JonPatrickHyde
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Building Your Dream Guitar - Pitfall Avoidance Tips Introduction

First - above all things - avoid the temptation to shoot photos of yourself in ridiculous "tool-like" fashion - It's just not becoming. Also - be prepared for a BUNCH - I mean an ass-boat full of haters and trollish shenanigans when ignorant "metal heads" assume you simply don't know how to properly form "metal horns" - prompting you to have to explain that you are not attempting to make "horns" but are instead engaged in legitimate "Sign Language". In the photo above I'm making the sign for "I love you" - ironically very similar to "metal horns" but with the thumb extended (and truth be known I'm doing it wrong in the photo above - my palms should be towards the camera). Just to be clear - in the following images that's Pope Frances, President Obama, and Hillary Clinton - ALL doing the same thing - saying "I love you" in sign language. In the photo above I went with that because hey, life is good. Anyway - all of these little useless tidbits of info aside - there are several things you need to know about and understand before you jump into the brave new world of "Frankensteining" (I prefer "Fronkensteening" - the pronunciation from "Young Frankenstein") yourself the ultimate axe (the not quite hipster but overused "cool" term for guitar).
Everything you need to build a guitar - pretty simple right? No - not really.
There are very few "standards" for guitar builds. The most common "standard" for parts guitars will be based off the general build standards for Fender Guitars. Fender guitars were the first guitars to be modified due to their design. They feature bolt-on necks and straight forward electronics. Mix and match necks from one era or design to another, change out pickups, add or subtract... and the two main Fender Guitar platforms - the Telecaster (dates back to 1950) and the Stratocaster (1954) and tens of millions of guitars later you have a WIDE array of available parts out there to build something just to meet your own personal tastes. The trap is that you have to pay VERY close attention to not only which parts will work with each other - but you need to understand the basics of guitar design and (gasp) the physics involved in the successful design and building of a viable musical instrument. I use the word "viable" because in the dozen or so "simple" things you have to get right - miss one or be a little "off the mark" and you'll have an instrument that won't keep tune or perform reliably.
In this series of cards I'll go through the build out of a guitar from start to finish - offering helpful tips and sharing what I hope will be valuable experiences so you too can build the guitar of your dreams - and then proceed to take lots of obnoxious photos of yourself with it... or with them...
YEP - SUCK IT! There's that "I love you" hand thingy again. And for the record - I didn't build any of these guitars - but I did have several custom made to specs that I developed and provided the builder. Which is at the heart of WHY you'd want to build your own guitar. For me - it's simply that after playing hundreds - perhaps thousands - I know what I like and what I don't like... and no one makes something that is EXACTLY what I like. Which leaves me the task of building it for myself.
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Not going to lie, I kind of love the photos! Custom guitars are always fun, I had one made a few years ago that has a thin 60's style neck and one single humbucker. It's a replica of a les paul junior. TV yellow. Love the thing! This was an awesome card
This is so cool! If my teenage self had known this was possible I would probably have never left the house (or tried to build one for my physics class...)
Dude, this is going to be a pretty awesome series. I'm really excited.
