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> Songs you grew up with, I wanted to share a bit of my childhood, and hear from others.
net2007
post Jan 16 2016, 04:00 AM
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Millennium Mark

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With this forum share any music that had an impact on you when you were younger, if you still enjoy the music you grew up with that's even better. smile.gif

Personally I wanted to pay tribute to the 80's a bit tonight, I was born in 82 so I was young during this decade, but somehow it's stuck with me. With the passing of David Bowie and other artist during that era getting up in age it's a hard realization for me how long ago that was. I run into people all the time finding music I grew up with to be too dated for their taste. Perhaps it's hard to appreciate something if it wasn't a part of your life, but when it comes to the 80's there really was no other decade like it.

Music was going in so many different directions that it never got boring, there was so much diversity. My theory for this is that different styles were developing and many of the genres weren't well established or evolving. It was the decade of the one hit wonders, and the rise of music videos. Todays music isn't bad, there are some good songs but for me they seem more predictable and based around a formula with some exceptions.

I wanted to share just a few of my favorite 80's hits below, Im gonna mix it up with different styles to show the diversity a bit and throw in one or two obscure songs for those who are already familiar with the 80's. Since we have mature members here most of you are probably familiar with many of these but I'll give a short description of them just in case.

Mike & The Mechanics - The Living Years
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGDA0Hecw1k
(A very touching song, it's a tear jerker but also very encouraging, If you haven't heard this one give it a try. It's in my top 10 of 80s songs.)

Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8fFVOoqepc
(Pink Floyd had a dark style of music, with some very deep lyrics. This song has great guitar solos, the music video is taken from the movie/album The Wall)

Paul Young - Everytime You Go Away
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfk6sCzRTbM
(A great sound and all around love song, it's one of my childhood favorites. I could imagine that Paul Young had no problem with the ladies, I had the lyrics all wrong when I was little though. I thought he was singing "everytime you go away you take a piece of meat with you." Obviously it's "take a piece of me with you". My sister got a kick out of this and asked me what kind of meat he was taking with him when he left, sometimes id say chicken, I guess I liked chicken lol)

Bruce Horsby & The Range - The Way It Is
https://www.youtube.com/watch…
(Another song with deep lyrics, and it's very heartfelt. Hornsby displays a lot of sympathy for the poor in this song, it also has my favorite piano solos outside of classical music)

DeBarge - Rhythm Of The Night
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAQSZhazYk8
(This song goes in a different direction, it's a unique sound and the partying they're doing in the music video has a lighthearted feel to it, they're having fun without being destructive. I'm not sure what genre this would fall under though, perhaps old school R&B?)

Metallica - One
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSNJ00iAZ7I
(Metallica was one of the pioneers of metal music, hence the name. This song is very melow by comparison to many other metal songs, it's actually very relaxing then picks up towards the end)

Stevie Nicks - Edge Of Seventeen
https://www.youtube.com/watch…
(Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks as a solo artist have hits spanning across several decades, it was hard to pick one so I aimed at one from the 80's, another good one from the 80's is Little Lies)

Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkADj0TPrJA
(Another artist that produced hit after hit, a rich sound in this song and great lyrics. Phil Collins was known for his interesting music videos and being able to play multiple instruments including bagpipes of all things)

Lionel Richie - Hello
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBYnT8JY7sE
(Another of my favorites, and a very melow song. Lionel Richie was amazing, for soul music he's my favorite. I wrote a paper on him when I was in school, he drew a lot of inspiration from Marvin Gaye but I find the style of Lionel and the Commodores to be unique to them)

Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdQY7BusJNU
(Cyndi Lauper could hit some notes, up in my top 3 or so for female artist of the 80's. I had a crush on her growing up, Stevie Nicks too for that matter, both are very beautiful)

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - Refugee
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFnOfpIJL0M
(Tom Petty had a sound that to me ranges from sounding 70's ish to 80's, many of his music videos are definitely worth a look such as (Don't Come Around Here No More))

