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oldstrummer

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oldstrummer last won the day on August 16

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About oldstrummer

  • Birthday 10/19/1951

Other Info:

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Virginia, USA
  • Occupation
    Computer Solutions Architect

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  • Interests
    Photography, Travel, Cars, Computers, Music, and of course, Guitar!

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  1. I usually log on and check all unread content. If there's something that interests me, or I think I might have something to add, I post.
  2. Very nice! Michael Hedges was a terrific talent that was taken from us far too soon. Pierre Bensusan is also quite a talent, playing exclusively in DADGAD tuning. Are you using that in your cover piece?
  3. What interests you? Playing? Gear? Technique? Artists? There are forums for all of these, and more. Try reading some of the posts, replying if you have something to contribute (but be careful, some older posts are considered "zombies" and reviving them may not get a lot of activity). Or, if you have a question, post it in the appropriate forum, and then stand back and wait for replies. 😀
  4. oldstrummer

    60 years old and trying to learn some chords

    By the way, don't worry about size. Paul Simon (I presume you've heard of him ) is 5-foot 2-inches, and has played a number of guitars very successfully.
  5. oldstrummer

    60 years old and trying to learn some chords

    First, welcome Mart1n! I'm not familiar with the brand you name, so I can't advise you. My sense is that you should play in whatever manner is the most comfortable for you. I'm technically left-handed, but I do so many things right-handed because it's a right-handed world (I'm almost 67). Including playing guitar. It's pretty easy to reverse the stringing on a guitar to play left-handed. The only difference is the pickguard - if it has one - will be useless. Whenever I get a guitar, the first thing I do is put a new set of strings on it. It's a cheap "fix" and at least you know how old they are! Are all the strings metal? If so, you can choose nickel or bronze. I prefer bronze strings on my acoustics. Since you're new, I'd go for a lighter gauge. I like the Elixir brand, and the 11 - 52 may be just the thing. See here: https://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/elixir-80-20-bronze-acoustic-guitar-strings-with-nanoweb-coating-custom-light-011-052 The size of the guitar may be a factor, but since you're new to the instrument, and it was free, I'd stay with it at least until you decide you want to stay with it, if you get my meaning. As an acoustic guitar, I'd play it seated, with the "waist" of the guitar resting on one leg or the other. Yes, there are "proper" ways of holding a guitar, but just find the most comfortable position for you. As for tabs, I'll add my personal opinion. And it's strictly an opinion of mine, and probably in the minority: I did not learn by playing tabs. The notation of tabs has standardized since I started teaching myself, but at that time, tabs were incoherent. I learned mostly by using chord diagrams. These are images that represent the fingerboard and the placement of fingers on strings. Tab is easy to write on a forum such as this, but I "read" chord diagrams faster and easier. I've even purchased a rubber chord diagram stamp that I can use to place diagrams on sheet music. Here is an example of chord diagrams: The way I learned was to buy the music for songs I wanted to play, and then practice, practice, practice until I knew the chords (I already knew the rhythm and words). And so, I began to build my repertoire. There's a lot of joy and fun in playing and singing a few tunes for friends! Tuning. Save yourself some money. There are plenty of online guitar tuning sites, and if you have a smart phone, there are free tuning apps. Here's an online tuner: https://www.gieson.com/Library/projects/utilities/tuner/ One more thing: Because you're new to this, your fingers will hurt. Try to limit the time you spend at first until your calluses harden. Also, I'd suggest learning open chords (meaning they are played on the first three frets of the guitar, and not "transportable" up and down the neck) first, as barred chords can be frustrating to learn at first, and very hard on the hands. Lastly, have fun! Playing guitar should not be work. I once had a mentor (not a guitar teacher) once tell me, "If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right."
  6. oldstrummer

    Lessons Learned From The First

    Thanks, everyone. I have to give a lot of credit to others: my band mate(s) as well as the sound guys. I've never done sound checks before, and the way these guys do their stuff to make us sound good is amazing! I also learned that I'm better using my approach to learning new music than trying to adapt to another's. I don't think we're in line to perform this weekend, but even still, I'm moving forward with learning better the songs we played, and learning some songs I know that are in the band's repertoire. The better prepared I am for next time, the more successful I think I'll be.
  7. oldstrummer

    Lessons Learned From The First

    Thanks, Mike. Definitely a positive experience!
  8. The "First" in the subject line is this: Today was the first time ever that I stood on a stage and played in front of an audience. That may not seem remarkable to some of you, but consider that I picked up my first guitar some 50 years ago, that might put it into some perspective. I won't go into the why, because it's too long a story and not relevant. The fact is that I've been building up to this for the past month or so, and today it became a reality. This was playing for three church services with a makeshift "band" consisting of another guitar player (a long-time member of the church band) and a singer. Again, the back story is too long and irrelevant. We practiced three times this week. Well, our original singer had to bail out due to a death in the family, so each practice was new altogether. But I/we did it, and I'm positively giddy over that fact. I can hardly wait to do it again. So, for the years I was actively playing as a "bedroom rock star," I did little more than strap on a guitar, perhaps plug it in, and play. This week I learned much about sound checks, and running a guitar through a PA, and since my 12-string acoustic has no electronics, about mic'ing a guitar. Those sound board guys are magicians! I learned a lot from the other guitarist. He's an acoustic, finger-picking player. He prefers to use "color" chords (Gsus, Cadd9, G5, Dsus, etc.) rather than the basic majors and minors. I learned that he and I approach sheet music from different directions. He doesn't read or write music, despite knowing his chording and transpositions by memory. The sheet music I received was simply lyrics with chord names above the words. I'm self-taught (with a background in piano lessons), so I'm happiest with a music score (clefs, bars, rests, etc.). Thus, I have decided that when I'm given a piece of music to play, I'm going to get an actual music score. I can do this, because I have been given access to the church's song library account and can pull music from there. I just ordered a guitar chord rubber stamp from Amazon, and I'm going to add the chords and notes to the score. I can play much better that way. At least I'm more comfortable playing that way. I had a wonderful time! Not a hint of stage fright! I was focused on the music, and delighted in the "joyful noise." It's been a great week!
  9. oldstrummer

    newcomers

    Welcome Edgar01. I need all the help I can get.
  10. oldstrummer

    Hi there!

    Hey, there. Welcome to the forum.
  11. oldstrummer

    string gauge

    I'm not a string "snob." I typically use a copper-wound medium gauge on my acoustics, and a nickel wound light or medium gauge on my electrics. I did just recently go to a heavier gauge (Ernie Ball M-Steel Power Slinky - 11-48) on "Shimmer," my Robin Trower Strat.
  12. oldstrummer

    Hello

    Greetings Graham. Tips you'll get a-plenty here. But you'll have to ask so we'll know what you're looking for. 😉
  13. oldstrummer

    Looking at AMPS, really confused, need help!

    I have a couple of Fender combo/modeling amps, and I think for your purposes, something like this may be what you'll get the best use from. Recently, I bought a Line6 AMPLIFi 30, which is one fabulous little amp! It may be a bit pricier than what you're looking for, but consider: It's small. Really small. Fits on your coffee table, about the size of a lunch box. It really is a 30W amp. The sound is produced by four speakers, not one, not two. An all-in-1 guitar amplifier and Bluetooth audio player High-quality, stereo Bluetooth speaker Compatible with Amplifi Remote app for iOS and Android devices 200 amp, cabinet, stompboxes, and studio effects Lush-sounding wet/dry stereo effects Sleek, modern look that is living room approved Headphone output for silent playing Compatible with Line 6 FBV MkII foot controller for expanded functionality A blurb from Sweetwater's page: "Inside the Line 6 Amplifi 30 is a modeling guitar amplifier that lets you manipulate over 200 amps, cabinets, and effects. And you can do it all from your iOS or Android device. Simply download the free Amplifi Remote app and start tweaking away. It's also a full-featured Bluetooth speaker system that's perfect for jamming along with or for listening to. Just fire up your MP3 player, sync up, and enjoy your favorite tunes in true stereo. Line 6 loaded the Amplifi 30 with a 4-speaker full-range system. You'll love the stereo sound you get from the Amplifi 30. This photo of mine should give you an idea of the size.
  14. Hey popster, Since you're in the Maryland/DC suburbs, try going to Chuck Levin's in Wheaton. It's a real old-time guitar/music center with a lot of history in its 60 years behind it (there's a photo in their archives with Stevie Wonder). Any musician traveling through D.C. in need of accessories, repair or instruments was directed to Chuck Levin's. As for meeting other beginning guitar players, you already have a great tool at your disposal: your computer. Try a meetup group, or go to lessons.com. There are positively hundreds of meet-n-greet/jam opportunities at your fingertips...
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