How to play guitar that moves people


As no one – that is – no one at the moment reads or views my blog I thought I might just as well use it as a dump for my thoughts as my “Morning pages” although in my case they never were morning pages and most often were “Whenever I find Time Pages”. This is one of those moments waiting and working on an instrument that has long run times you can get on with other stuff while it’s whirring and flashing away, the latter coming from the strobe that is used to illuminate the latex beads as they pass through a glass cell in sync with a camera so all the happy events can be viewed and analysed at a later date.  Part of my day time employment consists of dropping in latex beads that are certified a certain size and then if the instrument says they are something else then we apply a correction factor to bring it into line. So basically I spend a lot of time looking at spherical blobs in a two dimensional plane either live whilst being drawn through the cell or as recorded images, fascinating or what? I don’t think so but apparently the customers find the information gathered by these instruments help them to create the correct size and shaped material for whatever application they require it for. This is massive field of particulate science and I am not proposing I enter into that now but I will say that for instance, Silicon Carbide is a commonly used abrasive material and the less round it is the better but size is also important so the material is generally ground to reduce the overall particle size but as that is done they become more round. What a horrible sentence and I do need to start writing more.


I am presently recovering from what is commonly known as a bout of depression which was triggered initially by a severe chest infection. Because I have been living on mainly will power and adrenaline for at least the past two years and possibly longer my body could no longer cope with the stress of holding together a full time job, completing the building work on what is now our home and also trying to start an on-line business, teaching guitar and write and produce some music. This was all without any real break for R&R for about four years. Anyway, as I was saying I am recovering from this illness at the moment with the help of  an SSRI and some reading. The book I have just read in less than a week was “Back  To Sanity” by Steve Taylor which seems apt considering what I am going through at the moment. I must say now that there is little wrong with me that living in a sane world would not cure but as you all know most of the western world is consumed by the insanity of acquisition and celebrity in any order and that the ego driven consciousnesses will in the end destroy itself which is good but unfortunately because of the power that this major part of the world has over the whole planet it will mean the destruction of  it and most of it’s inhabitants. So how is playing the guitar to move people going to help with this? because it is a way of being in the moment and not having your mind consumed by pointless thoughts about the past which cannot be changed and the future which does not exist yet and is one of the many ways that can used to find a way back to being in touch with your heart and getting rid of all the wasteful distractions that bombard us twenty four hours a day.  We can use playing the guitar as a form of meditation that will bring benefits to all areas of our lives and this is the first tentative step on our journey towards that end.


I have been a regular meditator (Person that meditates) for quite a long while and strangely it seems to be coming back as flavour of the month lately.  I’m wondering what programs could be on the market soon to fulfill this “Need” we’ll probably start getting the emails soon. So I was aware of meditation as long ago as the 60s and dabbled with it without any real focus on and off until I decided to enrol into a Trancendental Meditation program back in the 80s. This went some way towards a less stressed and thoughtful way of life but I drifted away from the practice through one reason or another, not sure why because I did find it beneficial but I think at the time I was surrounded by folk that thought it a bit weird to do such things anyway, I think I was looking for a way of “being” rather than “doing” and it’s taken all this time to reach  clearer vision about what I was initially seeking through the practice of meditation. One of the problems I had had though was that it seemed separate from the rest of my daily activities and although the benefits were supposed to last and sustain through what I now understand to be a subconscious level I became too easily distracted from being in the moment and spent too often reacting instead of responding,  I did.


I have recently started playing in a band and at last using my Peavey VK212 in anger rather than at low levels in my office/studio at the old place. The first time I used it with any sort of volume the mains input fuse blew and was forced to use my back up amp, I thought it was just a glich and took it home to change the fuse, however, the second time I used it exactly the same thing happened and I was starting to think that maybe I had made a duff purchase, anyway, this time I took it in to work so I could get it on the bench one lunch time and have a proper look. After a bit of searching in a  forum I managed to find out how to remove the electronics from the cabinet and I also managed to find a copy of the circuit diagram so out it came and the preliminary visual inspection showed nothing that would indicate a component failure and the fact that the three internal fuses were all intact gave the opportunity to breath a sigh of relief. I was at least expecting to see either the bridge rectifier, a diode or resistor burnt out but it was all clean and free of the usual noxious smells that emanate from overloaded silicon! But, no such sites met my eye and there are three internal fuses that were all intact so with some input from a helpful engineer at Peavey UK we concluded that it was probably the valves burnt out and as they were now almost four years old and past their due change date I ordered a matched set of JJ6L6s for £80, whopped them in and hey presto, loud and proud!


May your guitar strings be your heart strings

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