Friday, August 24, 2012

So I picked up my guitar for the first time in 6 months...

Six months is a long time to not do something that requires practice.

I finally found some time to pull out the ole "gitters" and fool around a bit. I had to muster the energy though, because life as it is demands much of me. My son is 8 months old now and is really starting to explore his world through crawling. He looks like he's ready to start walking despite barely mastering the crawl! The job has its own demands as well, especially that of being awake all night. I felt like I could still rip the frets like I did this time last year, but I knew that the lack of practice was going to take away from the expected outcome.

I broke out the cherry sunburst ESP LTD first, since it was recently maintained and I hadn't played it since that date. My fingers started to hurt really quickly as the gauge of the strings is heavier than I'm used to. I could feel the urgency of my body as I tried to whip out some quick licks. Settling down a bit, I set my metronome to 80 beats per minute and patiently built up my speed and accuracy for that particular block of notes I needed to improve upon. Shortly I was able to play the part at around 115 bpm, but the song plays at about 150 bpm! I decided to give that a little break and move on to something else. Out came the 7-string ESP LTD guitar and while I recently replaced the strings, the fretboard was a bit dry and overall needed some cleaning. This made playing a struggle; sliding up and down the fretboard was akin to a car skidding down the roadway after the driver slammed the brakes. The sound from my very old practice amp also annoyed me to the point that I simply had to stop.

I'm going to go back to basics here and try to tackle some new concepts while my old (bad) habits are still out for retirement. I hope that very soon I can get back to playing the way I feel I should. Hopefully, videos will return to the blog and the original vision of this site will be restored!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First post of 2012... the short

It's been a long long time since I updated the blog. I've been very consumed with life and all the elements that enrich it. Band's been in a slump, and my (recently deleted) previous blog post doesn't ring true anymore. Rocafuerte's in search of a new bassist and drummer. On the good news end of things I am the proud father of the cutest young boy EVAR (forget what ya heard). I'm rather tired daily as a result of fatherhood, which is one of the best roles I can play in my life. As a result, I'm going to end this update here. I hope to add updates later - and throughout the year - with some audio, video and images relating to the subject (just look up there) of this blog.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Meager updating

Work is hectic. Sleep schedule is screwed up. I managed to fit some cool things into my schedule, though. I did manage to meet Vernon Reid from Living Colour (see last year's Central Park blog post!) at a jazz club last week. We had a chat about several musically related things and I have learned much from the wise guitarist. I hope to present some of these new ideas in future blog posts and videos... I have been seriously negligent on making videos. For now, though, a picture:

I've been listening to a lot of Rhapsody of Fire this month; I caught up on their newer albums because they're finishing up the concept they began with way back in the 90's, 10 albums (!) ago. I can't get enough of their style of writing and Luca Turilli is a monster on guitar. If you like high fantasy and old school battle hymn style speed metal, definitely give it a try.

I bought a Nintendo 3DS on launch day, March 27th. You've got to see it to believe it, but you will probably either come off amazed or unimpressed. The 3D effect is really cool and I hope that the platform matures quickly. I'll probably have more info on that later.

Off I go then, off to work. April shall see an update early! I promise!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Another new year arrives...

2011 is here! Happy new year to you, my reader. I hope that, as everyone usually says, the new year brings new opportunities for greatness and success for you. I also hope that I may achieve some greatness and success myself while achieving some (make that many) goals I have set for myself. Before I look to the future, I would like to share a little bit of the past.

December 19, 2010 marks the release date of Rocafuerte's album, entitled Vuelo Letal. It consists of 8 tracks that the guys and I have worked on since the creation of the band. The album is available in a limited run disc format (only 300 copies right now, selling fast) and in MP3 format. The disc is available by request for only $5 (contact me or visit Rocafuerte's website or Facebook page for details) and at least the following music vendors:
During the same weekend I recorded some guitar for a Michael Jackson tribute track sung by my cousin E.R.I.C. The song sports a pop/R&B flavor and I throw in some bluesy licks and a rocked-out solo to color it further! The video for the song Crazy Love has been released and is available on YouTube. The EP, "GROOVE" will release March 2011.

The future holds quite a few things for me. Rocafuerte is searching for a new drummer as our original drummer had to part ways to pursue his career. I hope to play many shows to raise awareness of our new album. I will also be practicing heavily this year to improve on my technique and learn jazz guitar method. I also have quite a large and much-desired task of learning much of G.F. Handel's Messiah in time for this year's Christmas season. Non-musically, I will be learning UNIX and Linux while refreshing and improving my database administration skills.

