Reverend Mojo's Daily Sermon


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010     I Hate This Time of Year
(1:58 pm)

Not only is the last week of February usually bone-chillingly cold, but it's also the worst part of my pre-birthday funk, time to get the license renewed on the Caravan, new Inspection Sticker, usually periodic maintenance and oil change time, and any number of other unpleasantries. Somehow this year it seems even worse. I suspect that may be due to the weather being so consistently wintery, which it hasn't been for over a decade. If it would just snow a good two feet or so and get it over with, I probably wouldn't mind so much, but the continuous snow storms leaving enough to seduce all the local idiots out onto the streets and highways a dozen or more times in one season is a bit much to take. Oh yea, I have an appointment Friday to have the windshield repaired or (likely) replaced on the van. Gotta do that before the inspection can happen.

Quote of the Day: "I prefer the wicked rather than the foolish. The wicked sometimes rest."

-- Alexandre Dumas

I can't even get the impetus up to do some much-needed string changes on several of my guitars, not to mention do the repairs I need to do to my Customized Les Paul so that the bridge pickup will work. I have no idea what its problem is. Maybe after my birthday passes uneventfully and I get over the trauma of being so aged, I'll get busy doing that which needs doing. Then again. . .

I did manage to change the first and second strings on my Taylor acoustic night before last. I usually get a set of the coated strings, either the Martin SP+, Elixr nanoweb, DR, or Alchemy, and put them on a guitar. The wound strings are the ones that have the coating and therefore usually outlast the plain strings, so I keep a stock of single strings in the following gauges: 10, 11, 12, 13, 16,and 17. That covers the range of plain strings on both the acoustic and electrics I use. Then when the first and second strings go dead, I can change them and get more mileage out of the coated strings. Instead of 3 to 5 times the life of regular strings, this way I get 5 - 8 times their life, and at a cost about comparable to using regular strings. My head is so swelled up for having thought of this. I'll get over it.

Since I'm offering advice to guitarists, let me add: Whenever I change strings, I put the date, gauge, and brand on a removable label (Avery 390 or 510 or equivalent) and stick it on the back of the headstock. That gives me a basis on which to evaluate the quality of the strings I'm using. It also gives me a ballpark date on when I need to change the strings. I also use a sticker like this to put the date I use fretboard conditioner on each guitar. That lets me know when it needs doing again. I used to keep a small notebook with all this information in it, but it was too easy to forget to enter the data or to not refer to it frequently enough to keep proper track of things. With the labels on each guitar, it's right there whenever you pick it up. Sometimes I let things go too long if I don't play a guitar for an extended period, but the next time it comes out of the case, that information is there. Using the removable labels insures that no damage is done to the finish, not that the finish on the back of the headstock is that vital anyway.




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