Last modified on 01/25/07 - Keith - Guitar

Quote of the day: "The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then--to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn." --T. H. White, The Once and Future King

"Approach your guitar intelligently, and if there are limits, don't deny them.
Work within your restrictions. Some things you can do better than others, some things you can't do as well.
So accentuate the positive." --Chet Atkins

I've been playing guitar on and off for 20+ years now. I have to confess that there have been long periods when it has been "off" but I always come back to it eventually. Lately I've been playing every day, hopefully I can keep it up.

When I first started playing I convinced my parents to buy me an inexpensive Les Paul copy and an amp. After a couple of years I decided I wanted a good guitar--a fine instrument that I would keep all my life (I was playing a lot then--1979). Luckily I had a well-paying summer job at the time, so I had the cash to indulge myself. My first thought was to get a hollowbody electric, like a Gibson ES-175. I went to the Manor Music Mansion (near Lancaster, PA) which had a great selection of guitars. I played a few deep hollowbodies but I wasn't sure what I wanted. Then the owner, a former musician, asked me if I wanted something really nice. I said I did and he produced a Gretsch Model 7681 Super Axe. This was a beautiful large-bodied guitar with an unusual on-board effects package: phase shifter + compressor. I thought it looked pretty cool and it sounded great! The 7681 is a hybrid solidbody and hollowbody. There is a main section under the bridge which is solid but on each side of the center section it actually is hollow although there are no F-holes. I guess semi-hollowbody is the correct designation, although some people claim it's a solidbody. Any way you look at it, the guitar has great sustain and a very sweet sound. It cost me $900 in 1979 and it was well worth it because it still sounds great (although my mother nearly fainted when I told her how much I spent). Here is a photo of my Super Axe:

For more Super Axe info, go here.

My next step is to build a DAW (digital audio workstation). I've always wanted to do home recording and now is a great time to get started. There are a lot of great products out there, I only wish I had the $$$. I've got my eye on a Yamaha SW1000XG audio card which has a nice synthesizer and can support 12-track hard drive recording.

This page was getting too big so I had to reorganize it. I'm now going to create new pages for each update...

Also a separate page for links...