New Song Lyric -Easter 2021

Sometimes I don’t write any songs for days, weeks even. Sometimes longer. And then there are spurts where I write many, at least bits of tunes be it lyrics, music, both, and often an entire song at once. Of course I edit as I think needed.

Here we approach Good Friday and Easter 2021. I’ve so much going on in terms of family, local church community, etc., even a short break to get outdoors pretty much must be scheduled. I don’t think it’s all that different for most people reading this. We’ve all suffered elements of struggle and sometimes deeply- loss of family and friends in the time between last Easter and this one. Pandemic, death, sometimes unexpected, shocking events.

Few- very few things are constant. Long ago the balance and for that matter inevitability of loss, leaving and indeed dying AS WELL AS eternity and for people of faith the Risen Jesus has been a constant gift, reminder to me of priorities, what’s important and is not.

If you read through my posts here you’ll find a lot of fun, hobby stuff and just basic everyday life (at least bits of it in my own little world) but other, more deeply serious issues again and again. Balance. I need it and I’m convinced we all do. Every breath, every moment, all good things gifts to be thankful for and shared when possible!

I don’t expect to have the music that’s in my head ready to record and surely not in a pro. way prior to Easter Sunday so I think this year I’ll merely drop the lyric right here and now, written last Sunday just before the start of Holy Week.

One day at a time, Grateful to Jesus, my sweet wife, family and friends who so encourage me to keep moving -sometimes when I’d rather not too 🙂

I wish you the Person who is EASTER. And as always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

FRIDAY BLUES -glenn kaiser

Day was dark
Darker than any day has been
Innocence was slain
Nailed to the wood
Just like sin

Sunday’s comin’
But not yet
Like those gamblin’ for a garment
Place your bet

Lotsa words been spoken
Lot been sung
Mockers, bitter, jokin’
Where love hung
Darkened hearts
Took their toll

Sunday’s comin’
Stone will roll.

What DID Jesus Do?

“So let us not talk falsely now… the hour’s getting late.” -Bob Dylan, “All Along the Watchtower’

Hatred or the simple, side-stepping “I don’t care, it’s on them not me!” is complicit if not direct in how Black, Asian, Indigenous and other People of Color are treated in the United State and elsewhere.

Cutting through the dross it has always seemed to me the 3 major issues among professing Christians are often much the same as those in the wide world. I truly believe if asked in a certain way decades ago I’d have still boiled down the major disagreements, fights, splits and too tragically often, cold blood-covered ground to these.

From all I’ve studied and believe true about Jesus and this world, doesn’t it come down to authority, money and “kind”?

Put another way, who’s in control/gets to say/gets their way, who’s got the loot and means to both keep control of it and make a whole lot more of it, who gets and maintains both while looking the other way because they -can- in terms of their own gender, racial “superiority” (racism) and cultural comforts.

I’m quite certain “the man behind the curtain” is a white male who has been trained, raised up in such a climate, often inside as easily as outside any church, but there it is.

The total shock of all this is such that it’s no surprise at all such folks are typically white-hot angry or dumbfounded in a state of depression, despair and adrift wondering how to rightly deal with such truth -and mind you, it’s true.

I’ve obviously been a white male all my life but this is how I see things, sometimes I suppose, not in a “white” way.

Perhaps in part what I’ve written here came to me early by being raised in a family trashed via illness which lead to poverty which lead to a fully fractured family, that I spent many hours with poor white friends and via friends and music baptized in elements of black culture, then living in the inner city and eventually coming to faith in Jesus, travelling in all sorts of varied churches and Christian cultures around the world.

A life of historical studies also seemed to bring these three issues to the top over and over, world-wide, not only in the U.S..

So how does one become a “blessed” peace-maker when one is confronted with one’s own “leg-up” and peace seems to be impossible within? Repent. Learn. Grow. Serve others in greater need, often far greater need than myself.

It is true that the Father sent His Son -perfect, sinless- into a world of injustice much based on those three elements. How did Jesus respond?

