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Thread: I suck at guitar now

  1. #36
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    Sometimes I think people forget what room they wandered into when posting here.
    but it's all good .

    nosaj
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  2. #37
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    There are some musicians that I can't learn anything from... other than to buy some earplugs.



    Sometimes your most valuable skill as a fellow musician is to know how to unplug the microphone.
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  3. #38
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    What in the Crap-Toaster was <THAT>??? I'll let them get away with calling it art, but that's it. And it doesn't mean I have to "appreciate" it... there was 3:25 I'll never get back.

    Gee, THANKS, Bob! :P

    Justin
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  4. #39
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    There are some musicians that I can't learn anything from... other than to buy some earplugs.



    Sometimes your most valuable skill as a fellow musician is to know how to unplug the microphone.
    The error in you assertion is you infer Yoko is a musician.
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  5. #40
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    I think the real error was John Lennon's ...
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  6. #41
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    I think the real error was John Lennon's ...
    Amen.
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  7. #42
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I fully agree with being able to learn something from every guitarist. And NOT what not to do. It's art, and art has allowance for interpretation. Most players, even mediocre ones, have SOMETHING. What is it? Can you see/hear it? If it's something you notice then you might do well to pay attention.

    I've always loved playing with other guitarists. Not because I was a competitive winner or anything silly like that. But because I'm a team player and liked to blend my "brand" with others to make something greater than the sum of it's parts. THAT'S a band. I played for a time with a GIT grad (L.A. chapter early 90's) who was Eddie Money's second string. That is to say, he was good. Our project was a little pathetic by comparison to that credential but I think he just liked playing with ME! We covered a lot of songs where either one of us needed to carry alternate instrument lines with a guitar. After working out dual guitar parts for a number of songs and who would carry what line. etc., we came to a spot where I said "Your the pro. What do you think?" And he said "You're better than I am at most of this. I'm following your lead." I was stunned and flattered. Though I didn't entirely agree. There was a mutual respect for each other's individual talents. It was another time.
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  8. #43
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Eddie Money's original guitarist was Jimmy Lyons. I remember the first time I heard this song on the car radio in 1977 -- there wasn't a lot of blues guitar getting to the airwaves during the disco era and his playing was like a breath of fresh air. It's one of those songs that made me turn the car radio up instead of down.



    That guy had talent. I wonder what ever became of him.
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  9. #44
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    I suck at mostly everything.
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  10. #45
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Yep. Eddie loved guitarists. I always noticed how much his guitarists were allowed to be a part of the process. You could even see it in his live show. If the guitarist is jamming Eddie will silently lip sync along or even air guitar. Pretty cool. and who can deny the lead guitar work in "Two Tickets to Paradise". For a guitarist, that song was all about the guitarist. Eddie managed to get the pop appeal across and still let the guitarist ring. Pretty brilliant IMO.
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  11. #46
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Yep. Eddie loved guitarists. I always noticed how much his guitarists were allowed to be a part of the process.
    Indeed -- "Two Tickets," "Baby Hold On," and "Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star" were the 3 big hits on his first album, and they definitely showcased the guitarist. I think that's probably because Lyon (guitarist) co-wrote those songs, as well as all of the original material on the first three albums. They were sort of a Lennon-McCartey or John-Taupin partnership in the beginning, where everything was split down the middle.

    Those first three albums are definitely records for a guitar player. There are some great "deep tracks" on those records that never got airplay because they didn't fit the radio formula.

    I can only guess why Lyon disappeared, but I'm thinking that it had to be money-related. You know the old story, two guys make it big as a partnership, and the greedy guys that manage them convince the "face" guy to be split off as a solo artist and leave his partner behind. It's like there's not enough money to go around.
    Last edited by bob p; 08-16-2017 at 07:32 AM.
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  12. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    No offense, but that's exactly what I WASN'T talking about. It's the kind of talk that creates competition in music, which is what it's NOT supposed to be about, IMO. If you listen closely to that kid with "horrendous timing", you might pick out something he does well.
    No offense taken. But I think we may share a closer opinion than seems at first sight. I think we may have a slight failure to communicate, probably because I didn't choose the right words. So let me try again.

