Today, I shall introduce you to Paul.

I could probably start a ‘Reader’s Gear’ category, with all the questions I get ’bout things people have.

This probably doesn’t make sense to most normal people, but I’ve explained it before. We’re hoarders, possibly in need of an intervention. Try as we might, we just keep amassing stuff.

I’ve had my hands on a lot of guitar related stuff, so I often know something about it. If not, I ain’t scared. I’ll go find someone who does.

This particular stuff is something @mustard_of_puppets appeared with and said he’d acquired at a garage (or lawn) sale – at like $25. That’s probably Canadian dollars, so like $5.45 USD!

This particular lump of stuff is a guitar amplifier – if you can call it that. It does, technically, amplify a guitar. I’m going to tell you about his new amp.
Continue reading “Today, I shall introduce you to Paul.”

Hits: 29

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

TheBuddha Approves #4: The Concise History of the Classical Guitar

So…

I have fuck-all for time today. I am not complaining. I have had a lovely morning that involved a fairly long ride on the motorcycle and the wonderful company of the eldest hoodlum.

Today is her day, ’cause it marks the date of her birth. As such, she not only wanted to go out for brunch, she wanted attention. The bike is pretty fancy and gets quite a bit of attention and commentary from people who know anything about bikes and she really likes to ride.

Don’t worry! I go reasonably slow, make her wear all the protective gear – including chaps, and keep both tires planted reasonably firmly on the pavement! There are twisty mountain roads, so we maybe go a little fast – but I keep it well under the triple digit marker. I can risk my life, but I can not recklessly risk her life.

I’d hoped to get her to write today’s article. I’d hoped that she’d write an article entitled, “Why I want to play guitar.” She pointed out that today is her birthday and told me that she’d be doing nothing of the sort. There went that idea.

I had nothing prepared for today. I have limited time this afternoon. I tried bribing her to get her to write the article. She was having none of it. I even tried asking the missus. She was not even a little helpful. I even tried asking the dog. He seemed willing, but he doesn’t really have fingers – or play any instruments.

I’m sure you can see why this is a problem. It’s hard to find good help these days!

Fortunately, we have a solution! That’s what the whole “TheBuddha Approved” is meant to take care of! Without further ado…
Continue reading “TheBuddha Approves #4: The Concise History of the Classical Guitar”

Hits: 12

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

The difference between a classical and a flamenco guitar.

This is an older piece that I’ve decided to edit up and post here on the blog, as it’s never been seen here before. I figure I’ll throw it in the queue and use it when it’s needed.

If you’re seeing this – it means I’ve otherwise spent my time. It also means I need a new spare article!

Someone was mentioning that they liked flamenco and another person had mentioned wanting to hear some too. Thus, I figured I’d sit down and work on that. It’s really, really hard to change styles of music rapidly. I hadn’t been playing much flamenco lately – as in not in years.

I dug out my favorite flamenco guitar last night and threw new strings on it. Only, today, I realized that the action is much too high and the intonation is out. Rather than adjust the truss rod myself, I’m going to send it out to have it done. Can I do it myself? Absolutely. However, he can do it much faster and much better than I can. I’ve already called, I’m going to bring it down this weekend and I’ll have it back in just a few days.

So, I sat here and practiced a bit on a classical guitar and I’m really, really not happy with the tone.

But, Buddha, aren’t they all the same? The headstock looks the same, they’re both strung with nylon, and they’re both acoustic and made of wood!

Alas, no… Can I play flamenco on a classical? Yeah, pretty much. It doesn’t sound right and, by now, you’ve probably noticed that I aim for perfection in my playing. My art is faithful reproduction and I do try to be as faithful as is humanly possible.

So, what’s the difference?
Continue reading “The difference between a classical and a flamenco guitar.”

Hits: 40

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

Dickey Betts, of Allman Brothers fame.

Today is Thursday, the day we usually have a guitarist better than Hendrix.

A fella named Dickey Betts will eventually be on this list, but today is not that day. He also wasn’t going to get mentioned this high on the list – but he’s certainly slated to be included, assuming the list lasts that long.

Betts had a mild stroke, back in August. This forced him to cancel his tour. He was not just doing well, he was doing very well – and his recovery was ahead of schedule. He was slated to begin touring again in November, with the Dickey Betts Band.

