Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Plugging in…

When I was sixteen years old, I bought my first guitar. It was a 1982 Rickenbacker solidbody electric, and I got it for a steal of a price. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone to really teach me how to play it, and I was pretty useless at teaching myself. A couple of years later, in need of quick cash, I sold it to a friend right before I moved to Georgia.

I had always regretted this, and said one day I’m going to get another guitar and learn to play it. But I put it off, and I put it off, and I put it off some more. Sooner or later, I said, there will be time and money for it.

In 1998, a near-death experience reminded me that there won’t always be time to get around to things, and I might want to think about not putting off those things I really want to do with my life. So once I was adequately recovered, I went out and bought a new guitar, a Fender DG10/12 12-string acoustic. And I signed up for a group class at the nearby MARS music store, and learned to play it well enough, and set about learning to play songs I liked and actually performing at filks and filkcons. 13 years later, I’m an adequate if unexceptional accompanist.

Still, there’s a part of me that still has an itch for electric music. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always say “I wanted to be a rock star. In many ways, I still do.” So yesterday, I went down to Guitar Centre to take advantage of a good coupon I had and picked up a cheap electric guitar and a small amp. It’s an Epiphone Les Paul Studio, and it’s very very pretty.

(While I was there, I also test drove a much more expensive acoustic: a Taylor 8-string baritone. It took an immense amount of willpower and a reminder of what I’d already committed funds to over the next few months not to change my plans, because dear lord I sounded good playing it. But I digress…)

I’ve been playing around with it for the last 12 hours. First impressions: I love the sound of it. I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with it. Good grief, I don’t know how to play it. 🙂

It’s a whole new ride. Let’s make some noise.


OVFF Con Report Roundups


RIP Chris “Keris” Croughton


  1. It took an immense amount of willpower

    Friday, I went into Toronto’s biggest music store to buy a replacement for my portable music stand that self-destructed at OVFF and came out with…a music stand! I’m so proud of myself. 🙂

    Congratulations on getting your new guitar!

    • You should be proud. It’s quite an accomplishment.

      I went in prepared to spend a certain amount. I wasn’t prepared to spend 5 times that amount. 🙂

  2. Neat! Hoping to get to hear you play it sometime.

  3. Epi Les Paul Studios are decent guitars. We have a couple similar instruments in our house. What kind of amp?

    • It’s a Line 6 Spider IV. I was looking for “quality on the cheap”, and it had good reviews for the price point.

      • Looking at the size, I assume the 15 watt. We have one of those, good little amps. My youngest son has current custody. You have a really wide range of sounds out of that little piece of gear.

  4. *signs the cat* Awesome! I look forward to hearing you play it, Rob. 🙂 *HUGS*

  5. Yeah! Let’s get together and jam sometime!

    BTW, one of my many embryos of song ideas is “Wakeman Wannabe”. Another is “Marcon Girls” (which calls for electric guitar).

    • I’m now trying to write the latter in my head as a parody of the Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls”. 🙂

      ETA: If I drive to OVFF again next year (which at this point I plan, because it worked out so well), I’ll probably bring it along, so absolutely would love to jam. By this time next year I might have even figured out how to play the darn thing. *grin*)

  6. Looks like fun!

  7. Eight string guitar? How does that work?

    • In the same way a 12 string does. In this particular case, the two middle strings (D and G) have a second course that is an octave higher. It gives the baritone guitar a little bit of brightness without adding as much of the 12-string jangle.

  8. Good for you, play it in good health :)!

    I never did lose my heart to electrics, I’m an acoustic soul all the way.

  9. Congratulations on your willpower, and on your new acquisition… I hope it brings you fun, and joy.

  10. How fun! I’ve been thinking of ways to get myself back in a music-making mode and had considered a new or different instrument, too. Or maybe simply taking lessons for an instrument I own would be sufficient.

  11. 8 strings single track or four double-tracked strings?

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