    My wife has a car we both like. Many aspects of its design (powertrain as well as cosmetics and comfort) are very well done. But it also has a few failings, one of them being poor rear visibility and large blind spots. Both of us are somewhat analytical by nature, so we notice both the good things, and the bad things, about this particular car. Neither of us hates the car as a result of noticing its failings; but if we ever had input into the design of a car, we would remember to avoid them.

    It's the same with the "bad musician" (I'll use quotation marks, because not everyone will agree that this musician is bad, or good.) If she has a beautiful voice, but her guitar is out of tune and her timing is erratic, I will notice both good and bad qualities. From the good one (voice quality) I'll make a mental note to spend more time doing vocal exercises and striving to develop better enunciation and vocal tone. From the bad qualities (guitar out of tune, erratic timing), I'll make a mental note to remember to check the tuning on my guitar every few minutes, to use a metronome regularly during practice, and to routinely record my own playing, play it back, and listen critically for erratic timing.

    Is there any kind of competition at work here? At some level, perhaps - I aspire to avoid those mistakes I hear, whether they are in my own music-making, or someone else's. It's the gigantic negative feedback loop that keeps all aspects of my life more or less on course: look at the output, compare it with the desired output, note the difference (the error signal), send it back to the input, attempt to correct the output. In other words, keep an eye out to catch aspects of your life veering away from your preferred direction, and attempt to steer them back.

    You mentioned competition in music. So, after hearing that "bad musician", am I walking away filled with a Trump-like arrogant smugness about my own superiority over this "bad musician"? Not at all. For one thing, I understand very well that smugness is a complete dead-end, a period that full-stops all personal progress. For another, I appreciate that music in general is a fortunate evolutionary gift to our species, and those of us who still make our own music are lucky.

    But I also think that music, like any craft, requires time and effort to get good at. If I really did not enjoy that particular musicians work, because she clearly hasn't worked enough at her craft, I'll probably never go back to a second performance.

    I should point out also that, IMO, the best mental state to be in during practice and learning, is very different from the best mental state to be in during actual music performance. Ideally, live music performance comes from a happy, uncritical, relaxed, left-brain-dominant creative state.

    But learning to be a better musician requires that you start with some critical left-brain analysis to tell you what needs work. What are my weak areas? What would I like to be able to do, that I can't do now? Without that internal analysis, comparison, criticism, I can't progress, like the fellow strumming the same five chords and the same fifteen songs over and over, for forty years. I should perhaps point out that this self-critical state is exactly the opposite of Trump-like smugness.

    As I mentioned before, there is certainly nothing wrong with being happy as a pig in mud with your five chords and fifteen songs. But that particular option is closed to me; my personality is too far removed from that road, for me to ever enjoy it. My own internal balance between enjoying what I can do, and worrying about what I can't do, occurs at a different point in the competency continuum.

    Finding that balance between uncritical enjoyment, and frustrated self-flagellation, is what I was trying to discuss in this thread. I think most creative people have inevitably experienced both ends of that pendulum swing. The trick, IMO, is not to stay stuck at either end for too long, but to try to spend at least some of your time at a balance point somewhere in between. Just like those Zen masters say - find the middle ground, that is where happiness and self-growth happen.

