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The following is my “goal” for learning / playing guitar for the remainder of this year (2022).  (It will be quite a stretch-goal for me.  LoL!)

Guitar Test

1.) How much do you practice  —  # of Day (6) / week (52);  # of Hours (1)
2.) How well do you know the fretboard
3.) Knowledge of major & minor scale for natural notes
4.) Knowledge of major & minor chords  —  open & barred
5.) Perform three:  Maj7, Min7 & Dom7 chords
6.) Playing & modifying a chord progression
7.) Perform three different Arpeggios  —  anywhere on the fretboard
8.) Build A Major scale (at least 3)  —  demonstrate a knowledge of scale formulas (along 1 string)
9.) Name the tones of four major key signatures
10.) Name & explain three time signatures  —  count, beat, stresses & accents
11.) Explain note duration  —  whole, half, 1/4th, 1/8th, & 1/16th
Of course the object of “learning” these things is not the inherent value of knowledge.  It is the ability to put the knowledge into use why playing the guitar.  Some of the items on the list are things I already “know”.  They are just (still) not yet under my fingertips.  That will come with time and practice…  Inshalla
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On This Day In:
2021 Waiting For The Sting
Right From The Start
2020 Reward Truth In November
2019 Prepare For The 2020 Election
2018 Why #45 Is Uncivil And Sinking
Ole! … Ole, Ole, Ole
Is This Still The United States Of America?
2017 Go Where?
2016 Returning To The Same Box
2015 The Hunter’s Music
2014 Dedication
2013 Unhappy Alternatives
2012 Implications
2011 Never Let Us Down

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I want to know three things when I go on stage:  [1] that my equipment is working, [2] that the band members absolutely know the material, so I don’t have to worry about them, and [3] that the rhythm section can hear what I’m playing and that it has some ‘concept’ of it so it can help build the improvisation.
If those conditions are met, if the acoustics are reasonable, and if I’m satisfied with my amp sound…, then all I want to do is go on autopilot, wiggle my fingers and listen to what comes out.
During the 1984 tour, I would usually play eight solos per night (five nights a week, times six months), and out of that there might have been twenty solos that were musically worth-while enough to put on a record.  The rest of it was garbage.  It’s not that I wasn’t trying to play something;  most of it just didn’t come off.
If you’re working this way, the chances of doing it ‘right’ every time are not good — but I’ll take the chance.  I don’t feel I have anything to apologize for, or any exalted reputation to uphold.
    —     Frank Zappa
From his book:  “The Real Frank Zappa Book
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On This Day In:
2021 A Bit Like Politics
How About Tonight?
2020 Independent Isolation
2019 This Pilgrim Has Had A (Mostly) Happy Road
2018 And Men, Too
2017 Damned If You Do
2016 A Storm Over The Horizon
2015 What About Today?
2014 Idiot, n.
2013 Temporary Reality
2012 The Great Objective
2011 Read A Book

