Saturday, April 30, 2005

More Fun Than A Barrel Of Monkeys

Marantz PMD660
Originally uploaded by mchgtr.
Who came up with that expression?

And where did the expression "The Biggest thing since sliced bread" come from? And what does it mean? Sliced bread is pretty okay, but when you come to think of it, was it really a 'BIG THING?' I kind of like the non-rectangular loaves you buy and slice up yourself...they make sandwiches so much more interesting....

But I digress...

I've been playing with the PMD 660, and I have to say, recording yourself is both a pain in the a$$ and a heck of a lot of fun. More fun than is legal in some states (particularly those that were excited about sliced bread.)

It's both intimidating ("Do I sound like that?!") and frustrating because it's difficult to get the mic in the right place and the levels right....

I actually managed to get a really good recording of Dave Letterman in the background while I was messing around last night.

My guitar playing is another story. I got a lot of rumble when I started, so I had to mess with the bass roll-off on the mics, and move them, and it would have been a lot easier with someone else helping.

But if you want to improve your playing (and singing) I think recording is a great tool, even if you always hit the erase button as soon as you've listend to the recording.

Friday, April 29, 2005

What's That Whistle?

I'm slowly figuring out the PMD660. It's one of those things that requires that you read the manual to get it to work correctly, and the manual is just oblique enough to be frustratingly incoherent. What I mean is; it takes about three readings to figure out the more complicated functions.

But I'm getting there.

I actually managed to do something (I'm not sure what) and lock it up such that power-off didn't even work, and I had to unplug it to get it reset. Later on I figured out that maybe I hit the Key Lock function.

It has two internal mics, and out-of-the-box it uses these, so I played around with that first. Tonight I played with an AKG 3000, which is a pretty good condenser mic. Since I normally record with a $10 microphone plugged into a computer, this was a bit of a step-up. I had headphones on, and I put the 660 into pause record, and immediately I can hear this whistling noise, and I can't figure out what it is.

It's rhythmic though...

And then it hit me: It was me..I could hear the air going in and out of my nose!

New Toy!

I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new toy: a Marantz PMD 660 solid state recorder. I ordered it about three weeks ago, but then discovered (after placing the order) that it was backordered - ugh!

Well, it arrived today. I was waiting at home...and waiting....and waiting. The UPS tracking system said it was out for delivery, and they usually turn up at 11. By 12 I decided that maybe they weren't coming - or had delivered it somewhere by mistake - and decided I better get the rest of my day underway.

So I took a shower.

UPS, using their advanced 'ADT' technology (Arrive at a Difficult Time), rang the bell just as I got out of the shower. Fortunately, when I opened the door, dripping wet with just my pants on, the UPS guy had already gone. But he'd left the box at the door, so I was spared any major embarrasement.

But they know, you know...somehow they know...

Anyway, the PMD 660 looks cool. More on that shortly.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

It Came In The Mail: Part II

Holy C#$#!

A catalog from MusiciansFriend came in the mail yesterday. It has a one page ad for the Epiphone Paul McCartney 1974 USA Texan reproduction. I previously noted that you could get one of the 250 being made for $6,398.00. For that money, you do get a label signed by Paul himself.

What I missed: A special edition of 40, signed on the sound board by Paul (after he plays it for a bit, according to the description [1]) will be available for $40,000.00 each. Now for that money, I think he should show up at your house, play the guitar, sign the sound board and meet your friends. But I guess that's unlikely as I hear he get's a minimum of $1,000,000 for an appearance [2].

1. For those wondering about what he does if your guitar is right-handed ('does he restring it and play it upside down?' I'm sure you're wondering) well, I hear that Paul can play right and left-handed; he's just better left.

2. Assuming a 2 hour concert, that's $8,333 per minute, so $40,000 = just under 5 mimutes of playing time.

Guitar Player Magazine & Musicnotes

A couple of weeks ago I picked up the May issue of Guitar Player magazine. It's the first time I have bought this magazine (don't know why it never interested me before) and it's pretty good. Some interesting articles on playing Blues. I was most intrigued by the Lap Steel article (having just taken a lap steel guitar class at Club Passim.)

What also caught my attention was this:
you choose!