    -Gnobuddy
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  13. #48
    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Chuck, I'm with you, man. I got lethargic and screwed up. Perhaps I just though that it would be like visual art in that I can put it down for a couple of years and pick it back up fairly quickly where I left off. A few years ago, I drew this picture of my grandfather as a gift for my mother. But before that it had been a while. Probably a few years when I was in school.
    img-1159.jpg
    Honestly, with visual art, once every so often (couple years) gives me my fix. Music was never like that. But the past year I had let it slide, and I was thinking I could pick it up just the same. I didn't account for the fact that playing a musical instrument (playing it well) requires physical strength and dexterity to a large degree. Plus, the calluses! the friggin' calluses that you take for granted after a couple of weeks/months of playing when you start out.
    After anxiety attacks over wondering if I could ever play decently again, I started to see some of it come back after a few practice sessions. JM is right! lack of practice can erase old abilities. Scares the sh*t out of me.
    Plus, I can totally relate to what Mick was saying about having to relearn songs you once wrote. 90% of the music I wrote is in my head. I was trying to go through and play some stuff I had written the other day. What I found was, about halfway through the song, I hit a wall and couldn't remember what I wrote after a particular point. I could kind of hear it in my head and had to go through the process of how I wrote it in the first place to see if I could "rediscover" it! I was able to find one whole song again, but another one has a void of about 4 chords or so which I have to try and remember.
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  14. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulFetish View Post
    Chuck, I'm with you, man. I got lethargic and screwed up. Perhaps I just though that it would be like visual art in that I can put it down for a couple of years and pick it back up fairly quickly where I left off. A few years ago, I drew this picture of my grandfather as a gift for my mother. But before that it had been a while. Probably a few years when I was in school.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Honestly, with visual art, once every so often (couple years) gives me my fix. Music was never like that. But the past year I had let it slide, and I was thinking I could pick it up just the same. I didn't account for the fact that playing a musical instrument (playing it well) requires physical strength and dexterity to a large degree. Plus, the calluses! the friggin' calluses that you take for granted after a couple of weeks/months of playing when you start out.
    After anxiety attacks over wondering if I could ever play decently again, I started to see some of it come back after a few practice sessions. JM is right! lack of practice can erase old abilities. Scares the sh*t out of me.
    Plus, I can totally relate to what Mick was saying about having to relearn songs you once wrote. 90% of the music I wrote is in my head. I was trying to go through and play some stuff I had written the other day. What I found was, about halfway through the song, I hit a wall and couldn't remember what I wrote after a particular point. I could kind of hear it in my head and had to go through the process of how I wrote it in the first place to see if I could "rediscover" it! I was able to find one whole song again, but another one has a void of about 4 chords or so which I have to try and remember.
    You said 4 chords and I just saw this yesterday kinda funny Axis of Awesome "4 Chords"
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...-YY2Pwd7dXsuuQ
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  15. #50
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    I used to be a pro guitarist and bass player. I played with Bo Diddley a few times. I stopped playing a few times due to the politics and the actions of a few shitty people. Then I developed a steadily worsening condition in both hands that really got in the way. Then last year I was bitten very badly in both hands trying to save my little old dog from a pit bull attack in my driveway (we lost). And now I have pretty bad arthritis in my fretting wrist. Add to that a few years of not picking up a guitar, and now it might as be that I never played a lick. I can just barely play enough to test amps. I will admit it is depressing, but at this point I don't have the motivation. I still have nice guitars, LP, 335, Tele, PRS, Gibson J45, some nice basses and several collectable amps. But I just don't play them anymore. I really never thought that would happen, all my older friends still play. They look at me now and can't understand it.
    It's weird, because it WAS working fine.....

  16. #51
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    That's too bad, Randall. I crushed 3 vertebrae in my neck via a car rollover in 1979 that left me paralyzed for quite some time. I had little use of my left arm and hand for over a year and my left side still isn't what it used to be. I found playing guitar, or at least attempting to, both frustrating and therapeutic. Fortunately for me (and maybe not others ), I've continued to play through it. Paralysis is a strange thing to describe. Imagine pushing on a guitar string as hard as you can/with all your might and not being able to get it to the fret board. The upside is that you can't feel anything as opposed to arthritis where all you feel is pain. No pun intended, but I feel your pain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randall View Post
    last year I was bitten very badly in both hands trying to save my little old dog from a pit bull attack in my driveway (we lost). And now I have pretty bad arthritis in my fretting wrist.
    I'm very sorry to hear about some of the crap that life has thrown your way lately. Particularly about the loss of your furry friend in such shocking circumstances.

