Monday, March 15, 2010

some cigar box guitar ramblings

I'm amazed and thrilled at the spectrum of experiences I've enjoyed through this wierd and wonderful subject. I've just had the pleasure of free tickets to the Pasion de Buena Vista - a fantastic stageshow of Cuban music and dancing. It all came about from meeting someone who bought a guitar from me and who happens to be the tour manager for the show at present. He kindly offered me a backstage tour where I met some of the musicians, then free tickets for the show later. What a brilliant show and it was a thrill to meet the guys. I even got to play one of my guitars for them. I am deeply thankful for the opportunity.

Next up is tickets to Ian Clayton's Concert for Billie. It's a benefit gig that Ian organises each year in memory of his young daughter who died in a tragic accident a few years ago. I'm really looking forward to that and it came my way through CBGs.

I've made some great friends through CBGs too. But one of the best thrills is when I finish a guitar, string it up, tune it and start playing. Something deeply satisfying happens. I know it sounds weird, but up until that point, a new guitar is still just a collection of parts that I have assembled. Even though I am familiar with every aspect, I don't see it as an instrument in it's own right until I have added the final touches and played it. Those first few minutes of playing are incredibly satisfying. It's like a new baby taking it's first breath. I have a little ritual when I reach this point. I bring it into the lounge and stand it against a plant stand next to the tv in front of where I usually sit. It's just so I can look at it, admire it and drink it in. It's as if I am seeing it for the first time and I can't get enough of it for a day or two. I can look at it and think "Yes I like that, I'd buy it if I didn't already own it". Weird isn't it? It's as if it came from somewhere other than myself.

Updates - the "special" is finished. I'm absolutely delighted with it. It completes my CBG "kit". It goes fantastically well with the wooden case I made and the old radio extension speaker that I converted into an amp way back and my hand-cut bottleneck slide. Every bit of it my own work that creates a completely unique and desirable outfit. This is a definite keeper and no money would prize it from my hands. I'm gonna take some photos of the whole kit soon and post them so be sure to watch out for that. Hopefully I'll get around to videoing it for Youtube.

The little recording studio I'm building is almost there now. Just received my Fostex PM04 monitor speakers but need to build a shelf to put them on. I had a play with the Roland midi keyboard I bought on Ebay. It took some figuring and I'm not completley happy with the set-up yet. It does some random things when playing. Occasionally, the notes played, continue playing until you hit the keys again. Not sure what causes it, probably something in the software I'm using that needs a tweak. Aren't computers frustrating? That's all for now.