Friday, December 5, 2014

Long time no post

It's been awhile so I thought I should get on here and post something.  I had a great birthday which was Thanksgiving Day this year.  My husband surprised me by getting me 2 things I'd been wanting for a long time.  I had added them to my amazon wishlist and was planning on saving up for them. So far every time I'd saved up some money something would come up and I'd end up spending it on one of my boys.  Of course I could have asked my husband to give them some money but sometimes (and especially some things) I want to come from me.  The look on their face when I give them the money when they thought I didn't have any is priceless.  They know I don't have much money so it means more to them and they are always more than willing to help

me with things around the house to make up for it.  My oldest son had a job for a while and he was always buying me gifts.  He even bought me a Keurig for Christmas and I know that cost a lot.  So that shows that it comes back around and it isn't about the gift but the love.

Anyway, speaking of love, my husband told me there was this big box by the door and I should go check it out.  This was a few days early.  I was shocked that the box was so big.  It was HUGE.  I had been feeling really bad the past few weeks.  My hands hurt and I've very weak all over so both my boys helped me open the box.  They both had this grin on their faces and I could tell they already knew what it was.  They got me a Kitchenaid mixer in the prettiest shade of pistachio green.  I have been wanting one of those since forever.  There was also this small gift and it turned out to be Rocksmith 2014 for the xbox 360. It comes with a cable that has a usb plug on one end and a standard guitar hookup on the other end.  I've wanting to play the guitar for a long time and I have a very nice electric guitar that was another gift from my husband.  It is an Eddie Van Haylen Wolfgang special which they stopped making around 97 I think.

I've been wanting to learn how to play my guitar for so long but something always got in my way. My health was my biggest obstacle and by the time I got the guitar out, hooked up and tuned up I would be exhausted. Rocksmith basically simplifies everything so I can start playing quicker and that helps a lot. I just plug the guitar in to the xbox and it acts like the amp.  You tune the guitar with the program which is very quick.  I'm usually tuned up in less than a minute.  The electric tuner I got is not just for guitar so it could be used for my son's violin as well.  My problem was that I would be trying to tune to the wrong octave (when I first started out) and I'd break strings.  Rocksmith's tuner has this line that moves up and down and you line it up with the string to get it in tune.  It also has numbers that are positive or negative so you can be sure you are turning the peg the right direction. After a week of using it I've already gotten to where I can hear when it is off and can tune it myself.  Mainly the big E string is what I start with and I tune it to what sounds good to me and then I check myself to be sure.  Then I've been tuning the other strings off of that one.  The first few times I checked it with the rocksmith tuner after that and it was in tune.  Now when I feel bad and have no energy I can just sit back on the couch and play without it plugged in.

I am still learning about the Rocksmith program and there are still things to learn but it was bothering me that most of the time it doesn't show the name of the notes or the strings (like the strings played open are E A D G B E in order).  They use a graphic of the neck of a guitar that lies horizontally across the bottom of the screen.  The strings are color coded and they indicate which note to play by color.  I was getting frustrated because I didn't want to learn red string, green string, yellow string.  I wanted to learn by the notes.  I used to play piano in high school and learned to read music so it is weird to not know which note I'm hearing.  I have some books and I've been looking online for more information.

My favorite website so far is www.justinguitar.com.  I have been going through his free beginner lessons and I have been learning a lot.  My fingers are very sore now but I can feel the tips starting to toughen up already.  I've learned two cords now and I really want to play a song!  Maybe I could learn a simple Christmas song before Christmas.

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