Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Quiet, Bad Guitar

It's been over a week since I last played my Swede.

It started one of the days of our hectic holiday interim. We were going somewhere and it was unclear at what moment we would be leaving. I hadn't played guitar for a couple days and I was feeling the jones, (and fearing for my callouses). So I dug beneath the Swede's case to the battered chipboard shell that sheathes my battered old Fender dreadnought and dug it out to save having to plug in and boot up my Pod Farm and fiddle with settings only to have to shut down and unplug once our friends showed up and we took off. What could be simpler than an acoustic? You just take it out, tune up, and play.

The holidays are over and I haven't put it back yet.

Somewhere during the time that I picked up the acoustic I also pulled out Opeth's Damnation and listened through it. Then I pulled out Antimatter's Planetary Confinement and listened to it. Then I pulled out Green Carnation's The Acoustic Verses. Before I knew it I was dusting off how to play ELP's From the Beginning and trying to learn a bit more fingerpicking than just being able to stumble through Travis picking Dust in the Wind.

All the playing on the electric has payed off in one respect. I'm starting to get a feel for the fretboard and where notes are in relation to what I'm playing and beginning to be able to play what I'm hearing in my head (as long as what I'm hearing is slow). All the melancholy acoustic stuff gives me a chance to play along, but also to play counterpoint and improv a bit.

It's killed my GAS for a solid body with a trem, (for the time being, anyway), but now i'm GASsing for a mid-sized acoustic with a little wider string spacing at the bridge and some nice mellow strings. Maybe an OM or a 000 with a cedar top or the like.

It's still buzzy, muffled notes, but it's quiet and honest buzzy and muffled notes.

Except that as far as my wife and neighbors are concerned, outside the headphones, the quiet, bad guitar has just gotten louder.

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