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The Real Frank Zappa Book” (1989©)   —   book review
Today’s review is for the autobiography:  “The Real Frank Zappa Book“;  written by:  Frank Zappa and co-written by / with:  Peter Occhiogrosso.
Background:  a network system admin colleague was listening to some music when I approached him for assistance.  I asked about what he was listening to and he said it was Frank Zappa and the “Mother’s of Invention”.  He then proceeded to tell me how great Zappa was and that he listened to a Zappa show on the radio every Friday night where this little station ran a two hour program on Zappa’s music.  My friend said there was nothing more relaxing than sitting in an easy chair with a tumbler of Jägermeister and listening to Zappa to kick off a weekend.  I was familiar with the “name” but (honestly) could not recall a single song or album, but I said I’d check it out based on his (my friend’s) recommendation.
Well, I still haven’t gotten around to listening to the radio and I don’t know if the broadcast is still happening every Friday evening, but I was in the used book store (several years ago) and I saw this book and picked it up to add to my reading list.  I keep seeing Zappa’s name referred to in my guitar studies, so I finally made a point of opening (and reading) it.
Who is Frank Zappa and why should we care about him or his views (on anything)?  Zappa is / was (died 1993) an American musician, singer, composer, songwriter and bandleader.  He self-produced over 50 albums and his estate had published another 30+ albums of “new” material since his death.  He was a self-taught musician and composer.  He claims to not be a very great guitarist, but that is the only instrument I ever knew him to play and he’s said to be one of the top 100 guitarists in history.  His book says he originally learned music on a drum set and picked up guitar later.  He was also reasonably well known for his libertarian political views particularly about free speech and the separation of church and state.  Zappa is in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has an album in the Library of Congress preserved for its historical significance.  Zappa’s music is a blend of rock, jazz, fusion, concert / symphonic music with a heavy dose of political / social satire – comedy.  He poked fun at both the left and the right.
What’s in this book and is it any good?  The book is really several parts:  1)  a personal biography;  2)  a discussion of his career and production thoughts about the music industry;  and,  3)  Zappa’s views on various political and social / societal trends.  I didn’t find his biography interesting.  I thought his comments on music and the industry were very insightful.  I was only mildly amused by his political stances and societal observations.  While I might personally agree with much of his stances and observations, I found his sarcasm / humor tiring long before the end of the book.
Part 1)  I grew up poor and we moved around a lot.  My escape was music.  I learned about it on my own by listening to an unfiltered variety of sound(s).  I got ripped off constantly by almost everyone else in the music business.  (Pgs 1 – 137)
Part 2)  Everybody is out to screw the composer / artist.  Including, but not limited to:  all production companies, all music unions, all venue owners, all governments (local and national), most fellow musicians, and, most hangers-on / groupies.  (Pgs 139 – 209)
Part 3)  Small, efficient government is the best.  Taxation should be limited to sales and should not include income – to have some hope of charging taxes on the wealthy as well as the workers.  All organized religion(s) and “church” institutions are corrupt (themselves) and corrupting to governments which allow them to have political influence.  There should be a full separation of Church and State.  Public education is a “mostly” a waste of money.  Education post-high school should be paid for by the individual only.  Special interest groups (guns and religion lobbies) have too much influence in America.  You cannot legislate morality and you should not be allowed to use morality to limit freedom of speech (particularly in the arts and music industries).  (Pgs 211 – 352 / end)
Final recommendation:  moderate to strong.  As stated previously, I didn’t find Zappa’s personal life (growing up or music performing) very interesting.  I found his thoughts about the concept of music (and art in general) VERY interesting.  This section was the strength of the book.  I would have been over the moon if he had devoted the rest of the book to elaborating on his theories of sound / art / artistry / and music production.  Unfortunately, he didn’t.  The final chunk of the book was “really” only moderately interesting.  My impression was:  “this is filler to add 80 extra pages”.  Again, just because I agree with an authors’ statements, doesn’t mean I like / enjoy how they choose to express the statements.  The book was worth the time invested in reading it , if only to gain an appreciation of a historic music figure.  I will be offering up some quotes from it in the future.  – BUT – except for the discussion on music / art, I can’t say the book inspired much after-thought / reflection.  (Actually, I’ve already posted a few of Zappa’s quotes, but didn’t know they were from this book.  I will probably get around to updating those prior posts at some point.)
Afterwords:  I have made an effort to go to YouTube and sample some of Zappa’s performances.  I’ve yet to be impressed.  Mostly, what I’ve heard has been ok.  JUST ok.  They remind me of what you’d hear at a county / state fair.  If anyone reading this can provide specific suggestions, I’d be more than happy to check them out.  I will say, I have found the video’s of his interviews to be much more interesting than the music I’ve listened to.
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On This Day In:
2021 Every Time It Gets Better
Distant!
2020 I’m Persuaded
2019 Hungry For Trust
2018 Mutual Assistance
2017 The Toughest Job
2016 Congratulations!!
Better Yet, Read!
2015 Even If It Kills Us Slowly
2014 Fun To Play God
Of Anything
2013 Legal (Almost)
2012 Great Scots!
2011 The GI Bill – A Simple History Lesson
Breaking Even

