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Let's see some C&V guitars!

Old 05-09-11, 09:56 AM
  #201  
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Nice shot, 20grit! That's certainly not a new take on the upright, though. Rockabilly players have done that for ages, often while the guitar player "surfs" on the side whilst the bass lies on the stage. It takes a full grown man to handle one like you're doing there.
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Old 05-09-11, 11:11 AM
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Luckily of my nearly 6'-3" in height, a large portion is torso. I also have long arms so it works out.
I'm far from an innovator playing the bass like that, but it definitely garners some attention. I have a Gibson Style U harp guitar that has a ridiculously wide lower bout. Playing the bass like this is probably just practice for having to wrap around that thing. (Once it's in functional condition.)
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Old 05-09-11, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
If so, it was taken on a Halloween when he went as the late Porter Wagoner.
I should have perhaps added a smiley to my note. But you see, the last time I would have seen PW he would have been on B&W TV. By the time color TV came around I was old enough that I would have been staring at someone else on stage...
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Old 05-09-11, 08:33 PM
  #204  
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Originally Posted by auchencrow
Pics or it didn't happen BBM !
Well....here you go. Nothing special - a Fender Squire Stratocaster (and a Korean one, at that) paired with a vintage Fender 15 amp. All courtesy of my brother. He collects them, and decided that a big blues enthusiast like me should have a guitar and learn how to play it.

The thing is, I don't know a single thing about playing guitar. Conceptually I'm all for learning, but I don't know where to begin. I've been fooling with it while looking at web-based "how-to's", but the experience thus far has been pretty frustrating and overwhelming. My being left handed might have something to do with it.

Any suggestions?

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Old 05-09-11, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
Well....here you go. Nothing special - a Fender Squire Stratocaster...
The thing is, I don't know a single thing about playing guitar. Conceptually I'm all for learning, but I don't know where to begin. I've been fooling with it while looking at web-based "how-to's", but the experience thus far has been pretty frustrating and overwhelming. My being left handed might have something to do with it.

Any suggestions?
You need to start with Jimi Hendrix. But all seriousness aside, how much basic music theory do you know? There are two or three things you need to know or to be able to do to play guitar. One is have the manual control of your hands to hit the appropriate string/fret combinations. Another is to know what you should do, whether you can actually do it or not. Another is to have good enough musical judgment that you can make it sound good. And much of it depends on the style you want to play.
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Old 05-09-11, 08:44 PM
  #206  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
You need to start with Jimi Hendrix. But all seriousness aside, how much basic music theory do you know? There are two or three things you need to know or to be able to do to play guitar. One is have the manual control of your hands to hit the appropriate string/fret combinations. Another is to know what you should do, whether you can actually do it or not. Another is to have good enough musical judgment that you can make it sound good. And much of it depends on the style you want to play.
No music theory at all.

Manual control of my hands - that's proving to be a tough one in regards to hitting the appropriate string/fret combinations. This could be because I'm left handed and trying to play a right hand guitar, or it could just be because I'm inept and have little stubby sausage-like fingers.

Musical judgement? What's that? I just want to play some simple blues chords, and maybe a passable Folsom Prison Blues.
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Old 05-10-11, 04:59 AM
  #207  
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
No music theory at all.

Manual control of my hands - that's proving to be a tough one in regards to hitting the appropriate string/fret combinations. This could be because I'm left handed and trying to play a right hand guitar, or it could just be because I'm inept and have little stubby sausage-like fingers.

Musical judgement? What's that? I just want to play some simple blues chords, and maybe a passable Folsom Prison Blues.

Being southpaw is no excuse to hold back.
- You just need to decide what you want to do and work at it. First decide if you want to play a left handed guitar, or a right handed guitar lefty, like Albert King:



- Of course, it helps being born under a bad sign if you want to play the blues.
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Old 05-10-11, 06:06 AM
  #208  
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Lots of left handed people play guitar right handed. Guitar playing requires coordinated use of both hands, and most of us, I think, find the left hand part a bit more challenging. Basically, the left hand fingers the chords and the right hand plays the rhythms.

When you master Folsom Prison Blues, you can amuse your friends by playing that while singing the words to Pinball Wizard. Gets 'em every time. Well, get's em once.
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Old 05-14-11, 05:54 PM
  #209  
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Originally Posted by rhm
When you master Folsom Prison Blues, you can amuse your friends by playing that while singing the words to Pinball Wizard. Gets 'em every time. Well, get's em once.
This just in - I'm close to mastering the first 7 notes (intro). I suck, but it is recognizable.

Yay Youtube!
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Old 05-14-11, 05:59 PM
  #210  
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Excellent! Dare I ask, what key? There are basically three schools of thought on this. Some argue you should learn to play everything in G, because that's easiest. Others argue, you should figure out the highest key you can sing a song in, and learn to play it in that key, because this will sound the best. But with a Johnny Cash song, it's generally a good idea to figure out the lowest key you can sing a song in, and learn to play it in that key. Because, well, it's Johnny Cash.
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Old 05-14-11, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
Excellent! Dare I ask, what key? There are basically three schools of thought on this. Some argue you should learn to play everything in G, because that's easiest. Others argue, you should figure out the highest key you can sing a song in, and learn to play it in that key, because this will sound the best. But with a Johnny Cash song, it's generally a good idea to figure out the lowest key you can sing a song in, and learn to play it in that key. Because, well, it's Johnny Cash.
What's a key?

