(32 replies, posted in Acoustic)

trippy wrote:

i love to play country roads, its the first song i learnd  and still play it every day

Thanks Trippy.  I saw this and it reminded me of the song.  I'm heading down to West Virginia in a couple weekends for a fishing trip and have been working on this one.  It's the sort of a fishing trip where just about everyone along does it every year and it is a lot like home for all of us, so the lyrics will register well (even if the playing around the campfire isn't so good). 

And you're right.  It is a fun song to play.  I'm having a little trouble getting the hang of the timing on changing chords in the bridge, but otherwise it came out pretty well right from the start.  Working on a fingerpick pattern for it now but stand ready to more or less play it strumming. 

- Zurf


(9 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

With drums, the percussion sound carries very well.  Different cadences were used to communicate different things.  In modern warfare, the generals sit in bunkers and watch television screens sent information from satellites.  It used to be that the generals sat on a hill on the battlefield and gave commands that were communicated to battlefield officers via different drum cadences.  Especially when gunpowder got to be used more and more, leaving the battlefield officers literally in the "fog of war".  There were different cadences for withdraw, advance, flank right, flank left, etc. and so forth.  They could be heard by the soldiers on the field of battle even above the screams, guns, explosions, and general confusion.  That's a western thing.  Don't know if it's also true for African drum use in battle.  Many thanks that I have never had to learn first-hand. 

I had thought that music resided in the brain somewhere between language and mathematics, somewhat linking the two in use and thereby advancing both language and mathematics functions.  It has been shown that students who study an instrument tend to perform better, but I am not aware of whether that is because students who would tend to do better anyway because of socio-economic or other characteristics tend to study music or vice-versa. 

- Zurf


(11 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

gitaardocphil wrote:

So as far as I can imagine, it DID START in the US, with groups like the ramones, NY dolls, IGGY & the stooges, and probably a lot more.

Just one more thing for which America (the nation, not the band) owes the world an apology.  On the other hand, we did create the blues and gospel and twisted Scots highland music enough to turn it into bluegrass so maybe it's a wash.  big_smile

- Big D


(11 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

The only thing I know about punk is that Johnny Rotten (I think) said that Heavy Metal is what happened when the punk bands learned to play their instruments. 

- Zurf

Virginia claims a fair number.  As does just about every major town in the vicinity of the U.S. Civil War's fighting.  That was a bloody, ruthless affair.   A bit odd because I'd think that if folks spirit's were going to linger behind their bodies that the ferocity of that war would be enough to chase them away from the material plane rather than make them want to hang out a while longer. 

- Zurf


(31 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

mhebert - I agree with you.  The laid back attitude here is wonderful.  However, is it better for us to police ourselves or to always have to wait for the moderators to do the policing?  I think it's better if we can gently and politely nudge one another back into line rather than waiting for moderators to do it. 

I have not noticed Paranormalguitar being hostile.  A little touchy perhaps, but hardly hostile.  He is young and  impatient about like I would expect a young man to be.  He'll learn.

- Zurf


(31 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

With all due respect badeye, it was a bit of bad form to go having a private conversation on a public forum.  No worries about "thread-jacking" if the thread takes an unexpected turn, but having a private conversation is something else entirely.  I don't think the suggestion to take it to e-mail was out of line.   

- Zurf


(34 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

If Red Hot Chili Peppers played the version, then you've got a 50/50 shot of it being "good."  I like about half of their stuff as a listener.  As a quasi-musician-wannabe, I appreciate their skill and innovation all the time.  But as a listener, about half is good.

Now Jimi - flat out innovator.  He broke every rule and made up new ones.  Some of the tones he coaxed out of his instrument don't appeal to my ear, but to say that he wasn't an exceptional musician, innovator, showman, and artist is not giving him due credit.

- Big D


(46 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

My name "Zurf" comes from the first syllable of my last name.  That and my first initial, "D", are the only nicknames I've had that stuck.  Also the variant "Big D" because I'm kind of big (6'3" and 230lbs).  My friends do not have a lot of imagination with names.  I use Big D on other forums, but it was taken when I attempted to register on Chordie. 

- Zurf


(12 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

I'd be likely to meet with a luthier to custom build something to my taste.  Or, depending on the rules of the question, I may buy several guitars or perhaps lessons (in an exotic locale that has free-flowing rum drinks). 

- Zurf


(11 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Guitars are cool, available, sound good, and fun.  What's not to like? 

- Zurf


(47 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

nadine2 wrote:

I was 8 but it wasn't a real "gig"...it was in a classical orchestra. Basicaly it did not end well...I got so nervous when I saw my parents, I sent my violin bow sailing into the audience.

So long as it went into the audience in general and not into an actual audience member such that it had to be removed, then it went well enough.  Thanks for the chuckle. 

- Zurf


(2 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Well thanks James!  It has been sitting idle for a while.  I tune it every once in a while to keep it from warping such that it can't be tuned.  I've got enough on my plate trying to learn guitar (started that last September or October) and keeping up to speed on bass (which I re-started about twelve years ago but you wouldn't know it from the poor quality of my playing). 

If I get comfy with the guitar enough to start diddling around with the autoharp, I'll be in touch you can count on it.  I like a lot of those old Spirituals and "Vacation Bible School" churchy folk songs and think the autoharp would sound pretty good as accompaniment. 

- Zurf


(47 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

16 years old playing upright bass in a playhouse orchestra.  First musical was Kiss Me Kate.  It was a blast, but hotter than heck.  The orchestra played in a loft rather than in a pit in this particular playhouse and it was frequently over 120 degrees in the loft.  The strings had to constantly retune and the horns kept small coolers with ice.  They'd drop a piece of ice into the mouthpiece just before starting to play to keep from burning their lips.  I played a bit of trombone too.

- Zurf

I am primarily a bass player - or so I thought.  One of the many reasons I picked up guitar (aside from enjoying it) is that I had hoped to improve my left hand technique on bass.  With the far more intricate movements required by guitar, I thought perhaps getting my hand more agile would improve my bass playing.  Well, I just picked up my bass to play a simple blues line and YOWZER, my hand was cramping up in no time.  So much for that idea.  Except now I'm hooked on guitar, so I guess now I'll have to figure out how to practice my bass and my guitar both.  And there's an autoharp staring at me from the top of the bookcase...  And I'm not sure, but I think I heard my harmonicas crying because they're so lonely (but harmonicas are good for crying, such a moody instrument). 

- Zurf


(8 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Discipline, practice, and patience. 

A story on Roy Clark.  Apparantly he was a very good jazz musician who enjoyed the old standards and could play them exceptionally well while bringing his own style to it, but on stage he stuck with "Pickin' and Grinnin'."  Why?  Because that's what he thought people were paying to hear and he was humble enough that he wanted to play for them and not for him.  The point is, playing in several styles isn't everything.  What is important is that you please yourself (or if you are a pro, your audience too).   If you want to play finger picking, play finger picking and if it sounds awful so be it.  Eventually you'll be playing with style and panache.

- Big D


(22 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Gitaardocphil - I've been self-teaching using a wonderful book called "You Can Teach Yourself Fingerpicking Guitar."  It's in the Mel Bay line.  I think it's designed for children, but I'm not too proud to use a child's book if I can learn from it.  I got through about the first six or eight lessons and have put it aside to incorporate what I've learned into my playing.  It's getting about time to pull it back out and learn another trick or two to incorporate.  I've tried many times before, but the key for me this time has been to accept that progress is going to be veerrrryyyy slow.  These arthritic joints don't move with the smoothness they did when I was agile, but the patience I have learned along the way has certainly made it easier to have a positive attitude.  I think the positive attitude has been way more important than agility in my fingers (which is improving as I play more). 

- Zurf


(15 replies, posted in Acoustic)


I'm not sure how to send a personal message on this forum, so I apologize for this being public.  It is being sent by a person who, 28 years ago when I was your age, thought much the same of myself as you seem to think of yourself.  It's nonsense and a lie.  I don't even know you, but I am absolutely certain of one thing, there is not one person on this planet who is a waste of protoplasm.  Every person who has ever been born has a unique soul made by a loving Creator - and that includes you.  If you think being made specially to be you isn't important, I'll tell you with confidence that it is. 

You don't have to stand out if you don't want, but just because you think others don't appreciate who you are doesn't mean you shouldn't appreciate who you are.  Plus, you only THINK you know what others think of you.  In time, I hope that you'll learn differently.  When the chips have been down, I've been shocked at who stood up for me because they cared.  I had thought they were "enemies", but in fact they were people who cared for me and respected what I stood for - but just had a different way of going about their own lives.  I don't wish hard times on you, but the lesson was worth the trouble.  Good luck to you.

It's trite, but there's a Dr. Seuss quote that seems appropriate: "Never apologize for who you are.  Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter." 

- Big D

Cool comes from being who you are, not from doing what others expect you to do.  Anyone who wants you to be something you aren't to earn the label cool doesn't know what cool is. 

Be who you are and accept other people for who they are.  Seek to improve yourself by your standards, and if you're so inclined by the standards set forth in Scriptures.  That's how I've lived my life, and while I don't have a lot of friends, the ones I have are good ones and have stood by me for a long time - and vice versa.  But I have never, ever been cool.  I'd rather be a dork with good friends I can count on than cool with folks who'll turn their back on me as soon as I make a mistake. 

- Big D


(31 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

You just described my main guitar.  It was given to me when I helped a friend move.  Apparantly, his first wife (God rest her soul) had had a boyfriend before him that was a guitar teacher and had left a number of guitars in the house when he split.  So as my buddy is cleaning out the house they shared he was surprised to find a bunch of guitars in one of the closets.  Because he had very little sympathy for his now deceased wife's former boyfriends, he chose not to contact the fellow to come get his guitars and gave them to those of us who were helping him.  My daughter has one as well. 

However, I prefer to play it in tune.

- Big D


(22 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I tried one with my bass a while back, and picked one up for fingerpicking.  I like a good solid bass note and it was a bit muddy with just my thumb.  My thumb nail wore down too.  Still taking some getting used to, but you may want to try one out.  It's kind of nice that it fits around your thumb and so makes it a lot easier to hold firmly, plus if it fits well it positions itself too.  The hard part is that your thumb is in a different position than it is for strumming, so that's what made me think you might like it.  It sounds like you were having trouble keeping the pick in the right position, so a pick that you hold a little differently might be nice.  For $1, it seems like something inexpensive to try anyway. 

- Zurf


(27 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

I have a varied background.  I am now an internal management consultant for a large global company. 

In the past, I have done the following for money, and probably some I've forgotten:
Window washer
Darkroom technician
Canoe instructor
Bass player
Independent businessman
Lawn boy
Darts hustler (especially Cricket and except for the Scots - every Scot I ever played whooped me badly - good thing I could pick them out by their accents)
Operations Manager
Purchasing Agent
Data checker
Trainer's assistant
Facilities manager

I've been working since I was 12 years old, and frankly I'm getting tired of it but have at least 25 more years to go until retirement (barring winning the jackpot in Lotto). 

I've got a great gig right now in this consulting line of work.  I enjoy doing it, and the folks I help seem to appreciate my perspective.  Plus I get paid pretty well, which surely doesn't hurt.  And all I have to do is bill enough hours but it doesn't matter what time of day. 

I am free from back injuries, aside from some having dislocated several vertebrae in my lower back many years ago - which slid right back into place on their own without surgery as soon as they pumped me full of morphine and muscle relaxants.  I had dislocated a vertebrae in my neck at the same time, as well as a shoulder.  All of those put themselves right as well without benefit of a knife.  I used to think it was luck, but these days I know better.  Luck's got nothing to do with it, but a merciful Lord answering prayers from my father who is a righteous man does. 

- Big D

Probably.  All the songs I play sound alike.  Maybe I should pay attention and find out what I do. 

I know I've got a default fingerpicking pattern because I can't break myself of the habit of the same pattern.  I'd LIKE to play something different, and you'd THINK that I ought to be able to do something about it, but every time I play it's the same old pattern coming out of the guitar.  Go figure. 

- Big D


(22 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Try a thumb pick yet?


(77 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)