    -Gnobuddy

  18. #53
    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Dude and Randall, thats a total drag that happened to you guys.
    Randall, I've accidently been bitten lightly playing around with a large dog and I remember how much it hurt and my hand just going limp. I remember thinking about the kind of damage it could have done if it meant to do me harm. There's no protection on our hand, particularly the on the back. I can only imagine how much that must have hurt.
    Dude, I don't even know what to say. To survive that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    That's too bad, Randall. I crushed 3 vertebrae in my neck via a car rollover in 1979 that left me paralyzed for quite some time.
    Gaak. I'm glad you survived it all, and recovered, too!

    -Gnobuddy
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  20. #55
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Ok... I just went to the doctor. I showed him MY post, then I showed him Randall and Dude's posts. He said I have a case of "Little bitch" and prescribed some "Man the fuck up."
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  21. #56
    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randall View Post
    I still have nice guitars, LP, 335, Tele, PRS, Gibson J45, some nice basses and several collectable amps.
    Hey, the good news is you still have your nice gear. The only piece of gear I've ever been able to hold on to is an acoustic guitar which I've had since I was in High School. It's an Eterna If you don't know what that is, - Eterna is to Yamaha what Epiphone is to Gibson. The only reason I've been able to hold onto it is that it ain't worth shit. At least not in resale, but I will say that it is probably the easiest/fastest action I've ever played on an acoustic. After a bit of surgery, the action is so awesome on it. It's too bad it is almost entirely laminate. If it could breath after years of breaking in, it would almost be the perfect acoustic. I got it in a trade for a 3/4 acoustic I got for free.

    My first electric was a really beautiful black cherry Les Paul Standard. I sold it to move to Dallas TX once upon a time... ugh. NOT WORTH IT. I saw it later on in a Guitar center and the owner after me ruined a perfectly classy Standard. He took out the original pickups and covers and put in like these 2color green/pink humbuckers Dimarzio or something and removed the trim. Didn't even look like the guitar I learned to play on. Seeing it like that was my punishment for selling it for Dallas.
    It's funny, I stopped in Nashville to visit a friend as one of my stops down to Dallas. She had an evening class so I went out in Nashville to kill some time. I found a small bar where there was a hot bartender, two random dudes at the bar (one of them was a homeless guy trying to get free booze), and a band doing a sound check. The bartender chick was a smoke show, so I decided to kill time there and strike up a conversation with the people there. I'm talking to the dude at the bar about music and that I'm moving to Dallas, and he tells me "That's a mistake, Dallas sucks. Go to Austin."
    I'm like, dude, that's not very encouraging. It's kind of too late for that.. I'm halfway there.
    He's like "I grew up around there and used to play drums in Double Trouble around there."
    I'm thinking "Is there more than one Double Trouble???" So I say "you mean... like... Stevie Ray Vaughn? Double Trouble??"
    He says, "Yeah, I played with Stevie when I was 16. That was before I played with Mother Love Bone and Pearl Jam"
    Totally random, friendly dude at the bar was a big part of some truly classic albums. Pretty interesting. But, what I took away from that entire conversation was that he was so right. I should have totally gone to Austin.
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  22. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulFetish View Post
    He says, "Yeah, I played with Stevie when I was 16. That was before I played with Mother Love Bone and Pearl Jam"
    God I love the drumming sounds they captured on Pearl Jam's Ten Album. Was that the same dude you met?

