It’s been 10 years since I did a guitar arrangement of this song, and it’s been a while since I last recorded anything. So finally here’s the “official” recording done by yours truly, 32Kbps low bitrate version since I want to save bandwidth. This is played on my electric, which I still can’t get the hang of (I very much prefer the feel of nylon strings). I recorded this to minidisk first, then recorded in Ubuntu, using Kristal over Wine, but there are some skips due to buffer underruns. I remember there are some tweaks I’m supposed to do but I think they were lost with the last OS upgrade. This is the one thing I missed from Windows. Anyway, enjoy and merry christmas!
Posts Tagged ‘guitar’
I finally wrote that program to generate chord fingerings for any fretted instrument. It’s written in Python and meant to be run at the command-line. It’s quite a pleasure writing this in Python – I was surprised to finish writing the core algorithm in just one morning.
Why another chord generation program when there are so many of them on the web already? Well, a variety of reasons: there doesn’t seem to one in Python yet, I want a command-line version (it’s more efficient in some ways), and I want to be able to fine-tune the algorithms. I can slap on a GUI later. Python’s list manipulation capabilities means that I can support instruments of any number of strings, and in any tuning.
I wrote it on my Ubuntu box, but it should work for any platform that Python runs on. It’s written in Python 2.5. I’m still unsure about moving on to Python 3.0.
Interested folks can download the initial release here: chordcalc.py
Let me know if you find any errors e.g. in the chord definitions.
Spent the entire afternoon sanding down a new saddle to install in my new classical guitar, a nice German spruce top with rosewood back and sides. It’s my first time making my own saddle, I suspect the sandpaper I got is still not rough enough. It took such a long time… My thumbs are now aching from all that abrasive action…
I got the guitar second-hand, but the action needs to be lowered. So I took the opportunity to get a Tusq saddle as I heard it’s better than bone. Anyway, I broke the old saddle while trying to pry it out – hmm, it doesn’t seem to be bone. The Tusq saddle has string compensation built in already, so at least I don’t really have to shape the top. Alas, it’s a bit too fat for the slot so sanding it down took a long time. I then drew my target line and patiently sanded it down, checking it every now and then by putting in back in the slot.
Turns out for some reason, I can’t lower the action too much after all. It ended up having more or less the same action as my old guitar, and that’s as far as it can go. Oh well, but then I installed Savarez strings on it and I was amazed at the results. It’s another first try – I was using D’Addarios all these while. I got the Savarez Corum Alliance high tension set – looks like nylon but it’s actually some composite material. I don’t know if it’s the Tusq material or the strings, but the guitar sounds much better than before. I finally got the trebles I was searching for, hurray! And interestingly the high tension Savarez feels softer than my D’Addarios mediums, at least for now. They are still stretching and hardening, but they do seem easier to play.
I’m thinking of getting more Tusq saddles for my other guitars, but I must let my thumbs heal first. Ouch!
Just received the music scores I ordered from Amazon Japan. First time I tried ordering stuff from Japan. Amazon Japan has an English interface, but knowing Japanese helps a lot. The delivery was fast, very fast actually. I was used to waiting for almost a month for stuff from Amazon US to get to this part of world, I thought it would take at least a couple of weeks for Japan. In fact, I only got the shipping email yesterday. It apparently came by air. I guess going by sea is probably not worth it considering the distance.
I got 2 ukulele scores (fun!) and Andrew York’s Best collection. The Andrew York collection as far as I know is only available in this Japanese edition. It comes wth tab, which is useful, although the purist in me would’ve preferred staff notation only. The print is a little small though – the Japanese must have really good eyesight! Anyway, I hope they can compile another collection in future, as this doesn’t have all the pieces I wanted though. The cost of collecting individual scores are a tad too much for me.
Arggh! Scratched the top of my flamenco guitar today while changing strings…stupid string slipped at the bridge under tension and whipped the top near the bridge along the way. Luckily it’s not my classical, but I still feel heart pain…oh well, what’s done is done. *sigh* Lesson learnt. Next time I’ll make sure I protect the bridge area first, and perhaps try melting the ends of the nylon strings with a lighter.
Enuf said. ^_^
I got my first guitar effects box – the Zoom G2 – not too long ago. I was actually eyeing the Behringer X-VAMP, but the shop told me they were not bringing in for the time being due to apparent QC issues with the model. Then I found out about this little baby which was on sale, and after doing some research online I was convinced this is a better deal since I was getting a more superior product with the same budget. Just wanted to get an effects unit to experiment with different sounds.
