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Glarry GST Electric Guitar   —   guitar 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 manufacturers of the products mentioned.  I am only posting about these items because I personally purchased them and am excited to be learning about music and playing guitar.    —    KMAB]
Way back on 19 March 2021, I posted I had purchased and received my second guitar.  (Going Into The Deep End)  I also mentioned in a 25 May 2021 post (More Changes) that I would be getting around to reviewing that guitar.  Well, yesterday I did the review for my first guitar (Reviewing Austen), so here’s the review of my second: a Glarry GST Electric Guitar (Green)…
Background:  Since deciding to learn how to play guitar, I’ve been watching hours and hours of YouTube videos on guitar reviews and beginning guitar lessons / topics.  There seems to be a lot of discussion about what type of guitar someone should start out learning on (acoustic versus electric) and then what type of model beyond that.  Knowing next to nothing about guitars (okay, knowing absolutely nothing about guitars), I struggled to decide what type to purchase first.
Being retired, I have a significant price point versus life time (mine) limitation.  I didn’t want to spend four or five months (or years) saving up for a “real” brand name guitar.  I wanted to get my hands on a playable instrument as quickly as possible in order to channel my enthusiasm.  As mentioned yesterday, I settled on a “new-name” guitar brand “Orangewood” and one of their least expensive models (“Austen“), which was reviewed very well against several of the bigger names bottom end / starter guitars.  It turned out I thoroughly enjoyed my first guitar and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
At roughly the same time, I got a $100 Amazon credit which I could apply to the purchase price (a hair under $120 with tax and free delivery), so my net “investment” was only $20 for a new guitar and a starter (20 watt) amplifier. Without the amp, the guitar runs for just under $90.  I also received an Allen wrench, a pick, a strap and a “gig-bag.”
Start of review:
Delivery: on ordering, the site says it can take up to two weeks for delivery.  I received the guitar in a little over 50 hours.  I could not make up my mind which color I wanted (blue or sunburst), so I settled on green – because it was Saint Patrick’s Day.  On delivery, the box was punctured and partially peeled back.  Fortunately, there was no damage to either the guitar or to the amp.  So far, so good…
What you get:
(Specifications)
Guitar Brand:  Glarry
Orientation:  Right handed
Guitar Color:  Green
Guitar Amplifier Power:  20W
Number of frets:  22
Nut width:  1.656 in.
Scale length:  25.5″
Number of strings:  6
Pick-up Style:  Single-Single-Single
Guitar Bridge System:  Tremolo
Controls:  5-switch, 1 x Volume, 1 x Tone
Body Material:  Basswood
Neck Material:  Maple
Fingerboard Material:  Maple
Tuning Peg Material:  Metal
Nut Material:  Plastic
Bridge Material:  Metal
String Winder Peg Tool:  Enclosed Machine Head
Guitar Dimensions:  (39.17 x 12.99 x 2.36)”(L x W x H)
Weight: 13.89lbs
(Package Includes)
1 x Guitar
1 x AMP
1 x Guitar Bag
1 x Strap
1 x Plectrum
1 x Tremolo Bar
1 x Connecting Wire
1 x Spanner Tool
First impression: right out of the box, the guitar has a beautiful, dark, rich green body.  It is thin (particularly after playing a dreadnought acoustic for a month) and feels light and almost toy-like.  The neck is a nice off-setting clear (not white) maple wood.  I run my left hand up and down the neck.   Mostly smooth, but there are a couple of patches which could do with some minor sanding / smoothing.  The edges of the fret board are TERRIBLE!  The metal fret are visibly past the edge of the neck and they are sharp(!) on the side and not rounded on the top.  I make a mental note to self:  DO NOT run your hand up and down this neck quickly or you WILL cut yourself.  Fortunately, many of the YouTube reviews of inexpensive (“cheap”) guitars have this problem, so I’ve been warned in advance.
I KNOW I will have to sand the frets down and round the tops, but that will be for a later day.  YouTube also cautions to wait an “appropriate” period to let your guitar adjust to its new home.  In the end, after about a week, some of the frets barely stick out.  They all still need to be rounded, but they won’t need any extensive sanding down.
Visual checklist:
• neck – straight, flat and not visibly warped or bent;
• nut – minor plastic shavings at the string channels, but otherwise, it looks fine (not that I’d really know what “something wrong” would look like)
• strings – strum…  not in tune, but string ends are not excessively long or wrapped around the tuning pegs
• body – again, beautiful color and shiny finish
• 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 – three seem to have “gaps” in action before turning them kicks in (both directions)
• tremolo bar – in package, not attached for shipping.  I screwed it on.  It flexes, but doesn’t seem to “do” much.  I take it back off.
• strap – feels like some cheap plastic woven material with fake leather ends.  It also isn’t really long enough for my large (obese) frame.  It’s also kind of narrow and biting on my neck / shoulder area.  But it works until I can get something better.