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Indio (by Monoprice) Retro Classic Solid Body (“tele”-style) Electric Guitar w/ Gig Bag  —  guitar review  (Images follow the review)
[Disclaimer:  I have not received as a promotion any guitar or music related product, nor am I mentioning anything in this post to secure compensation / income for myself or the manufacturer(s) of the products mentioned.  I am only posting about this / these item(s) because I personally purchased it / them and am excited to be learning about music and playing guitar.    —    KMAB]
Background:  I am a rank beginner guitar player (particularly when it comes to electric guitars), so please take all of my advice / opinions with a healthy grain of salt…  This is another in a series of reviews of guitars and kit I am writing as I learn how to play guitar.  All of my purchases have been at the bottom end / inexpensive side of the market.  (Obviously, this is not really a box-opening / initial receipt review like my prior ones.  I just procrastinated…)
Start of review:
Ordering / Delivery:  I ordered on a Saturday evening (11 Dec 2021), and received the guitar the following Tuesday (14 Dec 2021).  I consider this pretty phenomenal service!
Price:  $79.99  (Yes!!  This is NOT a mis-type!)  My son asked what I wanted for X-mas and agreed to go half with me.  He gave me $40, and I paid the difference (just under $90, w/ taxes, but free shipping).  So, I was all-in less than $50!  (My wife is [was] still not happy as this is [was] my sixth guitar purchase in less than 12 months.  LoL!!)
Buyer’s caution:  Indio / Monoprice sells another “tele” style model which – at first glance – looks exactly like this model.  However, it has no “through-body” strings and it has the three post / two string bridge (traditional) as opposed to a post for each string (non-traditional).  I specifically wanted the individual posts because I want to be able to set intonation on each string, not balance between two strings per post.  Does it matter?  Probably not, I’m just OCD.  (images below)
What you get:
(Specifications)
Guitar Brand:  Indio (by Monoprice)
Model:  610264
Orientation:  Right handed
Guitar Color:  Blue (Dark Royal)
Number of frets:  22
Nut width:  42mm.
Scale length:  24.75″ (“full size”)
Number of strings:  6
Pick-up Style:  Single (lipstick);  Single (standard / exposed / ceramic)
Guitar Bridge System:  tele-style modified ash-tray
Controls:  3 – 1 x switch (3 positions), 1 x Volume, 1 x Tone;  the switch and knobs are metal and mounted on a metal oval backing plate (traditional “tele” style.
Body Material:  Basswood;  NO pits, gaps or faults.  A surprisingly beautiful instrument for the price!
Neck Material:  Basswood
Fingerboard Material:  Maple
Tuning Peg Material:  Metal, Kidney Bean shape
Nut Material:  Plastic (well cut and trimmed)
Bridge Material:  Metal
Bridge Type:  Through body stringing with a modified “ash-tray” style metal piece
(Package Includes)
1 x Guitar
1 x Gig Bag
2 – 1 x Allen wrench (for adjusting the neck / truss rod);  1 x small Allen wrench (for adjusting the bridge intonation / action)
First impression:
Visual checklist:
• neck – straight, flat and not visibly warped or bent;
• nut – Plastic.  Looks perfect.  Well cut and rounded
• strings – strum…  not in tune, but string ends are not excessively long or wrapped around the tuning pegs.  It tuned up very easily.
• body – again, beautiful color and shiny finish.
• pickups – both magnetic.  I can’t tell much else visually.  My “visual test” is to hold something metal near the pickup and feel if it is pulled to the magnetic pickup.
• controls – the switch is responsive without being resistant, the volume and tone both turn smoothly.  I am able to hear the differences between the pickups on the switch (after it’s plugged in and the amp is turned on)
• tuning pegs – no loose spots on turning (tightening or loosening)
• pick (“plectrum”) – none – a missed opportunity for marketing.
• strap – none – another missed opportunity
• action and intonation – the strings are high-“ish” and the intonation is off.  Neither are “bad”, just not spot on.  The guitar did not come tuned, but this is not unexpected.
Strum…  the strings are all loose and there is no hope this is tuned “out of the box”.  I attach my Snark tuner and tune the guitar.  Nothing significant to report.  I’m actually loving this at first touch…!!!  Despite the neck looking pretty unvarnished, the slide is very smooth and comfortable.  It is described as “fast satin”.  I’ve no idea what that means.  Okay, “nothing significant” ONLY means everything seems normal.  There is “normal” fret sprout and the fret ends are not rounded (“BB” style).  Both of these conditions ARE “normal” – particularly at a price point under $100.  The sharp edges are much worse than the sprout.
I plug in the amplifier and plug the cable into it and into the guitar.  Both connections are solid enough.  I turn on the amp and increase the volume on both the guitar and the amp.  Both switch and the knobs on the guitar seem to work.  As always, the tone kind of changes the sound, but I still don’t know what I’m doing or what it should sound like, so I set both back to “0”.  The volume is MORE than enough (perfect) for me to play in my bedroom or living room after everyone else goes to bed.  It is quieter than an acoustic, but no louder than any of my other electrics.  Maybe just a little “twangier” in the base strings.  Not buzzy, but not like clean strings.
Strum…  I play for a few minutes – chords and scales.  I spend a few minutes “playing” Ode To Joy and then decide to pack it in for now.  The guitar is very comfortable to play.  The neck and the body seem to be made just for me.  It is lighter than my Donner “LP” style, but heavier than the Glarry “strat” style.  Also, the single cut top end of the body does make the higher frets more comfortable to reach (compared to full / acoustic bodies).
What’s happened since then?
Mostly, I played with the action and the intonation.  I’ve set the action very low and the intonation is as close as I can get it to perfection – at least to my Snark.  I waited a week or so and then filed of a bit of the fret sprout and rounded them, too.  I also ended up raising the action back a little bit and then re-adjusting the intonation.
Next?
Check the fret sprout periodically and do the light maintenance on it / them for safe play-ability.  The guitar has (since) been added to my rotation and I’m still enjoying it.
Final Recommendation:  This is a beautiful guitar and once I sorted out the fret ends and added a strap, it’s been a pleasure to practice with.  I still don’t know enough about electric guitars to comment about that aspect (using with amps).  I am starting to tell differences in sound, but only on head to head comparison.  If I separate the instruments by any length of time (even more than a few minutes), I don’t have enough perception / memory to say if one is “better” than any other.  Please recall:  I have a VERY inexpensive ($30) starter amp.  I’m hoping to experiment more with this later in 2022 or get another “inexpensive” amp in 2023, to use for comparisons.  I am VERY grateful to my son for going half on this with me (for my X-mas present).