    Edit: BTW this thread is top notch!! Great contributions by everyone I read.
    When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

  23. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulFetish View Post
    ...it is probably the easiest/fastest action I've ever played on an acoustic.
    <snip>
    It's too bad it is almost entirely laminate.
    Sounds like the perfect combination for an electro-acoustic guitar! If it doesn't have any onboard electronics now, why not add the usual piezo pickup under the saddle and an endpin-jack preamp, and plug in? Throw a $25 Danelectro Fish-n-Chips graphic EQ in the chain, and you can tweak the plugged-in tone to sound just as good as any plugged-in acoustic.

    I hadn't heard of Eterna, but I really like Yamaha acoustics, particularly their excellent consistency even at the low end of their price range. So I'm not too surprised to hear your Eterna plays so well.

    I used to have a $105 Kona thin-body electro-acoustic guitar I bought at - wait for it - Walmart! Once I replaced the tuners, lowered the action, and moved all the strings sideways to centre them on the neck (!), it became a really fun guitar to play. Sounded good, too. The laminate top was very pretty, and that guitar got a lot of compliments on its appearance. Usually followed by a double-take and quick change of subject when I told them it cost about $100 and came from Walmart.

    Acoustic purists will gasp for breath at the heresy, but IMO, electronics is the best thing that ever happened to acoustic guitars. After centuries of careful craftsmanship and technical evolution, a pure acoustic is still an extremely limited instrument. Throw some basic electronics at it, and now you can dial in however much (or little) bass or mids or treble you want, add a hair of reverb, and dial up any reasonable volume you want without having to whale on the instrument.

    -Gnobuddy

  24. #59
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbltwin1 View Post
    WTF? All comments after mine dealt with crap that I didn't even address. Was my comment about competition? Geez guys. You are really getting weird.
    Threads in the Lobby tend to wander all over the place and only if someone actually quoted my post would I assume that they were responding or reacting to something I said...

  25. #60
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    Eddie Money's original guitarist was Jimmy Lyons. I remember the first time I heard this song on the car radio in 1977 -- there wasn't a lot of blues guitar getting to the airwaves during the disco era and his playing was like a breath of fresh air. It's one of those songs that made me turn the car radio up instead of down.



    That guy had talent. I wonder what ever became of him.
    Jimmy Lyon is still around. He was a featured guest at a local blues jam a few years ago and I friended him on Facebook...
    https://m.facebook.com/jimmylyon

    (Most of my FB friends are involved with music in one way or another.)

    Steve A.

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    I have a few customers who've given up the pro life. Some were in top bands I used to listen to on the radio and watch on TV. They just walked away from fame and decided to do something else, but still keep an interest in music and play pubs and clubs. I can't actually come to terms what some of these guys now do for a living, compared to the fame they once 'enjoyed'. Mainly the reason for stepping down is the relentless travel, time away from home and the feeling of not being in control of your own life.

    One thing that comes out of this is that time has a great way of anonymising people. Someone in a band in the 80s or 90s is invisible to a 20-something today.
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  27. #62
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    I have a few customers who've given up the pro life. Some were in top bands I used to listen to on the radio and watch on TV. They just walked away from fame and decided to do something else, but still keep an interest in music and play pubs and clubs. I can't actually come to terms what some of these guys now do for a living, compared to the fame they once 'enjoyed'. Mainly the reason for stepping down is the relentless travel, time away from home and the feeling of not being in control of your own life.

    One thing that comes out of this is that time has a great way of anonymising people. Someone in a band in the 80s or 90s is invisible to a 20-something today.
    One guy that has two of my amps (And a self contained reverb amp and two custom cabinets. Five boxes in total!) is John Tristao who sang for CCR in Fogerty's absence for twenty years while they toured all over the world. He's recently retired for health reasons. He's also in the S.F. Bay Area Rock and Roll HOF for his part in that areas movement in the 60's with bands like People and Coffee. Because he worked SF in the early 60's and has toured with CCR he's met about every rock celebrity you can imagine. Stories like Sammy Hagar giving him a bottle of his tequila and then Sammy opened it and drank most of it. He made Sammy give him another And, if it is to be believed, Janis Joplin once threw up on him and he smoked a J with Willie Nelson. Point is, the guy's been around. I asked him about the movie Spinal Tap once and he said "Yeah, I didn't think it was that funny. Life on the road can be that weird and f'd up sometimes. It was like watching a bad mock of my normal day." Anyway, regarding life on a tour he says "I get paid for the road. I do the shows because it's what I do."
    "The man is an incompetent waste of human flesh. He should donate his organs now to someone who might actually make good use of them." The Dude re: maybe I shouldn't say, but his name rhymes with Trump

