We live on the lakeshore. My back yard is a roughly 3,000-acre natural freshwater lake. Sounds great, right? It is mostly, then there is the California drought which essentially added 100 yards of stuff to mow and a really long walk uphill from the shore. We actually love it. Living a watershed lifestyle is awesome, aongside a natural habitat for an astounding variety of wildlife. We have Great Blue Herons with 6-foot wing spans that stand 5 feet tall that have been here longer than us and some we have watched grow from hatchlings. We get these Snowy White Egrets that are so white they shine. They're always so clean and white even when the lake is a little green.
OK, this is silly, I know, but it made me smile. I was checking the weather on my Nexus 6, a Google phone. On my phone if I swipe left from my home screen I get a news feed based on my interests. I am, obviously, interested in 12-string guitars, music stuff and guitarists in particular and I get a lot of stuff like that in my feed.
I get this question a lot so I thought this time I would make a post about it so I can explain why I do what I do when I amplify or record my twelve-string guitar.
When I record, I prefer to use a Blumlein Pair. The mics that do that best are kind of expensive. With "affordable" mics - really, any high-quality mics that can go down to 30hz - I find this system works well. Place one up close in the sweet spot and one up high about 45 degrees to the front, stage right. I functionally use the same EQ and Comp/Lim as below but add it in post; recording raw is better. I might flavor the sound in my headphones temporarily to help me sing. then perfect it in post.
I want to talk about right hand finger-picking technique for a minute. I watch a lot of videos online and I see a common problem that is holding a bunch of you back. Please let me fix that with a thing I learned from my early years of Flamenco guitar lessons.
We were on our way home from a really fun wine tour when we decided to take a detour. We've been on the lookout for a good location to play some music and shoot video. We decided to go to the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns in Death Valley. It was kind of on the way home, we had been there before and the sound in the kilns was awesome. The last time we visited was years and years ago with my youngest; camping out in our old 61 Suburban. It was an awesome trip, but by the time we got to the kilns it was winter and snowy and cold. It was Wakitu's first snowball fight evar and we decided then we'd be back.
I haven't always played the 12-string. I started, as most do, on a sort of toy nylon-string guitar and my first real guitar was also a nylon-string "classical" guitar. Well, technically a "flamenco" guitar, a slightly different shape, made in Spain. I was 4. It was beautiful. I played that for a long time. I've had lots of guitars since then. Nylon string, steel string, electric solid bodies, hollow body, cheap, expensive, stolen, Gibson, Fender, Ibanez, Alvarez, Larrivee, from hock shops, trades and boutique music stores - guitars, I've had a few.
(there is a video at the bottom you can listen to while you read the post if you like. NoAutoplay!)
The 9th Annual "What would you say to your Dad today?" FARK Father's Day thread. Bonus: New Dads what will you tell your child today?
We've been posting this on Fark.com for nine years now. The comments are an amazing study in fatherhood. It has been called "cathartic" by many. It has become "a thing." Get it off your chest. Say the things you would have, could have, should have said... if only you could. (Clickable links to past years below.)
Here's this year's FARK Father's Day thread.
Click the link below to join in the conversation.
The 9th Annual "What would you say to your Dad today?" FARK Father's Day thread.
Bonus: New Dads what will you tell your child today?
There are only two things I do well with my eyes closed: play guitar and type. I can't reach my guitar. Sorry.
There is a thing that men, Dads in particular, do. It's really stupid and self-destructive. It's a tough lesson and you have to learn it the hard way. We can't fix everything. There I said it. We can't fix everything.
The reason they call the hard times in your life “the hard times in your life” is because they aren't easy …and that's OK. It is OK to not get everything done; it is OK to forget a detail in the midst of a crisis. It is not OK to put your feelings on hold and just press on like you don't feel it. It messes with your head. It screws up your body as it screams for you to rest. You aren't helping if you make yourself sick, angry, frustrated or impotent.
However, this isn't what we do. What we do is push harder, putting on "the face," ignoring pain and exhaustion and pressing on, trying to fix things we can't fix with tools that are dull from lack of sleep.
If, in conjunction with your emotional impotence, you happen to have health issues, this is a recipe for disaster in your relationships as your frustration mounts and you begin to feel helpless about things that you cannot control.
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