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Audio-Video Area - Progress, Performance & Feedback => Road Cases => Topic started by: Twin Six on October 28, 2020, 12:04:14 pm

Title: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on October 28, 2020, 12:04:14 pm
Welcome to Twin Six's Road Case.

I restarted learning guitar back in June, when I restrung the 12-string I've had since 1994 and started practicing riffs & songs on ultimate-guitar.com, which is how I discovered Justin's lessons. Now, for the first time, I'm learning guitar in a systematic, disciplined way. I practice guitar several hours per day in two or three sittings.

Here's a photo of my guitars. The 12-string I call the Twin Six after the '32 Packard Dietrich Twin Six Convertible Victoria owned by my grandfather from the mid-'60s to the late-'70s. It was the only one of its kind, having rear-mounted spares instead of side-mounts. A few years ago, it showed up at Pebble Beach, where it won Best Open Packard. My brother was there, and was beside himself to see it in person again after over 30 years of not knowing its whereabouts. But I digress.

The 6-string was an Ebay find bought with the consent & encouragement of Mrs. Twin Six. It arrived on her birthday, which felt slightly awkward for me but tickled her. As of this writing, I've had it less than a week. It does not yet have a name.

Both are Sitka Spruce with Rosewood back & sides.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50530275967_246d872b49_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2jZbSAB)Alvarez Yairi Dreadnoughts (https://flic.kr/p/2jZbSAB) by Jonathan Barrett Adams (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbaleica/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on October 28, 2020, 12:10:39 pm
Love reading the stories in these Road Case, Twin Six, yours no exception.

Guitars look great and I am a fan of rosewood ... accordingly my 6 string is named Rose.

Wish you well here in the Community and hope we hear, and even see, you playing soon.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on October 28, 2020, 02:37:48 pm
Thanks, David.

Rose is a great name for a Rosewood guitar, but I can't copy it. My feeling is that it will earn its name from playing. Also, I consider the 12-string female and the 6-string male based on the stereotype of the relative complications of gender.

As for hearing or seeing me playing, my little digital camera has video capability, so some experimentation is in order.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on October 30, 2020, 12:38:38 pm
Now, some background about my experience with musical instruments might be a good point of departure.

My mother played piano, so there was always a piano in the house. From my earliest memories it was a baby grand. It was at this piano I started learning French horn at age 10, which is when I learned where middle C was on the piano. My French horn days ended when I moved to a new school district and the horn they had was unsuitable.

In my early teens, I started learning piano out of a desire to emulate my prog-rock heroes Keith Emerson & Rick Wakeman. I kept at it and got fairly proficient. After graduating high school, I managed to buy a Hohner Clavinet, Crumar organ, & Micro-Moog synth. After a couple of years romance with these, I sold them to a musician friend.

Fast-forward to the latter part of my mid-20 in the late '80s, when I first encountered the sitar. So enamored was I with this instrument that a month later I was in Varanasi, India taking lessons and having a sitar made for me by Nitai Chandranath, the top maker there, who subsequently made me several more instruments.

I stuck with the sitar, practicing for a minimum of 3 hours per day and regularly for 6-8 hours. After a couple of years, I found a good teacher who broke me of bad habits. This was Amit Roy, the disciple of the late Nikhil Banerjee, one of the greatest sitarists of his generation. At length, I traveled to Calcutta to have my teacher's brothers make me a sitar, which is how I came to have my Hiren Roy & Sons concert grand, which represents the pinnacle.

Unlike piano or guitar & similar western instruments, there are no chords on sitar, but rather melody played over a drone. The entire instrument is tuned to one key, which is generally C#. Many people wanted to accompany me with guitar, but were baffled when I asked them to play in C#. ( A jazz guitarist was the only guitarist who could successfully jam with me.)

The inherent limitation of sitar to Indian music led me to learn guitar. I started with a Yamaha classical guitar with nylon strings, learning from an excellent & comprehensive book on guitar. I found it easy & intuitive, and progressed quickly. I then purchased my first steel-string guitar, and Alvarez 6-string, and then soon after, the Alvarez Yairi 12-string I still have.

