Friday, December 10, 2010

Vacation!!!

Well, just got back to work from a nice 3 day vacation. Took the kiddos out to jelly stone park for the big christmas lights display and then had a daddy/daughter date to go see Tangled. I then took my wife out for a fancy dinner last night. It was a great 3 days. The worst thing about coming back to work? Having to play catch up. Bleh.

In music news, I will be playing over at St John's lutheran on the 11 and 12th and over at Morning Star on the 18th and 19th. Excited about that last one. I got a gig playing for Mark Roach and he is bringing me in to play at his church that weekend. Gotta make a good impression!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New happenings

Okay....where to start?

I went and auditioned for Mark Roach. That was, handsdown, the most terrifying audition I've ever been on. HUGE church, full lighting production and stage setup. Walked in to him doing Winter Wonderland to Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours." THAT was cool. He gets done with praise band rehearsal and brings me up on stage. His praise team goes and sits in the pews and they black out the auditorium with only the stage lights up. He has me go through the Aviom system and has me cranked in his monitor. Mistakes WILL be caught. We then proceed to hit 8 songs in about 30 minutes. One right after the other, no redo's. We finish, I pack up and go, thats it.

Luckily, he called me a couple days later and I got the gig. Phew!

The very next night, I auditioned for a group called The 45, a local rock band. Between everything else going on, I didn't get a chance to prepare for the audition (doh!) and went and did it cold. Managed to get the gig somehow and ended up in the studio for a 10 hour recording session on saturday and a 5 hour midnight mix session last night. (blah) The stuff sounds really nice. Cool group of guys and pretty easy going.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Music update and Misc other things

Well, I got the position as the backup bassist for Josh Golden. This actually works out really well as I will be trying out for a tour with Mark Roach in the spring.

Oh and Call of Duty: Black Ops is incrediawesome. you must buy it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

David and Goliath

So I was in church yesterday listening to a sermon on the famous battle between David and Goliath and thought I would offer up a few of my thoughts on the message.

This story is a HUGE example of the rewards of a faithful follower of Christ.

1. David was a nobody at this point.
- Probably a teenager, very very young
- A simple shepard boy

2. Goliath was enormous
- Over 9ft tall
- He had been fighting grown men since his youth

3. Goliath had been mocking the Israelite army for 40 days by the time that David showed up.

4. David was seething with righteous anger that none of his country men had fought him yet.
- Saul scoffed at David initially when he approached him to fight goliath
- sault told David that he couldn't go fight goliath as he was just a youth

5. David's faith in God never waivered
- He pressed his case with Saul until Saul relented
- He told Saul how God had enabled him to kill a bear and a lion with his bare hands

6. David approached Goliath with nothing more than his staff, a sling and 5 stones
- After telling Goliath that God will deliver him into his hands, David RUNS to meet him.

7. David kills this enormous warrior with a single stone from his pouch and sends the entire philistine army in retreat.

The key phrase that I was drawn to in this message was in the threat that David gave to Goliath.

46"This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

This moment of faith was so huge that it is one of the most famous stories in the bible and we are talking and marveling over it thousands of years later.

Think about it. Here is this nobody kid. No one knows who he is, what he does, nothing. He is coming to battle, merely as a messenger boy. He shows up having never fought a battle in his life and manages to kill the enemies champion with a ROCK. He ran to battle with nothing more than his faith in God and because of that faith, he changed the course of history.

Because of what he did, he eventually becomes a leader in Saul's army, then King of Israel. He leads his people in worship of the one true God and because of his continued faith, God gives him a lineage that eventually results in the birth of Jesus Christ.

Beautiful the Blood

I never knew death could be so sweet
I never knew surrender could feel so free
I never seen such meekness in majesty
That the blood of Jesus was bled for me
And now I sing freedom for all my days
It's only by the power of the cross I'm raised
The King of Glory rescued me

How beautiful the blood flow
How merciful the love show
The King of glory poured out
Victorious are we now

Never knew through these nails would love unfold
And never knew these wounds would heal my soul
I've never seen such beauty and sorrow meet
The blood of Jesus was bled for me
And now I sing freedom for all my days
It's only by the power of the cross I'm raised
The King of Glory rescued me

Now I'll sing freedom for all my days
It's only by the power of the cross I'm raised
The King of Glory rescued me

How beautiful you are
How merciful you are
How glorious you are
Christ the Savior

How beautiful you are
How merciful you are
How glorious you are
Christ the Savior

How to tour in a band

Here is a list of do's and don'ts for touring. This was originally written by Thor Harris, but I have edited it.

1-Don’t Complain. Moaning and whining is tour cancer. If something is wrong fix it or shut up.

