[ 04/27/13 show notes from Guitar Technique Tutor Podcast Episode 103]
In this week’s show, the Spotlight is dark (bummer), the Question of the Week is, "That's a G chord?!". News is about our friends at Fender's new Standard Strat Plus Top models and Take Note is called, "It's That Time, Again."
So how was your week? Mine was pretty good. We have some drama going on with a close friend, but other than that, it was a good week. My students are progressing nicely, the weather has been fabulous if you aren’t allergic to astronomically high tree and grass pollen, which I am thankful that I no longer am, and next week, all of my students should be around for their lessons. No more school breaks until Memorial Day weekend, I think. That’s good. Before I can blink they’ll be gallivanting off for the summer.
Arno’s 2 bands played at a benefit last weekend and he said it went well. Good!
I think I’m still in the midst of DR marvelousness. Their high tech coating helps them last longer and play better. I know that the cusp and then the gradual decline will be farther off because of their proprietary K3 coating. It extends your strings’ life and I find them much more playable. Cool.
You know how some music just feels and sounds like summer? Whether it’s because you’ve watched videos or you have a memory of being in a certain place or situation, you’re sort of imprinted with an idea when you hear them - and i don’t mean because of the words. Well, among some of my students, this year, as the weather here finally broke, a lot of students are playing The Eagles stuff. It’s so interesting. The students are diverse, yet waves of common interest emerge from time to time. Right now, it’s time for the Eagles. It could be worse.
When I saw Lani this week, she said she had something to show me that was going to make me sad. While she was exiting and re-entering the room, I rattled off a list of things I didn’t want to see. She laid a broken Raptor pick on the coffee table. It was indeed a sad sight but was the solution to the mystery of to where one of mine disappeared. A good friend, Donna, made a zip key fob for me, in which I carry a few picks. I guess my that when I put my pick back into the fob after Lani’s lesson, I didn’t zip it and it fell out. She said she found it in the street and knew it had to have been my dead Raptor.
Today is 180 days into the clean up and recovery from Superstorm Sandy. A local community college had a fund raiser for survivors in Seaside Heights - a popular tourist spot for many New Jerseyans. 9 Bands performed.
If you would like to contribute to the clean up and restoration that is still so desperately needed, one of the reliable organizations to whom you can donate is SandyNJReleifFund.org.
I drove past the Mahwah Museum and pointed out the Les Paul in Mahwah: A Tribute sign to the person with whom I was riding. Don’t forget that your opportunity to see the full exhibit is quickly waning. The exhibit as it is today will close June 30. The museum is closed during the summer and through September. The smaller permanent installation will be available to visitors in October.
At this year’s Les Paul 98th Birthday Gala on June 8, there will be a couple of nice guitars raffled.
RAFFLE: DRAWING JUNE 8, 2013
Last years raffle in honor of Les Paul’s 97th Birthday was a resounding success.
This year the Mahwah Museum is doing it again. They will be raffling off two more guitars; the raffle drawing will be held at the Les Paul 98th Birthday Gala being held on June 8, 2013, at the Trustees Pavilion at Ramapo College. Attendance is not required to participate in the raffle.
White Epiphone Guitar, Les Paul Standard Royal, Body autographed by Bucky Pizzarelli, Lou Pallo and others, with Les Paul autographed pick guard circa 2007
Epiphone Mahogany Guitar, Les Paul Studio, autographed by Lou Pallo, Peter Frampton, Lou Caiola and Peter Townshend [ I think the library has it wrong - I sent them an email. I’m sure it’s Al Caiola]
Les Paul and Mary Ford 45 rpm Record and Gibson Ad, autographed by Les Paul
Donation $25.00 per raffle ticket. Tickets are available for purchase at the Mahwah Museums: Wed/Sat/Sun from 1 – 5 p.m. To order by mail, send a copy of the page you can print online, with your name, address, number of tickets and check payable to Mahwah Museum Society, and they will send the tickets to you.
Don’t forget to check out Thank You, Les, the tribute album and documentary spearheaded by Lou Pallo, with performances by the Les Paul Trio and numerous guitarists and musician friends of Les Paul.
Does your or your kids’ mom love to play guitar? I know, if she’s a mom, she probably doesn’t have much time, but my friend Tina of Tinaspicks.com is a busy mother and she finds time to play. Jewelry, flowers and dinner out are good, but a handful of genuine Raptor R Series guitar picks will show her you love her because it shows her that you know what she loves.
