Exploding solo 2.0 and Jordan Rudess guesting on the new Mr. Fastfinger album

The Rite of Exploding Guitar

The album and related cartoon projects are progressing. Indeed in 2015 we will celebrate the ten year old Mr. Fastfinger. I wanted to give sensei a new guitar solo, a sort of update to the original “Exploding Solo”. Honesly, I wanted to do a new guitar solo on “In Motion” album already, but it just didn’t happen, no matter how I tried. This time I knew it might take some time and it sure did. I setup a cubase session, put “Exploding Solo” video running on the screen with no sound to give me right direction. Still the first few days I spent in the studio went to wrong direction. It didn’t have the right feel and energy. I got something interesting out of these days, but it wasn’t the thing for this case. Re-fresh and new start, added some Taiko drum loops to the Cubase sequencer and some other synth tones. Now it started feeling right. I didn’t even need the old cartoon on screens anymore as I had just watched it for few days and I saw the visuals in my head already. Found out that the key element in such a solo is the spirit, it can’t be too seriuous or forced. It has to be epic, but also have the right kind of humor there. It has to have some read depth but also it has to be light hearted too. This balace is not easy to obtain. Creating this solo however came out quite flowing. First rought version came together in two or three hours.  Found some nice key and chord changes that were stimulating along with the cool rhythm. During the next sessions over the following days I just tweaked and worked on detals. Along when working on the actual guitar solo part I was still tweaking the backingtrack. Certain additional chord changes and rhythm changes helped me to achieve the much wanted climax in the end. It is exploding and intense solo, but also very musical and melodic sounding!

The last week and so I’ve been working on the visuals and cartoon of it. Hey it’s a must! The cartoon will pay a tribute to the original Guitar Shred Show.com. It’s definetly rewarding and fun for me to go back and re-use and work with some of the original backgrounds and drawings.

 

Jordan Rudess guest appearance

In the mean time I’m workin on this solo I got material from Jordan Rudess himself. We had talked 1 year and half ago that he would do keyboards for one track for me. I sent Jordan backing tracks of the song “Spirit Hunt” and drew him specific instructions and guides where I’d wish him to play etc. Also transcribed him a little unison part to make his work easier at that spot. Recieving material from guest soloist is always exciting, but also a little shocking. You’re always expecting something, and usually you get surprised! Had positive shocks and great surpirses yesterday morning when found the masterial waiting in my e-mail. The keyboard lines certainly uplift this song to higher levels. Can’t believe it. So excited, look so much forward finishing the tune.
The outro has a quite long solos happening. I think I will need to redo my guitar solos, because what Jordan Played is too fast, I need to match it better! Haha!
Having Jordan as a guest for third time now. I feel very humble about it. Can’t take him for granted. I really do cherish this collaboration.
The track, Spirit Hunt, as you might remember, it’s based on the Jam Track Central jam I wrote almost two years ago (Mika Tyyskä: Expressive Modes -package) However this jam has now been uplifted and extended, so many new parts and so many new dimensions there for you to discover. It’s the most progressive and longest piece on the album so far.


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summer vacation over, back to work!

The summer vacation is over. 4 weeks I managed to be unproductive. To be honest I didn’t even touch the guitar much at all during the weeks. Mostly just hanging with the family, little trips and easy days. Relaxing. Had one gig at the end of last vacation week, so during that week I had to start slowly getting back to shape. Vacation was also time for updating the studio. New table (vintage desk meant for wood workshops with two vices) was installed, also built and customized some new racks for the control room area of the room. For the last thing I framed my computer screens with bamboo. Recycled materials for the screens came from an old bamboo stool.
So now I’ve got the studio running again and very anxious to start working!

In the studio picture you see a Mr. Fastfinger desktop background image on the screens. If you wish to use the same image on your computer, click this small version of the image for the highres. Be sure to share an image of your computer desktop in social media, instagram, facebook, twitter…

btw. you can find Mika / Mr. Fastfinger at Instagram here:
http://instagram.com/mikafastfinger


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Mr. Fastfinger sweeping in the forest

Mr. Fastfinger progressing on his journey. We’re currently in the forest as the picture tells. Going deeper and deeper into the woods, searching for a special tree. Animation will go together with the song: Going Hunting a.k.a. Jump Like a Frog a.k.a…., still searching for the right title for the song!


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New Mr. Fastfinger material being produced

We can offically announch that we’re recording new Mr. Fastfinger tunes. Also animating new cartoons. Actually doing both at the same time . Not quite sure how many songs will end up recorded this spring, but I’m set to produce cartoons of 4 songs. The cartoons are part of a bigger project, but will most probably seeen as stand-alone music videos aswell. First song to be cartoonized is “Great Blue Waves” (a.k.a. Free Willy 6 ;) )  And what about the music release? When will it come out and will there be an EP or or a full album?
Stay tuned for more info. Please follow Mr. Fastfinger at Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s a little audio tease from a cartoon version of the song “Great Blue Waves”


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Revealing Mr. Fastfinger’s studio pedalboard

Mr. Fastfinger’s green studio pedalboard. Current signal flow: TC Electronic: Poly Tune mini- Mad Professor: Forest Green Compressor – Menatone: Blue Collar – Hughes & Kettner: Grandmeister (head) – MXR: Ten band Eq (in FX loop) – T-Rex: Fuel Tank Chameleon for power.
Usually have TC Electonic: Hall of Fame + Nova Delay + Ditto here as well, but I’m currently keeping the signal dry for recording.
For live use and sometimes in studio too TC Electonic: G-System is used.

