(18 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Hi Raj,

This is just difficult and takes time.

Plonk yourself in front of the hifi / ipod/ phonogram and stick on the tune that you want to play. Pretend to be holding a pick in one hand and start tapping the table in time to the tune. Then start making sweeping movements with the same hand while still tapping out the rythm.

Transfer to guitar and hey presto. It'll take you 6 months to get it right, but patience is a virtue.


(4 replies, posted in Poems)

Hi Stretch,

I'm getting glimpses of meaning through this straight off. I think it'll take some pondering  before I get the whole message, though.


(5 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Thanks for the song Daddy!

I think that one of the great wonders of the world is how retired couples put up with being around each other 24 / 7.


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

Try this version of Fly Me To The Moon - using barre chords where possible. I'm still hoking around to get the right feel in the chords, but it gets the finger fluids juicin'.

http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/?url= … ranspose=0

It's like a physical cryptic crossword.


(3 replies, posted in Poems)

Don't think I've put this one up before.

I have chords for it and will put them up eventually. (Looks like our building project will be coming in 2 or 3 weeks late. It was supposed to finish last week - but there are always problems !!!)

I Had to Run

I had to run,
Cos you were crowdin' out the sun
You weren't the one
And I couldn't lie

I couldn't talk about the songs,
Cos you would just get it wrong
And so I had to fly.

You had me nailed,
Bang to rights, my twisted tales
Unraveled on the ground
And I couldn't lie.

I couldn't stay,
I'd no pennance card to play.
I'd no shriven heart,
And I couldn't lie.

I left the stage,
Fled the hard words and the rage.
All I do is write,
And I couldn't lie.


(16 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Good advice above - I've done most of these at one time or another. A couple of points -

1. Make sure if you are sanding the bridge to keep the bottom of the bridge flat ( try clamping it). I sanded one down too far on one side which led to buzzing because the bridge wasn't seated properly, thankfully I had not sanded enough, so was able to take the bevel out of it.

2. If you are replacing nut or bridge think about what you replace it with. Tusq and bone will change the tone of the guitar, for better or worse depending on your taste.


(9 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Hi Phil,

Heavy song with a lot of emotion. I know what you mean about separating yourself from the subject of a song. It's about getting into character. I suppose Bernard Cornwell never went pillaging in a Saxon hat either. And Lennon was never much of a meter maid.

Hope the new work goes well.


(6 replies, posted in Electric)

If your fingers are tender even under callouses, then it's time to give them a rest - seriously. They shouldn't need any help to harden. Give them a break and they'll heal harder anyway. Pushing it may end up with it just getting worse.


(2 replies, posted in Poems)

You can end up being just too cynical about life, when you're living in a building site as we are now. We're seeing the end, though - just a few more weeks of concrete and cold water ! This one just arrived.

Your Heroes Let You Down.

It takes a while to realise
That your heroes let you down
When the pedestal you put them on
Comes crashing to the ground.

They'll let you down and leave you
Cryin' out for more
They'll say they're only human
As they kick you out the door.
When they leave you in the lurch
Or disappoint you so
just remember it's not your duty
To even up the score.

Your parents are the first
To fail some minor way
Or the inspirational teacher
You find has feet of clay.

You'll find a guy or gal
And want to trust them bad
But love has ways of squeezin' past
Any fancy lock you have.

Then there's the boss with diamond eyes
Who'll lead you up the hill
Then cut you from the team
When your hot shot start to chill

I won't say to trust no-one.
You have to play by ear,
Or you'll end up in Montana
With an Uzi by the door.

There's still a place for leaders
Who get the dealin' done
But you gotta keep them honest
And criticise them some.


(15 replies, posted in Poems)

Got some bad news for you . . .

Now you've started you can't just stop. This is good - very good, touching and poignant. I think we'd all like to see more - when you're ready . . .


(4 replies, posted in Songwriting)

If you need to, just type in the word and add the word rhyme - that will usually get you a selection.

Don't just go by the straight spelling, however. There are often a number of ways of spelling the same sound.

You can also use half rhymes that use either the vowel sounds or the consonants to rhyme. Also similar sounding consonants can be swopped to find an assonance - so change an N for an M, a P for a B, a V for an F etc - which can leadd you in a different direction for a neat end to a line.

When you are doing that be conscious of two things

1. Know where you would like to go in the story of the song, but don't be afraid to follow a new route if you get a kicking hook arising out of the rhyming process - just drop things and go !

2. Don't just find a rhyme and give up - try and get the rhyme to fit without breaking the song to fit the rhyme.

Last thing - if you can't get a rhyme - revise the whole song, you may be able to find a sweeter way to say what you mean to say.


(14 replies, posted in Poems)


Well done ! Which paper / mag is it ?

