851

(14 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

I know where you're coming from Patrick.  About half of my summertime guitar playing is around riverside campfires.  My "river" guitars spend hours traveling in hot vehicles, get stuffed into dry bags for overnight trips on rafts, get played during rainstorms under tarps, etc.  Although my acoustics aren't as high-end as your $4K Martin, I still wouldn't want to subject my D-16 or my Blueridge BR-73 to that kind of torture.

For a month-long trip out west and a week on the Middle Fork in Idaho, I bought a $100 Johnson dread naught and re-worked the action a little to make it more friendly. It held up well and did a good job on the river, but like you, I'd like a smaller size guitar to take along in the future.  From the experience I've had playing several of them in local music stores, I think a Bristol BM-16 (000 size guitar made by Blueridge) might work out well. For a cheap guitar the ones I've played sounded great, have excellent projection and play easily You can find new ones on ebay for $189 shipped.  You might want to check then out.

DE

Sorry to hear about the divorce and hard times you're going through.  A couple winters ago I went through a period where I hadn't written a song in about 3 months and thought maybe the well had gone dry.  I forced myself to sit down and write a list of things that had made me happy/brought a smile to me in the past. I ended up taking a few items from the list and they each became a verse in a song I wrote.  After that it felt like the flood gates had opened  and I wrote a half-dozen more over the next month.

As far as not listening to music - when I'm in the "writing" mood I never listen to music.  I don't want my songs to be influenced by something I've heard or they might just end up being a caricature of someone else's song. Some of my favorite tunes I've wrote came from turning off the radio while driving on a long trip and just watching the scenery and what's happening around me.

I'm guessing the stimulus which drives each of us to return to playing and writing is different, but given time it will come to you.

Good luck,

DE

853

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

Bob was on his death bed and told by the doctor that he only had a few hours to live.  As his wife bent over him, he whispered that he had one last request.
"What is it?" his wife asked.
"Immediately after my funeral I want you to marry our neighbor Jim" he gasped.
"Marry Jim?  But, I thought you hated Jim!" she exclaimed
"I still do" he replied.

Thanks for the kind thoughts Derek,
Doc said the shoulder would hurt for several days and it would be a couple weeks before I could pick up my guitar.  Day after the surgery it felt better than it has in years and I slipped my arm out of the sling and played a couple of tunes last night.

DE

I started playing drums in 1964 in my school band. Played in the marching band and jazz band, then played in a 17-piece swing band for a couple of years and in a couple of rock bands.I even taught drums for a couple of years.  A couple of guys that graduated 3 years ahead of me had been working as Nashville studio musicians and returned to the area and were looking for a drummer for a country band.  They tried to talk me into playing with their band but I was a rocker and too cool to play country.  They invited me to attend a country/bluegrass festival with them, thinking they might convert me to country.  The country music was OK but the bluegrass bands blew me away and I fell in love with the genre.  As bluegrass didn't use drums, I sold mine a few months later and never played again.

A few years later, one of my co-workers and I became pretty good friends.  He was trying to learn to play the guitar but his younger brother (who was in the Marine Corps) was the "picker" of the family.  His brother was killed in a motorcycle accident while home on leave.  A few months later he brought his brother's old acoustic to me and told me to learn how to play it - why he did it I'll never know.  I bought a book of "easy big-note guitar" Beatles songs and eventually learned to play a few.  I returned my friend's brother's guitar and bought a cheap one of my own. I could play a few songs but never learned to play bluegrass as I never could "Mash then wires" fast enough.  It was about the time I was beginning white-water kayaking.  I was so "into" the sport I began to write songs about paddling and play them around river bank campfires.  Fellow paddlers seemed to like them so I kept on writing songs about things things in my life - paddling, fishing, farming and family.  I've never become a good "picker" but I enjoy writing and playing.  The enjoyment I've got out of my guitars over the years has been one of my best investments. I've never forgot the kindness of the friend who got me started playing.  Over the years I've bought several cheap, used guitars and re-worked the bridges, nuts and frets to make them play easier then gave them away to folks who wanted to learn.  My request has been that they pass the guitar on to someone else or also find cheap ones to give away.