My focus changed, and I didn't play any of my instruments from the late '90s until this year. In retrospect, I regret this, but now that I'm back to the guitar in this newfangled internet age, I find that the practice habits I acquired learning sitar stand me in good stead for learning guitar. I have a high tolerance for long, tedious hours playing scales & exercises and finger pain. And so it is that I've progressed beyond what I'd achieved on the guitar decades ago, largely thanks to Justin's excellent lessons.

Well, that was long-winded!
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: glpguitar on October 30, 2020, 12:47:22 pm
Well, there's one thing I am sure of. Your life is a big musical adventure! Thanks for sharing this, it was a very interesting read! Looking forward to hear some of your playing and try to decide if there are any horn or sitar influences in your style!
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on October 30, 2020, 03:21:24 pm
Twin Six ... "long-winded" ... not at all, you want to see some of mine when I take a deep breath  :o

What a wonderful story.

Sounds like there's a much fuller story as to how you encountered sitar, could travel to India, and all the experiences there. All those hours of practice ... my goodness.  Probably spend more hours in a couple of months than I spend in a year.  Would love to see and hear you playing some sitar.

Quite interesting as well as to how so much passion and dedication one can have, and then life happens, taking you down a different path.

How is that 6 string sounding a couple of days on?


Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: markd85 on October 30, 2020, 04:09:58 pm
Hi Twin Six
Very interesting read. Thanks for sharing that. I have an Alvarez AD70. No expert here, but I think these guitars are very underrated. Would love to hear you play over in the AVOYP section sometime. Thanks.
Mark
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on October 30, 2020, 05:23:41 pm
Well, there's one thing I am sure of. Your life is a big musical adventure! Thanks for sharing this, it was a very interesting read! Looking forward to hear some of your playing and try to decide if there are any horn or sitar influences in your style!

My life certainly became a musical adventure once I discovered the sitar. In my first foray into guitar back in the mid-'90s, I figured out all of the Indian music scales and made diagrams of them. Those are tucked away in one of my guitar books (currently in storage pending my building of bookcases). Otherwise, the the music I aspire to play on guitar has neither horn nor sitar influences.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on October 30, 2020, 05:32:52 pm
Twin Six ... "long-winded" ... not at all, you want to see some of mine when I take a deep breath  :o

What a wonderful story.

Sounds like there's a much fuller story as to how you encountered sitar, could travel to India, and all the experiences there. All those hours of practice ... my goodness.  Probably spend more hours in a couple of months than I spend in a year.  Would love to see and hear you playing some sitar.

Quite interesting as well as to how so much passion and dedication one can have, and then life happens, taking you down a different path.

How is that 6 string sounding a couple of days on?

I was living & working in Kyoto, Japan when I discovered the sitar. A friend who lived in a wonderful traditional Japanese house hosted a music party one Friday night back in '89. Somebody brought along his sitar and let me have a go. I got hooked, and learned how easy it was to go to India and get one of my own, which is what I did. The night of that party, a typhoon blew through and stranded all of us at the house for the weekend, so I got a good dose of sitar. The rest, as they say, is history.

The 6-string sounds amazing! It could have gone either way with an Ebay find, but it went the right way.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on October 30, 2020, 05:40:54 pm
Hi Twin Six
Very interesting read. Thanks for sharing that. I have an Alvarez AD70. No expert here, but I think these guitars are very underrated. Would love to hear you play over in the AVOYP section sometime. Thanks.
Mark

Glad you find it interesting. Yes, indeed, Alvarez are one of the great values of the guitar world. They sound far better than their price point would suggest.

It will take me a bit of research to figure out how to record myself, but I'll do it sooner or later
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: batwoman on October 31, 2020, 03:25:51 am
Welcome to the forum Twin Six.  :)

What an interesting tale you tell, totally fascinating, thankyou for taking us on the journey. Such a rich musical history you have. I can imagine the songs and compositions you may write. Oh joy.

So glad you landed here and very much looking forward to hearing and see you play.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on October 31, 2020, 04:04:10 am
I was living & working in Kyoto, Japan when I discovered the sitar. A friend who lived in a wonderful traditional Japanese house hosted a music party one Friday night back in '89. Somebody brought along his sitar and let me have a go. I got hooked, and learned how easy it was to go to India and get one of my own, which is what I did. The night of that party, a typhoon blew through and stranded all of us at the house for the weekend, so I got a good dose of sitar. The rest, as they say, is history.

The 6-string sounds amazing! It could have gone either way with an Ebay find, but it went the right way.