I don’t know a guitarist alive that isn’t looking for fresh inspiration and she’s no exception. The 3 uniquely and specifically engineered picking tips on the Raptor entice a guitarist to think about and explore the full range of sound qualities they can create with it. The unique beveling of the molded acrylic pick offer amazingly silent attack. She’s going to love them.
The Raptor R Series pick is destined to become a pivotal tool for creative guitarists, whether they’re moms, dads, sons or daughters. Personally, I haven’t played with anything but a Raptor R Series since the very first time I touched one and I don’t think anyone will be disappointed when they play with a genuine Raptor R Series pick.
Get some today for the guitarist in your life, or for you at RaptorPicksUSA.com Free Raptors with a purchase of 4 or more is just another way of “spreading the excellence, one guitarist at a time.”
Raptor™ picks are a registered design. All rights are owned by Black Carbon.
This week's question came from a student who, like many, is locked into a very limited, visual understanding of chords - even basic ones. He showed me a guy on YouTube, teaching viewers how to play a particular song (yeah, I know, this student of mine already has a teacher, but still he trawls YouTube - whatever). My instruction to him and everyone like him, is to close their eyes and listen - which he doesn’t always do. The guy on YouTube was playing just the lower strings of a pretty common movable chord. Because he was playing just the lower strings, the diagrams of the chords he used were just the fragments, not the whole chord because he was only playing 3 or 4 strings. Between not listening with inquiring ears and being so locked into thinking 5 or 6 string chords that are familiar, are the only versions of those chords, my student was challenged to grasp that the 3 or 4 low strings & the resultant diagram was just as much a G chord - or whatever chord it was, and that he actually plays that chord all the time in its fuller version. Obviously, he only thinks in terms of fingerboard geography and in visual terms. If he listened, he could hear that it was a the chord we were discussing. If he were thinking what makes any chord whatever it is, he would have understood it with ease.
You dudes are the visualizers and you need to be able to listen to what you play.
Would you have had the same reaction as my student? As long as you have a root, a third and a fifth, you have a chord. It doesn’t have to look like something particular. If you have a root and a 5, you’ve got a power chord (which we all know, isn’t really a chord.)
If you have a question that you would like me to address on the podcast, please email it to me at email@example.com. If I use your question, I will be glad to send you a Guitar Technique Tutor Podcast pick.
In the news this week are the new members of the Fender Standard Strat line, which are the Plus Tops.
The http://www.fender.com/series/standard/standard-stratocaster-hss-plus-top/Standard Stratocaster HSS Plus Top delivers famous Fender tone and classic style, with the added elegance of a flame maple top on the alder body. Other features include single-coil neck and middle pickups, humbucking bridge pickup, tinted maple neck with modern "C"-shaped profile and satin urethane back finish, rosewood or maple fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets and 9.5" radius, three-ply parchment pickguard and parchment control knobs, vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge and '70s-style headstock logo. Available in Tobacco Sunburst (rosewood fingerboard) and Aged Cherry Burst (maple fingerboard).
The Standard Stratocaster Plus Top delivers famous Fender tone and classic style, with the added elegance of a flame maple top on the alder body. Other features include three single-coil pickups, tinted maple neck with modern "C"-shaped profile and satin urethane back finish, rosewood or maple fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets and 9.5" radius, three-ply parchment pickguard and parchment control knobs, vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge and '70s-style headstock logo. Available in Tobacco Sunburst (rosewood fingerboard) and Aged Cherry Burst (maple fingerboard).
Understand the primary difference between these guitars that look nearly the same and have the same MSRPs. which is $739.99, is the pickup configuration. The good news is that there's a lefty version.
Then there’s the version with the locking tremolo: The Standard Stratocaster HSS Plus Top with Locking Tremolo delivers famous Fender tone and classic style, with the added elegance of a flame maple top on the alder body. Other features include single-coil neck and middle pickups, humbucking bridge pickup, tinted maple neck with modern "C"-shaped profile and satin urethane back finish, rosewood or maple fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets and 9.5" radius, three-ply parchment pickguard and parchment control knobs, Floyd Rose® double-locking two-point tremolo bridge and '70s-style headstock logo. Available in Tobacco Sunburst (rosewood fingerboard) and Aged Cherry Burst (maple fingerboard).This is an H/S/S model and its MSRP is $1009.99
My take note topic this week is, “It’s that time, again.” Unless you like your guitar to look like a Willie Nelson special, you may want to take some minor precautions to protect your axe’s finish, now that on my side of the equator, it’s the spring/summer season. That means short or no sleeves and possibly playing or gigging outside. I can just see that sweat and all the skin oils coming out of your arm and clouding up or wearing down the finish of your guitar. Yuck! I can’t stand how it looks nor how it feels. I have played way too many that had their finishes melted off the way acetone strips nail lacquer - not my guitars but those of friends or students. I suppose if you had supersonic ears, you would actually be able to hear a difference. After all, on acoustic guitars, the finishes are quite particularly formulated for the effect they have on the flex and the resulting sound.
