Monday, January 19, 2009

So You Wanna Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star?

In November 2007, I won a white Stagg L400 LP guitar in a competition run by the Scottish Association for Mental Health. It had been signed by loads of bands (Mogwai, Pop Up, Jerry Dammers) who had done benefits for the cause and it looked pretty cool. For one dull reason or another I never got around to arranging proper lessons. However, an opportunity availed itself on Sunday as I wondered around, of all places, Asda in Kirkcaldy. As I hunted for batteries and Ryvita (Original, of course) I spotted some acoustic guitars for sale. I had recalled seeing some before Christmas for £25 and now the price had changed.

Apples...beep...bananas...beep...Original Ryvita...beep...acoustic guitar for £12.24...beep...!!! (It came out on the receipt as "Child's Toy") How could I not get one? At that price? The idea of learning had resurrected itself in my newly-energised mind as I made my resolutions for the year. I assumed, rightly or wrongly, that an acoustic would be better for learning. (I have no evidence to back that up and I await comments from more learned individuals who can put me straight!).

The guitar is a 39" Burswood guitar. I've never heard of Burswood and I'm no doubt guitar snobs around the globe are weeping as I speak but, hey, it'll do a job for me and when/if I give up in a fit of pique I can hand it down, like a prized family heirloom, to my daughter. Then there will be no excuse for her not to be in a girl garage band by the time she's 15!

At the moment my biggest challenge is learning how to put the strap on (I said "strap on"!!) but I think I have it figured now. There's one strap button (check me using the technical lingo) and I believe the other end is attached by what looks like a shoelace (supplied), which is tied under the Nut between the Tuning Keys and the Frets.

It also comes with a pick (now where did I put that Johnny Marr one I caught at a gig once?), six spare strings, a pitch pipe and a carrying case. I can't tune it to save my life so I'll ask Dave to do it the first time and I'll get a tuner (probably cost more then the "axe"). I'll keep you informed of my progress, or lack of it!

1 comment:

Sky Clearbrook said...

There's a really easy-to-use online tuning aid here.

I used to play geeetar in the early 1990s, but after playing in a couple of bands, I got a bit bored with it all in the end. Our oldest daughter got an acoustic for Christmas, so I hope she perseveres.