2-If you fart, claim it.

3-Don’t Lose anything. Everybody loses stuff. Don’t do it. Jerk.

4-Bring two of EVERYTHING.

5-If you feel like crap all the time, drink less at the gig. You will play better & feel better. What are you… a child? Some have the endurance for self abuse. Most don’t.

6-Remember the soundman’s name. He will do a better job.

7- Eat oranges. Cures constipation & prevents colds.

8-Don't forget your instrument.

9-If YOU can’t carry your suitcase 3 blocks, it’s too big.

10-Respect public space in the van.

11-If you borrow something, return it. Not busted Up.

12-Do not let the promoter talk you out of the guarantee. If there weren't enough people there, it’s their fault.

13- Driver picks the music.

14-One navigator only (usually sitting shotgun). Everyone else shut up.

15-Soundcheck is for checking sounds. Shut up while everyone else is checking.

16-Don’t wander off. Let someone know where you are.

17-Clean up after yourself. What are you… a toddler?

18-Touring makes everyone bi-polar. Ride the waves as best you can and remember, moods pass. So don’t make any snap decisions or declarations when you are drunk or insane.

19-Fast food is Poison.

20-The guestlist is for friends and family. Everyone else can pay. They have day jobs.

21- Don’t evaluate your whole life while you’re sitting in a janitor closet waiting to go on. You think you’re above having bad days at work? Shut up & do your job.

Friday, November 5, 2010

First progress shot


Well here is the first progress shot I have. Check out all that pretty flamed maple!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Custom Warrior

So I just heard from JD a month ago or so that I am going to be one of their new artists. Sweet! He is already busy building me a bass. Here are the specs

5 string Warrior Soldier

Ash Body
Flamed Maple top
5 piece flamed maple/mahogany/purple heart neck
Ebony Fretboard
Triangle Fret markers
Bartolini Preamp
Dual Bartolini X5's
Red burst oil finish

JD should be sending me some progress shots tonight. I'll ost them as soon as i have them. I'll be driving down to Chatanooga in April to pick her up!

A bassist's role in music

The role of the bass in a song is to bridge the gap between the drums and the gutiar. To do this, we combine the chord progression of the guitar line with the beat of the drums. Once establishing the key of the song, the tempo and the chord progression, here are a few tricks I like to use to write my bass lines.

1. Lock in the with the drummer
- Pick a drum and try playing the roots to the beat that he is using. Experiment. A lot of bassists like to use the kick drum, but the hi hat, ride and snare can also provide some interesting alternatives

2. Lock in with the guitar
- Another technique is to copy the rhythm of the guitar whilst ignoring the drum beat all together.

3. Play something melodically and rhythmically different from the guitar and drums
- This is where you use your knowledge of the key and your modes (You DO know these, right?) and craft a bassline that adds a melodic counter point to the song. This is something that can usually be defined as a hook or counter melody to the vocal line. ex. Duff McKagan's bass intro to Sweet Child of Mine.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What I look for in a bass: Part 2

5 string
- I prefer a 35" scale as it makes for a better defined low B string.
- I also like a very thin and wide neck with a failry flatly radiused fret board.
- Neck through neck is bonus as it makes the upper register a lot easier to get to.
- Tilted headstock. This creates a nice tension over the nut.

4 String
- I honestly prefer a Fender or a Fender copy for my 4 string.
- I prefer a slightly chunkier neck for my 4 strings with a 10.75 radiused fretboard
- Maple fret board please
- No active electronics
- I'm a big fan of a well set up, no frills, passive bass for my 4 stringers.
- Bonus points for a nitro finish instead of a poly.

What I look for in a bass

I was asked by a student of mine what I look for when buying a new bass. Excellent question. This will vary from bassist to bassist, but here is what I look for.

1. Playability, playability plyability.
- If the bass isn't easy to play under my fingers, I put it down about as fast as I picked it up.
- Playability includes things like a straight neck (no warping or twists), low action and accurate intonation.
- Sometimes I will overlook the action and intonation on a bass is the neck is in good working order, as these can be adjusted on your my own.

2. Fit and finish
- Is the bass in good condition? Does it have a tight neck pocket?
- This too can be subjective, depending on the bass I'm checking out. If its a vintage fender, a few scuffs and scrapes add character to it and I rather like that. If its a brand new MTD or Warrior, that thing better be in pristine condition.

3. Sound
- How does the bass sound unplugged? How does it sound plugged in?
- This is pretty self explanatory. If the bass doesn't sound good to you, chances are it won't sound good to others. Put it back.