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  28. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    One thing that comes out of this is that time has a great way of anonymising people. Someone in a band in the 80s or 90s is invisible to a 20-something today.
    I tell my young customers: "this setting gives you the brown Van Halen sound" and they look at me fish eyed and ask "who????"
    The oldest band they vaguely remember is Metallica .... and that probably because they were featured in "The Simpsons" ... and I´m only half kidding, .... Megadeath ... and not much more.

    Last week I was testing a Bass amp I just finished with "isolated Bass tracks", some people pull a single instrument from a recording, and customer said: "hey!!! killer sound!!!! raw but powerful player ... who is he?" ... "Chris Squire from Yes" .... fish eyes: ... "who?".
    bob p, Mick Bailey and g1 like this.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  29. #64
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    ... and he smoked a J with Willie Nelson. "
    Who hasn't?
    Chuck H and eschertron like this.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  30. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    Who hasn't?
    You ever heard I'll never smoke weed with Willie again by Toby Keith?

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...Ev6hEYV-sUPbeg

    nosaj
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  31. #66
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    I tell my young customers: "this setting gives you the brown Van Halen sound" and they look at me fish eyed and ask "who????"
    The oldest band they vaguely remember is Metallica .... and that probably because they were featured in "The Simpsons" ... and I´m only half kidding, .... Megadeath ... and not much more.

    Last week I was testing a Bass amp I just finished with "isolated Bass tracks", some people pull a single instrument from a recording, and customer said: "hey!!! killer sound!!!! raw but powerful player ... who is he?" ... "Chris Squire from Yes" .... fish eyes: ... "who?".
    Guitar heroes change. And the gear that people want to collect reflects the heroes of their youth. Today a middle-aged lawyer will pay $500,000 for a 1959 LP Standard because it's what was played by his teenage guitar idol. Today there's an entirely new crop of young players who are listening to a different genre of music. It's only a matter of time before people start paying astronomical prices for "vintage" shredder guitars.

    Anyone want a vintage Ibanez pointy strat?

    Muscle cars have already peaked in value and their prices are declining because the demographic that loves them is dying off. I wouldn't want to be the guy holding the $500,000 Gibson when nobody can remember who played them.

    I was in a music store the other day jamming on a classic Van Halen riff. Some millennial came along and said, "I recognize that song from the Guitar Hero video game -- who is it?"
    J M Fahey likes this.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  32. #67
    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    ... "Chris Squire from Yes" .... fish eyes: ... "who?".
    Then you say "No, that was John Entwistle, I said Yes."... and on and on it went. I wish I was there.
    If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

  33. #68
    rjb
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    I tell my young customers: ...Van Halen... and they look at me fish eyed and ask "who????"
    ...Metallica .... Megadeath ...
    "Chris Squire from Yes" .... fish eyes: ... "who?".
    So, what's your point?
    3 Ways to Dial a Rotary Phone - wikiHow

  34. #69
    g1
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    I sooo want a cell phone with a dial now. Is there such a thing?
    The kids would really be scratching their heads. "oh that? It's proprietary hardware for a new app I'm working on".
    Justin Thomas likes this.
    Certified Dotard

  35. #70
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    Rotary phones are a style of telephones that were largely replaced by punch-button telephones and later by mobile and smart phones. Even though they have become obsolete...
    obsolete?!?
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

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