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Dear Mr. Guitar

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John Hardly 15 Sep 02 - 10:46 PM
John Hardly 15 Sep 02 - 10:47 PM
John Hardly 15 Sep 02 - 10:48 PM
John Hardly 15 Sep 02 - 10:49 PM
John Hardly 15 Sep 02 - 10:51 PM
John Hardly 15 Sep 02 - 10:51 PM
John Hardly 15 Sep 02 - 10:52 PM
John Hardly 15 Sep 02 - 10:53 PM
John Hardly 15 Sep 02 - 10:54 PM
wysiwyg 15 Sep 02 - 11:08 PM
wysiwyg 15 Sep 02 - 11:20 PM
C-flat 16 Sep 02 - 03:00 AM
C-flat 16 Sep 02 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,Dr Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 05:41 AM
HuwG 16 Sep 02 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 06:50 AM
Dave Bryant 16 Sep 02 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 09:08 AM
wysiwyg 16 Sep 02 - 09:22 AM
John Hardly 16 Sep 02 - 11:02 AM
wysiwyg 16 Sep 02 - 11:06 AM
Ebbie 16 Sep 02 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Richie 16 Sep 02 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 12:25 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 16 Sep 02 - 12:33 PM
Ebbie 16 Sep 02 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 16 Sep 02 - 12:41 PM
C-flat 16 Sep 02 - 12:54 PM
Ebbie 16 Sep 02 - 01:03 PM
Don Firth 16 Sep 02 - 01:44 PM
John Hardly 16 Sep 02 - 02:54 PM
Ebbie 16 Sep 02 - 03:09 PM
wysiwyg 16 Sep 02 - 03:16 PM
wysiwyg 16 Sep 02 - 03:22 PM
DADGBE 16 Sep 02 - 03:36 PM
Don Firth 16 Sep 02 - 04:05 PM
Don Firth 16 Sep 02 - 04:16 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 16 Sep 02 - 04:17 PM
wysiwyg 16 Sep 02 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 17 Sep 02 - 06:27 AM
Steve Latimer 17 Sep 02 - 08:14 AM
Ebbie 17 Sep 02 - 11:22 AM
Dave Bryant 17 Sep 02 - 11:47 AM
Bullfrog Jones 17 Sep 02 - 02:32 PM
Dave4Guild 17 Sep 02 - 04:51 PM
Steve Latimer 17 Sep 02 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 17 Sep 02 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 17 Sep 02 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 17 Sep 02 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 17 Sep 02 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 17 Sep 02 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 17 Sep 02 - 09:02 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 17 Sep 02 - 09:11 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 17 Sep 02 - 09:18 PM
John Hardly 17 Sep 02 - 09:22 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 17 Sep 02 - 09:30 PM
Ebbie 17 Sep 02 - 09:36 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 17 Sep 02 - 09:43 PM
Steve Latimer 17 Sep 02 - 10:06 PM
John Hardly 17 Sep 02 - 10:06 PM
wysiwyg 17 Sep 02 - 10:46 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 18 Sep 02 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 18 Sep 02 - 05:28 AM
Dave Bryant 18 Sep 02 - 05:38 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 18 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM
John Hardly 18 Sep 02 - 12:26 PM
HuwG 18 Sep 02 - 12:43 PM
C-flat 18 Sep 02 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Richie 18 Sep 02 - 11:22 PM
Mark Cohen 18 Sep 02 - 11:57 PM
Gloredhel 19 Sep 02 - 12:30 AM
mooman 19 Sep 02 - 04:30 AM
mooman 19 Sep 02 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 19 Sep 02 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 19 Sep 02 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 19 Sep 02 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 19 Sep 02 - 05:28 AM
mooman 19 Sep 02 - 05:38 AM
Steve Parkes 19 Sep 02 - 05:53 AM
Steve Parkes 19 Sep 02 - 06:01 AM
HuwG 19 Sep 02 - 08:50 AM
C-flat 19 Sep 02 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Richie 19 Sep 02 - 09:37 PM
John Hardly 19 Sep 02 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 26 Sep 02 - 06:55 AM
GUEST 26 Sep 02 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 26 Sep 02 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 26 Sep 02 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,Alan Nuss 26 Sep 02 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Peter Nuss 26 Sep 02 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Bus Toured 26 Sep 02 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Dr. Guitar 26 Sep 02 - 08:52 AM
HuwG 26 Sep 02 - 09:04 AM
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Subject: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 10:46 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar,

I've owned my guitar for about a month now and I can't help but notice that the thing sounds awful. Sort of like every note is just a little sharp or flat – sometimes a lot sharp or flat.

I noticed that if I turn those knob-things to which the strings seem to be connected, the string's pitch will change. Unfortunately, when I do this, the knobs end up not facing the same way (toward the front).

Is this normal or do I need a new guitar?

Thanks for the help,
Alan E. ReTentiff


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Subject: RE: BS: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 10:47 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar,

I'm having trouble with my guitar. I can't get it to work at all. Specifically, the two "E"strings. I can get the silver colored string tuned to "E" (I bought myself an "Intellitouch" tuner), but when I try to match the pitch with that brass wound "E" string it almost always breaks.

The one time I got it to pitch without breaking, I heard a cracking sound deep inside my guitar.

Is this normal or do I need a new guitar?

Waiting for your reply,
Ilene North


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Subject: RE: BS: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 10:48 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar,

I'm hoping you can help me with my new guitar. I'll admit I almost didn't buy it because I thought I noticed this flaw, even in the guitar store. But I thought, rather than make a scene in the store, I'd bring the guitar home and do some measuring for myself. I was right. The things called "frets" are not spaced evenly. In a rather careless and unsightly manner, the guy who made this guitar (a guy from Texas named "Collings"), spaced all the frets unevenly! In fact, the spaces between the frets get smaller and smaller and smaller the closer the neck gets to the big hole in middle of the guitar.

Is this normal or do I need a new guitar?

Any help you can give me would be appreciated as I would like to be able to return this guitar while it's still under warranty.

Thanks,
I.D. Ott


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Subject: RE: BS: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 10:49 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar,

I've been told that an easy way to learn guitar is with "Tab".

I can't find a guitar with tabs. I've seen them with knobs, or keys, or pegs. Mine has silver colored tuning keys but as I mentioned, no tabs.

Is this normal or do I need a new guitar?

Waiting for your reply,
Peg


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Subject: RE: BS: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 10:51 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar,

I am looking for a horizontal guitar -- you know, like the kind you can play in your lap, or hanging by a guitar strap?

When I go into guitar stores all they ever have in stock are "uprights". Unusual indeed as I can't, as best I can recall, ever remember seeing anyone ever play an "upright".

Is this something I would have to custom order?

Can these "uprights" be played lying down?

Waiting for your reply,
Justin Leeward


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Subject: RE: BS: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 10:51 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar,

I've heard it said that a lighter guitar is a more responsive guitar. I have my granddad's old Martin (mom says he had it with him in the"Big War"), and I was just wondering if you thought I could improve its responsiveness if I painted its dark rosewood lighter......

....like white.

Or do I just need a new guitar?

Sincerely,
Sherwin Williams


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Subject: RE: BS: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 10:52 PM

Dear Mister Guitar,

I'm hoping you can answer something for me.