Here's to a prosperous 2011 for all!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Awaiting the Rocafuerte album release

It's December, and as promised, the Rocafuerte album, titled "Vuelo Letal" (Lethal Flight) will be released in the coming weeks. The master has been created and sent off for duplication. We're also working on getting the online distribution set up and generating some buzz about the album on Facebook and Twitter. If you're on Facebook, "like" the band Rocafuerte (found at this link) and if you're a Tweeter you can follow RocafuerteMusic. Once everything is finalized and ready for release, I'll drop the album art and ways to purchase or stream the music!

For the time being, you can find the first single off our album entitled "Pensando En Ti" (Thinking of You) on our Facebook page ( takes you directly there) or the band's website. You can stream the song off the web site by clicking "Escucha A Rocafuerte" in the lower left of the main page. Share the song with friends and family!

A sad bit of band related news comes in the form of the departure of our drummer. He's gone off to Maryland to pursue his career in chemical engineering, a field in which he's worked hard to obtain a PhD. We wish him well and much success. We are in the search for a new drummer and hope to make that a quick and easy process. Finding a suitable drummer never is quick or easy, though.

This month is proving to be a very busy one. I have some other things I'd like to share but it's just not the proper time yet. Until next time!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A November Update

October has been a very busy month. Rocafuerte finished mixing the album and moved on to mastering. Currently, the mastering process is just about finished and our release bracket of mid-December 2010 is still in place. I've been doing a lot of overtime at work. Games are movies are piling up at home. I had the sudden urge to finance a PC upgrade because Final Fantasy XIV ran terribly on the configuration. As of now, my PC upgrade is complete and everything runs ultra-smoothly on it. I yelled like a mad man when I saw FFXIV going between 40 and 60 frames per second (smooth-city baby), so you could say I'm pleased. I spent just over $300 on a new motherboard, a memory upgrade and a larger and faster hard drive along with a newer model DVD drive. With any luck, I will recoup those costs by putting all of my old equipment into another case and selling that!

For the past 2 weeks I've been listening to reference versions of the Rocafuerte masters and everything is coming together really well. I can't really say much because I want the experience for all listeners to be fresh, but I will say that it sounds absolutely amazing. We should be starting the replication process just after Thanksgiving.

In other news, I'm working on building a low-power, low-cost computer to practice some database management and improve my knowledge of UNIX (via FreeBSD) so that I can expand my career knowledge and make some crazy money (not by driving a crazy taxi) in the near future.

Ahh this probably sounds boring. I'll have more exciting news once the album is released!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Recent Musical Reflections...

My Zune's Car Pack (the car-lighter adapter plus RF transmitter) died on me a few weeks ago, so I've been restricted to listening to CDs in the car on my commutes. I used this as an opportunity to put some quality time into some new CDs I purchased over the month of August as well as become more familiar with Judas Priest, a band that I truly feel I have a musical connection with. I've been using my Zune Pass song credits to buy Priest albums (thank goodness they're mostly 9-10 songs minus the bonus tracks, which I'm not wholly interested in) and those albums have been subsequently burned to CD-R for my listening pleasure.

In addition to Judas Priest (which really doesn't need any explanation; their music is really good) I have been listening to the new Maiden album, the two recent Disturbed albums (Indestructible and Asylum - released 8/31/10) and Chinese Democracy - you know, that album by Guns n' Roses that is probably still a Best Buy exclusive on disc.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Rocafuerte Album...

is almost done! The guitars, bass and most of the vocals are done. We need to re-record one song on drums. Next up will be mixing and mastering and I'm hoping that we can release this baby by the end of September.

Our first run will have 8 songs - the songs we have had on tap from the birth of the band. Shortly after we will have a limited run with a bonus track that I will not announce yet! I do promise that it will be chock full of epic, metal goodness.

In other news, I'm currently absolutely obsessed with Dragon Quest 9 for the Nintendo DS. I bought it the week it was released (week of July 11) and have logged 70 + hours in as of today. I'm near the end of the game but there's so much content and so many goals I want to achieve that it will take a crowbar to pry me off this game!

I also bought a couple of new CDs lately. A few weeks ago I bought Nightmare from Avenged Sevenfold, featuring Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater. The songs are very catchy, great to listen to and Mike absolutely kills it on the drums. Today, I bought Iron Maiden's The Final Frontier (Mission Edition). I haven't listened to the whole thing - half the album so far - but it sounds like I will have to get used to it. It's definitely not a commercial effort (nothing immediately catchy so far) but the music so far sounds like it desires attention. I'll try to set some time up to just listen on my earphones to dig the details.

Oh yeah, and I turned 30 last month. Yay for me!

Here's to hoping I can update sooner!