Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Super Secret Thingy

While I'm gathering up courage (and looking for a better resource) for to tune my guitar strings, I'm working on a Super Secret Thingy. All I can say is It's for The Signal podcast, and I'll be singing.

So, I'll still be rocking out, but just with the voice rather than the guitar.

Speaking of resources for learning guitar and other complicated spacial relations stuff, You Tube is the way to go. I don't know why I didn't think of You Tube earlier. Video is how I learned the (very little) yoga that I can do, specifically the Sun Salute. It's so much easier to see how somebody is doing it in real time rather than somebody trying to explain something three-dimensional and moving in words.

It's like trying to describe a fight scene in a book. Very hard to balance making sure it's a.) clear what's going on and b.) not boring as hell.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Zing! Went the strings of my guitar

I tried, and utterly failed, to successfully change my guitar strings today. I spent an hour and a half carefully unwinding, threading, and winding, and when it came time to tune my guitar, my high E string snapped. Again. (the high E snapping was the reason I was changing the strings in the first place).

First off, diagrams on how to change strings are piss-poor. I'm not the kind of person who can learn something much more complicated than a chord chart from text and/or a diagram. Those exercise routines in fitness magazines drive me nuts, because I can never grok what the routine is supposed to look like in the 25 words and two pictures they provide.

It looks like the guitar itself has these brackets towards the headstock, which are tightened in place with an Allen wrench. But the brackets prevent one from actually tuning the guitar properly. So here I am, trying to tune up my high E string, and it's not getting any higher in pitch because of this stupid design flaw. Just as I'm thinking to myself, "I'm putting tension on the string--why isn't the pitch increasing?" It breaks on me. Joy.

Will work more on this later in the week. I had to stop for the day or else I'd be out of a guitar, Pete-Townsend style.

grr. aargh.

On a bright note: I did some pretty nice scales last night. Did a C major scale very, very well, and decided to try to play Ode to Joy by ear. I'm seeing progress in my playing, which is very motivating. It just makes me even angrier that my hardware (and my ability to manage said hardware) is flaking out on me.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Housekeeping stuff

Fixed some settings so anyone who wants to comment can now comment, even if they don't have a Blogger account.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rock on.

I got some new strings, and a new strap for my guitar, and my wrist is feeling better, so I'm now, offically, ready to rock. Again.

Image to the left is my axe. I have not named her yet. Is this a necessary step? Frankly, I'm just happy I was able to Photshop the image to get the color to stand out nicely.

Also, I think I've got the color scheme of the blog more or less finalized. And it doesn't clash with my guitar! Yay!

More substantial info coming soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Setbacks, and breakthroughs

Helped my parents do a lot of work at my Grandma's house, and tweaked my wrist picking up bricks. So I've been taking a couple days off to let that heal up. Just call me Joel Zumaya.

At any rate, I did get over to Ye Olde Guitar Centre to pick up some new strings, a guitar strap, and some better picks. So I should be all set to rock out either today or tomorrow.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Electric Guitar prices: WTF?

I'm currently practicing (refuse to call it playing right now) on a Series 10 guitar that I got from a friend who wasn't using it. (I'll try to post a pic later). Unfortunately, the thing was in bad shape when I got it. It's old, was gathering dust in a corner of his house for several years. I don't know the first thing about guitar maintenence and ye olde guitar centre wants to charge me $150 an hour just to take a look at it. Uh, no.

So, I was hoping to hop online and find a cheap electric guitar to upgrade on. Yep. That went well. Everything's at least over $200. Second, I have no idea what makes for a quality guitar. Mahogany, maple, Indian rosewood, humbucker pickups, neck wood versus body wood. Holy crap!

Thankfully, I found a pretty good site that sums it all up. Although it's a commercial site, and therefore a touch suspect on its info (you never know if they're funneling you into buying *their* product), at first glance, this looks very good. And it's all done in a concise, clean style.

I've got to think that anything at all is better than what I'm currently playing, but then again, playing something at all is better than air guitar.


I'm looking for something that doesn't have too wide a neck, has a decent sound, and, most importantly, something that stays in tune. I know this is a super-new blog, but any suggestions? Should I try Ebay? (I'm extremely reluctant to do this for obvious reasons of quality control).

About me, and this blog

I'm a 28-year old wannabe musishian who's sick and tired of saying "gee, I wish I could learn guitar." I realized recently If I'd actually been practicing instead of bitching these past ten years, I'd probably be pretty good. So, in the hopes of staying motivated, I'm keeping a public blog, which may also turn into a podcast, about learning how to play.

I've got a bit of a music background, mostly singing karaoke and in choirs, have a decent sense of pitch, and can pick notes off a scale and play some melodies by ear and on a keyboard. Back in the day, I took piano lessons, but only for about a year. Other than that, I'm fairly new at this sort of thing.