Thursday, August 31, 2006

Is summer over already?

Well, my bursitis ("Bass Player's Elbow?") is finally better, after taking steroids and other anti-flam type meds. It did not affect my playing much, other than not being able to do octave down-slides. It did affect almost everything else I did with my left arm, however, so I'm very glad to be feeling better.

The semi-regular gig I've been playing at LV's Uptown has been going well. It's a very nice room, I get to play in the daytime instead of late at night, and the food is excellent. And the best part is that I get to play with Ted Clifford, who is an excellent jazz pianist. It seems like every week we find new connections through the music, and take new paths through the tunes. For me this is what it's all about.

I'm always learning something new, too. Last week, I discovered a sweet spot on my E string for plucking with my right hand. By plucking with the side of my fingertip, an inch or so closer to the bridge from my usual position near the bass pickup, I get a very upright-like growly tone that works very well on long sustaining notes in ballads. I had been playing near this spot, but I luckily found the exact place last weekend. It will probably change when I change strings, but now I know what I'm looking for and how to find it.

Oh yeah -- the subject line. Summer is almost over, and I'll be glad for the return of the rain. We've had more 90-degree-plus days this year than I can remember since we've been here. I know some people consider hot & sunny to be the perfect weather conditions, but you just can't take that kind of attitude in Oregon. This weekend is going to be 90+ again, and I hope that will be the last of it.

Hey guitarists -- Funtwo is awesome.

And finally, R.I.P Maynard Ferguson.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


OK, I'll admit that I did not really know what bursitis was. That was before I got it in my left elbow. I had noticed a kind of dull pain right behind my elbow joint for a week or so, but hadn't paid much attention to it, but then last Wednesday night it started swelling and hurting like hell. It was even red and hot to the touch. My doctor prescribed some steroid pills, which I did not really want to take, but I went ahead and toke them like a good patient. They do seem to be helping my elbow, but the side effects are horrible. I'm hungry all the time, alternately jittery and mopey, trouble sleeping. I don't think I could endure a long period on steroids.