Many will immediately think of Jesus knocking the money changer’s tables and driving them out of the temple, the house of worship. He did do that, once and at most twice. What else did Jesus do? It’s obvious but relating to ourselves takes one much deeper.

Paul in what I think to be both plain and eloquent terms paints the picture in Philippians chapter 2. He emptied Himself. Poured Himself out for the Father and others. Humility, sacrifice, focus on God and others, not self, power and wealth though He alone deserved it all simply by fact He was and is God in the flesh.

No one rightly claims authority, wealth or in the human sense, racial Jewish/Chosen of God “status” as Jesus could have during His time on earth! But none of us is Jesus. For me, it always comes down to this. We want to BE God and when it seems our sense of control is contested, out come whatever weapons we choose. The kingdom of self must go.

Those of us with the privilege, power and comfort of “kind” have no real excuses for not sharing and in fact handing the keys of power to those “not like us” because in the end in a very true sense, that’s the example Jesus Himself set for us, yes, gives us.

Ponder that please.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Son House/The Church

 
SON/CHURCH -glenn kaiser
 
He was brilliantly talented
So at times, is she
He was addicted
Sometimes she is too
He sang and played with passion
So sometimes, does she
His rhythm rocked
Often hers has too
His spouse suffered and loved him
Hers did and does
 
Years ago a friend of mine (Shane Speal) surprised and gifted me with one of my fave 3 string cigarbox guitars. She’s a slider and I love the sound and looks. What blew me away next was looking at it from another angle: the back.
 
Shane didn’t know that Son House had long been one of my favorite blues players – nor did he know the Bible verse he included on the guitar has long been one of my “life verses”, of the most personal, influential to me. God knew 🙂
 
I included it here below.
 
Last time I checked nobody has a copy of the Lamb’s Book of Life as mentioned in the Book of Revelation (The Bible). So who is and is not in the immediate presence of God enjoying eternity isn’t an absolute known to us. It is known to God. The point is -I cannot judge or have access to that information neither being God… nor the deceased Son House.
 
What I do know is he was one of the quintessential bluesmen who in some ways was and remains an enigma. From many first-person sources and research Son was a very talented man who worked his whole life through, wrote, covered, re-worked, recorded and performed amazing blues songs in the delta/country blues tradition mostly on dobro using a slide and fingerstyle guitar methods.
 
He was “re-discovered” later in life after a long layoff from public performance taking all sorts of jobs in order to eat and survive.
 
If you’re interested there are a number of good and thorough biographies about him online, interviews, live concert clips where he not only plays but chats between songs. He lived quite a long and rather wide life of travel, then settling down, then travelling, drove mules, tractors, took to preaching and pastoring, eventually moving to upstate New York state where he worked for the railroad some 20 years.
 
He had killed two people in his lifetime, spent time in prison in the South and was let off up North seemingly due to a self-defense situation.
 
Son grew up in and around the Gospel, African-American religious people, the church and learned from family and others what such a life can teach one. He likewise was both impressed and learnt delta blues guitar from some of the earliest and greatest Black Southern musicians of the day, eventually travelling and performing with them locally, regionally and then recording brilliant “sides” as the single vinyl recordings are called.
 
Son’s recordings as well as his musical compatriots are easily found online, but the foremost name besides the famous Robert Johnson or lesser-known Willie Brown is that of Charlie Patton.
 
Patton was and is regarded as one of the first and finest, guitar and dobro playing singers and songwriters of raunchy, authentic country/Delta blues and did indeed define the style via his many gigs all over the South as well as through recordings.
 
Some rightly argue Son House did so in his own right.
 
As sometimes continues even today among a few in blues circles, Patton knew, played and recorded (some) Gospel tunes along with his mainstay music: songs about life, sex, struggle and desire.
 
Son did likewise, but there is a glaring difference. Though elements of both blues giant’s lives are not known, what is documented about House is his several year stint as a preacher in the black church… his off and on-again relationship to the church as well as five marriages and life-long addiction: alcoholism.
 
