Another Finger Picker

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Another Finger Picker

Postby Slacker G » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:50 pm

Slacker G here,

I found this forum on Google, while I was searching out finger pickers to add to a soundclick station. = {Finger Pickin Good} I saw a post on finger vs picks, and had to join so I could put in my two cents on a 4 year old topic. May be a slight exaggeration there, but I'm always a day late and a dollar short.
I started picking because I designed an am transmitter for an acoustic guitar player back in the 60's. He had a big battery operated AM radio and said he sure wished he could "Patch into his radio" so he could hear himself above the ship noise. So I designed a simple single transistor modulator that he could tune to a dead spot on his radio, and that did the job. I thought it was so neat when it was done that I bought a $12.00 Stella guitar so I could have one. But I didn't know how to play a single note. Strings about a foot above the warped finger board on that acoustic weren't a total barrier to my learning to play a single song..... Honky Tonk.
As it goes, I learned that song and was so amazed that I could do it, I forgot about the Xmitter and learned another song. I was hooked. The reason being I was denied music class because I was deemed tone deaf by my ignorant inefficient public screwel teacher. I had no idea I could ever play anything.
I learned all Duane Eddies tunes, then the Ventures stuff. Then I bought a Gibson Melodymaker as soon as I learned 1&1/2 songs. It was actually playable!! But the ridge runners on my ship kept saying I wasn't a real guitar player unless I could pick like Chet Atkins. So like who on the He11 was Chet Atkins anyway?
Well, a couple of years later I was walking through a park in East San Deigo. I heard this great guitar playing and went to see. It was only one guy, and he finger picked like he was possessed. I couldn't really absorb it all. Guess you could say I was guitar shocked. And that is why I learned to finger pick. Now I'm the guy who shocks pickers. (The new baby pickers that can't play much}
I got sick of the clubs and quit altogether for about 25 years. Then a friend that thought I should start picking again started sending guitars to me. NICE guitars!! Like a brand new Less paul in a hardshell case, and later a brand new New American Tele in a hard shell case. That was enough to get me going again. Then I Discovered digital recording on a computer! WOW!!!! Next came the forums.
Then I found the Digetec site and Sound Click. So I posted some stuff there. Met some really great rockers.
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_mu ... dID=178805
And now I'm here. I have a video on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFoHY_RtI7k
It was a rather poor Canon Camera video test that I made to see how the camera worked. I even started to quit in the middle, but decided to finish it anyway since it was only a vid test. Before I could delete it, another picker asked for it. And one thing led to another and someone posted it, as flawed as it is. Since other folks like it somewhat, I guess I can live with it too. Although every screw up stands out and screams at me when I hear it. But then as everyone knows...that's the kind of thing that keeps you humble.
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Re: Another Finger Picker

Postby ricochet » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:26 pm

Welcome!

A homebuilt guitar wireless system 40-something years ago, that's cool!

I've got a little commercial AM transmitter that came from Lafayette Electronics, I think, in those days. Uses a 12BE6 as both its oscillator and modulator with a direct input from a crystal mic, and has a 35W4 rectumfrier, with a power resistor to make up the balance of the line voltage on the series heater circuit. I bought a solid state module potted in a piece of plastic that looks like a small wall wart in the early '70s, but never did anything with it.

I've not learned to do the whole fingerpicking thing, and am blown away by it myself. "How many guitars IS that, anyway?" My playing's pretty simple and basic, after nearly 9 years. But I amuse myself.

Hope you don't get cabin fever too bad, snowed in up there!
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Re: Another Finger Picker

Postby Slacker G » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:50 pm

ricochet ,

Funny thing. The Ricochets was the name of the second band where I played lead.

On the rf oscillator I designed. I believe I was using something not too far related from the CK722, the FIRST commercial transistor. The exciter was built around an old ferrite antenna that they used in early AM radio clocks. Just had to wind a tickler coil over it and add a cap. I tuned that to a dead spot with a small variable cap that came through the flat top. No volume control, and a small Xtal mike was held on the top with what we used to call "Monkey Shit" in the electricians vocab. {Used to cover motor and other connections in the Navy.} It didn't even "drif" too badly. But when it did, a small tweak of the radio or the guitar would bring it right back.
I started repairing radio at my uncles TV repair shop when I was 8, so I had a lot of experience back then. Now I still design my own circuits, boards and sound systems. But only when needed. Some commercial stuff is so advanced and cheap, I couldn't even keep up with it now days. I build a lot of guitars and amplifiers just because commercial stuff still can't touch my analog gear for a sweet sound.
Are we the only guys out here? All the forums seem a bit slow since I got back on line.
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Re: Another Finger Picker

Postby ricochet » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Everything gets super slow around the holidays. I need to get out of here myself!

Both of the transmitters I mentioned used those adjustable ferrite loopsticks. The tube one came with a 1 foot length of green wire attached as the "antenna." I used to hook it up to my 50' AM antenna, and if I picked a clear frequency I could "broadcast" all around the campus I lived on. It was probably in the 150 milliwatt range.

The only semi-useful thing I can design and build is a basic tube guitar amp. Not rocket science, and they're still cool. Everything else you might as well buy.
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