Thanks for the extra details, Twin Six, another strand.

Glad to hear the single six turned out well.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on November 03, 2020, 11:12:26 pm
Welcome to the forum Twin Six.  :)

What an interesting tale you tell, totally fascinating, thankyou for taking us on the journey. Such a rich musical history you have. I can imagine the songs and compositions you may write. Oh joy.

So glad you landed here and very much looking forward to hearing and see you play.

Thank you for the welcome, Batwoman. Your Road Case is one that inspired me. You've had quite a journey too!
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on November 03, 2020, 11:28:16 pm
Thanks for the extra details, Twin Six, another strand.

Glad to hear the single six turned out well.

Indeed, the single six has turned out well.

Recently, I noticed that the Twin Six's bridge was lifting -- a typical 12-string problem -- so I took it into my local shop today. As it happens, it's being sent to their most local technician, who works for Bourgeois Guitars, giving me complete confidence that it will come back sounding better than ever.

Fortunately, I am not guitarless during the interim.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on November 03, 2020, 11:50:59 pm
Of New Bridge Pins & Strings

Recently, I ordered new bridge pins from Stewmac. bone with abalone inlay for the Twin Six, and ebony with mother-of-pearl inlay for the single six. It took some filing & sanding to narrow the diameter of the bone pins down enough to fit. I won't know if there's any difference in tone till it comes back from repair. The strings on the single six (Martin Marquis 12-54s) still have a lot of life left in them, so I won't be replacing the plastic pins with the ebony for at least another several weeks.

I also put in an order for strings from Strings By Mail: Martin Flexible Core 10-47 Extra Light 12-string & 12-54 Tommy Emanuel's Choice Light 6-string, DR Rare Phosphor Bronze 10-47 for 12-string & 12-54 for 6-string, and DR Sunbeams 12-54 for 6-string. As I experiment with these different strings over the coming months, I'll make notes of my impressions of these various strings.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on November 04, 2020, 05:49:26 am
Look forward to hearing how those pin changes work out and your impressions of the strings.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on November 04, 2020, 03:39:18 pm
On the subject of strings, the strings I've been using on the Twin Six are Martin SP 80/20 Extra Light 12-String 10-47s. The tone is bright & balanced with a warm, resonant bass, and they last a long time. I'm happy with them, though I feel that perhaps they're a bit stiff.

I find the Martin Marquis strings (also 80/20) on the single six sound & feel like the SPs. The only difference with Marquis is that the string at the ball-end is wrapped in silk, which is gentler to the bridge & pins, apparently.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on November 04, 2020, 03:55:49 pm
A topic that is beyond me.  At this stage I just put on the Elixir strings available in the shop I go to...and a new strings is probably long over-due.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on November 04, 2020, 08:59:48 pm
I also knew nothing about strings and bought what the shop had to offer, which is how I established some sort of benchmark for comparison. Also, I've been reading up on the subject on the Acoustic Guitar Forum (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/index.php), so I've got some idea of which strings I want to try.

If you're happy with Elixirs, keep using them or use them as your point of departure if you're ready to experiment.

I've also bought a variety of picks (Mrs. Twin Six, a Brit, prefers "plectrum" to "pick"), and am discovering how different plectra affect the tone of the guitar. The Twin Six requires a more flexible plectrum to pick both strings of each course, while the single six responds better to a stiffer plectrum.

Finding what works best is quite a learning curve with innumerable variables.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on November 05, 2020, 04:57:02 am
Thanks for the reference, Twin-Six. Living down in South Africa the variety of strings in the shop and purchasable through local online channels seems limited.  Maybe I need to do some further investigation, perhaps there are other outlets yet discovered.

As for plectra/picks ... I recently switched up to a slightly stiffer pick and I think the tone is better and helps with picking individual strings which I am now trying to get to grips with.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on November 05, 2020, 03:33:39 pm
David,

You could try ordering from Strings By Mail, though the shipping costs might be a tail-wagging-the-dog proposition. Here are their shipping policies: https://www.stringsbymail.com/shipping.html

As I increase in speed, I find that a stiffer plectrum enables better control & precision. As for picking individual notes, I start every practice session with this exercise from Justin's "classic" beginner's course: https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/picking-individual-strings-bc-166

I use the metronome (started at 60 bpm, then 80, now 100) and I never look at my picking hand.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on November 13, 2020, 04:30:04 am
Today, because I wanted to install the new ebony bridge pins, I took the Martin Marquis 80/20 strings off the single six and re-strung it with 12-54 DR Sunbeams. Now the guitar positively sings.