So if you were like me, you thought that meant you could download all 15 Turns out you get one free download, and the rest are $4.95 each.

The songs are from Musicnotes, and actually, it's probably not a bad deal. I ended up choosing the transcription of Keb Mo's Angelina, since I'm a fan, and have the record (always good to have the recording if you are trying to learn a song!)

Musicnotes software

It was only when I got into the service that I realized I'd tried it once before a long time ago. They provide the sheet music in their own file format, which requires their own viewer software, and you are limited in what you can do with the file; in this case, you can print it once and then you are done...

My printer barfed the first time, but that's when I discovered that the program let's you confirm that the print worked (and try again if it didn't) it actually let me print the thing out twice. As I recall, last time I used it, I printed to a PDF file and was able to print the PDF later also (though I didn't try that this time.)

To top it all off, the file has my name on every page, so they are really trying to get you not to distribute it. I have no trouble with the basic idea of limiting the copy to my fair use; it's just obnoxious when those mesaures intrude on your trying to use the thing in what should be an acceptable manner.

Anyway, I might buy the next issue just to get another free song....of course, the magazine is $5.99, so I need to get at least $1 worth of value out of the magazine to come out ahead...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dave Matthews Band

So far, the new DMB song, American Baby hasn't exactly grown on me. Their new album is due out in a couple of weeks...I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to it.

But, I did get my ticket to their show this summer at Mansfield. God, I hate the Tweeter Center because it's so far and so damn hard to get out of the parking lot. But that's where they play, so I'm stuck.

I was tempted to go to their show in Connecticut, which isn't much further away. A double incentive, Howie Day, the young punk from Maine that can do more with a Line-6 DL-4 Loop Sampler than most people can with a 24-track recording studio, is going to be opening for them there (but not in Massachusetts!)

Unfortunately, I spaced on the ticket sales and missed out.

Number 3 With A Bullet

Chocolate, after three days in heavy rotation, is at 70 plays, and is number three in my iTunes most played list (Collide is still hanging on to number 1, but barely.)

BUG: I have discovered that iTunes decides you have played a song when the song ends...i.e. it plays out to the next song. The problem: often when I am playing a song over and over again I hit the Rewind button as the song fades out. This leads me to suspect that the play count for these songs has a woeful undercount of the like not seen since the last Florida election.

It's causing me to change my listening habits; waiting for the song to end on purpose; but it's cramping my style a bit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Lie in our Graves

I've been working on Lie in our Graves, or more accurately, the first riff. The first thing to note is that I'm basing it on a specific recording; "Acoustic Benefit 02-05-09 Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds" which I don't really know where it came from. Clearly the date is wrong*, but I don't know what it should be either...

Anyway, this is what I think he's playing (or close to it):

^ v ^

Notice, it's not much different from the one I posted before.
For a while I was playing the last two notes as (below) which sounded a little fuller; but you have to move your fingers more to do it...


*It seems the concert is from 1999, not 1909 or 2009...

The Song Doctor Is In

I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cow bell. No, actually; I keep getting a song stuck in my head and I have to listen to it over and over to get it out (just witness my Howie Day infatuation.)

I’ve had the song Chocolate (by Snow Patrol) bumping around in my head the last few days and wearing off the Rewind button on my Shuffle. Just can’t get enough of it.

It’s a great song with curious vocals (the guy kind of whine’s his way through the song,) a nice riff and a relentless beat that goes and goes…

The thing is, this song is in a category of songs for me that I would classify as really catchy, but somewhat unsatisfying. There’s a few songs out there like it. Songs that I like, but that annoy me. Maybe they have a really great chorus, but it only appears once in the song, or maybe it's too damn short. Whatever it is, something is not quite right with it.

Chocolate, feels like it needs to go somewhere, but never gets there. I'm not too sure what it is about it that distracts me. It's like it needs a bridge in the middle, or it needs to build to something at the end, but instead, it just keeps going at the same pace until it gets you to the end. It's an enjoyable ride, but it's somehow unsatisfying, and leaves you reaching for the rewind button in the hope that the next time it will work itself out.

It’s kind of like eternal foreplay, without an orgasm. Foreplay is great, and it’s amazing how long you can do it for, but sometimes you just want to have the finish.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Make Mine A Pepsi

Apple has been running an iTunes/Pepsi promotion. 1 in 3 bottles of Pepsi have a winning cap that gives you a free song on iTunes.

