Thursday, February 28, 2013

Automatic Guitar Tuners

Goltar has created an automated tuner for your guitar. A lot of time and thought was put into this process and the work really does need to be completed but I think something further offspring will come from this design. This particular design by Goltar is still alluding me as to it's capability.
We've seen this animal before with the Tunermatic which was patented by ActionTuners and that tool is useful to those who string many guitars sequentially, with the Tunermantic they could accomplish two tasks at once. Gibson also has an auto tune function called the T-min-Etune.
Technologically speaking, the min-Etune is very compact and unobtrusive. It's handy because the guitar will always be in tune. Gibson worked hard to make this application streamlined and functional. It's a tremendous amount of work and they should be applauded for taking this risk. Will this propel the guitar in a new direction? Well, Eddie Van Halen propelled the guitar in a new direction without any mechanical or electrical gimmick. The music world is straight forward crazy so only time will tell if the automated tuner assist technology is robust!
One thing is certain; in terms of technology, the last five years as seen a tremendous amount of R&D time and money invested in making the guitar a better instrument.

Still the question begs to be asked; is this tool useful, functional, unobtrusive, and advanced? Does the design seem inevitable? If the world answers YES! There you have it.

I welcome comments...............

Los Lonely Boys Guitarist Falls during show

Henry Garza, lead guitarist for Los Lonely Boys, was injured after falling into the orchestra pit during a performance at the Downey Theatre last night.

Audience members told the Patriot that the spill occurred at the end of the 90-minute show.

Garza was carried backstage where he was treated by paramedics, witnesses said.

The extent of Garza's injuries is unknown but in a statement, the band said "he'll be fine."

"Keep praying and thank you all so much for the positive love and prayers!," the band said. "Henry says to tell you all, a super big thanks to everyone for all the prayers and love! He also says to tell y'all he's fine and he will be ok!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Johnny Cash

The man in black Johnny Cash would be 81 today if he was still with us.

Happy Birthday Johnny!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dan Toler of The Allman Brothers Band and Great Southern - RIP

Dan Toler, former guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman Band, and Dickey Betts’ Great Southern, died today. He was 65 and had been battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Toler started playing guitar at age 12, influenced by Johnny Smith, Chet Atkins, Lonnie Mack, and others. His first band, Bill Lakes and the Playboys, focused on R&B and blues, and in 1969 he joined The Melting Pot Band, which recorded for Capricorn. After members of that band left to join Betts’ group, Toler was also recruited. In ’79, he joined the re-formed Allman Brothers Band and recorded three albums with it. After it disbanded in ’82, Toler joined Gregg Allman’s band, which in ’86 recorded the hit single “I’m No Angel.”
In 2002, Toler re-joined Great Southern, then focused on various solo projects. In 2011, he announced that he had been diagnosed with ALS.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez

Long overdue, the pale fact is that the music industry over looked a muse, poet and man. Rodriguez as he is simply known has been the worst kept secret in South Africa where his status was mythical and his image is greater than any known musical group or musician. He spoke and sang about what he saw which is the way people in South Africa felt about their lives. Searching for Sugar man is an epic real life fairy tale that brings tears of joy and provokes thought as he has lead a life very close to that of asceticism.
Rodriguez seems to challenge us in a sweet way to be better humans and contribute to society. He states there is no shame in hard work or being poor. Words many would suffer to speak. He tells us that poor doesn't mean, dirty, stupid or mean. In fact, though I don't know Rodriguez personally, I doubt he would ever boast or stoop to braggadocio regarding his intellect.
Today, Searching for Sugar man won an Oscar for documentary. Now the rest of the world can hear what America threw away and South Africa embraced. I can do no justice to this man's story. See the movie and learn from Rodriguez.

Above all, Rodriguez testifies to be kindred spirit, strong doting father, conscientious politician and talented musician. Bewildering as it may seem, his proudest achievement is his wonderful family.

Buy his albums! LINK to AMAZON  - Sixto Diaz Rodriguez!!


What type of instruments are your local musicians playing?

I like going to coffee houses and other small venues to see the available talent and find out what type of instrument they are playing. During these excursions I see a wide variety of types of guitars being played. Often people instrument choices are driven by budget, peers, instructors, idols and visual appeal. Therefore, it is important to socialize and find out why the musician chose the instrument he/she is playing. One of the best ways to see what is being played it by attending a festival where the general public and professionals intermingle trading riffs and good times. Here in Northern California, I consult the California Bluegrass Association website or publish paper for events in my region. If I have the opportunity to meet with some of the musicians, invariably I like to politely discuss instruments and find out the how, what, and why they made their purchase.  Most musicians covet their instruments but often somewhere in the distance is looms an ideal tone tool that is just waiting for those last few dollars to seal the purchase. It's these details that musicians often talk about when they are practicing, joking around or listening to others.

Here in the bay area I find that you don't have to drive too far to get the feeling you are in the saw mill of the old country backwoods. Many local entrepreneurs encourage and support local talent by giving them a place to hang their hat and play. I find that the time is well spent listening and conversing with the audience as well as the musicians. We as a collective society have used this media since the first to rocks clacked together and amused the other amoebas. By all means there is a time and place for your personal media and headphones but grab a cup of coffee and sit down and enjoy life (don't forget to tip). What types of instruments are people playing in the bay area? If you are talking about acoustic guitars then I'd say the mainstay of professional level instruments are Martin Guitars or Taylor Guitars.

The Martin and Taylor guitars are not always economically feasible for many people. I think the most notable  attribute in selecting a guitar is its ease of play. Ideally the guitar should be free of defect but if you are looking for an area where you can compromise I would say cosmetic and aesthetic defects usually have no affect on the actuation of instrument. To be more precise; shallow and small dents, scratches, discolor, mis-matched wood are "preferable" defects. A poorly attached bridge might be mistaken as a cosmetic defect but in reality it compromises the ability to anchor strings. Nevertheless, it's important to be social and see what others are playing, aspire to play well with others which often leads us to want or need a decent guitar. It is equally important to remember that people are listening more critically than seeing. I digress, as humans we are stimulatied by response to our actions. Because sentient beings on this planet generally have the gift of vision, it is often with sight that we generate our feedback to access our performance. With music our visual feedback assessment of our performance could over-ride our hearing feedback assessment and lead you to the road of ritualistic purchases of pretty instruments.

One need to look no farther than the guitars of  Stevie Ray Vaughan or Glen Hasard to realize wonderful tones come from some not so pretty guitars!

Going out and socializing at local coffee houses and restaurants is an effective means of determining what instruments are being played by your local musicians. It offers insight to selection and hopefully some protection from self delusion of guitar acquisition syndrome (G.A.S.). In 1955, Victor Lebow wrote a paper where he outlines the meat of consumer consumption which was titled - Price Compitition in 1955. In his writing Lebow outlined that fashion is the final component of the consumption machine. Lebow implies that our individuality is often expressed by the clothes we wear, the car we drive, the house we own and that compulsion is a unnecessary self delusional competition which doesn't result in the greater good of our individual musical goals. Therefore, it is important to listen first to what appeals to your musical tendencies so that you can find an instrument that will project the joy you feel while performing with your friends or by yourself. Visiting the local coffee houses and music events will give you great insight to what instruments, what musical genres, what food is popular and what fun can be achieved by being a musician. Playing a musical instrument give people the ability to socialize on many levels while gaining priceless human experience.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Jeff Beck is..........

Recent intelligence sources have uncovered speculative and collaborative evidence that Jeff Beck is quitting the guitar!

An anonymous source revealed that Mr. Beck is giving the universe a chance to be creative on its own.