As Advertised…

…Delivered in Gig Bag

…Still Wrapped

Unwrapped

More traditional three post bridge

My preference… Six post bridge

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On This Day In:
2021 Allowing For Compromise
Whoa-whoa
2020 Why #LyingDonald Hurts The US
2019 Blow Between Your Ears
2018 Thinking Ahead
2017 I’d Like To Try
2016 Or Blog (And Bound)
2015 Welcome The Virtuous
2014 Closing The Gap?
2013 On Parenting
2012 What Knowledge Is
2011 The Indefinite Accumulation Of Property

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Try to play easy pieces well;  it is better than to play difficult ones in a mediocre style.
    —     Robert Schumann
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On This Day In:
2021 I’m An Optimist
Talent Is A Ticket To Ride
2020 Works For Me
Rivers Versus Waterfalls
2019 Better To Do
News: Drunken Party Girl Saves Seoul
2018 Keep Moving
2017 Fighting Good
2016 Size Matters
2015 Maybe The Best Thing
2014 Ready To Be Fried?
2013 A Real Lover
2012 Winning Wars
2011 A Different Lesson

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GROTE Full Scale Electric Guitar Semi-Hollow Body Guitar w/ Bone Nut (Red GRDB-TR35)  —  guitar review  (Images follow the review)
[Disclaimer:  I have not received as a promotion any guitar or music related product, nor am I mentioning anything in this post to secure compensation / income for myself or the manufacturer(s) of the products mentioned.  I am only posting about this / these item(s) because I personally purchased it / them and am excited to be learning about music and playing guitar.    —    KMAB]
* Guitar Acquisition Syndrome
Background:  For the last fourteen months, I’ve been trying to teach myself about music and playing guitar.  To date I have now purchased eight “inexpensive / cheap” guitars.  Here’s the review of my latest:  a Grote 335 / 338 style Electric Guitar (red)…  What’s the difference between “335” and “338”?  I don’t know…  I can’t tell exactly.  It seems there is “some” difference in the body size, but I’ve not been able to see / read and / or find a description of which is which.  As near as I can tell, the 335 was created / invented by Gibson Guitar Corporation back in the late 1950’s.  Rather than a full body (figure-8) guitar, the top of the body has two “cut-aways” to allow for easier access by the fretting hand to the higher (closer to the body) frets.  Gibson bought Epiphone (also in the late 1950’s) and used that brand to sell a much less expensive version of the the same model.  I gather “335” is a legal brand, so other companies can’t say their guitars ARE 335s, but they seem to be able to say their guitars are 335-style.  Others just say their guitars are “338” and then slightly modify the size / shape so they are not getting sued by Gibson / Epiphone.  This is very similar to the issue of headstock shape many “knockoff” guitar companies have with the Fender headstock style.
Since starting on this journey, I’ve watched numerous interviews of famous guitarist saying they wanted to play the same guitar as their inspirational heroes (I don’t have any guitar heroes) or they started playing one (guitar) style that fit the sound they heard in their head (I don’t have a sound) and when the sound changed, they changed the guitar style to match their new sound.  I’ve yet to see / hear any of them say, “the company gave me a free custom guitar and an endorsement contract, so I switched“.
Anyway, as stated in several prior reviews, I’m retired and I have a significant price point and life time (mine) limitation.  I haven’t found my sound or style (or hero), so I’m playing around at the bottom of the market in search of one, both or all three.  For those of you readers who are unfamiliar with the price of music instruments, a decent quality, name brand guitar “probably” runs near USD $1,000.  (If you are lucky, you can find the same model used for half that.)  At half that price (USD $500), you can also normally find the same name brand (or their subsidiary) selling a new entry-level model of substantially lower quality.  You can also go (quickly) the other direction to many times that price before you even get to custom guitars.  Specific historic guitars sell in the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars!