It's actually a pretty clever idea, as my consumption of Pepsi over the past two months has gone from zero to about two or three bottles a week. At first, we began to wonder if the odds were wrong, as between myself and my office mate, we bought 7 bottles without one winning cap!

Since then, the odds seem to have improved, and there have been patches of three winning caps in a row, and long spells of nothing....

Right now I have 9 free song credits, which is fun as it has encouraged me to buy songs that I might otherwise have ignored. They're 'free' right? Okay, they cost me at least $1.25* (cost from vending machine) but they are still kind of free...

Just yesterday I bought Snow Patrol's Chocolate which I've been playing over and over since then, and today I bought I Will Keep the Bad Things from You, by The Damnwells. It's kinda cool.

*Not included in this calculation is the fact that sometimes the vending machine gives out a free bottle...if you select from B4.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Let's Be Positive

I feel like I've been too negative in my posts...I can't help it, I'm a pessimist by nature.

Went and saw Brian's band last night. I hadn't realized how great a bass player he is until then. They played some originals that I liked, and also a few covers, which I recognized from our jam ;) Leaving On A Jet Plane is an easy song to sing and play, but it's still not my favorite!

All in all, a fun evening.

I'm working on Lie In Our Graves but not making much headway.

I hate playing with picks, but it seems necessary for his stuff...

Saturday, April 23, 2005


The Internet can be a great resource....but sometimes it can be frustrating as well.

I love Dave Matthews, but seem to have no luck actually trying to play any of his stuff. Most of his songs revolve around some kind of riff, making it even harder to sing and play.

There's several sources for tabs on the Interent: and, but they aren't ideal.

Take dmbtabs, which has tab and video for just about every DMB song (video for some songs only.)

Check out the tab and video for Cry Freedom. If you watch the video for the verse, you'll see that the tab (below) is just the basic chords, and doesn't indicate at all how it's actually played.


And then there's this from Lie In Our Graves:

4 1 1 4 1 4 2

which again, seems to be missing parts (like strumming the first chord three times, not once...)

And how do you play:

anyway?! ;)

I'm With The Band

At the concert the other night, I was helping out by selling CDs. Two young women came in and started looking at them and we were chatting. The first one asked me if I worked there, and I said, no I was a volunteer. "Are you a musician?" she asked. " really," I said.

We chatted some more, and the second girl introduced herself, and extended her hand, so I shook it. Then the first girl introduced herself and then kind of leaned forward a bit and moved her arms, and I thought, 'she's gonna hug me?' There was this awkward moment as I tried to figure out if that was really what she really wanted to do, and whether I wanted to do it, and then I kind of leaned in and 'Woh!,' we're hugging, if a little awkwardly.

I like to hug, but I'm not someone to hug people I don't know, or have only just met.

I did wonder though; was this a manifestation of the Roadie effect? I mean, I have no delusions, I'm quite sure she would never have hugged me if I'd met her somewhere least I don't think so.

But as a divorced, middle aged guy, I can't say I didn't like it.

P.S. I told Brian this story, and when I got to the part about my equivocating about being a musician he was like, 'Oh man, don't be so dumb!'

Friday, April 22, 2005

Jake Armerding

Jake Armerding, a singer, songwriter, guitarist, mandolin and fiddle player extraordinaire played at Club Passim last night. It was a full house and a fun evening. Jake plays a variety of music that is heavily folk/bluegrass influenced. A great fiddle player, he predominantly played guitar during the show (looked like a Martin D-35), accompanied by a second guitarist, bass and mandolin players; the latter, his father.

Fun parts for me; at one point they played a song that the second guitarist didn't know. It was interesting to watch someone who new what they were doing trying to follow along on a song he clearly didn't know.

Jake observed afterwards that they'd talked about the difficulty of playing along on a song you don't know, and that they had decided that the fiddle was the easiest instrument because you can just saw on a sing note. Next up in difficulty is the guitar and mandolin, where you need to play chords, and it's a little difficult to fake it. Then he demonstrated how guitarists cover this up: first he played a simple chord change, then he repeated it, but after playing the first chord, instead of switching to the second, he played a soft, muted chord, before switching. Okay, it's not so funny to read about it, but it was funny when he did it. Oh, and the bass is the hardest because you have to get every note right.