Around two decades of musical “layoff” after he’d recorded some of the most seminal Delta blues sides he was “re-discovered” in the largely white folk and blues music revival of the early and mid sixties by college and university students hungry to locate any of the living legends that they had begun to learn about, hear and love.
 
A young white, rabid blues fan and eventual gifted photographer as well as key reason Son and many other amazing blues artists were ever known named Dick Waterman eventually became his manager, booking agent and close friend. Waterman made sure Son House was not only known but compensated and cared for over the ensuing years.
 
Boogie band extrordinaire Canned Heat was partly fronted by one “Blind Owl” Wilson who had long studied and been most inspired by Son’s amazing songs. He and a couple more friends, also blues music addicts began tracing the trail of some of the greats -eventually locating Son and his wife living not down South, but up in Rochester, New York.
 
The rest of the story is also, as they say, history.
 
As the word got out about this living blues master young white groupies and especially folk-blues guitarists seeking to learn from one of the originators of the genre beat a path to his door looking to listen, ask questions, perhaps even get a lesson or two.
 
Blues record companies people, Blind Owl and others eventually persuaded Son to pick up the axe, re-learn his old repertoire, play some shows, record and tour again in his last and very senior years.
 
His Christian wife loved and supported him but clearly took issue with his constant drinking and there is ample evidence that when he allowed these young bucks into his parlor they couldn’t hardly get him to pick up his dobro much less teach them anything unless they were willing to first supply him with booze.
 
He had been so removed from performing and music for so many years that Owl literally had to teach him his own songs so he could begin playing them in public again.
 
Son House had to re-learn what it meant to be Son House!
 
One can find his final recordings, written and partial filmed interview clips and various commentary via the Web including his last longer tour in England. Fascinating stuff. One can also find clips, one that seems to have been taken offline at this point, where someone who dearly loved him and whom Son had mentored in the blues- one Chester Burnett (better known as Holwin’ Wolf) rebuked him in public over his drinking and wasting his life, not taking care of himself.
 
Here’s a link to one of the more amazing commentaries which also contains several revealing video clips where I believe one gets into some of the mind and heart of the man. It includes Wolf “calling him out”, but it’s actually not the one I referred to above.
 
 
Wolf’s songs were often quite sexual and “worldly”, he was a tough man not known for anything spiritual as such yet there is evidence of his respect and admiration for House, his acts of genuine kindness to him and in caring for many other needy musicians in blues music circles. He took care of himself and his business. Sometimes unbelievers are more gracious, more sober than those professing faith in the Lord.
Back of My “Shaner” Cigarbox Guitar

A couple of years ago I began to think of Son as a powerful and often all-too-accurate analogy of the Church. Israel and the Church in history have established a long record of on/off/on in relationship to both God and neighbors. Temptations come, maybe we don’t get the cred we think we deserve, our eye gets turned by something/someone “pretty” and down and away from Him and His people we go.

God isn’t in the bottle, He’s not the sex, dope, bank account, not the sound waves we appreciate. He’s -not- these things.

Interesting that this very morning one of my daily devotions focused on Psalm 51. Yep. There it is. There HE is. There all so often WE are!

Graced. Gifted. Blessed. Easily distracted. Making choices based on self rather than Jesus and others. Weak. Sometimes strong and growing, other times simply inviting the enemy of our souls to help “shore up” our addiction. Sometimes waking up from our stupor to face our own need to repent, believe, accept forgiveness and to truly, better reflect the one we call “our God”.

Our own suffering is naturally easily front-and-center to each one of us. What about the suffering we caused and even now cause God by our wayward choices?!

When I consider myself, the wider Church on earth and yes, Son House, I recognize our deepest need. A genuine and needed “blues therapy” is part of my life (and so many other’s) and by this I mean as a healing music. Yet nothing and nobody can replace nor usurp the place of our Most Needed: the true God, Lord and Savior.

It does seem Son was continually aware. Only God and he knows how things ended for him.

Alleluia for clean and sober!!! I give Thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I do thank God and those like Son and indeed, the blues -because the lessons run deep.