Zurf mentioned our camp fire music "circles".  It's my favorite thing to do.  He certainly has learned a lot in a short time and I was really impressed with his pickin' the last time we got together.

DE

I had an operation on my right shoulder yesterday - never realized how hard it would be to type with just my left hand.......................

856

(21 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Excellent work Ian.  I'm looking forward to hearing to hearing your melody and prosody.

I agree with Zurf, if this is your first attempt at writing, then you are on the road to being a great songwriter.

Ken

857

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

Glad to hear that the package arrived Ian.

Ken

Great job Jim!  Wish I had been there.

I wrote one called "Six Year Old Whiskey" and played it the week before the anniversary.  Here's a video of the other one I wrote called "Six Years Aboard the Open Stage".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtrZIQaGJFg

859

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

Went to the post office today and the package was sent "across the pond" to the next recipient.

DE

860

(4 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Great lyrics Dan.  Wish I could hear it played so I could also get the "feel" of the song.

DE

861

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

Too late Jim.  The early bird gets the worm. Bolleauxp beat you to it.  He emailed me this morning while riding a bus and looking for work. 

Glad to hear you had a good time in Nashville.  I've got a few songwriting friends that moved down there who are trying to get into the business.

Have fun at the open stage tomorrow night.  If you want to see my "six" songs, check out youtube.  Tom recorded a couple of 'em last week.

DE

862

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

I was staining the cedar siding on my home yesterday and ran out of stain. So while my wife drove to town to get more supplies I was taking a little break when the mailman stopped at my mailbox at the end of the lane.  Along with the bills and ads was a package from Carson, Washington so I knew Papaguitar had sent the package.  I took it inside the house, opened it up and inventoried the contents:

"sign-in" sheet"
Capo conversion chart
69 guitar picks
1 end pin
1 bridge pin
pitch pipe
tuner
set of strings
12AU7 amp tube
left handed pick guard
bumber sticker
1/2 dozen business cards
3 CDs

I dumped the picks on a table, got out my 000-16GT and played a few bars with each pick, examining it and wondering where it had been. I had fun trying to determine by the color and style of pick whether it should be used to play a counrty, folk, bluegrass, rock song, etc.  Soon a couiple of hours had passed, my wife came home with more stain and I was back to work.

As I type this I've got headphones on and am listening to  a country music CD from Australia.  There's no identifying info on the CD but references in some of the songs give a clue to their origins.  Anyway its good stuff and I plan to make a copy before passing it on, and hope to learn a few of the songs.  Thanks to all the Chordians who have participated.  This "Newbie" is having a great time and hopes whoever gets it next haves as much fun as I am.  I took 10 picks and added 17.  I'm also including a CD with 15 new songs I've written/recorded for the next "lucky" recipient. (Or should that be "unlikely" since I'm including my CD?)

Who wants the package next?

DE

863

(16 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Excellent song Jeff.  The topic definitely hits home with a lot of folks right now.

DE

Schweet lyrics Jim!!  Its gonna be a hit next Thursday at the Open Stage.  Wish I could be there to hear it, but I'll be camped on a river bank in Kentucky, picking bluegrass with some friends. Glad you posted it so I could enjoy ahead of time.

DE

Back in the early 80's when our company started making all of us use computers to keep records, etc, an older co-worker taught me why the arrow on the screen was called a curser.................. Whew! Talk about a stream of profanity..................:)

Great story Amy, thanks for sharing.  You're creating some great memories for your family.

My father (who passed away in 1981) never learned to play an instrument, but often made up songs.  My son is an excellent musician and we occasionally get together and play but have trouble finding common ground. 

Ken

867

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

Zurf wrote:

Mine is a cheap guitar that sounds good enough for me.  Yeah, I'd like a Blue Ridge.  What I don't like about a Blue Ridge is their price tag.  Worth the money, no doubt, but not to someone without the free cash in his budget.  Like we were discussing with time in another thread, there's only so much money to go around.  I earn a good income, but my money is better spent elsewhere for now.  Like supporting some charities important to me and encouraging my children's hobbies.  My eldest is interested in guitar.  If she sticks with it, she'll have a Martin or a Blue Ridge or a Taylor before me more than likely. 