My wife has been taking guitar lessons for a while now. She was lucky enough to find a young, good-looking, virile, and very talented guitar teacher who is a student at the local college. I'm happy for her an' all, I mean I like the idea of her self-improvement, but...

My question is;
Is it true that guitar lessons have to be given (and taken) in the nude?

...and shouldn't I be hearing music coming from the other room during the lesson?

As the military leader once said, "trust but verify"

Any help you can give is appreciated,
Ed


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Subject: RE: BS: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 10:53 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar

I'm hoping you can settle something for me and my husband.

He had a really nice guitar when he started playing. A Goodall I believe. He used to play exclusively fingerstyle but then he got interested in bluegrass and said he needed to buy what's called a "dreadnought". I went along with that but then he started playing jazz and he now says he needs an "archtop".

My question is this:
Does he need a guitar for each style of music he pursues?

......and what's "Klezmer"?

You know what they say, "Trust but verify"

Sincerely,
Going Broke In Idaho


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Subject: RE: BS: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 10:54 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar,

I've been told that a good way to tune a guitar is to use the 5th and 7th fret harmonicas.

I've been told that my playing both blows and sucks, but still I find no harmonicas on either my 5th or my 7th frets.

Please advise,
Bluis in St. Louis


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Subject: RE: BS: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 11:08 PM

LOL!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 11:20 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar,

I am writing YOU as a last resort, in complete frustration at a difficulty I am having with a band member, because I suspect his guitar may be the problem. When I play oldtime gospel on my autoharp, you know, in chords, he plays chords on his guitar, too. But although we start out in tune together, his chords and my chords do not sound at ALL the same, even though we are looking at the same piece of music. I call my chords 1,4 and 5. He calls his "jazz progressions." I wrote to Mrs. Autoharp, but she advised that I:

>> kill him immediately, or
>> smash his guitar, and/or
>> smash his fingers repeatedly in his guitar case,

.... before the problem spreads to other band members' instruments, but this approach seems strangely harsh for a Gospel band leader.

Will it help if he buys a new guitar? Is there such a thing as a guitar pre-inoculated against jazz?

Please help soon. We are holding rehearsal up, waiting for your reply, and church is due to start soon.

Sincerely,

A. Tru Fokey


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: C-flat
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 03:00 AM

Dear Mr. Guitar,
Could you please help with a rather irritating problem regarding the tuning of the guitar. Having followed all the instructions and satisfied myself that my new Santa Cruz was perfectly tuned I decided to fix the machine heads in place with superglue to avoid having to repeat this somewhat lengthy exercise.
To my immense horror, it would seem that someone has sabotaged my instrument and forced the strings out of tune!
Can you help me or do I need a new guitar?

Yours in anticipation,

R.Sole


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: C-flat
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 03:02 AM

That last one really happened to a music shop owner I know!


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 04:49 AM

Dear Readers,

I have been away from my help desk for a couple of days and...well, I am overwhelmed by all of your questions!

However, I will try to answer them all individually as the care and owning of a guitar is a responsibility that must not be taken lightly. Like a wife or a puppy, remember a guitar is for life.

By the way, I prefer to be called Dr. Guitar if you all wouldn't mind! I didn't do all this training for nothing you know!

Let's start with Mr ReTentiff's problem.

Dear Alan,

You are quite correct...there are lots of sharp and flat things on your guitar. I think the problem here is that you have connected the strings to your knob rather than the guitar, possibly several peoples' knobs since you use the plural.

Tightening the string around your or others' knobs will definitely increase the pitch and frequently has an effect on loudness as well. It is quite likely that some people may become a little sharp while others may go flat. This is a physiologically-related problem related to the infinite variability of knobs and other biological factors.

I would suggest that, instead of attaching the strings to your knob, you use that part of the machine head called the string post. This should solve your particular problem. In fact I would recommend that you keep your knob away from all sharp parts of the guitar. You may however, rest it on any of the flat parts althought this may cause dampening of the sound whilst playing. Also, if you wish to play slide guitar, I would recommend the purchase of a bottleneck or steel slide accessory from any reputable musical purveyor rather than using your knob. If you must do the latter then use of a flatwound string or coated strinf such as Elixir Polywebs will give a more pleasurable result.

It does not really matter which way your knob points...again this is an anatomical matter. I would, however, recommend not pointed it at the audience while performing lest unintentional offence should be caused.

Good luck and careful with the placement of the bridge pins!

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 05:32 AM

Dear Ilene North,

You definitely have a problem there. The low E string should always break when tuned to the same pitch as the high E string. I suspect an inferior brand of string with a hexagonal steel core of too high a tensile strength. Try Adamas strings as they use a lower gauge core for any given string. Your breakeage should then always happen as you reach pitch. Also, if right handed, you should attach your Intellitouch tuner to your left ear so that the right ear is free to listen for cracking noises within the guitar. If left-handed, just reverse the procedure.

These cracking noises are not really serious at all and are caused by the innate structural variability of tonewoods and other materials used in the construction of your instrument. For a reasonable fee, can be attended to sucessfully by a specialist like myself.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 05:41 AM

Dear I.D. Ott,

This is a phenomenon I have observed increasingly, even in the most expensive models of guitar.

There are various ways to solve this. One way is to remove all of these badly-placed frets completely and fill the slots or, better still, bring the instrument to me and I will install a fretless fingerboard for a moderate fee. This will also cure that annoying problem of fret buzz at the same time.

There are more technologically complex solutions such as the use of highly compensated nuts and bridges in conjunction with evenly spaced frets but I find, as the guitar is a so-called "not well-tempered instrument (a technical luthier's term), your guitar may not like this approach and may become angry with you.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: HuwG
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 06:15 AM

Ok, Doctor Guitar, have it your own way ...

I recently bought a guitar. I know from watching TV that you make a guitar work by plugging it in to a big electrical watchamacallit (what is it, by the way ? A night storage heater ? A dehumidifier ?)

When I tried to plug my guitar in, with the 20' lead I bought from the same shop, in spite of the stupid assistant telling me I didn't need one, I couldn't find anywhere on the guitar where it could go.

Can you help me, or do I need a new guitar ?

Yours,

Robin Banks


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 06:50 AM

Dear Mr R. Sole,

I think I know the answer to your problem!

You have missed the important point that with a new instrument or with new strings, there is always a "settling-in period". For instance, new strings will always continue to stretch for a little while before becoming stable. Famous guitarists like Stephan Grossman often accelerate this bedding-in period by pulling and "snapping" the strings against the fingerboard while tuning up, also with the mistaken idea that this looks cool on stage.

Only after one has let the strings settle to stability and allowed the tonewoods of the guitar to settle also (this may take a couple of years so the use of Elixir PolyWebs or Nanowebs or a similar quality coated string is advisable) should one apply superglue to the machine heads to hold the instrument in tune. As polyacrylamide glue is innately brittle, in fact a more professional result may be achieved with a good quality epoxy resin.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 07:00 AM

Spot-welding beats epoxy resin any day !


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 07:08 AM

Dear Peg,

In fact I believe your problem comes from a misunderstanding of the correct meaning of "tab".

In fact, in this case, "tab" is used in the Northumbrian, UK sense (i.e. a slang word for cigarette).

