I originally posted and started this Road Case, now Learning Log, on the ‘old forum’ on the 11th Feb 2021.
11th Feb 2018. I started my guitar ‘journey’ 3 years ago today. How can I be so exact I hear you ask! (you probably aren’t but I’ll tell you anyway).
My wife and I were visiting our son and his family who live a couple of hours away. He has been into guitar for quite a few years starting while at university. He is self taught using internet tuition (not Justin I’m afraid) and over the years has become pretty good. So much so that at his wedding in 2013 he got up on stage with the band and played the lead parts of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ on a Gibson Flying V that he had at the time. We all thought it was terrific but he is critical when he looks back at videos of himself playing. Sounds familiar! It was the first time he’d ever played with anyone else. He’s still doesn’t play in a band as work and family commitments keep him too busy but he’s perfectly happy being a home hobby player.
Anyway, at some point during our visit he was showing me some licks and things on his new guitar, a beautiful Martin Eric Clapton 000-28. “Why don’t you take my old acoustic home (a Sigma acoustic) and see how you get on, you’ve always wanted to learn”. And so I did.
The first thing I did when I got back home was print out a chord diagram sheet from the internet. I still use it, now covered in notes and additional hand drawn chords. At the bottom of the print out is the date. 11th Feb 2018.
Re: sairfinger’s Road Case](JustinGuitar Community)
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2021, 01:36:11 pm »
Keep that chord diagram sheet with your notes, Gordon-
It’ll be worth a small fortune when you hit the big time!
(alternatively, you can also just keep it as a reference…)
Happy third. (minor I guess?)
I do believe I’m hot on your heels but will have to check social media.
Are we not due another ditty soon?
Ok, let’s travel back in time to the 16 year old ‘sairfingers’. In about 1970 I had a friend who played a bit of guitar. I was seriously impressed by the attention he was getting from girls. I’d like a bit more of that action I thought.
A group of us were down on the beach on a warm sunny evening, yes we do get them in Scotland, and he was strumming some chords. The girls seemed to think he was a god. I thought “I could learn to do that”.
Let’s forget that later in the evening we were all ‘booked’ by the police for skinny dipping and under age drinking! This resulted in us all being grounded for quite a while and thoughts of girls and guitars were put on hold.
We had an acoustic guitar in the attic that my mother had bought when she was a student and had given up playing. I remember it was a Framus with ‘f’ holes and I’ve searched on the internet recently and found it was a Framus 5/50 archtop.
I struggled for a few months trying to play it and almost managed C, mini F and G7 I think, but had horribly painful fingers. With hindsight it must have had a terrible action and maybe really heavy strings but of course there was no internet advice in those days.
My guitar playing friend also gave up around the same time so that was the end of that. I don’t know what happened to that guitar, I wish I still had it. My parents must have sold it or given it away after I lost interest.
I’m not sure if it was the lack of guitar skills or the memory of the cold water, but we decided there must be a better way to impress the girls!
Quote from DavidP
Gordon, you may not consider yourself one for the blogging or with pen and paper, the journalling, but rest assured yiu have a fine turn of phrase and tell a fine story.
Warm sunny evening in Scotland … does take me a bit by surprise.
The fellow who showed me my first chords, aged 19, wove the same spells with the guitar. Plus he had a motorbike. Double cool. At least I can play a little guitar now, enough to impress those who cannot play at all, even enough to impress myself when I think of the struggles to play anything at all to a reasonablly musical level a few years ago.
I see you were ambitious with that first guitar… not the simple Em, E, and Am chords to get going.
So is there a story behind your handle “sairfingers”? Maybe you’ve shared before and I forget?
Around the time I lost interest in learning guitar, I got my provisional motorbike licence. In those days that allowed you to drive a bike of up to 250cc. So I became the owner of a 1963 Royal Enfield Crusader Sports. I still remember its registration number, 610 TRA. As an ‘L’ driver I couldn’t carry a passenger but I quickly realised the potential!