• pick (“plectrum”) – no name plastic.  A missed marketing opportunity by Glarry.
• action and intonation – the strings “look” high, but they don’t feel bad on my fingertips.  Too excited to really check intonation – and I can’t do it until I’ve tuned it.
• “gig-bag” – this is CHEAP plastic dust cover.  And, it stinks! I took it outside for a couple of hours of airing out, before using it to store the guitar.  I left both (the guitar stored in the bag) in the front room of my house, so I wouldn’t have to smell the bag for the first few days.
Strum… the strings are all loose and there is no hope this is tune “out of the box”.  I am not confident enough to use my A-440 tuning fork, so I attach my Snark tuner and tune the guitar.  Nothing significant to report – except as mentioned, several of the pegs have loose areas when turning.  After the initial tuning, I check the harmonics at the twelfth fret.  All six strings sound good to go!  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 really 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 for me to play in my bedroom.  I’m still a happy camper…
Strum… I play for a few minutes – chords and scales.  The neck is thinner so it seems it will be more difficult to play / strum chords.  Ouch!!  The thin strings are much thinner than the strings on my acoustic even though both guitars are “steel-string”.  Anyway, everything has more or less checked out and I’ve spent ten minutes “playing” guitar, so I decide to pack it in for the evening.
And then I hit my first “issue”.  The end piece where the cable goes into the guitar is loose.  It turns when I try to remove the cable.  It turns again when I re-insert the cable.  I try to tighten the part by hand.  No joy.  Okay, something else to “fix”.  (That makes three: frets, tuners and input plug.)
So… despite the tuners “slipping”, the strings don’t go out of tune overnight.  Well, they do, but it’s slight and not an issue.  The next day, I break out my tools.  A quick twist of the screwdriver and the tuners are fine.  No more gaps.  A quick twist of my socket wrench and the input plug is secure (and it has remained stable for several weeks now).  And, as mentioned above, the neck wood is acclimated after a week and the frets are no visibly sticking out.  They DO stick out “to the touch” and the tops are not rounded, so both fret issues remain outstanding.  I will correct at some future point.
What’s happened since then?
Well, I went out and bought replacement strings.  I haven’t installed them yet.  I haven’t rounded or finished the frets.  I replaced the strap on my acoustic with a much nicer leather / padded strap, so the Glarry has inherited the original “Austen” strap.  It’s much more comfortable; so, it’s a win-win.  I bought another gig-bag for the Glarry.  It was $25, with tax and shipping.  It’s padded (but not much – maybe 8 – 10 mm).  And, it doesn’t stink.  The original bag and strap are resting comfortably on a shelf in a storage room.  (I really need to stop hoarding.)  I have watched some videos on using the A-440 tuning fork and now can use either the Snark or the fork on both guitars.  I ordered a second fork to keep with the Glarry, but I wasn’t paying attention and ordered an “E” instead of an “A”.  No big deal.  I just use the “open” “E” string instead of the “open” “A” string and the “E” frets instead of the “A” frets on the other strings.  Interestingly (probably only to me), but I can’t hear the tuning fork on the “high-E” string.  I can feel it change in vibration (at the harmonic fret points) between my fingertip and thumb, but I can’t hear it.  I’m fine with the other five strings.  I can only assume my mis-spent youth firing howitzers in defense of our country has affected my hearing in my old age.
And of course I’ve established a loose rotation schedule to ensure I continue to get comfortable with both the acoustic and the electric.  I will do a separate post about things (differences) I’ve noticed at some point…
Final Recommendation:  Are you kidding me?  Not counting the replacement bits I’ve purchased, I’m out of pocket $20 for a brand new electric guitar and amp.  Yes!  I’d do it again.  Also, despite the fairly minor issues, this seems to me to very good value for money.  If you price a body and neck, you will be hard pressed to find both (of any quality) for less than $100.  IF I happened to have the Amazon credit prior to the purchase of my acoustic, I’m not sure this would not have been my first choice.  I believe if I spend another $200 on better bits – electronics, pickups and tuners – I’d have an instrument which sounds nearly as good as any $400 -$500 guitar.  Plus I’d have the hands on experience of “mod-ing” a guitar.  To anyone reading this:  please don’t think you will EVER get that much back if you try to resell it.  I’m just saying it would play and sound near as good as any at twice the price.
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On This Day In:
2020 Role Reversal
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Time To Defend The Constitution (Part II)
2019 Right Or Wrong
2018 Open Doors
2017 When It Deserves It
2016 Expiation For Rest
2015 You’ll Get Through It
2014 A Special Kind Of Fall
2013 Very Rewarding
2012 MIB3 – The Team Is Closer Than Ever
Yet
2011 Little By Little

