Chase the Dream Learning Log

My journey began around 1970. I was 16 and determined to be a guitar god. It looked easy enough, buy guitar, play and bask in the glory :grin:

Unfortunately, I skipped over the whole learning to play thing. Relegated guitar playing to when no one could hear and eventually put the guitar away. I carried that guitar around for the next 50 years. Occasionally I would take it out an attempt to play only to end up with sore fingers and the realization that I just did not have any musical ability. The guitar gathered dust, the case disintegrated and eventually it caved to the point the action was to high to play without pain.

Fast forward to April, 2020. I inherit a Marshall MG250dfx amplifier, the one on the bottom in the picture. I thought about selling it but the presence of the amp reignited that old desire to play. I started looking around for a used electric guitar and found a G&L ASAT Classic Tribute semi-hollow bluesboy. I love blues so it seemed like a good fit. When I went to the guitar center to check it out I was impressed with the fell of the guitar, the neck profile and the ease of playing. It felt good to my hands and nothing else in the store worked as well for me. I took the guitar home. Little did I realize that I was being inoculated with GAS.

Now armed with a playable instrument I started looking around for a guitar instructor. The pandemic was just getting started here and live instruction was fast disappearing so I began searching online. Amid the highly recommended instructional sites justinguitar.com kept coming up near the top. And it was FREE! I signed on June 2020. The fun began in earnest, and I realized I might just actually learn how to play. I set some goals for myself:

  • learn to play well enough that people no longer headed for the exit when I picked up a guitar
  • get good enough someone might ask me to play and not regret asking
  • play for an audience somewhere, sometime.

It wasn’t long before I purchased the JustinGuitar Beginner app, hooked it up to a big screen TV, and started playing along. Big Fun!

In June, 2020 a local music store was having a going out of business sale with instruments marked down 25%. Being curious and having a simmering bout of GAS I had to check it out. To my amazement I found a Taylor Academy 10 with a neck profile similar to the bluesboy at a ridiculously low price. Obviously I needed a replacement for the old acoustic I had been dragging around for so many years. And this guitar sounded so good.

Around August 2020 the GAS I acquired when I bought the bluesboy suddenly came raging forward. While browsing the web I saw a picture of a G&L guitar that the CLF (Clarence Leo Fender Research) division was shipping to Sweetwater Music. It was a V12 Doheney and absolutely the most gorgeous guitar I had ever laid eyes on. I had to have one. Long story short, when I picked up the guitar I also grabbed a Marshall Code 50 and a trio+. Oh, yeah, the chase of the old dream was gaining momentum.
I continued making my way through the beginner lessons and practicing at least 6 days a week.

Then it happened again… another beauty caught my attention. A Taylor K224ce, solid koa guitar with built in pickup. My GAS rationale told me I needed an acoustic electric if I was going to perform someday, plus it was beautiful and had a neck profile similar to my other guitars.

Here are some pics of my sirens:

On the left is Blue, the V12. On the right is Blondie the ASAT bluesboy.

The Taylor Academy 10. It is a 7/8 scale guitar so I named it The Kid.

The Taylor K224ce named Alika (Hawaiin for the beautiful one)

I am now doing a consolidation at the end of Beginner 2. It has been a wonderful and fun 18 months chasing the dream. For my consolidation I have vowed to record and post to the AVOYP section 10 songs spanning the Beginner 1 & 2 lessons. I will base my readiness to move on to Beginner 3 by the responses and suggestions I receive to my videos.

I have the first one recorded. Unfortunately I have hit a snag uploading the file to this forum. I recorded using my iPhone. The default iPhone format for video is .mov. I thought the new IOS had switched to HEIC but apparently not. .mov files cannot be uploaded to this forum so I need to find a conversion program or upload to Youtube or Vimeo. I have issues uploading to those platforms and prefer to download from my OneDrive space directly to minimize the exposure in the public domain beyond this site.

Stay tuned. I will figure it out and start posting in AVOYP. Any suggestions and tips are appreciated :slightly_smiling_face:

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What an awesome first post, Robert. A story so similar to many here. Look forward to the recordings in AVOYP and following your progress. Unfortunately can’t help with video format conversion on an Apple.

Thank-you, David.
Hopefully I resolved my posting video issue. It really is a simple as clicking on the hyperlink symbol and pasting the video url in the dialogue box. My first AVOYP submission should now be available.

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Hey Robert great post great story, thank you for sharing. Now why do you think Mason Williams wrote that famous song of his ? Your story is one of classical gas !! :sunglasses:

:joy:

Mmm, aren’t you the guy with the mystery box?

Some day I hope to play Classical Gas.

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That’s the one and the clocks counting down ? :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Great story Robert and it seems we were 16 year old wanna be guitar gods at the same time. :smiley:

Thanks, Gordon. Like a fine wine, we seem to age better with time…the guitar helps too!

Well it happened again! GAS attack caught me while I wasn’t looking…

It is a Fender GTX50 modelling amp. I really like the sound and the possibilities are endless. It is connected to my wifi so any updates are automatic. It also has bluetooth so theoretically I can control it with my iPhone and not need to purchase the foot switch.