4. Price
- How much does it cost?
- Is it a good deal given the components, fit, finish and condition?
- Price is honestly the last thing I look at as f you find a bass that 'speaks' to you, its well worth the extra investment.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wow, it's been awhile....

Well, just to give everyone an update on what I've been up to lately..... I quit playing for Hero after the environment got to be a little too toxic for my tastes. I started playing bass for a few churches in the St. Louis area and just recently picked up an endorsement from Warrior Instruments. I also just auditioned for a guy by the name of Josh Golden and I'm really looking forward to the opportunity that could provide.

Other than that, the only other point of interest is the obvious change of the last name to Sweeps. This is just a stage name and I have a full set of web pages devoted to it. It just allows me to develop an performance image and to keep my music and private life seperate. No, I did not disown my family.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Starting over

Today has been an interesting day. I went back to bible study at church last night for the first time in ...well ever. I stepped down from the band I was playing in. I'm returning to play in my church's praise team this sunday and starting up devotionals during the day again.

I finally feel like I am getting back to the point where I can start from scratch. Start over and do things right. I can't change my past, but I can allow God to direct my future. That being the case, I focusing on following him and letting him guide my steps.

The Wind (dedicated to Colleen and her son Ben)

The wind is strong
It knocks me down
It picks me up off the ground

It blows me left
It blows me right
I got lost from the light

The driveway's so long
It twists and turns
The wind beats at me, slashes, burns.

I found my way
Found the path
Now mom's holding me in her hands.

Rain, Rain

Rain, rain
Go away
So I can
Come out and play

Dont come back
Dont you dare
I want God's sunshine
In my hair

The rain is wet
It blinds my sight
I want to
Embrace the light

God's light is Good
His grace is great
He wipes the rain
From my face

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My King

The Bible says my King is a seven way King,
He's the King of the Jews,
that's a racial King,
He's the King of Israel,
That's a national King,
He's the King of righteousness,
He's the King of the ages,
He's the King of Heaven.
He's the King of glory.
He's the King of Kings and He's the Lord of Lords.
That's my King.
Well, I wonder do you know Him?

David said the Heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament showeth His handiwork.
My King is a sovereign King.
No means of measure can define His limitless love.
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supplies.
No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessings.
He's enduringly strong.
He's entirely sincere.
He's eternally steadfast.
He's immortally graceful.
He's imperially powerful.
He's impartially merciful.
Do you know Him?

He's the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world.
He's God's Son.
He's a sinner's Savior.
He's the centerpiece of civilization.
He stands in the solitude of Himself.
He's august and He's unique.
He's unparalleled.
He's unprecedented.
He is the loftiest idea in literature.
He's the highest personality in philosophy.
He's is the supreme problem in higher criticism.
He's the fundamental doctrine of true theology.
He is the cardinal necessity for spiritual religion.
He's the miracle of the age.
He's He
yes He is
He is the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him.
He's the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient Savior.
I wonder if you know Him today?

He supplies strength for the weak.
He's available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He strengthens and sustains.
He guards and He guides.
He heals the sick.
He cleansed the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharges debtors.
He delivers the captives.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meager.
I wonder if you know Him?

Well, My King He's is a key,
He's the key to knowledge.
He's the wellspring of wisdom.
He's the doorway of deliverance.
He's the pathway of peace.
He's the roadway of righteousness.
He's the highway of holiness.
He's the gateway of glory.
Do you know Him?

Well, His office is manifold.
His promise is sure.
His life is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His Word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
And His yoke is easy.
And His burden is light.
I wish I could describe Him to you but He's indescribable.
Yes He is, Good God. He's indescribable. Yes. He's indescribable,
He's incomprehensible,
He's invincible.
He's irresistable.
Well, you can't get him out of your mind.
You can't you can't get Him off of your hand.
You can't outlive him.
And You can't live without Him.
Well, the Pharisees couldn't stand Him,
but they found out they couldn't stop Him.
Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him.
The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree.
Herod couldn't kill Him.
Death couldn't handle Him and the grave couldn't hold Him.
Yeah, That's my king.
That's my King, Yes.
And Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever, and ever, and ever and ever. How long is that? And ever, and ever, and when you get through with all of the forevers, then Amen.

Good God Almighty, Amen. Amen!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One for my wife

My Heart

I have a heart.
A heart that I hold in my hands.
It is full of life and love.
Full of potential.

I met a girl today.
The blonde haired, blue eyed captain of the cheerleaders.
I gave her a piece of the heart that I hold in my hands.
It's ok though, I still have plenty left.

I met a new girl today.
She is the raven haired beauty that comes to all my my concerts.
I gave her a piece of the heart that I hold in my hands.
It's still ok though, I still have a little left.