Yesterday, he was playing with his dog and fell. In the fall, he stuck his head. This caused bleeding on the brain, like the RHCP song.

“But from my brain is where I bleed.” – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Soul to Squeeze

Unlike the song, this is generally considered a Very Bad Thing©.

He’s now listed in critical, but stable, condition at an undisclosed hospital. You can read more about it here. There’s also this official notice here – and I’d expect the site to update us as time passes.

He is expected to undergo surgery today, the 20th of September.

He has been a monument, and a foundation, to rock and the guitar. Unfortunately, I am not prepared to write about him today.

If you’re interested in his life, use a damned search engine!

Or, you know, read Wikipedia’s entry on Dickey Betts.

I would like to take a moment to wish him well and to remind his friends and family that he’s greatly appreciated, the world over. His work gets covered with great frequency and he has himself continued to influence and entertain, even beyond the Allman Brothers.

His impact on my passion, that is the guitar, is significant and I hope he has a successful surgery and a speedy recovery.

Let’s listen to some tunes while we wait for news!

And, I’ll still share one for the road…

He’s been giving us music for about 50 years. Even Rolling Stone, those dirty heathens, were smart enough to include ’em on their list of the greatest guitarists. (I think they put ’em in about 60th position.)

I wish him well and I’d like to hope the rest of our community does the same. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

Hits: 33

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

Cyclops’ story.

I’m sitting here and wracking my brains – trying to figure out how to share a story (with permission) that’s just so awesome that it has to be shared. The problem is, I usually try to make (often bizarre) connections between what I feel like writing about and music. It happens when you write this much!

The people that I ask to quote sometimes wonder how, exactly, I’m going to turn their story into something to do with music. Me too! I’m glad we’re on the same page! The last time this happened, it was a ‘crazy_eyes story’ and when he asked how I’d turn it into an article, I said, “Trust me, I’m a doctor!”

This story, however…

Hmm… I’m not sure how to tell you this, but I don’t think I can tie it into music – unless I really cheat. I’m going to have to cheat and, frankly, the excuse is to simply tell you this story. This story is that awesome.

If you’ll allow me some artistic license, I can do it. Stand back, for we shall try literature! It’s a little weak, but it’s all I can come up with. I have complete faith that you’ll understand the situation that I’m faced with, once you’ve read the story.

~*makes mysterious eerie sound-effects*~ (Ed. Note: Must someday write about theremin.)

(This is so cheesy.)

In the past, I’ve written about a few things – with some consistency. I’ve often mentioned that playing a musical instrument, specifically a guitar, will expose you to interesting people.

I have also taken the time to write about people who have overcome obstacles and made works of art. For instance, one of our guitarists better than Hendrix played that shit with just two fingers – Django Reinhardt.

I can’t say that being a cyclops is actually any specific obstacle to playing a guitar. I can’t say that it imposes any serious limitation on one’s ability to create music with a guitar.

But, we have a new participant in our guitar threads and he’s a fucking cyclops!

If you don’t think that’s fucking awesome, you’re on the wrong site!

Damned right, I’m gonna ask that person some questions!

Way back at the start, I was under the impression that their story was even more awesome than it really was. Well, I was really hopeful. Oh, man… I was sure hopeful! Initially, they indicated that they ripped an eyeball out of their own face – in a fit of (I think) rage and anguish. My very first thought was, “Wait, what?”

I can’t really think of anything more metal than ripping your own eye out of your face because you’re angry at it. I can’t condone that behavior, but I can certainly be curious! (Please don’t rip your own eyeball out of your face. My lawyer would want me to add that. Please don’t rip your eye out and then sue me, thanks.)

So, I learned all about how Cyclops really became a cyclops. There were a bunch of unfamiliar names in this week’s guitar thread, and Ol’ Cyclops was one of them. Like I’ve said, you’ll be exposed to some interesting people! That’s justification enough to share this tale.

It is with his permission that I retell this story. Like normal, I’ll do some editing but only for readability and grammar reasons. They did a very, very good job of giving me text to work with and they were gracious enough to let me give their story a wider audience.

Without further ado, the story of Cyclops:

Continue reading “Cyclops’ story.”

