Relearning Guitar

Learning how to play guitar…again


When I was a kid, I wanted an electric guitar. My favorite band was Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO). And I had seen electric guitars in the Sears catalog that looked really cool. I know now that they were probably junk, but they looked cool! I told my parents I wanted an electric guitar for Christmas.
My parents bought me a guitar. But not an electric guitar. They bought me a cheap accoustic guitar. It was steel string. Very cheap. And the neck broke away from the body a couple times, and had to be reglued.
I started working as a carpenter, then got into construction, from there I got by contractor license. For you I used EZ-CE. After I started working in the trades my parents signed me up for guitar lessons. The classes were at an elementary school, either at night, or on weekends. I don’t remember for sure. The teacher had us learning Michael Row Your Boat Ashore. Strum Strum Strum Strum, chord change, Strum Strum Strum Strumm chord change. It sucked! I wanted to learn BTO and other rock songs, and I am learning Michael Row Your BORING Boat Ashore. Actually I wasn’t learning it. I didn’t like the song. I had no interest in learning the song. I didn’t practice. I didn’t learn anything!
I did learn that if I stuck a microphone in through the sound hole, and ran it through my stereo with the gain cranked, I could get it to sort of sound like an electric guitar.
My days with that guitar were few. When I was older and had a job, I bought my first electric guitar, a Peavey Horizon II, at a pawn shop. Then I actually started to leanr how to play guitar. Too bad my parents hadn’t bought me an electric guitar, even a cheap one, when I was a kid. I may have actually started to play much earlier.

I have been playing with the main riff from UFO’s Rock Bottom. Michael Schenker is just incredible in that song. I am simplifying it though. He pedals off the open E string alot, and I am just not good enough, or fast. So I am playing the basic notes.
I have also been playing with The Scorpions-Rock You Like A Huricane. I would like to relearn Big City Nights. I learned that whole song including the solo and fills years ago when I was taking guitar lessons.
These days I have been playing mostly the rhythm parts. I have a lot of fun playing Joe Walsh’s Rocky Mountain Way. I have gotten pretty good at the rhythm parts of that.
Maybe I will have to revisit some Ted Nugent songs. I used to be able to play a few. They were a lot of fun, but I used to break a lot of strings with all the string bending.
Maybe I will record a video, and post it on YouTube. I really suck though. But I am getting better. Slowly. Then I guess I will just suck less.

I was down in Pennsylvania for a wedding, and staying at my aunt and uncle’s house. Early Saturday morning, I got up and went for a 5 mile run. When I returned, a whole bunch of garage sales had opened up. It was big street sale involving multiple streets. Cool! I stopped at a few of them on my way back to the house. I didn’t see anything I needed. I stopped at the house, changed into regular (non-running) clothes, and headed out walking from garage sale to garage sale.
One sale had a trumpet and a clarinet. But they wanted over $100 each for those, and the odds of me learning to play either one is remote. I played clarinet in elementary school. I really sucked at that. They actually kicked me out of the band. LOL!
Towards the end, I found one sale that had a crapload or guitar magazines. Most of them were Guitar For The Practicing Musician. That is a great magazine, and I have a bunch of issues in a box from when I learned to play the first time. The guy was asking 25 cents apiece. I did a quick count and there were over 60 magazines. I asked him how much he wanted for all of them. He said $10. So I bought them all for $10. I even got a couple magazine type binders (with Guitar printed on the side). It was tough carrying them all back to aunt and uncles house which was a few blocks away. At least they were all in a box.
When I got home last night, I went through them. They are all in pretty good shape. I counted 72 magazines. All except three or four magazines are Guitar For The Practicing Musician. I know I already have some of the issues. It will be fun to dig through them and find some new songs to learn.

I have been having a lot of fun relearning how to play guitar. I learning it from a different angle than I learned the first. When I first learn, I took lessons, and learned scales, and was learning complex songs by Yngwie Malmsteen, and Van Halen and stuff like that. I leaned a lot of scales, modes, licks, and how to solos, and stuff like that. This time, I focusing more on the rhythm parts. I have taken to playing along with songs. I have played along with some of my CDs, or concert DVDs. But more often, I bring up the music video on YouTube and play along with that. I also look up the tabs on the web to help me figure out the song. Some of the songs I have been learning, and playing along to are Highway To Hell by AC/DC, Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, Merry Christmas From The Family by Robert Earl Keen, Rocky Mountain Way by Joe Walsh. One of the first and simplest ones I learned was Ocean Man by Ween which is only 3 chords in the whole song. Very simple, but fun to play. The song I am working on now is Money For Nothing by Dire Straights. I had learned it years ago from a tab transcription in a magazine. But I have had to relearn it. But it has been fun to crank up the song on YouTube, and play along with it. I am slowly getting better.

I routinely watch ebay and craigslist for guitar stuff around me. A local guy was selling a Boss DSM-5 Power Supply and Master Switch on ebay. The bid price was pretty low. I figured if I could get agood deal on it, I would pick it up. I contacted the guy and asked if I won the auction, could I pick it up and save shipping. He said no problem.
I read about how older Boss pedals use the ACA type power supplies, and the new ones use the newer style PSA style adaptors. The old ACA adaptors put out 12volts DC, and the PSA adaptors but out 9volts DC. So hooking a PSA adaptor to an older ACA type pedal wouldn’t work. But I think I remember reading somewhere that it would work if it goes through a DSM-5. Not sure about this though.
I ended up winning the auction for the DSM-5 for $15.50. I emailed the guy, but my email was returned as undeliverable. I sent him a message through ebay, but didn’t hear back. I sent him another messg, but still didn’t hear back. I got an invoice for the pedal plus $12 shipping. The guy lives less than 15 miles from me. I again tried to email him, but it came back undeliverable. I got his contact info from ebay, and the phone # was in New Jersey. That threw me a bit. I decided that maybe he was a student. I called him and he hadn’t gotten my emails. He had changed email addresses and forgot to update ebay. He appologised whole heartedy. We made arrangements for me to pick up the pedal. I met him the next day after work. He ended up only charging me $10 because of the email hassle.
I still need to get a daisy chain power cable for it. I found the manual for it on the Boss website. For $10, I think I will get some use out of it. I can always resell it I guess if I don’t end up using it.

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