Why am I eating crow today

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I’m trying to remember exactly how it all started and why. Some details are unclear, as the accumulation of reasons have collided and worsened each other over the course of about 14 years.


I think it started at least in part because of the old SRV. Not because I was an aspiring bluesman looking for Texas-sized sound through phone wires. I dug / dug Stevie, don’t get me wrong. But maybe I was also breaking the strings more than I would have liked. Like I said, when the beginnings of a routine go back this far, it’s hard to keep track of all the whys. After a while, your cart takes a deeply rutted road that is difficult to stray from, although the idea occurs to you as you enjoy the scenery and take care of other matters during the course. your musical journey. And, of course, at the beginning there are no ruts. It’s a fresh and exciting new path to take for the first time in your own reality.

All this time my standard guitars have had 0.011 clearances. My D standards, .013s. Then I moved to a new city and state with a smaller stage and wasted too much time trying to find like-minded, well-adjusted players. After a few false starts I said, “fuck it” and got into a drum and guitar duet format. I figured baritone guitars would be the most efficient way to fill the frequency spectrum, and before long I was playing mostly 0.014 sets. For eight, maybe nine years now. Add that to nearly 30 years of working days typing on a QWERTY keyboard, and it’s no wonder the inevitable is now a reality. Tendinitis and early carpal tunnel syndrome have made gambling much more difficult and painful than healthy or acceptable.

Despite the “crow” that I eat now, I am not saying that there are no real sound and physical differences. It was not all in my head. Again, it comes down to the rationale for the composition. About five years ago, I started upping the low end of my device by incorporating a bass amp into my guitar combos. But before I had that idea – when I was trying to complete the spectrum with just baritones and guitar amps – the extra-bass-mid frequencies inherent in the heavier strings made a difference. Along the way, I also became addicted to heavy steel picks (an addiction that I warmly support and recommend). I liked that you can hit heavier strings without worrying as much about frequency hum as the strings vibrate towards the center, not to mention little to no string breakage. Again… the tangled path.

Mortality is fearful. It was about : Do you want to play painlessly, or do you want to stay in your stupid wagon tracks?

Alas, mortality sucks. It was about : Do you want to play painlessly, or do you want to stay in your stupid wagon tracks? I am stubborn, but not that stubborn. My baris are now threaded with .012s. Believe it or not, it makes a big difference despite being heavy in the large string gauge system. But I also introduced standard scale guitars in the duo format. My Teles, Jazzmasters and Gretsch are not only equipped with .010 sets now, they are also fully pitch tuned.

A few months ago, when I first dipped a warm toe in the low gauge water, I thought it would be a tonal sacrifice, albeit a very necessary one. It hasn’t been. With a bass amp still in the rig, any need for heavy string low mids is completely moot. Apparently, I had to shred my tendons to find this out rather than just sitting down, pondering my gear trip and untangling its myriad of winds and turns like a big boy. The low frequencies are still there but the signal is clearer, less messy. Best of all, I feel like a man without shackles. Turns and races are a breeze, endurance is much improved and pain has been significantly reduced. I had to learn to adjust the finger pressure and attack for correct intonation, but it’s a small price to pay.

Many of you are looking me in the eye, thinking, “Everything you said here is a big one. duh, fool. “But I don’t regret this trip. And not out of stubbornness either. The tortuous path I have followed over these 14 years has led me through a myriad of magnificent musical landscapes and too varied and subtle lessons, even subconscious, to separate from my guitar psyche. Plus, it reinforced a lesson most of us have to learn over and over again in all aspects of our lives. Stopping to assess ourselves in a naked and unshakable way , where we have been and where we are going is a must to progress.

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