Generic Bass Setup ESP LTD D4

My generic beginners bass setup (I’m the beginner) was to set up the Line 6 PODxt with the bass pack, buy a 9v battery for the active pickup, buy some 1/4″ audio cables that went missing, apply blue Loctite to them because the end caps always loosen off but still need to be removable with force, got new Cleartone medium strings, got the antique brass LOXX strap locks, set up the Comfort Strap Pro Bass Extra Long, put together a pick sampler for the fun of it, got a stand for it, added a Wedgie pick holder, got non-abrasive cleaning clothes for wiping it down, lubricant for the bridge parts, lemon oil for the fingerboard, a headphone adapter 1/4″ to 3.55mm (typical headphone jack) cable, read the owners manual, bought some books, found that no ESP case fits that guitar, and finall ywill have Wade’s set it up and try to find a hard case.

Loctite Your One-Quarter Inch Audio Cables

Some of our audio cables were lost in the move. Bought some nice replacements and just like the old ones the end capes were loose and nearly falling off. Didn’t really like it the last time and unsure why I didn’t permanently fix it last time, but blue Loctite should be just fine.
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Rush 2013 Clockwork Angels Tour

It felt good to have Rush share with us their artistic contribution “Clockwork Angels”. They are not living in the past, and how could they, nobody would keep showing up just to hear Tom Sawyer would they? That said, it was great to hear the 2112 Overture performed by it’s creators ;).

Though it wouldn’t look it, the Marcus Amphitheater sounded great. There was great sound, you could hear everyone; certainly not what you would expect staring up at the 1.5 story tall P.A. system hanging above the stage.
The show was a blast and the guys are indeed masters.

Sometimes the first 80 percent is "good enough"

There is a joke among programmers: when the project manager asks how complete is the project, and you’ve finally reached the “%80 complete” mark, you tell him the good news because now you all know how long it will take to finish the 2nd %80 of the project! Sometimes this is just how efforts evolve; and it its not just limited to work efforts.
For the past month of so I’ve been practicing a beautiful song called “Over the Hills and Far away” (aka OTHAFA) by Led Zeppelin.
It has been a challenge for me. The practice-duration/song-duration ratio of OTHAFA’s has been a high. Learning it has almost been like work project: you get an idea of what needs to happen, start digging in, and eventually figure out what *really* needs to happen!
Ultimately, it took me about a month or so to learn all of the parts of the song (aka the first %80), and based on what I can see it will take another month to be able play it well enough to perform it (aka the second %80). Don’t get me the wrong, the first %80 means I play the parts correctly and it sounds nice. There are just all of the details that really take it from sounding “good” to “great”. It has been frustrating, though; as I started studying the 2nd %80 my progress slowed and it was a little bit disheartening. I soldiered on, but man…
Talking to my guitar teacher about it really helped me put things in perspective. He explained that the goal of learning the song was to learn all of the guitar playing techniques in OTHAFA that I would end up using in %80 of all of the other songs that I would end up learning. In other words, he had a clearly defined pedagogical approach to my course of study, mastering the 2nd %80 was more like a bonus, or an optional goal that I could pursue if I so desired. Wow, I had no idea; I felt a lot better after hearing that.
My take away from all of this is what when it comes to learning, it is really up to you to decide whether or not *now* is the right time to pursue that 2nd %80 of whatever you are learning. Perhaps even more important is using enough discretion to determine whether or not you are actually moving into that 2nd %80, or you are simply moving outside your comfort zone because *that* can feel even more difficult that the latter!
Whatever the case, keep on learning, whatever you can, and have fun doing it!

How do you practice?

Someone noticed that I’ve learned how to practice guitar. I asked what they meant by that, and they said that I “start slow, memorize the piece, and keep practicing, a little faster each time”. That is what works for me. When it comes to learning how to become a better programmer, I’m not sure that it is so simple (not to say guitar is simple of course!).
How do you practice programming?
I’ve got some ideas on how I do it, but it I’m going to take some time to think about it.
That post is over the hills and far away!