six strings maybe not ALL bad

(public post)hallo my loves.

i’ve managed to take the majority of the last five days off to be a mothering, cooking, swimming and friend-ing human being, and while i always get itchy when i am not working, i am getting better. i swearz.

i have some longer posts to jetison your way, but i thought i’d share this fucking beautiful afternoon today-moment with you: an acoustic guitar lesson from songwriting legend dar williams. note my agony and confusion! let’s start with all the ways a guitar is not like a piano. WHY IS IT SIDEWAYS. WHY IS EVERYTHING NOT IN ONE LINE THAT I CAN UNDERSTAND. still, a guitar is somewhat like a ukulele (see discarded ukulele in foreground). and yet, the eternal chant of FOUR STRINGS GOOD, SIX STRINGS BAD rings and resonates around the land. i am not sure about all of this. but dar promises it will all be okay and by the time i hit tour in 2019, i’ll be slash.

she came over to my house to say hi and i got into complaining about my lack of ever understanding the instrument. i’ve been thinking lately about translating “the thing about things” into a guitar song (and away from the ukulele) for the actual recording of the album in the fall…and i had this idea that i’d then learn the part and play it live on stage that way. but dar helped me realize that was actually a terrible idea. i played it for her on the uke, she played it back for me on the guitar, and honestly, it sounds like a forgettable country song when strummed on a 6-string acoustic (SIX. STRINGS. BAD!!)

but still.

the guitar can be wonderful. i don’t always hate it.

please feel fre to send guitar-spiration tips.

my top ten guitarspiration songs…rules: must be SOLO guitar. no help from no fuckin band. acoustic and electric allowed.

please feel to comment below with your faves. acoustic or electric allowed. hit me. inspire. six strings…okay.

1. both hands – ani difranco

2. hallelujah -jeff buckley version

3. speaking of leonard cohen: master song (ahhhhhhh)

4. i am not me - robyn hitchcock

5. silence as christine – current 93

6. new england – billy bragg

7. falling slowly – glen hansard

8. to my bones - wallis bird

9. rid of me – PJ harvey

10. get ready to cry…. oh comely – neutral milk hotel

i’ll redouble my efforts to befriend this harrowing, finger-slicing instrument.

and i’m going to try to force myself to write a song on guitar for this upcoming record come hell or high water. even if i suck.

hold me to it.



p.s. photo by justine marzack, resident upstate goth.


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