At one point between songs, he was tuning the fiddle, and he played this long single note, which he repeated. Then he played a short series of scratches, followed by a series of warbling notes. It was now clear he wasn't tuning, and in fact, it seemed somehow familiar, but I couldn't place it. A couple more cycles and I finally figured it out; he was imitating a car alarm!

Jake admires Paul Simon, and one of the last songs they played was Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover. Not my favorite Paul Simon song, but it does feature one of the most recognizable drum riffs (played by the legendary Steve Gadd.) Jake recreated that riff on the mandolin quite effectively, and while I'm still not a huge fan of the song, it went up a point or two after that performance.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


For the past few months, David and I have been getting together every couple of weeks and playing. We don't really have a plan, we just get together and randomly stumble through songs; either based on something that caught our interest in the last week or so, or from one of the songs in the piles of print-outs that David has. We play a fair amount of Blues, Beatles, Dylan and Tom Waits as those are artists/styles we both like.

Last night my friend Brian joined us. He plays bass, and has played in several bands over the years, and while he's not exactly a professional, he is a lot more proficient than we are (particularly at just picking up a was kind of dangerous as I’d strum a couple of chords and he’d go “what’s that you’re playing? It sounds like….”)

So it was a fun, interesting, and rather eye-opening experience, since when David and I play, we tend to get stuck on particular songs and spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the chords are and how it's played. Brian was more interested in songs with a few chords that we could just do.

“Who’s singing?” he asks, and David and I stare at each other blankly.

And we’re off, stumbling through a variety of material. I end up singing some, and Dave does some, but Brian begs off as he has a cold. He does, however impart us with words of wisdom, such as ‘The chicks dig ‘Laid’ by James, and ‘Brown Eyed Girl’. Neil Diamond songs are great too. Some people at Berkley accused us of selling out, but I’d go to their shows and there’d be like five guys, sitting listening, and we’d get a crowd all dancing. You get a couple of girls making out in front of the stage, that’s what it’s all about…”

This is the kind of stuff they don’t teach at Berkley I think.

Today Brian’s on IM and he’s telling me we’re not too bad; we just need to get our confidence up and then we’ll be playing out…

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

It Came In The Mail

The June issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine arrived yesterday (June! It's the middle of April!) Paged through it yesterday at work and noticed a few things:

Ad for Epiphone Limited Edition Paul McCartney 1964 Texan reproduction. I saw Paul tour a couple of years ago, and he had the actual guitar with him and used it to play Yesterday (or I think it was Yesterday.) MusiciansFriend is selling them for $6,398 if you're interested.

Review of Korg AW-1 Micro Tuner. This works much like the IntelliTouch tuner; you clip it on to the guitar's headstock and it picks up virbations, rather than using a microphone or plugging in. I Like my IntelliTouch tuner, though sometimes it seems to have trouble with the E strings. The Korg looks interesting, but I don't know if it's any better. $59.00 Decided to skip it for the moment.

Product writeup about Samson C01U, a condenser microphone that plugs into a computer's USB port. Now this looks kind of interesting, and it's $79.00, which isn't too, too bad. Have to wonder how good it is though, as it's based on a 'regular' C01 microphone, which is only $10 cheaper. So $10 for the Analog to Digital conversion stuff that I assume it has to include to work with USB....does that seem like not a whole lot?

Well, I checked MusiciansFriend, but their search said they don't carry Samson, and recommended several other brands instead. Interestingly, later on, when I did a search for Zoom, it came up with a comparison page saying they'd compared Zoom with Digitech, and they had decided Digitech was better.

Went to Sweetwater and they had them and so I ordered one...then when I got home there was a phone call from them saying that they were out of stock, but expected more to arrive in about 10 days. I wish the web site had just said that when I'd gone to place the order...I hate when that happens.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Missing Songs

My iPod Shuffle is acting funny. It's losing songs. I thought something was up the other day when I couldn't find Collide, but things were a little out of whack in the sorting, so I resorted by artist and updated the thing. Last night and today, Collide and Perfect Time of Day were right after Madrigals. Then, sometime this afternoon, both songs disappeared.

I actually went through every song on the thing (using fast forward) and couldn't find either of them!

I'm going to update the iPod again tonight and I assume that will bring the songs back again, but this is annoying!

UPDATE: According to the Resetting iPod Shuffle support page: to reset the Shuffle you just turn it off for 5 seconds (unlike the complicated procedures for a regular iPod.) I did it, and they're back! I guess it is a Perfect Time of Day...

Stop Me Before I Buy Again

Yesterday, about an hour or so after I saw his new guitar, Gary stopped by to - I think - convince me that it wasn't a silly thing for him to buy it.

I have no idea why he could possibly think that I would have thought that. I don't know anyone that has suffered from GAS worse than I do. I think that once you have more than four guitars - unless you are a professional - you give up any right to criticize anyone else's buying habits.

So, we agreed that:

i. it was a nice guitar
ii. it's hard finding a lefty so he should grab one when he can
iii. he didn't have something like that already
iv. he'd been wanting one for a while, so it wasn't a like a whim thing
v. he'd got a good deal on it
vi. there's lots of worse things to waste your money on
vii. as long as you can pay your bills, what's the harm?

But he was preaching to the choir...

Favorite quote: "I called some friends to try and get them to talk me out of it..."

Stuck In My Head

I often get a song stuck in me head....and then I have to play it over and over and over again until I can get it out...iPods are great for that.

Last weekend I drove around playing The Wallflowers How Good It Can Get all afternoon. It's five times through from home to Jamaica Plain if the driving is good.

Looking in iTunes, the top three songs for Play Count at the moment are:

Madrigals Howie Day 58
Collide Howie Day 55
Ghost Howie Day 54

Just in case you think I only have Howie Day on the the iPod, the fourth song is Heroes & Villans by The Beach Boys [huh?!], but I think that number is artifically enlarged because my iPod for a while always seemed to turn on with that song playing...

The Madrigals and Ghost versions are from the Madrigals EP, which actually contains a DVD and a CD. Madrigals and Ghost are on both, but (in my not-so-humble opinion) the live performance on the DVD is superior to the recording on the CD. So I had to make my own copy of those tracks by connecting up the iBook to the desktop machine and transfering the audio through an analog cable. I guess there must be a way to hack the audio out of the DVD, but I couldn't figure it out and I had everything else to transfer it the Digital-Analog-digital route. Doesn't sound too bad either.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Oh No! I'm Getting Excited...

Latest rumor on the Taylor T5; though the availability date is 'sometime in May' there's a rumor that Guitar Center's will have them May 1st. More specifically, that some stores already have them, but can't sell them until then.

hmmm...for some reason I seem to be getting excited about this, even though I already decided I didn't want one.

Time to go hide the credit cards.

Random Bits

No practice last night....too tired.

A friend came over yesterday and pointed out a website GuitarLand that I hadn't seen before. Haven't looked too closely at it, but it has some basic exercises and things...they need a redsign...

Gary at work, came in today with a new Rickenbacher 12 string...a brown sunburst. Rather pretty, even if the design looks right out of the fifties. It's brand new, and a lefty (not much good for me!) I didn't realize that Rickenbacher was an American someone else said, 'I always thought it was German.' - doh!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Guitar Watering

Practice: 20 minutes: Julia and Across the Universe

Winter is drawing to a close and I can finally turn off the humidifier and stop worrying about humidity.

Acoustic guitars can be such a pain. If you care, you have to worry about humidity. You don't want things too wet or too dry. For those of us in the North East, the biggest worry is the winter when you have the heat on, and the air gets dry, dry, dry. That will dry out the wood, and at best can effect tuning and playability. At worst, you can suffer cracking.

Not a good idea.

Those of us who have read the scary materials on Taylor & Martin's websites, have to battle this lack of humidity. Probably the easiest solution is a Dampit. This tube of rubber contains a sponge. You soak it in water, squeeze out the excess, dry the rubber cover and put it into the soundhole of the guitar.

Too dry is bad, but you want to be careful not to over water too.

Using a Dampit means keeping the guitar in the case, which is a good idea anyway as the thing is less likely to suffer other damage (like being knocked over.)

