The Water Doesn’t Move

If you surf, you know the thrill of catching a wave. Even body surfing affords this exhilarating feeling. You learn to feel the pull of the wave, time your effort, kick, swim, and ride the crest to the shore. Something you may know but don’t think about is that the wave is pushing you, not the water. When waiting for a wave to catch, you remain more or less in the same spot. It’s the undertow and tide that’s moving the water, the water is just the medium that the wave is moving through.

A point on a bicycle wheel only moves at the same velocity as the bicycle when it is exactly in the 9 and 3 o’clock positions. When the point moves from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock, it travels faster than the velocity of the bicycle, when it moves from 3 to 9 o’clock, slower. When you pedal a bicycle at 25 kph, any point on the wheel is either traveling faster or slower more often than the speed you and the bicycle are traveling. The velocity of this point, if graphed, is a wave.

When the sun is photographed at the same time each day it creates a shape when the multiple images are laid on top of each other. The shape called an analemma. It is very similar to the numeral eight laid on a 45-degree angle, more akin to the shape that we use to represent the concept of infinity. The bottom loop is a bit smaller than the bottom one, but the shape is dependence on your position of latitude. When I saw this image, I made a connection with nature and the relationship of the orbit of the earth around the sun. While the earth and sun have a finite existence, the length of their existence is nearly incomprehensible to us. If we graph this shape and use the X axis as time, we again get a wave shape.

Myth has it that the gentle beating wings of a butterfly in Africa create the initial disturbance that eventually becomes a powerful hurricane in the Atlantic. How can such small things when looked at in greater detail either get lost in the big picture or be so integral to the whole? When floating on the surface of the ocean, we are bobbing on the peaks and troughs of waves; when observing a bicycle, it travels at a constant velocity while the velocity of a point on the wheel is constantly changing relative to the velocity of the bicycle which can be represented by a wave; the shape the sun traces in the sky as the earth orbits the sun can be represented graphically as a wave. How great is the improbably that the beating wings of a butterfly create a hurricane hundreds of miles in diameter, with winds in excess of 160kph?

Sound is a vibration. It is an acoustic wave that transmits through a medium such as gas, liquid, or solid. The air doesn’t move and the sound we create and call music or art is intangible. It is electromagnetic energy. Vibrations. Waves. Just like the current unifying theory of the universe, string theory, where the vibrations of the strings determine the state of the universe.

We are the water; the music we create is a wave that washes over us. We are the bicycle; our velocity is constant, the wheel’s always changing. We are the earth; the sun’s orbit traces its path in the sky. A butterfly beats its wings; a hurricane blows in faraway land.

Bottom Line: Catch the wave, surf the groove to the shore.

A Better Alternative

The stigma of changing your mind is that it implies weakness. I’d argue that changing one’s mind when faced with new facts and better information is courageous. Rather than ignoring and rejecting out of hand, acknowledging and considering new facts shows strength. On our path to a greater understanding of music on our chosen instrument, it’s our responsibility to consider new information and incorporate it into our understanding. As Marcus Aurelius wrote, “I seek the truth, by which no one has ever been harmed. The one who is harmed is the one who abides in deceit and ignorance.”

It took a while, but eventually I came to understand the concept. I changed my mind. Did I feel regret for my past beliefs? No, I just moved on knowing that now I understood a concept that was closer to the truth, closer to reality. It is human’s ability to adapt that has made us the most dominant species on the planet. To adapt necessarily implies an ability and willingness to change especially when presented with overwhelming evidence to the contrary. If we lacked the ability to adapt and change then we would not be able to incorporate new and better information into our world view.

Think of the alternative. Your instructor teaches you a new concept, you struggle to understand it, but eventually you do get it. You start to hear in other people’s playing the use of this concept. A door of understanding and new perception has been opened. You try to incorporate this concept into your playing but struggle to do so in a musical way. Your instructor suggests that you need to spend more time in the shed, perhaps many hours that could stretch into a year of work. Do you abandon your new understanding and go back to your old ways, or do you persevere and double your efforts to understand the truth? The only person you risk harming with your deceit and ignorance is yourself.

Do you have the desire and motivation to become a better musician? Are you open to new information and insights about how you become a better musician? You don’t necessarily need a thick skin, just a willingness to be honest and open with yourself; question the “facts” that got you to where you are; understand that the way to advance on your path is to search out the nuggets of wisdom from the musicians that traveled this way before you.

Bottom Line: Do you have strength and resolve to actively challenge your beliefs?

Mooer Hustle Drive Review

by Dave Fields

Dave Fields

When I look for an overdrive pedal, I’m always looking for a pedal that sounds natural, not too bright, smooth….

Something that sounds like one of my favorite amps (of which the name I won’t mention) but with a natural overdriven tone. Also, one that when I push with a compressor or a clean boost, won’t break up in a nasty, ratty way.

On the top of my list is the Mooer Hustle Drive. Not only is it natural and smooth sounding, it’s SMALL! I love how when I turn my volume up or down on my guitar how the Hustle Drive responds like an amp. How did Mooer cram all that sound into such a small package?! When you click the on switch, it all comes roaring out in a perfect sound package. It not only sounds amazing live, it records with, in my opinion, the perfect tone. And hey fellow guitarists, it’s all about the tone right?!

I’ve taken this pedal with me on tours all over the US and Europe and it’s performed flawlessly.

Mooer Hustle Drive

Here are my settings for the Hustle Drive: (set the amp to a beautiful clean tone, then):

  • Volume: 12 o’clock
  • Tone: 1 o’clock
  • The switch should be set to: LP
  • Drive: 12 o’clock

Check out my guitar sound on my song, “Changes of My Life,” to hear an example of what the Mooer Hustle Drive and other Mooer pedals sound like together.

VERDICT: I give the Mooer Hustle Drive 5 out of 5 stars.

Dave Fields – Fodera Guitar artist/NY Blues Hall of Fame inductee. Touring recording artist.

Life is Short

Life is short. As short as we make it.

“And then one day you find ten years have gone behind you, no one you when you run, you missed the starting gun.” –Pink Floyd

We’re given enough time in the average life span to accomplish much. Think of the many musicians that have left us too early and yet managed to produce a veritable lifetime of material in such a short period of time. Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kurt Cobain… it’s a long list. These musicians and many others have created music that has inspired millions.

If you feel you have a passion, a vision, a drive – pursue it. Don’t compromise. Find similar minded musicians that share your vision so you can work toward your goal or go it alone. Playing music that doesn’t inspire or lead you toward achieving your goal is just as time consuming and draining as playing music you love. You could spend your most productive and healthy years helping someone else achieve their vision instead of putting energy and focus toward yours.

While our lives are long, we only have a limited amount of time. Make as much of it your time. Follow your dreams where ever they may lead you.

Pickboy Edge 1.14 Photo By Xavier Dubois

We couldn’t help but notice how good this photo looked of the Pickboy Edge 1.14, along with some playing partners. These picks are a favorite of players who like to play for speed. Posted by @xaviergarth on Instagram.

About the Edge 1.14, Xavier says:

I feel like I found my “own perfect pick” 😉


Check out John Mayer and his custom Dead & Company Pickboy rainbow picks here, from New Years Eve at The Forum in L.A.