I just copied the guy on Youtube, 1st and 2nd fret, 4,5, and 6 string.

Let's see - 1st finger on the 4th string 1st fret, 2nd finger on the 5th string 2nd fret, 3rd finger on the 6th sting 2nd fret.

Then 2 notes on the 5th string, 2 on the 4th, 1 on the 5th, 1 on the 6th while I pulled the sting down to bend the note, and 1 open on the 6th to finish.

My fingers hurt.
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Old 05-15-11, 11:22 AM
  #212  
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
What's a key?

I just copied the guy on Youtube, 1st and 2nd fret, 4,5, and 6 string.

Let's see - 1st finger on the 4th string 1st fret, 2nd finger on the 5th string 2nd fret, 3rd finger on the 6th sting 2nd fret.

Then 2 notes on the 5th string, 2 on the 4th, 1 on the 5th, 1 on the 6th while I pulled the sting down to bend the note, and 1 open on the 6th to finish.

My fingers hurt.
Fingers hurting, that's normal, I'm afraid. It'll get better over time.

The rest of what you said, I can't follow it at all. Something's wrong, and I don't know whether to blame it on you, me, or the guy on youtube. Solly!
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Old 05-15-11, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm
Fingers hurting, that's normal, I'm afraid. It'll get better over time.

The rest of what you said, I can't follow it at all. Something's wrong, and I don't know whether to blame it on you, me, or the guy on youtube. Solly!
Fingers hurt - think of it as like a bike saddle on day 2.

That bit from BBM sounds like the resolution lick in the key of E, but a few of the frets are off, I think.

BBM, you need some l'arnin' about music. Not that it hurt Johnny Cash any. It'll take more time than I have right now to 'xplain it though. Maybe in a day or two.
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Old 05-15-11, 11:47 AM
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Jim, I agree... a couple frets off, and apparently he's using a left handed guitar. But I'm not complaining; evidently BBM has good taste in music, a reliable ear, and the stubbornness to stick with it... so I'm not going to worry about him just yet. Play it again, Johnny!
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Old 05-15-11, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
Jim, I agree... a couple frets off, and apparently he's using a left handed guitar. But I'm not complaining; evidently BBM has good taste in music, a reliable ear, and the stubbornness to stick with it... so I'm not going to worry about him just yet. Play it again, Johnny!
Nope - I may be left handed, but I'm doing it on a regulation right handed guitar.

The wife was 1st chair flute somewhere in her shady past and is itching to teach me to read music, so no worries there. Looking at the video again and then reading my explanation - I didn't explain it right. ..... but it sounded right. I'm going to fool around some more, learn some chords, and then maybe go take lessons from someone that knows what they are doing. Lord knows, I don't.

Here's the video I was looking at - go to between 1:45 and 2:45 to see what I'm trying to explain. I'm aping what he's doing, so if he's wrong, I'm wrong:

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Old 05-15-11, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
The wife was 1st chair flute somewhere in her shady past and is itching to teach me to read music, so no worries there...

Here's the video I was looking at - go to between 1:45 and 2:45 to see what I'm trying to explain.
Your wife wants to teach you to read music? Now I am worried! ("It takes a worried man to sing a worried song... I'm worried now but I won't be worried long.") Playing guitar for roots music doesn't need reading music but some sort of written form can useful. Real music notation expresses the timing of everything as well as the notes but it can be tedious. There are written forms called tablature. They don't express timing very well but they are good for teaching how to finger a particular song that you already know enough to sing.

Basic music theory is really useful. That includes the formation of chords, the ability to hear and sing notes of your primary scale, and the relationship between chords.

Here's a start. Play the low E string (the 6th) unfretted. Imagine that is your "starting note". Sing that note in as low a voice as you can manage. Now starting from that basic note hum an ascending scale, the traditional 8-note do re me fa so la ti do scale. Don't need to add words. Actually it's only 7 notes because the last one is the same as the first only an octave higher. After you can sing each one try to find each on the strings. (Hint: string/fret = 6/0, 6/2, 6/4 5/0, 5/2, 5/4, 4/1, 4/2). Starting from where you ended that first scale the next octave up would be 4/2, 4/4, 3/1, 3/2, 2/0, 2/2, 2/4, 1/0. All this is in the key of E because you started on an E (the open 6th string). Truth be told that's not the easiest scale to work with on guitar, but it will do for now. The fingering may seem arbitrary but there is a pattern that isn't obvious yet. Now, using that base scale, notes are identified by their position in the scale, starting with "1st" and running up through "8th".

Now a basic chord (skipping any subtlety) is made up of any combination of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of a scale. So starting from the bottom an E chord would be made up of the low E (6/0) and a 5th note (5/2), another E (4/2), etc. So far we don't have the 3rd note to complete the triad harmony because you can't play the 6st string both open and on the 4th fret at the same time (duh). But you can get the 3rd note from the next octave higher, which in this case is 3/1. The open 2 (2/0) is another 5th note, and the open 1st is another E. Voila! An E chord.