In fact research has indicated that use of a tab can indeed improve the perceived quality of playing, particularly with blues or rock guitar as the audience will expect to see the use of such a device. The only real problem is that none of the major manufacturers has thought to provide tabs with their guitars (an error in my view), so unfortunately you have to supply your own. The actual brand of tab is fortunately not critical and good results have sometimes been achieved using homemade or even "exotic" tabs.

The correct placement of the tab however is important. It is usual to leave an uncut portion of the G string (applicable equally for normal, DADGAD, DADGF#D and "dropped D" tunings") after the proper affixing of the said string to the string post waving free to a distance of about two to three inches (approximately 4.8 - 7.2cm) from the head of the guitar. The tab may then be correctly and properly impaled upon the free end of the G string. Whether the tab is lit or not is a matter of personal preference although the latter is customary for blues and rock applications.

On certain expensive guitars, the tab may also be conveniently wedged between two strings such that it projects in a perpendicular fashion from the head of the guitar.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 07:13 AM

Dear Mr Bryant,

Your observation is indeed correct. However, I was aware that Mr R. Sole might not have been in possession of the necessary equipment so deliberately omitted that possibility. However, permanency of the tuning will indeed be assured by the use of spot welding. It is recommended to protect the sensitive finish of the guitar with a template of asbestos however so as not to diminish the guitar's retail value.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 07:21 AM

Dear Mr Leeward,

I personally find it reprehensible that the major manufacturers have concentrated almost entirely on the familiar "vertical" guitar that you see so commonly even in reputable retailers. Some unscrupulous retailers have tried to disguise this glaring inadequacy by placing their vertical guitars on a stand such that they are angled backwards to give the impression of "semi-horizontality"...a practice that is to be abhorred.

Until the musical community can convince the major manufacturers of the need for a true horizontal or semi-horizontal guitar, I am afraid your only real choice is to play a vertical guitar whilst in a horizontal or semi-horizontal position.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 07:24 AM

Dear Mr Williams,

I see no innate problem in painting Martin white (the paint should, however, be non-toxic, anti-allergenic and biocompatible) although I would personally recommend that you seek his permission beforehand to avoid any potential ill-feeling.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 07:31 AM

Dear Ed,

I think your main concern should that the teacher in question may not be properly qualified as he is, himself, still a student.

As a fully qualified guitar teacher also, I would be more than happy to teach you wife the bare essentials of playing technique. For a trial period, I would also be willing to provide these services on a "pro bono" basis. It is not always the case that you would expect to hear music during such lessons as the initial training is based on correct finger placement and holding of the instrument.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 07:41 AM

Dear Robin Banks,

Because of the possibility of changes caused by temperature and moisture in the air, the correct place to install your dehumidifier and night storage heater (as the guitar will be hot in the day and will cool down at night) is in your guitar case.

The lead you were supplied with probably has a so-called "jack" and this should be inserted into your jack socket. There are many possibilities for placing the other end by I would personally suggest trace Elliott.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 08:49 AM

Dear Going Broke in Idaho,

I'm afraid the simple answer is yes. He WILL need a different guitar for each type of music he plays. I suggest that you try to stay in gainful highly-paid employment to support his habit which is distressing but not that unusual and only rarely fatal (in its extreme form normally where the musician requires a different guitar for each individual song or tune).

Kletzmer comes from the Hebrew "kley" (instrument) and "zemer" (song) and is basically Jewish music with Roma, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian, Ukranian, Russian and other Eastern European roots played on many different occasions.

There are many types of Kletzmer music including khusidl, hora/zhok, doyne, fantzi, freylekh/bulgar, sirba, kolomeyke and sher.

Your husband will need a different guitar for each of these types of kletzmer and, for a small consideration, I will be prepared to carry out all the necessary set-ups.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 09:08 AM

Dear Mrs A Tru Fokey,

The courses of action you suggest do indeed seem harsh for a church-based group.

I am afraid that "jazz progression syndrome" is a condition for which there is no vaccine nor any known medical treatment and it may strike anyone at any time, even in the middle of the most solemn service.

There is little that can be done to offset the unexpected impact of an Eb9 or an F#dim6 during a Gospel standard but to pray that jazz becomes soul.

Changing guitar will not help as all new guitars these days come pre-loaded with jazz chords... a problem, my dear, of new technical developments and the use of sophisticated materials. If you wish to send your husband and guitar to me by Federal Express or DHL, I can try to undertake the delicate process of deleting the offending chords but I must warn you it is a time-consuming, expensive and not always successful procedure.

Have you considered, nothwithstanding Mrs Autoharp's advice, that your 1, 4 and 5 chords may indeed be "jazz" from his framework of concepts? An interesting musical and theological dilemma do you not agree which I am afraid is beyond my humble abilities to Pontificate upon?

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 09:22 AM

Dr. Guitar, if the offending player were my husband I would have no hesitation in sending him to you forthwith, but as it is the husband of another woman I will have to consult her before taking you up on your generous offer. Perhaps if the problem does indeed spread to the other instruments you might consider a housecall for a group consultation? If so I will be able to put on my nurse's uniform and assist, as I am sure the autoharp is genetically incapble of being infected. In the meantime I will indeed focus our group's efforts on more spiritual and soulful material.

I can only hope that prayer will be effective. If it is not, I suppose we may arrange for a certain purification rite, although it is a bit obscure and not much in current usage by churchmen. It's somewhat like the more well-known Blessing of Instruments-- the Reverent Sacrifice of a Chosen Victim, carried out during the Vigil of St. Vitus.

A Tru


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 11:02 AM

Doc,
you are so wise.....



.....and funny too.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 11:06 AM

John Hardly, I thought you were writing the replies?

Dr. Guitar, would you be so kind as to sign in and post with your membername, as John Hardly did when he wrote on behalf of troubled guitarists?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 12:14 PM

Dr. Guitar, my question refers more to the software rather than hardware, so to speak, of playing a guitar. No one, I mean NO ONE, is considerate enough to just do the simple favor I have asked of them: Show me where to put my fingers so I can play along with them. They seem to enjoy playing and I want to be part of that. Sometimes they aren't even nice about it- they won't even lend me a guitar any more.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 12:14 PM

Dear Susan,

I would dearly love to accede to your gracious request and to reveal my true Mudcat identity.

However, I hesitate to do this as many years of experience have taught me that the musician-guitar relationship is an always personal, sometimes complex and frequently fraught one and, as such, must be dealt with with the utmost sensitivity.

As with any professional, I am thereby bound by the rules of patient-doctor confidentiality. I think that you yourself have observed the somewhat delicate nature of some of the requests and I believe a wife is already in transit to my workshops.

Therefore I hope you will forgive me if I continue to dispense advice to the needy on an anonymous basis, as with any "agony aunt" or "magazine doctor"!

On another matter, I have just learned, after consulting tomes in my library regarding your dilemma, that in some cultures, e.g. native American Indian, Tibetan and Korean, the use of dissonant chords is actually intended to "drive away evil spirits". I believe your friend's husband may be aware of this and that this is what he is trying to do with his Ab13s and B9dim5s in the middle of your Gospel pieces. I recommend therefore not to judge him harsely as his motivation may be entirely altruistic. The offer to attempt removal of these offending chords, however, remains open should you deem it necessary.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 12:19 PM

Dear Dr. Guitar,

My wife broke her G-string and can't get her guitar back in tune.

Any suggestions?

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 12:25 PM

Dear Ebbie,

I understand your dilemma perfectly!

