(6 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Also, the resolution for the tabs is less than spectacular, at least for my aging eyes.  I love my Kindle, but not for music books.


(6 replies, posted in Acoustic)

That's the one.


(6 replies, posted in Acoustic)

There's a very good book called "Basic Fingerstyle Blues Guitar", available on Amazon.  It helped me immensely.


(24 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Welcome aboard, katie M Jones.  If you ask something here, it will be answered.

Like everything else with the instrument:  go slow, and build it up.  I usually find it easier if I know the guitar part cold before starting to add the singing.


(17 replies, posted in Music theory)

I think "ear training" in the sense that you mean is training your ear to recognize notes and intervals when you hear them.  You can get yourself a head start on this by singing the names of the notes you play when you practice scales.


(24 replies, posted in Electric)

There are certainly worse ambitions to have than sounding like George Harrison.


(24 replies, posted in Electric)

M.B. wrote:

So the kind of sound you want is definitely influenced by the guitar and amps you use, and if a musician chooses he or she can either let the inherent sound of the instrument and equipment come out, or alter it through FX.

Sure.  You can apply the same logic to vocals.  With autotune and enough signal processing I could sound like Celine Dion.  But why would I want to?  If you like a certain sort of sound that is characteristic of a certain guitar, why buy something else and a bazillion dollars worth of effects when you can come closer out the gate by just buying that guitar?  If you want to sound like Brian Setzer, start with a Gretsch guitar with filtertron pickups play through a Fender Bassman, and practice for 40 years.  If you want to sound like Joe Perry, start with a Les Paul with PAF pickups, play through a Marshall stack, and practice for 40 years.  If you want to play like B.B. King, get a Gibson 335 and practice for a thousand years.

The way to approach this stuff is to listen to enough music to discover what you really like and research those artists and their equipment.  But you're probably better off just trying to sound like you.

M.B. wrote:

I'm in awe of the expetise here . . . I'm working on the simpliest finger-style book I could find, Progressive Guitar Method: Finger Picking.

No need to be in awe of anything here; we're all beginners at something.  :-)


(37 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Mark Hanson's "The Art of Contemporary Travis Picking."  You can find it on Amazon, here:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Contemporary- … amp;sr=8-1  There is a companion volume by the same author "Solo Fingerstyle", as well.  You'll see a link to that on the page above.  Highly recommended.  It took me about a year to work my way through the Travis book; still working on the second one.


(37 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Mine either, but we must keep after it.  In this particular shape, a nice meaty "thunk" on that low E is really all you need.


(37 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Also, if your hands are big enough, you can hook your thumb "over the top" to get the low E string if you happen to need it for the alternating bass.  That's also a common fingerstyle technique when you get to the 6th shape:
:  :  :  :  :  :
T  :  :  :  :  1
  :  :  :  :  :  :
  :  :  :  2  :  :
  :  :  :  :  :  :
  :  :  3  : 4  :

This is a really common shape in country and rockabilly fingerstyle, and is, of course, totally movable.


(24 replies, posted in Electric)

Describing the difference in sound is going to get you a lot of terms like "open", "woody", "twang", "sparkle"; things that may mean something to the writer, but might not necessarily mean the same things to you.  There is a major difference in the sound and tone, but you're going to get the idea for yourself much quicker by just listening to music; certain kinds of guitars are more amenable to different kinds of music.

Now, everyone will tell you that tone is in the fingers.  That's absolutely true, but it's easier to get a given tone with a particular kind of guitar.  This is the reason that certain guitars are strongly associated with a type of music.  The kinds of music that hollowbodied guitars lend themselves to is Chet Atkins style fingerpicking (or Duane Eddy instrumentals) on the clean side, and rockabilly (and certain types of punk) on the distorted side; what is nowadays termed "roots rock." 

If I were you, I'd listen to a bunch of hollowbody artists, and compare them to the solidbody artists: Setzer, Imelda May, Tim Armstrong (Rancid), Duane Eddy for the hollows; Clapton, SRV, The Ventures, Van Halen, just about any southern rock band that ever existed for the solids.  Pickups, amps and effects account for a lot, but there's still a definite difference.

Plus you can play a hollowbody without plugging in so you don't upset the neighbors.

Keb Mo has another homespun DVD that might be more applicable; he doesn't do "soon as I get Paid" on it, but he does do "Perpetual Blues Machine" and "Angelina", and the DVD comes with tabs.  You can find it here:  http://www.homespuntapes.com/Instrument … -of-keb-mo


(31 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I guess I'm the weirdo; I've always had a trick memory for things like song lyrics, and the chords just go along with that.  My own criteria for "knowing a song" includes the lyrics, chords and rhythm, plus not having to look at the guitar.  The few occasions that I've played in public, I've made a point of making eye contact with audience members while I play.

As far as most pros using a teleprompter, I've NEVER been to a live show in which there was a telprompter in sight.  Maybe it's just the shows that I go to, but even the local bands seem to get along with a setlist taped to the monitors.


(15 replies, posted in Electric)

Dino48, Brian plays both the Hot Rod and his old 6120-1959 "Stray Cat" in his live shows.  Saw him in December.


(15 replies, posted in Electric)

I have both a 5120 and a 5122, both heavily modded.  They do have a slender neck (front to back), which may take some getting used to.  Excellent value for the price; I personally think they're some of the best bang for the buck on the current market.  The 5120 has a deeper body then the '22 and has a deeper sound when not plugged in, but I find the 5122 more comfortable to play.  One caveat, the stock humbuckers are unlike any other pickup on a Gretsch guitar, and may not have quite the same twangyness you might be looking for.  Try to play one before you buy, so you're acquainted with the sound and feel.

It took longer for me to bond with the 5122 than the 5120, but the '22 is now my "go to" guitar for everyday playing.

Full disclosure, I also own a CVT, a Pro Jet, a Tennessee Rose and a 6120 Nashville in the Gretsch line.

Holy crap, I just realized that's about $8000 worth of guitars and mods.  I think I might have a slight Gretsch addiction.


(13 replies, posted in Electric)

Let's look into this, shall we? 

http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/Bt0vtgGw … ian+Setzer

http://www.myrareguitars.com/10-classic-guitar-amps  You're looking for #7.

Second photo down, the amp is a Gretsch Executive:  http://gretschpages.com/forum/gretsch-e … 812/page1/

For Rockabilly, you want tubes.  A small amp working hard is where the original players got just that hint of distortion that they had back in the day, there were no "distortion channels" or effects; so a small amp as loud as it will go is preferable to a big amp with a distortion channel, or heaven forbid a digital distortion effect.  You'll want quite a bit of reverb, and some slapback echo; but if you go back to the roots of the genre, all the guitars were played clean.


(11 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Thanks for that clarification, jerome.


(11 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Or it could be referring to the use of a capo.  "G +2" in this case would mean to play the song in G shape, with a capo on the second fret, thus making the actual key of A.  But then,Astronomikal already said that.


(11 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I think he's actually asking about "add" or "sus" chords, as in A sus 2, A sus 4, A add 9, or A add 13.

In this case, it means to add that scale degree to the regular triad chord.  An Add 9 would mean to add the 9th scale degree (the second, but scale degrees referencing chord tones are normally referenced by an odd number), so "add 9" is the same as "sus 2"; make your regular open A chord, and then lift the finger on the B string to get the open B (the second or 9th degree in the key of A).  Add 13 is the same as sus 4, so you would make your a shape and move the finger on the b string up one fret from c# to D (the fourth or 13th scale degree).

Staying with the open A chord as an example, if you do the sus 4, then the regular chord, then the sus 2 and back to the regular chord, you'll get a very familiar tone sequence you've heard in every James Taylor song ever recorded.

You can do the same thing with the high e string on an open D chord, and get that same folky sound.

Good luck, and hang in there.  It will all eventually make sense.


(4 replies, posted in Electric)

Congratulations, and welcome to the club!


(4 replies, posted in Electric)

I have both a 5120 and a 5122.  They are excellent guitars for the price, good quality and excellent feel and playability.  The only nitpick I've ever heard from anyone who has one is that the stock humbuckers aren't very "Gretschy"; in that they don't have quite the bite and twang of higher end Gretsch pickups.  Hasn't stopped anyone from loving them, and I'm aware of a number of guys who play them on stage.

Please note that my black 5120 was the first really decent guitar that I bought, and it holds a warm place in my heart.  I give this guitar the sole credit for turning me into a guitar nut and Gretschophile.


(7 replies, posted in Electric)

Sorry, I can't help much on the amp settings; you'll have to fiddle.  If you have a reverb control, turn it up.


(7 replies, posted in Electric)

Lee, depending on which era of rockabilly you're listening to, you could find yourself in a simple two-chord riff (think "Mystery Train" by Elvis), or in a three-chord, 12-bar blues structure (think "That's All Right" by Elvis, or "Rumble in Brighton" by the Stray Cats), or all over the neck with the later Brian Setzer stuff.  As a guy who is heavily interested in rockabilly myself, I would say to start with Mystery Train, and work on those Jazz chords; Setzer throws 9th's all over the place.

And get a guitar with a Bigsby.  :-)