Partial lyric- “Between Midnight and Day” by Son House

You know I cried last night, I said I cried the night before
Ooo I cried last night, I said all the night before
I think I’ll change my way of livin’, so I won’t have to cry no more

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

TONE- Spiritual and Relational

[The following is something I prepared for a musician’s fellowship I lead]

Tone: musical – but what about spiritual and relational?

Solid Pitch- the strings of a solo guitar being tuned in harmony with one another; in playing alone/solo when one is using say, guitar and also harmonica on a neck brace… or in a duo, trio, larger band, jamming with others… playing in the same key

Paying attention to these for myself, within myself and then with the musicians I’m playing with, the audience or congregation I am playing for

Colossians 3.14 ESV And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. NASB unity.

KJV And above all these things put on charity –LOVE– which is the bond of perfectness.

Greek.- BOND
that which binds together, a band, bond
of ligaments by which the members of the human body are united together
that which is bound together, a bundle
Greek.- PERFECTNESS the state of the more intelligent, moral or spiritual completeness

AMP Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others].

How does my my pitch and even my tone work with and compliment theirs?

“Big ears” has been a phrase associated with musicians in studio and live who truly pay close attention to what and when and how the other musicians are playing

Mature musicians don’t only focus on their own volume or tone because the spectrum calls for a blend where all can be heard and work together or they cancel each other’s out -so for all can be heard live or in a recorded track… and this is where a truly good sound tech and maturity among the players is so needed for the best song to result as each helps enhance the final quality of the song

Things to consider along the musical road in blues or any style of music -and in everyday human life!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Dulci-Diddley Tune

Created 5 diddley bows and/or mouthbows in the past couple weeks, so much other priority work to do I’ve not had time to post ’em online but will when I can.

Meanwhile I was gifted this old dulcimer (6 stringer) years ago, truly great tone and HORRID intonation. So I’m re-purposing the tuners and put an old busted tuner (plastic head broke off) on it and an acoustic low-E guitar string to make a slide-only diddley bow out of it. Put it in the lap and go! Fun! Tuning it’s simple: pliers.

Dulci-Diddley

I rarely write or even jam raw instrumentals except in the street here in (warmer weather) Chicago… but today just turned on the phone and messed around w. a little empty hot sauce bottle and credit-card pick. A “dulci-diddley” tune for ya. Lo-fi-r-us sometimes 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

SLIDE Guitar?

Awww come on, some of you have been far too afraid to even try playing slide guitar! There are plenty of tutorials in YouTube, etc.. Here are the most basic of basics for guitarists who’ve not given this sort of playing a shot -and also for non-guitar players who may be curious.

I’m not going to get much into techniques in this post, but like nearly ANYTHING you have to swallow and try! Patience with yourself is key to learning. Not getting immediate results is often where we give up rather than learn and find the joy in success regarding any new venture.

So 1 string “diddley bow”, 2 string “chugger”, 3 string cigarbox guitars or any old acoustic or cheapo electric guitar can work. Yes! If all 6 strings freak you out try 1, 2 or 3 strings. You could of course take all but 1 string off a junk guitar and start there or like me, build a simple instrument.

There are countless “slides” made of many different materials but try what you have available before you pay money for something. Note that different material sounds different. Sliding on wound or plain (unwound) guitar strings will all sound different. The same is true for slides- metal of various sorts, plastic pvc, the back of a pocket knife or handle of a butter knife all work. Being a hot sauce fan I use various empty bottles. I began using (hard to hold until I worked at it) an old 9 volt battery, then went to a proper glass slide. I use a wide assortment of slides these days.

The simple way to set up a guitar for slide-ONLY playing is to jack the bridge up high enough so that when pressing the slide on the string/s they do NOT touch the frets or neck. Secondly, if 2 or more or simple 6 strings are used, tune the guitar to an open chord such as a full E chord or if desired, another “open” chord. Again, the Web is loaded with slide guitar tuning info., but in essence if you only play typically tuned guitars, forget where those notes are because I’m talking about setting a git up for -slide-, not to play by pressing fingers between the frets and down onto the neck.

