One of the things I love about the internet is how you can engage with people all over the world, including artists you admire. Some, such as bassist Steve Lawson, spend a lot of time talking to their fans on-line in order to build a more intimate relationship and mutual respect. It may not sell as many records as an expensive marketing campaign, but leads to a more loyal following and enhances the enjoyment of the music.
This week a post appeared on the Six String Bliss guitar forum linking to the latest creation by Jeffrey Jones. I commented that these instruments, whilst beautiful, seem beyond the reach of most musicians and that my own tastes are more for utilitarian musical tools. Today Jeffrey himself has responded to my comments with a lengthy post. I've responded to let him know that I appreciate his work even if it's not what I would necessarily buy myself even if I had the money. It's great to hear his side.
I aspire to having a guitar built to my own specification one day, once I figure out what that might be. You can pay an awful lot for an off the shelf guitar, e.g. the Gibson replica of Billy Gibbons' Les Paul. That seems destined for a collector's wall. For a fraction of that price there are plenty of luthiers who will build you a custom guitar. Gordon Smith, who built my main guitar, offer limited customisation options, but others can build almost anything you can imagine. Maybe in a few years I'll be a good enough player to justify splashing out.
I've not got together with the rest of The Barking Spiders since our open rehearsal performance due to holidays and other events. People have other commitments at the moment, so I don't know when we will next play together. Meanwhile I'm doing a fair bit of playing. I'm alternating between the band songs and some acoustic pieces for my own enjoyment. I've been working on a few of the classical pieces I played in my teens. I fancy the idea of collaborating with someone on some acoustic guitar work. This could incorporate any combination of classical, jazz, folk and perhaps some ideas I have for acoustic versions of classic prog tracks such as songs by King Crimson. This depends on finding someone and the time to work on it, but it's a possible path. Since joining the band I feel that more options are open to me. I intend to find a local teacher who can help me build the skills to develop those options.