Some people have reported mold growing in their Dampits, and suggest using distilled water. I don't do this, but I tend to let them dry out pretty much before resoaking. I can get away with this because I also use a humidifier to keep the humidity up in the house. I figure it's good for me, and means I don't have to be so anal about the Dampits....the downside is that the windows get lots of condensation, you have to keep refilling it, and the first one I had was rather noisy.

Probably the best solution is to take up electric...

Dampit Notes:

1) Make sure you wring it out and dry the outside with a towel

2) Watch for mold..either used distilled water or let it dry out now and again

3) A small electronic Hygrometer (try Radio Shack) can be useful

Friday, April 15, 2005

Fell Off The Wagon...

Damn! Damn! Damn! I missed practicing last night, and with no good reason. Was watching TV and writing something on the computer and I thought a couple of times of putting it down and getting out the guitar, and next thing you know it's the next day and you didn't do nada.

It doesn't take much to fall off the wagon...

My daughters school concert today. While waiting for the concert to start I was sitting reading Guitar Player magazine, listening to my iPod - [poser!]

The guy next to me says 'I see you're reading that, you must play,' and when I confirm the fact he tells me he plays too. He used to play in a band he tells me, but hasn't done that 'in years.' For some reason I can't seem to get into any real conversation with him though; for one I wasn't really expecting to talk to anyone that early in the morning, so my brain didn't seem to be able to come up with the next part of the conversation...and for the other, I think as soon as he said he played in a band I felt too intimidated.

Or maybe I just was in an a##hole mood as I didn't get enough sleep last night.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

David Gray Custom Edition

Practice ~ 20 minutes; Julia and Help!

Martin has added a 000C David Gray Custom Edition to their website that was not previously announced. Martin often makes 'Limited Edition' guitars i.e. guitars with a musicians signature on them. It's assumed that the artist had some input on the design of the guitar, though this varies widely.

I'm not exactly sure what the difference is between a Custom Edition and a Limited Edition. These are usually announced at NAMM, which was back in idea why this one wasn't announced then.

The David Gray is a 000-14 Fret Cutaway. I like David Gray, but not enough to buy a guitar just because his name is on it...and not enough to buy a Martin cutaway :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

April Resolution

To practice 15-20 minutes every day; even if I don't need to!

Nearly anyone will tell you that it's better to practice for a short period every day, than to save it all up for a couple of hours every week or so.

With that in mind, I have once more resolved to practice more regularly. Last night was the beginning of it all, and we'll see where it goes. Spent most of an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway practicing Julia, Across the Universe and Help! I'm on a bit of a Beatles kick.

Julia is actually pretty easy once you get the picking pattern down...I have it in a book, but this transcription seems pretty close. You need a capo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

That's A Lot Of Guitars

In 2003 the Martin Guitar Company built:
62,816 = X series through customs (Nazareth instruments)
16,385 = Backpacker series, LX travel guitar series, and SO uke (Mexican instruments)

In 2004 the Martin Guitar Company built:
63,700 = X series through customs (Nazareth instruments)
25,006 = Backpacker series, LX travel guitar series, and SO uke (Mexican instruments)

Taylor Guitar makes about 6,000 guitars per month.

Collings makes approximately 1,000 a year

Santa Cruz makes approximately 600 a year*

*All numbers gathered from postings on the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum and The Acoustic Guitar Forum, so of course, I don't stand behind them.

Don't Drink And Play

Is this for real? Or a bad Photoshop job? Or is it both? It's hard to tell..on the website it looks like a bad Photoshop job, yet it seems a little too elaborate to just be a joke. It's a Burrell guitar. Their website says:
The acoustic guitar was first invented in the days of Henry the Fourth. It was rather small in size. Through the years they progressed to be the larger size that we are familiar with now. Other than size, tuning, and materials guitars have stayed the same...FLAT.
In 1954 Leo Burrell tried to play guitar. The problem he had was bending his wrist and his fingers to make the chords. The problem actually was the flat guitar. Flat guitars, you see are bulky, rigid, and just too cumbersome to play easily. Leo aimed to change all that.
Mr. Burrell's concept was to make a guitar that conformed to the player rather than the player conforming to it. maybe it is for real. I just figure you don't want to play it at a bar....after a couple of drinks you won't be sure what's going on...

