General frustration, more minor repairs, and my shiny new gig bag.

Today, I tackled the other thing about my guitar that drives me crazy – namely, that the volume and tone knobs don’t line up properly.  The way the buttons were put on, the numbers on the three knobs are on completely arbitrary numbers, neither one, nor ten at minimum and maximum volume.  That in and of itself isn’t enough to annoy me, but that at max tone and volume the three knobs were all situated on completely different numbers (for example, at 10 on all three, Volume would actually look like it was on 8, one of the tone buttons on one, the other one maybe on 5…) – that quirk annoyed me.

So, I ventured to google and found this:

I knew it had to be easy! I just couldn’t figure out how to pull the darn things off without potentially damaging the guitar.  I’ve actually wanted to pull them all up anyway, from day 1, as there was a bit of plastic on the guard under the knob that didn’t come off and I couldn’t seem to get to. Now, the plastic is gone and my knobs are all aligned to match! Yay!

Lessons are pretty stagnant at the moment. I’m stuck dead at 80.5% on the bends 101 lesson on rocksmith, which has absolutely nothing to do with my ability to execute bends and everything to do with Beginneritis. I’m struggling over bends not because of bends, but because of the same stupid stuff I’m still only improving on slowly – switching between frets and strings, determining how hard to press the strings for rocksmith, versus for reality.  I’ve noticed a real discrepancy there – that on Rocksmith I sometimes have to barely press down the strings, if I press them enough that I’d be able to make the string sound when not plugged in, it tells me that I’m in the wrong fret – basically that I’m pressing too hard.  It just gives me all the more reason that I need to get an amp so I can test the difference between playing unplugged, playing with an amp, and playing with rocksmith.  As things stand I’m not sure if ‘pressing too hard’ is rocksmith being quirky, or me compensating for lack of amp.  So I will make a mini/practice amp my next guitar purchase, I think, because I don’t think I’ll be able to figure out whether it’s me, or the program, that’s at fault until I have an actual amp to plug into to teach me what the guitar will sound like normally.  Since I really can’t play any songs yet (though techniques are definitely improving, and for all my complaining speed and accuracy are also improving), I think a little $20 mini-amp is more than enough for me for now, just like an $85 guitar that wasn’t quite properly assembled and I’ve had to perform some very minor repairs on is good enough for now.  I can save up for fancy stuff once I don’t suck quite so much. lol.

In an only vaguely related note, I’m very frustrated with my new gig bag, which I asked for and got for Christmas.  I’m a long way off from carrying it with me, but having the option to, is nice, and the protection for the guitar, cheap as it is, when not in play.  Mostly it’s great to have somewhere that all of my guitar accessories can be kept in one place (picks, cables, capo, etc). It’s nicely padded, just the right size, and has plenty of storage space.  And the zipper has already broken 3 times. Seriously! 😦

For $20, I guess I can’t expect much, but it’s actually awesome for the price otherwise. …so now I keep pliers in the bag, along with my small screwdriver, and all of my guitar stuff. Who knew I was going to have to add tools to my ‘stuff I need for my guitar’ collection.  The screwy strap button turned the screwdriver my ‘guitar screwdriver’ pretty quickly, and now the screwy zipper on the gig bag makes a pair of needlenose pliers a necessity. Having just fixed the push on volume and tone buttons, I think I’m about to throw a small rag into the pile, too.  Things I didn’t know I needed, until I needed them.

Now, if only I could find a strap I like so I can stop buying the darn things!  I at least know what features to look for – no studs or grommets – as much as I like the look of them, since I’m too short for half adjustable straps. I do like my Planet Waves strap, but in person it’s a bit loud. I feel a bit too much like a flower child with all that color contrasting against my black guitar. So, I’ll find another one that isn’t so colorful, I suppose.

Until next timetaking it slow, but taking it.

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