Willie Nelson - On The Road Again
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvwojnLeMH4
(Originally I had no idea this was an 80's song, it sounds like it could be from the 60's. I thought this one would help demonstrate the range of sounds in the 80's, Its very catchy. It reminds me of Forrest Gump some too mrsparkle.gif )

Dream Academy - Life In A Northern Town
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5uxQElYu68
(This one is fairly obscure, I never hear it on the radio anymore but I love the sound, see if you can remember it. It's very relaxing and changes beat later in the song, I love songs that do that)

Peter Cetera - The Glory Of Love
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cUx11m2ZaU
(Very encouradging song, Peter Cetera of the band Chicago was great. Watch this music video if you like the Karate Kid movies, the old ones with Ralph Macchio.)

A-Ha - Take On Me
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914...t=RDdjV11Xbc914
(This song has a music video that's probably one of the most unique to come out of the 80's, it was even parodied on Family Guy...... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZpKPrUKn1U check that out, it's funny if you've seen the original music video)

Don Felder - All of You
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9D0uyVjGBI
(This song is from the animated movie Heavy Metal with John Candy doing one of the voice overs in the film, he was another 80's legend who passed away, very funny guy. I picked this song because it's obscure enough to throw off some of those who grew up with 80's music, It's also an awesome song with very soothing guitar solos. This music video is a clip from the movie, very cool stuff, but it's fairly adult oriented. You've been warned tongue emoticon. If anyone has heard this let me know so I dont feel so alone whistling.gif )

These songs are a small taste of what the 80's had to offer, due to this post becoming so long there are a lot of artist I wasn't able to get to who defined the 80's. I wanted to go out with a David Bowie song. It's not an 80's song, it just came out but it's from an artist who was prevalent in the 80's so im counting it. The music video may appear odd if your not familiar with Bowies style but it's already being called a masterpiece. David Bowie planned to have his last album (Blackstar) released just before his death, it ended up being released two days before he died in fact. The music video below is basically his epitaph in the form of a song, so very sad stuff.

David Bowie - Lazarus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-JqH1M4Ya8

That's my tribute to 80's music, not sure anybody will read or look at all of that but I enjoyed writing it at any rate. Perhaps I'll do an 80's tech tribute sometime. Anyone have any 80's songs they enjoy? How about something older? I realize we have a music thread but I want to hear the songs of your youth, Im always expanding on my music collection.
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AuthorMusician
post Jan 17 2016, 07:26 PM
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Unlike many, I did not get attached to the music around me while growing up. In effect, I don't like listening to oldie music stations and opt for what might be called melodic music or traditional music from many different eras, but with twists.

There were certain works that played important roles along the way, perhaps the most notable being Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder. That album brought positive energy into a world that seemed to be working against me on purpose.

Others that come to mind is Bonnie Rait's version of Runaway (monster harp), anything by Ry Cooder, Etta James, Great Depression era blues/jazz/country, Hank Williams (senior, not junior), Jethro Tull, The Who, Grand Funk Railroad, most of the Sun Records' artists, pretty much all the artists who have performed on A Prairie Home Companion, and the list could go on and on and on. Can't forget Buddy Guy and Danny Gatton. Then there's the harp work of Junior Wells.

This post has been edited by AuthorMusician: Jan 17 2016, 07:26 PM
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net2007
post Jan 17 2016, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Jan 17 2016, 03:26 PM) *
Unlike many, I did not get attached to the music around me while growing up. In effect, I don't like listening to oldie music stations and opt for what might be called melodic music or traditional music from many different eras, but with twists.

There were certain works that played important roles along the way, perhaps the most notable being Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder. That album brought positive energy into a world that seemed to be working against me on purpose.

Others that come to mind is Bonnie Rait's version of Runaway (monster harp), anything by Ry Cooder, Etta James, Great Depression era blues/jazz/country, Hank Williams (senior, not junior), Jethro Tull, The Who, Grand Funk Railroad, most of the Sun Records' artists, pretty much all the artists who have performed on A Prairie Home Companion, and the list could go on and on and on. Can't forget Buddy Guy and Danny Gatton. Then there's the harp work of Junior Wells.