A lot of music, especially roots music, uses three chords. Those chords are the chord starting on your base key note (often called the root), a chord starting on your root scale's 4th note, and a chord starting on your root scale's 5th note. Chords, like notes, are often named for their starting note. So a chord built from E is called the I (Roman numeral) chord, and the others are the IV and V chords. If you do the counting you find that that IV chord is made up of the root scale's 4, 6, and 8 notes (and since the 8 is the same as the 1 but just an octave higher, you could use 1, 4, and 6). The V chord is made of the 5, 7, and 9 (in which the 9 is just the 2 one octave higher if you keep counting up). In the Key of E those chords are E, A, and B. (There is a "7th" variant of the V chord but we won't go there yet.)

That is fundamental chord theory. Actually fingering them in E can be tricky, but it gives you something to start with. Now before you get frustrated do the same exercise starting on 6/3. That's a G note, and the scales and chords are easier to manage with the fingers. The I, IV, and V chords are G, C, D. Now try it from 5/3, that's a C. The I IV and V chords are C, F, G.

See how that goes. It's harder than riding a bike. We'll pick this up again...

Oh, and that video sounds right.
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Old 05-15-11, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
Here's the video I was looking at...
Got it!

Okay, yeah, that'll do you fine. He's playing it in the key of E. Once you have that down, you'll know enough to play nine out of ten blues songs. Carry on!
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Old 05-15-11, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
He's playing it in the key of E. Once you have that down, you'll know enough to play nine out of ten blues songs.
Only if you wake up in the morning.

Epitaph on a blues singer's tombstone:
I didn't wake up this morning.
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Old 05-15-11, 04:50 PM
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BBM, there are some great videos done by arlen roth on Gibson's website. They're a little higher up the learning scale, but some of the stuff he does could be picked up. Ignore the harder stuff and pick up what you can. I would really try to warn you off of using tab. I have yet to meet anyone who learned from tab who doesn't have phrasing problems.
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Old 05-15-11, 04:55 PM
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+1. Never use 'tab' to try to learn something if you don't already know how it sounds. And if you do know how it sounds, you're usually better off finding the notes yourself. Once you've figured out how to play it, sorta-kinda, then it can be helpful to look at tablature to see how someone else plays it.
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Old 05-15-11, 04:56 PM
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Here's the "vintage style" 0-size guitar just finished.
For some reason, the smaller the guitar, the more resonant it is.
I know the reason.

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Old 05-15-11, 05:17 PM
  #222  
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Originally Posted by David Newton
Here's the "vintage style" 0-size guitar just finished.
For some reason, the smaller the guitar, the more resonant it is.
I know the reason.

That's beautiful David. I love the simplicity, symmetry, and the (curly maple?) bindings.

I agree that small bodied guitars can be extremely resonant and balanced, but I would like to hear your reason.
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Old 05-15-11, 05:22 PM
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That is a beautiful guitar!

I'm going to take a guess at David's why question. I'm thinking as follows: assuming the same gauge of string, and the same amount of energy applied to the string by the player, then a guitar with a large resonating chamber will use up that energy faster. A guitar with a smaller resonating chamber will therefore have more sustain than a guitar with a larger resonating chamber. A guitar with no resonating chamber --solid body electric, for example-- will have even longer sustain.

Am I close?
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Old 05-15-11, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
That is a beautiful guitar!

I'm going to take a guess at David's why question. I'm thinking as follows: assuming the same gauge of string, and the same amount of energy applied to the string by the player, then a guitar with a large resonating chamber will use up that energy faster. A guitar with a smaller resonating chamber will therefore have more sustain than a guitar with a larger resonating chamber. A guitar with no resonating chamber --solid body electric, for example-- will have even longer sustain.

Am I close?
I'll throw a wrench in that works though. My first Henderson is a D-18 modeled guitar. I can hit a note, harmonics especially, and that thing will carry forever. It's like the scene in the guitar room from This Is Spinal Tap... only my amp goes up to 13 (not that the Henderson is plugged up. I hate acoustic pickups). (Peavey Delta blues amps go up to 13. If you haven't tried a Peavey Classic 20, 30, 50, or Delta Blues, you're missing out on one of the best bang for your buck Tube amps out there.)
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Old 05-15-11, 07:41 PM
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auchencrow
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Originally Posted by 20grit
I'll throw a wrench in that works though. My first Henderson is a D-18 modeled guitar. I can hit a note, harmonics especially, and that thing will carry forever. I.......)
You're not throwing a wrench - it is not that a large dreadnaught can't have terrific sustain and harmonics, it's that small bodied guitars can have incredible resonance, volume and projection too. -I have a '31 12-fret L-00 and a recent Santa Cruz Lucas-sized guitar that rivals my Martin D's and boutique D-naughts.

Balance is another, separate consideration - a thing that smaller bodies guitars are generally better at.

PS - I need to try one of those Peaveys. I have heard good things about them.
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