Peavey T-15

I picked up an old Peavey T-15 body at my local guitar shop. This was their 3/4 scale guitar. I don’t have a 3/4 size neck, but I think I can play with it using some other necks I’ve picked up along the way. It should be fun. There aren’t any electronics or hardware, so it will be a complete Frankenstein creation when all is said and done.

Pictures coming soon.

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New Space

New Amp Set Up.jpg

Ok, perhaps it isn’t a truly dedicated practice space because it is my home office too, but this is where I play the guitar the most now that our remodel is done. It is where I practice, noodle, explore, and relax with my guitars.

The pedalboard location is a little awkward if I roll my chair back (see the plastic rolling chair floor cover) or want to get in the bottom of the filing cabinet, but how often do I really do either of those things? More often than I thought, which is why my homemade Digitech Jamman Solo 3 button footswitch is on top of my power supply/ABY selector pedal.

Anyway, I won’t get all nerdy about my effects line, but it is nice to have everything in one spot and not just play acoustically. And I can easily switch out my 62 SG Jr with any of my other guitars so they all get some playing time! Or swap out the 1×12 cab for my 2×12 cab.

And just a quick reminder. Don’t leave your guitar plugged in. Someone will trip on the cable and pull it down. Just don’t even let it happen. If you stop playing, unplug the cable and secure the guitar.

Now that I’ve shown you mine, you need to show me yours. What does your practice space look like?

National Guitar Museum

While passing through Idaho Falls, ID we stopped to check out the National Guitar Museum‘s traveling exhibit. It was a great introduction to the guitar and still fun to see for someone more familiar with the instrument and rock (not to mention the fact that I live in the Great Pacific Northwest with the Experience Music Project in Seattle). Seeing Johnny Winter’s Firebird guitar with the SG neck was pretty cool. And one of Chuck Berry’s Gibsons too! I think it was an ES355, but I can’t remember. The cool thing was how he had taken off the arm for the vibrato. It was a well used guitar, which is always neat.

For me, the coolest part of the exhibit was the Teisco Spectrum 4 they had on display. As I have said before, the Teisco Spectrum is a great guitar and I plan to recreate a whole bunch of them. But seeing it with all the other amazing guitars seemed to validate my original interest.

cropped-teiscodelreyspectrum2.jpg

Sure, there are some amazing guitars in the exhibit that I would love to have, but I haven’t tried to recreate a Parker or some other guitar that is also a piece of art. I have begun putting together a Spectrum. And I still think it is a great amalgamation of guitar features.

So if you get a chance to see the traveling exhibit, check out the Teisco Spectrum 4!

Grand Tone

While on vacation we stopped by the in-laws. My wife played her grand piano that her parents have been so kind to hold on to until they die…. which is understandable, but it would be really cool to have now!

kawai grand piano

Anyway, she is a great player with years of experience and training (very much the opposite of my guitar playing), but she hasn’t been playing a lot since we had kids, so she considers herself rusty. When she got done playing her grand piano she had this silly grin on her face. I asked her if everything was ok and she just said,

“Good tone covers so many mistakes and rusty playing.”

The piano does sound really good. And she loves to play. The weight of the keys fit her style. It fits her so well and she knows it inside and out.

It made me wonder how guitarists out there approach tone. I have read lots of blogs about G.A.S. and the quest for great tone. i.e. vintage instruments, tube amps, boutique pedals, and lots of money as we all accumulate gear. Does good tone cover mistakes and bad playing? Is that what helps define good tone? When I can play through my guitar, pedals, and amp and it all sounds good even if I don’t play very well?

What is good tone to you? Is it fleeting? Is it a foundation to build on or is it the shell that covers the playing beneath? Is it a comfort level? Does it need to be earned over time? Do you ever achieve it and then stop searching? Does it change?

Love, Passion, Death and Priorities

I don’t know why, but I have been thinking a lot about life lately. I have toyed with the idea of writing my life manifesto as I understand it currently, but that is usually replaced by the simple thought: What would you do if you knew you were going to die soon?
I am sure there is some TED talk on this. Or some meme that has circulated the internet multiple times, but it is the thought I keep coming to.
And my answers are nothing world altering. Nor are they worth sharing, but what they are are things that should be the priorities of my life, which aren’t obvious on a surface view of my life…nor somewhat deeper either.
Are any of us doing exactly what we love? Can any of us do more of what we love while still maintainimg the other priorities of our lives? Are there things we spend a lot of time on that are not a priority?
I think we all ask ourselves these things from time to time. And I don’t think there is a single, simple, fix all answer. But hopefully we are fine tuning.
I am preparing to play campfire songs on guitar for my daughter’s girl scout campout. Not only will I have to play and sing at the same time (I am not good at this), but I will lead the girls and leaders. This is way outside my skill set. And outside my comfort zone right now. But it is something I have always wanted to do. So I am making it a priority and getting started now.
This isn’t life changing, but it is change. It is movement toward my priorities. Toward what I value in life.
So I hope we can all make the little changes necessary to get us in alignment with our priorities. That we will love what we do and get to choose between good and good instead of bad and good.

Fun Voodoo Child

This was fun to play around with.

I have begun preparing for my daughter’s girl scout camp fire event in a few months by getting my acoustic guitar out and learning some songs for it. But can I remain focused? Can I stay on task? Apparently not since I bet most of the girl scouts won’t be singing along to this one. But it was fun to play around with!

Dropped D

Today was a rough day at work. It wasn’t horrible by any means, but it was rough. A lot had to be done and yet my to do list just seemed to be getting longer as the day progressed. No, it didn’t seem to be longer. It was longer. I had more to do at the end of the day then I did at the beginning. And it all had to be done today.

As I was winding up the last 20 minutes of my day a coworker knocked on my office door. I  turned, looked at him, and asked him what he needed. He paused as if to leave, but asked if I had a few minutes. Not feeling very professional, I sighed. Sure.

He then proceeds to ask if I am familiar with a hipshot drop D electric extender. I asked if he meant a B bender. He said no. And then invited me down to his office to check out the one he just installed on his guitar. I told him I would do my best.

I went back to work. Wrapped up a million things, and headed to the elevator with 3 minutes to spare. I stopped by my coworkers office and he showed me his Godin acoustic-electric with the drop D switch. It was pretty cool. And it was fun. And all the stress of the day just left. We chatted a few minutes. We both played the guitar in standard tuning and dropped D. Then I left and got home on time. It was a great way to end the work day.