As for the flu - I'm just coming out of it - it decided to take up residence in my chest , but refused the rent demands. I sent Aunty Biotic in to sort them out - still no rent though.


(22 replies, posted in Acoustic)

To make the transition easier - use your guitar strap when you're sitting. That will keep it in the same position when you leap onto your feet for the first time.

I think this is a modal piece.

Most early Irish music is modal, in other words the tune is all. What is important is what you hear, not what you believe you should be playing.

The accompaniment that is played is played as the tune decrees, and the tune will often trip through chords rapidly as though they were melody notes. This example feels a bit like that.

Russell, modal music can include chord changes. We tend to focus on the chords and the note is less important. For instance in bluegrass and blues the chord pattern is all - you can almost smell where the tune is going to end up. This wouldn't be the case with modal forms. It's a key reason why Irish music sounds Irish.

There are interminable debates over how to accompany Irish music - check this one out about the problems of playing guitar in Irish trad music http://www.thesession.org/discussions/d … mment84638 .


(14 replies, posted in Poems)

OK, just for Lena

I use soundclick as a place to let songs decide whether they work or not. I can listen to them anytime, anywhere. They are mostly recorded on one mic so the quality is awful - but I'm not worried about that. Cast Iron Seat also suffers from me having caught the pig flu - so don't come too close to the screen !

This tune feels very kinks-like.

Chords are

E7 020100
C6 002010
C6add9 030210

Chordpro error: This is not a valid artistname. You will have to specify an artistname in the form {st: Artistname} in the beginning of the code.

The recording is at http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default … dID=939007


(43 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Hi Kenny,

Prime cut Prine, Kenny, you old son of a trail horse !!

This is great - it tells a story, talks about friendship, gets sad, maudlin - yet keeps it's tail up and the listener interested.  Brilliant !

Just shows that a song can be about anything and anybody. There's no songwriter yet been jailed for what they wrote in a song.


(15 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Very poignant piese, jets.


(7 replies, posted in Poems)

Great story , Pix.

Reminds me of an old song

    My old man said "Follow the van,
    And don't dilly dally on the way".
    Off went the van wiv me 'ome packed in it,
    I followed on wiv me old cock linnet.
    But I dillied and dallied, dallied and I dillied
    Lost me way and don't know where to roam.
    Well you can't trust a special like the old time coppers
    When you can't find your way 'ome

And here it is sung by Danny La Rue  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1NHh3gE4c0


(7 replies, posted in Poems)


Yes, you can see it coming - Maybelline meets Little Red Corvette.

At the minute the chords I have for it are


D - Asus2 - D
D - G - D


A - G - D

Great Stuff about the journal - I thought I'd missed it as the house was closed up for a few weeks and the postie didn't like climbing over the wall !


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

The page is much less interesting than Kaj's point about inputing the fingering.

But, as you asked.

1.  With smaller screen resolutions, you have to scroll to see the guitar - so the pic is too big or not scaleable. But you need to balance size and legibility. Also the interactive elements are spaced too far apart.

2. The text is indistinct.

3. There is an assumed level of music theory required to know how to find a chord that will be too high for many beginners.

4. You have a relatively small number of variations.

5. The content is widely available elsewhere.

If this is a student piece, then it's good, particularly the animation. It is just too hard to use.


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

KajiMa wrote:

Excellent if you have a chord name and want to find the fingering or alternatives.

What I would be more likely to use is something that can take the left hand experimenting I do and input the fingering to give me a chord name that will work with ChoPro here!

Might you mean this http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/chord_name.php ?

I'm always chasing notes in a melody and trying to fit chords to it. I usually get to the chord by experimenting. It can lead you to some outlandish, but beautiful harmonies.

In this you can fret the notes of the chord and it will come up with the name - or multiple names.


(3 replies, posted in Bands and artists)

Interesting gig report. Green Fields of France is what i know it by, sorry if we Irish went and changed the name on you.

Interesting story too, i remember the story about the little girl. The chronology feels a bit wrong as we had had the IRA and loyalist ceasefires for three years in 1997. We did, however, have that awful bombing in Canary Wharf in 1997 when we thought it would all start up again.

One thing I learnt after over thirty years of watching your neighbours die in outrages, is that if anyone ever suggests picking up a gun for political purposes, just keep them in the front room and send for the men in the white coats.

Glad to hear you're fightin' fit.

It's probably come back for having run a thread on the health service the other week. The only way to avoid big brother is to sit in the corner playing your guitar and wearing a tin foil hat.


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

Is Norman Blake cool or what ????

Mind you I think I hear a backing guitar in there too.

All I have to say is that using a capo means you can sing lower too. Harmony is about notes that weave together well. The capo can go up, but it doesn't stop you going down . . . . moses !

"Twentieth century . . . ! "