Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dream Guitar

I know I just bought my own guitar, but I suppose it's not detrimental for one to fantasize every now and then.

Body:       Solid Narra
Build:      Les Paul
Neck:       Hickory
Neck Joint: Bolt On
FB:         Rosewood
Hardware:   Sterling Silver
Pickups:    H|H|H with 3-way selector
Frets:      22 
B/S:        Tune-O-Matic bridge | Stop tailpiece
Inlays:     Dot
Finish:     Matte/Gloss Mix Black

If I had even a decent amount of talent for drawing or visual art, I'd be more than happy to provide an image. Unfortunately, I don't so we're gonna have to settle for something within the limits of imagination.

Back From Trip

My brother and I went on a trip to Kabacan, Digos, and Davao last week. Kuya thought up the travel plan and it underwent many changes until the day of departure. Preparing the ube took a huge chunk out of kuya's prep time, but we managed to catch a bus a little late at about 3 pm on December 12. Once we arrived in Cagayan de Oro City, we saw that there were a lot of passengers like us who were hoping to catch the next (and apparently last) bus to Tacurong. It would be unusual to find such a crowd on a normal Wednesday, but I heard from some of them how they were stranded in Visayas due to the last storm that hit the country. Good thing I got in line in front of the ticket booth a bit early.

We went first to Kabacan for our aunt's retirement-birthday party where we also visited relatives from my father's side of the family. Having stayed there for about two days, I had just about enough time to absorb the changes that occurred during my absence. Most of the buildings from the school where I used to teach were freshly painted. I wasn't able to meet up with my old co-workers but I managed to see a class of Biology students who were now on their third year. Good thing they managed to pull through and stick together.

The room I used when I was still teaching in Kabacan

The Family

Digos was up next on our itinerary and by Saturday morning, we've managed to pack up and prepare for the ride. We went there with the main intention of taking home some of the wedding gifts we left behind last May. The local Gaisano mall had 20 kg kettlebells in stock, and I almost bought a decent looking guitar they had on display. We didn't buy the KB since it would overburden us on our trip back to Tubod and I managed to convince myself that there would be better guitar choices in Davao. We spent a night in Digos and rode a bus to our last major destination.

Walking around Davao wasn't as refreshing as on previous occasions, mainly because I already had something in mind that I wanted to buy. Right after we arrived, I started weaving my way through the shops and stalls inside the bigger Gaisano while kuya tried to get a room reservation. I found some guitars in the department store, but none of them really tickled my fancy and there weren't any music shops inside the mall (maybe we missed them?).

Having found nothing of note other than a fancy hat and a potential purchase of a tablet PC, we moved on to SM Ecoland. There we found what I was looking for. They had a package offer for a Washburn LP clone that came along with beginner essentials. I was already quite convinced that I would buy the package then and there, but reconsidered since we were still set to visit other malls. One other important discovery was that a Krispy Kreme store had recently opened there. Their donuts are really good but I'm quite thankful that I didn't develop any cravings after my first taste last year. After we had our snack, we went to the NCCC Mall where we found a music store that had contacts regarding saxophone repair. We weren't able to actually buy anything there, so we moved on to Abreeza.

Outside Abreeza
We were quite excited by the fact that they also had a Krispy Kreme store inside the mall, but we never managed to even enter it. I found three of the latest Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei english volumes and felt compelled to buy all of them even if they were a bit pricey. After finding no other offers that would beat the package offered back in SM, we hurried back there before it closed. Kuya was a bit disappointed because we weren't able to try eating at TGIF.

We went straight to the music shop with the Washburn package. After a bit of fiddling with the guitar (I had no idea what I was doing), I made the decision to buy it. We made small talk while testing out the electronic components and putting stuff inside the box. It had a discount supposedly because the tuner included in the package was defective. The box was surprisingly heavy, but I was more bothered by the fact that it was rather unwieldy to lug around.

Yellow Cab
Dinner aftermath
My brother advised me against opening the box at the inn but I couldn't help myself. Unfortunately, I was immediately let down because the amp's power plug didn't match the sockets inside the room we rented. Still, I was able to get a good feel of the instrument. Good thing kuya bought some tape, so I managed to put everything back together for the trip back home.

The ride back to Tubod would've been barely bearable had it not been for the interesting movies they played on the bus. The manga I bought also helped keep me from getting too bored. I actually had to tear open the guitar's box since I was too worried the the instrument would be damaged if left in the cargo hold. Being a noob at proper guitar handling, I managed to bump and bang the head against stuff which resulted in me getting pissed off by  my own incompetence. We arrived home safely, and by then I was too tired to put things in order but not tired enough to stop myself from trying out my new instrument.

Washburn WIN14B
Washburn WIN14B

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Guitar

The realization that I actually have more than enough time to acquire new skills pushed me to take up the guitar once again. I took a few guitar lessons during high school, but by the time I got into it again I had to basically start from scratch. I've been quite busy these past few weeks trying to re-learn the basics. It's a good thing my father left us two classical guitars. Using a classical/nylon guitar for practice can be somewhat challenging, but for the most part I seem to be making progress.

Father's classical Yamaha | First broken string

I remember the reason why I quit in the first place was because I couldn't really get a good enough sense of rhythm for strumming patterns. Having learned basic drum beats in college and watching my buddies play really helped me develop my rhythm. My guitarist friend isn't really that much of an instructor, but I followed his advice and started using an informal self-teaching method. By now I've already memorized a few chord sets and am trying to further improve speed and finger independence.

Right now I'm pretty much dead set on buying my own electric guitar. They have necks that make it much easier to perform barre chords. If I manage to gather enough funds by the end of the week, I may even be able to buy one before the year ends. I'm currently aiming to get a Les Paul or an SG but by looking at my budget range, I could say I won't get top-tier axes. I may have to settle for a knock-off or a more affordable model.