Relearning Guitar

Learning how to play guitar…again


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.

I would have loved to go over immediately and picked up my new guitar, but I had to find a time in both my schedule and the seller’s schedule.
The seller sent me his address and I plugged it into my GPS. I left right from work to be at his house at about 6pm. It was close to an hour drive.
When I pulled into his driveway, there was a large dog. I will a bit leary abotu getting out of my car. But the dog didn’t seem to be hostile. So I got out and kept my eye on him. He came over and sniffed my hand. The seller came to the garage entrance and let me in. He took me into a little recording studio. He showed me the guitar and let me plug in. I played a few power chords, and a little bit of Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. I didn’t play much as I was embarrassed to play in front of the guy because how bad I suck at playing.
He had put new strings on the guitar, tuned it, set the intonation, and in general set it up. He said he was a guitar teacher and the guitar had belonged to one of his students. He had also thrown in a guitar strap. The case was an actual Gibson case and was very nice.
The guitar felt and sounded great. He had other guitars around the room including at least one actual Gibson Les Paul.
I asked him about the guitar having been previously sold. He said that the guy had come to pick it up, and saw a Les Paul Studio and liked it better than the Epiphone Les Paul Standard. The seller traded the guitars. I am assuming that the Studio was an Epiphone. But the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top is worth more than the Studio version. Though apparently the Studio was in a non-standard color. But maybe I misunderstood and the guy got an actual Gibson Les Paul Studio in which case he probably got a great deal!
Whatever the case, I got an new guitar.

I had been watching eBay auctions and craigslist for SG’s. But I also started watching for Les Pauls to see if I came up with a good deal. I read very good reviews of the Epiphone Les Paul Standards, especially the ones with the non-painted tops. Apparently the ones witht he painted tops, use a different wood and sound differently.
I had been searching ebay for guitars that were close to me so that I could potentially save the shipping costs and could perhaps get a better deal.
I had even been looking at brand new Epiphone Les Paul Standards. I found one site that listed the Epiphone Les Paul Stand Plain Top with a Gator Molded Hardshell Case for $449 and free shipping. I was seriously considering this. But they didn’t have any in stock. When they did get some in stock, the price had suddenly jumped to $499. That kind of pissed me off.
An auction came up for an Epiphone Les Paul Standard with a plus top. The plus top is very nice looking. The seller was local so I emailed him to verify that I could pick it up and save shipping. He said no problem. I kept watching it. I did some research and saw that the seller had sold this same guitar a couple weeks earlier. Same pictures everything. That made me a bit curious. The bid on the auction was still low enough that the reserve hadn’t been met. It had previously sold for about $356. Maybe the sale hadn’t gone through or something, though positive feedbacks had been left. But I guess the reserve for $350. And it came with a nice hard case.
I set up a snipe bid for the guitar at $367 or something like that. I didn’t want to bid too high figuring that I could buy a brand new plain top without a case for around $400.
When the day of the auction came, the snipe bid triggered and I won the auction for the reserve price of $350!
Way cool!

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