@JonPatrickHyde that's how much we luv guitars I guess lol
I loved those looked @TessStevens 😁😁
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·Keeping Up w/ Day6·
Hey fellow Day6'ers! Welcome to the very first 'Keeping Up With Day6', where you are informed on what Day6 has been up to. LETS GET STARTED ~ What has Day6 been doing this week? Lets see.... 1st: The boys performed this Monday (April 3rd) on EBS SPACE empathy. Sadly I could not find a video of this performance *cry* 2nd: Jae appeared on Arirang Radio Music Access (Full Audio Above) and Arirang TV After School Club (*crying* again no clip) 3rd: Day6 held a small concert on April 1st & April 2nd (short clip above) Im glad they are doing frequent small concerts to gain fans. 4th: DAY6 HAD A COMEBACK THE SONG IS SO ADORABLE IM STILL NOT OVER IT AGGGGHHHH (M/V above) 5th: On the topic of their comeback with 'Im Serious' they performed their new title track on MNET. (Video above, its been awhile since they've performed on music shows) 6th: Day6 ALSO performed on KBS Music Bank (Above ^ GO OUR BOYS YAYYY) 7th: As soon as a couple hours ago Day6 performed on MBC Music Center. Lastly!!: This week in the Day6 Community the support & I have made short introductions to each member. Keep an eye out for a card labeled 'Meet Day6' to see the links to each card and to find out more about Day6 as a whole! Thank you my lovelies!! I hope you had a great weekl and I can't wait to talk to you on my next Day6 card! ~ XOXOXOXOXO ~ If you would like to be added to the Official Day6 Taglist comment >HERE< ~ Day6 Mods: @awkwardjazzy - Dowoon @ChaErica - Wonpil @MaeLyn - Jae @xoxorittie - Youngk @Baekyeol27 - Sungjin ~ Day6 Tags: (Updated 4/6) @twistedPuppy @Bangtanss @AimeeH @AlenaSegura @kandle779 @StefaniTre @WinKonVIP @AlmaRangel @EvilGenius @KarenGuerra93 @aleciaLOVES @addri @cue2pal @HayleyEastman @ESwee @IsoldaPazo @VKookie47 @MaeLyn @JiyongLeo @Starbell808 @DalyRomero @StephanieDuong @yehetmyohorat97 @Choijiah  @Starbell808  @karinamiranda81  @ShailaZaman  @StefaniTre  @MelissaGarza  @amberg171997 @KierstinAndrews  @xojuliettexox @kitkatkpop @AridaysRamirez @kaepjjang @LiyahBoon @KenyaMendoza @MsLoyalHeart ~ TAGGING MY YEOLIES!! ♡~ @Chace @MadAndrea@JustinaNguyen @jazgaara33 @MrsBangYongguk @Badtz @ScarletMermaid @punkpandabear @SusiBosshammer @JamiMilsap @VeronicaArtino @ElenaP16 @KellyOConnor @Kyokeo @Sankeerthana @EmilyCayetano @shellyfuentes70 @MBLAQSA @P1B2Bear @Kpopfangirl15 @Bitterlimelight @jojojordy2324 @Rawr21 @Juliag13 @KaiJae @ArmyofKookie @WinKonVIP @SugaOnTop @Sammie99522 @minimanim3 @Defy24601 @StefaniTre @SugaMint @DesireeChucklez @sarahdarwish @VatcheeAfandi99 @EliseB @VKookie47 @TiffanyBibian @RebeccaLondon @Katherina2078 @AimeeH @KpopQueen1 @KatelynSummerso @CrystalGuerra @QueenLele @Minnieluvs @kimnam94 @CamrynCherry @Izzy987 @faith92 @BetseyBleau @Lesliesoo @ninjamidori @Ihiranthom13 @MelissaGarza @Maddie27 @MelinaHernandez @abby177 @DayzC @DawanaMason @Daniimals @jeonjungkook8 @LiyahBoon @IsoldaPazo @xoxorittie @LysetteMartinez @KittyKpop @herreravenessa9 @rosajlm2 @ChoHee1 @MaddieRudicil @michievip @kanatm @AlysaNguyen @Katmejia @Choijiah @GabyWilliams @Tamsinskye @TiffanyBibian @KpopQueenaBee @TracyLynnn @AlisonNichole @KpopandKdrama @emily1478 @Vay754 @CrystalGuerra @xojuliettexox @michix5 @amandamuska @StephaniePoore @SugaKookieV @KatelynSummerso @Joshuahoseok @BtsIsLife @Chrissy2009 @mycreativename @jungkookie18 @ArielaPicazo @IDK2018 @Taisa @ChrystalA @DestinaByrd @BriannaN @taeyumme @MarrickeJ33 @ShailaZaman @RainaC3 @Gaarita100 @CamrynCherry @BonnieDomo @JessicaSchnipke @Minsuggie @karinamiranda81 @MomoChamie @Ilikepancakes @YessicaCardenas @callmeguena @JessicaVang @LydiaYan @lunastormnoona @Jupiterchan @BreeMassey @Vixxstarlight1 @katcollins02 @Zhac16 @93yogurt @Kat711 @DejaunaSiders @EmilyGardner @ezzygomez24 @MaraWhite @Defy24601 @TrishaLee727 @InnocentiaKishi @SophieNguyen @MorleeCorielus @ruthmilian89 @XergaB20 @EstelaLopez @KDluvR1999 @KatieRussell @AliciaJaneth @rochellelove12 @EvilGenius @JessicaFigueroa @TesneemElAlami @kpopdeluxegirl @JuviaJongdae @Jeshaki @yehetmyohorat99 @jessicacheung97 @Norma1004 @luyawn @CheyanneLindsey @sherrysahar @DanaAmoi @StarishaRichard @jazgaara33 @ButterflyBlu @karinajune1017 @lizbethV @JasmineWilliams @LilianaGD @deefran  @lashonda0917 @Kyokeo @KierstinAndrews @terenailyn @BAbrajan1 @Rebecca22 @GerciaFlores @KrystaDericek @megancurrent9 @roseeoh @musicundefined9 @MaryNtanga @sarahdarwish @MadAndrea @Konnor @externallyeli @LizaNightshade @SugaKookies @lashonda0917 @ArmyVIPKayla @elainarenea @2Jaebam @amobts @kpopandkimchi @NicoleJolly @parktaemi @Changkyunie ~
