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Why I Love Power Chords – First issue of guitar teacher Rob Hampton‘s newsletter. His blog’s packed full of info and I expect the newsletter will be the same. Worth checking out.

Posted on - June 19, 2007 [at] 6:13 am by Brad
Tagged in - suspends under legal pressure:

Today I received a certified letter from Moses & Singer LLP, a law firm in New York City which asserts that they are acting as counsel for the National Music Publishers Association and The Music Publishers Association of America. They have stated that guitar tablature hosted on my site violates the copyrights of several of their clients.

Guitar tabs have been under attack for a long while so it’s not a big surprise, but it’s disappointing. I taught myself how to play my favorite songs way back with guitar tabs off of Gopher.

Posted on - June 3, 2007 [at] 2:27 pm by Brad
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What’s the perfect song for air guitaring? – a lot of interesting suggestions I never would have considered.

Posted on - June 1, 2007 [at] 6:06 pm by Brad
Tagged in -

Still so very impressed with Google Reader. It’s changed the way I read the web and I thought I was pretty good at that already.

While I felt like I  was on information overload with Bloglines with 117 feeds, since switching to Google Reader a couple months ago my subscriptions have spiraled up to 243 in Google Reader in a short time and I still find myself looking for new stuff to add. With Bloglines I always kept an eye out for subscriptions I could drop. That’s such a nice change.

Here’s my obligatory braindump feedback:

  • They shold integrate Google bookmarks. I hit “share” on any item that I kind of like, which then creates this useless feed. It would be great if I could quickly Google bookmark this stuff, which Google could then do nice stuff for me with — let me search, syndicate, personalize my search based off of it, remind me of it later. I also find myself wanting to “share” stuff when not inside of Reader, such as for sites that only offer excerpts in their feeds.
  • Integrate with Gmail. No brainer here. I’m using integrate with gmail greasemonkey script, but it lacks a level of awesome integration that could exist.
  • I wish “v” would open in new tabs in the background instead of focusing on them. Not sure if this is anything they can do much about, but I WANTS IT.
  • That “Loading…” screen gets old real fast and I’ve been using Google Reader for a while now. Could use some speed improvements.
  • Better blog search. Lately I find myself going to Bloglines to find feeds to subscribe to in Google Reader. How weird is that?
  • Everyone has complained about it, but the whole tags/folders/labels issue at Google is confusing. I can understand not wanting to use the word “tags” — it’s a little jarring for the moms of the world. But like, I tag a post and it makes a folder (with a different icon) on the left side. And the “tag” then shows up under “change folders” in the Feed actions pulldown. I don’t get it.
  • Speaking of tagging entries, I don’t get what the point of tagging entries is. Why would I do this? What is it for?
  • Also don’t get starring versus sharing. Starring seems to just be sharing without an RSS feed. What’s the point? (Full disclosure: I also don’t really get starring things in Gmail, but having a share option makes it more obvious.)
  • It would be nice to prioritize my feeds a bit. Some (like friend’s blogs, important news sites) I’d like to see first thing when I hit “all items”. Others, like ebay searches I’m tracking can hang out near the bottom. Maybe just let me prioritize certain folders instead of individual blogs, that’d be good enough for me.
  • A few feeds like to show up as new all the time. Pitchfork and Technorati searches for two.

Also may I also say I’m tired of comics not offering their comic image in their feeds.

Posted on - November 30, 2006 [at] 10:59 pm by Brad
Tagged in -

I installed the new Golden Age pickups and pickup switch in my blue guitar. The switch and the neck pickup worked fine but the bridge pickup gave no output. I sat here switching from the new pickup to my old one and there was just nothing coming out of the new one.

It had been a while since I bought them (as I was waiting to finish my guitar) so I was wondering if Stewart MacDonald would still replace it. I sent off an email and they replied quickly and within 24 hours had air-mailed me a replacement free of charge. Awesome, awesome customer support. I will absolutely buy from them in the future.

Posted on - August 4, 2006 [at] 10:44 am by Brad
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I was supposed to wait a month but I made it two and a half weeks. I wanted to have two guitars again so I could have a backup for gigs and honestly I had lost faith that this paint job was going to look good enough that a couple weeks of dry-time settling would make much of a difference. So I took off the hook and off I went wet-sanding:

I went from 320 grit sandpaper all the way up to 1000. It was looking pretty scuffy — which was the point — though I wasn’t sure if I had sanded the clear enough as there were still some semi-shiny spots. Eventually I managed to strip the paint off a couple of the edges. Now I’ve read that when this happens to paint the area and re-coat it with clear and wait a week or two and start again. But forget that noise, I’m finishing this bitch.