Note- one must place the slide exactly perpendicular to the actual FRETS, not between them as if playing with fingers normally.

Learning the new “scale”- where individual notes are in open tuning/s is part of the fun and expansion of one’s musical ability with guitar.

How you hold whatever you’re using as a slide is also a matter of personal feel, comfort and practice. Using typical slides early on I played like Dave Hole (Australian blues slide-king) by using my index finger inside the slide and playing over the top of the neck rather than the normal ring finger under the neck way. Again, there are various ways to use a slide, check the Web for tons more on this.

There’s no sin in playing slide as in lapsteel or table-top fashion either. I find it a fun way to change between that and standard guitar holding position.

Finally, a sweet vibrato using a slide is THE DEAL and may take a little time and discipline to learn, but I’ve long been convinced it’s far easier to do than using one’s fingers to produce that mimic of a human voice on the strings…

So there you are, give it a go! Be patient with yourself and you’ll likely expand your musical and guitar-playing world!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

BLUES Tone

First off, my opinion is there ain’t one. That is, only ONE “Blues Tone”. Not for vocals nor any instrument.

More on that here, but some like darker or thicker or brighter, some go for blend with other players or in a recorded song, some want cleaner while others want some distortion and or effects like reverb or (lots of different effects most which indeed alter tone of the given instrument) or at least more or maybe less compression. Some of this relates as much to acoustic instruments as to electric.

Diversity 101- even in blues playing! There is of course, a lot of personal opinion sometimes shared with other musicians and sound techs and sometimes not. Yep!

This time I think I’ll begin by writing an article for you re. tone- I mean blues TONE. I’m thinking about voice, guitar, bass, drums and keys in my comments.

TONE in blues is like in any style of music: it’s inside the player -and/or- the sound tech whether live or in studio or field recordings.

In the player’s mind and by their ears or by those of the sound engineer and sometimes record producer there is both the individual vocal, guitar, etc., sound, ballpark or specific tone being sought after. It may seem excellent or not so much to players and/or listeners, but there it is.

In the end without the tone in one’s mind and working to achieve it the actual instrument/s take a secondary part in getting the wanted tone and in part, “feel” for blues music.

Early and even mid and late times in the last century you can hear a few obvious things. Simple recording gear, sometimes sound engineers using simple techniques to record affected those recordings. Live recordings (and many of the early country blues musicians were recorded live in concert or a hotel room or front porch) “were what they were” both in terms of instrument quality, the ability or lack of it to actually tune each instrument first to itself, then to other instruments. Whether or not a vocalist could hear well enough (or a solo musician singing along with their guitar, etc.) all figured into what we hear not only in terms of performance (sharp and flat notes for example) but also tone.

A common recording technique was to place a microphone on a boom stand above the player and sometimes the corner of a hotel room was used up over so the tone of a solo singer/guitarist was affected by a “live” or not as live sound coming back off of those intersecting walls to the mic. Some early blues players freaked out at seeing a mic “in their face” so such a recording technique was used to set them at ease.

Remember also that regardless of acoustic or electric guitarists, upright or electrified bass players, piano players and drummers only had available the instruments they could afford or borrow- so tonal qualities were (as now but moreso then) a matter of both money, availability of gear and again, what was in their minds as they recorded or played live shows.

The actual venues- be it roadhouse, juke-joint, outdoor fish-fry, indoor rent party or church each had their own acoustics. Then as now anything we hear recorded is affected, but even more in early days with no stereo (mono recorders) and typically only one microphone.

Records were made on-site with one or two “takes” being literally “cut” into a master acetate as the musician/s played. Certainly the record company owner was investing and therefore kept costs low as possible and recording time quick as possible. The days of great recording studios were largely in the future, the back half of the century. Even then the finances were always as now, a large part of the sound.

I’ve heard in blues and of course other music styles, the same guitarist or bass player use sub-par gear and for the most part produce the same ballpark tone as when I heard them use truly great quality instruments. Why?

