Saturday, December 03, 2016

Evening strum

Trying not to get sucked down into the endless maelstrom of post-election dread and fear, of late I have been playing the guitar more and more. After years of hands softened by playing my old classical guitar (which I wrote about now north of a decade ago here), I have taken up with the Gibson sunburst guitar that Mary's brother George left for me in the attic in Larchmont. The neck is narrower, the frets closer together, so it feels tight on my stubby hands, but I'm getting there.  They key thing has been to put the classical guitar in its case so that I am not tempted to pick it up.

Also, the strings are steel (or some kind of metal) rather than mostly nylon, so it's harder on my hands, so I am developing callouses on my fingertips, which is good but wierd after all these years of soft hands.

I've been learning more songs too. For a long time, my repertoire has been fairly limited. One thing that's been helpful is finding resources on the so-called interweb which have all the lyrics and chord progressions in the songs. Makes things damned easy. Another boon granted my by Al Gore's mighty creation is guitar dudes on YouTube showing licks and ways of holding one's hands in non-obvious (at least to me) ways to facilitate moving between chords. That has meant unlearning many decades of muscle memory, not a quick and easy thing to do, especially with the limited time I can/do make available for playing.

My repertoire has been expanding to include John Prine, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sharon Van Etten, etc. One important thing I've tried to do is write down songs that I've learned. I did that, but I forgot where I wrote it down. Sigh.  I know Google docs would be a good place, but keeping track of all one's Google docs is a chore in itself.

In general, the challenge of multiple file management constructs is a whole nuther kettle of worms, worthy of a blog post of its own.

Now to take Graham to martial arts and read Buffett's 1990 Letter to Shareholders.

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