I went at it with the 3M Perfect-It Rubbing Compound and then 3M Swirl Remover:

Holy LORD is that shiny. Instantly the guitar starts looking like a professional job if you ignore all my screw-ups. I clean it off and bring it inside, take the masking tape out of it and put the neck on, partly out of fear that it wouldn’t fit anymore. I managed to get it into place and everything seems cool:

It’s looking fairly swank if I do say so myself. I then start to put everything back together. I decide not to put my new switch or pickups in yet, that I should try and put the guitar back together in its original state first as I’ve never done that before. It probably took me an hour and a half — but all the electronics worked first try! Woooo!!

Re-assembled, I hang it on my wall and take a cruddy picture in bad light:

I’ll try and take a nicer one tomorrow.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with it. There are many flaws if you look at it up close, but from even a slight distance it looks decent. There are lots of things I’d do differently if I had the chance, but I’m happy it’s done and the idea of re-doing it makes me feel tired and lonely.

Other parts in this series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Posted on - August 1, 2006 [at] 10:26 pm by Brad
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I’ve finally added a guitar tab section. Thanks to everyone in the forum thread who’s been contributing.

Posted on - July 31, 2006 [at] 2:26 pm by Brad
Tagged in -

Not that I’m qualified to answer, but since I started blogging about painting my guitar I’ve been getting asked a lot of questions. Abe writes:

Great job on your guitar! So if I’m correct I’m supposed to use sanding sealer, primer, Krylon spray paint, and a clear coat. What kind of primer and clear coats do I use though? And is orange supposed to sit for 3 months after the clear coats are applied? Thanks for any advice (again).

I used the generic gray Krylon primer. You can see it in this picture here on the right:

For the clear coats I used Krylon’s “Crystal Clear” acrylic spray. I don’t have any pictures of that right now unfortunately.

As I understand it, the color you paint the guitar doesn’t affect the time it needs to sit for. It’s only if you use more than one color (and therefore more coats of clear.)

Other parts in this series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Posted on - July 18, 2006 [at] 2:03 pm by Brad
Tagged in -

I put 10 thin clear coats on my guitar over the past couple of days. It’s now totally shiny:

I think it’s looking pretty good. I doubt anyone would mistake it for a factory finish — there are lots of little screwups. But as a live guitar that will probably take some abuse, I think it looks just fine.

The final step before putting it all back together is to wet sand the clear coats to make the surface nice and smooth. Right now it has a bumpy orange peel texture to it as you can see in the pictures. The Paint Your Own Guitar book says that I need to let the guitar sit for one month before sanding (it would have been three months had I used any other colors.) I don’t know if I have the patience to wait that long so I’m going to look around on the net later to see if anyone advises that I rush right ahead.

Other parts in this series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Posted on - July 14, 2006 [at] 11:38 am by Brad
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Since we last met, I had tiny little cracks in my primer and was freaked out about it. Since then a lot of things have happened and I don’t have pictures of all of that because I was too annoyed. Anyway, here’s a quick summary:

  • Discovered little hairline cracks in the primer. Researched this, found no info.
  • Decided to fill the dents and those cracks with Bondo auto body filler.
  • Kinda coated the whole guitar in Bondo, which was a total mistake. That stuff is nasty.
  • Around this time my friend Aaron told me that the cracks were because I didn’t sand the sanding sealer down. The surface was too smooth and the primer didn’t stick to it well enough.
  • Tried to sand the Bondo down, but it was lumpy and annoying not to mention it smelled like cancer.
  • I took the sander to the guitar and took it all down to the sealer level again.

Then I put primer on it again. This time it turned out a lot better:

There were a lot of small little bumps in the paint surface, but I read that’s normal. I sanded them down with 600 grit sandpaper and the surface was pretty smooth. There are a few places where the grain is showing through a little where I probably sanded the sealer down too much and the occasional small paint run. But laziness defeated my perfectionism this day so I went ahead and painted it blue:

Bam. True blue. I’ve put on three coats at this point and it’s looking nicely covered. I don’t think I have the ambition to paint my logo on it, god forbid I might have to sand it all down and start over again. I’m going to get some clear coat next and start laying that on and then we should be just about done.

Other parts in this series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Posted on - July 7, 2006 [at] 11:32 am by Brad
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