Author Topic: Twin Six's Road Case  (Read 3677 times)

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Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #25 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.
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline adi_mrok

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #26 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 :)

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Offline Majik

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #27 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

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #28 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.
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #29 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.

1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline Majik

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #30 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

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #31 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.
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline Majik

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #32 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

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Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #33 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.
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline DavidP

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2020, 06:10:29 am »
Your progress sounds good and the stories are always interesting. Glad you keep sharing Twin Six

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #35 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.
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline Majik

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #36 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

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Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #37 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.
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline Majik

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #38 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

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Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #39 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.
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #40 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.
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #41 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.

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #42 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.
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline DavidP

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #43 on: February 18, 2021, 07:12:49 am »
Thanks for the update. Progress sounds good.

Keep on rocking!

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2021, 02:53:38 pm »
Looking good.  8)
Here since Mar 2013 Completed BC, RUST 1 & 2, IM, MTMS Still on Blues Rhythm and Blues Lead
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Roadcase : https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=39537

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #45 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.
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #46 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/
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline DavidP

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2021, 05:38:57 am »
Many happy returns Twin Six and happy happy NGD !!

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #48 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
1986 Alvarez Yairi DY-76 (twelve-string) "The Twin Six"
1989 Alvarez Yairi DY-39 (six-string)
1993 Hiren Roy & Sons sitar
Fender Squier Bullet Telecaster
Vox Valvetronic VT20X

Offline DavidP

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2021, 02:12:54 pm »
Fascinating indeed

 

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