Guitars… confusion…

So, I thought I’ll get a new guitar.

Easier said than done! Trust me.

I went in with the assumption, that my (supposedly) super ear will guide me to my new guitar. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It turns out, my super ear failed me on more levels than one. 🙂

Well, getting the acoustic one was somewhat easier, now that I look back. All you had to do, is check the sound, built, and the action. Of course, the size. And, somehow, back with the acoustic, the cost of the guitar varied nicely with the built, and looks. I found a decent one in just a couple of trips to the music shop.

The thing with the electric guitar kit is there are far to many variables in the equation. The cost variation is also somewhat spectacular. Add to it the fact, that I feel kind of unable to differentiate between sounds generated by those complicated instruments. Oh, did I mention the done variations, and the pickup coil options!

The setup at the music shop was simple, with one processor and one amp. The sales person just kept on hooking different guitars, and playing them with some knobs being flicked here and there. The end result was that I could not really latch on to what he was trying to say.

Single coil pickup or double coil. To me, it sounded much the same. He kept talking about the power, and the clean factor of the sound. It felt as though some one tried to explain stock market to me. I gave up on that particular guitar. It was a beginner Stagg.

In came the next ibanez. Supposedly of a little premium quality. Hooked it up to the same setup, and started his usual routine. Boy, time for me to get thoroughly confused. Frankly, it sounded same as the previous guitar 🙁 Maybe, I’m tone deaf or something, but  I had no idea why one of them would cost 7. 5k INR, and other 20k.

The confusion prevailed further, when I saw some Fenders at the similar range.

To add more fuel to this fire, I got to know that there are effects Processors with similar effects, but one being superior than other. I did not care to listen, the shop did not have them for try outs.

Ditto for the amps in there. About 5 varieties. but none to demo.

I’ll try to give my super ear another run at another shop, but one thing was pretty much evident here. Guitars did not make much of a difference here. Or they did, but I could not perceive. Maybe, I’ll need an expert to guide me through this mysterious myriad of options.

Any Experts?

I’m a cow bwaaay!

This post contains another recoding. My favorite western song. 🙂

I’ve been wanting to play this one ever since I started to strum. however, I could do it only now.

The funny thing is that this particular song is more vocal heavy, and I am still not all that comfortable singing (yet!) . Anyways, I had a go at it, and the output is here for you to listen. Like it or trash it, for the record …. I have put it up. It’s quite an effort.

One more thing off my to do list. 🙂

———————–

(Country Roads, by John Denver . Acoustic cover by me, rhythm and vocals)

 

My two hot flatmates.

Friends back at home have repeatedly wanted to see pictures of my guitar.Here they are (yes folks, I have two) , and aren’t they hot ? Presenting for the very first time……..

TADA

The small handy guitar I use to catch newer tunes
babe

This is the first guitar I’ve ever played on. It’s a cut shaped concert guitar. Even now, many a songs I cannot play on my other guitar come easily to me on this. Babe’s a gift from a friend of mine from college.

The guitar with the deep sound.
pluto

Pluto is the guitar I fell in love with despite the fact that there were Yamahas and Fenders around it at the music shop. After playing all those guitars, somehow the sound of this hottie appealed to me the most, and I got her home 😉

 

harmony
both

Don’t they co-exist in such nice harmony. If only life were like that!

Warning : This post shall not be held responsible if your monitor screen burns out due to the sheer hotness. You have been warned!!

Peace out.

Now this is trippy stuff.

So, I had been laying low for some time. Am back . Not with the proverbial bang, but a melody. Yup, a melody. All created and recorded at home.

Now I have been an admirer of great music ever since I can remember. Somehow, the urge to dissect and sample a song by bits had never occurred to me. Neither had there been any inclination to play any musical instrument. I did secretly wish to play guitar, drums and flute.

Now if I look retrospectively, I have had many a chances to learn how to play guitar. Needless to say, I squandered most of them. 🙂

Walk down the memory lane.

  1. I was in class sixth. Mom was a teacher in school, and dad had a guitar. She decided to put the two together to see if anything happens. So, she asked a guitar teacher in school to come and teach me. But there was a glitch, which acted like a spanner in the otherwise “smooth as an engine plan by mom“. The guitar teacher would come at 6:00  PM, i.e the time to play. Now i felt that was not a fair trade. Play time vs. guitar learn time. So to get the best of both the worlds, I convinced my younger sister to take lessons form the Guitar sir, and teach me later in the evening. That was when the scheme went out for a toss. I had to play outside with friends 🙂
  2. In college, I was thoroughly impressed by the musical abilities of some of my class mates. Also, give a guitar to any school kid in Sikkim, and he’d probably put the other (read outsiders) kids to shame. It seems, they are born with some guitar playing abilities. Let’s not digress. I saw a certain Mr. SB, Banra, Panne, Mr. PS, Mr. KR, Mr. UR amongst the others. I was thoroughly impressed.
  3. I asked Panne to borrow his guitar at the exam time. He did not play during very close to the exam days, and I err… did not study all the time :). So I would get like a week around the exam dates, when I’d get Panne’s guitar and try to strike up the musician in me. But no. Not of any consequence. I gave up, again.
  4. I was flatmates with a person when I stayed in Noida. He had a guitar, and played some times. My other flatmate had a guitar too, and I saw this as a golden opportunity to  get in the groove. I started looking up the net, and getting to play. Only went up to getting to finger a few simple chords. Then those lessons got slashed as I decided to move back to gurgaon. I still did not have a guitar.
  5. I would repeatedly pester my friend , Mr. SB to sell me his old guitar, or accompany me to a music shop to by one for me. I still had no guitar picking talent. Some how, he fell in love with his old guitar which he did try to sell to me. I mean I got all the mail with that guitar striking various poses. I did not react proactively for some reason, and he withdrew the offer later. Some things, I guess are just not meant to be

<Snip>

I came to hyderabad 6 months ago. Ain’t I old ? Some things happened that lead me into giving it a shot for yet another time.

The push consisted of (and how it actually happened).

  1. I moved to a new house, and would play loud music in the morning.My next door  neighbor overheard my song selection. He somehow deduced that I like guitar. He is himself a guitarist from his college days. He decided to teach me. My problem was, I did not have a guitar. He is Mr. R, and is one of my guitar teachers
  2. Amongst some of the people I met here, a friend from college had a guitar. I told him to teach me as well. He said that he did not play anymore, and told me to take the guitar if I wish to. Mr. RK, I heard a mental click. Finally, I had a guitar. Thanks. Big Time. This was about 4 months ago.

4 months ago, I decided to give guitar playing another shot. Somehow during that time I got to listen to Telugu Music. I was impressed yet again. There was a student in me which was trying to get up. It was certainly not something I was home at doing, but I blogged about getting out out from the “comfort zone“.

I certainly wanted to practice what I preached (or blogged).

So, in an attempt to get out from my comfort zone, I decided to try to learn how to play guitar. Made a mental promise with self that I’ll hang in there for 2 months, and see how things go from there.

(Patience, by G’n’R . Acoustic cover by me, rhythm and vocals)

Now there are some things I can do with a guitar, and some which I can’t. I needed a lot of patience, and I still do. One thing is for sure, I’m a student for life. 🙂

PS : I’m a lousy singer

Music 2.0

How do you listen to Music ?

I mean, gone are the days where you’d proudly buy a shiny new CD, and listen it over and again, till you would have it playing in your imagination, and consequently get bored, and repeat the process for another shiny new CD.

Some people say, that they prefer listening to the Radio, because of it’s unpredictable nature. With the collection you compile, and play, you’d know what to expect, often when to expect it too, so yes, that also does get boring after a while.

But the fact is, that these people are not too hung up about the unpredictable nature of the radio. They like certain shows, that play similar kind of music, though not the same. This keeps the “element of surprise” intact. If I’d give them a really random sample, chances are, they will detest it.

So, what I’d like to know is how to discover new music, with gradually drifting across genres and artists, so that the progression seems natural, yet, the collection is vast enough to not give an impression of being repetitive.

I used to listen to last.fm, even made a mythtv plugin to tune into genres, and similar artists type stations, but last.fm has made the service restricted to non-paying users, and we cannot use any player to stream their content. It would be good, if I(and a group of friends), decide to catalog my entire music collection, and then use some hi-fi algorithm to dish out the proper songs.

I’m pretty sure there’s already such a service up and running, or some solution to set up the kind of service on my local machine.  Just need to find out what it is. Amarok already has a fancy logic in moodbar. I think it garners it’s statistics from sites like last.fm, and others.