The mature artists have come to a basic sense of what they want to hear and have learned to dial it in on whatever is available at the time. There are nuances of course, and the musicians may have also chosen to use a tone different than what we’ve considered their “norm”, use affects or simply more compression, etc., but in the end like one’s vocal timbre, you bring what you bring to the show, studio or home recording process.

Note also that a studio engineer and/or producer will be thinking about hearing ALL of the recorded instruments at the same time but not always at the same level of volume, and how each instrument (and vocal) tone is set up affects the entire song and overall sound. For example a guitarist may prefer a more full, low-end boost or at least on part of a given song where if not mixed well with the drums and bass, could make the overall track muddy, clogged up in those frequencies. Compromises are often made so the entire tonal spectrum is then judged better for the SONG and not merely the desire of the specific instrument (or player).

I LOVE cranking drums and bass but in some live settings when I listen to a band, even standing out by the mixing desk I find the guitars, harmonica, keys are sometimes not all that hear-able. Sometimes it’s my own hearing deficiencies but sometimes it’s the tech’s personal ears or mixing preferences to produce a powerful live sound. So there is in my view a bit of a myth about “perfect mixes”: few will ever please everyone because we aren’t all hearing exactly the same nor are we hearing tones of specific instruments or vocals -much less volume levels of all of them- as we would personally like best in each case.

Lastly, the most amazing tone, gear, live or recording production in the world won’t mask a forgettable song or slack, uninspired performance.

In my early teens as a musician and fan I loved a bright, treble-y electric guitar sound. As I aged I mutated to more of a low-end, bassier approach and now so much depends on the song itself but also frankly, my mood. Thus some of my cigarbox or found-object guitars sound thin and tinny, others full and bass-y, I mean really it’s “all over the map” for me -for a long list of reasons. What most INSPIRES me at the time is more of an essential than anything. As a musician you may be quite different in your approach to tone when playing or even listening to blues music, that’s fine!

So there are many, many variables, even what kind of mic to use, positioning of the mic/s on an acoustic instrument or drum kit, same for amplifier and then for acoustic guitars or bass we have direct boxes or a mix of both mic and d.i. signals… see, it’s endless as to what affects what both we and our listeners hear -and prefer!

All worth considering when thinking about acoustic or electrified guitar, bass, keyboards, harmonica, sax, drums and vocals in blues or any other music style!

So here you have a few thoughts on BLUES (and other music) tone.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

FAMOUS??

It’s interesting- some folks are “famous for being famous” -so… what??! I’ve known and now know people who will only be truly famous to a very small group of people -for their depth of sacrifice, kindness and service to others. Often those “others” are people many of us will also never hear about or notice mention of in social or other media.

Media stars of ANY sort may or may not catch your interest for various reasons but in the end, only God knows their own motives.

In researching history, in studying blues, it’s origins, Christian church/individual histories and simply via travelling and living I’ve met folks who have often been sweet as pie and some rather nasty jerks -and I mean in every sort of setting. Trust me, I’ve been both in my lifetime.

Who am I (or you) to judge whether they were such merely in the moment or day, what issues we were/are ignorant of and how they ended up so loving and kind or bitter and even cruel? It IS true “God only knows” and especially with regard to their motives for being who they seem to be, doing as they seem to do.

I don’t read minds nor always have the most pure motives myself, so as Jesus tells us “Do not judge according to appearance but judge righteous judgment” (John 7.24) and of course I need to repent daily myself.

Meanwhile, fame? I understand “Making a name for myself” has long been a thing, and in part how people make enough money to survive, but in the end it simply means more people THINK they know you or whatever it is you bring to them as “product” or in any case, attitudes, encouragement, information or service/s they either need or simply want, like, relate to. So… is all that somehow “criminal” as they say? Of course not.

And yet to desire, chase after, do all you can to BE famous may reveal an underlying issue of insecurity, lack of a sense of acceptance -of yourself.

If God’s love, grace, mercy and acceptance of us isn’t enough -and He’s perfect in all these… we must eventually face “being known” by a lot of people isn’t going to meet our deepest needs either.

