or less.

I am leaning towards a new guitar.

As a matter of fact I have been obsessing over a Gibson Les Paul.

I have been scouring the Kijiji oceans for a good deal and, more to the point , distracting myself from the realities of a never ending vicious winter.

Guitar Porn my co workers call it...and that is a perfect term. Titillation that is completely unreal and of no real long term value.

..but much fun

Bit of an issue though this year.

I get it into my head that I need a Les Paul to feel whole.....but then I play one.

The thing is I don't really like them...and I never have.

I love the idea of them...but they are heavy , cumbersome and crazy expensive for a really good one.

It could be that I may actually have to buy one in order to completely break the spell....


There is another possibility.

The first real guitar I ever owned was a Butterscotch blonde Fender telecaster.

An ICON of the music industry...right up there with the Gibson Les Paul in terms of Ubiquity and importance.

One of the fondest memories I have involves the purchase of this guitar.
I was very young and I was waiting to be picked from the music store where I was taking guitar lessons.

My teachers name was Steve Dumont...I am surprised I remember that
I should never underestimate the value and influence a good teacher has whether it be music or any other discipline.

There is something sacred about the passing of knowledge..especially art.

..anyway ..there I sat..waiting...staring up at a wall of recently delivered Fender telecasters...GLOWING!!!.....AHHHHHHHH!!!!!  (lol)..

I had been banging away on some POS no name brand and I had gotten just about as far as I was going get with that particular was holding me back. mother showed...and saw this want and I think recognized this need and without hesitation said ,  "pick out the one you want"

I will never forget that. 

It means more to me now than it did then...and it meant at least everything to me then.

We couldn't afford it but she just made it happen with no guilt trip or anything of the like.

The one I'd chosen looked just like this ...and I loved that guitar.

Like anything I grew out of it. I don't know where that guitar is but I hope it is being played by some young kid with dreams and imagination.

So on to today...

My Kijiji ramblings find my way on to this ad


Very sexy...very sexy indeed...

And after a wee bit of research..grossly over priced. The music store in town has one exactly like this for sale , brand new , for $850.oo...

It would kind of be like buying back my soul...and that idea is not without a certain nostalgic appeal to this old fart.

That coupled with the fact that I am currently just LOVING my main guitar and also the fact that a Telecaster is a complete departure makes this choice a front runner...
...but I am a fickle bitch...

We'll see. The wind may yet turn...or the furnace may break...


Saturday, March 22, 2014

New Beer..Sus Chords..March Madness and Youtube

Once again I will comment on the wonders of Youtube.

I spend a ton of time on youtube.

Before work yesterday I was bouncing around looking at some guitar nerd stuff and ran across a Sean Bray lesson on Sus Chords.
I listened to it and it kind of inspired me to record a little improvised sus chord vamp of my own.

I remember way back being baffled by sus chords and how to apply them musically and could never figure out how to improvise over them.
I wish I'd had Youtube then. There really is no excuse for not knowing anymore and I am genuinely impressed with just how giving everybody is with their knowledge of the instrument.

Here is Seans little seminar...

Discovered a new Beer.

Another home run from Mill Street.

This is their Vanilla Porter.

Kind of a smoother Guiness with just a touch of Vanilla.
Awesome Winter Beer....and it looks like Winter is here forever....

The NCAA tourney is on right now and I have managed against all odds to watch a few games on the tele..
Unfortunately they have all been blowouts.

Watching State play was like watching a friend beat up on a crippled midget.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I actually hear some things in here that I like and am starting to relax a bit while I play.

Good signs...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

This Weekends Attempt

Time Project # 3 from Gene Norland on Vimeo.

I just picked something simple and tried to lay back.

 The key to this I think is to just relax and listen

....which is advice that can really translate to success with so many other things in life now that I think about it.

 It feels good to focus and actually work on something specific.

 Its forcing me to listen to what I am doing and to what is happening around me.

 All good things.