I now have eight “cheap / inexpensive” guitars of various style / types, and, not counting books and accessories (tools, tuners, picks, cables, gig bags, straps, etc), I’m right around the $1,000 “all-in” mark.  My wife believes I’m a hoarder and while she supports my trying to learn music / guitar, she does NOT approve of my continuing guitar purchases.  I (on the other hand) still feel the need for one last guitar before pausing for the “right” one – which I may never find / buy.  I will probably get that “last” inexpensive one before the end of this year.  After that, I will be playing them each, and, over time, upgrading the bits and pieces on them until I’m more or less happy with each.  Some, like my three-quarter size acoustic are so minimalist it really can’t have much changed out.  Of course, as my luthier skills improve, there is a seemingly endless pool of tools to spend (my wife would say “waste”) money on.  And, there are also amplifiers.  On the issue of amps, I only have my initial 10-watt amp from the purchase of my first electric guitar.  I’m sure it’s “crap”, but I very rarely use it, so it may be some time before I get a second / replacement amp.  At the moment, I play my acoustic guitars in the day and my electrics sans amp at night.  The “only” time I use my amp is when I get a new guitar want to verify the electric bits work.  Because I still have no ear for electric sound, I still can’t tell if the electric guitars are good or not – only if they play at all.
Start of review:
Ordering:  The company home site:  https://www.grotechina.com/ did not have the model I wanted – red / glossy and with no trapeze end-piece.  I was tempted to settle for red with the trap, but I decided to wait.  The general price at their site for this style but with matte finish was $189.00, not including tax or shipping.  I found the same item on Amazon for $179 (not including tax but with free shipping).  The price ended up:  $196.45 (delivered).  Note:  the model I purchased on Amazon is now available on the Grote home site for $169 – $10 less than my price, but you will then have shipping (usually $20-$30) costs.
Delivery:  I ordered mine on Friday April 15, 2022 (late evening) and it arrived on April 17, mid-afternoon.  The site said it would be delivered in a week or so, depending on your location.  Amazon said it would be delivered on Monday 17 April 2022.  On delivery, the box was slightly crumpled at the base.  Otherwise, there was no damage to the box.  (This was a first!)  On opening the box, there was no damage at all to the guitar.
What you get:
(Specifications)
Guitar Brand:  Grote
Orientation:  Right handed
Guitar Color:  Cherry Red (not really my desired candy apple red, but close enough)
(I’m not sure why this matters or the company thinks we care…) Trademark & Metal Truss Rod Cover:  Laser anti-false trademark, Metal truss rod cover with engraved logo.
Number of frets:  22
Nut width:  42mm.
Scale length:  24.75″
Number of strings:  6
Pick-up Style:  Humbucker, Humbucker
Guitar Bridge System:  Tune-o-matic
Controls:  5 – 1 switch (3 positions), 2 x Volume, 2 x Tone;  the four knobs are clear plastic which lets you see the number settings from the top or side.  Very cool!
Body Material:  Canadian Maple;  there is a hint of wood grain through the glossy paint.  NO pits or faults.  A beautiful instrument.
“F” holes:  2, painted the same color as the edge binding and the pain appears smoothly applied.
Neck Material:  Canadian Maple
Fingerboard Material:  Black Wood (I have no idea what that means.  Also, the fingerboard itself is slightly indented in multiple locations of the non-inlaid frets.  The “dents” don’t impact the playability and can only be seen if you are looking specifically for damage / flaws.
Tuning Peg Material:  Metal, Kidney Bean shape
Nut Material:  Bone
Bridge Material:  Metal
Bridge Type:  Tune-o-matic style
(Package Includes)
1 x Guitar
2 x Plectrum
1 x Connecting Wire
1 x Spanner Tool (for adjusting the neck / truss rod)
