Small Guitars, Cool Applications?

A longtime guitar playing friend asked about the Pocket Guitar. You can find the little collapsible 6 string practice git online for like 20 bucks or less.

My initial reply was that it might be cool for some but not others, though nice and cheap, real small but only 5 fret positions playable.

So I dug around online and took another look at the Jamstik. It’s a little midi thingee that would also hold interest for some but costs a lot more. Also small and of course via computer and apps hold interest in various music writing/playing and rehearsing. Very small, 6 playable frets I think.

I have not researched exhaustively but continue to seek out and build 18 inch gits because they’re THE deal for cigarbox or cookie tin or Altoid tin slide gits when it comes to flying and not having to pay excess baggage, etc.. Playable, light, fun to make and use. I find 18 to be shortest length to be able to tune where I want and play scales that work in my blues sets.

Here was my (slightly changed and elaborated) reply:

Pocket Guitar might be good for some, not expensive. Jamstik (in my view) gives more options but lots more $ and again, not a good fit for everyone.

Me, I’d find a decent cheap git neck w. good frets in a shop, cut it down to 18 inches and stick it in a small body leaving the first 7 full fret positions playable. That gives you the 1, 4, 5 chord positions (E A B) meaning you have 3 chord songs down on this one. So six strings, real tuners, whatever small body you want to create for it. Pop a pickup and jack in ‘er, a short cable into your pocket-rocket type headphone practice amp, put headphones on or earbuds in and practice.

A bit more work to make one but in the end I think more satisfactory, but that’s just me. The whole git would be 18 inches tip to tip, very light, small, could even be used in a live gig for a tune here or there. Standard tuning or open tuning for slide playing. Practice anywhere. Or plug into a big amp and crank in concert.

Hmmm… I just may have another project going in the future… πŸ™‚ !

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Encouraging Word

(This was written yesterday… feelin’ a bit better now)

Years ago a man taught us something that stayed with me until this very day.

As I type it’s raining at Chicago’s lakefront and I find myself enjoying my hoodie sitting in one of my favorite spots- warm, indoor and with a good cup of black coffee. And I’m sick. Coughing. Argggh. And this phrase which came via a friend many years in the past popped up in my mind:

“If it’s not of faith, hope or love it’s not of God”.

Now on the surface- and depending on how one interprets that sentence, you could get the wrong idea. For instance, positive thinking fixes everything. It of course, does not. Or you might decide “Wow, cheap and easy ‘believeism’, just think UP and the downs all just disappear?!!” Of course they don’t.

God doesn’t simply run about doing our will, nor always in our timing even when He does indeed answer our prayers. Do I have faith? Absolutely. What I try to keep at bay is foolishness that I can demand MY will be done and expect my will is always His. It apparently (sometimes not so apparently) just isn’t.

Encouraged yet? I’m joking, hang in here in moment. Yesterday it was sunny and 74f in Chicago, right now 43, feels like 31 and the wind is blowing off of Lake Michigan out of the North East at 12 with 19mph gusts. Whew.

Wendi my very best/amazing friend and wife has shared her cough and runny nose with me πŸ™‚ So I am going to finish this blog, eat lunch, bring her hers (she is sleeping in today, I got up early to hang out with a college group) pray and take meds, grease my chest and sleeeeep!

Faith- trust in Him, the peace that PASSES understanding, that goes far beyond our ability to comprehend (“His ways are PAST finding out…”) and of course the knowledge that regardless of the “it”, the “this”, this too shall pass.

Hope- without faith we are “without hope and without God in the world” even though “For in Him we live and move and have our being…”. A “blessed hope” to those who seek and follow the risen Christ.

Love- there aren’t enough words for this. “God IS love”- and though “in the world you shall have tribulation…” even the reality of “WHEN the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house…” not “if” but “when” -YOU AND I ARE LOVED BY THE PERSON WHO IS THE SOURCE OF LOVE ITSELF.

Now if one chooses to dump faith and therefore hope, I suspect love is also outside the door.

“I stand at the door and knock. IF any one will open the door I will come in and eat with them”. Guess Who’s payin’ for lunch?

This is a broken world, we imperfect creatures have been planted in it, we have free will and possibilities to build up or tear down, to walk in faith or in fear, rage, angst and an OBVIOUS (!!!) lack of personal deity. Again and again it is certain we are NOT God.

