Change of Domain


I know I haven’t been updating this blog very often. It’s because I have been focusing more on my other blog between the commercials. I also haven’t been buying instruments like I used to. This blog is changing to on October 20th. I don’t really feel like paying for this domain name anymore.

Eventually I will start posting more frequently because every 7 months is pretty far between. You can still check out my sound cloud. Search for David Strahs. I have a new set of songs up there and I have been writing some more songs.

That’s all for now.

Against the Blue Wall – Fender Telecaster Bass for the Modern Player Series

First, I have to say, this is going to be the last Against the Blue Wall, because I am moving apartments. I am still going to look at gear it just won’t be against this specific Blue Wall.

I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to post this but a while ago I changed basses. If you look back into my postings I had a Schecter devil bass. It was a fine bass but mainly I wasn’t a big fan of the active pickups. I found I was just setting it to one setting and then leaving it. Heavy, very little treble or pop. It was also clearly a metal bass. It had these “tribal” markings on it. It was definitely a step up from my old Ibanez GIO but not everything I wanted. However, I believe the Ibanez GIO basses are the best beginner basses, if you want to spend less than $200 on one.

So I ended up trading it in for a Fender Telecaster bass. I know, it’s all teles with me. I had been eying a Gretsch hollow body bass, but ultimately the solid body suits me better.

I have gotten to like the Fender basses a lot more. For some reason I was always drawn to the Ibanez style basses in the past. I think I liked the simplicity of the design more. However, after playing through a few Gibsons and Epiphones, Squires and Fenders, some more Schecters and Warwicks and some acoustic basses , I decided on the telecaster bass. It’s in the modern player series, so it is imagining of a bass from the past that never existed, but it works. This one specifically has a really cool pickguard. I think Fender has come out with some of the coolest looking guitars and basses in the past few years. I am still waiting on the voyager because when that hits the shelf I am getting one. Basically, the reason I ended up getting it was that I liked the feel of the neck, the controls are really straight forward, I liked the tone and it has some cool humbuckers in it. I am also a fan of the butterscotch blonde finish.

One thing I really like on this bass as opposed Fender’s guitars is the neck has a high gloss finish all the way around it. I am not a fast bass player so maybe that’s why it isn’t in my way. I tried a few standard and American jazz and p basses, but this one just felt the best. That is one thing that the internet can never replicate, trying out basses and guitars in a store. It makes all the difference in the world.

Some of the features on this bass:

-20 Frets (the Schecter had 24, but I never went past 14)

-34” Scale (the Schecter was an extra long scale, it was more annoying that I thought it would be to find strings)

– open gear tuners-  I am super happy with these. I at first didn’t like the Key style of the tuners and I would always go for the wishbone shaped ones. Maybe it was just time but now I think they look pretty cool. These thing hold the tuning really well.

-2 Humbucker pickups – I think this is the most salient part. Almost all Fender basses have single coils so this one definitely stands out.

-2 volumes and 1 tone – This is all I need. Maybe I love this simple configuration because I never took the time to really play around with the active pickups. At this point though I don’t really care why I like but I do.

So the one thing I did change was the knobs. It comes with these lightweight little chrome knurled ones and they don’t feel really solid. So I bought a few P-Bass knobs and put them on. When I look on forums and reviews this is the biggest complaint. So instead of complaining I just swapped them. The saddles are solid I trust them. Anyway, all the other saddles on basses I used before were pretty cheap, so these brass ones sound great. The only other thing I am not so sure about is the nut. It looks kind of unfinished and unattractive but I won’t do anything now unless it cracks or breaks.

I think this is a great bass. Fender calls it an entry level bass and I guess for about $600 it is. I preferred it of the more expensive ones though. I play a lot out bass with others but my main focus is on guitar so that’s why more of my money goes into guitars.

Here are a few photos:

Fender Telecaster Bass - This pic makes it looks really long but it's not.

Fender Telecaster Bass – This pic makes it looks really long but it’s not.