First impression:  right out of the box, the guitar has a beautiful, dark, rich almost burgundy wine red body and neck back.  It is thin but not particularly light.  Being “semi-hollow”, I expected lighter.  I run my left hand up and down the neck.  The edges of the fret board are beautifully bound with a kind of beige / white binding, but the fret spout is TERRIBLE!  The metal frets are visibly past the edge of the neck and binding AND they are sharp(!) AND on both sides of the neck.  I make a mental note to self:  DO NOT run your hand up and down this neck quickly or you WILL cut yourself badly!  This is unexpected because many / most of the YouTube reviews were extremely positive on this.  I will wait at least a week before I sort the fret sprout.  In the meantime, the best I can do is tune and then continue the overall inspection.  At least the frets are polished and don’t leave a residue on your fingertips.
Visual checklist:
• neck – straight, flat and not visibly warped or bent;
• nut – bone. Looks perfect!
• strings – strum… not in tune, but string ends are not excessively long or wrapped around the tuning pegs.  It tuned up very easily.
• body – again, beautiful color and shiny finish.  One VERY minor dent on the side of the body which can barely be seen or felt.
• pickups – are all magnetic.  I can’t tell much else visually.  The “visual test” is to hold something metal near the pickup and feel if it is pulled to the magnetic pickup.
• controls – the switch is responsive without being resistant, the volume(s) and tone(s) both turn smoothly.  I am able to hear the differences between the pickups on the switch (after it’s plugged in and the amp is turned on)
• tuning pegs – three seem to have “gaps” in action before turning them kicks in (both directions)
• pick (“plectrum”) – no name plastic, but you get two of them.  One has skull artwork on it.  The second has some kind of dancing Asiatic female.  They seem medium thickness.  Not bendy; not super-hard; not textured.
• action and intonation – the strings seem fine (eyeball test).  I will measure them in the future.  The intonation is PERFECT.  I can’t believe it!  Not just open and at the 12th fret.  All up and down the neck with no dead frets on any strings.
Strum…  the strings are all loose and there is no hope this is tuned “out of the box”.  I attach my Snark tuner and tune the guitar.  Nothing significant to report.  I’m a happy camper…!!!
I plug in the amplifier and plug the cable into it and into the guitar.  Both connections seem solid enough.  I turn on the amp and increase the volume on both the guitar and the amp.  All the knobs on the amp and the guitar seem to work.  They kind of change the sound, but I still don’t know what I’m doing or what they should sound like, so I set everything but the volume back to “0”.  The volume is MORE than enough (perfect) for me to play in my bedroom.  It is quieter than an acoustic, but louder than any of my other electrics.
Strum…  I play for a few minutes – chords and scales.  I spend a few minutes “playing” Ode To Joy and then decide to pack it in for the evening.  The main thing I notice is the guitar is very comfortable to play.  The neck seems long, but I don’t have to stretch to play open chords and the body seems to be made just for me.  Mainly the thinner body means it’s easier to hold the guitar body under my strumming arm and against my body.  Also the smaller top end of the body brings the neck closer to me, which is itself more comfortable.
What’s happened since then?
Nothing.  Well, because it lacks a gig bag and there’s an included caution note about resting the guitar between playing sessions, I set up one of the three guitar hangers I got for Christmas and have set the guitar to rest on the wall right next to me.
Next?
Check the fret sprout for about a week and do the light maintenance on it / them for safe playability.  Then it’s add to the rotation and enjoy!!  I will, of course, need a gig bag and a strap ASAP.
Final Recommendation:  LoL!!  Are you kidding me?  This is a beautiful guitar and once I sort out the fret ends and get a strap, it will be a pleasure to practice with.  In a strange way, I’m lucky I didn’t get this guitar as my first electric or I might never have bought my others.  Again, I don’t know anything about how the guitar sounds electrically, because I don’t have enough experience – except to say everything seems to be working.  All things in their time.  Inshallah…