So I come to this whether or not the bro who taught us this meant it or not:

The Father sent His Son, His Spirit, The Three are indeed One- the mysteries will one day be revealed but we live in the not yet, in the shadows, in the sinful no-boundaries world where suffering, pain, tears and death still operate.

According to scripture -to Jesus and the writers of the Testaments, these things shall also pass away “and be no more”.

Meanwhile Paul wrote the believers in Corinth :”These three REMAIN (abide, continue, live on regardless…) faith, hope and love.”

I am convinced Jesus is The Source of all 3 of these. Being a friend, a soul-mate, a follower of my Lord and Savior makes all the difference on a cold, rainy day… coughing and nose running.

There is PLENTY in this world that is “not of God”. But these three remain eternally because they are part of a revelation of Who our God truly is and what He does as well as produces in us if we’ll open the door.

I might argue a fine point as to whether faith as we think of it now will remain a continuum after those who believed, loved and served Him are in His immediate presence but that’s a fine hair not needful at this point. Example- after the ceremony and nearly 45 years of daily sharing marriage with Wendi I don’t have to “have faith” that we are truly married!

But for now, in this world-I do believe if it’s not of faith, hope or love, I don’t know that God and the peace of God is in our immediate thoughts or experience- and that’s as tragic. Yet it is a tragedy with remedy. IF… if we open the door to Him and live in daily relationship.

Prayer, scripture study, asking, seeking, knocking, following in faith regardless of circumstances has kept me close and closer over my lifetime with Jesus. Hanging out with stable, thoughtful, loving Christ-followers has been massively important in this trek. Not “pie in the sky” and “boo-boo” free journeying, but tried, true, ongoing relational faith in the Risen Christ.

Again, a major help in this for me has been close relationships with people whose lives have taught me more about faith, hope and love than I ever imagined I’d experience. But it meant and means surrender at every level to The Three Who are One.

May you be encouraged today- regardless.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

GK Tour Details- March, 1st Bit of April

Next up for GK:

[Just fyi: Cook County Jail Monday, March 27
Visible Music College, Memphis Lecture, some performance -in-house Thursday, March 30]

And for public consumption πŸ™‚ :

Saturday April 8
GK Cigarbox Guitar Workshop w. mini-concert
Warehouse Church
308 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL 60505
Schedule:
8:00 a.m. – Doors open for the workshops (cigarbox guitars, pens, leather craft, boats, guitar kits).
9:30 – Coffee Break – GK cbg history/mini-show
10:00 – Back to finishing the guitars (and other projects) to 11:30
We’ve collected the necessary items for a dozen guitars and will have the kits ready to go. The cost will be $15.00 which includes box, neck, tuner heads, 3 strings, copper slide, nut, bridge, piezo pick-up with 1/4” phono jack harness, rivets and assorted screws.

People who know they are coming could help us by sending an RSVP to mike@warehousechurch.org; but we won’t turn anybody away with or without.

http://warehousechurch.org/

These are great friends and last year was a blast!! Hope to see some of you there.

As always, thanks for visiting my website πŸ™‚ -Glenn

Tracking New Record, Etc.

FRESH PROJECT

First, Tone Zone is our pro studio here in Chicago- and between all our scheduling and demand this new project will take some time to track all, mix and finish for release. It’s blues/spiritual in scope, will have broad appeal but my focus is songs/music for those I serve behind bars in prison and jail chaplain work.

Those I sometimes refer to as “the least of the least of these” Jesus talks about in Matthew chapter 25 are often the last people to get anything close to grace -from those outside as well as many incarcerated with them.

I believe in these songs and I think the passion will end up in the audio. The reception from those hearing them in my many visits has been quite encouraging, so there it is. I will let you know when it’s available (via Grrr Records as always).

Meanwhile I have several layers of plans re. getting these songs to those behind bars -for free -and freedom regardless of sentencing. But that’s for another day…

So up in the gear room collecting gits amp and such for today’s session.

GitAmpNewProjectWork

MISC.

Looking very forward to a visit/lecture/music sharing at Visible Music College in Memphis next week. Great folks who do great work and care deeply about their students and the immediate Memphis scene.

A -lot- of shows confirmed for myself solo right through to October. Again, we normally post details a month or so in advance, sometimes a little less, so stay tuned in all the regular places online for details- here at glennkaiser.com, https://twitter.com/glennkaiser, http://www.grrrrecords.com/shows and Facebook sites, https://www.facebook.com/glennkaisersolo and Glenn Kaiser Band https://www.facebook.com/glennkaiserband .