I used to believe that if I write some CD’s/mp3 in my music player, I would never get bored if I could play them in shuffle mode. But I think I need a mechanism to add new finds in there, update listening orders to something that is not as naïve as shuffle, and remove songs from the list which I don’t listen to as often. And it should also sync to all my music playing devices. And it should not overwhelm me with the number of tracks it has to offer. What I need for starters is this:

A total of 50 tracks:

  • with 10 new songs
  • and 10 recommended songs,
  • and 10 favorites,
  • and 10 similar artists,
  • and 10 similar genre

Phew. This should be enough for me to last an average day. Any idea, on how can it be done?

Social music is the need of hour.

Time to retire an old boy.

11’th January, 2010.

It was a dark day. I had never imagined for a slightest of moment, that I’d be attached so much to a “non-living entity”, the way I did. Well, for all practical purposes, a computer is just a electronic instrument, to repetitively do the most boring of things, while you(it’s master), would either be getting entertained, solving your professional problems, or communicating with your friends.

My PC, an old warhorse, skipped a beat, went down, and has never come back. But when I think about it, it does seem more than just a device. I even had a name for it, “tiger”.

The times and means by which I got to acquire tiger, are also seemingly not ordinary.

It was a non functional PC I had bought from a college classmate, he was looking to get rid of it, and sold it to me at like throwaway price.He was happy, so was I. When I came home from college, dad was looking to close office, and so naturally keen on scavenging whatever I could lay my hands on. There I saw 2 of the most beautiful looking CPU cabinets. They were minimalistic (unlike the ornate box, I had purchased).

So I took one of those boxes, and removed it’s low form celeron processor, and threw in RAM, and a P4, and additional hard disk from the one I had bought in college, and up came the rig : called tiger. It was satisfying from the very beginning. Customized with switches, locks at many levels. I took pride in having that PC.

But seriously, I was not aware of how many roles it was going to play in my life. The first OS I had installed on to it, was Fedora 8. Wasn’t too satisfied, and wanting to know the guts of my PC, I put gentoo on it. That lasted for a good 2 years, and one of the many artifacts of me doing this, that installation span to many places. I learnt a lot about linux by tinkering things on gentoo. Now, in fact, I cloned the root partition, tweaked some settings, and presto .. I had a USB Hard Disk, which I could connect on any PC, and have it like my Portable machine. Sort of like a laptop for the poor.

People say that PCs do not age gracefully, and the signs of age do not look nice on them (yea, there’s a better version in the market, from the day you pick one up). But this kid was like like old wine. The older it got, the better it became.

Those were the days, I made some LIRC hardware for tiger, added a creative audigy, with 5.1 speakers, tried to install mythtv onto it, put freaky levels of automation for things, added a TV capture card. When I got a laptop, for my other typical computer related tasks, tiger lost it’s keyboard, mouse, and was only operable with a remote control. Along the way, it also got a 22 inch LCD screen, and soon, a 32 inch screen. It was not just a media center that people used to go gaga over, It also did the following things, and in great style, I tell you:

  1. It used to automatically download new torrents via RSS feeds.
  2. Host my music collection, serve it via DAAP, for apple products, and via uPnP for Microsoft based devices at home.
  3. Host my Projects, and code, and what not.
  4. Store and share videos and photos.
  5. Record shows from TV, and provide  me the watch and pause functionality on TV.
  6. Play FM radio for me.
  7. Stream music from the net. That’s also how i discovered last.fm

to tiger:

“you may have passed on, but your legacy and soul will continue to flourish, and scale newer heights, you rest in peace”

Save … (all you can) !!!

“I get up … and nothing gets me down” … Van halen

But this morning, something did. I flicked on my comp, and tuned to the 80’s and 90’s Channel. There was no music. They were going to bring down the net radio.

We have all heard of Save wildlife, Save water, and such issues. But as of today,  27th June 2007, my heart goes out to “save the internet radio movement“. I for one, seriously, and wholeheartedly wish that royalty rates’ hike that is to affect small time broadcasters (which tend to be popular, beyond a certain degree is rolled back).

What’s more, it’s going to be on affect from 15’th of July.

So I urge all the listeners to mark their protest against the ruling  .

Please visit savenetradio.org .All you music lovers.