Tag: music-making

March 1, 2013
Some of you more experienced guitarists may have come across this already (the really experienced guitarists may not need it!); but I recently acquired a Flexi-Capo, and I am having a lot of fun with it.

It does the same kind of job as a cut capo, but is more flexible. When clamped to the fretboard, it has individual fingers that depress the strings you want.

December 21, 2012
December 17, 2012
I’ve been frequenting the website and YouTube channel of a guy called Justin Sandercoe. Some of you will have already come across him, as he’s been getting some good press; but for those of you who haven’t, I’d really recommend taking a look.


September 23, 2012
For most of my guitar-playing life, I have played acoustic rhythm, with occasional use of an odd thumb and index fingerpick I developed out of nowhere – it is distinctive and works quite well, but I used to yearn for a bit of variation.

Over the years, I have learned to use my other fingers a little more, and have stretched my repertoire of patterns a bit. With the rediscovery of my old childhood guitar, which seems to lend itself to fingerpicking, I have been doing this a little more of late.

August 24, 2012
Coming back from London, on Wednesday, the train was busy, even though it was past rush hour. At King’s Cross, I walked down towards the end of the train, and came across a set of 6 seats, 3 opposite 3, occupied by two guys. Seated on the same side, one was on the window seat, the other on the aisle, with the seat between them occupied by bags and newspapers, that turned out to be owned by Window Seat Guy. Both guys were stretched out so their legs touched the opposite seats, discouraging anyone else from sitting there.

I initially squeezed past the guy on the aisle and sat in the middle seat opposite them, leaving them their legroom. But seeing there were more people boarding, I moved into the seat opposite Window Seat Guy. As I did, our legs touched, and he tutted and grudgingly moved, but not by much. He still insisted on stretching out, and we ended up with his legs in front of him, and mine either side.

August 9, 2012
I ended up not blogging anything during my time in Somerset. The cottage I was in not only wasn’t online (which I knew in advance), but I couldn’t even get a reasonable mobile data connection. Even the phone service was very hit and miss.

On reflection, this was not a bad thing. I had a relaxing time in the cottage, going out for days (and getting my email fix in Starbucks or similar) and chilling out in the evening.

March 9, 2012
When I was young – 8 or 9, I think* – I wanted to play guitar. My brother was starting piano lessons, but I wanted to play guitar.

We weren’t made of money, so I was delighted when my grandad gave me an old second hand guitar he had picked up somewhere. It was a Gallotone 3/4 size, and well played when I got it – this was evidenced by the back of the neck being worn through the varnish. It was well beaten up, with marks all over it, so my dad took it and sanded down the front and back, giving it a good coat of varnish.

February 6, 2012
I have a Casio AP60R electric piano. It isn’t the best electric piano in the world (although it ain’t bad), and it is getting on a bit, but I like it.

A couple of weeks ago, I was moving a heavy object, and it slipped out of my hand, down onto the keyboard. Thankfully, only one key was broken, but it was pretty thoroughly smashed.

May 21, 2011
About the same time that I bought my Kindle, I noticed the Wii Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock full band kit was being sold by Amazon for a ridulously low price of 60 quid. I ordered a copy, on the principle that even if I decided I didn’t want it, I would easily sell it on at a profit.

I did open it up, to check everything was there, but then it sat in its box for over a month, because I was too busy to do anything with it.

August 17, 2010
While at Halsway, a few of us discussed exchanging song fragments, to see if we could either finish off each other’s songs or get some kind of inspiration to go in another direction.

Anyway, I have sorted through my “unfinished” folder, and posted up half a dozen sets of lyrics in various stages of completion.

June 8, 2010
I was walking past Denmark Street, when I saw a 6 neck guitar in the window of Macari’s. That’s right, 6 necks. I took a picture of it, but the reflection off the window made it useless. However, there is a good picture of it here

March 13, 2010
As it has been blogged by , I guess it is now ok to reveal that I have been asked to be the International Guest at Consonance 2011, the San Francisco Bay Area filk convention.

I’ve been sitting on the news for a month, and fit to burst. Needless to say, I am thrilled to bits.