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[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 manufacturers of the products mentioned.  I am only posting about these items because I personally purchased them and am excited to be learning about music and playing guitar.   —    KMAB]
As I’ve posted a couple of times, I’ve decided to try to learn how to play a musical instrument and the one I’ve chosen is the guitar.  I’ve now completed just over four full months of learning / practice and I’ve missed a grand total of five days of practice.  (Full disclosure:  most of the first month was only 15 – 20 minutes a day to break in my fingertips.)
In January I bought my acoustic guitar (Orangewood: Austen).  It took about five days for delivery.  They actually promised two weeks delivery, so I was very happy with the speedy receipt.
I liked the guitar, but I was surprised by it.  It felt almost too light and too bulky.  I put it down to being inexpensive and me being overweight.  I bought what I thought would be a “starter” guitar for just under $200, in case (as my wife predicted) I was just going through another of my fads.
I soon noticed most of the YouTube videos I was watching to learn from were being taught on electric guitars.  So, I thought maybe I should see if I could pick up an inexpensive one of those as well.  It turns out, at just that time, I earned a $100 Amazon credit for taking some online surveys.  I watched a bunch of video recommendations and settled on a Glarry electric guitar (with gig bag, cable and amplifier) for $120 – including taxes and free shipping.  I ordered it on St. Patrick’s Day and received it two days later.  (There were / are some outstanding issues which I’ll cover in a later review / post.)
After the waiting period of our second vaccine shots, my wife and I visited our oldest daughter and her fiancé and he had JUST bought a banjo to learn how to play.  I noticed he had a small guitar standing in a corner and I asked: “What’s up with that?”  He replied it was a childhood present from his grand-father and he never learned how to play it.  I picked it up and noticed it was missing two strings.  He said it was okay because it was just a family gift which he carried around his whole life to remind him of his grand-dad.  I offered to re-string it for him if he loaned it to me.  And so I began learning about nylon string acoustic guitars…
I watched a bunch of videos and learned about nylon strings vs steel strings and how to restring a nylon.  I picked up some new strings and I also picked up some files to trim the frets – which were badly jutting out the sides and were quite sharp.  I tuned and stretched, tuned and stretched, tuned and stretched…  and eventually the strings got to the point where they were stable enough to stay in tune for more than a few minutes.  I then had to do this again for a few days.  Finally, I was able to pick up the guitar and it was near tune.  A quick tune, and it could be played.
What I discovered was the nylon strings were extremely forgiving for longer (over one hour) playing sessions and this guitar generated a vibration which was similar to the electric, but FAR more so.  It was almost sensory overload on my hands, arms, legs and chest.  You could FEEL this guitar!  It wasn’t just sound.  I decided right then, I had to have one just like it.
So, earlier this month I bought my third guitar.  I ordered it on 14 May around 4pm and received it the NEXT day before 2pm!!  It was not in tune, but I took care of that and within a few days it too had settled down into a playable instrument.  (I will also do a fuller review of this guitar in a later post.)
And, below is a picture of the guitar (and “gig” bag).  This guitar is “normally” $64, but it was on sale and I got an additional discount which brought my cost plus tax down to $42!!
Monoprice_Idyllwild_3-4_Classical_Nylon_Guitar_With_Gig_Bag
The guitar is “made” by Idyllwild, but “sold” by Monoprice – which is some kind of manufacturing / sales conglomerate.  It is a 3/4 size “classical” style guitar.  It is not quite the same as the one I re-strung, but it does have the marvelous “feel”.  Once it settled in (only a few days), I was able to play it for well over two hours with very little loss of tuning.
What does all this have to do with “changes”?  Well, I’ve decided “in for a penny, in for a pound” and I’m going to add some posts and pages to my blog chronicling my reviews and what I’m learning.  I don’t image much of this will be of use to anyone, but I am interested in how far along a rank beginner with NO musical training can get by learning off of YouTube as inexpensively as is practicable – and as an exercise, I’d like to share this experience via my blogging.  So, in a bit, I’ll be adding a “guitar” / music page to my menu to cover all things related to my learning guitar:  guitars, prices, classes / videos / books, accessories, (minor) luthiering / repairs, etc.
I hope some of you will be able to share some of my excitement in this discovery and learning process.  I feel as if a whole world is opening up before my eyes and at my fingertips!  Stay tuned…
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On This Day In:
2020 Remembering…
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2019 Kingslanding
2018 I’d Bet On Taxes
Ooops! I Spoke Too Soon
2017 A Cautionary Wish
2016 Slogging
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Man / Man
2015 Memorial Day – 2015
Content People Love To Share
2014 I Resemble That Remark
2013 Long Range Exploration
2012 UBI
2011 Opportunity

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Even if I lack the talent, I will not abandon the effort on that account….  We do not abandon any discipline for despair of ever being the best in it.
    —     Epictetus
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On This Day In:
2020 Remembering…
You KNEW That Man Was Trippin’
2019 Kingslanding
2018 I’d Bet On Taxes
Ooops! I Spoke Too Soon
2017 A Cautionary Wish
2016 Slogging
It’s About…
Man / Man
2015 Memorial Day – 2015
Content People Love To Share
2014 I Resemble That Remark
2013 Long Range Exploration
2012 UBI
2011 Opportunity

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Variety in practice is most important.  Repeating monotonously over and over again in a treadmill fashion is the very worst kind of practice.  It is both stupid and unnecessary… using your brains and your ingenuity, and your practice will not be a bore to you.
    —    Josef Lhévinne
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On This Day In:
2020 Mo, Cilla, Mushy Peas And Rain
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2019 An Epitaph For #45 (#LyingDonald)
2018 Before And After
2017 Verbs
2016 Not Too Tidy
2015 Little Understanding
2014 Open Early
2013 Movies And A Lifetime Of Lyrics
This Truth
2012 Cheaper To Hold
2011 Resistance Is Futile
One Great, One Enjoyable, One Terrible…
Unfortunately, No Approval Is Required

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As my father used to tell me growing up, ‘Play it beautiful, play it beautiful.’  He said, ‘I don’t care if you don’t hit all the notes.  If you don’t move a person’s heart, it’s not music.
    —    Christopher Parkening
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On This Day In:
2020 He Broke Even
Whoever / Whatever
2019 The Right Anger
Another P&P Review
2018 Does Fatalism Equal Mental Health?
2017 Choice
2016 Growing Worlds
2015 Change The Tide
Martyr, n.
2014 You, Too!
2013 Bitter Stand
2012 Lost For Words
2011 On Market Reactions…

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I’ve always remembered having a love for music and a desire to play a musical instrument.  Unfortunately, I’ve never had the funds to pay for instruction or the time to commit to learning how to play one.  I have owned numerous instruments, but in the end, always just sold them or given them away.
Recently, (December 2020), I decided I would like to finally learn how to play an instrument and I talked myself into it being guitar.  (I then talked my wife into letting me.)  In early January, I purchased an Orangewood Austen dreadnought acoustic guitar for a little over $200.  See image below…
20210108_Orangewood_Austen_USD200
I’ve been practicing with it almost daily and I am having a ball with even the simplest of accomplishments (tuning, scales and trying to get clean chords).  My fingers are slowly starting to callus and I’ve gone from “about” 15 minutes a day of practice to “about” an hour a day.  Per “everyone’s” suggestion, I forced myself to start slowly and build up the amount of time I’m actually playing.  I would estimate I’ve now practiced 40 hours (total “ish”) over the last two months.
I’ve also been watching a ton of YouTube videos about playing and maintaining guitars, and about music in general (as related to playing a guitar).
I’ve been enjoying this experience so much I decided to make another “small” investment.  I decided to treat myself to a birthday present of an electric guitar.  Although I feel like I will really continue this new hobby, my wife remains unconvinced, so she agreed provided I purchased another inexpensive guitar.  I decided on a Glarry GST “starter pack” which comes with a 20W amplifier for a little under $120.  Again, see image below…
2021_03_19_Glarry_GSTw20W_Amp_120
I ordered the guitar a couple of days ago and was advised delivery would be sometime around my birthday (next weekend).  Why green?  I couldn’t decide between the two other colors I “really” wanted, so I picked green because it was St. Patrick’s Day.  Lo and behold, it arrived today!  It’s beautiful and light as a feather!  It feels almost like a toy compared to my acoustic.  I’m dead chuffed over getting it delivered so quickly, so I decided to jump on my blog and post about it!!!
Anyway, it’s already early evening and I want to be able to devote a few hours to playing with it, so I’ve unboxed it and set it aside (for now).  (Play “with” it.  NOT play “on” it.  LoL!)  And… tomorrow is another day!
[I’ve recently become aware some countries require folks to disclose if a referenced item (product of value or other remuneration / compensation) has been received (by yours truly) as consideration for its being mentioned on my blog.  I have no recollection of ever receiving a “free” anything which I have subsequently discussed or reviewed on this blog. In any case,…
I have not received as a promotion any / either guitar or music related product, nor am I mentioning either in this post to secure income for myself or the manufacturers of the products mentioned.  I am only posting about these items because I personally purchased them and am excited to be learning about music and playing guitar.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
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2012 Hopeful Flights
2011 Irrationally Predictable
Lawful Restraint