I've read various accounts of how replacing plastic bridge pins with bone or ebony improved the tone & sustain, as well as claims that bone bridge pins will brighten the sound while ebony will darken it. All of this I take with a large grain of salt. I haven't noticed that the bridge pins alone have any significant effect on the sound. The ebony certainly looks better, and I feel considerable satisfaction at having ebony instead of plastic, but compared with the improvement in sound from new strings, any contribution by the bridge pins seems nearly negligible.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on November 13, 2020, 05:47:22 am
Sounds good, Twin Six.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on November 13, 2020, 03:35:23 pm
As for plectra/picks ... I recently switched up to a slightly stiffer pick and I think the tone is better and helps with picking individual strings which I am now trying to get to grips with.

Having acquired several picks, I find that I favor more flexible picks for the Twin Six and stiffer picks for the six. I started out favoring the Tortex 0.50mm & Jim Dunlop 0.60 nylon, but now find I much prefer the Jim Dunlop thin celluloid because I get more clarity & definition of notes, whereas the Tortex just seems slightly louder without so much clarity now.

Hearing the differences in tone between different picks is one of those fascinating aspects of learning guitar. A month ago, I probably wouldn't have noticed much difference.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on November 14, 2020, 04:32:32 am
Ain't that the the truth and beauty of the adventure that is becoming a guitar player and musician...something new to discover, learn, and enjoy around every next corner.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on December 12, 2020, 05:30:06 am
Well, it's been nearly a month since my last entry. In that time, we've experienced three power outages lasting more than 24 hours because of high winds. Welcome to late autumn on the Upper East Coast. Lack of electrical power doesn't affect my purely acoustic practice.

Practice until recently has consisted of the finger-stretching exercise starting from the 1st fret continuing to the 12th fret and back down again. Once my fingers stretched easily, I sped up the exercise to work on finger nimbleness & precision. Now I'm focusing much more on scales, including C# major & G major, which require some finger stretching. My metronome accidentally got set to 120 bpm, so that's the speed I've been practicing flatpicking & scales, and after some initial difficulty it's starting to come more easily.

The DR Sunbeam strings have been on for a month now and still sound wonderful. I've acquired more Dunlop celluloid picks in medium & heavy, and am fascinated with how different pick materials  thicknesses affect tone.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: adi_mrok on December 12, 2020, 01:19:58 pm
Wow more than 24hrs power outage, that's something I have never heard of in my regions nor have I experienced it.

Sounds like you are making a good progress and you are enjoying your journey which is always good to hear about :)

Sent from my SM-G973F using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=93296)

Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Majik on December 12, 2020, 02:02:31 pm
I live fairly in a fairly rural area and we get occasional power outages. Rarely do they last more than a few minutes, but we have had the power out for a few hours on several occasions and, a couple of times in the last 20 years, we've lost power for more than 24hrs. Once we lost the power for 3 days.

@Twin Six it's good to get an update on your routine and progress. I will be interesting to hear how you get on with the picks.

Cheers,

Keith
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on December 12, 2020, 03:44:42 pm
Regarding power outages, during what I call the Great Halloween Storm of '17 to general amusement, we lost power for 9 days. Our generator quit generating while it was running only a couple of days in. We were running only a couple of hours a day to cool the refrigerator & run water for washing up. We got a temporary loaner generator from a neighbor. Fortunately, the weather was unseasonably warm at the time. One of our neighbors was moving house at the time, and they & their moving men worked by gasoline generator power during the entire outage. The moment they were headed out after final good-byes, the power came back on.
We later learned that a local ne're-do-well crashed into a utility pole and took out the power hours before it got taken out by tree limbs.

We know what kind of weather causes prolonged outages, and prepare by filling the bathtub with water for toilet flushing. Many people invest in automatic propane generators, but we don't want to listen to the damned thing running constantly.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on December 13, 2020, 10:37:00 pm
As for progress, I've been working on Beginner Lesson 11 for a couple of weeks now, while also reviewing Lesson 8 and getting the Wish You Were Here riff solidly under my fingers. I'm almost there. Meanwhile, I've been drilling the F chord changes intensively enough to be building up speed slowly. My approach to chord changes has always been what Justin calls Perfect Fast Changes; pursuing speed at the expense of clarity is counterproductive in my experience.

Everything I practice I end up spending at least 20-30 minutes on. I have a wind-up metronome, a Wittner Taktell Piccolino, which is a small travel metronome that I bought on a brief visit to Pusan, S. Korea according to the price tag on the box (otherwise I wouldn't recall where I got it). From full wind, it ticks for about 35 minutes, and I regularly run it down doing flatpicking or scales practice. I work my hands almost to the point of exhaustion.

As for picks, I'm discovering how different picks affect tone. At present, I'm alternating between Dunlop celluloid picks in thin, medium, & heavy. The difference between them are comparable to different voice registers; thin produces a clear soprano, medium an alto, and heavy a rich baritone. I like the crisp attack of celluloid picks, but for crisp attack, the Dunlop Delrin 0.71 in bubble-gum pink comes out on top for both flatpicking & strumming for its rich, warm voice.

Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Majik on December 14, 2020, 12:07:20 am
Everything I practice I end up spending at least 20-30 minutes on. I have a wind-up metronome, a Wittner Taktell Piccolino, which is a small travel metronome that I bought on a brief visit to Pusan, S. Korea according to the price tag on the box (otherwise I wouldn't recall where I got it). From full wind, it ticks for about 35 minutes, and I regularly run it down doing flatpicking or scales practice. I work my hands almost to the point of exhaustion.

I bet there's some interesting stories around the acquisition of that metronome. What an wonderful and interesting bit of kit.

Cheers,

Keith
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on December 15, 2020, 04:40:49 am
I bet there's some interesting stories around the acquisition of that metronome. What an wonderful and interesting bit of kit.

Cheers,

Keith

No musically interesting stories about the acquisition of that metronome, but my first visit to Korea was a bit of an adventure.

I was living in Kyoto at the time and had just secured the paperwork to change my visa status from student visa with work permission to full working visa. I went to the immigration office just before a 3-day weekend to learn that they no longer processed them and that I'd have to travel to the Japanese Consulate in Korea to change visa status. By the time I went to board the ferry from Osaka to Pusan, I'd overstayed my visa and was referred to immigration enforcement office, where I got thoroughly interrogated. My first impression of that office was of seeing a dozen or so Asian visa delinquents shackled together headed off to detention or deportation or something unenviable & unpleasant. At length, I satisfied immigration that my infringement was merely due to happenstance. Off I went on the overnight ferry to Korea.

The ferry ride itself was memorable for the iridescent plankton glowing in the boat wake & the many squid fishing boats with their intensely bright lights which attract the squid like a moth to a flame. I befriended a Korean girl who was ferry staff, and she invited me and another passenger to her family's house for home-made kimchi and gave us a tour of the city's major attractions.

The next day, I went around the shops in town, and the girl shopkeepers made a point of coming out of the shops and calling out to me more than a little flirtatiously to try to entice me into the shops. The shop where I bought the metronome was probably also where I bought a dozen or so Deutsche Grammophon cassette tapes of baroque & classical music. I recall being quite impressed with the selection of music on offer and flattered by all the female attention.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Majik on December 15, 2020, 04:44:44 am
Great story! I had a feeling there was something interesting there.

Out of interest, why did the visa need to be renewed in Korea?

Cheers,

Keith

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on December 15, 2020, 04:58:36 am
Great story! I had a feeling there was something interesting there.

Out of interest, why did the visa need to be renewed in Korea?

Cheers,

Keith

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

Some bureaucrats changed the immigration regulations to make themselves feel important or justify a fat budget.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on December 15, 2020, 06:10:29 am
Your progress sounds good and the stories are always interesting. Glad you keep sharing Twin Six
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on December 18, 2020, 06:59:20 pm
About C# & the Sitar

The first string instrument I learned was the sitar, at which I spent many intensive years learning & practicing. Because at the time I could devote 6-8 hours per day (3 hrs. min.), I acquired a modicum of skill. Along the way, I met many guitarists who wanted to jam with me, which in all but one case that I recall (with a jazz guitarist with a passing familiarity with Indian music), it proved an exercise in frustration. This is because the sitar consists of a drone against which an elaborate, highly embellished melody is played on a single steel string (that can be bent up to the 5th interval from nearly any note). Sitar practice consists predominantly of scales. While the drone consists of a harmony (generally I & V), there are no chords on sitar, and the entire instrument is tuned to a single key, C# being standard. Therefore, I always asked guitarists to play in C#, little suspecting the degree of musicianship I expected of many a casual strummer.