Glenn Kaiser Band (3 piece blues/rock) will tour Germany and Switzerland in June-July, may add another country or two as details are being discussed now. Again, that info. will be posted in due time.

PERSONAL

My beautiful Wendi is doing very well but for asthma issues… and we expect a knee replacement for her due to arthritis sometime in October or so… thanks for prayers. She wakes up singing and smiling like the sun most mornings while I fumble around for coffee and try to remember what planet I’m on. Yes, musicians become lucid about 5pm!!

On the lighter but hotter side, re. HEAT: if you know me you know I LOVE hot sauce, peppers and such. SEND ME NO MORE PLEASE!! I have so many kind family and friends that I’ve currently got enough dried peppers, seeds and bottles of Ghost, Habenero and other peppers (which I love) for the next five years or more. No kidding, I truly thank you for the love but really, I’m good for about 5 years as of right now! These pics only cover a little of what I have on hand…

AND LAST BUT BY NO MEANS LEAST

Been spending a lot of time w. a little and very simple read (Agape Leadership) based on the life and various quotes from R.C. Chapman. What was he known for in and after his time?

Love.

I mean really- big deal ‘eh?!! How impressive is THAT?

I’d say it’s THE DEAL regardless of anything else. It’s what the world needs, what authentic and slack and indeed, quasi-Christians -what you and I NEED and need to learn to not only receive but share, spread around -YOU THINK?!! Mercy. How obvious is this?

Knowledge and wisdom need their due. Definition of love, the details of HOW to love, all essential- I get that. But oh how we strut our information and apprehension of our ability to comprehend stuff when in the end, we most need and most often fail in this Mamma of all needs: genuine love. Jesus calls us to Himself and to this over and over and at core.

So that’s what is before me at present. That and the continual “knocking” on my/your door. Why would He of all people… stand… wait… outside… OUR door… and knock? I’ve been pondering this simple, profound reality these past several weeks. For now I’ll just leave it for you to consider.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Florida Tour Report

So the staff at Hang Dawg in Ormond Beach (Daytona Bike Week) were great, my bro. Charlie West at Beach Church (D. Beach) and pastor Ed at Connection Church (Auburndale) were just gems! Had great times with both of these bros, they are real-deal. I can tell you where to get GREAT ribs in Lakeland by the way-

Kudos to my new bud Andrew Dallas who put me up and put up with me, drove me all over central Florida πŸ™‚ Thanks to Andrew and Charlie I got my mis-placed hoodie back before the return flight to Chicago. Good thing cuz it was a 40 degree drop when I got on the train from the airport in Chi-town. Very un-like the beach, ha!

Worked them blues and blues/rock with Coconut Harley (sweet southern harp player and organizer of “The Plunders”) featured serious player/singer Mark and cookin’ Susan Mason (vox, guitar, vocals), Skip Frye (git-player who forgot more than I’ll ever know), Michael Traylor drums the first two nights, Scott Hazen drums (aka Bisquit) the last one (them boys PLAY) and my friend/bass man doin’ low-end nice -Bruce Fry. It was as usual, a treat. And as usual Bruce wins the cool headgear prize πŸ™‚ These are seriously kind friends and talented musicians, all!

So I had to bring my newest tiny found-object slide guitar build which I named “MiniDuece”Β  (18 inch neck, cookie tin, piezo pickup, interchangable necks), used it in the solo shows and finally brought it out the last set at the Hang Dawg using only the diddley bow portion (1 string tuned to E). I brought the 3 string neck along but didn’t have time to tweak it for use just yet so she stayed in the shoulder bag. Fun. Sang through it on a tune too πŸ™‚

Playin’ blues and planting seeds for people to open up to God’s love and actively love others is always a gift and it was that sort of week for sure.

Perhaps my fave sign hanging on the fence at Hang Dog’s:

Next up for me, Cook Co. Jail Chicago.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

GK Solo Auburndale, FL Show Added-Sat. Mar. 11

As it turns out we are -not- gonna do a songwriter’s gathering at Beach Church on Saturday, March 11 and I’m set to do an evening gig at Connect Church in Auburndale, Florida at 6:30pm instead:) Acoustic blues, cigarbox/found object gits, harmonica here we come πŸ™‚ Hope to see some of y’all there!gkacousticgit

Glenn Kaiser- Solo Concert
Sat. March 11 @ 6:30pm
408 Pilaklakaha Ave.
Auburndale, FL 33823
863.229.5947
http://www.connectauburndale.com

Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn