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My practice space

Apr 25, 2010
izzyhara

So I got some really great comments from you about my practice room.  Hey, I don't have any sage.  Do you think I could burn pine needles?  Anyway, the guest room has been improved as it is the best location in the house.  First I cleaned it.  Moved some furniture around a little.  I have two chairs to play guitar - my foot rest is sensibly placed.  I moved some junk out of there, and now my guitars are on stands where they are easily accessible.  I found a really cool little basket-thingie to hold my guitar books and music.  Music stand readily available.  The amp is set up by one chair - all I have to do is sit down and plug in.  I can still sit at the piano, and the room feels better.  I can even have guests without having to do anything !!  Hell, I might even start sleeping in this room.  I think I have a spot for the mic stand, and there is a great spot for my laptop to sit while I tune in to lessons.  The only thing I haven't figured out yet is where to put the camera when I want to video.  But I am getting there, and am actually anxious to go there to play.    I won't have to drag anything around..... it is all there.  I still have one guitar in the living room.  I take breaks from working and pick it up to goof off and de-stress.  So I think I am good.  Yes, I will try playing on my back deck.  Probably scare my wildlife away !!!  No headphones for Victor - TV in the living room and he is a television junkie.  So this should work.  Moving and adding on are not viable options.  Re-finishing the basement is tho, and that would be a great place to set everything up.  So I think I will put that on my radar and the next time I have $15,000 I can't figure out what to do with, I will just get right on that !!  Thanks for the comments !!


Where to Play.....

Apr 24, 2010
izzyhara

So here is my newest dilemma.  My home in the Colorado mtns has amazing views and my backyard is full of wildlife.  But it isn't very big.  And I am having trouble trying to find the best place to practice.  I like practicing in the living room best - but I can't play there when Victor is home, and he has been home alot burning up a bunch of vacation.   The front room on the main floor is also off limits when he is home because there is no door.  The guest room upstairs would be the best place because the piano is there.  But for some reason, I don't like the vibe in that room.   My bedroom is okay but no proper chair there, and no place for my laptop.  Now I have all this equipment - mics and mic stand and amps.  So I need a good place to record.    And set up my camera, because I have a couple of ideas of videos I want to submit, and I want to use all my new stuff to check it out.  So what do you all think?  Do you think the "feng shui" in my guest room is wrong, and I should like go light some incense and chant in there or something?   Do you all have a "spot", or are you flexible?   It's silly I know, but I have a hard time getting into playing when I don't like my environment.  I did play today - working on Circle Game after the Suziko inspiration.   Catch you later.  Let me know if you have any inspiration to send my way. 


I just watched Mark's first attempt at transcription of True Colors - Cyndi Lauper.  Yes, it is 4 months old, but I wasn't here when he first put it up.  Glad I got a chance to see it.  It got me to musing about how I learned to play guitar.  I was 8 years old and my brother purchased a guitar at a yard sale for $5.  Then he left for college and got a real guitar, leaving me the yard sale piece of junk.  I started by inventing my own sounds.  Then my mom found a chord book for me.  WOW !! That was too cool.  So I painstakingly taught myself to play chords.  I learned to tune the strings to each other, but probably NEVER was it "in tune".  No tuners in those days.  As I advanced, I spent hours listening to records and the radio, writing down the chords I was hearing.  Then a stealth trip to the music store just in case they had sheet music for the current pop song I wanted to learn.  By this time, I had the chords down, and again, listening over and over to get the lyrics.  I kept a notebook (which I still have).  If the music store had the sheet music, I would just verify what I had done by ear.  Couldn't generally afford the 75 cents for the music.  Then in college, in the coffee house days, I would go almost everynight.  Buy a beer and sit in the back with my notebook, watching what the nightly guitarists played and making notes.  Then I started playing with records, but it would take me a long time to get my guitar tuned to the record.  No capos - no understanding of alternate tunings.  Those songs were just lost to me.  The Beatles and James Taylor and Bread - I could recognize the chord progressions.   Played and sang with anyone and everyone, just to learn.   As tough as this was, it did train my ear very well.   I could buy music and "hear" what it was going to sound like just by reading it.  GP is so good for people like me because I rely on hearing the music, not just following the tab.   If it weren't for all the life interruptions, I would be a really good guitarist by now.  But I'm not.   But I can still hear a song on the radio and picture the chords in my mind.  Guess that is a pretty cool gift to have.     


Just been reading through everyone's blogs.  AndyT is awesome with his GP6 stuff.  I am having a hard time - my new Taylor guitar broke.  Haven't played for 4 days due to heartbreak.  Work is painful and taxing right now.  Spring is here, but the blue jays keep stealing the nuts I put out for the chipmunks.  The intros on TG have  been - well, weird.  I always pride myself on making everyone feel welcome, but these one word introductions are just silly.  That being said, Haoli has been a genius with his responses.  I have all this cool new stuff that I have purchased to do recordings, and it is all still in its packaging because I just don't have the time.  I have been missing you guys, and my connection to the outside world is basically the forum.  Whine...whine... actually I am doing pretty well.  Lucky to have such a good job that I like.  The spring sunshine just makes me feel renewed.  It just feels hectic right now, and I need to slow down and play to get my head on straight again.  OK - that's my sound off for now. 