Hits: 29

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

Resonating Sound and the Voice – Part Deux

(Ed. Note: This is submitted by Nadeshda. Be sure to give her a rousing round of applause and express your gratitude! It’s much better than the article you were gonna get today!)

SO here we are again, singing and chilling like we mean it , well you better be. Get your favorite beverage, take a couple of sips and let us start talking about this singing business again.

You may wonder how I got involved in all of this, it was through a regular Friday night meet-up discussion about instruments and all things musical. One day I bravely shared some of my vocals and people enjoyed it. This started my involvement with sharing, teaching and learning about ‘How to Sing’ on playguitar. Also, theBuddha asked me too and he is very inspiring and good at getting people busy with all sorts of fun stuff while being excellent at what he does ! (Ed. Note: Damned right!)

Let me get another cup of coffee and while I do that listen to a song I wrote and shared with some of my friends. Shhh, I didn’t warm-up properly for the song but still managed some good tone, I wonder why?

Another Day by Nadeshda

So this phone recording came out okay and I think that years of proper training and proper breathing allowed me to do the sneaky recordings. I shouldn’t but some of these things we will be working through will become second nature to you and sometimes when you are caught in a last minute affair you will sound okay but let’s learn the basics first before cutting any corners, m’kay.

I have sung  in choirs since being a wee lass and swimming since I have been three years old, so breathing properly has always been drilled into me somehow and singing lessons to wazoo has filled my brain with endless information that honestly, sometimes I forget.

I am hoping this series helps me to remember and blesses you in the process.
We really shouldn’t sing without warming up our voices correctly so let’s get on with the lesson.
So without further waffling let us look at:

Resonance

What is it and how can I get it to sound good? This is the question today.

We know it when we hear it and sometimes we feel it on the inside but what is it really ?
I can safely say that it is volume of sound, easy listening and it lingers. We find it in ALL instruments.

What part of our body does the resonating? 

The Vocal Tract which is a container of air and has an opening called the mouth. We know the power source of singing is the ribs, diaphragm and the lungs which in turn push the air through the vocal fold into the Vocal Tract to form sweet, sweet sounds when all things are working together beautifully.

SILLY FACT: The average length of a vocal tract for males is about 17 cm and 14 cm for females.

The shape of the tract helps to solidly the sound and tone and the following video illustrates it perfectly while synthesizing vowels on a 3D MRI. The stereolithography (Rapid Prototyping) produces glottal waves using a Rosenberg-Klatt waveform with 1/f fluctuation of its cycle. Male and female models were used to produce the vowels.

Vocal Tract Model Synthesis Video

So how do I get better Resonance?

I am so glad you ask these wonderful questions as I am going to give you some homework and you will enjoy the results.

Let’s wake up that sweet, sweet sound!

Try the following exercise and repeat until you notice a difference. When you are done, sing a song you are comfortable with.

  • Open your mouth and take a breath through your nose and with a basic speaking volume, sustain a comfortable mid-range pitch, through an “NG” tongue position.

To help you find this tongue position, say the word “Sing” and maintain the tongue position of the “NG”. The back of your tongue will lightly close with your soft palate. Keep the tip of your tongue resting against the back of your bottom teeth. Feel the sound vibration vibrate along the roof of your mouth and under your nose.

2) Do this a couple of times using medium volume and try producing different sounds after your beautiful “NG” sound. Here we go…!

  1. NG-EE (Mean)
  2. NG-EH (Hen)
  3. NG-UH (The)
  4. NG-I (Him)
  5. NG-A (Same)
  6. NG-AA (Apple)During the last two vowels (below), DO NOT shape your lips for the sound. Your mouth should only move a wee bit, just let it flow and let the sound naturally resonate in your mouth. Try these too…
  • NG-OH (Moan)
  • NG-Ooo (Moon)

You are doing great! Congratulations you have completed your second singing lesson; now shut up and go sing me a song!

Comment if you notice a difference in resonance, tone and sound.

Happy Singing!

Hits: 37

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

King Henry VIII?

Warning:

I wrote this after getting injured shitfaced in performance of my duties.

I haven’t actually read it. I’m going to try to salvage it and edit it into something that will do. If I recall correctly, and I probably do not, it’s pretty long.

I have no idea how this is actually going to turn out, as I meander into editing mode and try to turn this into something you might be interested in reading.

