Saturday 1 June 2013

What's happening June 2013

Welcome to the Pilbara!  This is my home two weeks out of three for the foreseeable future. It is an area in Western Australia responsible for about 20% of the worlds iron ore production.  I've been working in the iron ore mining game on and off for 20 years, and have spent the last couple of years engineering software for an expansion of an iron ore port facility at Cape Lambert.  Now it is the pointy end of the job - where we commission the facility, which means a lot of time away from home.

(Here is the Birrabira camp where I am staying, and here are a couple of stackers in the facility I'm working at.)

What this all means is that since I don't work more than 12 hours a day I get a bit of free time between meals and sleeping...which I have been filling with guitar playing.  I've been running through my set list most nights to several mates who are happy to listen, and I put in time working out new songs.  Good news for guitar!  Not so good news for my family.  But, it is the nature of my work, good pay in return for being away from home.  Make the most of it me thinks.

I decided I'm not going to take the Esteve on the plane up and down every roster, so I looked in the classifieds for a good classical banger that I can leave up here.  I think I have mentioned I have a soft spot for 70's and 80's Yamahas.  Probably because that's all I had for the first ten years of playing.  I found a nice example of a G-55, circa 1974 vintage, so pretty much the same as my first guitar.  It was in fair condition so I grabbed it for $AU100 (2013).  I ditched the strings and went to take out the saddle for a looksee...which I discovered was glued in (sheesh) and when trying to pull it out shattered in my hands.  Lucky I have spares!  I cleaned up the saddle rebate, filed a new one down and popped it in.

Although the neck is ever-so-slightly bent in giving an ever-so-slightly high action, it plays fine and sounds great.  I think my audience is surprised when I tell them it is a $100 banger that I'm going to leave up here forever!

(Note, if you are interested in old yamaha guitars - when they were made, out of what - Yamaha's excellent "Guitarachive" Guitar Archive was closed but has found new support here:

I'll let you know of my progress.  It's overwhelming what to tackle first!  One of my mates who'd like to learn to play said "can you play Lean On Me?"...quick internet search for the chords, quick improvise...then an hour or two later in my room and I have made a really nice fingerstyle version.  I think you will like it but I didn't bring any recording equipment...this time.  But since I mentioned it, here, have a quick look at the main riff:
Note the strum/finger flick indications on the bottom of the tab section.

Anyway, I'll be in touch! :)

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