SOME GUITAR GUARD CAT BIOS
ROCKO - The Bronx Maine Coon is so used to just getting up and going all hard-core NYC on people he's sort of taken on some less attractive personality traits... He'll just jump up and pummel you for LOOKING at his Sadowsky Bass. I mean, I can't blame him - the guitars made by my friend Roger Sadowsky are pretty much the tonal end-all-be-all. HUBBA BUBBA - In an odd North/South feud - Southern Georgia Maine Coone Hubba Bubba sits in a more casual, relaxed stance - mocking his "Yankee" cousin Rocko. H-Bub (his nickname) has often said that he hopes some "Carpet-baggin' Yankee Doodle Doo" comes back to the South to steal his favorite bass because he'd re-write history and win him a civil war of his own. And although I was born and raised in the South, I've never really understood all this North/South - "War of Northern Aggression" (what hard core Southerns call the Civil War) silliness. I mean jeez people (and cats), get over it! NONA (Nona The Eviscerator – also called the “Siamese of Destruction”) - One of the most feared and respected Ninja Guitar Guard Cats in the history of the profession. Born deep within the perilous mountains of Siam – Nona started her training as a 2 day-old kitten. At 8 weeks-old having shown an aptitude for violence on a Kurosawaian level – she was shipped to the hidden Cave of Caerbannog deep in the rocky wilds of the English Moors where she would be trained by the most fearsome warrior in the history of modern military combat; the Rabbit of Caerbannog. Now in semi-retirement in Southern California - Nona is teaching a select handful of young cats who've shown a tendency towards blood lust that rivals her distant ancestor, Genghis Wrath of Khan (the cat of notorious warrior Genghis Khan). Nona is guarding a VERY RARE Jazz bass that was converted to dual humbuckers - featuring some of the rarest AAAAA Tube Quilt Maple ever logged. AISA (The Death Bringer) - Aisa, who is the sibling of Nona - it's a long story involving a lost sea captain (The Pilot) who learns the ways of an Asian culture and adopts their warrior code - anyway... lacking her sister's gift of gratuitous violence and mind-bending accuracy when dispatching her foes, she became the "Shadow of Death" - a silent death bringer whose stealth and silence is legendary. By the time you realize she's there - it's too late, you're already dea................. ZEPHYR (The Leopard of Massacre) - Zephyr is an enigma, he's a lone hunter whose large size and strength belies the bard-like nature of his quiet soul. He's a warrior-poet who brings a beautiful symmetry to death as he brutally dismembers those who'd dare attempt to steal from him. He sits in a zen-like calmness - then with an explosion of energy that seems otherworldly in its speed and violence - he's on you like a lion on a gazelle; tearing your head of from behind and making oddly artistic patterns in the carpet with your blood. ABOUT THESE PHOTOS AND THE STORIES THAT ACCOMPANY THEM - My collection - Cats Who Guard Guitars - was born from a conversation I had with Alison Webster - a fellow photographer and wife of Death Metal legend Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse). I have done some custom design (paint graphic) work for Alex's guitars in the past. When looking at my collection of cat and guitar photos she commented they looked like "guard cats". I stated they were actually ninja cats and guarded my guitars with a ferocity unmatched in the animal kingdom. She said, "you should write outrageous stories to go along with each photo." And a new obsession was born.