So now the stacked Marshall amps have been replaced by a stack of Fenders. The amp on the bottom is a Fender Acoustisonic I bought at auction for a great price. I use it with the Taylor K224ce. As a bonus it has a channel for a mic. Maybe someday I will justify the need for a mic.
The Marshall MG250 has been relegated to the garage as I look for a good home for it. Perhaps I can find a beginner who needs an amp and I can give it to them. I told the folks at Melody Music, where I bought the GTX, that if anyone comes in, buys an electric guitar but can’t afford an amp to give them my name and number.
The Marshall Code50 now resides on the credenza below the TV. I will be spending some time comparing the two modelling amps. The Fender actually has a couple models of Marshall amps and cabs on it as well as a few other popular amps. It even has a preset for a Silvertone amp I once bought from Sears all those years ago. How cool is that? The Marshall has all the Marshall kit but nothing else.

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A friend of mine introduced me to a friend of his who happens to be learning guitar also. He is about two years in and has a private tutor. I invited him over and one night last week he came by. Our mutual friend dropped in a bit later and took this pic. Russ is playing his Taylor Academy 12e and I am playing my Taylor Academy 10.

image

This pic was taken from the bar that I set my iPhone on to record in AVoYP only 180deg position.

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Well that’s all ever so cool looking … the amps and the bar, Robert.

Do you have a mic and mic stand? If so how’s about singing into the mic and amplifying with the Acoustasonic and then cranking up the electric guitar a little louder, as per Jason’s suggestions.

Could be fun.

A few folks have commented on my guitar space so I thought I would give a bit of history:
I have always had a love for nature and the outdoors and was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to purchase 103+ acres of land that had a basement/garage foundation on it. That was over 42 years ago. In the ensuing years I schooled myself in forestry and sylviculture, bought a portable sawmill, and became very passionate about being the best steward of the woods I could become. With the help of my dear wife, Linnea, and a couple friends I built a house on the foundation that existed, built a workshop to work on the assorted pieces of equipment (truck, tractor, crawler, mini-excavator, etc.) and make bio diesel to run it all on, built a barn complete with a kiln for the sawmill, built a climate controlled woodshop attached to the barn, built a 30’x90’ greenhouse for Linnea (her passion and business - she takes care of the small plants and I care for the big ones).
The TV-guitar-bar lounge was the culmination of a promise I made to Linnea 30 years ago that I would finish the basement. I completed it three years ago. All the wood in the pictures came off our property. The walls are Yellow Poplar, the ceiling is Big Tooth Aspen, the trim and cabinets are Red Oak, and the bar top is Walnut. Everything was built by me. We believe in sustainability, and nothing goes to waste.

A quick note about the woods:
It is a mixed hardwood woods comprised of Oaks, Hickories, Maples, Sassafras, Yellow Poplar, Black Cherry, Sycamore and a few Big Tooth Aspens and Walnuts. There used to be a couple hundred Ash trees, but the Ash Tree Borer killed them all a few years ago. I salvaged what I could and now have a stash of ash lumber to make furniture out of. I planted about a thousand trees to replace the ash. Mostly Red and White oak, Black Cherry, Butternut, Walnut and Bald Cypress. We are overpopulated with white-tail deer so all the tree plantings have to be protected by 4’ sleeves to keep the deer from ravaging them. In addition to the deer, we have rabbits, racoons, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, coyotes and the occasional bobcat. The birds are too numerous to list and are a joy to watch. I built a number of shallow ponds to provide habitat for amphibians. There is also a healthy population of turtles. Our bats (Little Brown bats, Indiana Bats and Long-eared bats) have also been under duress by White Noise Syndrome so I try to provide habitat for them and not disturb them when I am caring for the trees.
So, there is probably more info than you wanted :upside_down_face:
Back to guitar :guitar: :guitar: :guitar: :guitar:

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Not yet, but probably somewhere in the near future. Do you have any recommendations?

Can you old gits get out the way, so I can see what’s hanging from the optic !!! :rofl:

Very cool Robert must have been good to have a jam like that. Great story on the land and buildings. My retirement plot came with a mere 1.5 acres but with an 1860s French country house. But I have managed to plant an additional 300 trees about 4 years back. Mainly a Japanese Poplar / Black Cottonwood hybrids which are doing very nicely and will make us self sufficient for heating in a few years time. Love working with the trees ! :sunglasses:

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Trees+guitar=nirvana!

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That’s a remarkable story, Robert. You are a rare individual who has improved your part of the planet, while making a good life for you and your loved ones. Well done!

I also play an Academy 12e. You guys look like you are ready to throw down and have a battle with the Academys! :slight_smile:

You gotta love the Academys. Great guitars to learn with and an excellent campfire instrument.

Thats a great story Robert and definitely is Chasing the Dream as they say. Sounds like it’s been a way of life, work and a passion. With that sort of approach you’ll nail guitar no problem. It’s great to have guitar buddies if you can get together regularly it’ll really bring on your playing and is a great social as well.

What a great story. Love the TV-guitar-bar lounge, a wonderful place to make music.

What is this “GAS” you talk about? Maybe I’m missing something.