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Howdy from Bloomington Indiana

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by DancesWithWeasels, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. DancesWithWeasels

    DancesWithWeasels Strat-Talk Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2019
    Location:
    Bloomington Indiana
    Howdy!

    About a year ago I decided to take up the guitar. Shortly before that decision the chambers of my heart began beating to different drummers and their disagreement nearly had me feeding daisies, so after my heart was recalled to its duty I thought I should try a few things I've always wanted to try before I run out of time to try stuff.

    In my early teens I had a few years of piano training by a nice lady who handed out gold stars instead of music theory. I did well in recitals but without the theory I couldn't do much-- I got bored and moved on to other pursuits. I've long regretted that. After the hospital adventure it seemed a good time to change that, but with something a little more portable than a keyboard.

    I read that electric guitars are a little easier for learners and I liked the idea of playing unplugged or through headphones so I wouldn't annoy anyone too much. I did some homework, narrowed the options to a Tele, an Epi Les Paul, and a Strat. I leaned towards the Strat, it being favored by many artists I like and seemed very versatile. In the music store when I actually held one, well, it just felt right. So I ordered the 2017 Am Pro Strat, 3-color sunburst alder & rosewood. It's a beautiful thing with a perfect finish and deserves to be in the hands of a musician, but fate placed it in my hands.

    I've noodled with it for about a year, mostly learning from Justin Sandercoe's site. It seems like forever, but I'm starting to make chord changes fast enough to sound vaguely musical. I know I'm slow and I can't do much yet, but I'm hoping that stubborn practice will compensate for a lack of aptitude.

    I learned to do my own setups, just the easy stuff that doesn't risk the instrument. I don't figure on using the tremolo for a while if ever, so I decked the trem. My action is a bit high but not too far off Fender specs.

    A little more about me: I'm a Purdue grad, coded a ton of software, done server builds, and worked in 3D modeling. I've done SCUBA, rebuilt a Toyota FJ40 from the frame up, raised ferrets, flown R/C aircraft, been involved in flight simulation, and done quite a bit of caving. I'm into SF, some fantasy, historical fiction, and Civil War history. Artists I'm particularly fond of include Sonny Landreth, Mark Knopfler, Rush, Mike Oldfield, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, and a host of others.

    I've enjoyed lurking and reading posts by the terrific folks here. My main interests are the physics of the instrument and music theory, and I appreciate the opportunity to learn and participate.
     
    Zathan, tery, johnnymg and 4 others like this.
  2. circles

    circles Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Location:
    West Seattle, Washington
    Greetings from an ex-West Lafayette dweller and Purdue grad. Also done a bit of 3D in my day. Live long and may the force be with you.
     
    Nadnitram likes this.
  3. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Messages:
    998
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Location:
    Philly area
    Greetings from another guy about your age who’s playing a lot of guitar because health issues prevent some of my more athletic pursuits of years past. My health problems aren’t nearly as life threatening as your’s have been, but life altering all the same. I also played a lot of guitar in my late teens and 20s, then barely played for 30 years (career, family, more active activities, etc) and now I’m about two years back into it. So I wasn’t starting from scratch - there’s an element of “its like riding a bike” but there was a LOT of rust to brush off over the first several months. I also have a sister and brother-in-law in Bloomington, so I’ve spent a bit of time there, enough to be sort of familiar with it.

    Anyway, welcome, good luck, stay with it, stay healthy!!!! Etc, etc, etc. Playing guitar feels like something I should be able to do for most of however long I’m around - I’m enjoying it more than I ever have, I hope you can get the same or more from it! You have a nice guitar. Play it a ton!

    Oh, and if you really want to experience the physics of the instrument, at some point you’re gonna need to plug it into an amp and turn it up a bit!

    -Ray
     
  4. banjaxed

    banjaxed Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
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    Mar 14, 2014
    Location:
    Liverpool UK
    Hi and welcome to ST.
     
  5. Lonn

    Lonn Mod Admin Staff Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
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    Jul 6, 2014
    Location:
    Looking over your shoulder
    Admin Post
    Welcome. I'm up in Carmel.
     
  6. EAllen

    EAllen Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2019
    Location:
    Bargersville, Indiana
    Welcome! I'm 30 minutes north in Bargersville and build strats and teles in my spare time. I get down to Btown from time to time.

    Eric
     
  7. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2017
    Location:
    Crappie fishing
    Welcome in.
     
  8. Deathray

    Deathray Strat-Talker

    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2018
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    Hi!
    I’m just over in Bloomington Illinois. Just started learning in earnest 6 months ago, after noodling around poorly, some 25 years ago. Justin Sandercoe is very helpful, as is Marty Music. Playing guitar has been therapeutic for me, over this winter, when dealing with some seasonal depression. It is very powerful stuff, very medicinal!

    Congrats on the endeavor, and picking a strat to start. I bought a Les Paul last year, based on looks. I never got comfortable with it. Tried a strat, and Eureka! Instant bonding.
    Welcome!
     
    Lovnmesomestrat likes this.
  9. jim293

    jim293 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    61
    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Idaho Falls, Idaho
    Welcome to the family. Glad you are here.
     
    Lovnmesomestrat likes this.
  10. tery

    tery Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
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    Jul 31, 2014
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Welcome to Strat-Talk :)
     
  11. Lovnmesomestrat

    Lovnmesomestrat Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    924
    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    Location:
    At Home
    Welcome @DancesWithWeasels , glad to have you as an "Official" member of the ST family sir.