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He who learns to play music in his eightieth year will play at the resurrection.
   —    Turkish Proverb
[About a month ago I convinced my wife to let me buy a guitar (Orangewood acoustic dreadnought: Austen (model) for $195).  I’m playing it almost every day for 10 minutes to an hour.  Most days about 40 minutes.  It’s coming along slowly, slowly, but I’m enjoying it.  I’m just watching videos on YouTube and then going off to practice…    —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
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2012 Another JCoM Review
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Without music, life would be a mistake.
    ―     Friedrich Nietzsche
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On This Day In:
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2018 The Ultimate Trial
2017 Vain Expectations
2016 Or Of One Thought
2015 What’s In Your Future?
2014 Light In Darkness
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2012 Or Maybe Not
2011 My Interval Is Too Short!

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You’ve said this album is your last recording of Bach.  Is this tour a victory lap?
I don’t have any plans for immediate demise.  I’m not suffering from an illness that is fatal, other than being alive.  I’m committed to thinking about cultural and social impact because that’s what I feel we need in the world at this time: to make sure that culture has an equal seat at the table as politics and economics.  I don’t think there’s anything more important I can do, and I will devote the rest of my life to thinking in this way.
  —  Yo-Yo Ma
Quoted in an interview by: Raisa Bruner
The interview: “7 Questions
Time Magazine
Dated: 24 September 2018
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On This Day In:
2017 More Pictures From My (Family) Retirement Party
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2016 Are You Waiting?
2015 The Future Myth
2014 Hands
2013 Because You Have Lived
2012 47%
2011 Conservative Values: Low And Lax
2010 A Non-Zero Sum Game
What If “c” Isn’t A Constant?
2009 Pictures from UCLA trip…

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After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
   ―    Aldous Huxley
From:  “Music at Night and Other Essays
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On This Day In:
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2015 Limiting Choices
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2012 Informal Leadership
2011 A Little More Progress
2010 Bec’s Gone Again…

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We never know the quality of someone else’s life, though we seldom resist the temptation to assume and pass judgement.
  ―     Tami Hoag
Most musicians remain poor.  But the music that they make, even if it does not bring them millions, gives millions of people happiness.
   ―     Langston Hughes
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On This Day In:
2016 Two Weeks To Go…
2015 Remembering
2014 The Creeping Death Of Civilization
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2013 License Problem
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Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.
    —    Lao Tzu
[Found at one of the blogs I follow:  https://ididnthavemyglasseson.com/
The specific post is at:  https://ididnthavemyglasseson.com/2017/09/24/heard-by-the-universe/
Well worth a visit if you have a free minute…
This quote reminds me of another by the famous musician, John Coltrane:   “One thought can create a million vibrations.”
Just saying…   —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2016 Not Rivals
2015 Dead Sure
2014 Are You Educated?
2013 For Myself
2012 And When I’m Gone…
2011 Complete Conviction

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Information is not knowledge.  Knowledge is not wisdom.  Wisdom is not truth.  Truth is not beauty.  Beauty is not love.  Love is not music.  Music is the best…
    —     Frank Zappa
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I myself figured out the peculiar form of mathematics and harmonies that was strange to all the world but me.
    —    Fred “Jelly Roll” Morton
This quote was found in the book: “Perfect Figures” by Bunny Crumpacker
[Check him out on YouTube. You’ll be glad you did… — KMAB]
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Music is the arithmetic of sounds as optics is the geometry of light.
   —    Claude Debussey
This quote was found in the book: “Perfect Figures” by Bunny Crumpacker
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