TheBuddha Approves #8: Some rock history.

Update: I have been back to the witchdoctor and I’m still on various restrictions. Physically, I’m doing pretty well. It’s the damned lethargy that’s killing me.

For whatever reason, this lethargy has made it damned difficult to concentrate. I’m used to being able to focus and I’m used to being able to complete tasks. This is currently a problem.

For example, this is the third draft that I’ve written today. The other two subjects were just more than I could handle. I just can’t seem to get more than a few paragraphs down before I’m no longer able to write.

I’d smoke some pot, in hopes that it’d help, but the witchdoctor has suggested I not smoke much. Well, okay… That’s how I interpreted him saying that I shouldn’t be smoking anything. I do have edibles, but I really can’t be that fucked up today. I’ve got shit to do!

So, I’m going to use today to cheat and I’m not doing anything heavy/major. I can almost guarantee that there will be no Guitarist Better Than Hendrix tomorrow. I started researching that yesterday, artist already chosen, and just couldn’t even start outlining it. (That’s pretty much the only article category that I put that much effort into. The rest kinda tend to get written on the fly, but I strongly suspect you’ve figured that out!)

Well, that was a long paragraph. Moving on…

So, today, I’m just gonna straight up cheat! I have a wonderful video that you may enjoy but, the truth is, I’m mostly sharing this video ’cause I’d like to share it with a wonderful friend named @COF.

You might recognize that name and you may know him from our sister site, Music For Us – Keeping The History Alive. If you’re here, you probably know who we are, but you may not have visited that site. I’d love it, if you did. It’s a labor of love and we struggle to share the history of the music we know and love. We’d love it, should you join us and we’d love it even more if you’d contribute!

Anyhow, moving on again…

So, today is just a video! That’s right, y’all ain’t gotta do a damned thing except press play. You don’t even have to watch it – you can just listen! Pretty sweet, huh? It’s about an hour long and will make an excellent bit of background noise for you. Who knows? You might even find it informative and entertaining!

Trust me. It’s lovely. Pretend it’s a podcast! Also, no news on the pipe organ. I’ll email ’em again in a couple of days! I ain’t scared. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

Hits: 35

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

TheBuddha Approves #7 – Guitar Tab

Today, I’ve been tasked with teaching someone to drive and giving her the opportunity to learn more about photography. I’m not actually sure why this needs to involve driving, it’s beautiful right outside my front door. However, it does – and I’m not sure that she wants to drive so much as she wants to take pictures of something else. I’m also not a photographer. Dunno how I’m supposed to help with this. We shall see!

Yesterday, my ISP hated me. They didn’t just hate me – they hated millions of us. So, I didn’t really do any prep work for this article. Instead, I just reached into my magic text document of links I approve of and picked this one.

What is it? It’s a bunch of real, official tab. Unlike many of the tab sites, these are the authentic tabs and not something transcribed by someone with dubious abilities.

Don’t actually know the legality of this site. Nope…. I can’t actually say that I much care about the legality of this site. Hey, neat, it kinda wrapped around the image a bit more. Isn’t that special. I should try to remember that, but I digress… Hmm… After formatting, it looks a bit ugly. Meh… I’m leaving it.

I don’t actually think this needs much more of an introduction or commentary? There’s other stuff at the site, but you might just as well see the giant collection of real tabs. It’s large and might have something you’re interested in learning.

Visit guitars.ch and explore their collection of authentic guitar tab.

Umm… Yup… That’s pretty much all I need to do for this article. Can’t really think of much to add to it! Sweet! (I’m still pretty low-energy and it’s actually weird because it appears to impact my concentration. I dunno? I’m not that kinda doctor.) Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

Hits: 11

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

TheBuddha Approves #6

I don’t really have much time or energy today. I’m going to be prone for much of the day, which limits me to a tablet. I have my daughter rolling in today, and that’s going to be enjoyable.

I suspect she’ll be in bed not long after getting here. It’s a dreadfully long drive. She has to stop along the way and will be getting the material needed to give me a second opinion.

She’s a pediatrician and my regular is not. She’s seen far more cases of mono than my regular doctor has, and she’s still pretty young. So, she can give me a second opinion. Mostly, I’m just glad she’s coming – even if she’s only going to be able to be here for a couple of days.

