Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grounds for Divorce

My friend recently introduced me to a group called Elbow. I'm sure you may have heard of them already, and a couple of days after our discussion I discovered I already had a copy of their song Fallen Angel.
Anyway, although the song featured in the video above is not typical of the rest of their work, I do love the album it comes from - Seldom Seen Kid

All this introduction to Elbow and discussion on blues music and whatnot spurred me to tune my guitar and make a little more practice.  The chords for Grounds for Divorce are (apparently) Dm, C and G - all of which I can play (w00t).  Unfortunately the song isn't really one for an acoustic guitar so it only works when accompanied by the song itself, and even then comes out feeling a little too upbeat for the general tone.  Nevertheless I took the guitar in to work (since we'd been having a quiet week) and mucked around a bit with the song, the chords and with Dave, who can actually play.  The upshot of all this is that Dave has taught me the starting notes to the 12 Bar Blues.  I'm really thrilled to have learned the first part of this awesome and versatile piece and once I've mastered it I'll be keen to move on to the next part.
Unfortunately, while my guitar has a great natural sound to it the neck suffers from high action. This is where the strings sit quite high off the frets due to an exaggerated bend in the neck.  Because the strings are steel and my little finger is quite little and not very strong, I struggle to get the strings pushed onto the frets firmly enough for a clear sound.
Apparently I can alter the action of my guitar by adjusting the bend in the neck.  On the surface this is something a techie like me can easily accomplish.  Remove the covering plate at the top of the neck (3 phillips-head screws) and use an allen key to adjust the bend in the rod which runs down the centre of the wooden neck.  The downside of this is that after every *small* adjustment the guitar needs to be re-tuned and tested before the next adjustment so as well as the hand skills with a screw driver, I need a good ear and at least half a day.
I might get into it this week sometime.

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