Monday, April 11, 2005

T5 Pricing

Elderly Instruments has a page with pricing for the T5...which goes from $2598.00 MSLP for the "Tobacco sunburst finish standard model T5" up to $3498.00 for the "Transparent blue finish custom model T5" (flame maple top.)

Assuming the usual way of things, expect to pay between 60-70% of MSLP, so that's about $1600 - $2100(if you're lucky.)

Can't afford that? Maybe you should try and win one.

Meanwhile, one poster at the Acoustic Guitar forum said this of the T5:
it is very, very light weight -- it felt lighter than a Gibson Hollowbody and much, much lighter than a Tele or Les Paul [...]

I was able to get a very cool,realistic tele sound out of it.

I was able to get a thick, chunky les paul sound out of it.

I did not get a 100% acoustic sound of it, but I only got to play it for 5 minutes or so.

Hmm...if you still don't get a great acoustic sound out of it, what's the point?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Taylor T5

I was thinking about the Taylor T5 this afternoon. Just driving along and for some reason I started thinking about it...don't know why.

Anyway, for those who aren't familiar with Taylor, they make some great acoustic guitars, and at the last NAMM they announced the T5, a kind of cross between an acoustic and an electric guitar. Here's what they claim:
The T5 is Taylor's first-ever electric guitar. Built like an acoustic guitar with a fully-hollow thinline body, the T5 is designed to be equally comfortable played through both electric and acoustic amps. The T5 has a versatile range of pure analog tones, from strumming acoustic to crunch electric—and everything in between.

They look pretty cool, but they are probably going to be very expensive. They say they are expected in stores in May; so that probably means I won't see one until July... I've already seen a picture of Dave Matthews playing one...

But the thing I was wondering about...I heard that you could use electric or acoustic strings on them....which got me wondering; does that mean buying two guitars, or changing strings frequently?!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Chord of the Week: B7sus4

This can be played as a barre chord (see the diagram) or, for those having trouble with barre chords, play it as: x2425x

Currently butchering Suspicious Minds

P.S. This was prompted by an acoustic version of Suspicious Minds by Pete Yorn that is pretty cool.

Originally uploaded by mchgtr.

Friday, April 08, 2005

No Bruce For You

Bruce Springsteen is going to play a show at the Orpheum. A small show. I like a lot of Bruce's stuff; especially acoustic stuff (like 'Empty Sky' from The Rising.)

But the Orpheum is a damn small theater.

Tickets went on sale at 9:00am this morning. At 9:02, when I got through to TicketMiser, they were all sold out.

Playing On The iPod: Brace Yourself (acoustic), Howie Day

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Dangers of MusiciansFriend

Web shopping is way too addicting, and way too dangerous. I find MusiciansFriend particularly troublesome as they have this free shipping if your order is over $200 I go looking for something, run up a bill of $50, then spend another $150 to save the $10 on shipping.

Just today I was thinking of buying a CryBaby pedal, $69, and then figured if I got a Boss pedal board (for $129) then I get free shipping...but I don't really need a pedal board right now.

I spent about 20 minutes reading the user reviews, placed the items in my cart, then had a think and decided against buying either.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Leo Kottke: Saunders Theater, Cambridge MA

Sunday, Apr 3

Leo is an amazing player. I've seen him once before, at Saunders last year. I like about 1/4 of his stuff a lot. The rest doesn't always grab me, but it always amazes me when he plays. He also has a wicked funny sense of humor. Kind of dark and offbeat.

And the things he can do with a 12 string..

Favorite album: My Father's Face. Lots of great stuff including: William Powell, Why Can't You Fix My Car and Doorbell. I really like Jack gets Up too.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

What's It All About, Alfie?

I kept saying I wouldn't start a blog, because I know it'll just suck up a lot of time and eventually I'll be exhausted and abandon it and.....okay, enough complaining. Because here I am, blogging. But with a goal in mind: this isn't intended to be my life's work, rather it's going to just be a log of my efforts to advance my musical abilities.

Specifically; I've been playing guitar off and on for a few years now (mostly off) but I've always wanted to do 'something' with it: I want to busk...