Guitar Photography Challenges - White Guitars
Cat in the photo aside - the challenges of shooting a white object in any situation can test even a seasoned photographer. Shooting in any digital format completely complicates the situation for digital is prone to blowing out (losing detail) in hot/white areas. A good rule of thumb - which I learned in cinematography school ( I was fortunate to have learned both digital and film - I went to school just as the digital technology was gaining momentum in the film industry) - that rule is if shooting film it's better to slightly over-expose than under-expose and digital is the opposite; it's better to under-expose than over-expose. Film needs light to make the halides react and capture an image. Over exposed film can be pulled back down. Digital technology's main weakness is the loss of detail if the sensor is over-exposed. It's easier to pull under-exposed digital images up - noting that you're going to get a lot more grain and color artifacts - than to work with an image that was over-exposed because with digital an over-exposed image has NO detail to work with. I use an incident meter for reading the light in studio instead of my camera's spot meter. The difference between a spot meter (which meters the light reflected from one area of the subject you are shooting) and an incident meter (which reads the amount of light falling on the subject from the light source) - is that reflected light is affected by the color, texture, and position of the object it is read from and an incident meter will give you a general reading of the light all around the subject. This is very handy for lighting a green screen, which must be uniformly lit. Think of the incident meter as giving you a great average place for your camera settings - to ensure you'll get the best (most "normal") exposure. BTW - "Normal Exposure" is a photography term - an image which is shot with normal exposure will have details in the brightest and darkest areas of the frame. No black shadows without detail, no bright highlights without detail. Another MAJOR consideration is shadows. You can mask the shadows from the bridge and knobs on a guitar that's stained or finished in a darker color. But white? It's nearly impossible to shoot the image without some shadows (unless the guitar is inside a light box). By shooting the image with the incident meter I get a medium point for exposure where I won't blow the whites out or get the dark areas too murky - and this makes cleaning the guitar up in Photoshop much easier. The last thing to consider is the purpose of the photos... if you are shooting them for a catalog, you want straight, clean, non-distorted images. In this application I use a 50mm lens with zero distortion along the edges. I center the lens at 90 degrees from the plane of the fingerboard/neck - and I place the lens in the center of the guitar - usually around 5 inches above the neck/body joint. If you are shooting images for a magazine (editorial) or a coffee table book - then you may choose to augment the unique design features of the guitar's design. I shot these photos for a book on vintage/classic guitars. For this reason I chose to use the shadows to bring out design details such as the joint between the neck and the body and the "Made in USA" stamp which is gently indented into the wood under the finish on the back of the headstock. Lastly I chose to use a Panagor Macro Adaptor (it fits onto the camera and the lens attaches to it - it has it's own focus ring and aperture) - to shoot extreme close-up images - macro shots) but limiting focus to a few millimeters. This is called selective focus and it allows you more control over the composition. The human eye - controlled by the human brain - will automatically move to the area of focus in a photograph. By carefully selecting the area that is in focus you ensure the image is presented and received with the content you've selected being the undisputed focal point of the photo. I hope these little tips help. Happy shooting! And if you shoot some guitar photos and would like to share them with me, please tag me in your card!
