Monthly Archives: November 2008

Fingerpickin’ with a laser

How do you play a nano guitar–very carefully of course, but not with your fingers. You must use laser beams.

nanoguitar-color
Nano guitar update.

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Build an electric guitar

Have woodworking tools and a garage or work shed? Then why not build your own electric guitar. Looks like fun if you have the time (which unfortunately I don’t).

Here are some well-rated books on the subject:

Build your own electric guitar: complete instructions and full size plans

Make your own electric guitar

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Related: Here’s an electric guitar kit for about a hundred fifty dollars.

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Malaguena on three guitars

The Romeros–well three of them– playing Malaguena, one of the few flamenco pieces in standard classical guitar rep.

Not to be out done by six male hands, here’s Liona Boyd with two feminine hands playing the same piece (the recording quality sounds a little off ):


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Double your sleepwalkin’

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Nylon strings–and a nylon guitar

Here it is, something for the non-traditionalist–a carbon fiber nylon guitar:  The Blackbird Rider Nylon guitar. “Blackbird’s…one-piece, hollow body, neck, and head construction mark a major departure from traditional guitar design- it transforms the entire guitar into a sound box – enhancing loudness, frequency-range and sustain. To further increase the air volume of the sound box, the guitar’s right shoulder extends up to the tenth fret, dubbed the Soundscoop…”Read rest of description, with more pictures, at Guitar Site. By the way, the neck is hollow, which evidently adds to the resonance.

I have not played one yet and have no idea what it actually sounds like. But it looks pretty neat. One problem for traditional classical guitarists, though, is that it looks like this guitar’s non-figure 8 contour won’t lend itself easily to the traditional seating arrangement.

You can order one from Blackbird. Here’s their site. They also make a steel-string version (which is smaller in size than the nylon string version). The classical is about $1800.

nylon_front_sized

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My big fat guitar wedding

Here comes the bride…Skip that depressing organ music–Go with guitar theme. Remember, weddings performed with guitar music are seventy-three percent less likely to end up in divorce (official statistics from the Guitar Marriage Institute). Get your wedding book of guitar music here.

49-699563

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Fender Jazzmaster turns 50

The NY Times has a piece on Fender’s Jazzmaster.

patdinizio61jazzmaster001…Yet while its attack and brightness went unappreciated by the likes of Wes Montgomery, those same qualities were perfect for the emerging sound of surf. Listen to the Ventures’ 1960 version of Johnny Smith’s ‘‘Walk Don’t Run,’’ and the Jazzmaster’s unintended effect is immediately apparent. The guitar growls with a rumbling bass, punctuated with floating licks that seem to rise from under water with a jangly treble twang. ‘‘It’s quite a different sound,’’ says the Ventures guitarist Don Wilson. ‘‘It’s my all-time favorite guitar.’’

1964_fender_jazzmaster_l440801964 Fender Jazzmaster

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Classical Guitarists speak

I’ve meant to read this book for a couple of years now. I came across it again on Amazon.; It looks pretty good, 51dgce0b1xl_sl500_aa240_1though even the pb edition is pretty expensive. Classical Guitarists- Conversations.  By the way you can read some excerpts from this book at Google Books.

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“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”

Here’s a professional string cleaning pad. Works far better than hosing your guitar strings off out in the driveway.

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Finger stamina exercises

Work those fingers! Teachers I had always told me to work the scales, up and down the fingerboard. With a pick it was up stroke/downstroke. With fingers it was alternately i m or i a, free stroke, then rest stroke. Try out this site my nephew has recommended to me; he uses it everyday to build up finger dexterity and speed gain– guitarcardio.com

Note: guitar cardio is in tab form and better suited for electric guitarists using a pick. For classical guitarists who read music I recommend Segovia’s multi-position diatonic scales.

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Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell

In a new Times Online article, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell is referred to as “the man with the golden guitar, subtitled the Clark Kent of guitar–beneath his mild exterior lies a supernatural talent.” Frisell is a great guitarist, though he’s not one of my favorites (I find him too electric). The article, though, certainly sings his praises:

“Is Bill Frisell the best jazz guitarist in the world? There is some snazzy opposition – from the melodious Pat Metheny to the frenetic John McLaughlin. You could say he is the most in demand – and from way beyond jazz. Frisell’s limpid tone has backed Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithfull and David Sylvian. He has rocked out with Ginger Baker; he’s there on Paul Simon’s last CD, and Norah Jones’s. His own 30-plus albums run the gamut from country, bluegrass and Americana to industrial squeaks and shrieks…Read the rest of this article at the link above…”

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Most strings?

I far as I can tell this is the world’s most strung “guitar,” the Pikasso. It has 42 supposedly playable strings. I have no real idea about what technique you’d use on this thing, but I will admit it’s aptly named.

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Classical guitar music in tab form

Do you play classical guitar but don’t read music? If so you might want to check this site, Classical Guitar Tabs. You’ll find finger placements tabs for Bach, Tarrega, Sor, Albeniz and a lot of others. It also features videos of  virtuoso guitarists playing some of these pieces.

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