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My Moral Dilemma

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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

The bass is a good suggestion.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

I would go out tomorrow and purchase a drum set for him if I thought he would stick with it. Even if he didn't, I wouldn't mind having a set in the house. :)

So where's the problem? :) Drummers aren't always eays to find, especially ones who will lug their kit around to your house when you feel like a bit of a jam. Buy the kit - that's at least one birthday or Chistmas sorted - then feel free to use it yourself if the first rush of enthusiasm dies off. I don't know what the situation is like where you are, but around here people who fancy themselves as guitar players are two a penny, but a decent drummer, bass player or singer can always find a spot. Good skills to have even if you don't use them every day. And don't you fancy sitting there thrashing away at the kit, providing a bit of backing for your own guitar recording? Therapeutic and useful all at the same time.

Oh course you do. Nothing to lose, except your hearing and your neighbours.... Go for it. 8)

Chris

Fun while it lasted. Now I use it. Ideal outcome really...


   
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(@rparker)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

I know, as a parent it's touch to determine what's natural, what should be pushed rather than enouraged, etc. Tough road. My biggest goal is to make sure he carries on in his life with class and respect (not fear) towards others. Dignity in there somewhere too. He's as comfortable with our friends as he is with his, and they all think he's cool and nice. Two or three things to work on this summer with studies and applying himself (including musical instrument efforts), but I'm pleased that he's not a walkingdickwithears.

So, to answer your question BL, I say go for the drums. Get him started, maybe some lessons or a good book or dvd yooze can look at and do together. How much he takes on and how much you push him is all on your own. Some kids respond to it well, and some will never forgive you for decades. Good luck! :|

Oh, and with the drums, at least you'll have them. If I stop by on my bike someday with JWMartin in tow, we can summon a drummer and have a really fun jam. :D

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@kingpatzer)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

Kids do best when they get both support and direction from a parent. They have to have interest, but once they show interest, those kids who succeed the most are the one's who's parents not only support their decision, but help the kid along by making them do the hard and boring parts.

There's a reason why coaches matter so much to kids in sports. A good coach gets a kid who isn't interested in practicing to practice. They push, and that helps the kid see success, and once a kid sees success, they're willing to try that much harder.

Get him to decide what he wants to dor. Don't let him put it down in a week. Make sure he knows that if he says he really WANTS to do this thing, that you're not going to let him walk away. Obtain a personal commitment from him, and then hold him to his word. Set expectations and hold him to those expectations. Make sure you and he both agree up front with what he's going to do.

If after a reasonable time of really working (like a year or two) he should be allowed to re-evaluate his choice. But make sure you guys agree up front not only what he gets (a new guitar, lessons, your time, whatever) and what his responsibilities are (so much practice a day, etc.) Make sure there are carrots and sticks along the way. My 15 year old gets 15 minutes of extra video game time day for each hour he practices.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@dan-t)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5044
 

Oh come on, buy him a new guitar and a new drum set! :twisted:

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

First things first - get the guitar set up for lower action. Even a cheapo can be made much more playable, as long as the neck isn't warped.

I agree with Slejhammer too, get the guitar set up. It does make a big difference. You know, it is not difficult to do yourself. To get super-low action:

1)Tighten the truss rod (be careful not to overtighten. When you feel the truss rod getting tight- STOP). But tightening the truss rod will stretch the neck out and bring the action down very low. By the way, you always turn clockwise to tighten a truss rod.

2) Check the intonation- tune each string to correct pitch. Now fret a note at the 12th fret and compare to the open string. If the fretted note is sharp, loosen the string slightly and adjust the saddle back toward the rear of the guitar. If the fretted note is flat, loosen the string slightly and adjust the saddle forward toward the headstock. Retune the open string to correct pitch and compare the fretted note at the 12th with the open string again. It may take several attempts, but you should get them to match as perfect as possible.

3)Lower the action. If a Strat style bridge, lower the individual saddles a little at a time. Tune to correct pitch and play up and down the string with normal picking and fretting force and listen for fret buzz. Keep going down with the saddle until you finally get a little fret buzz. Now raise the saddle just enough to eliminate the buzz. Go through each string like this.

With an adjustable bridge (can't adjust the individual saddles), just lower the bridge slowly and check all strings at once for fret buzz.

Everything I mentioned here I do with all my guitars and you would be amazed how easy they are to play. Now, everybody is different, some folks like a little neck relief and higher action, but once you play a guitar set up easy like this, it is hard to go back. :D

Doesn't mean your son will play the guitar, but if he doesn't you can.

I got a lot of kids and I still can't answer your question. I think if somebody wants to play, they will. My first guitar was a cheap acoustic, I think the strings were an inch above the fretboard. I still played until my fingers bled. If you have the drive and desire, nobody has to tell you to play.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

1)Tighten the truss rod (be careful not to overtighten. When you feel the truss rod getting tight- STOP). But tightening the truss rod will stretch the neck out and bring the action down very low. By the way, you always turn clockwise to tighten a truss rod.