Body Shot

Body Shot


Head Shot - the tuners have never slipped on me

Head Shot – the tuners have never slipped on me


From a Distance

From a Distance




Blues Driver BD-2

This pedal along with my aqua puss are the only two pedals I need to have. Buying the Aqua Puss over the other delay pedals I was looking at was one of the best pedal  decisions I have made. The other best decision was buying the Blues Driver pedal used at guitar center. I had been looking for an overdrive pedal for a while and I was thinking about this one, along with the Tube Screamer and the Way Huge ones. I liked the Way Huge ones and I would consider getting them in the future but it really came down to the Blues Driver and the Tube Screamer. After playing the Blues Driver I liked it more than the Tube Screamer. I had no idea at the time but it all ended up working out well for my bass.

One thing I love doing is using this pedal with my bass. It’s good for turning up the volume and getting a nice overdriven bass, but it doesn’t lose clarity. I think that is one thing about the Blues Driver I like most of all, the versatility.

When I tested this one out, I used a Gibson SG and it sounded great. That was part of what sold it to me. So make sure when you test out pedal you use something close to your own guitar.

This pedal has the same you find on a lot of overdrive pedals, tone, level and gain. These knobs kind of mimic a simple amp. The tone is for bass or treble boost, the level is the volume and the gain controls the amount of distortion. Actually GFS has a mimic of this pedal and instead of a tone knob there is a switch with three options Rotund, thin and fat. I listened to the audio clips and didn’t hear too much difference among them. You probably have to listen to it in person to get a real idea.

I got this pedal used. So I only paid $50 for it. So far it has been the best used piece of guitar equipment I ever bought.

I use this pedal for a clean boost more often than my DS-1. I think it’s funny that you can use a distortion pedal for a clean boost.

From what I have read the OD-1 is also a great overdrive pedal. The circuit on that one is more similar to the Tube Screamer and both have a strong mid boost.



image_1 image_2

Songs of Adventure

If anyone has looked at my page on Sound Cloud lately they will see that I have removed all of my songs.

I am trying to actually make some legit recordings this year so you won’t hear me wailing into my Zoom recorder.

I am hoping this wont take all year to do.

Updates will come soon.

As of now I have about 13 songs planned out for my album, I have 11 originals and 2 covers. I have a lot of originals and I could make an entirely original album but I think this collection of songs works together better. I am trying to do a songs of adventure theme album, go figure.

DS -1 Distortion pedal

You know that orange pedal. It’s that one. I got this pedal most recently. I like it so much better than my FAB distortion. It has the usual knobs that are on Boss pedals. It has tone, level and distortion. The tone cuts or boosts the highs, the level is for volume and distortion is the amount of amplitude clipping involved. I like to use it when I am playing Judas Priest or Iron Maiden.

One cool thing you can use it for is a clean boost. You can turn the distortion all the way down and use the level to increase the sound. I like this because I have a small bass and I can use the DS-1 to get some good volume out of it.

One of my main motivations for getting this pedal was that my other distortion pedal. The Danelectro FAB is fine if you have very little money like less than $20 to spend on a pedal and I still like it to play Black Sabbath riffs. However, when I connect it in a pedal chain it sounds terrible. Maybe it’s just my set up but I don’t like it. I also got it for free. Also the FAB can’t do clean boost you need to use the gain.

Most of the reviews I have seen say that this pedal is terrible unless you mod it to expand the tonal range. Basically, opening up the pedal so that it has more highs and lows. I guess you can do this mod or send it to Keeley or someone else. I would probably just get a different distortion pedal because you have to spend at least another $60 to get someone to mod it. I guess you can do it yourself for like $20, but then you need a workspace.

Not that this affects the sound but I do like to have another color in my pedal line up to break up the blue ones I have.

If you are thinking about getting a distortion pedal and want to spend less than $40 for a good one I would recommend this one.





Boss Pedals

I don’t think I am wrong in saying that Boss makes some of the most iconic pedals in the world. I have grown to love Boss pedals and right now I own 2 of them. They make great pedals, they are solid and not overpriced at all. I would say they are at the forefront of pedal innovation. Even my BBE mindbender has a clone of the Boss circuit in it.

I have the Blues Driver which I would say is probably my favorite pedal. I use it with my bass and guitar. I use it with my solid state for obvious reasons, but it also goes well with my tube amp because along with my volume knob I can really get that breaking up Chicago blues overdrive sound I’m looking for and if I want to push it into hard rock territory it is good for that too.