Still Wrapped In-Box

Close-up of Knob Control

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On This Day In:
2021 The Heart Of Science
Too Thin
2020 Up Again
2019 Advice From #1 To #45
2018 How Much I Will Miss The Trump Administration
2017 We Need To Continue Experimenting
2016 Consistently
2015 We Must Dissent
2014 Now What?
2013 Judgement
2012 Stuck In My Mind
Life’s Hope
2011 Just Getting Up
Directions Please

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Dust In The Wind

[Happy Birthday, Sis!!   Here’s some inspiration to pick up your guitar…    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2021 Stopped Counting Decades Ago
Just Enjoying The Sun
2020 To My Idealistic Sister
2019 Respect For My Sister
2018 I Trust Cows
No Boundary
2017 Don’t Sink Now
2016 A Burning Passion To Teach Freedom
2015 Before Debit (And Credit) Cards
2014 Herding Cats
2013 Ooops!
2012 Understand A Great Truth
2011 Start Here…
2010 Random Acts of Vandalism On Easter Weekend…

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Out of the depths of the mysterious box,
Flowed the marvelous symphony,
Of all the virgin voices of the forests of America
    —     Agustín Barrios Mangoré
From his poem:  “Profession of Faith
[Happy Birthday, Mom!  Love, Kevin    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2021 Maybe Faith Is Based On Hope
I Want To See You Smile
2020 Thank You (To Those Who Serve)
Hanging In There
2019 Her Job, Too
2018 Just Another Song I Like
Earlier Still
2017 Ten To Go
2016 Unstable Emergence
2015 88
2014 Some One-Liners Are Too Easy
2013 Greatness
2012 Memories Of Arlington
2011 Wake Up

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I’ve been learning how to play guitar for a little over thirteen months and this morning when I began practicing I realized I’ve already “forgotten” more about guitar than I know (remember)…
Because playing a musical instrument is so much about muscle memory, practically none of the information I’ve read / watched has been retained in a usable format.  I’m reminded of what we used to say in the Army:  “You don’t know it until you can teach it and you can’t teach it until you can do it.
I’ve “learned” about so many music / guitar concepts without practicing them – until they are “under my fingertips” – that I am constantly experiencing “oh, that’s what that was talking about” moments.
Lately, I’ve been trying to tune the guitar by ear.  I’m actually starting to get close.  Of course, all of my guitars are already close to being “in-tune” (from frequent use), so I guess my next step will be to fully un-tune (de-tune?) one of them and see how close I can “really” get from scratch (on my own).
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On This Day In:
2021 And My Sister Is Taxing
What Did The Wise Men Say?
2020 One Phrase
2019 Why #LyingDonald Can’t Trust Any Honorable Person
2018 An Old Style Conservative
2017 John Q.
2016 In Trembling Hope Repose
2015 Let There Be Light
2014 Unless
2013 Divergent Roads To Similarity?
2012 In The Process
2011 What Do You Emphasize?

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That mind alone whose every thought is rhythm can embody music, can comprehend its mysteries, its divine inspirations, and can alone speak to the senses of its intellectual revelations.
    —     Beethoven
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On This Day In:
2021 And My Sister Is Taxing
What Did The Wise Men Say?
2020 One Phrase
2019 Why #LyingDonald Can’t Trust Any Honorable Person
2018 An Old Style Conservative
2017 John Q.
2016 In Trembling Hope Repose
2015 Let There Be Light
2014 Unless
2013 Divergent Roads To Similarity?
2012 In The Process
2011 What Do You Emphasize?

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The person who is free does not do what they do because of the desire to be looked at a certain way by other people, or even themselves.  Because their self image is not dependent on something outside themselves, they are truly free to act with no ulterior motive.
They are not trying to “get something” out of being a guitarist other than the plain fact of being a guitarist.  They do not come to music and the guitar and say “make me feel good about myself”.  Such a person never says “I should be able to do that, but I can’t, so there must be something wrong with me.”
They say  “Hmm, I have trouble with this, there must be a reason why, I think I’ll investigate (pay more attention).”
    —     Jamie Andreas
www.guitarpinciples.com
From her book:  “The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar
From chapter:  “The Deeper I Go, The Deeper It Gets
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On This Day In:
2021 A Soul Passing
I Hear You Singing In The Wire
Thank You, Georgia!
2020 Implications
2019 Just To…
2018 Still Going…
2017 Great Risk
2016 Robbery
2015 Humanity Plus
2014 Dinner For Two?
2013 Exercise For Those Over 50
2012 Tearful Joy!!
Except When He’s Left

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Is Too

Music is to the mind as air is to the body.
    —     Plato
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On This Day In:
2020 Says Every Generation Since Schools Were Invented
Chokin’ My Thoughts Away
2019 Dance The Night Away
2018 #45: The Poorest President In History
2017 Bull’s Eye
2016 Gifts
Jacked 3
2015 I’d Settle For Interesting
2014 Old Math
2013 Adequate Explanation
2012 Superior Discovery
2011 Welcome Home And Thank You!!
Two Heritages