YOU WILL WIN!
My friend Chris Loe was in the depths of chemotherapy induced depression when he called me and instead of asking me to give him a pep-talk or talk to him about how I beat a deadly form of cancer myself (the usual topic of our conversations); he told me he needed to get his mind off of everything and could I distract him with any stories I had from the interviews I conduct with famous musicians. This wasn't like him at all. I heard the fear and the near panic in his voice. I did what he asked. I had just shot an interview with legendary bassist Doug Wimbish (Living Colour, The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, Mos Def, Annie Lennox, Depeche Mode, James Brown, and countless others). Doug was one of his biggest influences as a musician and he owned a signature Doug Wimbish bass at the time. I told him all about the interview and my conversations with Doug. Doug Wimbish is a musician's musician, a true gentleman and mentor, he's a rock star and sincerely one of the kindest, nicest, most professional and gifted people I've ever met. Towards the end of the call I could tell Chris was feeling a little better. I asked him how his treatments were going, how his wife and kids were holding up. He broke down into tears and said he worried at times that he was just not special enough to make it. It broke my heart. How do you tell someone in that horrible situation that they do matter? Chris was a music teacher who has taught and nurtured countless young musicians. I got an idea... I got on the phone to every musician I knew. I emailed those I couldn't reach. I briefly told them about Chris, a teacher, a father, a truly giving and loving person, and how as our brother in music, he needed us. I asked that each musician simply write a quick note on a sheet of paper. Something simple, like "You Will Win"- and take a photo of themselves performing or in the studio or where-ever - with that image. I then planned on putting them on a webpage as a surprise for Chris, to show him that he has made a difference and he does matter. I asked Doug Wimbish if he could do one of these photos, to which he immediately responded "Absolutely!" He was in the middle of recording a new Living Colour album while he was touring with Ms. Lauryn Hill. He had no free time and was exhausted when I spoke with him. A week went by and I started getting emails with photos... from Dirty Ray (Bret Michaels Band), Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse), Abe Millet (Third Eye Blind), Dave Moody (Billy Ray Cyrus), Actress and Musician Jessica Pimentel (Orange is the New Black), Marty O'Brien (Methods of Mayhem, We Are The Fallen), and many, many more. But nothing from Doug. I hated bothering him, knowing how busy he was, so I sent his wife a quick email. I knew how amazing a photo from Doug would be for Chris. It was 3am on East Coast when Doug texted me and said he had just sent me an email. What he sent me - blew me away. He sent a video instead of a photo. In the video he told Chris to keep fighting and once he was better, he invited Chris to come to a Living Colour concert as his guest and join the band on stage. Doug was exhausted and I could tell he was dead tired - but he took the time to make a video for Chris. To see the page I created and the professional musicians who contributed photos and videos to show Chris support (over 80) - visit this page - http://www.spectorcentral.com/chrisloe.html
Want To Write A Song? Here's How!