At the start of my long career, no-one showed me where to put my fingers either leading to some of the disturbing dissonances described above and, ultimately, to exclusion and obscurity. I therefore feel a personal responsibility to help you.

To help you further, however, could you clarify some points for me. Do you want to play along with your fingers, which appear to have developed a musical personality of their own according to your post, or with actual people? If the former, I too would be most upset if my own fingers refused to lend me a guitar and I would also wish to be at one with my fingers.

It is important to clarify this as the courses of treatment are quite different depending on the problem.

Awaiting your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 12:33 PM

Dear Dr. Guitar,

I have one of those Intellitouch tuners too. When I first turn it on it always says I'm playing a B# note even though I'm not really playing anything. Then, when I start in really tuning my guitar I can't even find a B# note anywhere on it. I've been up and down the neck on every string and it just ain't there. Is there something wrong with my tuner or with my guitar? Maybe they sold me a Dummytouch tuner by accident. Or maybe that Richard Hoover guy forgot to install all the notes on my guitar. Come to think of it, Ive never found the E# note on it either.

Sincerely,

Anne Arthur-Dumas


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 12:34 PM

Sorry I wasn't clear about it, Dr. Guitar. Yes, it is my friends I want to play with. I call them my friends although it is getting harder and harder each weekend to find where they are playing. They keep forgetting to let me know. (And they're not even old.)

Can you help?

Your friend,

Alone Alot


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 12:41 PM

Dear Guest Richie,

I find this a particularly common problem with our guitar playing colleagues of the fairer gender.

G-string failure in such cases is usually a result of the G-string becoming worn at particular points, particularly where it traverses the saddle.

I do not believe it necessary for you to go to the trouble of sending your wife to me in this case as a servicable repair may be effected by applying graphite to the particular areas of friction between G-string, saddle and bone, paying particular attention to the area where the G-string passes through the slot. A convenient product is that used by motorcyclists for their drive chains. This will tend to lubricate the passage of the G-string as it moves and, in addition, can often alleviate those common "squeaking" noises one frequently finds in these situations.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: C-flat
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 12:54 PM

Dear Doctor Guitar,
Reading through this months issue (No.235) of "Play in a day, the easy guide to musical excellence") it suggests that I learn about scales.Can you give me any pointers?
I've asked in the usual plaices, i.e. the fishmongers and my local supermarket, to no avail.
Also could you give me some advice on amplification as I expect to be offered a tour anytime soon? I do already own an amplifier but its volume knob only goes to number 10 and I would expect to be needing something more powerful.
With regard to my guitar, would I be right in assuming that a "Loud 'un" is the right choice of instrument for touring?
I await your reply with baited breath,
Yours,
R.Sole.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 01:03 PM

(Incidentally I have been asked (twice, by different people, both women as it happens. sob) to show someone where to put their fingers, "No. no. I don't want to learn all the chords, I don't have the time. Just show me where to put my fingers so I can play along.")

Thanks for this invaluable service, Dr. Guitar. And my sincere appreciation to J. Hardly for bringing it to our attention.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 01:44 PM

Dear Dr. or Mr. Guitar (or whoever's minding the store),

I guess I got it all wrong! Like Peg, I heard that it was easier to learn with TaB, so I drank a lot of the stuff while I was practicing. The problem with that was that every time I tried to sing, all I could do was burp. I figured that they must have changed to formula or something, so I tried drinking beer instead. I lost a lot of practice time because after a few beers, I'd have to keep running to the biffy to relieve myself. And if I practiced longer (drinking more beer, of course) to make up for the time I had to stand there taking a leak, I found that I tended to fall off the chair a lot.

I had to go on a twelve-step program, I have to spend a lot of time going to a urologist, and I still can't play worth a damn. I just thought my story might help others to avoid the mistakes I've made.

I. P. Freely


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 02:54 PM

Dear Dr Guitar,

I know I'm suppose to tune my "A" string at 4:40.

Is that AM or PM?

And at what time am I to tune my other strings?

Waiting anxiously for your reply (as it's already a quarter to two),
Phil Harmonic


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 03:09 PM

lol


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 03:16 PM

Dear MR. Guitar,

Do you know anyone who would like to buy a used backpacker's guitar? It doesn't hold as much as I thought it would. Nor is it at all useful for carrying water.

Maybe I need a new guitar.

And... if I may further impose with a related question--

Will a dreadnought really help with my phobias?

Please respond privately in a plain brown wrapper. In my line of work, sometimes publicity is NOT helpful.

~Burke Innstocke


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 03:22 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar,

I don't think our Little League coach knows what he is talking about; maybe you can shed some light on this matter.

How come whenever our son tries to use his guitar to slide, the referee keeps yelling, "Raise the NUT! RAISE the NUT!"???

I thought fully-descended testicles were a GOOD thing. Is there something about using guitars that makes retraction necessary, and if so, why only ONE, and WHICH one???

~Worried Mom


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: DADGBE
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 03:36 PM

Howdy Doc. Good advice yer doling out here. I, myself have taken on the title of "Physician's Assistant Guitar." While I'm not in your league yet, I've been playing for 4 full weeks now so I already found out most of what there is to know. Try this - attach all the strings to one tuner. It really speeds up tuning.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 04:05 PM

Dear Mr. Dr. Guitar,

I thimpk I c'n hannel thish one. . . .

No, no, no, DADGBE (dagnabbit!), that's not the way to attach the strings. It may be faster to tune, but other guitar players'll look at you funny. After I switched from TaB to beer, I discovered the right way to do it. Click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page to the last picture.

I. P. Freely


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 04:16 PM

Works even better on a 12-string.

Freely again


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 04:17 PM

Dear A Tru Fokey,

While Dr. Guitar's advice regarding your friends jazz-chord-omania is sound and should be well considered, the particular school where we matriculatrd favors a simple procedure known as a "massive fretectomy". While jazz-chord-omania may be cured by simply removing the jazz chords from the guitar, the procedure requires months or even years of regular counseling to ensure that no relapse occurs. Massive fretectomy is the simple procedure of removing all but the five lowest frets from the guitar, thus making it impossible for the infectee to play most jazz chords. It seems like a cruel and heartless procedure, but most guitarists adjust to it in about the same length of time that it takes for a neutered tomcat to adjust to having had his balls cut off. With this simple procedure, your freiend will be back to playing G, C, and D in no time flat.

Sincerely,

Dr. O.M. Dreadnought


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 04:40 PM

Oh, I get it-- a homeopath!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 06:27 AM

Dear Anne Arthur-Dumas,

This appears to be an innate problem with Intellitouch tuners and is related to their sensitivity.

As the Intellitouch is sometimes incorrectly attached to the headstock of the guitar, rather than the correct placement on one's ear as described above, it picks up all vibration within the guitar. When switching on, it naturally picks up the innate vibration of the guitar when no string is being plucked, in other words background "white noise". This is always in the key of B# which is not a key installed on the guitar.

You will not find E# on an Intellitouch. This is, in fact the natural frequency of vibration of the universe and, as such, the ability to detect it is normally reserved for very expensive and sensitive astronomical instruments.

I would conclude, therefore, that your Intellitouch is functioning correctly.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 08:14 AM

Dear Doctor Guitar,

Thank goodness I've found someone who might finally be able to help. I am on my third Metronome. I have tried both the electronic and mechanical types. None of them will stay in time with me.

