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Thread: A blending of sorts

  1. #1
    Forum Member Old Ranger's Avatar
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    A blending of sorts

    Recovery from the stroke [one more and I'll go nuts] has been interesting. I have no speech issues. I still talk at mach 5 in English/Lakota blend. Confusion for all ha!
    The right leg is still like a weight attached at times, but the hand. The right hand is a mess. I can grip my pistols fairly well, but I drop picks. This happened the last time and I got better. But now it's different. So like a good Ranger, I refuse to accept defeat. I regroup and train for the mission. So here's my training for getting stronger in my playing.

    I love classical, blues, hard rock, smooth jazz, and screaming metal... Yeah, I know, strange taste. But in this I found that I can work on say Moonlight Sonata, or Blue Danube by our old buddy Beethoven. Or Chopin's Piano Sonata No.2 in B flat minor l.p..35 [the burial durge from old cartoons] or Prélude in E minor.and the like with a seriously cranked 30W Marshall with some delay mixed in. Chopin can be very dark and when played with a thick metal tone its cool.
    But moreover, this blending is reversed by taking contemporary [within the last 50 years or so] and playing them clean with just reverb and fingerpicking Iron Butterfly or Black Sabbath tunes like they were classical melodies. Also bagpipes. The droning undertones with the melody atop is intriguing. I'll play almost mesmerized! Too cool....

    Good training for the fingers, ears, and the mind I think. So this is my method of getting myself back into shape and not be bored out of my mind playing the same stock numbers we all play to the point of nausea..... When I go into Guitar Center for occasional stuff I hear the kids playing their "GC stock licks" you know, the intro to about 20 songs about 4 bars worth all with mega distortion. Yeah, that kinda nausea.
    I forgot what I was going to say...

  2. #2
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    You’re a fighter! Keep on keeping on.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

  3. #3
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    :


  4. #4
    Forum Member Doc W's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    OR, you are a tough bird indeed. And although I am no expert, that sounds like a really well thought out therapy strategy.

    On a related note, I heard Les Paul play when he was .. 92?... and although he didn't play as fast as in his early days, he made every note count and he sounded awesome.
    "The beauty and profundity of God is more real than any mere calculation."

  5. #5
    Forum Member Old Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Thanks for the comments and the encouragement especially. Means a lot.
    Our friend Sérgio was classic trained then later went into rock with a vengeance. His skills are remarkable. I can hear his earlier style fusing with his playing now. That got me thinking about playing classical for a bit. But I stumbled onto this blending thing when tuning. The Epiphone ES339 I have is a fantastic instrument. Dead on perfect intonation. I tune by ear and cross harmonics. It was those harmonics that led to my selfimposed method of recovery. The split coils of the 339 simply sing through the Marshall. The full on humbucker tone is unbelievable. Its inspiring for an old man.
    So thanks to Epiphone for building a superb instrument, Marshall for a brutally tight amp, and Sérgio for his indirect kick in the pants to train out of my comfort zone.
    I forgot what I was going to say...

  6. #6
    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Ranger View Post
    Thanks for the comments and the encouragement especially. Means a lot.
    Our friend Sérgio was classic trained then later went into rock with a vengeance. His skills are remarkable. I can hear his earlier style fusing with his playing now. That got me thinking about playing classical for a bit. But I stumbled onto this blending thing when tuning. The Epiphone ES339 I have is a fantastic instrument. Dead on perfect intonation. I tune by ear and cross harmonics. It was those harmonics that led to my selfimposed method of recovery. The split coils of the 339 simply sing through the Marshall. The full on humbucker tone is unbelievable. Its inspiring for an old man.
    So thanks to Epiphone for building a superb instrument, Marshall for a brutally tight amp, and Sérgio for his indirect kick in the pants to train out of my comfort zone.
    Oh, I hadn't seen this thread, I don't usually pay much attention to this section of the forum. I will, from now on!

    I am flattered, my friend. But I have to say I'm not good at all, though I play guitar with a wild passion, especially live. Having been a classical player before did leave some signs in my overall playing style, especially the left hand. I use the pinky a lot, even for bending, and my own soloing is full of classical-style details; I really don't enjoy fingerpicking steel strung guitars, though.

    Nowadays I don't own a single nylon strung Spanish guitar. Only my electrics and a steel strung parlor Washburn acoustic which I use mostly for relaxing with a cup of coffee or writing music.

    Oh and I really like the idea of the Epi 339, a great guitar in a very comfortable size and with coil splitting humbuckers! I don't think it gets nicer than that

  7. #7
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Old Ranger, have you thought about ditching the pick altogether? I know it may seem like a challenge, but it will definitely develop your dexterity.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Old Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Been fingerpicking for ages off and on. Nothing new really. This may sound odd, but I have unusually thin nails. They've become thinner as I age. 30 min playing with fingers and the nail of the index finger is worn to the place where the skin beneath it is showing. Then it becomes painful. And I always want to enjoy the instrument. So I'm trying to keep a grip on the pick.
    I forgot what I was going to say...