Loving my gear right now! The little camera I am using t document this shit doesn't really do the sound justice.
I hope I will improve as a player because my equipment deserves that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Playing 'in the pocket'  is a musical term.

It is a phrase that that speaks to time but also a great sense of rhythm...which can be two separate things.

A player with great phrasing will move in and out of time to create tension and the guys that can do it well are the players that I really admire.

My time is shit.


I didn't realize how bad my sense of time has become until I got my little ditto looper pedal and began experimenting with it.

I have been playing a lot of solo guitar and duet stuff for the past decade and you can get away with some sloppy rhythm stuff.

Sometimes that is even the goal and the freedom that goes with it is what is most appealing about that type of an approach.

However...I have picked up some bad habits...



I have been using the looping pedal and  I have been recording myself improvising over some little vamps.

There is no hiding or fooling yourself when you do this and I hope it shames me into addressing my sense of time and developing a stronger meter.

This will be a little project for me .Hopefully by doing it I will have a cool little 'before and after snapshot' and see if my phrasing improves as I go along.


Either way it is kind of fun...and that is the whole point.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Mouse

It's been almost exactly one month since my last entry.

Every so often I fall away from this little on-going project. Normal enough...

This month has been a bit of a roller coaster ( pun intended ). We are hopefully on the tail end of one of the worst winters ever and everybody has had enough.

I cannot recall a Winter that hit so early and stayed so nasty for so long. There is snow outside that I can't imagine being gone in any less that a month and there is a good chance that there will be snow right into May if the weather keeps to it's forecast.


This was a good year to get away to someplace warm and this was to be the Disney Year for the Norland clan!!

I have been trying to get the kids to Disney for years and I was beginning to think that it wasn't going to happen.
It is an expensive proposition and we just don't have a ton of mad money. There was just no way to justify the expense any time I did the pre-trip math in my head so I had pretty much given up on the possibility.

But then the stars aligned...

Kim's parents decided to rent a house for a few weeks and invited us down.

That was a very generous offer that provided us with meals and free lodging.

That coupled with the retro $$ I will be receiving this year ( if Treasury board ever gets of their corrupt ass and pays me )  made for a situation that I just couldn't say no to.

The kids deserved this and the midwinter break was a god send this year.

It was also the biggest surprise of my life!

Despite the fact that many people assured me I would love it , in the back of my mind I pictured a situation where I just tolerated the madness for the childrens sake.
I am not an amusement park type of person ...but there is always the sunshine.

I absolutely Loved it!!!

Disney is a special place run with military precision and by people that just know what they are doing.

Pretty much the opposite of my workplace and it was inspiring to see.

I don't have a single bad thing to say about the trip and I don't have a single regret. It was worth every pennie and we are already talking about going back.

The weather was perfect and the house we rented in Davenport was a beautiful. I could have stayed at the house for the week and not gone anywhere.

It was a bit of a Marathon and that is to be expected but the Disney people make it all super easy to navigate.

We did Animal Kingdom ( favourite ) the first day and the last, Magic Kingdom, Epcot ( stayed for the fireworks there ) ,Hollywood Studios , and Universal Studio's.

So many memories. It had such an impact on us that it is hard to talk about ..or write about without getting a little sad that it is over.

I think that is why it took me a month to sit down and create an entry. I can understand why people return every year.

A magical place where even a cynical , miserable sociopath POS like me can allow themselves to breath in a little joy .. and I really hope we'll be able to return.

On another note...

I bought myself a pedal board and a pedal board power supply. When I get the retro money I am going to upgrade the sound somehow....maybe a new guitar...probably a es 335..but I haven't really made up my mind. There is a lot of space on the pedal board and I will certainly address that shortcoming as the year progresses.
I have been using my xmas Ditto pedal and it is fun.

It has made me realize just how shitty my 'Time' is but I am working on it.

 I went to see Robben Ford last night with the family.

With some people the music just seems to flow out of them with little or no effort.
What a great show.

Makes me want to practice.....and turn the guitar UP!!!!