Musicians are strange creatures, cursed with melodies spinning around in their heads constantly. It's hard to recognize what words are brilliant lyrics, or just fleeting thoughts. The mind of a musician is a jumbled mess, with little bits and pieces of melodies and broken love songs constantly dragging behind them. My newest effort premieres at the end of this post! So stay tuned if you want to learn how to write music, and where these tips can get you. This card was inspired by @buddyesd and our conversations about music and songwriting over the past few days. 1. The first step is to know your music! Videos: Some of my favorites. I've been a musician my whole life. I started singing in my terrible two's and ended up getting a guitar at age 11 and starting my first rock band at 12. My life has always centered on what band I was obsessed with at the time. It all started with Green Day... Then the Ramones... Then My Chemical Romance... Thirty Seconds To Mars... The Sex Pistols... The Libertines... Neil Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pete Doherty and on and on. And so on and so fourth. The point I'm trying to make here, is that you have to go through a lot of music to gain the inspiration and the fortitude to start making your own. Influences are a huge part of songwriting. They help you form what kind of identity you want as an artist. 2. Know that the perfect song won't come overnight. Your development takes time! (Video 1: One of the first songs I ever wrote (2009) "The Way You Talk" / tried and true pop-punk) (Video 2: A later rock song, 2014 "Tourist" a little more sophisticated, deeper lyrics, more passion, messy garage-rock feel) I didn't wake up and just know how to play the guitar and write songs, it took time. I sat in my room for hours on end, plucking away, humming, writing down and recording things and ultimately a lot of the stuff I wrote early on was complete shit. It just now, feels like I'm writing really meaningful stuff. So, just give yourself some time, and know that every musician goes through an evolution at every level. I started out writing simple, three chord punk songs in the vein of Green Day, my favorite band. That slowly evolved into more anthemic and stadium-like tunes when I started getting into bands like The Rolling Stones, U2 and so fourth... Now I've evolved into this heart-wrenching raw, indie influenced folk-y sound that is directly linked to my love for Pete Doherty's solo album Grace / Wastelands, a collection of melancholy tracks dedicated to love and confusion. My new song, Counselor (heard here), is a haunting acoustic ballad influenced by more singer / songwriter acts since I'm solo right now. So things have to evolve with the times. 3. Do some research. You have to know where you came from in order to know where you can go. This being said, every musician's routine is different. I just like to pick up my guitar, start strumming a few chords and a melody or lyric will come, and I'll go from there. Some people sit at a keyboard and bang out a melody, Others just jam and find a chord progression they like, to start with and build a melody on top of it. If you're not that experienced, you have to do some research. Look up the greats: Lennon and McCartney, Richards and Jagger. The classics are a great way to look at song structure. Then, look up your favorite artist's songwriting routines and experiment with them, mix and match styles until you feel like you can get somewhere. Like the lead singer of Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong writes his melodies first, lyrics later. Both come at once for me, melody and lyric, almost always. So it just depends on how your brain works, and you won't know until you try. 4. JUST GO FOR IT!!! Music isn't perfect and most of the time it isn't beautiful or polished. So if you want to start creating your own, just start doing it. Hum melodies, listen to your favorite artists, pick up an instrument and do it! If you have the passion and you want to learn, anything is possible. I'm here to help too, if you have any questions or thoughts. Do not be afraid, because you could write the next number one single in your bedroom...you never know ;)! My newest song, written and recorded on August 12th, 2015 is up on Sound Cloud now, here's the link if you're interested. See! Songwriting isn't hard! ;) "Lying To The Wind" By: Tess Stevens
V Meme Madness Monday!!!😂🤣