I’d say I’m sorry, but I’m not. If I were sorry, I’d have not done it in the first place!

Let’s give this a shot…


Gonna be completely upfront about this.

I’m kinda intoxicated. I am going to get more intoxicated.

They are currently tearing shit down to load the truck. This is called a ‘load out’ in our lingo. I don’t think any of us actually calls it ‘load out.’ No, we say stuff like, “Fuck. Time to load the fucking truck.” There’s no ‘load out’ in that sentence.

Side note: I usually try to avoid much jargon. ‘Snot fair to you and it’s not consistent.

Not me! I’m not lugging a damned thing. I made one trip to the car and I’m supervising while I type on a laptop. Pretty soon, I’m headed to a hotel. I’ll make one more trip to the car and that’s to carry my gear bag, one suitcase, and this here delicious beer.

For the record, I call this “supervising.” I ain’t actually paying attention to a damned thing. They know what they’re doing. That’s why they get paid! I do provide moral support and crack jokes – I also fetch beer!

Tonight’s show was lovely and, once again, the people are always way too good to us. Thank you, people!

Seriously… That’s truly the magic of it – and it’s not universally true, but it’s true more often than not. For all the pissing and moaning I do, I’m pretty sure I’ve at least partially deserved it whenever groups of people pelted the stage with objects.

Yes. Some venues are so horrible that they have that cliché chicken wire barrier. I haven’t played one of them in years – and you can’t make me. I’ve made my way to much nicer stages and audiences.

It’s for good reason that I like venues that provide security! (Ed Note: This article doesn’t actually improve.)

But, for the most part, our audiences are too kind to us. Sometimes, they stand outside in shitty weather, risk OIUs – and harming other people, drive long distances, spend money they can’t really afford, and things like that.

You know, alcoholics!

Sometimes, they even fight with their spouses and argue just to come see us. I suspect a few of them shirk their duties to their community, family, and job – just to come see us!

But, come to see us they do. And, for just a time that’s altogether too short, they invite us to give them an escape. They give us permission to help them emote and for them to forget about the stresses of life.

They generally want to hear two types of music.

They either want to hear stuff that’s modern, the same stuff they hear when they turn on their radio station, or they want to hear the music that helped shape them into adults. They want us to remind them of those youthful years, between 15 and 25.

We concentrate on the latter. We concentrate on the music that they remember mostly from their formative years.

I’m old. I’m tired. I’m not keeping up with Top 40 Hard Rock, Rock, Metal, or the umpteen other genres that get changed more often than I change hairstyles. I’m not adding the extra time that goes into keeping up with what is currently popular.

We, of course, have our own opinions about what we play and what we’d like to play. You can actually tell us what you want us to play when you hire us. If we don’t know it, we may consider learning it.

We reserve the right to refuse. There is shit that I refuse to play. There’s actually quite a long list of shit that the whole band won’t play – simply because one or more of us refuses to fucking play it. Even hookers have standards, or at least a sliding fee.

It’s at this point that I’m forced to admit that I’ve forgotten what it was that I was going to write next. (Ed Note: I’m pretty sure that’s obvious. Less obvious is I still have no idea what I was going to write about next.)

Once upon a time, there lived an old man named TheBuddha. He had a topic, and even a point, but he sometimes likes to drink.

Hotels…

That wasn’t actually what my subject was, but I’m gonna tell you about hotels next.

Universally, hotels suck. No, fancy five-star resort hotels suck worse. If there’s one place they won’t leave you the fuck alone, it’s a fancy hotel. They’re also far more likely to get suspicious if you’re dragging in hookers, obvious drug dealers, and leave the “Do Not Disturb/No Room Service” sign up for a week straight.

Econo Lodge, in the US, is pretty much as good as it gets, assuming you don’t mind transsexual hookers knocking on your door to ask if you want to smoke some crack with them.

I don’t mind that at all!

It’s a damned sight better than some idiot making jokes as he smashes that wheeled dolly with your precious instruments and curated collection of illicit substances into the elevator. Why no, no Mr. Bellhop! You may not take my bags out of my sight, thanks!

Bring on the crack whores!