Those songs and artist you shared are technically oldies AM, are you sure you don't like oldies stations? tongue.gif As for melodic music I'm with you on that for sure, although my taste in those may or may not be different, strictly instrumental songs are also of interest to me. With that I tend to pick out gems from movie or even video game scores. Such as this....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FVRcxgc1Bs

Or this....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAPpVplHiDE...FC37FA1E02733E3

The artist you listed I like, although I'm not familiar with a couple of them. Your screen name is AuthorMusician, what kind of music and instrument do you play, I don't believe I ever asked? I play the guitar, mostly electric.
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AuthorMusician
post Jan 18 2016, 06:15 PM
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QUOTE(net2007 @ Jan 17 2016, 06:01 PM) *
Your screen name is AuthorMusician, what kind of music and instrument do you play, I don't believe I ever asked? I play the guitar, mostly electric.

Heh, yeah, I'm technically an oldies kind of guy, just not the oldies from my youth. Guess I got burned out on that stuff via 8-track tapes that ka-chunked midsong, very annoying!

Let's see, chronological order on instruments:

Kay cheese cutter, circa 1962
Borrowed classical, circa 1972
Purchased classical (Yamaha), circa 1973
Guild cutaway acoustic, circa 1977
Blues harp, circa 1978
Martin 12-string acoustic, circa 1979
Gigged semi-pro through the 1980s (outlaw country/country blues covers)
Sold all but the Guild and harps in 1993
Yamaha A/E classical, 1995
National Resophonic Delphi, 1998
Sold Guild to friend for a song, 1998
Alto sax, 2015
Fender Strat (Mexican) and Blackstar stereo amp, 2015

I no longer have the stamina for gigging, so it's just noodling around blues riffs for now. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, managed to create my own guitar arrangements to tunes of any style. Those were my last gigging years. The stamina is likely gone for good, which means no more gigging.

The alto sax is like playing harp but with a lot more control, similar to chromatic harp. Downside is I can't play sax and guitar at the same time. In the 80s I blew Chicago-style harp while playing acoustic guitar through the use of a harp neck brace.

While in Memphis, TN, picked up a 1964 Fender reissue Strat but never got the electric feel from it. Had a rubber neck that drove me crazy. The Mexican Strat is solid and professionally set up. That one speaks to me.

My partner, Lydia, is a classically trained pianist. She has a great Young Chang baby grand acoustic, walnut with the aluminum frame. She reads music as if it were a newspaper, mastering a new piece in just a few go-throughs. Most recent exploration of hers involved a theramin, the instrument used in lots of sci-fi themes like the original Star Trek -- oooOOOOweeeOOOooooEEEE!

I blame her for getting me to listen to Broadway show tunes and even learn a few of them. Have mercy! But she blames me for breaking down her slavery to the sheet in favor of improvisation, and so the theramin. I suppose I'm responsible for injecting blues (behind-beat syncopation) into her playing too. She still does classical right on the beat and faithful to the sheet, but she's gone into honky-tonk and juke-joint strides.

Gigging has never appealed to her, even in classical venues. She likes teaching music more than demonstrating what she can do. She also has no patience with musical snob wannabees and cheap venues that expected her to perform for nothing, not even tips. Yeah, me too, but my audiences consisted of generous laid-back drinking/toking people. Well, except for the last round of gigging. Those audiences were tourists looking for a good (sober) time and who tipped well. I especially liked the families with young kids showing amazement that a single guy could squeeze so much out of a box. Once had a librarian from Kansas or somewhere out there ask for an encore on a particular tune, and her daughter gave me a dime. The librarian was impressed that what seemed like improv was an actual arrangement that I could repeat. The very young girl was pleased as a humming bird in June. Lots of good memories from that time, great way to wrap up that career. Had to stop when the index finger on my left hand (fretting) decided to blow out, start of the stamina loss.
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net2007
post Jan 19 2016, 01:46 AM
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Millennium Mark

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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Jan 18 2016, 01:15 PM) *
QUOTE(net2007 @ Jan 17 2016, 06:01 PM) *
Your screen name is AuthorMusician, what kind of music and instrument do you play, I don't believe I ever asked? I play the guitar, mostly electric.