Do you think it could be because I am playing the five string banjo and the incompetent music store staff have been selling me guitar or piano metronomes?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 11:22 AM

Dr. Guitar, please address Steve Latimer's complaint. I have had the same problem with just about every metronome I have ever had. They are very unreliable. They tend to go fast in some parts of a piece and too slow in others. Where can I get one that doesn't do that? My current one is German-made and I think that's the top of the line.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 11:47 AM

Dear Mr Guitar,
My friend has just had a pickup installed in his Martin guitar so that it is now an electric one. He asked me to make up a lead so that he can plug it in. I've put a 1/4" jack plug on the guitar end and a mains plug on the other - is this correct ?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 02:32 PM

Dear Dr Guitar,

A musician friend suggested that, for strumming my guitar, I should use a pick. I gave it a go, but, as well as the awkardness of lifting the pick with one hand while holding the guitar, I was left with several deep gouges and holes in the woodwork -- not to mention broken strings. On reflection, maybe he meant an ice-pick?
BJ


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Dave4Guild
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 04:51 PM

Dear Ebbie
The reason your German metronome is unable to keep time with you is that it does not have a sense of humour. I've got a very cheerful penguin one which does admirably!


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 07:28 PM

Dave4Guild,

Where does one get a cheerful Penguin one? I'm at my wits end.

Dr. Guitar,

I know you specialize in guitars, but I'm hoping that you know a thing or two about banjos. Do you think that they somehow induce drowsiness? It seems that whenever I pull mine out people start to yawn, look at their watches and say things like "my goodness, where did the time go? I have to be up early to have my nose hairs plucked". It gets worse with time, sometimes normally vigorous people who have had this happen to them after a few tunes suffer the same affliction when I merely reach for the banjo.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 07:38 PM

Dear Phil Harmonic,

I am afraid that 4:40 is not a good time to tune your A string. In fact if you do you may well experience the cracking noise from within the guitar described by one of the readers above. If this has already happened, of course I can carry out remedial work for a reasonable consideration.

In fact, the correct time to tune your A string is at 1:10am. The correct times to tune each of the strings are as follows:

Low E: 0:01:22am
A: 1:10am
D: 1:47am
G: 2:36am
B: 2:47am
High E: 3:30am

However, remember that the guitar is an "ill-tempered" instrument and these timings may not result in an exact tuning and therefore an unhappy guitar. Depending on the temperament of your instrument, it is quite permissible to experiment a few seconds either side of these timings to achieve mutual satisfaction.

Most professional guitarists are well-known night people and therefore stay up late to ensure correct tuning.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 08:06 PM

Dear Burke Innstocke,

It really depends how used the backpacker is...

For carrying adequate water for a long hike and a reasonable complement of packing there is no finer guitar made than an Ovation! An Adamas will carry more water but is harder to pack.

Regarding your phobias and the dreadnought, the answer is in the plain brown wrapper below:

Plain Brown Wrapper

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 08:13 PM

Dear Mr Bryant,

In the interests of public safety I cannot at all condone plugging your friend's Martin into the mains supply. It could amongst other problems cause a severe power surge in his neighbourhood.

What puzzles me most, however, is why your friend should want to install a pickup truck in his Martin. In my experience, this frequently lowers the retail value should he later want to sell either.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 08:31 PM

Dear Mr Latimer,

I have dealt with a number of banjo cases in my practice. I believe that this problem comes from an innate and ancient inherited phobia amongst your listeners.

If you consider the evidence at the foot of this page:

Evolutionary evidence

You will notice that the hominid in question is carrying a banjo in the manner of a type of club or similar weapon. I believe that this has caused expression of an ancient gene in your listeners. This can result in two scenarios: 1) the "play dead" behaviour expressed by those listeners pretending to go to sleep; or 2) release of "fright and flight" hormones within your listeners bodies. Both are, in fact, merely forms of self protection.

To reassure, calm and entertain your listeners, one suggestion could be to change instruments to the more highly evolved mandolin which will not illicit such a genetic response.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 08:43 PM

Dear Bullfrog Jones,

Normally use of the type of pick you describe is only to be recommended for guitars containing a Rare Earth. An ice-pick will certainly look cool on stage and may also be a useful accessory for a backpacker guitar but I doubt its efficacy as a strumming implement in general. I think the best course of action would be for you to purchase a gross of tooth picks which are cheap, plentiful and less cumbersome to hold.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 09:02 PM

Dear R. Sole,

I would love to help you but unfortunately I am not a dog breeder.

Regarding scales, I have always found that cod works the best although Australian colleagues have reported good results with those from raw prawns. I don't know whether you are Dover or Lemon but you could also try some of your own.

Regarding your amplifier problem, this may be easily cured by replacing the knobs with ones labelled from 1 to 20. Remember that sound power is on a logarithmic scale so such replacements will far more than double your amplifier's output.

As "Loud'uns" are made in Northern Ireland they are used to rather cold, wet and miserable weather. They should be perfect if you plan a holiday in such a climate but if you plan to tour around in a hot country such as Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka or Australia you may find the expense less justifiable.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 09:11 PM

Dear Dr. O.M. Dreadnought,

My esteemed colleague. Thank you for your most helpful suggestion concerning the troublesome jazz chords.

Indeed massive fretectomy may be a radical but useful solution in this case.

I foresee only one problem. If the case of "jazz chord progression" is a serious one, the patient may still attempt some of the many jazz chords that, unknown to some, are hidden amongst the lower five frets. Of course, the problem of inversion will be overcome which naturally is the most distressing manifestation of this condition but some infectivity may be residual.

Many thanks for your valued professional advice.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 09:18 PM

Dear Worried Mom,

Please do not fret.

Indeed, if your son raises his nuts, it will help him to slide.

The problem is mainly a semantic one. Rather than one descended testicle your son will need six balls (or perhaps even 12) for satisfactory results. A referee in any case is usually superfluous when playing guitar unless it is a major league one.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 09:22 PM

Dr., like, Guitar?

I'm so, like....
I'm like, okay, like, I got this piercing...
...and I'm like, SO-O-O not going to, like, cover my navel with a guitar. But my teacher is like, "you can't play a guitar like a violin" and I'm like, whatever...

So?

Jennifer


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 09:30 PM

Some questions are just impossible to answer despite all one's knowledge. The last post was to cover these queries.

Dear Mr Latimer,

Piano and guitar metronomes are not suitable for 5-string banjo. You will need to purchase an electronic one with built-in anti-frailure protection. I can supply a suitable model at a competitive price.

Dear Ebbie,

I believe your problem is that you have been sold a German metro gnome. These are, indeed, rather unreliable at keeping good time. I would suggest that you place this as an attractive ornament in your garden and keep time by tapping your foot instead. In this manner, you will be able to speed up or slow down during a song or tune as you see fit.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 09:36 PM

hawhawhawhaw


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 09:43 PM

Dear Jennifer,

If I understand you correctly you would like to display your navel piercing while playing?

My solution would be to play your guitar behind your head in the fashion of Mr Hendrix, thereby permitting one or many piercings to be displayed without obstruction.

