Canadian Musician - May/June 2023 | Page 57

neck that I can do whatever shred acrobatics I want to do on it . And that guitar will go into the Tone Master , which I typically have set to clean . So before going into that , I ’ ve got three pedals and I ’ ve been building my own pedals for a couple years now . I switch up my board a lot because I don ’ t really have any kind of set tone that I use every single time ; it ’ s more just whatever I ’ m feeling , whatever I had been jamming on last , whatever I want to try out when I when I go jam with friends or whatever . I just kind of leave it on my board . And then I use that . I like Dumble clones , I think Dumble clone pedals sound the best . Most of the variants I ’ ve tried typically have more of a smooth sound rather than like a bite . I got sent recently a Blackstar Club 40 MKII which I think is great . With that I just use only the overdrive setting on it because it doesn ’ t really need pedals . I prefer the Fender clean with the pedal combination for more of my lead stuff and I use the Blackstar mostly for rhythm and for chunky chords because that ’ s something that it definitely has over Fender . They don ’ t have that scoopy metal sound that sometimes your mix calls for . I feel like going DI sacrifices a bit of the room character that you get from a mic ’ d amp , but living in an apartment , you don ’ t really have that option .
CM : How did you get interested in the guitar and what was your learning style and training ?
Wav : It was a combination of School of Rock , and this other show called The Wonder Years , which was an old sitcom . There was an episode where the main character was a kid my age learning how to play guitar . I got signed up for lessons and I took a bit of a rocky start because I was very into video games . So , video games were interrupting my practice sessions a lot , but I was still progressing fairly decently . I just learned whatever my guitar teacher told me because I wasn ’ t that interested in music . I just thought guitar was cool . It ’ s not like I didn ’ t have musical preferences at that age . But at the same time , I was never the kind of kid that people thought would be born for music . I was just into video games , and then guitar was a side thing . And then my interest in music developed along alongside it . So , a lot of that was just playing whatever my guitar teacher said . I was nine years old at the time , so it was like glorified babysitting for him . After I started playing Guitar Hero back when that was the current thing , that ’ s when I got into rock and I listened to more Van Halen , and I got into more metal . I ’ d listen to full Megadeth albums . And when I told my guitar teacher , ‘ Hey , this is the kind of direction I want to go ,’ he was like , ‘ Well , I can ’ t teach you that . But I ’ ll refer you to my friend .’ He taught me modes and taught me the sweep picking modes , which I was wholly not ready for , but like I insisted that was what I wanted to learn .
CM : These days , do you have a practice routine you generally follow ?
Wav : I have my preferred exercise , which is just that sort of chromatic spider crawl where you just go up by semitone on each string . It ’ s fairly sparse because I do work full time , not in music . So , getting that practice time , it kind of feels like there ’ s capitalist urges of always having to be doing something that ’ s productive , whether it ’ s recording , or making a video , or rehearsing something . When it comes to practice , that ’ s always the first thing to fall by the wayside . A lot of my practice routine consists of backing track jamming , and it ’ s more exploratory , rather than what I used to do which was going through all of the modes , metronome alternate picking , then economy picking , and going up and then going down . I used to have lots of time to do that . And it ’ s stuff that I probably should brush up on , but nowadays it ’ s more whatever small window of time I have to suck as much enjoyment out of guitar , I just use that as my practice time .
CM : Do you have a favorite guitar or piece of gear ? Anything with a sentimental meaning or great story behind it ?
Wav : It would have to be my Frog Pedal . During COVID , I was very much into circuitry and into making pedals and whatnot . And that was combining lots of effects and doing lots of fun stuff , stacking these weird creations , and what I would do is I ’ d make pedals and I ’ d stack them in certain ways . And then if two circuits sounded interesting , I would just box them up into the same pedal , make it one function , and just give it a crazy name . So there ’ s one particular combination that I don ’ t like to say what it is because I ’ m trying to keep an air of mystery about it . But it sounded like a frog . I boxed it up as a Frog Pedal , did the symbol and everything , posted it on Instagram , and people didn ’ t really care about it . But then when I posted on TikTok , that was the first thing that really blew up and people were like ,‘ Wow , this is crazy . I want one .’ And I had no intention of selling or making like another one because I was like ,‘ It ’ s just a gimmick .’ After a year of getting emails and getting DMs saying ‘ Yo , can you build me one ?’ I revised the circuit , so it was like more marketable and better sounding . And then I started selling them . And , of course , I made one original for myself , but each box had a different unique piece of artwork , just to differentiate them . People still message me on my Reverb store , and I ’ ve seen people try and flip them for $ 500 .
CM : What advice would you give to newer players for improving their craft ?