  9. #9
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Where there's a will there's a way. Just keep at it however you can. I'm hoping the best for you

  10. #10
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Fingerpicks?

  11. #11
    Forum Member Old Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Can't use 'em. Totally awkward. Like playing keyboards with leather work gloves on.

    Naw, I'm good with things. I train hard. Always have. I'll beat this.....
    I forgot what I was going to say...

  12. #12
    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogs View Post
    Where there's a will there's a way. Just keep at it however you can. I'm hoping the best for you
    Well said, my friend! As usual.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Old Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    I've been playing for near six decades now. I stopped improving really after the first 10 years. Then its just gone downhill from there. With the issues I've had its only gotten worse.
    Sometimes ya hit the wall as they say and your playing is stale. Mine's gone stagnant. I don't quit easily but its time I quit fooling myself.
    I'm putting the Epi in the case. Covering the amp. And I'm done playing. It's taken longer than most I suspect to admit things, but I stink. Never had much talent anyway. I fixed & built em well, but never played above mediocre at best. So I'm leaving the stuff put up. If I don't pick it up again in a few months then I'll simply view it as a sign to walk away from guitar stuff permanent.
    I forgot what I was going to say...

  14. #14
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Ranger View Post
    I've been playing for near six decades now. I stopped improving really after the first 10 years. Then its just gone downhill from there. With the issues I've had its only gotten worse.
    Sometimes ya hit the wall as they say and your playing is stale. Mine's gone stagnant. I don't quit easily but its time I quit fooling myself.
    I'm putting the Epi in the case. Covering the amp. And I'm done playing. It's taken longer than most I suspect to admit things, but I stink. Never had much talent anyway. I fixed & built em well, but never played above mediocre at best. So I'm leaving the stuff put up. If I don't pick it up again in a few months then I'll simply view it as a sign to walk away from guitar stuff permanent.

    Best way I know to get better is to start recording. Listen playback, hear what works and what doesn't. It will totally change the way you approach your playing.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Best way I know to get better is to start recording. Listen playback, hear what works and what doesn't. It will totally change the way you approach your playing.
    It might make me quit. But it sounds like a great idea.

  16. #16
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    There is so much new technology today from when I first taught myself guitar. Backing tracks, YouTube videos, online tabs, etc. If I were to record myself back in the day, it would have been with a reel-to-reel tape recorder!

    Still, I'm old school. Yesterday I took my first guitar lesson. From an instructor!

    I went in thinking, "I'm not doing this if I have to do scales and finger exercises." You know what I walked out with as homework? Scales and finger exercises! :)

    But I realize I need to do them. I need the discipline, and I realized that I'm sloppy and undisciplined when it comes to the basics. So I'm going to continue taking lessons...

  17. #17
    Forum Member Old Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Despite every effort to remain positive [ new Tele, new Mustang amp, etc] the one glaring fact remains at the forefront of my playing. I'm getting worse. Fingers lock back on both hands. Like someone is pressing against the finger tip holding it in place. Happens more often now. VA Doctor said its a side effect that is associated with my condition. When it hits, might stop in a minute or two, or at times several minutes pass before I can move my finger(s). But it occurs more often now, usually when my playing my guitar. Right-hand is numb from middle finger to the pinky. Minor numbness in forearm and tricep.

    I know when I'm licked. I'll be packing up my stuff and headed for the Guitar Center soon to sell it so someone else can enjoy it. It's obvious that I'm not. Oh well, I tried. I didn't want to admit it, but that last stroke nailed me to the floor, as we say in Texas.
    I forgot what I was going to say...

  18. #18
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    dude, very sorry to hear that.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

  19. #19
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Echo what Dan said.

  20. #20
    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Ranger View Post
    Despite every effort to remain positive [ new Tele, new Mustang amp, etc] the one glaring fact remains at the forefront of my playing. I'm getting worse. Fingers lock back on both hands. Like someone is pressing against the finger tip holding it in place. Happens more often now. VA Doctor said its a side effect that is associated with my condition. When it hits, might stop in a minute or two, or at times several minutes pass before I can move my finger(s). But it occurs more often now, usually when my playing my guitar. Right-hand is numb from middle finger to the pinky. Minor numbness in forearm and tricep.

    I know when I'm licked. I'll be packing up my stuff and headed for the Guitar Center soon to sell it so someone else can enjoy it. It's obvious that I'm not. Oh well, I tried. I didn't want to admit it, but that last stroke nailed me to the floor, as we say in Texas.
    Yeah, sorry to hear about Old Ranger. Any chance of transitioning to another instrument - bass, keys? Surely GC would let you trade in your old gear for new gear?