Although a great looking bike, mine suffered from an ignition problem which I never managed to track down and repair due to lack of funds. The final nail in the coffin was when it conked out during my bike test resulting in a ‘fail due to failure to complete the test’.
I hadn’t told anyone I was sitting the test so despite a bruised ego my street cred remained intact.
A BSA C15 followed which although less visually attractive was much more reliable. I passed my test next time and the ‘L’ plates were ceremonially consigned to the bin.
An old Triumph Bonneville T120 650cc was next but of course as a young man with limited funds I spent more time repairing it than l would have liked. However, to call it a ‘girl magnet’ would have been an understatement!
That was until the time it broke down on a wet night and I had to rather shamefacedly take my new girlfriend home on the bus. Street cred hit a new low that night!
The early 70’s saw the rise of the Japanese ‘superbike’. Up to date technology including an electric start, modern designs and colours. They maybe lacked the throaty roar of the British bike exhaust, but they were reliable. I know my dad was fed up with the oil drip stains on the garage floor.
Enter my Honda CB500 4 cylinder. I managed to convince a bank manager that I was a reasonable risk and I bought the almost new Honda. Fast, clean and most of all reliable, I kept this bike for several years.
My love of motorbikes came to an abrupt end the day I got a rear wheel puncture at 70mph. It happened on a busy dual carriageway and the rear of the bike came round level with the handlebars first on one side then on the other and back and forth until I manage to come to a halt on the grass verge. I thought my number was up that day. Several passing motorists who witnessed the incident stopped and said I was lucky to be alive. One of them gave me a lift home and a friend with a pick up truck later retrieved the bike. I sold it soon after and have never been on a motorcycle since.
I still sometimes have shivers thinking about that incident and indeed what could have happened as I drove around with other peoples’ daughters on the back seat. They are such potentially dangerous things. I know there are a few bikers on the Forum, Toby for one, and I know they only go as fast as you twist the throttle, but it’s also the fact that you become almost invisible to other motorists when you’re out on the road.
Later in life I refused to allow my son to have one and warned my daughter within an inch of her life never to get on the back seat of one.
Well, there wasn’t a mention of guitars there at all. You can blame David for raising the subject.
This chapter was the result of being asked the origin of my forum nickname ‘sairfingers’.
Back in the Summer of 1990 (not ‘69) I was on a campsite in France with my wife and 2 kids. We were touring around with our caravan and ended up near Sarlat in the Dordogne region.
Anyone who has been camping/caravanning in France will know that the campsites are full of Dutch people and I met up with a bunch of Dutch guys. They all spoke great English so communication wasn’t a problem. They had brought their guitars on holiday with them so there were regular singalongs in the bar and swimming pool area etc. So my interest in guitar was reignited some 20 years after my initial short lived introduction as a teenager.
One of the guitar players was suffering from painful fingertips as he was not a regular player. Much to my amusement he described this in Dutch as ‘zere vinger’, but it was pronounced as ‘sair finger’ (finger pronounced as in singer).
Had our national bard Robert Burns ever written a poem about a sore finger in addition to those for which he is famous like ‘Tae a moose’ (that’s mouse, not the large North American animal) he would undoubtedly have used old Scots and written and spoken it as ‘sair finger’.
Unfortunately when I returned home the guitar spark, like many post holiday plans, was extinguished by work and family commitments.
I never forgot the Dutch guy and his sore fingers and on the 21st March 2018 (I checked my profile) when I joined Justin guitar and needed a nickname and certainly had sore fingers from playing for the previous few weeks, ‘sairfingers’ was born.
This chapter is for my own use really. I’m trying to keep track of when I posted my AVoYPs in order to monitor my progress. The various songs are a reasonable line in the sand as to where I am/was at that time.
Most of them are ‘first takes’. I prefer that method as it is a better representation of my progress as opposed to a lucky ‘perfect take 20’ recording. (Perfect, of course, being a relative term!)
I’ll add future AVoYP song uploads to an updated version of this post.
These are very much lines in the sand as this is definitely a work in progress.
[09/03/22 : Foolin’ with Layla - electric]