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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

guitar virgin
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Author guitar virgin
MrBiggs
I joined Muffs a year and two months ago to read about and write about synths. But lately I've been buried deep here at the guitar thread and I've even been glancing at the Strat and Telecaster forums out there. What happened?
Six years ago, when I was teaching college, a student gave me a Squier Stratocaster. He graduated and got a job in New York, and since he credited/blamed me for his success (the kid was a runt as a junior and after two years of me kicking his ass got a job as an art director at Farrar Strauss Giroux and now works in the video game industry in Boston) he gave me his guitar. I had an acoustic back in the 90s that my ex got in the divorce which I never learned to play, and like that acoustic this Squier thing sat in my closet for years.
So a few weeks ago I go to my son's 7th grade holiday concert and what do you know but he's sitting there playing the bass guitar. He lives at my house and I didn't know he played the bass. He spends some time at his mom's, and she's married to a musician, and apparently he's been picking up the bass there and in the music room at school, and now he reads tab and can play some Ozzie and Jingle Bell Rock. The next day my 10-year-old daughter tells me she wants a pink guitar for Christmas. So for Christmas she gets her pink guitar and he gets a Dean bass on sale at Guitar Center. Rock on!

Now, mix that all in with the fact that I've been learning electronics and playing with sounds of all kinds run through my modular and a few delay pedals I have. I'm also planning to build a fuzz pedal for my bass player.

So I'm rummaging through the closet looking for the guitar case in the closet which has some cables and picks in it and I come across that white Squier Strat. I'd bought a small Orange amp for the pink guitar, and so a few days after Christmas I plugged in my guitar and it sounded like shit. Something was clearly wrong with the five-way switch and the pots, and it hummed like crazy. I've learned since that the hum is somewhat normal, but I went ahead anyway and ordered a new pickguard and pre-wired set-up from StewMac.com (the guitar is kind of off-white and the original stuff was white. I ordered black which I think will look great). So it's supposed to arrive Wednesday at which point I'll solder the jack and the ground wire, restring the guitar, and christ I can't wait. I've been spending an hour or two the last several nights playing the pink guitar (also a Squier Stratocaster) and I've learned several chords and now all I want is a bunch of pedals and lessons.

I was a little worried that the modular would get ignored due to this guitar thing, but a Pressure Points I bought on the BST came today and that assuaged that fear.

Anyways. Just wanted to share with you guys, my music nerd friends who'l listen and understand. Girlfriend, who I guess I should refer to now as Fiancé (a New Years Surprise for her), likes guitars way more than synths and has been rooting me on to learn some Band and U2 songs. Whatever. Fine. Awesome. SlayerBadger!

I'll post pics of the cheap-ass Squier with the new pickguard when I get it set up later this week.
Danotranto
Good for you, its always good to expand your musical palette no? I recently picked up keyboards and synths after a years of playing guitar and finding the differences between the two interesting...approaching the two is completely different.

Those old squires are kinda bummers though, the new squires do kick ass however.

thumbs up
MrBiggs
Danotranto wrote:
Those old squires are kinda bummers though, the new squires do kick ass however.

thumbs up


Yeah I'm curious to see how the old strat revised compares to the new pink one. The old one had 500k pots, the switch was raggedy loose and the wiring was just shit. It was really awful. Newer strats seem to have 250k pots. I was concerned that the pick-ups that come with the pre-wired pickguard set up would be inferior, but I've been reading that there's not much that's inferior to the pick ups that came with a Korean Squier Stratocaster in 1996 (when this guitar was made). So it must be improved some...
Pfeffernussez
I'm tempted to buy one of those little Orange amps. I don't need it, but they are just so dang cute.
MrBiggs
So I pulled the guts out of that Squier Stratocaster and installed a new pickguard and electronics. I ordered the pre-wired assembly from Stewart MacDonald which made the process significantly easier than I thought it would be. Only three soldering points, a restring, and I was back to strumming and picking.