It's in Justin's Beginner Lesson 9 that we learn the C major scale on the 5th string root using open strings starting on the 3rd finger. For C#, simply transpose up a half-tone by fretting the 4th fret with the 4th finger and fret with your 1st finger at the 1st fret the strings that in C would be open, and play the scale on the same pattern as C. Simple in theory but difficult in practice because it requires quite a stretch of the fingers, something of an awkward wrist position, and 4th finger strength & precision, especially when descending. It's one hell of a scale exercise.

Then there's the C major chord; C-shape chord played with fingers 2, 3 & 4, mini-barre at 1st fret (I play as full barre). It is a beast of a chord that makes big, bad F look like a cake walk. It figures in two songs I started practicing since before discovering Justin's lessons: Sweet Jane (E B A C# B, back to E) & Frank Zappa's Camarillo Brillo, which has the changes A B f# C# B A on the verse "she had gray-green skin, a doll with a pin, I told her she was all right but I couldn't come in."

Going by the principle of focusing your practice on the things you find most difficult, I practice Sweet Jane almost daily for long enough to get into a groove with it and lose track of time. It's a work in progress of about 8 months at this stage and many more to go. It's one of the most iconic riffs in rock, and also a fantastic hand-strengthening exercise, and the stronger the fingers, the clearer the chords.

So, there you have the ballad of C#, that devilish but essential key.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Majik on December 18, 2020, 07:54:09 pm
Interesting.

Have you learned the E and A shape barre chords yet. They are a lot easier than the C-shape barre you are doing.

Cheers,

Keith

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on December 19, 2020, 03:26:49 am
Interesting.

Have you learned the E and A shape barre chords yet. They are a lot easier than the C-shape barre you are doing.

Cheers,

Keith


That C-shape C# is something I've practiced so much that it feels natural at this point, and I think it sounds better than substituting an A-shape C# barred at the 4th fret, which is easier to play but makes for three A-shaped chords in a row.

Anyhow, the moral of the story is that I was determined to play a riff and practiced it until the "impossible" chord felt natural, and now most other chords seem less daunting by comparison.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Majik on December 19, 2020, 09:37:53 am
I'm actually practicing a finger style piece that has a C-shape barre in it, one semitone up from yours on the D. So I know your pain.

Cheers,

Keith

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on December 19, 2020, 03:38:48 pm
I'm actually practicing a finger style piece that has a C-shape barre in it, one semitone up from yours on the D. So I know your pain.

Cheers,

Keith


Indeed, that C-shape D chord is hardly less of a stretch than C#. Sometimes you can't avoid those "impossible" chords. Pretty amazing what you can get your fingers to do on the guitar.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on December 29, 2020, 03:12:57 pm
The Twin Six came back last week from having the lifting bridge repaired. The tech not only glued it, but also bolted it down and covered the bolts with mother-of-pearl inlay. He also properly fitted the new bone pins and strung it with the extra-light Martin Flexible Core strings, tuned down a full tone. Though I'd prefer standard tuning, I'm keeping it tuned a full tone down because the Achilles heel of the '80s Alvarez Yairi guitars is the epoxied neck, making a neck reset nearly impossible, so the less tension the better.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DarrellW on December 29, 2020, 03:45:56 pm
The Twin Six came back last week from having the lifting bridge repaired. The tech not only glued it, but also bolted it down and covered the bolts with mother-of-pearl inlay. He also properly fitted the new bone pins and strung it with the extra-light Martin Flexible Core strings, tuned down a full tone. Though I'd prefer standard tuning, I'm keeping it tuned a full tone down because the Achilles heel of the '80s Alvarez Yairi guitars is the epoxied neck, making a neck reset nearly impossible, so the less tension the better.
Sensible move, you can always use a capo if need be. I used Silk and steel strings on one of my old guitars that had a similar problem, they worked ok, my daughter wanted it so it’s now taking retirement as a very attractive wall hanging in her house.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on February 18, 2021, 02:22:05 am
After three months & two days, I changed out the DR Sunbeam 12-54s for Martin Flexible Core (FX) 12-54s in the Single Six. The Martins started off with an unpleasant metallic zing, which seems to be fading as the strings settle in. Perhaps it's a bit early to pass judgment, but I already think I prefer the Sunbeams. The Martin FX strings sound & feel fine on the Twin Six.