Heh, yeah, I'm technically an oldies kind of guy, just not the oldies from my youth. Guess I got burned out on that stuff via 8-track tapes that ka-chunked midsong, very annoying!

Let's see, chronological order on instruments:

Kay cheese cutter, circa 1962
Borrowed classical, circa 1972
Purchased classical (Yamaha), circa 1973
Guild cutaway acoustic, circa 1977
Blues harp, circa 1978
Martin 12-string acoustic, circa 1979
Gigged semi-pro through the 1980s (outlaw country/country blues covers)
Sold all but the Guild and harps in 1993
Yamaha A/E classical, 1995
National Resophonic Delphi, 1998
Sold Guild to friend for a song, 1998
Alto sax, 2015
Fender Strat (Mexican) and Blackstar stereo amp, 2015

I no longer have the stamina for gigging, so it's just noodling around blues riffs for now. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, managed to create my own guitar arrangements to tunes of any style. Those were my last gigging years. The stamina is likely gone for good, which means no more gigging.

The alto sax is like playing harp but with a lot more control, similar to chromatic harp. Downside is I can't play sax and guitar at the same time. In the 80s I blew Chicago-style harp while playing acoustic guitar through the use of a harp neck brace.

While in Memphis, TN, picked up a 1964 Fender reissue Strat but never got the electric feel from it. Had a rubber neck that drove me crazy. The Mexican Strat is solid and professionally set up. That one speaks to me.

My partner, Lydia, is a classically trained pianist. She has a great Young Chang baby grand acoustic, walnut with the aluminum frame. She reads music as if it were a newspaper, mastering a new piece in just a few go-throughs. Most recent exploration of hers involved a theramin, the instrument used in lots of sci-fi themes like the original Star Trek -- oooOOOOweeeOOOooooEEEE!

I blame her for getting me to listen to Broadway show tunes and even learn a few of them. Have mercy! But she blames me for breaking down her slavery to the sheet in favor of improvisation, and so the theramin. I suppose I'm responsible for injecting blues (behind-beat syncopation) into her playing too. She still does classical right on the beat and faithful to the sheet, but she's gone into honky-tonk and juke-joint strides.

Gigging has never appealed to her, even in classical venues. She likes teaching music more than demonstrating what she can do. She also has no patience with musical snob wannabees and cheap venues that expected her to perform for nothing, not even tips. Yeah, me too, but my audiences consisted of generous laid-back drinking/toking people. Well, except for the last round of gigging. Those audiences were tourists looking for a good (sober) time and who tipped well. I especially liked the families with young kids showing amazement that a single guy could squeeze so much out of a box. Once had a librarian from Kansas or somewhere out there ask for an encore on a particular tune, and her daughter gave me a dime. The librarian was impressed that what seemed like improv was an actual arrangement that I could repeat. The very young girl was pleased as a humming bird in June. Lots of good memories from that time, great way to wrap up that career. Had to stop when the index finger on my left hand (fretting) decided to blow out, start of the stamina loss.


That's quite the list AM, sounds like you've had your hands on many instruments and have some experience. Gigging is something I haven't done but I sometimes play for others. The guitar for me has been something of a therapeutic tool, I play when I'm wanting to lift my spirits some. The thing I like to do the most lately is to break down songs into arpeggios, I tend to be good with my picking hand.

I understand about trouble with the fretting hand though, the problem I started developing is when I started moving beyond open chords and into barre chords. Sometimes Im okay with them but the longer I play I get muscle spasms between my thumb and index finger, they're freqent enough to discourage me from playing them much of the time.