Below is a picture of the guitar now with the black pickguard. Previously it was white which I thought was just kind of, well, vanilla.

I've been working out of a "learn to play guitar" book that someone gave my daughter and some other chord books that I already had. I've learned some chords and I've learned a couple of old-timey songs : Shoo Fly and Down in the Valley.

So if anyone's got an opinion on this, I'd like to ask what you think of lessons? There's a small shop nearby that gives them for $28 for 45 minutes. I know it probably makes sense for my 10-year-old daughter, as it will give her a weekly Thing that she has to work on. But as an adult, I wonder whether it's worthwhile. I took accordion lessons years ago and got a lot out of it. What I wonder about is learning "correct" technique and approaches. Any thoughts?


my guitar by Mr. Biggs, on Flickr
tuj
I am self taught but when my wife wanted to learn to play, I sent her for lessons rather than teach her myself and not have her learn the right technique. A few months or a year of lessons will really get you started the *right* way and then you can learn a lot more just on your own once you get to that first point where you can play some chords and understand tab, etc.
whitewulfe
Definitely will be watching this thread with interesting, guitar's one of those instruments I've a curiosity of but this weird deathly fear of... Weird, because the Oboe was one of my favourite instruments seriously, i just don't get it
TrashWaveform
I went all synth but I still keep a guitar handy just in case. I get random feelings for the guitar every couple of months. So its nice to have even if I only use it 6 times a year anymore.
TrashWaveform
Also lessons are good if you want a more traditional style. Best to start out "right" and not have to worry about breaking bad habits later. On the topic of "right" I'd like to think there is no wrong way to play an instrument as long as you get some kind of noise out of it. But if you are serious about it lessons are the way to go. It is usually the fastest way to learn and learning formal lessons now will improve your ability to learn more advanced lessons later. I really think everything I learned about guitar the past 6 years could of been achieved and even perfected if I took 6 months of lessons instead. At any rate just keep an open mind while learning.
gazonfleur
Taking lessons is, in my opinion, necessary when starting, so you get the technique right. Once you have that, you may twist what you want at will.

It is always better knowing the rules before breaking them.
RUMPLEDFORESKIN
gazonfleur wrote:
It is always better knowing the rules before breaking them.


This is a great quote. It made me think of all the godawful Free Jazz gigs I suffered through with wannabe Coltranes making me wish the sax wasn't invented (no insult to Master Coltrane). Then again, there are some "uneducated" individuals who blow me away. Borbetomagus, Hijokaidan and Thurston Moore come to mind.
MrBiggs
RUMPLEDFORESKIN wrote:
gazonfleur wrote:
It is always better knowing the rules before breaking them.


This is a great quote. It made me think of all the godawful Free Jazz gigs I suffered through with wannabe Coltranes making me wish the sax wasn't invented (no insult to Master Coltrane). Then again, there are some "uneducated" individuals who blow me away. Borbetomagus, Hijokaidan and Thurston Moore come to mind.


I second that is a great quote. I read it while in college in the late 80s and have tried to follow that direction in everything. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. But generally it's held up.

What you guys write about lessons is pretty much what I figured as well. I want to get the basics down. I also like doing things in a "community" setting. I like biking with my bike nerd friends, I like Muffs for my synths, and having a place to hang out with people and learn guitar will be nice as well.

edit: of course, I work alone in a studio for eight hours a day. I don't like sharing workspace with anyone.
MrBiggs
So, I had my first lesson last night. The shop owner got excited about my old Squier Strat, which was fun since he was playing a $5000 Warrior. Hearing my cheap guitar through his tube amp was pretty amazing.

So I have a large list of scales to learn and my big assignment is to learn to make a barre. Apparently my finger is shaped in a way that is going to make this difficult. I find myself clamping the fretboard with my thumb and twisting my wrist in a way that quickly gets fatiguing and slightly painful, and I still can't get the 2nd and 3rd string to play correctly.

Looking forward to more of the same...
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