  21. #21
    Forum Member Old Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Woke yesterday at 4:30am with both feet in spasms and the left hand as well. Later that day, I tried to play a bit. Delightful tone from the 339 thru the Mustang. Made it ten minutes and the left hand started. Two fingers locked up. Shoved the hand into a "clamp" between the upper right arm and ribs. Held tight for a bit and it passed. Was weakened by that. Couldn't play after it.

    Tried my old keyboard today. Ah, to play Bach with the old Yamaha keyboard set to pipe organ! I was in heaven. Dirtdog, good call on the keys! Lasted much longer today. Twenty five minutes before the ring finger of the left hand raised up like a dog peeling on a tree. Soaked my hands in a bucket of warm water. Hands worked a bit more, but the tempo slowed.
    I forgot what I was going to say...

  22. #22
    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Old brother, I've learned a lot from my old man.

    His hands are no good for guitar playing, due to a very serious arthritis condition, and yet he takes great pleasure out of playing mostly chord progression based music.

    One thing I can tell you: you're a music-oriented soul, and music is in you, whether you play it or not. It'll Always be inside you. You should never "quit" playing. Just focus on stuff you can do.

    Me, I'll never be a guitar virtuoso, having started playing a bit too late in my younger years. I'm bound to blues based classic rock and short solos. But I love music too much not to step on a stage with a guitar. If I ever get even worse, no problem: I'll play 70s punk stuff, three or four chords per song, all downstrokes, and be happy with that.

  23. #23
    Forum Member melody's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Ranger View Post
    Despite every effort to remain positive [ new Tele, new Mustang amp, etc] the one glaring fact remains at the forefront of my playing. I'm getting worse. Fingers lock back on both hands. Like someone is pressing against the finger tip holding it in place. Happens more often now. VA Doctor said its a side effect that is associated with my condition. When it hits, might stop in a minute or two, or at times several minutes pass before I can move my finger(s). But it occurs more often now, usually when my playing my guitar. Right-hand is numb from middle finger to the pinky. Minor numbness in forearm and tricep.

    I know when I'm licked. I'll be packing up my stuff and headed for the Guitar Center soon to sell it so someone else can enjoy it. It's obvious that I'm not. Oh well, I tried. I didn't want to admit it, but that last stroke nailed me to the floor, as we say in Texas.
    Sorry to hear that OR! Have you tried cannabis? They have CBD's for just what you are describing it will not get you high, But you can get 1 - 1 CBD to THC if you like to get high and have the benefits of the CBD. It's worth a shot it has helped me...

  24. #24
    Forum Member Old Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Ah, you know I'm a retired peace officer right? I used to arrest folks with "A green leafy substance commonly associated with marijuana in their possession." as it was stated in my report. Thanks, but I believe I'll pass. But I do appreciate the thought. Funny thing is, I never did chemical. Fact is I almost need to have a sucking chest wound before I'll consider taking an aspirin.I figure if I can't play much, oh well, I've had a pretty good run at it for decades. I'll piddle around as best I can, or sell my gear and tap my foot. It's part of gettin old.
    I forgot what I was going to say...

  25. #25
    Forum Member melody's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    I get all that OR but what you have been lead to believe mebbe wrong.. If it help's it's worth a try that's al I'm say'en I don't take any big pharm drugs either the stigma surrounding marijuana for decades dose not hold water.. For me giving up is never a option...

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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Ranger View Post
    Ah, you know I'm a retired peace officer right? I used to arrest folks with "A green leafy substance commonly associated with marijuana in their possession." as it was stated in my report. Thanks, but I believe I'll pass. But I do appreciate the thought. Funny thing is, I never did chemical. Fact is I almost need to have a sucking chest wound before I'll consider taking an aspirin.I figure if I can't play much, oh well, I've had a pretty good run at it for decades. I'll piddle around as best I can, or sell my gear and tap my foot. It's part of gettin old.
    I joke about other but I am the same way. With age I have found that Ibuprofen works for a few days at 600mg a dose before it starts causing other problems. Lately Aleve has helped. Thank you for your service keeping the flock in check. I truly hope you find a way to continue playing.

  27. #27
    Forum Member Old Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    Massive thunderstorms blew through here a couple days back. High winds, power outtage, the works. So I entertained my inside cats with my ukulele playing [I]Riders on the Storm[I] and other such ditties. When the power returned, I plugged in the mighty surf green Tele and hit the overdrive! All three cats bolted south to hide in the tiny bedroom! It was great. Musta got a total of 25 min before my hands no longer cooperated.
    The following day, I walked the front 4 acres. Limbs down here and there. Just behind my shooting backstop, an old 85ft pine from the property south of me was uprooted and dropped across my south fence and also took out 60ft of my crossfence as well. Its over 3ft in diameter, no way I can cut it up. Can't hold a saw. That big 'ole pine will just have to sit there.
    I forgot what I was going to say...

  28. #28
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: A blending of sorts

    high explosives? The solution to all problems
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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