The amp modeling on the Zoom G2 sounds pretty nice (Fender Clean and Jazz Chorus), although I have absolutely no idea what the original amps are supposed to sound like so can’t compare. I play mostly clean, so didn’t care much for the distortion effects, but I like some of the more subtle overdriven sounds. There’s also a stereo chorus effect – the first time I plugged in headphones to the unit (guitar amplifier is mono, duh), I was blown away. Now I have stereo chorus on most of my patches than plain ole boring chorus… ^_^ I was also having fun with the step effects. It can emulate a bass too. I’m still trying to get a nice patch for that. I’m not sure if my using flatwounds (I swapped out the 10′s for 12′s…heavy…fingers…pain) is having a positive or negative effect in trying to get the right sound. Guess I’ll be playing with this unit for quite some time. ^_^
Hoohoo, I bought my first electric guitar (and amp) today, a Washburn HB-30 and a Laney MXD 30, which were on sale this weekend. This guitar has an ES-335 style body, and tobacco sunburst finish. Made in China. Basically a beginner, no frills, semi-acoustic electric. I’ve been wanting to learn to play jazz for quite a while, but jazz boxes are not cheap, and I do want to play other stuff (like Chet Atkins) too besides jazz. I decided to get an ES-335 style guitar as they are known to be versatile and fit in many musical styles (except for metal, which I don’t care for anyway). Since the reviews of the Washburn are pretty good I decided to get it. Plus my birthday is coming too, so why not pamper myself once in a while?
The amp is a bit of an overkill as I only mean to play at home, but the shop didn’t have the smaller 15w model. It came with a UK-style round-pin plug which of course doesn’t fit in the sockets in this part of the world. Then I noticed that the power cord is detachable and has the same connector as a PC power cord. So I dug out an old PC power cord and voila, it works! ^_^ I’m still figuring out and learning the differences between the various effects.
So now my ‘family’ includes a classical guitar, a flamenco guitar, a concert-sized ukulele, an A-style oval-hole mandolin, and a semi-hollow body f-hole electric (and an Irish whistle, duh). Okay, that’s it. No more purchases. No storage left for any more new instruments anyway.
And oh yes, I passed my Yamaha Grade 6 exams. The marks are nothing to shout about though. Still, another milestone reached. ^_^
It’s funny how you think you sound pretty decent when playing in your bedroom, study, whatever, and when you actually play (the guitar, that is) in front of people, everything just goes wrong. I need to go back to basics and lay down a solid foundation to build upon. I’m not a consistent player. And I need to work on my feel for the music. And one more thing I should do is to start recording my practice sessions so I know how I really sound like. I also wonder if one problem was that I was trying to play louder than usual on my guitar.
Yep, I was playing far from my best in my session with Mr Zanon. He’s a nice guy though, and a great teacher. Perhaps one might say I was foolish to attempt a masterclass with my current level of playing, but I think it was worth the experience. I won’t be so foolish next time though, heh heh. Anyway, I got an autograph! ^_^
I still have a long way to go… Exams only mean so much. Well, I might not be able to get to performer quality, but I guess the most important thing is to have fun along the way, and hopefully I can inspire others to have fun too. For if you can’t have fun, what is music for then?
*Dust dust* *cough cough* It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here. 6 months, in fact. I guess I just got tired of writing, and anyway, who’s reading? Perhaps it’s high time I pick up the pen… correction… keyboard, again and let’s see how long I can keep this up this time.
Since the last post, I’ve gotten my Yamaha Grade 7 in classical guitar. In fact, I’m now waiting for the Grade 6 results to be out. *fingers crossed* I want to make it at least to Grade 5. Oh, and I’ve actually went to buy that mandolin I mentioned. Hmm, I hope I have not fallen to the ‘Instrument Acquisition Syndrome’. I’m running out of space for any more instruments, and scores too… I had the opportunity to check out some really good classical guitars recently (read: really expensive too), but I feel I should be a better guitarist before upgrading. I’ve been thinking about learning jazz guitar too, and jazz boxes are not cheap either… Man, I’m really spreading myself thin. ^_^
Many things have happened in the areas of work and love. Some good, some not so good. That’s all I’ll say. It’s been rather draining. Let’s just say I’m still very much where I was previously, except that I’m getting this feeling my life is going to get somewhat more complicated going forward…
On the bright side, this week I’ll be attending the International Guitar Festival seminar here for the first time. Can’t wait to experience it. I’m attending a couple of the concerts too. And I’ve signed up for a masterclass with Brazilian guitarist Fabio Zanon too. I hope that it will be a really exciting week, and I hope to make some new friends in the classical guitar playing community here. ^_^