    LMSS
     
  12. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Strat-Talker Silver Member

    Age:
    62
    Messages:
    479
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Howdy! I used to live in NE Indiana, but spent many happy days in Bloomington, Nashville and environs.
     
  13. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    68
    Messages:
    226
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Welcome from Albuquerque :D nice choice of Strat.
     
  14. DancesWithWeasels

    DancesWithWeasels Strat-Talk Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2019
    Location:
    Bloomington Indiana
    Thanks everyone!

    @circles:

    I kinda miss West Lafayette. I lived, studied, and worked up there for almost 10 years. It would feel weird now to not live in a college town.


    @RaySachs:

    I guess the best lesson I've got from my health experience is that if one notices something a bit off or something doesn't feel quite right inside, however fleeting, don't ignore it.

    My piano lessons at least gave me a leg-up on reading music, which I haven't quite forgotten-- it is a little like getting back on a bike. And I'm starting to understand modes, mostly thanks to some folks here.

    I have a little Champion 20 practice amp but I do mostly practice unplugged for the moment. You're right though-- eventually I'll be spending more time plugged-in. That element is fascinating.


    @Lonn:

    My mother is up in Carmel, and I went to Jr. + High school there. Place is radically different now though-- it's weird to get up that way for me.


    @EAllen:

    Hey! I've been to (well, through) Bargersville a few times.


    @Deathray:

    Yep, I've learned a lot from Marty Schwartz as well. I agree about the winter, this winter seems to be dragging (snow expected tonight) and I feel penned-in. Noodling has helped a lot with that cabin fever feeling.


    Thanks again all!
    -Gary

    Edits: fixed name refs, didn't realize the forum auto-links to the user-- don't want to link to the wrong person.
     
  15. jaybones

    jaybones Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    10,266
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Location:
    Kelleys Island, Ohio
    Welcome aboard!!

    Drove through Bloomington several time some years back. Back when John Melencamp's Little Pink Houses and Cherry Bomb were on MTV (and when MTV played music videos).

    I too started on piano, but never went very far since I couldn't get both hands going at the same time. Left hand could do pretty intricate parts, and the right also, but not together. 4 years old until 10.

    Then I (and everyone else) did a year of recorder in 4th grade music, then you decided if you were going to go into school band. Played a third generation alto saxophone (was the third student to have it, and it had been dropped a few times before I had it- had to have it adjusted twice in 4 years, the guy said it wouldn't ever be right and we should just expect to replace pads every couple of years) from 5th grade until 8th.

    Then I started playing drums in marching band and high school band. Did that 2 years, then stopped. Bought an acoustic guitar with my summer job earnings in the fall of my senior year.

    Ended up getting a minor in music (major in sociology) from Ohio University, Athens. Took 8 years to get my degree, until the last 2 which I went straight through. Saw 44 Grateful Dead shows, several full tours.

    Know quite a bit about theory, courtesy of this book.

    [​IMG]

    Even when I was getting my minor in music I would refer to it.

    Don't let the 80's metal motif through you off- snakehead fingertips, skull tuner keys, sinister looking logo and lightning over mountains in the background, its a great book for learning theory. Even has some exotic scales that exist outside of normal western theory.
     
  16. stratomatt

    stratomatt Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    605
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego
    Welcome! Congrats on your new lease on live and your new strat! We share a few hobbies, or at least interests. One of my addictions is looking at maps on google and imagining what it might be like in other places. So naturally I just checked out Bloomington, and it sure looks like a nice place! Hope you enjoy your time on ST, and don't be shy with any questions, comments or observations.
     
  17. Tone Quest

    Tone Quest Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    64
    Messages:
    1,238
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    A hearty welcome to you from Raleigh, North Carolina. Always room for another Strat player.
     
  18. DancesWithWeasels

    DancesWithWeasels Strat-Talk Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2019
    Location:
    Bloomington Indiana
    Folks that have been to Bloomington in the past (20+ years) might not recognize much of it now. The place has rapidly grown and sadly lost most of its small-town Mellencamp-ish character. Many of the mom-and-pop stores are gone and many sites have been razed to make way for those cursed cheaply-built mid-level apartments that are so ubiquitous now.

    When I moved here in the early 90's Bloomington was positively filthy with used bookstores. Every one is now gone. And with the recent departure of Barnes & Noble, even the retail bookstores are now history. Imagine: a major college town with not a single non-university bookstore. (Well, there is a Half Price store on the far edge of town).

    There's still a lot to do. A large variety of restaurants, some fair to good bars and entertainment venues, and the surrounding country is pretty nice, with the largest lake in Indiana a short drive away, plenty of state forest land, Deam Wilderness, bike and hiking trails, and lots of interesting Karst topography. I just wish the town wasn't throwing away so much of its character.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
    EAllen likes this.
  19. DancesWithWeasels

    DancesWithWeasels Strat-Talk Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2019
    Location:
    Bloomington Indiana
    @jaybones:

    Yeah, I remember when MTV actually was Music-TV. Oddly enough, the first time I saw MTV was during a visit to Bloomington (I lived in Lafayette (Purdue) at the time)-- at an arcade on Kirkwood, now long gone.

    Cool about your music history, I'll check out the book if I get a chance. I'm struggling to pick up some theory. Posts by Fezz Parka and others here have really helped me figure out the basics of modes and how they build chords. Prior to this I never got the connection between modes and harmonization. I'm really grateful to those who post such things.
     
    fezz parka likes this.
  20. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    7,207
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Location:
    Mobile Bay
    Greetings from a guy that used to fly over Bloomington on a regular basis hauling passengers on their business trips.

    Stick around, and keep posting!
     
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