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Old 01-14-09, 03:12 PM   #1
stapfam
Time for a change.
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Getting re-started

Funny thing about taking up a pastime that you gave up years ago. The enthusiasm may be rekindled- but how do you get back into it? Is it just a passing fad that within a few weeks you realise that in no way do you have the skills that you used to have. OK-30 years ago you were not at a professional level- but you were good- but can you get back to that level?

So how do you get back? After all you used to be good and had good equipment- but prices have gone up drastically. $2000 to get the same quality of equipment you used to have is a lot of money and what happens if after a few months you decide that there is no longer any enjoyment any longer? Even if you set yourself a target and push yourself into the training and practice required- are you going to be at a level that says that if you persevered- you could get some of that expertise back? It's a lot of money to take a risk with.

Perhaps you go down a grade of equipment but is that what you really want? You know that the more expensive stuff works better and will give you better results- but it is still a lot of money. So look at second hand- but are you buying a heap of rubbish that some one else is trying to pass on as they don't want it either. After all- you know nothing about modern equipment and you can't tell if you are getting a good deal that will get you back on the right track- or something that is so poor- you get disheartened and just give up.

So lots of perusing the small ads- looking at the trade magazines to see what is about and trying to get ideas on current trends. Then it is out to look at the shops. Not much affordable around and not much that is what you want- but you keep looking. Eventually you find what you think is what you want and you buy it.

Then the hard work starts. You have to get it fitting you- get it tuned to the way it should be and you start practicing. That is when the pain starts coming in. It was nothing years ago to do an allnighter but now all you can do is about 30 minutes before the pain sets in. And you no longer have the skills you used to have. But you fight your way through the pain barrier and start remembering a few shortcuts to get yourself back to a passable level. Then one day it clicks. You do have the right equipment. Not the best around but it will do and it will teach you a lot before you summon up the courage to tell the wife that you need a better guitar now as the one you bought to get back into playing is now below the standard you have reached.


Sound familiar?

6 months ago I bought a 12 string guitar to give me another interest besides cycling. It has taken that long for me to get the finger tips hardened up and the fingers to work properly so that I can play the chords well enough to accompany my voice singing some of the Folk songs I used to sing round the clubs. All I have to do is practice the Finger style a lot more so I can get somewhere back to my old expertise- but I am afraid the voice will take a bit more than that.
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Old 01-14-09, 03:35 PM   #2
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Good grief.... a 12 string! Well, you sure picked a fast route to getting the fingers tips tough again.
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Old 01-14-09, 03:49 PM   #3
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Good grief.... a 12 string! Well, you sure picked a fast route to getting the fingers tips tough again.
Used to play bass and double bass in the Pop Groups- but 12 string and Tenor banjo on the Folk scene. Perhaps the banjo would have been easier but fingers won't work that fast again.
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Old 01-14-09, 04:00 PM   #4
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Good for you. I've always been fascinated by the beautiful sounds of a 12 string guitar. I was allowed to borrow a freind's once some 40+ years ago and consider myself fortunate to have had that experience. I haven't played in years and envy you somewhat. Notw get away from that computer and get to strumming!!!
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Old 01-14-09, 04:02 PM   #5
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Good for you. I've always been fascinated by the beautiful sounds of a 12 string guitar. I was allowed to borrow a freind's once some 40+ years ago and consider myself fortunate to have had that experience. I haven't played in years and envy you somewhat. Notw get away from that computer and get to strumming!!!
Can't ---did an hour this evening and the fingertips remind me of Butt Ache. They hurt.
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Old 01-14-09, 04:44 PM   #6
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Guitar

Hell, I have made more "come backs" on guitar than any activity I can think of. I only kept one of my guitars, an Ovation acoustic I have had for 35 years. Without a doubt, I will pop open the case sometime in the next few months and do my best Leo Kottke meets Stevie Ray Vaughan impression. After a few days I will again realize Iím neither one of those guys, never will be, and I will pack it away again for another year.


I don't know why it is different for me when I climb on a bike; I know I'm not Lance, and for some reason I don't need to be to enjoy riding.
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Old 01-14-09, 04:52 PM   #7
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Boy howdy!

For me, as well, guitar had been one of those pick 'em up/put 'em down things.
Started and stopped more times than I care to count.
I consider the times I stopped to be be as stupid as not riding for 20 years.

But I picked it up again several years ago and I knew I would never put it down again and too-many-guitars later, I'm still at it and have since added dobro to the mix.

I guess it was 16 years ago, now, that Mrs S asked me what I wanted for our 10th anniversary and my quick answer was "A D-18".
I found a sweet '67 and it's been my faithfuil companion ever since.
Got harder and harder to play and kind of lost that sweet, sweet tone so in it went for a reset.
I swear they gave me someone else's guitar by mistake.

A couple of years ago during a visit to NY I picked up a Breedlove 12 string.
Always wanted a 12'er but never found one I liked to play until I found the Breedlove.
Still, 12 compared to 6... 12 strings are a comparative bear to play.
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Old 01-14-09, 04:58 PM   #8
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Years ago, I found that I had come to an impasse, I could spend the time working on guitar playing or doing animation, but not both. I chose animation.

I was still sad to see my 1957 Fender Precision Bass to go up on eBay, but it was that or not eat that month. However, my Aria classical guitar will stay with me. Those nylon strings are so much easier on the fingers.
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Old 01-14-09, 04:59 PM   #9
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You sold a '57 Precision? Wow, that is sad...
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Old 01-15-09, 06:33 AM   #10
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Great description, this is exactly what I've gone through with singing, cycling, and guitar! At least I hadn't dumped my old equipment. With singing of course the instrument (such as it is) is inside. For our guitars I had to get them into the shop and a few minor repairs done. Bikes have been another story! learning, tweaking, buying, well, we all know this one.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:32 AM   #11
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You're thinking about it way too much. You need to just do it, and you don't need a top end bike to do it with.
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Old 01-15-09, 09:21 AM   #12
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I was a very active club cyclist from 1977-1992, then the pace slowed a bit from 1993-1995, then, for a variety of life reasons, my cycling was more in spirit than in body from 1996-2006, until I purchased a new and very moderately priced road bike on the Internet...

But, after the bike arrived, it took me one full year to really get to the point that I rode "the way I used to", so, it was a long mental exercise in getting my physical confidence back, however...

Of course, the reasons for cycling now are just a little different for me than they were 32 years ago - back then I'd cycle just because I loved it, today, while I still love cycling, I also cycle to prevent diabetes, heart attack or stroke, in moderation of course (see topic, "Exercise-Induced Stroke").

To complicate matters, my old cycling friends (who I rode almost everywhere with) have since passed away or have moved away (most being older than myself), so, my current problem is that I do not have the cycling partners I did years ago, so, while I'm back to a similar physical level when pedaling, my deeper confidence on the bike continues to suffer as a result...

It's hard to explain, but, perhaps we all were so close in a cycling sense that we could ride just about everywhere (in every imaginable situation) but without them I just don't have that same confidence...

My advice would be to find some of those old riding partners, but, if you can't, try to develop new friendships (not an easy thing to do), with the thought in mind that we can never duplicate past achievements or friendships (but we can be thankful and satisfied for what we did achieve when we were younger)...

Hope this helps,

Glades2

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