Seeing as nobody has stepped up to write an article, you’re just getting a short TheBuddha Approves article.

If you want something better, you’ll have to wait or write it yourself. I don’t really have much time and I’m not feeling that energetic.

This next one is actually not good – from my perspective. But, we don’t always have to look at things from my perspective. Instead, we can look at things with a different outlook. We can look at things with a different goal in mind.

My personal goal (and job) is 100% faithful replication. It is my task to make music that is exactly like what you heard from the original artist’s studio session. It goes beyond that. My goal is for other musicians to say, “That sounds just like the studio work!”

That’s not something everyone has to do. That’s not even something that I recommend most people do. The expense of getting the official tab and sheet music is not something everyone needs to undertake. The need to get someone to transcribe it to tab from ear is also not a task that you need to undertake.

It’s not only perfectly okay, it’s sometimes better to just play it how you want or just to use whatever tab you find that sounds good and that you can play. You don’t have to try to get perfect replication – nor should you, unless that’s your very specific goal.

My goals aren’t your goals.

This next site is not completely accurate. However, it will do. The tab is “close enough” and the results will be acceptable to even professional musicians. I’ve gone through and looked at a few songs that I know are often transposed wrong and they do have errors – and that’s okay.

It’s perfectly acceptable to use a site such as this one. You don’t have to be exact. You also don’t have to buy all the pedals. You don’t have to buy an amp profiler. You don’t have to spend a ton of money. You can do just fine without those things and you can do just fine with the tab that’s on this site.

This site also has some great features. You can play along with the audio and play it at a variety of speeds. There are a ton of different features and it’s not up to me to decide how you use them. It’s an excellent learning tool that will enable you to play ‘close enough’ to the original artists. They even include multiple tracks, so that your whole band (should you go that route) will have access to the same material.

In other words, it’s ‘good enough.’ You really don’t need more than this.

Without further ado:

Songsterr.com.

If you want an example of ‘close enough’ then you can see this link:

Songester.com’s tab for Metallica – Nothing Else Matters.

There… Now you have no excuses to not go learn a new song. There’s the music notation. It’s free. There’s a very good chance that they’ll have something there that you want to learn. The interface is easy to use, though I’d suggest they add a delay so that you can push play and then get setup and have it start playing like 10, 20, or 30 seconds later. (If they have such a delay, I have not found it. I don’t actually use the site, I just know it exists and have given it a once-over.)

Add that one to your list of resources, folks. It’s well worth looking into. No, it’s not perfect – as there are some errors in the tab. However, you don’t really need perfect and it’s good enough for the needs of most everyone. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

Hits: 11

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: 28

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: 69

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

TheBuddha Approves #2

Today is a pretty lazy day. I’m wide awake but didn’t actually sleep. As Warren Zevon said, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

Though I’ve been lazy, I’ve actually been productive! Unfortunately, that productivity doesn’t result in much of an article for today. And that’s okay!

That’s okay, because I’m prepared! Yup…

Well, sort of prepared.

I’m not just prepared – I have something to show you! I also have a bunch of words – like, a lot of words.

While you’ve been fast asleep, I’ve been hard at work being lazy and decidedly not writing an article – so that I could actually write an article.

Confused? Me too!

Remember back when I asked someone to consider maybe making me a handy-dandy seal of approval? Remember when nobody helped me, so I went out and spent way too long making that image?

Well, there’s no way in hell that I can make that image and not use it. After all, I love stamping stuff! Only a fool would give me an ink pad and stamp.

If you remember, I also couldn’t figure out how to use it. Well, we’re in trouble! I have mastered the text-wrap-around-an-image-like-a-professional-site-thingy!

And, so… You are getting your second (I should call it the first – but I “approved” a few things when I first showed you my nifty image) officially “Approved by TheBuddha” article.

Note: These articles will (probably/mostly) come out when I have limited time. They’ll be things educational and/or entertaining. They’ll be things that I think you may be interested in.

So, let’s get on with the show!
Continue reading “TheBuddha Approves #2”

Hits: 65

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

Behold, I have made an image!

