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mother of josh, richard, and mutt. lover of books, yarn, and the quiet places. spinner, knitter, kayaker, survivor, vandweller, warrior.

Monday, February 11, 2008

B strings and the blues

another resurrection. my kids bought me this for mothers day years ago. i rarely touched it, except to play "little bunny foo foo" and "hobo's lullaby" on it for the kids.

i got new silk and steel strings on it before christmas, but have only started picking on it. i need major callous development. i'm keeping it by the computer in the woodstove corner along with my knitting, so i can get stuff accomplished now and then.

on the stool next to the guitar is my harmonica. i found it in richard's drawer- i'm so glad he hadn't taken it to florida. i had given it to him years ago when i vowed i'd never play again. it's the hohner limited edition 125th anniversary harp, given to me in 1982 by my best friend betsy. the 7th reed is flat, can't draw a note, so "heart of gold" sounds funny, right when you go to bend the note it goes "wok". actually "wok" doesn't do justice to the sound it makes. but you get the idea. i am going to email hohner to see if it can be repaired. it's a nice little harp, and it's sentimental to me. i miss betsy desperately, and holding it makes her feel close to me.

betsy, if you're out there.....i wish you'd come home to us..........

so the deal is, i can carry a tune okay. my voice is not strong, so pickin and singing slow and low works for me. and i don't have alot of range. but i can sing me and bobby mcgee alright, and that suits me just fine.

i have one major problem with the guitar. i cannot tune the b string to my satisfaction to save my life. not just this guitar, or this b string. every guitar i have ever held in my life has had a flat b string. every one tells me it's my imagination, but i know i'm right. and it drives me batty. i have vowed to tune it once a day, and no more.......we'll see.

so my goals in the extreme kate makeover now include forming calluses as quickly as possible, singing like there's no one listening (even if they are) and learning to play those hot little guitar licks in "couldn't stand the weather" just as good as stevie ray........

oh, yeah, and jamming with tara when she hits the east coast.


Johnny said...

First, You are the only person I know who wears Muckluks, so you dont need to pretend. Altho I did look at the link on your site of the guys who sell Mucklucks and Moccasins, and am pondering a purchase.

Second, I lost your e-mail address
after you sent me the e-mail about the quote. (I am so technologically challenged some days) I more ment by the quote I like hearing the story best from the horses mouth. Especially when the horse can tell such a good story. Guess I didnt really look at the quote in the way you did, and never ment it in that manner.

kate said...

johnny, you are my best comment buddy. i am relieved to know you still like my stories.

i think you are where it's warm....the steger mocs are really comfortable,and last forever. i'm posting a pic of the apache mocs tonight....check back.

Anonymous said...

Cool blog, Kate!

We met briefly on VanDwellers & talked some guitar stuff.

I noted on your profile that you liked Eva Cassidy. What a great singer, and very sad she's gone... I like her versions of 'Kathy's Song' and 'Time after Time'.

FWIW, I tune the B string differently depending on the key I'm playing in. For keys of G or D I'll fret a 'D' (at 3rd fret) and tune to match it against the open D (4th) string. If playing in A or E, I'll try to get it to sound good with the E (1st) string. Key of C? it's a toss up ;)

I find it impossible to tune the B string to sound good in all keys.

Best of luck on your travels; I follow your comments with interest.


- Chuck