This will also avoid the scratchy parts of the piercing decoration damaging rare and valuable tropical hardwoods on the back of the guitar.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 10:06 PM

Dr. Guitar,

Thank you for your prompt and sage advice, you need to become a Permathread. The wisdom that you share is why we all came to the 'Cat in the first place.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 10:06 PM

...whatEVER.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Sep 02 - 10:46 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar,

I keep writing and writing to you, and some DOCTOR keeps answering your mail. I'm all strung out! He's very clever, but I never trust people who will play doctor and never take off their mask! Give me a good lay person any time.

I was looking for Mrs. Fiddle but as she is a PM, apparently her time is quite short at present what with all her state duties.

I think I may switch to REVEREND Guitar, and just submit my cares as prayer requests from now on!

~Poly Anna


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 04:42 AM

Dear Poly Anna,

I must unfortunately keep the mask on as, as you will appreciate, some guitar-related ailments, such as MGAS, are highly contagious. I myself was once badly infected but, fortunately as I am sure you will be pleased to hear, I am nearly recovered and my guitar count has gone down from a redlining 30+ to a modest 4 now. I believe that the power of prayer on the part of my family and bank manager aided my recovery enormously but it has, at the very least, taught me the lesson of taking adequate precaution.

Knowing your interest in all things spiritual and your unsuccessful attempt to contact P.M. Fiddle, I forward the attached from my dusty archives:

Violin prayer

My professionalism, and lack of experience in the subject, unfortunately causes me to refrain from comment on good lay advice.

You will, I am sure, be delighted to know that there is a powerful and proud tradition of Rev. Guitars, any of whom, I suspect will be delighted to assist you in any way they can.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 05:28 AM

Dear Ebbie/Alone Alot,

My dear Ebbie....please do not imagine that I have forgotten your plight. It is just that yours is a particularly delicate case that may need to be addressed in several consultations.

Social ostracism can be a terrible thing...just look at what I have been reduced to!

I think we will start the treatment concerning where to put your fingers by first concentrating on where not to put them. Please pay particular attention to the chart below and on no account put your fingers in those places:

Places not to put your fingers in order to avoid being ostracised socially

Please practice not putting your fingers in these places three times a day for three days and then we will move on to the next stage of treatment.

I also use the example to demonstrate, as I have discussed with my esteemed colleague Dr. O.M. Dreadnought above, that radical massive fretectomy is not always a complete cure.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 05:38 AM

My friend has already tried out the new guitar lead. He found that after the initial bang and flash he was playing tunes at a much faster tempo than before. He also finds that his normally rather limp hair adopts a style very similiar to that of the late Sid Vicious. His electrification has earned him the name of "Shakin' Timothy" due to the tremors and gyrations which he now exibits in his performance. In fact the energy which his live performances now emit leave him completely comatose and he needs to be resucitated at the end of numbers. In all it's a great improvement except that it doesn't seem to make his guitar sound any louder - just flashier.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM

To: Dr. Guitar

From: Dr. O.M. Dreadnought

Dear Esteemed Colleague,

While you are, of course, absolutely correct in stating that a large number of jazz chords may be produced using no more than the first five frets of the guitar, said statement does not address the all-important visual aspect of guitar playing. Sadly, many guitarists are addicted to using higher-fret positions, not because of any true superiority to the voicings hence attained (as compared with lower-fret voicings), but because it "looks cool". Most guitarists are not going to throw in a perfectly superfluous G9 chord fingered 320301 when one fingered X(12)(11)(12)(12)(12) is even more obnoxious plus it makes it appear that the player has accomplished a higher degree of mastery of the fretboard. As the radical massive fretectomy procedure as discussed above removes the player's tendency to attempt to inspire awe from other guitarists vis a vis playing in high-fret positions, we have found, in our practice, that it tends to make egotistical show-offs into more-or-less reasonably decent human beings.

I am enjoying our correspondence immensely, and await your further comments and insights.

Sincerely,

Dr. O.M. Dreadnought


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 12:26 PM

Dear Dr. Guitar,

I've been told that Stevie Ray played excellent blues on a 'caster.

I want to play like Stevie but I have been to every bait and tackle shop in my area, and I've tried out every caster I can get my hands on. They cast well, but making music? No way.

Even if I can get the string up to tension to pluck it, it's NYLON. What gives with that? I don't want to play on nylon strings! Are these "classical" casters?

Besides, they only have ONE STRING. How does SRV play "The House Is Rockin'" with only one string? Is he the second coming of Paganini or somethin'?!

Your prompt reply would be appreciated,

Wannabe Like Stevie ('cept not dead!)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: HuwG
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 12:43 PM

Dear Doctor Guitar,

I couldn't help noticing that the question posed by Dave Bryant was similar to mine, save that his Martin did have a "jack socket" already fitted.

I asked a friend (Mr. Amos Quito) to install one of these jack sockets on my new guitar, and he was happy to oblige free of charge. Like Mr. Bryant, I attached this to the mains via a plug with a 13-amp fuse. (Amos tells me that I need an "amp" to play a guitar, I presume this is what he meant). I can't say I noticed any difference in the sound it made after I plugged it in - it was absolutely silent both before and after this operation. However, I do notice that the previous light coloured finish of the side of the instrument with the big round hole (not the jagged one which Amos left) in it, is now the same dark mahogany colour of that long handle thingy under the bare wires.

I have also followed your advice on installing my night storage heater and dehumidifier in the guitar case. I notice that the case was a little hard to shut after this, so I bought a new case from a place called "IKEA", it now fits everything quite snugly.

On another matter, Amos tells me that most guitars have what he calls a "cutaway", to allow players to reach the higher "frets", whatever they are. As mine didn't have such a thing, he obliged with a quick twirl with a band saw. Do you have any advice on how to avoid those pesky splinters (which, being charred, are hard as nails) which this has left, getting into my, ahem, valuables, when I hold my guitar like they do on the TV ?

Yours

Robin Banks


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: C-flat
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 01:30 PM

Dear Dr.Guitar,
Thank you for your recent help with my amp. problem (those new numbers certainly look like they'll do the trick!).
I am hoping that you can help me again with an item I'm reading in the recent issue of "Guitar playing sex god,(Van Halen in a day)". The article is concerned with playing high-speed lead guitar and suggests learning "licks" and using "pinched harmonicas".
My problems are threefold;
1)How practical is a lead guitar? Surely prolonged use of such a heavy instrument would cause serious back problems. Would graphite be a useful substitute?
2) Is it wise to lick anything made of lead? (I'm given to understand this could be damaging to ones intellect)
3) Would a bought harmonica not work just as well as a stolen one? Is this just part of the "Rock and Roll" mentality that I need to embrace if I'm to pursue my goal of Rock Legend?
Mrs. Sole has expressed her concern about the links between theft and drug habits, and fears that a foray into petty crime may lead me down a "dark and slippery path to ruin". She has already emptied the medicine cabinet and insists on doing the "weekly shop" by herself.
I look forward to being able to tell Mrs. Sole that her fears are groundless,
Your obedient servant,
R.Sole (Legend in waiting)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 11:22 PM

Dear Dr. Guitar,

I've really learned a lot from you. I am starting to learn to fingerpick and someone suggested that if I used nails I could play louder.

Th only problem is the nails keep cutting the guitar strings and messing up the finish of my guitar. My friend said my guitar is starting to look like "Willie's Guitar". Who the heck is Willie?