So excited about Forest Green Compressor. I know many guitar players avoid using any compression but, damn, after many years of not using one, I’m finding a subtle compression very nice in many applications. It’s definetly balancing things nicely. Using the FGC (subtle compression with little treble boost) and Blue Collar (very mellow drive) together with the Grandmeister clean channel (driven almost to the max) is definelty in my current Top 2 tones.

Just re-painted this board green this weekend. Loooks so sweeeet and the tone is way much better now!


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Mr. Fastfinger meets Dream Theater

Dream Theater meets Mr. Fastfinger
John Myung, Jordan Rudess, Mika Tyyskä, Mike Mangini, James Labrie, John Petrucci.
The Ninja, The Wizard, Mr. Fastfinger, The Pirate, The Titan.

 

Dream Theater meets Mr. Fastfinger
Top row: John Myung, Jordan Rudess, Mika Tyyskä, Mike Mangini, James Labrie, John Petrucci.
Floor row: The Ninja, The Wizard, Mr. Fastfinger, The Pirate, The Titan.

It’s no news that I’ve worked with Dream Theater for almost ten years now. Done quite a few cartoons for their world tour screens so far (five I think). The latest cartoons are touring along with Dream Theater right now. There’s an epic cartoon for song Enigma Machine and an additional short clip “Bad Larry”, which is seen in the intro of the second part of the 3 hour show. The band just visited in Helsinki and I had the joy of hanging out with these amazing guys.

It looks very possible that Jordan will deliver some keys for the next Mr. Fastfinger release. Have to figure out a song!


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Song idea 30/7/2013

Just came back from 4 weeks of vacation. Family, friends, fun and sun. It was good!!!
I’m focusing on something special, involving plenty of video and cartoons. Will reveal more later!
However sometimes when you take the guitar interesting things come out. I try to capture these ideas for futures developing. Here’s an idea that came out right after jamming with out little 4 year old home dwarf. I asked her to shoot this video so nevermind the shaky camera action!


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Stringweaver – EP – everything is getting together

New Mr. Fastfinger EP is getting more and more ready for release. Currently working on the cover. Here’s a handdrawn sketch for the cover.

Last week the final tweaks for the mix took place. Well, some extra guitar was recorded too as the final track “Sandwasher” started expanding unexpectedly. It’s a well balanced full blown mini album. 4 songs work well together and there’s a sense of adventure there. Very positive and energetic feel. Plenty of colors and emotions. Twists and turns!

Perphas this EP is musically closer to the debut album than In Motion. Or maybe it’s just that “Awaki-Waki” songs that was originally planned for the debut album that now finally realized. So glad I didn’t put the song on “The Way of the Exploding Guitar”, it’s a perfect song here!

EP Track list:
Awaki-Waki
Practice Heart
Nightvisions
Sandwashing

Total time will be more or less 17 minutes. Can’t wait to let you hear this. Later this spring!


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Awaki-Waki – forgotten song get’s a new life

Awaki-Waki – rought demo song from around 2007 was found in december 10th 2012. This song didn’t make it to the album “The Way of the Explosing Guitar”. The reason for it not making there was that around the same time I also came up with songs “Epic” and “Ninjas I + II”. These other pieces took my focus out of this fine idea. Around that time I also started to have enough songs for the complite album.
Here’s a rought demo from 2007.

Listen on SoundCloud

After posting this clip on Soundcloud and Facebook I got very great feedback about it. People liked the groove. Maybe two days later I was totally hooked with the songs and some great possiblities for the song started popping up.
The next day I hunted for the original cubase session files and did some quick edits immediately.

January 2013 I needed to come up with three songs for this special game project I’m involved (More about this later). Awaki-Waki felt absolutely perfect for the job. So I got right down to it and started working on the song. So much fun.

Awaki-Waki 2013 audio sample from 23.1.2013.

Listen on SoundCloud

Here’s a lick from the Awaki-Wak 2013 (hear it in the soundcloud clip). There will be two versions the game version and the recorded EP version. This lick won’t work with the game, but it will be part of the recorded album version (this will be also little longer).

 

Currently everything is being recorded. Guitar are already done.  Bass, drums and rest will follow soon. Follow us Facebook.

 


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Titles and compositions

I seem to get quite a lot of question how my song titles are always matching the music so well.
Today I recieved a question from Maxx about how I come up with song titles. I shall write in public!

Many times empty paper and endless possibilities is the most difficult starting point for composing. When you limit things a little or give yourself some direction, things can get easier.

I start by giving the session and folder a rough temp name that usually has some meaning. I like to have atleast somekind of rough concept or feeling that I’d like to meet with the song.

Okay, sometimes the temp names can stick with you. I remember naming a session once as “Big Trummors”, it sounded very silly to me, half swedish and half english title. Big Drums… But that was the first thing the popped out of the head. I never came out with better title to match the feel of the song so it decided to keep it like that.

Anyways I usually have a feel or rought idea, then the composing usually starts going with the intuition and instict, just working on it. I just try to come up with something the inspires me and has something potential. At this point music might also start going into another direction than I originally planned.

Sooner or later I start to feel and know what the music is really all about, what’s the story, what’s happening there. Then things get more motivated and directional. From that point on I try to make sure the rest of the music, sounds, performance and the title, illustrations, cartoons and everything supports this story in a way or another.

Fact is that each each media: the actual music and the different song parts, visuals, titles, lyrics can compliment or the tell the story differently or from a different angle/ point of view.

TRY THIS AT HOME
Create a text document. Brainstrom and write 10, 20, 50 or 100 imaginary song titles. Without too much thinking just write titles down. Next time when composing, pick a title that inspires you the most. imagine a song and compose something based on it.
The image here show you a snap shot from application called “Evernote”. I wrote this list when I was working on “in Motion” album. Looks like word “Sinister” ended up used with “Super Sinister”. Many titels are yet to be composed!


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