Unfortunately, there are no Econo Lodges here. Instead, we’ll be going to some pretty normal looking, generic, hotel with a whimsical name and a very nice older gentleman behind the counter. Well, I don’t know if he’s still there. I already have the keys – so if the hotel is any good then I won’t actually need to see the old gentlemen again. In fact, that’d be ideal!

Also, I’m pretty sure if he sees us again tonight, he’s not gonna be very happy about that.

I did tell ‘em why we were there and that I’d do my best to keep it to a dull roar. He happily told me he didn’t much give a shit (though he used more polite vocabulary) ‘cause the place is pretty much empty. That is for the best.

It’s pretty awesome, but it’s still a hotel. Hotels suck, remember?

I like my bed. That’s why I bought it. I’m pretty partial to my house. I like my shower. I picked it out, just for that reason. I also really like poopin’ on my own toilet.

There’s just something weird about poopin’ on hotel toilets.

I like being able to go to my studio. I like being able to go to my study. I love being able to go pee off the front porch.

Which is why hotels suck. Even if you stay in it for months, it’s never home.

Huh… You’ve made it this far through the article? Weirdo.

This article isn’t going to get better.

No, it’s going to get much, much worse. (Ed Note: Truth.)

Today, we’re gonna talk about a little fella known as Henry, from the House of Tudor. You might know him better as King Henry VIII, the prick.

I warned you way up at the top that I’m getting shitfaced. You knew damned well what you were getting into when you opted to keep reading! I’m pretty sure you can’t place all the blame on me.
Continue reading “King Henry VIII?”

Hits: 28

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

What happens when musicians break the rules?

I’ve been doing piss-poor time management.

It was looking good.

I wrote you a giant article – one of my longest yet.

While I was intoxicated.

I’m still intoxicated.

I’m not editing that today. Nope.

So, you’re not getting a good article today. That block of time was drunkenly squandered. It’s an occupational hazard. Someone should fucking call OSHA.

What that is, is me breaking my own rules.

No, really…

That’s what happens when you break my rules for performing musicians.

You horribly mismanage your time, get shitfaced at a hotel room, and don’t actually do what you should be doing. What I should be doing is editing that article.

Ain’t doing it.

I broke my rules, got injured shitfaced on the job, and am unable to perform my daily duties.

I already told you, it’s an occupational hazard.

The best solution is to have a “safety meeting.” Maybe while we’re at that “safety meeting,” we’ll learn how to prevent these horrible occupational hazards!

Seriously, those rules are there for good reason!

I’m not really kidding about drug and alcohol use being an occupational hazard. That’s not entirely humor. It’s a real hazard and it comes with the job.

Which is why I advocate, if you’re handling drugs – know what the fuck you’re doing. Seriously, read a fucking book. If you’re gonna take drugs, know what they are and what they do. You should also know why they do what they do – and what the physiological ramifications are.

That way, you can do your drugs safely!

It’s an acquired skill, often requiring a period of apprenticeship and with very high tuition costs!

If you’re not going to read a book, at least ask an old junkie. If the junkie got old, chances are they practiced ‘harm reduction’ (knowingly or not).

As a musician, you’re going to be exposed to drugs. Statistics tells me that you’re gonna put some of ’em into your body. Some of you may end up being exposed to lots of drugs and put hitherto-unknown-to-science concoctions into your body.

It’s just math!

Really, getting shitfaced is an occupational hazard. If you’re not careful, you’ll start bumping into cones and other assorted objects! We should probably be forced to wear hard hats – or at least high vis vests. I’m calling OSHA.

Shit, I’ve seen musicians who needed a bib as PPE and hotel rooms that would have been a field-day for a forensics unit. It can happen to the best of ’em.

The best solution, so far, has been to not let drugs or alcohol impact your life to the point where it fucks up your ability to manage your time. If you do, you have broken a rule. It’s highly likely to incur a penalty and the severity of that penalty can be quite harsh. (Wear your safety goggles at all times!)

It is in the interest of that, that I go right ahead and say that you should practice “harm reduction,” if you’re going to use. It’ll help you manage your time better. It’ll still keep you productive – and probably also have the benefit of keeping you alive longer.

To think, I have been paid to perform in high schools during the Nancy Reagan era – doing the “Just Say No” thing! Yup, I’m pretty sure those were federal dollars that paid the band I was in. It’s one of the most absurd times in my life. In hindsight, it seems a bit surreal.