The other Boss pedal I have is the flagship distortion DS – 1. I recently got this on and I like it a lot but not as much as the Blues Driver. It is a really inexpensive pedal and it was one of Boss’s first pedals too. Kurt Cobain, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani used one. What I like to do is use the Blues Driver at a little past 12 o’clock and then put the distortion down low so if I need a little bit more gain I can put on the DS-1. Or I can pile the two on top of each other at 3 o’clock and make it really gritty.

For the most part I love every i have tried by Boss but I passed up the  CS-3 Compressor for the MXR compressor. I still think that was a good idea. I was thinking about getting the Harmonist but every time l listened to a demo of it I thought, no matter what song I play it is going to sound like Boston. I still have yet to try it in person.

I think the new pedals that Boss just put out in NAMM are interesting and the tera echo sounds really cool on youtube.

One thing I usually do when it comes to pedals is I try to stay with the analog option. This is in a way from past experience. I had a G2.1Nu multi effect pedal and it really did not impress me. Some of the problems I had with it were that it had no sustain. When I held a chord out you could hear the gradations. It was not smooth. The other problem I had was that it was so overloaded with setting I would never want to use and the looping pedal was 5 seconds max. That drove me crazy. So I have been really weary when it comes to digital effects.  However, I do think the COSM Fender effects are great and I really like the ’63 spring reverb. So I am coming around on some digital effects.

When it comes to distortion I like Overdrive first, distortion second and then finally fuzz. I know I have mentioned this before but I thought I would say it again.

Neither pedal is clearly modded and I am keeping them that way.

Vanessa Renee Williams

Earlier in the week I went to Blues Alley for the first time. I grew up in DC and I have been to the 930 and Black Cat dozens of times but I never made it to Blues Alley before.

Blues Alley has a really great fell to it. I completely understand why it is such a DC institution. There is no street access, it is literally only accessible via the alley. Enough about the venue because Vanessa Renee Williams was the reason I was there. She is a local DC gospel singer, and unfortunately there is only one you tube video of her that I found. She has an amazing voice and I would never have known about her if a family friend weren’t working on a CD with her.

From what I understand she mostly sings in groups and this was one of her first solo shows. I thought it was a great combination of talented singing, appreciation of having people come out to see her and her own quirky style. At one point she sat down at the piano and pretended to play Fur Elise. It was a great impression. She could really set up a Victor Borges style show between singing and joking.

She brought her daughter up on stage to sing and they did a great duet. It was powerful.

The next day I only listened to my Aretha Franklin Pandora station. Vanessa Renee Williams made me do it.

All I can say is that I want to be at her next solo show.

Below are a few links

Here is her MySpace



Sound Cloud

I realized that a few track on sound cloud are completely wrong. It certainly took me a while to realized, but I am going to upload the correct files later today.

I am uploading the correct A boy Named Fire and a few others I have recorded.

Mind Bender Chorus

I recently got the BBE mindbender chorus vibrato pedal. It is a really cool effect pedal it combines the boss vibrato and way huge blue hippo chorus both of which I believe no longer exist. It is a very intense pedal. Based on my last post you can see I like pedal that have setting where they go bonkers. The crazy part about this one is again if you set the depth and the rate all the way up it sounds completely unrecognizable in chorus mode. The pitch varies so much you can’t really tell what you are playing.  It also have usable and practical settings. If you keep the depth and rate lower you can get a good Pretenders chorus. My favorite part is the shimmery sound that you get with the delay pedal you get a nice multiplicative sound. After playing through just an amp for so long i am really starting to appreciate effects.

As of now, my pedal count is 5. I have an MXR dyna comp compressor, Way Huge Aqua Puss, BBE Mind Bender, Boss Blues Driver and Danelectro FAB Distortion. Most of them are colored blue. I would rather it be more multicolored but I can always paint them. One thing I noticed it that my overdrive has to go after the compressor if i use it. I think that is pretty standard, but I just wanted to put out there. Also I usually don’t use them together.

Anyways, that is where I am pedal wise.