Friday, January 19, 2007

Johnny B Goode

Trying to get some practice in each day, and it only highlights how many hours a day I have to spend earning a living. Anyway inspite of the interruptions I did get myself some strum time, and dusted off the Chuck Berry song book.

As far a guitar playing is concerned, Chuck (80 this year) is the King of rock and roll. Elvis may have been top dog as a performer, but no one can say that there is this Elvis riff that have got to learn, and as far as I know Elvis never wrote and performed his own songs.

So like I said the Chuck Berry song book was the item of the week, and it is a really nice spirit lifter, as the tempo on most of the tunes really chugs along in a bouncy way. But you really need to use an acoustic or a guitar with humbuckers, as I don't think that you can get the sound with single coils. I would dearly love to use a vintage 335 and tweed fender amp for these songs but as that is not a realistic prospect I'll make do with the kit I've got. Actually it would be interesting to find out how an Epi Les Paul fitted with Seymour Duncans actually stacks up against a vintage 335 as far as sound quality is concerned. I wonder if there is any where that has that kind of kit and will let me try it out just for the fun of it?

Well thanks for the music Chuck and hope you have many more birthdays.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Time flies by

Well time and tide wait for no man, and procrastination is the thief of time. I did intend to keep a weekly blog in order to make and keep contact with other guitar inclined persons, but I simply prefer strumming and plucking to sitting on the computer and writing about it. Anyway, new year and new resolution, so i'll have to put some effort into this blog in the next few months or simply wind the whole thing up.

So best wishes to all in 2007

Sunday, July 23, 2006


I was looking through the local music shop, wasting a lunch hour and checking out guitars that I had no intention of buying, when I got into a conversation with one of the sales staff who was convinced that if he talked to me long enough he could get me to buy something. He started showing me a lot of processing units and effects pedals, and it seemed to me that the state of music technology is such that you could pretty much pick up any guitar and get any sound out of it that you would like, and model nearly any combination of amp and speakers that comes to mind. All very nice but it seems to take some of the skill out of playing.

I am not an expert, being a hobby guitarist rather than a performer, and my skill level over the years has risen from average to mediocre, but I thought that the satisfaction of playing a guitar or any other instrument was practicing it until you could get out of it the sounds that you had in your head. If you start putting a lot of processing units into the mix, surely you are playing a synthesiser and not a guitar? I have nothing against synthesisers but they are not my choice of instrument.

What is really good in the music shops at the moment are all of the instructional DVDs that are available, I have tried a few and they are very good as a training aid. Perhaps I might pass as mediocre plus. I have the signature licks series produced by Hal Leonard, and can now do a passibly good approximation of BB King. The total accuracy series is also pretty good and has sharpened up my blues soloing. If I can find a good Bonnie Raitt or Ry Cooder, I might have another go at slide, which has so far never come easy to me.

Anyway I am new to this blogging lark and my hope is that it will prove to be a usefull way of swapping information with other guitarists and musicians on products and music. This first post is sort of an introductory letter and as I have not sat down and thought it out before writting, so it is going to sound a little rambling, so let me set out my stall so to speak.

  1. I am a hobby guitarist, with no intention of performing anywhere except possibly for family and friend (I can't sing, vocally I could not carry a tune in a basket which is a bit limiting, but does force me to work hard on improving my playing)
  2. I prefer acoustic guitars, but spend most of my practice time playing electric, because I can do that through headphones without annoying family and neighbours- the walls around here are not much for sound insulation.
  3. I play a lot of blues, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen (because they can't sing either and so it is easier for me to get away with it)
  4. I am not a guitar collector having one acoustic and one electric, but I have noticed that a company called Brandoni Custom Guitars, do a number of self assembly guitar kits, and I quite fancy having a go at putting together a Telecaster style guitar (the American made Fenders are pretty plain and look straightforward, so I think I could do just as good a job provided that I take it slowly and pay attention to the finishing)
  5. I am not keen on a lot of processed sounds, which is probably one reason for preferring acoustic guitars.
  6. I would really love to play Jazz, but my Jazz lead playing is not convincing, and needs a lot more work
  7. I really dislike that even using an unamplified acoustic I have to play quietly if I am going to practice for more than 30 minutes

Monday, July 10, 2006


Hi , my name is Jeff .I was born in Barbados in 1961.I live in England now .My favourite hobby is my guitar .Blogging is new to me so I'm learning slowly.