You’re not getting a good article today.

I’ll give you something to read, but it’s not going to be good – or educational. It’s not even going to have anything to do with music – probably.

Do you see that image on the left?

It took me three hours to do that. Including trying to figure out a way to embed the image so that text flowed around it.

Obviously, I failed at that.

Even after figuring out how it was supposed to be done, it wraps exactly one line of text and then jumps to the bottom – meaning you get one single line of text next to the image.

But, that’s actually the end of a long story – and I’m just gonna tell you why you’re not getting a good article today.

First…

I searched and searched for a way to make actual public domain images using an web interface. I then tried to find one that already had a template for a seal of approval – what I really wanted.

There are no seal of approval generators that are any good. The one that I can figure out how to use, waited until I got to the end and told me I had to give them money.

It did let me get as far as saving them – and closing the tab. Being functionally retarded, I closed the tab – and didn’t actually check the saved images. I uploaded it by FTP and decided I’d better check the URL in my browser.

It had saved watermarks on it – lines right through the middle.

I went back and recreated it and it again offered me the chance to give them money and they’d have sold me a bunch of packages of images, including 3D images, that I didn’t actually want. I didn’t pay them.

I wish I had. That would have saved some time.

Eventually, I gave up trying to actually make a graphic. Surely, someone had made what I wanted and stuck it into the public domain.

Not really, no… No, it looks like nobody as quite done that. I was so tempted to just steal an image at this point.

I did eventually find an SVG that’d do – and it was in the public domain! Thank you, open source people – once again! However, it’s a stamp of approval and not a seal of approval. Beggars cant’ be choosers, so I was okay with this – sort of.

Except, I don’t actually know what to do with an SVG file. I know what an SVG is and I have a viewer. I know that I should know how to edit them – but fucked if I know what specific (Linux) apps can do this.

It’s SVG and there’s a tons of editors. Tons…

Not gonna learn that. Nope. We can scratch that right off the list of things I’m willing to invest time in.

I’ll just open it up and export it with my handy dandy SVG viewer app. It’s fucking Linux, I can do that.

They all changed the background black. I have no idea why.

Fuck… There went another forty five minutes as I tried all the viewer apps and debated installing something like InkScape.

Nope… Not installing InkScape – or GIMP. They’re too complicated for me and I’m not going to learn to use them.

I got the bright idea that there’s an online SVG editor. Surely, that has to exist! Off I run to Google…

Yes! They exist!

The first two, after finding them and waiting for them to load and jump through the very different mechanisms to upload my file, I discovered they’d not actually upload my precious SVG file.

By now, I’m getting pretty pissed at this process.

I tried one more. It took me forever to figure out their stupid fucking interface and then the fucking thing wouldn’t export as anything – no matter how many times I needlessly tried it again with slightly different settings.

Finally, I said fuck it – and I sure as shit said fuck it to actually caring that it had things like a transparent background.

I opened that SVG back up in my handy dandy image viewer – and took a screenshot.

I resized that and exported that bitch as a JPG! Fuck image creation.

I was then two and a half hours deep into the process already and I figured that’d actually been good progress – for me. I don’t do image generation. We’ve already figured that out, certainly by way of demonstration!

So, I was particularly pleased with myself – having finally reached the point where I just said fuck it. It was a pretty satisfying fuck it to say, actually.

I then figured I’d embed it in WordPress and wrap text around it.

It couldn’t be that hard, after all!

Lies! It’s horrible!

By the time I figured out the abstract lingo was not actually align to the left – but was actually to align with none… I then realized the fucking thing will only display one line of text as it “wraps” around it.

I could change CSS and fix it – but my CSS skills are just a wee bit worse than my image generation skills! Learning CSS is also something that’s just not likely to happen.

So, I spent like a half hour on that, before deciding I’d just set it as the “featured image” and call it good. To do it properly, they fucking want me to learn to do it in a special “child theme” that appears to be damned specific to WordPress.

I am not gonna figure that out. I’m sure as shit not going to figure out how to do that today. I already spent 2.5 hours.

And that’s why you’re not getting a good article!
Continue reading “Behold, I have made an image!”

Hits: 123

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