I have been a little quiet lately.  It's been fun because some new people have jumped into the forum.  It has been fun to "meet" them and hear their stories, and their comments.  Neil has been going nuts with daily news and video responses.  This is way more than I ever expected.  I have been in electronics mode lately - I used to know nothing about amps, and actually kind of poo-pooed that whole idea.  Then I borrowed an amp from a friend, and I do love playing my classical songs through the amp.  I can hear things a bit better.  (I am one of those people who lays their cheek on the guitar while playing to hear clearly - how silly of a visual is that !!).   I really mainly decided to try amplification for my videos on TG.   So this has been a whole new area for me, and one I have enjoyed.   I am still loving my new Taylor nylon string.  I play every day, but still have ADD and haven't parked on anything to actually learn - well that's not true.  I did learn Greensleeves - am still working on Bourree.  I loved Hector's new little songs.  It is quite humbling to have him call them a Level 2, and it takes me a while to get them down.   I need to get a library of "completed" songs so that I can entertain my family.  They probably don't want to hear me practice.  So I need to make a list and make sure I play those every day - then I can wander around on other stuff.   Well this is just chatter.  But I love you guys....  hope all is well with everyone. 


I was gone for a few days, traveling in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for work.  I used to travel a lot for work - not so much since the economy tanked - which has been okay for me.  My flights out were horrendous - delays and such.  And who travels from mountain time to eastern time the day after the spring time change.  I STILL don't know what time it is !!  I do love people-watching in airports, so that was distracting.  And I made up my mind before leaving that, regardless of what happened, I was going to enjoy and savor every moment.  A much healthier attitude than getting irritable and such.... Anyway, I didn't have my guitar with me so I played in my head.  Greensleeves and Bourree - You know what?  It works!!  I came home able to play Greensleeves much better today - and the first part of Bourree which is the only part I have memorized.    Just pictured my hands and the feeling of moving my left hand and picking with the right hand.  I come home to a thread about the silent guitar, and now I want one.  I'll sell two of my guitars, and pick up a little more bookkeeping work.  Still need an amp and such...  Anyway, glad to be home and have miles of catchup to do on the forum.   All is well - I missed you guys too.


Snowy Sunday

Mar 14, 2010
izzyhara

Well I guess I will keep blogging.  You guys are reading and it is a great outlet for me.  It is, as the title implies, snowing here this morning.  Well of course it is!!  I have to fly somewhere tomorrow !!  But we had 2-3 days of gorgeous sunshine (yea - natural vitamen D) so other than having to travel, I am okay with it.  Is there such a thing as practicing too much?  If so, I think I did it yesterday.  I think there is a point where you get no return....  But my new Taylor is so nice and I really need to get my fingers coordinated around the different size neck.  The guitar sounds really good ... I sound really awful.  I started back with some beginning songs because it just seemed to make sense to re-train my fingers where to go.   I will play today - probably too much again.   Hope you all have a safe and happy week - and happy early St. Patrick's Day.


I have in my possession a very nice Taylor  (NS32CE) acoustic nylon guitar that meets all my specs, and sounds so wonderful !!  It's even almost the bottom of this line (didn't cost like the bottom) but then I will be winning Jason Mraz's guitar from the Taylor competition, which is the top of this line.  Narrower neck, electronics, that rich Taylor sound.  Gorgeous case - great action and strings.  I am so happy that I think I will call in sick for the rest of the day (yea like anyone would know - I work from home!!).  Since I have pretty much kept my classical songs on the ancient Yamaha with the wide neck, this is an adjustment because I don't have to stretch as far - so all my classical stuff sounds like crap right now.  But I am very happy.  The cool thing is I bought "blemished", which for a $200 savings meant that the box it shipped in was not new.  Well duh....  the guitar and case are brand new... if someone handled them I would never know.   Even the "instruction" manual and such is still in the original shrink wrap.  Thanks to all who took this journey with me.  I will post some pics later.    I am still hoping against hope to win the TG guitar.  But for classical now, I am set !! 


Happy Tuesday !!!

Mar 9, 2010
izzyhara

Gosh I was so busy today.  Yesterday we had this interesting rogue snowstorm that knocked out my internet intermittently throughout the day.  Well, I work from home, so my internet access is pretty important.  Fortunately had a few things to do "offline" but had to play catch up today.  After my funk last week, my energy is high and pure.  That's the real me, and it feels good to be back.  Bourree is coming along nicely.  I so love playing the guitar, and I wonder if I would be doing so well if I hadn't found TG.  Don't think so - I've made all these friends, and I have this awesome instructor.  So my motivation is much higher than it would have been if I just tried to do this alone.  The whole Neil video response was unbelievable !!  He mentioned me by name, knew how long I had been around, and thanked me for my contributions.  For all of us that got responses from him, was that not just the coolest thing?
It was so fun to watch his comments on everyone's song.   Guess I will work on another competition song.  I thought the medley might do it for me, but you guys are all too good.  We'll see...  Catch you all later.  Thanks for checking in....


All better....

Mar 8, 2010
izzyhara

So can you believe I had the nerve to tell you all I was in a funk?  Whatever happened to decorum and privacy?  Oh well anyway... it's over now and for some reason it made me feel better to blog it.  I sat in the sun upstairs on Sunday, learning Bourree.  It's coming along and I love playing it!!  So my guitar that I covet?  Back-ordered again !!!  It is the universe doing its thing.   I'll wait for guidance... but I am like a little kid.  Someone tells me I can't have something, and I want it even more. I usually travel in my job, but the economy sort of slowed that down last year.  But I am off to Littleton, MA - for a whole day !!  I'm teaching a software class, and I like doing that.  Just a long way to go for 6 hours or so.  
Snowing here today... spring snows in CO are really awesome because it isn't cold and the snowstorms are usually pretty substantial.  March 2003?  We got 8 feet !!!  Last April 14th - 40 inches.  Hope we get a big one this spring. 


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