Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Ziggy played guitar

Readers of this blog will know that something like two weeks ago Jo got herself a ukulele.
Thing is, she hardly ever touched it after the first go once we got home. I, on the other hand, have been playing with it since. Not that I manage to generate anything even remotely musical out of it (eventually I'll put a short movie clip on the links at the side so you'd be able to see for yourself, but I have to warn you in advance to wear ear protection).
By now I know five (!!) chords, but it takes me between a minute to a minute and a half to switch from one cord to another in this ritual that never fails to get Jo to laugh. She claims it's due to the expression on my face when I concentrate on the switch; I don't care, because I find it all to be quite a therapeutic experience. It's just so relaxing.
Given the limited scope of the ukulele, and with Jo talking about her experience playing guitar (just one of loads of musical instruments she played, and in contrast to me she actually does play), I've decided to further examine the issue of guitars.
Jo recommended I start with an acoustic one to see how it goes; but aided with this website that I got to when I googled "how to buy a good cheap guitar" which said that it's easier to learn on an electric one than an acoustic one (don't ask me why) and the fact that none of the music that I like is really acoustic guitar based (ok, maybe none is too harsh but you get the point) while almost all of it is electric guitar based, I decided to examine the possibilities of the electric side of the fence.
Now I know I will never be up to any good, so there's no need to go for the top of the line shit. On the other hand, I don't want something that's so shit I wouldn't be able to get along with it in the first place; that ukulele that we got is a good example, because it goes out of tune virtually immediately after you tune it, which sort of makes it hard to learn the instrument.
Having had a look on the internet and in a shop right next to where I work, I decided that for a guitar I would go with a Yamaha Pacifica 012 which I can get for $150 ("sadly" available on in red and white for that price). As far as an amp goes, I will go for the cheapest piece of shit I can find; I won't be playing anything that you would actually want to hear in the next few years anyway, it's all just an exercise in therapy.
As far as accessories go, I'll only get a cable to connect the guitar to the amp. I'll skip the tuner for now because I can tune the guitar with the piano we already have (and a bit of Jo's help, because my musical hearing is just fucked and I can't tell one note from another). As I go I'll get things like spare strings and shit like that.
Obviously, the greatest danger here is that this is all money for nothing and in a week's time I'd be tired of it all and the guitar would just be left to gather dust. But that's where eBay comes into the picture: Since the 012 normally sells for $300 and more, I should be able to cover a significant portion of the initial investment (the amp would be another story altogether, since posting costs would be quite a lot and no one really wants shit used stuff).
But the point is that with eBay in the equation there aren't that many risks. Unless you count the fact we don't have anywhere to store the guitar a risk.
I'll probably post some photos once I get some hardware.


ek said...

I fully support you wanting to learn to play the guitar. I would recommend starting off with classical - and learning to read music/chords too. I am probably biased when it comes to this but nylon strings are nicer to your fingers than steel ones. Depends what kind of music you would like to learn to play.

I played guitar and had lessons for about 8 years starting from the age of 8. I havent really picked it up much for the last few years and I miss it! I agree that playing is very relaxing. I love Spanish Flamenco music the most.

In regards to storing your guitar, if you have the room, buying a guitar stand and displaying it in your living area is a nice touch. Just an idea!

P.S What other instruments does Jo play? I also played drums in a Scottish Pipe Band when I was younger. I may have alrady told you this...

Moshe Reuveni said...

Miss EK!
It makes me really glad to write this blog if this is the way through which I learn more about my friends.
Now, having learnt that you played in a Scottish Pipe Band (and played the drums - probably the thing I'd like to play the most if I had the nerves and the space and the supportive neighbours) - all I can say (aside of asking what the f*ck is a Scottish Pipe Band) is: Wow!
And then all I can say is "why are you still doing your current job and not looking for something better, because it seems like your work is just turning you off".
Your advice will certainly be appreciated (I think I will probably follow it - it was my original intention anyway, I think), other than the fact I went for an electric guitar. However, I don't like Flamenco, but that's probably due to a rebel instinct since my mother likes everything Spanish.
And last, but not least, Jo plays all sorts of shit. From weird types of trumpets to things you knock on to guitars and pianos. Most of her skills are probably on the rusty side of things, but she can take on a tool and generate music pretty quickly.

P.S. Maybe we should get together with Mr Carmona and the Myron etc for some musical action.

ek said...

I totally agree - I learn a lot about my friends too through their blogs!

Scottish Pipe Band...mainly comprised of 3 different types of drums, bag-pipes and a "drum major" - who leads the band in marching. I'm not sure why I took it up but it seemed like fun! And it was. Made many friends and was able to travel a bit throughout Western Australia with my family. I will try and get my Dad to scan in some photos and you can see me playing the drums in a kilt and full uniform...quite funny!

Getting together with Mr Myron & Mr Carmona would be fantastic! I really need to rekindle my musical side...

I am about to read on about your adventure with your guitar