Anyhow…

I’m not sure what you want to take from this – if anything.

It’s not like I’m going to tell you don’t do drugs. This is me. I’m saying do them responsibly – and know what you’re putting into you, and how much you’re putting into you. Practice harm reduction.

If you’re going to inject, learn safe injection methods. You can buy your rigs at the pharmacy, or even get them exchanged for free. They’re single use devices. If you’re going to shoot pills, that’s fucking stupid. If you’re going to do it, at least invest in a real micron-level filter.

Know what you’re snorting, whatever. People put drugs into themselves in a whole host of ways and insufflation is a pretty common method. They’ll stick drugs in their ass, their eyeball, wherever. Know what you’re putting in and how much.

Anyhow, that’s all the article you’re getting today.

It’s pretty much some warped PSA. We need to get OSHA involved! It’s a damned occupational hazard – not entirely different to black lung for miners!

In my imagination, I’m picturing a United Brotherhood of Cover Bands. This amuses me. However, that’s your box of crayons and you can color that picture any way you want! I’m not typing it out.

Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

(Or not. I will not play guitar again until tomorrow. I will not even practice. Take a day off and watch August Rush, maybe?)

Hits: 46

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

Things look different from the stage #10: You’ll spend an inordinate amount of time primping and preening.

I guess it’s a matter of perspective. I’ll let you decide!

From one point of view, I’ve been doing a horrible, horrible job at time management.

From another point of view, I’m clinically retarded and keep obligating myself to more and more things.

As such, I’m pretty damned busy.

In my defense, I’m busy doing things that I enjoy.

It’s a whole lot of work to make every day the best day ever. Like, seriously… It’s a ton of work. This is the dumbest retirement on the planet.

This morning, the missus said to me, “You’ve spent just over two and a half hours getting ready, and you’re not done!” Then she laughed at me.

I said, “No, I did’t.”

She said, “I timed you.”

I said, “Damn it!” Frustrated with the wealth of truth and damnation (but mostly the evidence) in that revelation, I followed that up with something like, “Should you be in bed?”

Which is when she laughed and said she was up ’cause it’s funny to watch me get ready for a show.

What I’m about to say next is pretty gender specific. You’ll get over it.

If you get your knickers in a wad easily, fuck off. I don’t really care and you’re not in a position of authority over me. You can suck my dick.

Well now… I’m so leaving that in there.

You menfolk may not really understand what I’m about to say.

You ladies will probably understand.

Still here? Good.

Bear with me and unwad your bloomers.

Allow me to explain.

(It’s not gonna help. Not even one bit. I’m so gonna run with this.)

I’ve stuck my dick in a lot of women. Like, unbelievable numbers of women.

I’ve lived with countless men.

In other words, I’ve observed a whole lot of people!

On average, and in my observation, women preen more than men.

The only men who preen more often that than the majority of women are United States Marines, performers, and people getting ready for a Pride Parade.

(If you’re in a hole, keep digging!)

So, ladies, this one’s for you! (Ed. Note: TheBuddha has been sacked.)
Continue reading “Things look different from the stage #10: You’ll spend an inordinate amount of time primping and preening.”

Hits: 25

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends:

TheBuddha Approves #3: How do Guitar Pickups Work?

For reasons, I’m very busy today. I’m not just busy, I’m super-busy.

I did take the time to send out a detailed (and long) email to a wonderful online-friend. I’m half-tempted to turn that email into this article, but it contains a significant amount of personal information that doesn’t really belong to me – and putting it out there in public may be something that isn’t appreciated.

So, it’d take some time to whittle it down to article length and then remove the personal bits. While I’ve described the situation to a number of people, today’s missive was both long and detailed.

It’d also be difficult to edit it to ensure that it didn’t come off entirely creepy or as a braggart. I do think, after some thought, that it could be wedged into an article, though I’m unsure of the type of appeal it’d have or if I’d be subjected to negative responses. As it involves someone other than myself, and they’d be likely to read the responses, I’ve decided to not write that article and subject them to the potential negative feedback.

I do want to distill it and share a piece with you.

I also want you to know that I’ve chosen the following words with care. Some of what I’m about to say can be seen as an endorsement and, indeed, it is. However, this endorsement has not been purchased, but is based on a pattern of behavior, lots of observation, and my own personal experiences.

