Author Topic: Twin Six's Road Case  (Read 4537 times)

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Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #50 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.
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 #51 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.

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #52 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.
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 #53 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.

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #54 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.

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 #55 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

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #56 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.
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 #57 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

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #58 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.

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 #59 on: May 26, 2021, 03:08:10 pm »
Just got some new strings & new picks.

Strings: DR Sunbeam 11-50, Rotosound 11-52, GHS Vintage Bronze 12-string 10-46, for electric Fender Pure Nickel 9-42.

Picks (all Dunlop): Celluloid Extra Heavy pearl, Delrin .46 & .96 to add to my .71, Ultex triangle .60, Tortex triangle .73 (yellow) & .88 (green) to add to my .50 (red) & .60 (orange).
D'Addario celluloid thumb & finger picks (steep learning curved ahead).

The yellow Tortex seems to hit a sweet spot for me, especially on 12-string, as I find it nearly effortless to play both strings of every course consistently.
The Ultex is also excellent, with a crisper attack than the Tortex, which sounds rather mellower by comparison.
The triangle shape is easy to grip, and I find it doesn't twist around on me as teardrop picks sometimes do.

One observation about pick thickness is that thicker picks tend to suppress the trebles, giving the guitar a deeper voice. It's taken months of daily flatpicking practice to gain the strength & stamina to handle thicker, more rigid picks.
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 #60 on: May 26, 2021, 04:06:54 pm »
Love the way you experiment with strings and now picks Twin Six.

I also got thumb and finger-picks ... agree with you ... steep learning curve.

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #61 on: May 27, 2021, 04:34:04 pm »
Love the way you experiment with strings and now picks Twin Six.

I also got thumb and finger-picks ... agree with you ... steep learning curve.

Thanks, David.

Experimenting with strings & picks is my poor man's guide to tone. The tone of an acoustic guitar being what it is, different gauges & alloys of strings can significantly or subtly alter the timbre & playability.

Reading the Acoustic Guitar Forum has provided invaluable guidance:

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=560321

Picks are cheap, and have a surprising influence on timbre.

Because I'm working on Happy Birthday fingerstyle, I thought I'd try the thumb & finger picks, but without further instruction & practice it was just an exercise in frustration. House of the Rising Sun proved more forgiving.
I've been astonished by how much practice it's taken to get proficient at picking individual notes, and finger picks will take even more effort down the road.
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 #62 on: June 01, 2021, 06:19:28 pm »
Sunday I decided to play electric for a change, so I spent most of the day playing the Telecaster. One fantastic thing about my amp is that it can connect to the computer via a generic USB cable, which we just happened to have among some miscellaneous electrical/electronics. Once connected, the driver loaded automatically. Then I downloaded & installed Vox's Tone Room program from their website. It allows me to control the amp's modeled amps & effects as well as presets. Since I'm a newcomer to electric, having a visual way to control the sound is a good way to get up to speed with which amps & effects do what.

Mrs. Twin Six says she finds even the most mind-numbing of my practice sessions soothing (!), so she read through untold hours of my halting practice of Smoke on the Water without being distracted. She's not the least bit musical, so I'm pleasantly astonished that my playing doesn't drive her around the bend.

Progress may be glacial, but it's progress nonetheless.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 03:13:16 pm by Twin Six »
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 #63 on: June 09, 2021, 06:51:40 pm »
I've just reached a milestone on 12-string, having finally completed the finger-stretching exercise all the way up to the octave and back s-l-o-w-l-y without any strings buzzing on the frets, which has been an issue that I assumed was caused by insufficient finger strength. That assumption proved correct, meaning, as I suspected, it is not an issue with the guitar itself.

On 6-string, I've long since memorized Happy Birthday fingerstyle and am now getting through it at "normal" speed, as well as figuring out the "and many more" C7 coda on my own. I've refused to move on from Module 11 until my Happy Birthday was up to speed (besides which, there's so much there to digest).

Also, in other news, I've hooked up my webcam, and am going to try my hand at producing an acceptable video of myself playing. It will be a learning curve. It's daunting.

