Does Tim play piano? Do I hear keyboards at times?
Yes Tim plays piano the
'sonic freedom' way breaking fingering rules, (Ha-ha. And
probably his own fingers with potential bad fingering habits).
Laura Hollingsworth plays
piano on the CD's track, "The Light." For those
who may have ears like a bat or sonic microscopes, we can
thank Laura's cat for bonus bells!?
You may hear synth on
this CD at times but it's not by keyboard! (And surely not
Tim's old dinosaur Yamaha keyboard.) <smile> That's
what No. 2 is about... the secret synth sound.
Secret Synth Sound?
What's Tim's secret weapon for synth?
Ahh...the cat is out of
the bag — the secret guitar synth!
Tim uses the original Roland GK-2A Guitar Synth Pickup and
a Roland GR30 guitar synthesizer/Midi processor. However,
you may hear keyboards in future recordings other than the
guitar synth. And Tim's rare bass pickups remain
a secret for now...hehe
Did I hear a sitar?
with the not-so-secret musical magic wand above.
The sitar is a Hindustani
classical music instrument. A typical sitar has 18 or 19 strings
(depending on the style) - there are 6 (in the vilayat khan
style) or 7 (in the ravi shankar style) playable strings on
top and 12 sympathetic strings or tarbs under the frets. It
typically has a gourd acting as the resonating chamber. The
distinctive features are the curved frets, which are moveable
(allowing fine variation in tuning) and raised (so that resonant,
or sympathetic, strings can run underneath the frets, giving
a very lush sound).
Learning to play the sitar
is a difficult process. Traditional
approaches to learning the sitar involve a long period of
apprenticeship under the tutelage of a master...Ha-ha unless
you are like Tim using a magical wand to play sitar on your
It is also rather difficult
to tune the instrument. The strings can be tuned using both
the pegs on the sides or the 'beads' at the bottom, which
are mainly for fine tuning. The
sympathetic strings are tuned depending on the raga, although
for beginners it is OK to tune them according to a C major
scale: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E. In one of the more common
tunings (used by Ravi Shankar among others) the strings are
C C G C G C F.
Much like North Indian
music terminology, the origin of the name sitar is most likely
Persian. The corresponding Persian name is setar, meaning
three strings. This is one of many instruments in the lute
family of Persian instruments, included among them is the
Barbat, from which the Arabian Oud is most likely derived.
(The name lute itself being derived from Al-Oud, via contat
of the Arab empire with the Europe).
The sitar is instrument
#105 on a General MIDI bank.
The One Man Band Pro or Con?
Lenny Kravitz enjoys sonic
freedom writing, performing, recording all instruments.
So does Tim Mainka - Guitar, Bass, Drums, vocals...and more.
Known for his originality
and breadth of influences (Hendrix to Lennon, gospel to funk),
Lenny Kravitz is a writer, producer and arranger who's produced
most of his own material and has also worked with other well-respected
Guitar Center asks Lenny,
"You play most of the instruments on your albums from
what I gather. Does that present any special problems with
regard to capturing the energy of a performance?"
Lenny responds: I don't
think so. I mean, if you heard my records and no one told
you, I don't think you'd know whether it's a band or one guy.
How about when Tim Mainka
plays all the instruments in Sonic Freedom™? Give us
One reviewer from MakeAStar
"The vocals, guitars
and bass are all really good technically. The lead guitar
solo was really impressive. If you are playing all the instruments
I’m really impressed. Usually I can tell if this is
the case, but this sounds pretty much like a band. Nice work!"
Tim's strings look gold on the CD images. Are those really
gold strings? What kind of strings does Tim use?
Yes indeed. Ultima®
Gold Strings. (formerly Maxima®) Yes, all Sonic Freedom®
guitars and basses garner the best — 24 karat gold plated
What kind of guitars did Tim use?
Tim used a '92 solid top
Charvel 22 fret acoustic cutaway — with cool pearl and
abalone. Yes, amazing tricks can still happen with humble
guitars. He also used a black '94 Fender® American Stratocaster
electric guitar. (looks sort of like Eric Clapton's famous
prized Stratocaster, "Blackie", although not in
value -- Ha-ha -- which brought $959500 in the Christie's
Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Auction, becoming the most
expensive guitar ever to have been sold at auction. Stevie
Ray Vaughan's Stratocaster, "Lenny" received the
second highest price ever paid for a Fender Stratocaster at
auction, fetching $623,500. A new world record was also set
for the sale of a Gibson guitar - Clapton's 1964 red Gibson
ES-335 brought $847,500. All guitars were bought by Guitar
What kind of basses did Tim use?
Tim exclusively used his
pride and joy, "Bass Collection", (brand name),
strung as usual with Ultima® 24 Karat Gold Strings. (formerly
Maxima®), Gold Gotah bridge, walnut finish on top, mahogany
finish on back, 24 fret ebony fretboard, brass nut, plus secret
pickups for SF sound ;)...a bass rarely ever seen in the hands
of others and manufacturing stopped in 1995. Tim's 1993 edition
was listed for retail at $1395. About those great sounding
bass pickups again... hmm just ask...maybe Tim will tell.
:) Explosive Blockbuster Bottom End Bonanza of Bass Secrets
to Boom! Look for music articles to be released in the future...
So what does Sonic Freedom
Right this way our good musical friend!
Click here for 7 selected free audio samples from
Tim Mainka's Sonic Freedom -
“Just Give Me Some Time”!
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