Yes, it’s true that I spoil the eldest hoodlum. Yes, she gets a great deal of attention. Yes, she gets expensive things.

I don’t need to justify that to anyone and I’m not asking for opinions on the matter. If the circumstances were fully understood and disclosed, it’d help explain it a great deal better. Those stories are hers to tell and she’s well and truly equipped to come on here and write her own damned articles if she wants to tell you about ’em!

In fact, she’s very much invited to write articles for the site – just as you are. I ain’t scared! Y’all can write about all sorts of music related things and I’m happy to facilitate that.

Now that we have that out the way…

She got some lovely gifts and is very happy with her new guitar and all the sundry equipment that came with it.

These gifts were purchased from a company known as ‘Sweetwater.’

These gifts were relatively expensive, because I got her professional equipment that should, with proper care, both serve her well and last her the rest of her life.

I do not know if they’re aware of this site.

I do know that they’re familiar with me. I do know that I’ve had numerous interactions with them in the past. I do have reason to expect they know that we musicians tend to speak out about exceptional service, deals, or things like informative sales and service staff.

The representative knows me by name and I have done business with them in the past. They also knew the reasons for my purchases.

They did not give me a discount on my purchases.

They did not ask for me to mention them on this site.

They did not ask for, or indicate they wanted, an endorsement. They did not ask me to link to them. They did not ask for a favorable review. We did not discuss this site, my opinions of their service and support, or anything of that nature.

What they did do was go out of their way, and at their expense, make her gift reception a better experience. Specifically, they included gifts of their own. They spent their money to include extras that were not ordered and this incurred no additional fees at my end.

These extras were not insignificant. It was not just a t-shirt. It was well beyond and above anything one might expect or demand. It was a personalized touch and something most people aren’t going to expect from a web store. These additions were incurred at their expense, and without any strings attached. (Well, no… They did include strings – but they were for a guitar.)

(One of the secrets to this sort of personalized service is to do things like place your orders by phone, but that’d be another article and for another time.)

It’s because of this, because of this personalized behavior, that I’m comfortable saying that you can add (for whatever it’s worth to you) Sweetwater to the list of companies with whom I’ve had a great series of satisfying interactions.

However, I feel it’s imperative that I at least strive to be open about such things and that I disclose any biases I may have, any gifts that have been received, and any rewards that may prejudice my  statements.

I do, after all, do some reviews and have talked a number of you through purchasing a guitar, or related equipment, as well having provided direct links to retailers which some of you have used.

It’s important, I feel, that this be aboveboard and openly disclosed.

Sweetwater did not give these gifts with any conditions, or mentions, of publicity.

It is because of these gifts that I’m mentioning them – but it is not because of them specifically. It is because they’ve continued to do things similar and have shown me a pattern of good service and support.

They did not buy my endorsement. They earned it by doing things like knowing my name, always having an answer, and working hard to keep me satisfied.

Which is a bit amusing, ’cause I usually use a competitor! I’ve used Sweetwater in the past but I’d actually tried to use a competitor and they couldn’t get me the GLP Standard in the color that she wanted. We were able to secure the last available one from Sweetwater and I chose to just place the entire order there – even though their competitor gives me a discount.

So, I’m pretty happy with them and have no problem adding them to a list of retailers that I will acknowledge as having exceeded my expectations.

Which, and weigh it as much or as little as you like, is an official endorsement from me.

There’s also room on the list of approved retailers for more than one company. Hell, it’d be a great world if every single musical instrument retailer was working hard enough for me to endorse them. That seems unlikely.

But, I feel it’s important to disclose my biases and to disclose any gifts that have been given, as opposed to things that I pay for directly. While this didn’t directly come as a gift with the intent that it be mentioned here on the site, it still seems like the ethical thing to do. This will continue to be my policy.

So, when it comes to Sweetwater, they are officially getting my seal of approval. It probably doesn’t translate to them getting a bunch of sales but, nonetheless, TheBuddha Approves!

Anyhow, let’s get on with today’s article!
Continue reading “TheBuddha Approves #3: How do Guitar Pickups Work?”

Hits: 56

Don't be selfish, share this with your friends: