3,892 reputation
626
bio website
location Arizona
age 60
visits member for 3 years, 4 months
seen 2 days ago

Long time developer in lots of different fields on different hardware using different languages for different reasons.

Greatly enjoying Ruby, Sequel, Nokogiri, Rails, Sinatra/Padrino, and trying to find time and opportunities to work with Python.

I have years and years of experience with Perl too, along with Java, SQL, Pascal, C, various assembly languages and interpreted BASICs.


Jul
2
comment How to learn guitar without physical lessons?
+1. Re: transcribing: The guitar isn't like a woodwind instrument in that it has multiple places on the neck to play the same pitches, with each position having a different timbre. Learning to hear those differences takes a while but is important when trying to figure out chord changes and solos.
Jul
2
comment Major Blues Scale over I-IV-V progression
I think you're overthinking it. "Playing the blues" isn't about mechanically adhering to certain notes, it's inserting those notes into your phrases to catch the ear of the listener. Play an F if you want, since it's in the key, and use F#/Gb and G. Playing blues throws a wrench into classic theory, just as jazz does. Knowing when and why you want to do that is the trick.
Jul
2
comment Major Blues Scale over I-IV-V progression
"Many players will even play with notes that sound quite wrong for the sake of tension." Yes, and sometimes we play notes that are quite wrong because, well, they were quite wrong, but we recover by working our way back into the key through deviousness and pretending "I meant to do that." :-)
Jul
2
comment Major Blues Scale over I-IV-V progression
+1 A "blues scale" isn't really a scale, because it's missing notes, and the notes it has can be accidentals. Worrying about whether the notes are correct for the key misses the point entirely for playing blues; It's all about expressing something we hear, and we pick and chose notes in and out of the key to provide the tension/bluesy feel.
Jul
1
comment What determines how hard it is to press a guitar string?
Action is only a part of it. Try tuning bass strings to guitar pitch, then try fretting them. Even though they could be close to the neck, their tension would make it really hard to press them down. Action improving with age? Action shouldn't change at all, especially on an old guitar, as changing is a bad sign that the guitar is unstable and needs inspection.
Jul
1
comment What determines how hard it is to press a guitar string?
"The straightness of the neck has nothing to do with the tension.", yes, but it can have a lot to do with how hard it is to press a guitar string. If it's pulling forward the action will be higher, increasing the difficulty of fretting. If it's bowing backwards, the action can be improved, improving the fretting. That's basically why we adjust the relief of the neck.
Jun
3
comment How do I know when it's time to change a tube on my amplifier?
I remember those, and used them on my old '65 Deluxe amps' tubes. (And no, I don't have them any more because I stupidly sold those. Too.) It'd be a great service to their customers if the mega-music store chains had tube testers next to their stock of replacement tubes. I'm sure they can find old testers for dirt-cheap. Slap on a coat of paint and a cute wrap and plug them in.
Mar
5
comment Pickups and selector switch stop buzzing when touched?
Taylor calls it a "shunt", so I used their terminology. The strings are not grounded when the fuse/shunt blows, instead the connection to the strings is broken entirely, and, if you're holding the strings, you won't get shocked as the circuit to the strings, and hence the player, no longer exists. I've got two Taylors with them in it; One currently is blown and the guitar works fine, albeit with a bit more noise which goes away if I touch the pickup casing to ground myself.
Mar
5
comment Pickups and selector switch stop buzzing when touched?
There are very valid reasons why guitars should not have their strings (or tuners, bridges or other metallic parts) grounded. It creates a situation where the guitarist can close a loop through badly wired A/C circuits, which can cause a shock, or even death. It's better to shield the controls and possibly do what Taylor does in their electrics, and use a shunt that'll open in case of a ground-loop. Modern building codes should having wiring that won't case a problem, but old buildings, or badly wired stages, can be dangerous.
Mar
5
comment How does bodybuilding or weightlifting affect singer's voice?
"How does bodybuilding or weightlifting affect singer's voice?" Are you singing while doing those things?
Jan
24
comment How does the Buzz Feiten tuning system work?
The Martin's back and the BFTS has helped a lot; Getting the guitar tuned is more finicky, probably because I'm having to tune differently, but it sounds great once I get it there. Chords and open-chords are in tune past the twelfth fret now. It was a totally reversible change to an original guitar that had a badly placed bridge right from the factory. Awesome!
Dec
31
comment How does the Buzz Feiten tuning system work?
As I understand it, Feiten is the nut, the saddle and how the frets are crowned. My '69 Martin D35 is in the shop for one, to correct issues from the factory back then and my tech went over the changes he'd have to make. Because it's such an old guitar he's trying to avoid any unreversible changes.
Dec
27
comment How well does mental practice work for you on different instruments?
It paid off for Prof. Harold Hill in "The Music Man". :-)
Dec
24
comment In jazz, can anyone play any song?
Copyright violation is a costly experience. It's good for all artists to be aware of the laws, both to protect themselves and avoid accidentally (or deliberately) violating them. The laws aren't identical around the world, but the ideas are the same.
Dec
17
comment I need help choosing between learning guitar and piano
+1. Thoughtful answer. Jazz players, both guitar and piano, are usually good at reading charts, and at my most focused, I could read scores and play them pretty well on the guitar. One thing guitars do really well, is interact sonically with amplification. Playing an electric into a tube amp driven to distortion so it holds a note forever is one-majorly-fun experience. :-)
Dec
17
comment Really light electric guitar strings and the blues
Piezo will work because they pick up the vibration of the wood top or bridge, but that's an entirely different sound than a metal string inducing a current in a standard pickup.
Nov
18
comment B flat minor - the key of death…seriously?
+1 for elevating SpinalTap to the same level as the other "serious" music.
Nov
8
comment Guitar Picking improvement… is forcing EVER good
I agree that speed and accuracy practice is important, it's just not the end-all goal. Of course some people measure perfection by notes/second, and that's fine. The end goal is to accurately reproduce what we hear in our head. That said, music is an attempt to say something; I prefer to say the right thing at the right time. That's just me.
Oct
24
comment Why do tube-based guitar amplifiers sound so good?
Wikipedia's "Guitar Amplifier" article has a section on the history of guitar amps with a list of artists who deliberately went for distorted sounds.
Oct
7
comment What is the best setup for high gain and low noise for my amp and effects?
That may be. It's important to think of all the components in the setup as they all affect the noise. I have two compressors, from the same era, both are considered "classic" pedals, and both can add a lot of hiss. Turning up their gain is the problem. They're cheap little designs and good for simple use but not studio quality. If you are using massive amounts of gain or overdrive, which is gain too, you will get noise. A noise gate can only do so much before it starts getting in the way. I'd try a boost inside the guitar to push a hotter signal down the wire.