The guy at the hardware store said he didn't know how to help. Please respond soon- I only have one string left.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 11:57 PM

Dear Dr. Guitar:

I think you should review the sites you refer people to. I'm talking about the "where not to put your fingers" page. I think it must be for foreign people because the numbers are backwards. Here in the United States of America we count things starting on the left, so string #1 comes first, then string #2, then string #3, and so on, you see what I mean. This could really cause some problems. Otherwise I think you are OK.

Aloha,
Mark

(P.S. John Hardly, do you have Jennifer's phone number?)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Gloredhel
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 12:30 AM

Dave4Guild:

Would that be a cheerful penguin metronome whose little red bowtie slides up and down? If so, he must be somehow related to the cheerful penguin who sits on my piano.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: mooman
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 04:30 AM

Dear Robin Banks,

I have a suspicion that Mr Amos Quito may be a carrier of "guitar chord progression" syndrome (GCPS) one unfortunate side effect of which one also needs a similar sounding treatment, GPS, to overcome. I say this because only those with GCPS are really interested in those upper "sleeping policemen" on the neck that some people refer to as "frets".

I think in your case, the treatment advocated and pioneered by my esteemed colleague, Dr. O.M. Dreadnought, i.e. radical massive fretectomy, would be appropriate. I do not normally use this technique myself, not being a specialist in it, but, in your case, it would most definitely be advantageous as it would obviate hand contact with the heat-hardened splinters that Mr. Quito has unfortunately left on your guitar.

Regarding your valuables, that is another important matter. My of my clients, particularly the female ones, have told me that they have suffered loss of their valuables, usually in the dressing room, during or after a performance. I would suggest, therefore, that you that suitable precautions and protect and secure these in a safe container while playing.

Mr. Quito may have, inadvertently, added a perceived value to your guitar as it may now be considered by the less well-informed to have a true mahogany top which is, of course, more expensive. As such less well-informed people may now try to steal it because of its perceived higher value (and because they are often unwitting carriers of GCPS as well), I recommend doubling your insurance cover on it.

I agree with you about "IKEA". Presumably they make these useful innovative products because of the short but hot summers combined with long cold winters.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: mooman
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 04:46 AM

Dear Guest Richie,

Nails are frequently used in fingerpicking. I suspect that you are using too heavy and large a gauge. I would recommend brass nails about 3/4 inch (+/- 1.8cm) of guage about 1/32 inch (+/- 1 mm). You should snip the "heads" off of these nails with a sharp pair of wirecutters and then affix them to your fingerpicking fingers using cyanoacrylate glue or, for a more permanent fixture, epoxy glue. They should be affixed such that they project no further than about 1-16 - 1/8 inch (+/- 2 - 4 mm) beyond the tips of your fingers, according to preference.

I suggest brass nails as these are more compatible with the brass or bronze strings normally used with acoustic instruments and will cause less string wear. If you are using steel strings of course you may substitute steel nails.

Willie is most probably one of the many "Blind Willies" (a most unfortunate medical condition that they have somehow successfully managed to overcome as musicians). It is also just possible that he may be referring to a country singer named Willie Nelson who intentionally installed a second soundhole in his guitar, presumably to try to improve its sound protection.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 04:54 AM

Dear Patients and Readers,

I apologise for the fact that someone called "mooman" has been trying to impersonate me in a not too convincing fashion and has been dispensing advice to some of my clients. While I do not disagree in principle with the advice he has given, I have contacted him and told him to desist from this practice.

I hope now to commence service once again as normal.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 04:59 AM

Dear Mark Cohen,

I believe that that site is even based in the United States of America. This is unfortunately the length that sufferers of "Chord progression syndrome" will go to to confuse the ordinary person, even humble doctors such as you and I!

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 05:09 AM

Dear Wannabe Like Stevie ('cept not dead!),

Unfortunately you will need to go to a specialist tackle shop that specialises in heavy duty saltwater equipment.

Mr Vaughan used a unique multiple rod setup with steel line of varying poundages (I believe up to 120 lbs for the low E). However, I must warn you that it will require concentrated and dedicated effort to master the multi-rod playing technique.

Incidentally, the unique note-bending effects achieved by SRV are best achieved by live recording in-situ following the hooking of a large walleye, or small shark or tuna.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 05:28 AM

Dear R. Sole,

I must agree with you on the use of lead as a guitar material. It's drawbacks are threefold:

- it may, indeed, cause or aggravate back problems as you describe;

- licking it could indeed be injurious to health over a period of time, this will be especially serious where oxides or other salts have accumulated due to the spillage of beverages on the surface;

- there will, naturally, be problems at the end-of-life disposal phase of the guitar, where there is a possibility of environmental damage. The last point is covered under draft EU legislation if you are a European citizen.

Graphite is a perfectly acceptable substitute as it is formed from non-toxic and environmentally-friendly elemental carbon. The following site extolls the many virtues of graphite as a guitar material:

Why graphite is such a good material for guitars!

I quite agree with Mrs. Sole and there is no point in opening yourself to the road to perdition or in causing marital tension. I recommend that you buy a new harmonica, preferably in the key of A or E, and then pinch it yourself by compression between the jaws of a heavy workbence vice. This will apply the necessary vice in a perfectly legal manner and simulate the "pinched harmonica" effect very well. You may proceed then in your quest as Rock Legend without fear of litigation (at least as regards theft).

I believe this will reassure Mrs Sole and enable you to have your medication to hand in the normal manner in your bathroom cabinet.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: mooman
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 05:38 AM

Dear Mudcatters,

I have been contacted by a displeased Dr. Guitar and must offer my sincere apologies to both him and to all for trying to impersonate him in recent posts. At least I am grateful for his kind words that I did not mislead anyone.

I can only put it down to the fact that I had a full bottle in front of me and do not wish again to risk a radical massive fretectomy.

Once again my apologies and sincere wish to be readmitted to the Mudcat fold.

Humbly,

mooman


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 05:53 AM

Dear Dr Guitar,
I have recently taken up the guitar, and so I was very interested to discover this clinic, hoping to learn a lot of useful tints and hips. But many of the things I've read don't seem to apply to my guitar; I think maybe mine is a little unusual. In the first place, instead of having a little hole in the body, there is just a hole, which somebody has covered in plastic (to stop the strings falling inside, I guess). Next, there is a string missing, and one of the remaining five has slipped way down the neck (maybe it was overtightened at some time?)

Do I need a new huitar? Or should I get an accordion instead?

Martin Colitis


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 06:01 AM

Dear Dr Guitar,
I've just looked at the page you linked to above on graphite guitars. Surely, a deaf test on a papier mache guitar would be better than a blind test? You'd still be able to hear it with your eyes shut! And I don't think damp wood is very good for making guitars, it would go all slimy--or is that what you call slide guitar?

MC

PS As accordions have a lot of papier mache in the bellows, would a deaf test be appropriate for them?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: HuwG
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 08:50 AM

Dear Dr. Guitar

Firstly, thank you, and mooman too, for your efforts on my behalf. After reading mooman's advice to me, another 'Catter, a friend of Amos Quito who goes by the pseudonym of "Helen OtherMossie" in order to protect her identity, called to inspect my new guitar. She was unfortunately struck by a severe coughing fit, but managed to say that it was quite unique, and too valuable to be played. I have therefore hung it in pride of place in my living room. Incidentally, I have been having some difficulty in following the diagrams which accompany the mounting which she left me for this purpose. I can secure the mounting to the neck of the guitar, using the G-clamps which are part of this mounting, but the open ring, which I assume is to fit over a convenient light fitting, is in the wrong plane; when I slip it over the light fitting, the guitar twists round and wrenches the light off the wall. However, this is a minor matter.