Your partner reading sheet music that well is no easy feat so kudos to her. I learned how to read it for the most part but was very slow with it, it never became an automatic thing where I could play while reading. Id look at it, picture the notes, play, and repeat until I memorized the song basically. I found sheet music to be good for understending the timing of notes, but with tabs being so much easier to read I ended up spoiled on those. With sheet music being applicable to other instruments it really is the better format though.

Hehe on the 8-track tapes issue, that was a bit before my time thankfully, but I did have trouble with cassettes sometimes. Magnetic tape formats days were numbered with digital formats on the rise, I have one VHS tape and one cassette tape I keep just so I can bore my Nephew, or kids if I have them, with all the horrors of growing up in my generation. biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by net2007: Jan 19 2016, 09:36 AM
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AuthorMusician
post Jan 21 2016, 11:38 PM
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QUOTE(net2007 @ Jan 18 2016, 09:46 PM) *
That's quite the list AM, sounds like you've had your hands on many instruments and have some experience. Gigging is something I haven't done but I sometimes play for others. The guitar for me has been something of a therapeutic tool, I play when I'm wanting to lift my spirits some. The thing I like to do the most lately is to break down songs into arpeggios, I tend to be good with my picking hand.

I understand about trouble with the fretting hand though, the problem I started developing is when I started moving beyond open chords and into barre chords. Sometimes Im okay with them but the longer I play I get muscle spasms between my thumb and index finger, they're freqent enough to discourage me from playing them much of the time.

Your partner reading sheet music that well is no easy feat so kudos to her. I learned how to read it for the most part but was very slow with it, it never became an automatic thing where I could play while reading. Id look at it, picture the notes, play, and repeat until I memorized the song basically. I found sheet music to be good for understending the timing of notes, but with tabs being so much easier to read I ended up spoiled on those. With sheet music being applicable to other instruments it really is the better format though.

Hehe on the 8-track tapes issue, that was a bit before my time thankfully, but I did have trouble with cassettes sometimes. Magnetic tape formats days were numbered with digital formats on the rise, I have one VHS tape and one cassette tape I keep just so I can bore my Nephew, or kids if I have them, with all the horrors of growing up in my generation. biggrin.gif

Yep, the full barre chords were the problem, but it happened on the National Delphi, not exactly a light action piece of machinery. After that I went with the Yamaha classical A/E, much softer feel, and of course partial chords to avoid full barres. Today the Strat is strung with lights and has a fairly close action, but I have learned a few tricks along the way regarding barres:

1) Instead of hauling down directly on the fretboard, push into the fret from the direction of the nut. Practice to use as little pressure as possible.

2) Tune the whole guitar down a full step (from EADGBE to DGCFAD) and transpose as necessary. The strings have less tension and are easier to fret. Here's where a capo can come in handy. I'm pretty sure Hendrix and SRV did that, plus the detuning makes bending easier.

3) Break up barre chords when the full chord isn't necessary. This is more effective on electric than acoustic due to the longer sustain and more powerful sound through the amp and effects, so I've found, but if you can manage a bass line and melody line at once, and maybe some rhythm in there, it's easier on the fretting hand and impressive to the audience. OMG, he's making it sound like three guitars!

4) Warm up the muscles before performing. Take your vitamins and electrolytes. Don't eat yellow snow and stay away from loose women rolleyes.gif I got a couple of those right.

Along the way I've known many active musicians, some gigging full time (starvation wages) and others like me taking the small venues while holding day jobs. Either way, it takes three or more hours of practice per day to get up to gigging speed, meaning having mastered four hours worth of music while still building repertoire. It drove me insane during my first attempt in the 1980s -- didn't touch a guitar for years. But then I munged my right wrist in a motorcycle accident, and fingerpicking became my version of physical rehab. Then along came Lydia with her many layers of musical insight, and off again into gigging.