It's been about a year since I started playing guitar again, and less than a year that I discovered & started Justin's lessons and started from the very beginning to fill in the gaps. Best guitar-related decision ever.
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 frito

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #64 on: June 10, 2021, 01:45:57 am »
I've just reached a milestone on 12-string, having finally completed the finger-stretching exercise all the way up to the octave and back s-l-o-w-l-y without any strings buzzing on the frets, which has been an issue that I assumed was caused by insufficient finger strength. That assumption proved correct, meaning, as I suspected, it is not an issue with the guitar itself.

On 6-string, I've long since memorized Happy Birthday fingerstyle and am now getting through it at "normal" speed, as well as figuring out the "and many more" C7 coda on my own. I've refused to move on from Module 11 until my Happy Birthday was up to speed (besides which, there's so much there to digest).

Also, in other news, I've hooked up my webcam, and am going to try my hand at producing an acceptable video of myself playing. It will be a learning curve. It's daunting.

It's been about a year since I started playing guitar again, and less than a year that I discovered & started Justin's lessons and started from the very beginning to fill in the gaps. Best guitar-related decision ever.
Cool on reaching that finger stretch on the 12 string.  That's no easy feat. Having been more Miss than hit on the practice front, I am finding my forearm getting very tired after just one not ringing out perfectly song.  I'm looking forward to seeing a video of you with the twelve string.

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1983 Sigma DM12-5, 12 String Accoustic
2017 Gretsch Streamliner G2420/ABB Hollowbody
Orange Crush 20RT amp

Offline DavidP

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #65 on: June 10, 2021, 08:30:34 am »
Also, in other news, I've hooked up my webcam, and am going to try my hand at producing an acceptable video of myself playing. It will be a learning curve. It's daunting.

Well done on progress made, Twin Six.

I have been down the road of making videos with a webcam. In the end the solution that worked for me was to use an open source software called OBS.

For audio I record my guitar using its built-in electronics and a dynamic mic for vocals. Both connect to a simple Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface that connects via USB to the PC. Once plugged in the 2i2 appears as an optional sound source, along with the webcam's mic and the headset that is usually plugged into the PC's soundcard. I disable all the other sound sources and select the 2i2 in OBS.

This then gives me a reasonable video, based on the quality of the webcam, and a good quality audio, without the need to record audio in my Digital Audio Workstation and marry the video and audio afterwards in a Video Editor (which is what I was doing when recording the video with my phone and audio in the DAW).

There are video tutorials in YT that show how to do all this if needs be. It is not too complicated to figure out and get working but I know that is all relative and I'm quite PC literate, though not an expert.

Offline Twin Six

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Re: Twin Six's Road Case
« Reply #66 on: June 10, 2021, 03:12:49 pm »
Cool on reaching that finger stretch on the 12 string.  That's no easy feat. Having been more Miss than hit on the practice front, I am finding my forearm getting very tired after just one not ringing out perfectly song.  I'm looking forward to seeing a video of you with the twelve string.

The finger-stretching exercise is something I've been doing regularly as a warm-up. I didn't have much trouble on the lowest frets, but for a while I couldn't get higher than the 9th fret. Gradually, I worked my way up to the octave, but got a bit of fret buzz, especially from my pinky. At last, I've gained the strength to do it without any fret buzz. On 12-string, that feels like an accomplishment.

Hope you can find more time to practice soon and get your hand back in shape.
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 #67 on: June 10, 2021, 03:30:01 pm »
Well done on progress made, Twin Six.

I have been down the road of making videos with a webcam. In the end the solution that worked for me was to use an open source software called OBS. . .

Thanks. I'd sped up my practice naturally, but then slowed down again, which is how it came to me.

Wow! Thanks for the tips. It sounds complicated, and will require a steep learning curve because I'm starting from zero recording myself. Thanks for giving me a place to start.
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 #68 on: June 10, 2021, 03:40:24 pm »
Wow! Thanks for the tips. It sounds complicated, and will require a steep learning curve because I'm starting from zero recording myself. Thanks for giving me a place to start.

My pleasure. If you don't have mics and interfaces and all that sort of gear then a good place to start could be to just use the webcam and it's built-in mic.  Here's the link to OBS. Click on the OS you use which will trigger the download and take you to page with some info to get started.

I have no idea what the quality of the webcam audio will be like. I guess it would depend on the quality of the webcam. It may be similar to a phone mic quality. Irrespective it will enable the first step. And once recording videos can consider if you want to take further steps to improve audio quality.

 

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