Practicing scales relentlessly with the metronome at 120, and have learned keys on 6th & 5th string roots all the way up the neck.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on February 18, 2021, 07:12:49 am
Thanks for the update. Progress sounds good.

Keep on rocking!
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: tobyjenner on February 18, 2021, 02:53:38 pm
Looking good.  8)
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on February 18, 2021, 03:34:43 pm
Thanks, guys. I've been quietly plugging away. Still working on my Big Bad F chord changes, not getting much faster, but more precise, and getting Big Bad F consistently clear & crisp.

Last night after practice and after posting the above, Mrs. Twin Six told me she doesn't like the sound of the new strings and much prefers the previous set. That settles it.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on March 10, 2021, 04:08:34 pm
Well, my birthday was the other day, and usually I do my best to ignore it and carry on as if it were any other day. Until my brother showed up unannounced, as one does. He handed me a set of Ernie Ball Earthwood lights for the Single Six. I was delighted. Then he produced a Squier Telecaster, an amp, guitar stand -- the works! So, suddenly I'm electrified! Unfortunately, the pickup selector switch had a dodgy connection, so it went straight to the shop.

Here's the gear. I'll post photos when the guitar comes back from the shop.

https://shop.fender.com/en-US/squier-electric-guitars/telecaster/bullet-telecaster/0370045506.html

https://voxamps.com/product/vt20x/
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on March 11, 2021, 05:38:57 am
Many happy returns Twin Six and happy happy NGD !!
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on March 11, 2021, 06:45:21 pm
Apropos of my Vox Valvetronix amp featuring a prominently displayed vacuum tube, I read for the first time about Lee DeForest, a relative from my mother's side, who invented the vacuum tube. Quite a fascinating character.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_de_Forest (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_de_Forest)
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on March 12, 2021, 02:12:54 pm
Fascinating indeed
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on April 17, 2021, 01:12:03 am
Time for an update, which I've begun to contemplate writing several times without success over the past week, but "events keep occurring," as Mrs Twin Six & I are fond of saying, referencing a Roz Chast cartoon in the New Yorker many years ago:
The classical version: War and Peace by Count Leo Tolstoy
The pop version: War 'n' Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The muzak version: Events Keep Occurring by Leo

In old news, the Martin Flexible Core (FX) strings that started so unpleasantly zingy on the Single Six settled in nicely and sound & feel just fine. The same Martin FX are on the Twin Six, which I finally tuned up to standard tuning from a whole pitch down. Tuned down, I noticed intonation problems when playing higher up the fretboard, with notes sounding slightly sharp. Tuning up to EADGBE has remedied this intonation problem and made it more resonant, which makes me want to play it more.

Electric guitar might as well be a completely different instrument, considering how much I have to learn about the various guitar & amp settings as well as how rubbish I sound. Slowly I'm sounding better and experimenting with various settings & effects built into the amp. It's a long learning curve, but you have to start somewhere, so while I'm reading up on the various classic amps my hybrid tube amp models, I'm practicing the obligatory Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple. After about a week's practice, I can get the riff consistently and get through the whole song at close to original tempo without pausing to reposition fingers. And I'm starting to sing along.

I also started learning Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, using the two-finger power chord grips, which is how I discovered why my brother complains about the guitar, "Wires like that are used to slice cheese, and my fingers are made of cheese!" My index finger feels like it's getting sliced by the thinnest strings from playing barre chords, combined with the sharp bottom edges of the frets, which are not rolled as aggressively as those of the acoustics. Mrs. Twin Six teases me that my fingers are made of soft ripened Brie, which is true as far as mini-barre A & two-finger B are concerned (which I use increasingly). Otherwise, my finger tip calluses are as tough as Peccorino rinds.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on April 17, 2021, 06:21:04 am
Thanks for the update Twin Six. All sounds to be progressing well.

All I can say is I hope you'll make a recording of some of these songs you are learning and share over in AVOYP, would love to hear you playing them.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on April 17, 2021, 04:27:54 pm
Thanks for the update Twin Six. All sounds to be progressing well.

All I can say is I hope you'll make a recording of some of these songs you are learning and share over in AVOYP, would love to hear you playing them.

Thanks, David. Progress means clearing the Big F hurdle, which has taken a lot of work.

As for AVOYP, Mrs. Twin Six has expressed interest in recording my playing, and we have experience videoing a season of the local bandstand concerts. Eventually, I'll have a tune or two ready for video performance. I'm concentrating on expanding my repertoire.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on April 18, 2021, 10:03:02 am
Thanks, David. Progress means clearing the Big F hurdle, which has taken a lot of work.

As for AVOYP, Mrs. Twin Six has expressed interest in recording my playing, and we have experience videoing a season of the local bandstand concerts. Eventually, I'll have a tune or two ready for video performance. I'm concentrating on expanding my repertoire.

Sounds good, Twin Six.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on May 04, 2021, 05:00:10 am
Changed the strings on the Single Six to the Ernie Ball Earthwood 80/20 strings that were a birthday gift, which are 11-52s (I haven't yet played anything but 12-54s since acquiring this guitar). The lighter gauge strings are a revelation, as they seem to suit the guitar's set up better; the Waverly ebony bridge pins seat lower & more firmly. These strings are also easier on the fingers and my chords are ringing out more clearly, especially Big F, on which I've been practicing intensively for months. Also, I'd nearly given up hope that fingerstyle would ever be a thing for me, but going down a string gauge has brought fingerstyle within pretty easy reach. It's exciting when just changing string gauge feels like progress.

Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on May 04, 2021, 06:05:08 am
Sounds like good progress, Twin Six. I've often wondered about going from 12 to 11. Maybe I'll give that a try next time I change strings. Sure it would also make bending easier on the acoustic ... if I was doing any bending  ;D
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on May 06, 2021, 08:55:22 pm
Today I changed strings on the Twin Six. DR Rare Bronze were next in the lineup, but a thread on the Acoustic Guitar Forum about the glories of GHS Vintage Bronze derailed the DR plans. Since I happened to have a set of the GHS Vintage Bronze, I figured that forum bragging rights were as good a reason to experiment with one string as with another.

The strings the GHS replaced were Martin FX that were put on back around mid-December! That's 4 months out of a set of strings. The steel strings were just starting to lose their elasticity, and so were not holding tune for very long any more. That's a sure sign to change strings. They sure had a good run.

The verdict, after mere hours, is that the GHS have considerably lower tension than the Martin strings I've had on it so far (SP 80/20, & FX). I find Martin strings on the stiff side. They sound great, hold their tune, and last a long time, but they're hardly low-tension, not even the Flexible Cores. We'll see how the GHS settle in over the next week, but so far I prefer them by a wide margin. They're rich & warm, and not jangly like the Martins. GHS wins.
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: DavidP on May 07, 2021, 05:59:13 am
You sure are my go to guy when it comes to string adventures, Twin Six.

I usually just replace with the same, though last time had to change from Elixir to D'adarrio. I can't tell the difference ... as likely as not my sensory acuity.

Keep enjoying the guitars and hope to hear you play one fine day
Title: Re: Twin Six's Road Case
Post by: Twin Six on May 08, 2021, 03:33:56 pm
You sure are my go to guy when it comes to string adventures, Twin Six.

I usually just replace with the same, though last time had to change from Elixir to D'adarrio. I can't tell the difference ... as likely as not my sensory acuity.

Keep enjoying the guitars and hope to hear you play one fine day

Thanks, David.

My experiments are paying off, as I determine when I can tell the difference and when I can't. For example, I can't tell any significant difference among Martin strings of the same gauge; SP, Marquis, and Flexible Core all feel & sound nearly the same to me. Hats off to Martin for consistency across the range.

I also hear little difference between alloys, so 80/20 and phosphor bronze (PB) so far sound similar enough that I have no strong preference. I don't pretend to understand variables like core wire, alloys, wrap wire & winding, etc., but strings certainly differ one to another. Slowly, I'm starting to find my favorites. Experimenting is proving worthwhile.

As for hearing me play, it's a work in progress, and I also look forward to sharing a song or two here.