Hello ARMY!!🤗Today we start posting for V all this week!!Today is also meme madness Monday’s!! 💜 ❤️ 💜 I can’t😂 *credit to the owner’s of the gif & pics* ❤BANGTAN ARMY TEAM❤: @Yugykookie97 @Mochiroon @QueenPandaBunny @MelissaGarza @HUMANWIZARD @agustdsaveme @chimchimsjams @kaylenne956 @kpopfan88 @Aliza1 @Kyla05 ❤ARMY TAGLIST❤: @amandamuska  @blessowmwago @BoyGroupKpop @Bxbybri @CleafeMaeObina @coolwolf13 @dalenalw @echoxsoul  @gabstar143  @Gracebug @HannahC19 @herreraletecia  @HomegirlG  @ifitnessvn @Ilovephases @izzybell1202 @jennyfer1111r1 @jiminiebae @jkenshayla @jungkookieeeee @Just2BLoved @kaylawalker929  @kaylenne956 @krissynormam @kpopfan88 @Kyla05 @MelissaGarza @Mochiroon @Nyxxonn @PANDABTS @QueenPandaBunny @rebeccariley52 @rodrickagardne @Rose2demhaters @samcorsam @simpsonsamantha @Shelbeigh19 @shellyfuentes70 @soobak @Starbell808 @szewwy @Taekookimonster  @Tiffiedannie @wolfyplayzyv @yukigintokie    *let me know if you want to be apart of the ARMY taglist* K-Monsta Squad: @Yugykookie97 @BBxGD @lilbr0wneyes @DefSoul1994 @KpopGaby @MYAlpha @BangtanGirlOT12 Tag List: @cagonzales9696 @MonieManhiM @cherriblossom17 @SimplyAwkward @Btsislife @jaselgalindo @emealia @saraortiz2002 @xsandos17 @VictoriaBossier @TaehyungKey @Sarahdarwish @kpopandkimchi @Emealia @terenailyn @MonAnnahiX @4dalientae @PrettieeEmm @kyokeo @KwonOfAkind @AnimeKpopLover @SugaOnTop  @QueenyCrossGene @MadAndrea @B1A4BTS5ever @zyxzj @Taehyungie @VKookie47 @NuXX @Baekyeol27 @DOislifeExoL @kpopbeat @BulletproofV @PrincessUnicorn @luna1171 @LisetteZapata @herreravanessa9 @MadAndrea @AnimeKpopFreak @amandamuska @RandomName @aliendestina @mrsyookihyun @MaelstromVIP @Foxxyjinxx @Bangtanss @YessicaCardenas @JadeOwens @cns1391 @JJiBin @TheEnlightment @BlueMoon201 @QueenPandaBunny @emberreynemoll @LacyTanner @nyxxonn @SweetDuella @MmIlk @KihyunA @ARMY4Life @SerenaArthurs @Additional18 @jessicaclove  @olive07354  @YungStatin  @nickij @Mochiroon @LiyahBoon @BoyGroupKpop @blessowmwago @Lesha @jkenshayla *Let me know if you want to be tagged or untagged from the tag list*
I'm learning to play the guitar. Help?
For most of my life, music has been the thing that I am most passionate about. For most of my life, I have convinced myself that I am incapable of actually making any music of my own. But for a brief (and ill-fated) foray into the universe of the piano in my early teens, I've never been able to do much of anything with instruments. Which is odd, because I know that I have a really good ear for music - at least, that's what I pride myself on. And when I talk to people about music, it eventually comes up that I don't know how to play a damned thing, and I get embarrassed. So I'm putting an end to that. This is a public declaration: I am learning to play the guitar. There. I said it. Now, I have no choice. People are watching. Right? I can't really say why it's taken me so long to realize this, but the reality is that while I say I have no musical ability, I haven't actually ever tried. Yes, I played the piano for a few years. But I hated it, because that's not the kind of music that I like. The guitar is. I dug out my mom's old guitar - the one she claims to have bought some time in the mid-'70s - and started familiarizing myself with it. I'm taking it slow - I literally don't have the first idea of what to do. I found an online class (thank you internet) that I'm hoping will do a good job at teaching me. I started to learn the language and posture last night, just sitting on the floor with the guitar in my lap. When I first picked it up, I felt so uncomfortable, so awkward. I couldn't get my arms right. But after only half an hour, it started to feel more natural. Sure, my back hurt a little from being in a strange, unfamiliar position, but the guitar started to feel OK in my hands. And I learned how to hold a pick. And what a fret is. It was an encouraging, if slow, start. I'm committed to this. It's going to be hard, and I may not be ready to play a single note for a week. But I know that things like this take time, and I'm prepared to dedicate some real hours to figuring it out. I don't have an end goal, outside of just being able to competently make some sounds with a guitar. That's all I want - and if I can get there, I'll be one happy man. Suggestions? Does anyone have a good website with tricks and tips? Or any pointers of your own? Anything and everything helps! I'll keep you guys posted!