Neither are people going to meet needs that can only be truly met by Him.

Things to consider perhaps?

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Guitar/Bass Tuners?

For simple, useful primitive/trash guitar building tuning devices, especially re. diddley bows… read on!

Some folks would see these items as an eyebolt attached to an L bracket, a small turnbuckle and a bolt with a wingnut -and they’d be correct. I use them for various projects. I also see ’em as one-string (or more, there are ways to do it…) slide guitar TUNERS…

CigarBox or Found-Object DiddleyBow Tuners

If you only have bits of hardware on hand, or frequent garage/yard/”junk” sales you can find all sorts of stuff to build a simple diddley-bow (1 string slide guitar) like these things and/or cigar boxes, cookie tins, wooden bowls and such to serve as a guitar or bass “body”, which resonates when a neck of some sort is affixed to them. To create a quick and simple 1 string slide guitar you don’t need much.

Further, I own, have at my disposal and use a wide (and I mean WIDE) range of “real” guitars and basses, amps and trust me, know the difference between -real- guitar and bass tuners/machine heads even down to zither and uke tuners. They all work. And sometimes the cheaper sets work while other times one or more of them will just give out because, well, they’re cheap.

One of my hobbies directly relates to a sort of music therapy for me, that is, creative builds of 1 string slide (using something to change the pitch of the string) and a simple “bridge” between the “tuner” and body of a found-object or cigarbox guitar.

I’ve years of write-ups and pics in my blogsite of various 3, 2 and 1 string guitars built in all sorts of forms and with varied hardware, but what to do when you think you’ve nothing left to build with in terms of tuning? Here are 3 items that may interest you -they all work great, I’ve used them all plenty on a lot of builds.

So… you CAN get really cheap and I’ve also done the 2×4 or other piece with a small but sturdy glass jar, hot sauce bottle or piece of hard conduit (metal or pvc) as a “bridge” and nailed 2 nails to hold it in place with a thicker or thinner piece of wire or guitar string around a 3rd nail or screw behind the “bridge”, then run it up to the top of the neck and wound it tightly on another large, solid nail/screw and if it’s high enough off the “neck” or board or whatever, and if you stretch it out and get the pitch you like, you’re done. If not you can use something similar for a “nut” as you did “bridge”, jam it up under the tightly wound string. I often use a hot sauce or other glass or other item as a slide, and after marking where 3 or 4 main notes are on the neck, I’m done. Adding a pickup isn’t all that difficult either.

For a tuner? Well here are three kinds of ’em from your local hardware store if no little junk sales are near!

So -cheap (and I mean CHEAP) thrills 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

You May or May Not Care

About my Saturday morning. And that’s fully understood by me! Here’s how my (today’s) Saturday began.

Got up, dressed, took vitamins, made some strong pour-over black coffee and made a not-so-strong pot for my sweet Wendi.

Her cataract surgery (second one, now both eyes have new vision!) yesterday went excellent so she was having a well-deserved sleep-in.

Opened my email, Facebook, Twitter, worked on an upcoming blog post on discipleship training methodology and a bit of history as to how my personal experience in the extreme positive changed both my and my wife’s life.

Did the beginning of an in-depth study of Juke Boy Bonner (Texas bluesman) and also took some time to consider my own upcoming live show (virtual) setlist, and perhaps a new record project in solo blues. I did some of that via my very old netbook with Slax Linux on it, comes with only a few basic apps, sorta like an old 3 on the column stick-shift manual clutch (which I loved) and runs a tad slow but quite smooth.

Did a couple devotionals. Cooked lunch (I’m decent doing outdoor grilling or indoor basics) for Wendi and I.

And while in the kitchen took a pic of the earliest sign of Spring here in inner-city Chicago 🙂 Our hanging plant pot in the window caught my eye and made me smile!

First Blush of Spring 2021

Now Wendi… whoo-hoo… puts all else my eyes see to shame.

I wish you a happy Saturday and as always-

Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn