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  • Essential Care and Feeding of a GuitarDateTue Aug 26, 2014 5:29 am

    He is not charging me the $65 he is saying that this "servicing" is free (or at least this first one)because I bought the guitar there. He is saying that he would normally charge $65 for what he is going to do. I am curious, what specifically he can be doing? What is $65 of a guitar tech's time? Is that 1 hour, 3 hours, or 1/2 hour? Is there some thing that needs to get adjusted regularly or some magical elixir that needs to be massaged into the wood?

    Obviously, if I take it to him and let him do it, I assume it will come with a pitch for a return trip (first one's free cherry-boy). I just don't want to give up on something free that has value. But I won't waste my time if it is just an excuse for a sales pitch.

  • Essential Care and Feeding of a GuitarDateSat Aug 23, 2014 4:48 pm

    I bought a new guitar from Music & Arts a few months ago. FWIW it was an Eastman HE422CE if that matters.

    Anyway, the fellow that was the "Manager" there said that it was perfectly setup to be used as it is, but that in 3 months or so I should bring it back to him to be serviced. (And if I paid for strings, he would restring it at the time as well). He carried on to say that this was a $65 service that I was getting for free (presumably because I bought the guitar from them, or because I am such a hoopy frood.)

    Anyway, I keep the guitar in the provided hard case when I am not playing it, and I keep a nice microfiber cloth with it to wife off my "finger prints" from anywhere I touched it, as well as the strings. As this fellow recommended.

    So my questions are:
    1. Is this guy having me on?
    2. What possible "servicing" will he be doing to this guitar ($65 worth of which) that I was just told today when I called would take a week? (I doubt they will be giving me a loaner for that amount of time :D:D:D )
    3. What should be normal daily care?
    4. I heard in some other reviews on these guitars in general (Eastman) that the finishes are weak. Is that a thing? Is there something to be done for such a thing as that?

    Feeling cynical ...

  • Succeeding at FailureDateThu Jul 10, 2014 2:59 pm
    Forum post by Absinthe. Topic: Succeeding at Failure

    Thanks Pebber! I will take that advice to heart!

    I welcome the pain, just want to make sure it is good pain.

    -- Abs

  • New Member, Getting startedDateThu Jul 10, 2014 2:55 pm

    I have not setup a time limit per se. With work and life and all that I get to start practicing around 8 pm or so. I tend to go until about 10 or so unless I add a new exercise or something like that. If I get to where I feel disgusted because stuff isn't going my way, or otherwise just feel like I am not getting anything out of it, I may stop earlier. On the other hand, if I am feeling like I am setting things on fire, I may keep going. But the fact that I am no spring chicken coupled with the fact that my feet must be on the floor no later than 6:30 am keeps me honest about the latest I can stop.

    I just don't think I can honestly give a 5 or more hour practice session, but for now I can get 2 hours in.

    -- Abs

  • New Member, Getting startedDateThu Jul 10, 2014 5:18 am

    Hey Ivan,
    Last couple nights have been short practices (2 or less hours). However, last night I did have a 40 minute dance class (even though it may help, I don't think it counts). :) But now, not only do I suck at guitar, I can also such at Foxtrot, Merenge, Rumba and the Club Swing!!

    Anyway, I can't or haven't yet done all the things on the first module of the daily practice sheet. I work on the picking exercises on each string, trying to get the wrist properly involved. Then I try to do udu, dud and so on through the strings and back up. I am still not good at all at hitting 2 strings at a time, but sometimes I get lucky. I added the trill exercises in after that. However, I have to mix them together when my left hand starts cramping. Once I have done all that I move on to single string chromatic scales I try to go up and down the string around 10 times then play around with picking each note more than once at a time 2,3,4 and so forth.
    I am wanting more chords in my knowledge bank, so I printed out the sheets of chords. I am just looking at the first poage now. I work through fretting and naming the chords and stumming them to make sure I am properly fretting each string. I am starting to remember them but honestly haven't tried transitioning between them or doing the chord memorization exercise on them yet. I have found that lately, the A maj is getting harder and harder to do. I think I may have to come up with an alternative fingering, since 1,2,3 don't seem to fit in such a way that I don't either get buzz or dead strings. I was able to do 234 better last night so maybe that might be the answer.
    When all that is done, I try to play Aura Lee some more. I am still missing some notes and mixing a few up from time to time, but it sounds like something I recognize so it acts as a confidence builder, second to Ode To Joy (which is somewhat committed to memory, at least the part I know) . Sometimes I just need something that makes me feel like I am actually making music to remind me why I am doing this in the first place.
    At some point I will have to turn the page in the Leonard book, but I am in no rush yet.

  • Wow, made all the difference in the world! I still suck, but I feel less awkward while trying to do something about it :)

  • I just googled it and it looks like I have been holding the guitar all wrong. I have been placing the guitar on my right leg, when all the pictures I see show it on the left leg... I will be trying this tonight, just the thought of it feels better already :)

    -- Abs

  • Succeeding at FailureDateWed Jul 09, 2014 4:32 am
    Forum post by Absinthe. Topic: Succeeding at Failure

    This is where the internet gets confusing, don't take this the wrong way. I was not so much complaining that my fingers felt bruised, as much as remarking it because it is the first time since I have begun that they felt like this. I was not expecting this specific pain. Granted I felt the pain of fretting strings, and especially with my previous guitar with action so high you could reach your fingers under the strings :). Those pains were long gone, it was just weird to have a "bruised feeling" that was new.
    I had a good 3 hour practicing in before I attempted the trilling for the first time, and spent an hour at it. I am pretty sure that was overdone. Interestingly enough that night never hurt in my muscles. On the other hand, last night I was able to feel the muscle fatigue and that kind of kept me into a reasonable time box with it.

    I am a software engineer by day, and since I am at a keyboard for long amounts of time I am aware of the RMI/RSI CTS issues, and as of yet nothing I have done on the guitar or computer keyboard has gone in that direction.

    I am also not discouraged by things not progressing too fast, because, I am not really progressing at much of an appreciable pace at all. I am concerned that my form is not necessarily classical, since I have not really found a groove where everything feels right, so I do keep shifting around. Perhaps I am not 100% on exactly what constitutes "classical form" per se. I am aiming at keeping the thumb on the back of the neck, playing with my finger tips and fretting somewhere near the middle of the fret. I still find myself with the head too low, or with my elbow in my lap or things like that which I know are wrong. I tried puttign the strap on and standing up, but then I find myself either leaning on the neck (moving the thumb away from the back to the top). When seated I am trying now to raise the head more. I know 90 degrees is wrong, and 45 feels good sometimes there needs to be somewhere in between. This may be a good thing for an in-person session. Watching PB's videos are not really helping in this posture since he is usually holding a strat/tele electric in them, and I am working with an acoustic. I know the groove on my guitar is supposed to go over my thigh, it is just getting the correct angle after that which is throwing me.

    Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, and advice! I am not giving up, and FWIW, my fingers no longer feel bruised this morning, so no biggie. The body does heal. :) Tonight we dance! Lets see if some shagging lessons help at all :)

    -- Abs

  • Succeeding at FailureDateTue Jul 08, 2014 7:39 pm
    Forum post by Absinthe. Topic: Succeeding at Failure

    I had to call it early tonight. (About two hours). I may have over done the trill exercises yesterday, my fingertips feel as though they are bruised. It was all diminishing returns tonight. But things seemed better for some reason. Who knows? Hoping for even better stuff to come.

    Aura Lee is starting to sound more recognizeable, so there's that :)

    -- Abs

  • Succeeding at FailureDateTue Jul 08, 2014 4:14 pm
    Forum post by Absinthe. Topic: Succeeding at Failure

    Thanks, that sounds like great advice.

    It was not so much that things were going wrong but more that they weren't going right :)

  • Succeeding at FailureDateTue Jul 08, 2014 4:42 am
    Forum post by Absinthe. Topic: Succeeding at Failure

    Thanks! I guess I wasn't done. I spent another doing trills, who needs sleep anyway :)

    We'll see how it goes tonight. :)

  • Succeeding at FailureDateMon Jul 07, 2014 8:17 pm

    I swear I want to write a self-help book with this title... but that's a different topic.

    I have been getting 2-3 hours practice in each night with a fair amount of consistency for the past 5 weeks or so.

