"But music was his life, it was not his livelihood, and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good. And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul. He did not know how well he sang; it just made him whole." - Harry Chapin - chorus of "Mr. Tanner."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I love watching an electric guitar being played . . . just as long as it's not me . . .

I know I know. It sounds corny. What can I say?

Let me start from the beginning.

Sean at Grapevine Guitar Works was kind enough to let me borrow a Taylor T-5 hollow body electric guitar for VBS, specifically a 12 string model. I can highlight the features of a T-5 for you from memory, and hoped that I would enjoy playing one when I had the chance to plug it in to my own amp and play the songs I like to play.

Well . . . it was a horrible experience. And I can't blame the T-5 either. I learned to play guitar years ago when to be heard, you banged away on your guitar as hard as you could without breaking the strings. And, you sang as loud as well. We didn't have amps around campfires at the beach at at church camp, and singing on front or back porches and in back yards. We played loud when we were allowed to sing during the evening worship service. Several of use played 12 strings because we thought they were louder. Probably why I have had a 12-string guitar fascination since the early 1970's.

My first band was all acoustic, except for my brother playing bass guitar. We sang in small churches mostly, venues that didn't usually get good singing groups other than youth choirs that toured during the summer. In truth, we probably looked and sounded a lot like the New Christie Minstrels, except we all had denim shirts and had long hair.

The way I play acoustic guitar . . . well, the technique, to say the least, does not lend itself to electric . . . even for playing rhythm, which is my first love. I play to hard, and my knowledge of amps leads a lot to be desired. Sean told me I would not like the T-5, that I was expecting too much from it. He was right.

Sitting not 6 feet from where I am writing this is a neat 1979 Martin EM-18 solid body electric, and an equally nice Squire Stratocaster. Both great guitars. But I haven't taken either out of the case in over a year. Sad, because they are both great guitars.

One day, I may take lessons from an electric teacher. As much as I really enjoy watching people play the electric guitar . . . I will be mediocre at best.

Tomorrow . . . I will apologize to my Guild F-512, and take it to both VBS sessions, and bang the heck out of it . . . and it will sound juuuuuuuuuuuuust fine.

Electric guitars are out of my system, again . . . for a while.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

VBS coming soon . . .

Yay! VBS here at FUMC-Grapevine starts the last week of June. Evening sessions run Sunday (6/26) through Thursday (6/30), and morning sessions run Monday (6/27) through Friday (7/1).

I get to lead music during the big assembly and worship time for both groups. Getting ready to give the Guild F-512 a work out. I will find out what it is made of after 1o sessions by Friday morning.

I think it will more than hold it's own.

Nathan Firmin, our children's pastor reports that we are filling up fast. So get registered ASAP. Some of the younger classes may already be filled.

See you at VBS!

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>


Saturday, June 11, 2011

New training opportunity through Hugworks

Hugworks is going to host a special "intensive" Theraputic Music Entertainment event beginning on Monday, July 11 through Wednesday July 13, to take place at the Hugworks office in Hurst, TX and at several area children's hospitals.

This will indeed be an intensive "hands on" TME experience, including singing to, for and with children on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Contact the Hugworks office for more info at 817-268-0020.



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Looking for space . . .

One of John Denver's lesser known songs, but one of his best, in my humble opinion, in terms of both music and lyric quality.

Listening to it just now sort of calmed me down a bit.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>