(12 replies, posted in Music theory)

It's funny, I've been playing guitar now for 30 years and just learned by ear. Somewhere along the way I found that I could almost ~see~ (for lack of a better word) the intervals that make up chords when I hear them, and it was very easy for me to learn to play anything I heard.

I went on to have a decent career as a profession musician before I settled down to get a "real job" (as my now-ex-wife so nicely put it). After all that, several years ago I decided to go take lessons so I could learn theory, scales, chord construction, etc.

OK... I felt like an idiot! How can I play and instrument for so many years, and yet have such a hard time grasping the theory behind it?

Being a programmer and a bit of a geek, I sometimes find it easier to learn something when I am teaching it to someone. So I started this giant Excel sheet and plotted out how the chords were made, that's when things started to click into place for me.


(45 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Tubatooter's story jogged a memory that I am almost ashamed to tell, but I've got to.

My first electric guitar (and believe me, I use the term loosely) was some no-name thing from Service Merchandise that my Dad bought me. I swear, it would make the First Act stuff look pro by comparison!

But I was really young, and I could play a couple songs (enough that it impressed the girls), so I thought I'd be cool and bring my axe to school in my very stylish ~vinyl~ gig bag.

I was doing OK until about halfway though the day when a couple older kids (that owned real guitars and were in a band) caught sight of me.

To their credit they didn't bash me directly, and we talked a while about playing and amps. But I could tell they were trying not to laugh. They left after a bit, and when they though they were out of earshot around the corner I heard them all bust out laughing and talking about what a cheesy piece of junk I had.

I could have crawled under a rock, and immediately took pains to hide my guitar that I was so proud of that morning.

I started saving up that day to buy a real guitar. I think that one died in a horrible carpentry accident, as I recall...


(45 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

For me is was a Washburn A-5.

As a young teenager it was my first purchase of a brand new guitar. It was black, sexy, kind of a chopped off Explorer kind of look. Unfortunately, the music store I had to deal with was run by this wanna-be-rock-star that could not leave anyone alone when they picked up a guitar in his store... It was a chance for him to show off his chops.

So between listening to him play it, or having him pull up a stool next to me and wanting to jam, I never really got the time to ~listen~ to the guitar properly.

It was a so-so instrument. Nice neck, but the sound was wooden and dull, and the light body lent itself perfectly to howling feedback. Then again, I developed excellent volume control technique because I had to dial the knob down the moment I stopped playing. LOL

Finally sold it and got a Kramer, which I loved.