It becomes a bit of an obsession, since the money is meager but clicking with an audience is a very powerful natural high. Even at that low level, the sleaze of the music business can be seen, especially if you land a steady gig. Still, it's pretty amazing how many people do it without ever expecting to make it big. As hobbies go, it's far less frustrating than golf but about as expensive. Need that bug up the rear, eh?

Anyway, I'm finding it personally rewarding to mess with licks from the Ventures and ZZ Top while noodling the blues. Early on I determined to stick with blues, as that lasts a lifetime. Even an old fart as myself can do it, just not as quickly or as complicated as before. So slow down the tempo and make every note count! Worked for BB (Blues Boy) King.

One last observation: Playing the same old sets over and over again can lead to hating the music you once loved. The way out of that is to continually expand repertoire, even bringing half-cooked pieces into a performance. So what if you make mistakes, and some of those mistakes actually make the overall presentation better. Besides, recovering from mistakes so that the audience barely notices is a big part of it. Then there's changing a broken string while still playing. Couldn't pull that off today if my life depended on it -- had lots more dexterity and serious intents in the early years.

Oops, no, that wasn't the last observation. This is: Music should be fun. Musicians should be paid. Stiff us and you risk losing your children to the piper. Let us play for food, drink, and tips -- and a whole lot of us will be happy as can be. We also accept personal checks. I suppose there's an app for that too.
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net2007
post Jan 23 2016, 04:38 AM
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Millennium Mark

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Gender: Male
Politics: Slightly Conservative
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Jan 21 2016, 06:38 PM) *
QUOTE(net2007 @ Jan 18 2016, 09:46 PM) *
That's quite the list AM, sounds like you've had your hands on many instruments and have some experience. Gigging is something I haven't done but I sometimes play for others. The guitar for me has been something of a therapeutic tool, I play when I'm wanting to lift my spirits some. The thing I like to do the most lately is to break down songs into arpeggios, I tend to be good with my picking hand.

I understand about trouble with the fretting hand though, the problem I started developing is when I started moving beyond open chords and into barre chords. Sometimes Im okay with them but the longer I play I get muscle spasms between my thumb and index finger, they're freqent enough to discourage me from playing them much of the time.

Your partner reading sheet music that well is no easy feat so kudos to her. I learned how to read it for the most part but was very slow with it, it never became an automatic thing where I could play while reading. Id look at it, picture the notes, play, and repeat until I memorized the song basically. I found sheet music to be good for understending the timing of notes, but with tabs being so much easier to read I ended up spoiled on those. With sheet music being applicable to other instruments it really is the better format though.

Hehe on the 8-track tapes issue, that was a bit before my time thankfully, but I did have trouble with cassettes sometimes. Magnetic tape formats days were numbered with digital formats on the rise, I have one VHS tape and one cassette tape I keep just so I can bore my Nephew, or kids if I have them, with all the horrors of growing up in my generation. biggrin.gif

Yep, the full barre chords were the problem, but it happened on the National Delphi, not exactly a light action piece of machinery. After that I went with the Yamaha classical A/E, much softer feel, and of course partial chords to avoid full barres. Today the Strat is strung with lights and has a fairly close action, but I have learned a few tricks along the way regarding barres:

1) Instead of hauling down directly on the fretboard, push into the fret from the direction of the nut. Practice to use as little pressure as possible.

2) Tune the whole guitar down a full step (from EADGBE to DGCFAD) and transpose as necessary. The strings have less tension and are easier to fret. Here's where a capo can come in handy. I'm pretty sure Hendrix and SRV did that, plus the detuning makes bending easier.

3) Break up barre chords when the full chord isn't necessary. This is more effective on electric than acoustic due to the longer sustain and more powerful sound through the amp and effects, so I've found, but if you can manage a bass line and melody line at once, and maybe some rhythm in there, it's easier on the fretting hand and impressive to the audience. OMG, he's making it sound like three guitars!

4) Warm up the muscles before performing. Take your vitamins and electrolytes. Don't eat yellow snow and stay away from loose women rolleyes.gif I got a couple of those right.