Hey, if you don’t care what your axe looks like, (and maybe even sounds like) or if the lower bout loses its slickness for ease of your arm’s movement …. it’s cool. It’s cool, but I don’t get it. It doesn’t take too much to protect it. A sleeve is great but not all shirts have sleeves. I realize that not everyone can carry off taking a long or 3/4 sleeve shirt and cutting the other sleeve short or off for comfort. I used to do that all the time. In another decade I found a shirt that already had a short and a long sleeve. I wore it like crazy until it was threadbare. Unless you are a brave individualist and have a tailor that can alter your shirts, you may want to do something a bit more conventional. A folded handkerchief is enough of a barrier between your hot sweaty skin and the possibly fragile finish on your guitar. I don’t like them because they fall off. I prefer the rib section of a sock. It slips on and slips off when you are finished. It remains in place and doesn’t threaten to slide onto the strings when you’re playing. I’ve already tucked a sock top into the bag I take out to students, now that spring is here. Over the past couple of weeks, I wore short sleeves a few times, already.
If you have a mid or high end guitar, and you think you’d ever sell it, the cost of refinishing a guitar well - and by that I mean so it is undetectable, is quite expensive and you would need to find an independent luthier or someone in a high end guitar shop, not the guys who are at the big name music stores where the “techs” mainly do string changes and neck set ups. I’m suggesting refinishing for best resale price but I also think it’s incumbent upon you to disclose the refinishing to your intended buyer. I’m sure they will appreciate your integrity.
Glad your gig went well last week, Arno.
Who’s playing Eagles music?
I love the K3 coating on my DRs. They are still sounding sweet.
We didn’t have a funeral for the run-over Raptor pick, but Lani was right, it did make me sad.
If you’d like to further assist SuperStorm Sandy victims, Sandy NJ Relief Fund will put 100% of your contribution to excellent use. The recovery here is going to take years.
Don’t forget the Les Paul in Mahwah exhibit at the Mahwah Museum in Mahwah, NJ which is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and the marvelous tribute to Les Paul by Lou Pallo, the trio and other musical friends, called Thank You, Les.
You can get in on the raffle for the autographed Les Paul guitars even if you cannot attend the Les Paul 98th Birthday Gala on June 8th.
You don’t have to play all 5 or 6 strings of a chord if it isn’t the sound you want/need. If you know what comprises a chord, a funny looking partial diagram won’t confuse you.
The relatively affordable Fender Standard Plus Top model line is nice. Just be sure to choose the pick up configuration you like.
Hey, put something between your sweaty arm and the finish of your axe. You don’t want it to get rough and cloudy, do you?
If you’re not comfortable, your guitar isn’t either, so don’t leave your guitar in a cold car or basement, or a hot car or attic. Humidify if your guitar lives in an environment in which there is less than 40% humidity.
I’m hoping to have Episode 104 recorded, mixed and online by May 6th or 7th. I won’t be producing a show the week of the 12th. I have a few things cooking the preceding weekend for a significant birthday, so I know I won’t be able to find time before the end of that week, for a show. I’m not so big on birthdays, but when there’s a zero in the number, they’re noteworthy.
If you're seeking expert competent guitar instruction in the Bergen and Rockland County towns in which I teach, such as Airmont, Allendale, Fair Lawn, Franklin Lakes, Glen Rock, Hawthorne, HoHoKus, Hillburn, Mahwah, Midland Park, Montebello, Montvale, Oakland, Oradell, Paramus, Park Ridge, the hamlet of Ramapo, Ramsey, Ridgewood, River Edge, Saddle River, Suffern, Tallman, Teaneck, Tuxedo, Tuxedo Park, Upper Saddle River, Viola, Waldwick, Washington Township, Westwood, Woodcliff Lake or Wyckoff please contact me. For lesson inquires, calling is best and my number is on the web site. If we can coordinate our schedules and you're a good candidate to learn to play the guitar, perhaps we can work together.
Whether you are a beginner guitarist, a gigging professional or at any level in between, a genuine Raptor™ guitar pick will catapult your playing forward. Visit RaptorPicksUSA.Com to order yours today.
Practice, have a great week, practice and until next time, I'm D A Arlaus, doing my part to spread the excellence, one guitarist at a time.