    However, tonight, after 3 hours, even though everythnig hurts, and nothing sounded quite right, and all of my scales were either buzzing or missing, and my fingers were everywhere they shouldn't have been on top of the frets; too far away from the frets; and even on the wrong frets.... Even my sweetie remarked, "Whatever you're doing sounds wrong..."

    By even the most casual observer's opinion, tonight's practice session would be considered a failure.

    I am, however, going to call it a success. I didn't stop, I didn't quit, I focused on form, posture, holding my fingers right, and so on. And I am believing, that tomorrow and the day after that and even next week, I will see payback from tonights efforts.... Somehow.

    -- Abs

  • New Member, Getting startedDateMon Jul 07, 2014 8:08 pm

    What are the chances that "Pepper" as opposed to "Pebber" is an autocorrect problem rather than inattention to what he says in the videos and what's printed everywhere? Well, if it was, better him than me, is all I can say. :)

    Quack, quack back at you wetduck, welcome from another n00b that sucks.

  • New Member, Getting startedDateSun Jul 06, 2014 8:52 am

    Hello Ivan:

    By all means, please share your "more structured" approach. I am just winging it for the moment. Right now, I start my practice sessions off with the picking on each string, followed by chromatic scales on each string. Then I move on to trying to recall the chords I know, and adding new ones. Then, I go back to my Hal Leonard Guitar Method and repractice the sight reading to notes on as many strings as I have learned (I just added the D string, which gives me D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G). Somewhere in there I try to do some of that as a scale. Then as long as it is not too late at night, I will do the pentatonic scale shapes that I know.

    When I feel I have gotten as much out of a session as I can, I will "play around" some and try to get some other things. I will practice placing a chord from my knee to the neck, or switching back and forth between chords. I have not added a metronome to the practice yet, but I am sure I will eventually. Then there are a few fun little things I keep trying, Strum patterns, shuffle patterns and stuff like that.

    I have occasionally looked up the chords for songs I know and tried to play them, but other than the play by notes things in the Leonard book, they never sound like anything I can recognise. That and the fact that I have zero smooth transition for even the simplest of chord changes once I am doing anything more than one or two strums per bar probably adds to the lack or recognizeability.

    When I am not actually working with the guitar in my hands, I spend time reviewing things like PB's you tube videos. I have gone most of the way through the workshop series that seemed like it was in a school, though I still haven't figured out which one. I really enjoyed the music theory (though I would assume that has to be one of the classes that "real music students" find as drudgery) There are a few other instructors whose youtube stuff has been helpful to me, but I am not sure if it is appropriate mentioning others in here.

    I am not sure if what I am doing is the best, but I am trying to find something I can stick with. I liked the "Daily Practice" sheet, but I assume it would 1. take years before I could do all the items on it, and 2. If I did them all, a practice session would last longer than hours in a day. My best guess is that when I get to the point of doing all the things on it, I will have to break it up, the way weight lifters do with arm days and leg days and so forth.

    So, if you such too, then we are at the same level. :) If I can be motivational in any way let me know.

    -- Abs

  • New Member, Getting startedDateSat Jul 05, 2014 6:54 pm

    Hello, I am an old dude (almost 50) and though I have taken lessons at several points in my life for one reason or another it was never the right time. I have had some recent changes and it is a great fit now so I have begun to learn seriously and for real.

    I found, in the past that most of both my time and my instructors' time has been wasted and this time I intend on not doing that.

    At this point, I am taking on studying the music theory (too bad I don't still have access to a keyboard) as well as the mechanics of guitar playing. I want to get a good basis in the "grunt" basics down cold before either forraying into face to face lessons, or skype type lessons.

    I am not exactly sure what all the basics are, but I supposed picking, chromatic, pentatonic and major scales and as many corresponding chords as I can manage might be a good place to start. I have most of the open major chords down fairly well except for B & F (is an "of course" necessary here?) I am still crappy at switching between them, but I assume that will come in a few months of practice.

    Anyway, slowly but surely, I am going through every video you have on youtube, and at some point, I will try to follow some order of lessons, though I haven't quite figured out which correspond to the free ones. But once they are done I guess the next step is to sign up for the interactive ones.

    Thanks, for making so much great information available. And, yes, I realize I suck. This is the first step of what I am doing about it. :)

    -- Abs

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