Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hey, Joe

I had a question, a few weeks ago, from Joseph, by email.  He wrote:

I follow your podcast and I think they a great. Thank you so much for all the information. I wish I lived closer to have you as a teacher. 

My question is do you think the PRS SE Single Cut is a good guitar. I know you often said you love the PRS brand and most of the PRS guitars you have played are good. 
Partly based on that and other research I purchase the guitar used at Sam Ash but found it a little twangy or higher pitch than most guitars I played. I did not hear it to well at the store because they had a band playing. It looks beautiful. Maybe it needs new DR strings? Maybe it needs a setup? I paid about $265.00. I thought it was a good deal. What do you think? 
Thanks in advance. I really value your opinion. 

BTW, if you ever travel to Sparta NJ. Please let me know. I think you would be a great teacher. 

Thanks, Joseph.

I love. love, love, love love PRS guitars.  You've heard me say it on podcasts, and it's true.   You may or may not have also make reference to my affinity for warm, round sound.  I'm not a fan of "twangy" guitars, and I haven't ever heard a truly "twangy" PRS.  If the guitar you purchased sounds really tinny, of course, throw on a set of DR Strings. In my opinion. they make every guitar sound better.  But they may not hold the full answer.

I don't know how "used" the guitar is.  If you have a good luthier or guitar tech nearby, I'd check the pots and the rest of the electronics.  A loose wire or other faulty connection can radically alter the sound production,  While you're at it, set you amp for a clean sound, to hear the guitar's true quality.  

Another possibility is that you're hearing the result of your guitar being dehydrated, because it's winter in NJ.  If you listened to my podcast with any frequency, you know that I'm a proponent of humidifier usage.  Have you been humidifying?  If at some high fret, you just hear a squeaky screech, and you hear the same thing on the next higher fret without any difference in sound, you have either a high fret and/or a badly dehydrated neck.  Do the edges of the frets protrude a teeny bit out of the sides of the neck?  That's another sure sign of dehydration.  The neck may also need an adjustment.   I'd check all these things before I believed I had the only "twangy" PRS in existence.  

Do put fresh DRs on and, why don't you try Raptor Picks? The thickest edge will warm up a treble-heavy ax.

Still Alive (AKA The Walking Wounded)

It has been forever!! i have a few draft posts that are in various states of completion, but for now, I'm going to allow them to hibernate or percolate, depending upon my next few weeks.  Yes, I took a break, but had every intention of getting back to regular blogging in January.  There were quite a few distractions that prevented it.

Fast forward to last week, the 20th of February...  a day I will regret for a long, long, long time.  I had an appointment that I was looking forward to keeping, that Thursday morning.  The weather, here in the NY metro area, has been riddled with deep snowfall, mixed precipitation, some rain, re-freezes etc.  I was being attentive to the icy coating on the sidewalk, so I avoided it, by walking on what appeared to be a bone dry, pristine driveway.   Boy, was I wrong.   I slipped, fell and broke my LEFT WRIST in 3 places.   Of course I didn't know that, at the time.  All I knew was that it was deformed and my hand was in the shape of a weird claw that I couldn't open. The first thing I did was to pull my wedding ring off, because I've seen too many TV scenes in which the rings on swelling fingers have to be cut off and seriously endanger the health of the finger in question.  Ugh.

I wasn't the only one who fell that day.   The ER waiting room held no less than 25, but probably more than 30 people waiting to be seen. One did not have an obvious injury from falling on ice that morning but the rest were cradling arms, wrists, shoulder, had extended leg or head injuries.  

The ER glut resulted in a 4/4.5 hour visit.  When I left it, my wrist had been X-rayed, diagnosed as being triple fractured, numbed, reset, splint casted extremely tightly and  X-rayed  again after the resetting and  splint casting.  I was sent home with a sling, a prescription for a narcotic pain reliever and was told that if the bones shift, I will need surgery and if they remain aligned as they were in the post-compression X-ray, I would not need surgery.

This past Tuesday, I had a series of follow up X-rays and saw the orthopedic hand/wrist specialist on Wednesday.  So far, so good.  The bones are still aligned.  More X-rays will be taken Wednesday and I will see the orthopedist on  Friday.

My left arm is at a 45ยบ angle because the splint cast goes over and around my elbow and covers everything to just short of where my fingers begin.  As uncomfortable as I am, I will gladly trade all this misery for the full use of my wrist and hand when this is all over.  That, remains to be seen.  Of late, I have taken to "fingering" scales in the air, just to keep my fingers moving (such as they can move) and "sight reading" fingering and playing by ear in my mind.  I don't know how far into occupational therapy, I will be able to tax the wrist to the extent that playing requires.  

I will follow this post with a reply to an email question I received.  I may not be blogging much more before I graduate to a short cast, which may be as soon as this or next Friday.

Sorry for the ultra-extended interruption.  Stay tuned for updates.