Along the way I've known many active musicians, some gigging full time (starvation wages) and others like me taking the small venues while holding day jobs. Either way, it takes three or more hours of practice per day to get up to gigging speed, meaning having mastered four hours worth of music while still building repertoire. It drove me insane during my first attempt in the 1980s -- didn't touch a guitar for years. But then I munged my right wrist in a motorcycle accident, and fingerpicking became my version of physical rehab. Then along came Lydia with her many layers of musical insight, and off again into gigging.

It becomes a bit of an obsession, since the money is meager but clicking with an audience is a very powerful natural high. Even at that low level, the sleaze of the music business can be seen, especially if you land a steady gig. Still, it's pretty amazing how many people do it without ever expecting to make it big. As hobbies go, it's far less frustrating than golf but about as expensive. Need that bug up the rear, eh?

Anyway, I'm finding it personally rewarding to mess with licks from the Ventures and ZZ Top while noodling the blues. Early on I determined to stick with blues, as that lasts a lifetime. Even an old fart as myself can do it, just not as quickly or as complicated as before. So slow down the tempo and make every note count! Worked for BB (Blues Boy) King.

One last observation: Playing the same old sets over and over again can lead to hating the music you once loved. The way out of that is to continually expand repertoire, even bringing half-cooked pieces into a performance. So what if you make mistakes, and some of those mistakes actually make the overall presentation better. Besides, recovering from mistakes so that the audience barely notices is a big part of it. Then there's changing a broken string while still playing. Couldn't pull that off today if my life depended on it -- had lots more dexterity and serious intents in the early years.

Oops, no, that wasn't the last observation. This is: Music should be fun. Musicians should be paid. Stiff us and you risk losing your children to the piper. Let us play for food, drink, and tips -- and a whole lot of us will be happy as can be. We also accept personal checks. I suppose there's an app for that too.


Yep, it should be fun, I learned that the hard way. When I was learning the notes on the fret board, and learning sheet music I was doing nonstop exercises like a machine. At my peak I was probably practicing 3 hours a day, and had a little help by taking classes but I found those to be too expensive and I was learning the same things they were teaching on my own. Anyway, I dove too hard into doing exercises and basically just quit for a long time. I've picked it up again since then but with more emphasis on music, I have the right idea with that but I don't practice near as much as I used to so my progress is very slow now, but I'm enjoying playing more so that's the important thing I think.

Interesting tips, I've tried some of those. The hand stretching excersises I did a lot but they only made a very marginal difference. I didn't try tuning down the guitar but that's an interesting idea that makes sense, less tension.

Low action is awesome too, I very much prefer that, just above the point where it causes too much buzzing. I took out my old guitar from when I was a kid, an acoustic that I gave up learning with after a couple weeks. Taking a look at it the strings must have been a centimeter off the fretboard. As an adult trying to play that thing the way it was set was difficult. Nothing worse than learning on an instrument that's hard to play on. A couple years back I took the nut off and sanded down the bottom of it, it helped a little but there wasn't much more I could do with it.

Sounds like you have a long history playing, that's cool man. This is probably an overused saying, but music really does sooth the soul.
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post Jan 30 2016, 02:27 AM
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QUOTE(net2007 @ Jan 23 2016, 12:38 AM) *
Interesting tips, I've tried some of those. The hand stretching excersises I did a lot but they only made a very marginal difference. I didn't try tuning down the guitar but that's an interesting idea that makes sense, less tension.

Low action is awesome too, I very much prefer that, just above the point where it causes too much buzzing. I took out my old guitar from when I was a kid, an acoustic that I gave up learning with after a couple weeks. Taking a look at it the strings must have been a centimeter off the fretboard. As an adult trying to play that thing the way it was set was difficult. Nothing worse than learning on an instrument that's hard to play on. A couple years back I took the nut off and sanded down the bottom of it, it helped a little but there wasn't much more I could do with it.

Sounds like you have a long history playing, that's cool man. This is probably an overused saying, but music really does sooth the soul.

Coolness to you too. I've never heard of a human society that wasn't into music of some form, if nothing but beating on logs and singing. I've only met a few people who did not like some kind of music, and for them I feel sorry. How much is being missed! It's gotta be worse than color blindness. Come to think of it, I did know a colorblind bass player. He seemed a lot happier.

You can also tune down half a step or go into open tunings. There are alternative tunings too, and if I remember correctly, Hawaiian slack key guitar uses them. What has always drawn me to guitar is this ability to change the instrument dramatically through the different tunings. Also transportability, but if that were the biggest thing, I'd have gone into the fiddle. Easier to strap on a motorcycle.

Since Lydia plays acoustic piano exclusively and can't stand the sound of electric keyboards, even the ones with acoustic sampling, this has been a primary drag on her gigging activities. But she doesn't care. It is truly a meditation for her, structured as she likes it. Don't mean a thang if it ain't got that swang (or beginning, middle, and end).

Interesting sidebar for her: Lydia's mother started teaching her on a cardboard representation of the keyboard. She didn't hear a real piano for several years, other than in recordings and the occasional concert. Once Mom could afford a used console rig, Lydia finally heard what she had been practicing. Imagine that. The Young Chang baby grand is her honoring her mother, who passed away in the early 1990s. She has honored my mother through the piano by playing her favorite songs, which I took once she died a few years earlier than hers. Very spiritual stuff going on when we make joyful noise.

My thing is a bit different. I have always had the ability to absorb negative energies from others, and that means needing to have some sort of release routine. Else it drives you crazy, deep purple depressions. I get that release with guitar, which adds the all-important element of emotional expression. I can play other people's blues. If I connected with the audience's blues, that's when things really clicked and cooked. Trick is to pull that off consistently enough to make it big. I simply didn't have that ability, which is okay. Like I mentioned, the music industry sucks in many ways. A good while back I embraced the idea of being an amateur -- a true lover of the art, not a crazy famous success story, not a pathfinder, not a celebrity. Just a guy with a guitar doing stuff that you may or may not like.

Heh, there were hecklers in the early years of gigging. I'd offer my guitar to them and ask them to do a better job. Zero takers. In the later years, had one young fella, maybe 10 years old, sing Play That Funky Music White Boy at me during a pause between tunes. Think that was an attempt at heckling, but I enjoyed the kid's efforts at singing and possibly shaking me. Gave him the soft applause and encouraged him to get better. Please. His parents were in stitches (laughing out loud). Nice tips from them. Must have hit the right chord!

And they said I had no stage presence. Bwahahahah!

Your early guitar is what my generation of players call cheese cutters, as in those wire affairs with handles that make nice slices. Most of us have started out with them, which may or may not have been an advantage. The conventional wisdom is to start kids off on quality instruments, but that takes money. Most families don't have it. And I've known only one player from a rich family, started out on a Gibson ES 335. It was red and he was hot. But by the end of high school, he'd burned out completely on gigging and headed into studio work. So maybe the conventional wisdom is only true for studio musicians -- which isn't such a bad way to go. It's decent pay without all the fame to mess you up, mostly with never having a real home. Drug and alcohol abuse are the symptoms, followed by insane behaviors.

Music not only soothes the soul, it can save the world! Had a bumper sticker on my old 1979 Malibu station wagon with the 3-speeds on the floor (!) to that effect, exact wording was Music Can Save The World. Got it from a dulcimer shop in Minneapolis, where I bought a hammered dulcimer kit. It was fun to build, impossible to tune, made a nice folk-art piece for a room corner. Had better results with mountain dulcimer kits -- fewer strings, frets instead of posts, could fingerpick instead of hammering, diatonic fret placement and modal tunings. They were a lot easier to build as well.

Until next time, keep on pickin! Or as we were known to say quite often, "Play it again, stupid!"
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