Learning Guitar

Orin's TelecasterMy big news for 2017 is that I got a Telecaster. I've always been in love with playing bass, I never really wanted to play guitar before, but I wanted to have an electric so I could use guitar textures in home recording. I have the mics, bass, keyboard controller and computer software needed for basic tracking, I can lay down basic drum parts, but it's much easier to get guitar sounds from a guitar than from manipulating computer synthesis.

Lacking funds I put out the desire, and 2 years ago the leader of my band gave me his old acoustic, and an artist friend moving out of a 20 year LES apartment gave me his 1965 Teisco 4-pickup cheap Japanese electric, and his 1972 Fender Champ tube amp. The Teisco was in mint shape, partly because it was no fun to play, not set up, broken switches and so on. But a guitar playing friend told me it was a collectors item, it even has the original case and guitar strap, and that gave me an idea. I got my current bass at the New York Guitar show, it was the perfect way to try a lot of instruments and get a good deal. The only guitar I ever wanted is the Telecaster, based mostly on the hard rock sound and all the great players I've seen using it. (Now I also appreciate the country sounds that you can only get from a tele.) So I met a guitar collector at the NY Guitar Show in April and traded the Teisco for a mint 1998 Squier Affinity Telecaster.

Turns out that the cheap guitars from Fender in the last 20 years are the best cheap guitars ever. But anyway, it was love at first sight and I've been practicing  and finally picking up the study of chords and harnony that I left off when I was a teenager, and studying all about electric guitars. This one is just like my bass, the same deep red with a rosewood fingerboard. I can make it a very flexible, quality instrument with a few modifications like new pickups. I picked up a multieffects pedal for $50, so I can get most of the sounds I need without plugging into the computer—another machine to study and master. I'm considering whether to modify the Champ (the same amp Clapton used to record Layla) or, since it is also in pretty good shape as a collectors item, trade it for a modern tube amp. So here I go, in 5 or 10 years I might turn into a guitarist!