2) Check the intonation- tune each string to correct pitch. Now fret a note at the 12th fret and compare to the open string. If the fretted note is sharp, loosen the string slightly and adjust the saddle back toward the rear of the guitar. If the fretted note is flat, loosen the string slightly and adjust the saddle forward toward the headstock. Retune the open string to correct pitch and compare the fretted note at the 12th with the open string again. It may take several attempts, but you should get them to match as perfect as possible.

3)Lower the action. If a Strat style bridge, lower the individual saddles a little at a time. Tune to correct pitch and play up and down the string with normal picking and fretting force and listen for fret buzz. Keep going down with the saddle until you finally get a little fret buzz. Now raise the saddle just enough to eliminate the buzz. Go through each string like this.

THOSE little pearls of wisdom should be stickied somewhere so that everyone can find them easily. Yes, I have read them all before and yes, I do know how to adjust the truss rod and saddles - not everyone's as fortunate though, and I haven't seen those three simple rules laid out so well before.

One question (re - part (2)) - wouldn't it be easier to tell if the note is sharp or flat if you played the harmonic at the 12th fret, then the fretted string at the 12th fret? You're dealing with two (hopefully!) identical notes instead of two notes an octave apart?

Thanks again Wes!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

Fun while it lasted. Now I use it.

Man, you're looking GOOD for a 61-year-old. Do please let us into the secret - is it stem cell injections? Botox? Healthy living? Dyed hair? Corsets? I hope I look half as good as that 10 years from now.....

You could always bottle it and sell it you know - at a reduced rate for GN members?

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Man, you're looking GOOD for a 61-year-old. Do please let us into the secret - is it stem cell injections? Botox? Healthy living? Dyed hair? Corsets? I hope I look half as good as that 10 years from now.....

Vic
:)

Usual thing. Go to the crossroads at midnight - make pact with the devil. :wink:

I figured that if I went for eternal youth instead of the traditional musical talent request, then I'd have plenty of time to work on the playing. Just as well, as it looks like I'll be needing at least another 61 years.

Chris


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

Usual thing. Go to the crossroads at midnight - make pact with the devil.

Yeah, tried that - he said I was too, and I quote, "NICE!" Either nice has taken on a different direction since I was a kid, or rock'n'roll has, or said Devil's after a more user-friendly profile - whatever, he said he couldn't use me.

So I'm going to leave off shaving, keep playing guitar as loud as I can to piss off the neighbours (screw 'em, I say, they annoy me about 18 hours a day just by being loud and obnoxious - loud's OK, it's the obnoxious drunken swearing I hate - that and the pitiful taste in music....) and play some delta blues in open G - think that'll work? Or do I have to get REALLY nasty and sing Kum Bay Ah at him? Or play the Delta Blues in open E?

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

Or play the Delta Blues in open E?
Hey, I've done that for ages. But my next door neighbors keep moving away.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

Everything I mentioned here I do with all my guitars and you would be amazed how easy they are to play. Now, everybody is different, some folks like a little neck relief and higher action, but once you play a guitar set up easy like this, it is hard to go back. :D

Exactly what I do with all of mine and Wes is right. I'm spoiled for the way they play and feel.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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(@rparker)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

So, you guys don't take measurements to determine if the truss rod needs adjusting?

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@blueline)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1704
Topic starter  

Thanks all for your input. It really did help!!
Here's what we came up with.... I spoke to my son and told him that I did not want him to play an instrument because he knew how badly I would love for him to play. This was my big hang up. I didn't want to force him into anything. Hence, the moral dilemma. He said that he was truly interested, so we went over some options. He wants to play the drums. Done deal. I will pick up a set for him as soon as possible. But I did say that I would like for him to take guitar lessons as part of the deal.

I just feel that people who learn how to read/play music have an advantage in many ways. If he and my daughter can grow up with music in their lives and carry that into their adulthood, I'll feel like I've accomplished one small goal as a parent.
So, I'm fixing the action on the guitar (thanks Slej and Wes!! :wink: ) and will let him play through my Marshall amp. Where's Bish??? Didn't he have 900 drum sets? I'm sure he can part with one set!! :D

Now, I need to look for a piano teacher for my daughter. Oh, BTW...I'm thinking about registering at the local college and taking music theory in the fall. Hope to anyways.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


   
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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

Glad you got it solved. :D I wish him the best of luck ... your daughter too for that matter. Roy, I do eyball my relief, I hold the string down at the 1st and 18th fret and check for relief. I meant I like and keep my action low like Wes does. I do not use feeler guages though. I'm not that anal about it.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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