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When we see someone online play a piece note-perfect, we are seeing the fruit of more time than we would ever suspect.
Professional players have often spent hundreds of practice hours on a 3-minute piece of music.  And even more time working on basic skills and abilities.
When we see and hear them, it appears simple.  It looks easy.  So we again assume incorrectly.  We chalk it up to talent or luck.
But the reality is that high-level playing is possible for anyone (physical limitations aside).  It’s all matter of minutes and hours.
Luckily, time will pass whether we practice or not.  In three years, we will either have three more years of practice behind us, or we won’t.
We don’t need more time in the day.  There’s no race or competition.  No one cares how well we play.  Guitar is a personal challenge and pursuit.  Others may support and encourage, but they don’t care whether we practice each day or not.
The trick to putting in more time on something is to enjoy the practice.  And this is born of creating small, achievable challenges, and meeting them.  Over and over.  We find something slightly difficult then we work on it.
We get feelings of satisfaction from winning the challenge.  And our skills expand bit by bit, day after day.
We can (and should) still care about short-term results.  We need the motivation that comes from success.
But we can also keep the long-term in mind.  We can accept that pieces may take months or years to play well.  Our speed and agility may take months and years to improve to where we want them.
Like life itself, our music is made of small moments, lived well.  And the more we focus on process and quality, the smoother and more quickly we enjoy the fruits.
From a website I follow:  https://www.classicalguitarshed.com/
The specific post / page is:  https://www.classicalguitarshed.com/tq-raymond-joseph-teller-magic-time/
[Please visit the original site if you have a few moments…    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Two Happy
Every Time I Look Around
Boxing (Day: 3) – Double-End Target Setup
2019 Stand Up, Hook Up, Shuffle To The Door…
2018 Ridiculous Idea
2017 Waddle On!
A Severe Challenge — When The President Is A Liar
2016 The Best Of Circumstances
2015 Reverberating Silence
2014 Wrong Again?
2013 Improper Faith
2012 One More Rung
2011 Sunday Morning Earlies (Hugging trees and smiling…)
Hurry
Updates On Life
2010 It’s Gettin’ Deep In Here

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My mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years…  Poetry of many kinds… gave me great pleasure…  Pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight…  But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry…  Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure.  I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did.
My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive.  A man with a mind more highly organised or better constituted than mine, would not, I suppose, have thus suffered;  and if I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week;  for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use.  The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
    —     Charles Darwin
From:  “The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: 1809-1882
[Originally found at one of the blogs / websites I follow:  https://www.themarginalian.org/
The specific post is:  https://www.themarginalian.org/2021/11/28/darwin-life/
Please visit the original site if you have a some time…    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Wear A Damn Mask!
I Can’t Stay For Long
Boxing (#2): First Lessons
2019 A Surprisingly Good Way
It’s Official X-mas (Tree) At Home
2018 Weight / Health Update
What’s Happening With You?
2017 The Great Leveler
Conservative Depressions
2016 Election + 1 Month
2015 Dance And Sing
2014 A Measuring Stick For Progress
2013 Courtly Love Or Victory Over Habit
2012 Have We Met?
2011 Efficiently Useless

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Yesterday was our 37th wedding anniversary.  After dinner together, my wife retired to the living room to watch TV for the evening.  I retired to my “computer” room to continue blogging and surfing.
About 9pm, the power went out for our entire block – at least our side of the street anyway.  About 30 minutes later, it went out for the other side, too.  We were not in the middle of a storm.  No rain.  No wind.  Just nighttime and the chill of early December…
After lighting a half-dozen candles in our open-layout kitchen / living room and with nothing else to do, my wife curled up in a recliner and I got out one of my guitars.  I proceeded to practice my strumming, chord transitions, some scales (major, minor and pentatonic) and my (very basic) attempt at a twelve bar blues.  My wife was relatively unimpressed.  She is not a fan of scales – even “enhanced” scales (they are a bit more musical).  She said my playing is “improving” and “when you are actually playing, it’s quite relaxing“.  She was referring to my strumming and chords.
Ah, well, slowly, slowly…
Power was restored just after 11pm.  About one hour ahead of the power company’s website prediction of “between 12 and 1 AM”.  I chided my wife this was the longest she’d ever sat and listened to me “play” guitar.  She normally leaves the room as soon as I start on scales.  LoL!!  All in all, a pleasant way to spend an anniversary evening.
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On This Day In:
2020 Wonder And Dreams
Gatherin’ Up The Tears
2019 I Resemble That Remark… (7!)
2018 Mueller Investigation Comparison To #LyingDonald
2017 #DonTheCon And Russian Collusion
2016 Balance The Truth
2015 Still Itchin’
2014 One Life
2013 Reason Is Your Light
2012 Bordering Manhood
2011 Even Christ Couldn’t

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