I met another new girl today.
She is the model that I met while at a party.
I gave her what was left of my heart that I held in my hands.
It's ok though, I don't really need my heart anymore.

*sigh* I met God today.
The Savior of the world and the forgiver of my sins.
I wanted to give my heart to him,
But I didn't have any heart left to give.

God met ME today.
The sinner, the wretch, the wordly sack of flesh that I am.
God gave me all of HIS heart.
Now I am overflowing with his happiness and love.

God introduced me to a new girl today.
She is the girl that he had set aside for me.
I shared that heart that God gave me with her today.
She is the one that I will spend the rest of my life with.

For better or worse.
Richer or poorer.
In sickness and health.
God has given me his heart for you.

Proverbs 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Had someone ask me what I would do if I could change my past. here's my thoughts...

If I could

If I could go back and change it all,
Would I?
If I could re-write my mistakes,
Would I?

If I changed everything,
Would my life be interesting?
If I never made a mistake,
Would I have learned anything?

If I could right all the wrongs,
Should I?
If I could make my life perfect,
Should I?

If I changed every decision,
Would I be the person I am today?
If lived my life perfectly,
Where would I be today?

If I could remove all the blunders,
How do I?
If I could remove all the stumbles,
How Do I?

If I changed my past,
Would it make my present any better?
If I changed my life,
Would I want actually want to live in my present?

If I could give my life to him,
He would save me.
If I could leave my old life behind,
He would save me.

Should I leave my old life behind?
I would be stupid not to.
Should I be rid of my disgusting, sinful self?
Why wouldn't I jump at the chance?

If I could change my future,
He would lead me.
If I could trust in him,
He would lead me.

If I can learn from my mistakes,
I can be happy when I'm old.
If I can accept his grace and forgiveness,
I can be joyful into eternity.

If I could, should I let him change my past?
He wouldn't change it.
If I could, should I let him change my future?
He would RUN to embrace me.

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that who-so-ever will believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Disney

Dan learned how to turn us all into cartoons

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ouch

I'm still sore. I have a third knee and elbow. Its totally rock.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bob

If Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce has 5 dollars and you have 5 dollars, Country Bob STILL has more money than you.

Its that good.

Heaven's Nectar

Ok, if you all haven't heard of Country Bob's all purpose sauce, you need to go tot he below link.

www.countrybobs.com

We had never heard of this before today and were pleasantly surprised when we got to try it. No kidding, it was so good, we even had our waitress bring us out a bowl of vanilla ice cream and drizzled some on top.

And it STILL tasted good.

The Gig

While playing the show tonight, I managed to find the one unstable part of the stage and step on it. When one steps on an unstable object, it tends to have adverse affects on ones performance. Long story short, stepping on said unstable object meant me taing a face dive into the stage floor in front of about 50 kids.

Epic stage pwnage.

I ate the carpet

It hurt.

Friday, August 28, 2009

T Shirts!!!!

The new T Shirts are in!! WOOT!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Awesome new street team

Just wanted to take a second and give a big shout out to our awesome street team! Chelsea, Gaby and Andrew, you guys rock!

Benny be Broke

Ok, so a couple weeks ago, the nice little Demeter preamp in my Benavente decided that it was going to retire and kick the bucket. :( I had my bass tech do some emergency surgery and wire it up passive, but it just isn't the same.

So now I have to order a new preamp for my bass and I can't decide which one to get. Do I go with the Aguilar OBP3 with the mid range selector and Active/Passive switch or the Nordstrand with the passive tone control? Agh, so many choices.

Even When

Just listened to the guitar solo that Dan liad down for the song Even When . DAAAAAAANG. It is quite sick. Check it out if you haven't yet.

Bridgeport, IL

Gettin ready for our gig this weekend out in Bridgeport. We played this place a few months ago and it was AWESOME. The place was packed! The stage has multiple levels and there is a center isle that extends from the stage to the center of the room. SOOOO much fun to play, can't wait.

Bio

Finally got the bio done. Those things are surprisingly hard to write. haha It should be up on the website here in the next few days. There will also be a link to this blog from the main page.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The band bio

Workin on a new band bio. The website is lookin legit!!!

Looking for more gigs and local ministries

Right now we are working hard to book more gigs and link up with local charities. We just found a great local christian coffee shop off manchester that is owned by a guy with cerbral palsey. He is an on fire Christian that is using his disabilities to create possibilities for Jesus. Awesome. jsut awesome.

Alright!!! Got it up!

Welcome to the Hero blog everyone. This is your favorite bassist Dustin. :)