Miss Othermossie suggests that I take up another instrument, which I think she called a "boron", or something similar. I don't think she can spell very well, it's impossible to pronounce all the d's and h's which she included in the word. I don't recall seeing too many of these on the pop and festival programs which I watch on the TV; can anyone tell me why this should not be so popular an instrument ?

Yours,

Robin Banks


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: C-flat
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 12:14 PM

" can only put it down to the fact that I had a full bottle in front of me
Moonman, are you sure that shouldn't read full frontal lobotomy? :~)
C-flat.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 09:37 PM

Dear Dr. Guitar,

I don't know if you've ever dealt with this before but I think there's a mouse in my guitar!

The funny thing is I never hear him unless I'm playing. My wife and I looked in the hole and we couldn't find him. Then I start playing and there's that scratching noise again.

Somebody said it had something to do with the strings... but what!? I oiled them down good and I still heard that racally varmin- scraping- scraping. He must have a good place to hide- there a whole 'nother world in there.

I put more 3 in 1 oil on, but it didn't help. Do I need to get an exterminator or should I just leave a few crumbs out for him to eat.

You don't think he'd bite me do you?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 10:24 PM

Dear Mr. Guitar,

You do know that music makes no sense?

My case:

1. 12 notes = 7 letters. So rather than having A-L we add Sharps and Flats.

2. F.....um........no sharp? Is that even fair?

3. B gets a flat?

I may sue.

Any defense?

Ham Jordan


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 06:55 AM

My Dear Patients,

I do apologise so much for not having attended to your needs in recent days. I know that this must be distressing to you but I hope you will excuse a poor old overworked guitar doctor who has many queing at his humble door.

Dear Mr Colitis,

Yours is a rather serious case I fear. I have noticed these unusual guitars several times and, indeed, people who one can only assume are misguided in some way have covered the soundhole with a greater degree of proficiency in either what appear to be synthetic or caprine-derived materials. I can only assume that they do not like the sound of their guitar and are, in some way, trying to mask its harsh tones.

The fact theat there are only five strings rather implies a manufacturing fault or poor coonstruction or that the instrument builder in question had limited playing abilities him/herself and attempted to build an instrument based upon his or her own capabilities. I suspect that both are true as evidenced by the poor construction that has allowed one of the tuners to slip part of the way up the neck. Overtightening could be a cause, especially if an over-heavy guage low E guitar string has been used.

I have, from time to time, seen some of these instruments and I suggest that it may be worth hanging on to it as a curiosity or curio. Indeed, there appear to be many collectors of such curios appearing these days so, one day, maybe even today if your instrument is vintage or has other "collectible qualities", it may be worth something.

Despite my extensive experience, I have never seen a huitar so, unfortunately, cannot comment on this suggestion. To avoid unfortunate social consequences, I do not recommend that you purchase an accordion. Indeed I have seen that the renowned author Proulx has published an inventory of "accordion crimes" so such an instrument could lead you to a path of infraction or misdemeanour in a worst-case scenario.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 07:08 AM

Oh! Mr Colitis...good to see you again!

I believe that you are right in both cases. Certainly a deaf test would be more appropriate for the accordion.

In general, wet wood does not work well in making guitars. On the other hand ...neither does dry wood. This is hard to understand I know. What you have to ensure is that you have wood that is not too wet, nor too dry. Unfortunately, this delicate balance must be maintained during the lifecycle of the instrument and is also influenced by temperature, hence my advice to Robin Banks above to store both his dehumidifier and his night storage heater in his guitar case.

If you wish to slide on your guitar, I would suggest using a suitable combination of lemon oil and carnauba wax and this should supply the necessary lubricity with damaging the finish.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 07:28 AM

Oh..I do apologise for not signed the "from" box above. However I can assure you that the letter was from my goodself and not some imposter like mooman.

Dear Robin Banks,

I believe concerning the mounting device that you may have inadvertantly mixed up Miss Othermossie's mounting instructions with those left over from your new "IKEA" guitar case. These instructions, being pictorial as they are, are often extremely hard to follow. If all else fails you could try a nail and piece of string.

I blieve the "boron" to which you refer could be an anglicized name for a rather dangerous "instrument of mass percussion" which is now banned, along with certain other instruments of mass percussion, under the recent Drumcree Convention. I would make discrete enquiries with the relevant authorities about Miss Othermossie to ensure that she is not an agent of one of the "rogue states" where IOMP inspectors have not been able to carry out their dutues. Regarding the lost "d" and "h", it only goes to show how dangerous these instruments can be, even when silent.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 07:32 AM

Dear C-flat

I suspect that you may have a good medical point there! However, whether the cause was surgical, as you suggest, or due to alcoholism (which is also a medical condition), the poor man is more to be pitied than despised!

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Alan Nuss
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 08:19 AM

Dear sir, Why is it that when i play my guitar to an audience with the strings facing outwards - i.e towards them, their faces become very, well.... sad, and subsequently they ask me to desist! However, if i play (the same) guitar to an audience with the strings facing backwards - i.e towards me, they all seem to be overjoyed! Why should this be so? Best regards A.Nuss


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Peter Nuss
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 08:35 AM

Dear Sir, I am a lumberjack and i want to become a musician. I play my "axe" regularly, unfortunately i have lost two fingers and have seriously lascerated my groin - am i holding my instrument correctly?? Yours P.Nuss


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Bus Toured
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 08:50 AM

Sir, Just a small diversion .. I went to my local music shop this morning and asked the jolly young fellow behind the counter if he might have a plectrum for an "Encore" guitar he said " You drive a hard bargain - but o.k then" Oh how we laughed!

Toodle pip B. Toured


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: GUEST,Dr. Guitar
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 08:52 AM

Dear Esteemed Friends,

As this thread has now reached the statutory three figure, it is being transferred to a new thread:

Ask Dr. Guitar

where advice to the needy will continue to be dispensed free of all charge and with my best and sincere wishes.

Dr. Guitar


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Subject: RE: Dear Mr. Guitar
From: HuwG
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 09:04 AM

Dear Dr. Guitar

Miss Othermossie assures me that she has no hidden agenda, and assures me that I was born to play a bdohran bodranh hodbrain thing.

If I may tender some advice to other correspondents who may be thinking of hanging their guitar on a wall, there is some sort of iron bar running down the neck of the one I have. To avoid making sparks and ruining drill bits when drilling the hole through the neck for a large screw, you should use a tungsten carbide masonry bit for the next quarter inch after you first hit resistance. You can use a chamfer or countersunk bit to tidy up the hole in the front of the neck, although be careful not to foul the strings when drilling with this oversize bit, as these can pull away from the bottom of the guitar, and the little white chess pawn which is down there flies off and you can never find it afterwards, and the string itself flails around and leaves marks on your clothing and anything else. Fortunately, I did this drilling on a work bench, and I wear glasses anyway.

Amos (Quito), who normally does any handiwork I need doing, said that he wouldn't touch this procedure "with a bargepole". Is a bargepole a musical expression, or some accessory I should have purchased with the guitar ?

Yours,

Robin Banks


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