I have a buddy with the same model guitar as I have.  He's got a dozen or so other guitars, plays professionally, and can afford what he wants guitar wise.  At the campfire, he still brings his inexpensive Yamaha - same model as mine.  And after 20 years, it still sounds good and he still likes playing it.

- Zurf

I played Zurf's guitar while we were doing some campfire picking.  Maybe not quite as good sounding (to me) as my Martin 000-16GT, but real close.  My Martin doesn't sound as good as my BR-73 Blue Ridge, but if I had to do it over again, I would look for a BR-63 which uses the same woods but with less bling and a lot cheaper. I don't like all the abalone trim anyway, but it was the only Blue Ridge 000 size guitar in my local shop at the time.

Good looking guitars.  One of those OM's sure would look good on my lap .............:)

869

(14 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Thanks for the "fix" Roger, and for the kind words about the song.  I don't play it as often as I used to.  I worked with two guys that inspired me to write it.  They both had gotten divorces and I watched them go through a period where they "swore off" women and became slobs, then eventually decide to get back in shape and start dating again.  One is still single but the other eventually got married again to a lady with a teenage daughter.  They were vacationing at the outer banks in North Carolina when the daughter got caught in a rip tide and he swam out to help her.  Lifeguards rescued the daughter but Tim drowned.  When I play the song these days, I can't help but remember the guy and it takes away from the fun of playing it.

Hey Amy, I played at the Ashville open mic last Thursday and hoped to see Jim there but he didn't make.  In two weeks the open mic will celebrate its 6th anniversary and we've been challenged to write a song with the number 6 in it.  I've written one and thinking about penning another.  I'm curious if Big Jim is gonna give it a try.  I'm lookin forward to hearing everyone's efforts.


Ken

870

(14 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Here's another attempt at posting one of my songs in the correct format.  I've also included another youtube clip so you can hear how the song is played.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puxm1kgcufU

I'm not sure why the second chorus didn't format correctly.  I guess I did something wrong.

DE

BEER BELLYUndefined


[G]Ever since that door hit her rear


Its been a [E]steady diet of [E7]pizza and beer


And [A]chips and twinkies from [D]down at the corner [G]store


[G]No more more work-outs at the gym


My [E]guts got bigger, though my [E7]hair's still thin


But [A]I don't think I can [D]take it any[G]more




[Em]I've got to forget about [G]my ex wife


And [Em]unload all this baggage that I've [G]got


[Em]Though I'm not in the best shape [G]of my life


[A]I'll get back among 'em and [D]give it my best [D7]shot


With him [G]peaking out beneath my shirt,


it [E]makes it very [E7]hard to flirt


But [A]me and my beer belly will be [D]hanging out to[G]night




[G]I'll go back to my local saloon


[E]Make an entrance in[E7]to the room


I'll [A]strut my stuff and [D]show 'em that I'm [G]back


[G]And I'll be suave and oh so cool


But [E]I won't sit on a [E7]bar stool


'Cause [A]its not sexy to [D]show a plumber's [G]crack


[Em]I've got to forget about [G]my ex wife



And [Em]unload all this baggage that I've [G]got


[Em]Though I'm not in the best shape [G]of my life


[A]I'll get back among 'em and [D]give it my best [D7]shot


Tell all the [G]cows down at the local barn


the [E]bull will be back [E7]on the farm


[A]Me and my beer belly will be [D]hanging out to[G]night


[G]Now I'll go back to the gym and I'll stay late


'Til I [E]get down to my [E7]breeding weight


I'll [A]go on a diet and [D]only drink lite [G]beer


[G]And I'll start showering and use toorhpaste


Throw [E]out them jeans flared [E7]at the waist


But [A]tonight I gotta [D]just get out of [G]here


[Em]I've got to forget about [G]my ex wife


And [Em]unload all this baggage that I've [G]got


[Em]Though I'm not in the best shape [G]of my life


[A]I'll get back among 'em and [D]give it my best [D7]shot


My new [G]God-like body will make 'em say Wow!


al[E]though I look like [E7]Budha now


[A]Me and my beer belly will be [D]hanging out to[G]night



871

(12 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Thanks Amy! Yes, I know Big Jim (better known as Bass Viking on one of the fishing websites we both hang out on).  The open mic is every Thursday in Ashville, Ohio and always has a good attendance.  Occasionally one of the guys brings a video camera and posts the performances on Youtube.  If you're bored sometime, search ''englishmanjohn" (no spaces) on Youtube and you can check out some of the pickers/players.  Several are songwriters and try out new stuff on stage.  Everyone is real supportive (like folks here at Chordie).

DE

872

(12 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Roger Guppy wrote:
Dirty Ed wrote:

I didn't use 't:' or 'st:' though, could that have been the problem?

Ken

Without these it will not work properly and the whole page appears in a larger font.

Roger

Thanks for the info. I may try to post another song to see if I can get the hang of it.

DE

873

(12 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Thanks for the kind words everyone. I recorded the song on a CD about 5 years ago.  I've got 30 originals I've recorded on 3 CDs with me just playing solo with an acoustic, kind of a "campfire/riverbank" sound I was trying to do.  A couple months ago I finished a new CD with 15 new songs, but had a couple of my friends add bass, harmonica, guitar, mandolin and backround vocals to make a "fuller" sound.

Thanks for re-formatting for me Roger.  I tried twice with "song" in square brackets and ended with "/song" in square brackets but it didn't seem to work.  I didn't use 't:' or 'st:' though, could that have been the problem?

Ken

874

(12 replies, posted in Songwriting)

I've tried twice to use the described format for submitting a song, but this newbie can't seem to make it work. Any ideas what I might be doing wrong? This is a song I wrote it a few years ago and have included a YouTube link of me playing it at an open mic venue a couple of years ago.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vydnrMXj … re=related

Ken "Dirty Ed" Willis


SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGEby Ken Willis


[G]Little Georgie hit it rich as a [C7] fortune-telling midget


His [G]TV show had money coming [D]in [D7]


But [G]Georgie was a little lax [C7]when it came to paying tax


It [G]got him [D]three years in the [G]pen




[G]He was only in six months they said, the [C7]morning shift was checking beds


And [G]Little Georgie wasn't in his [D]cell [D7]


The [G]search did not take very long, [C7]they determined he was gone


The [G]prison sirens [D]all began to [G]wail[G7]




Chorus:


[C]Get on the phone, call the [G]warden if he's home


[G]We've got to find somebody that's in [D] charge[D7]


'Cause that [G] fortune-telling midget's loose, we've [C7]got to spread the word


There is a [G]small [D]medium at [G]large




[G]It was a miracle escape, [C7]balloons tied to a packing crate


[G]To fly that wall a man would need some [D]guts[D7]


Hell, [G]just to climb inside that rig a [C7]man would have to have balls so big


It [G]had to prove that [D]midget was half [G]nuts[G]





Chorus




[G]Sheriff Johnson had him trapped [C7] back in an alley


[G]He got loose but Johnson won't say [D]why[D7]


But [G]Johnson was admitted to the [C7]ER wirh some human bites


And [G]we all know that [D]midgets are just waist [G]high[G7]




Chorus




[G]I heard they finally caught him out in [C7]Phoenix, Arizona


They [G]cuffed him and they hauled him into [D]court[D7]


He would have [G]made it clear to Frisco if he [C7]had the money


But I [G]guess that midget was [D] running a little [G] short[G7]




[C]Get on the phone, call the [G]warden if he's home


[G]We've got to find somebody that's in [D] charge[D7]


'Cause that [G] fortune-telling midget's loose, we've [C7]got to spread the word


There is a [G]small [D]medium at [G]large


Yeah that [G] fortune-telling midget's loose, we've [C7]got to spread the word


There is a [G]small [D]medium at [G]large


875

(13 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I sometimes hum a song before playing it to try to find the right key. 

Unfortunately this often results in me trying to play in the key of M ................................................ lol

DE