We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, December 5. 2010
A sweet rendering of one of my favorites (h/t AVI)
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Nice to wake up to, BD, thanks...
My wife was listening as well and it prompted a discussion of getting my son a guitar and music lessons. He's shown some ability in the past, so that's not a total surprise, but you just cost me thousands of dollars! (Kidding, of course... I've told him before, if he would learn to play Spanish guitar, I'd give him $1,000, and it would be worth it to me.)
Funny - I attended a guitarist clinic yesterday at Re-Tunes and the instructor played a instrumental version of that song.
That is a very good version - I like it a lot. The finger picking indicates classical training - usually self trained pickers work from the side across the strings and it sounds dull - she was working from the top and actually plucking the strings. That clarity in note generation just adds to her very pleasant singing voice.
Great stuff - love it.
Tom or BD,
That brings up the other part of me and my wife's discussion: We have no clue as to the proper (and reasonably priced!) guitar to get our 13-year-old. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
13 huh? Well...let's put on the old thinking cap.
"Reasonably" priced is most likely in the $200/$400 dollar range? If you are looking for six string acoustics, then you cannot go wrong with Ibanez, Yamaha, Dean or Washburn. These guitars, generally in the $250 to $300 range, are made in Indonesia and are quality instruments. Fender also has a six string acoustic in that range that is made in Mexico and are hit and miss in terms of quality - when you get a good one, you just will not get rid of it. It just depends on which body style - full dreadnaught, cut away, sound hole or F hole. You can also find really good acoustic/electric guitars by Ibanez or Yamaha.
My personal choice is Ibanez - I have three of them, a German built AK95 acoustic/electric jazz box, Japanese built 12 string spruce topped dreadnaught and an Indonesian built six string quilted maple standard dreadnaught - they are all great guitars. My theory is if you give a child a quality instrument that plays easily and sounds good, that is only encouragement to continue.
If he wants to get into rocking and rolling, well a hard body electric is probably his first choice. There are a thousand choices in that price range, but the best (as far as I'm concerned) are the Fender Squire series electrics. Two choices here - the Standard Stratocaster or Standard Telecaster. These are inexpensive high quality instruments that over time will serve him well. There is an additional advantage as both of these guitars are highly customizable - there are a lot of different combinations of pickups, controls, tone adjusters, etc., which he will probably want to do as he gets better. If it were me, I'd opt for the Telecaster - it is a very popular guitar among the R&R set and as we all know it is important to look cool. The Strat is a close second - a lot of blues players and studio musicians use Strats. For all practical purposes, the Squire series and the regular Fender originals are so close in sound and handling that its hard to disguinish one from the other.
I bought my oldest Granddaughter a Squire Telecaster (she's about the same age) and she loved it - much better than her acoustic "student" guitar. She's doing great with it - six months in and she's asking me theory questions.
Anyway, training. In my opinion it is important to get the boy playing first so you need to find a teacher that will avoid over complicating things and just teach the basics at first, then songs and riffs - chords, chord forms, moveable chord forms and simple riffs and licks he can play with popular songs. Trust me on this - he will learn the theory as he gets better and better. Why? Because, despite its apparent complexity, guitar is a very simple instrument to learn and as he goes along gaining in confidence, the theory kind of falls into place - you almost have to learn it to get better.
Hope that helps. If you want any more, just let me know.
Don't forget Epiphone (a Gibson knockoff). Good quality and value, also. Then he can move onto a Larrivee, when he finds his acoustic chops. Just make sure the action is good and keep him away from "tabs".
Yeah - I guess. I'm not a big Gibson fan to tell the truth. I had a ES-135 once that was without a doubt the worst guitar I ever owned. I sent it back to the factory for service under warranty and it came back the exact same way as I sent it. I've stayed away from Gibson ever since.
On the other hand, I guys that I play with occasionally have Epihones and Gibsons and haven't had a problem. Personal opinion I guess. :>)
Agree with the whole tabs thing. I've always sent folks learning off to find the Guitar Grimoire series - that is one fantastic group of books on guitar - once you read through them, you come out with a really good understanding of whatever subject you want. Amazing teaching tool.
Wow, thank you both: Tom, and Garry below, for taking the time to help! We really appreciate it, and will be looking into your suggestions.
Thanks BD ... that's a lovely rendition of folk singing as it should be done. And the singer has also had training, as Tom says above, in classical guitar. All in all, a delightful performance -- and if you know the young lady, give her my compliments.
Marianne -- an elderly folksinger herself.
I've "known" Granniejans" through YouTube for years. Nice lady. She can play very nicely.
Here's something you might enjoy, being Dylan fans and all:
The guitars recommended earlier are not very good at all. You could do much better with different brands.
Granniejans plays a nice Taylor. I play a Martin. A good beginners guitar would be a Recording King. Much better than those mentioned. Better sound and now made better. I have one myself.
To each their own I guess. The cheaper Martins and Taylors are made in Indonesia or Mexico - some in China depending on the model. Same plants probably. Only the name changes.
I was aware of Recording King as I have one of their resonators (nice guitar by the way), but I wasn't aware they had a less expensive model. Never played one, but by reputation they are very good.
With respect to Ibanez - well, let me put it this way. I['ve been offered $1K for my AK-95 from a New York studio musician - must be a really horrible guitar. :>)
A very nice rendition. "In The Bleak Midwinter" began as a poem by Christina Rosetti which was published after her death and then became a carol in the early 1900s. I think Gustav Holst did the original arrangement but I'm not sure.
It is a lovely carol, and a favourite of mine, one that is not heard often enough in North America. It is, like "The Holly and The Ivy", a quintessentially English Christmas carol.
I lived for sometime in the UK and even now I miss many aspects of Christmas in the English countryside - particularly hearing choirs sing this carol at ancient parish churches in the Home Counties.
A modern British poet, Wendy Cope, wrote this rather direct but lovely verse that conjures up nostalgic images of Christmas in England for me:
CATHEDRAL CAROL SERVICE
Those of us who are not important enough
To have places reserved for us
And who turned up too late to get a seat at all,
Stand in the nave aisles, or perch on stone ledges.
We shiver in the draught from the west door.
We cannot see the choir, the altar or the candles.
We can barely see the words on our service sheets.
But we can hear the music. And we can sing
For the baby whose parents were not important enough
To have a place reserved for them,
And who turned up too late to get a room at all.
- Wendy Cope
Not to underscore "Bleak Midwinter"...but, if I might offer up Joe's cover of Gord Lightfoot's "A Song for a Winter's Night".
A favourite of mine. Enjoy.