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  1. #1

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    Hi Guys,
    Well, its been a while since I recorded anything with the L5.
    Folks, this guitar is in a league of its own. When I play it, I get the sense that it would be just as solid feeling and confidence inspiring - if I had super duper slinky Ernie Ball 8's on it. The guitar is pure magic. It is a bank vault on your lap. Like Thor and his hammer, I feel invincible when I play it.
    It carries me. It really does. I love it, I am so glad I own it and I cherish it.

    Oh, Something about the song. I read somewhere that Johnny wrote this one for his Dog. That is cool. Johnny recorded this in 1976 (i believe) for a record that was released in 1995. It is a very challenging piece that has helped clean up my picking.
    Thank you for watching my video.



    Joe D

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  3. #2

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    Fantastic Joe! Made my day bro!
    I play for my dog all the time. Dog's seem to understand jazz. If I was a dog, I can't imagine a better deal than having Johnny Smith playing and writing tunes for me.
    You did Johnny proud.

  4. #3

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    Great playing Joe! I wonder if that composition was the result of a fingerboard exercise that Johnny conceived. The tone was pure L5 magic and never lost its balance as you proceeded up the neck.

    Thanks for sharing. I bet your glad you purchased that guitar when you did - asking prices are escalating rapidly on Gibson L5’s.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #4

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    Sweet. Maybe your future guitar purchases should all be Gibson L-5's ? The model suits you.

  6. #5

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    Congrats, Joe, great rendition of a difficult piece !
    and thanks for reminding me of this CD that I had nearly forgotten in my drawers !
    Gibson L5 Wes Montgomery ~ Wally's Waltz-smithvaneps-jpg

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by QAman
    Great playing Joe! I wonder if that composition was the result of a fingerboard exercise that Johnny conceived. The tone was pure L5 magic and never lost its balance as you proceeded up the neck.

    Thanks for sharing. I bet your glad you purchased that guitar when you did - asking prices are escalating rapidly on Gibson L5’s.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ha ha! Asking prices of Gibsons are through the roof. Understandable since they’ve reportedly stopped producing them.

  8. #7

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    Loved it, enjoyed it, do another Joe.

  9. #8

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    That gorgeous WesMo looks good on you, Joe, and sounds even better in your skilled hands. A virtuoso performance!

  10. #9

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    Dear Joey,

    Thanks for making me rediscover this tune that I had completely forgotten. I too have that CD with George Van Eps. That's a heck of a tune, nice polytonal piece, very modern and you're playing it just great. Keep on sharing my friend, it's so good to hear you.

    Best to you and take care.

  11. #10

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    Great job as usual, Joe! Did you have the music to that, or did you transcribe it from the record? If you used music, where did you find it?

  12. #11

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    Beautiful, Joe. And, it confirms that my L5 needs to be in the hands of someone who can make it sing like that!

  13. #12
    Hello Joey, i came across your videos a couple of times on the internet and i must say that you got a great taste in music! Its wonderful to see someone cherishing the music of the great Johnny Smith. In my personal opinion and based on the people i came across in my life, too many guitarists doesn’t seem to recognize the greatness of Mr. Smith. I always assumed him to be the greatest of them all, and he will always be a major influence in my personal music life. Anyway, i always enjoy your videos and you sure always got great guitars! Cheers, Jazzman.

  14. #13

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    that's a real "tongue-twister" of a tune!...when you mine johnny's vaults you are dealing with the best

    wonderful playing..and great tone...it's all there

    a new Joe D recording on a sunday afternoon...it's the only thing as good as memories of nana's ravioli!!

    cheers

    ps- that track actually reminds me of something robert fripp might have played...really epitomizes johnnys always forward thinking!
    Last edited by neatomic; 03-07-2021 at 09:16 PM. Reason: ps-

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by skykomishone
    Fantastic Joe! Made my day bro!
    I play for my dog all the time. Dog's seem to understand jazz. If I was a dog, I can't imagine a better deal than having Johnny Smith playing and writing tunes for me.
    You did Johnny proud.
    Hey Sky, I’m glad that made you smile bro. As long as I am able to play it, The greatness of Johnny Smith won’t be forgotten. Thank you Sky.
    JD

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by QAman
    Great playing Joe! I wonder if that composition was the result of a fingerboard exercise that Johnny conceived. The tone was pure L5 magic and never lost its balance as you proceeded up the neck.
    Thanks for sharing. I bet your glad you purchased that guitar when you did - asking prices are escalating rapidly on Gibson L5’s.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thank you Stevie. You really know how to pick out nuances. That balance you speak of is at its peak with this guitar. My beloved Epi Emp Reg, just dies up in the higher register. This guitar is the king for a reason and it’s not just because it’s the heir to the throne. To me, it’s the king on its own merit.
    I am REALLY glad I sought your advice before I bought this guitar. Thank you Stevie.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Sweet. Maybe your future guitar purchases should all be Gibson L-5's ? The model suits you.
    Hahaaa.. yeah, after I win the lottery!
    Thanks bro.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFranck
    Congrats, Joe, great rendition of a difficult piece !
    and thanks for reminding me of this CD that I had nearly forgotten in my drawers !
    Gibson L5 Wes Montgomery ~ Wally's Waltz-smithvaneps-jpg
    JF, oh man I was soooo glad when it was over!
    I love this CD. I play 4 or 5 songs from it. Brilliance. Thank you.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ESCC
    Loved it, enjoyed it, do another Joe.
    E, thank you. I definitely will.
    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    That gorgeous WesMo looks good on you, Joe, and sounds even better in your skilled hands. A virtuoso performance!
    C74, it took me a while to finally get another one of these great guitars. This time, I REALLY respect and appreciate it.
    Thank you sir!

  20. #19

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    Freddy my man, thanks for not being sore at me for putting up this video when I did. Honestly I didn’t like at the other postings till a half hour after I posted this one.
    You are always so classy. I am grateful that you are my pal!
    Thanks, JD

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    Great job as usual, Joe! Did you have the music to that, or did you transcribe it from the record? If you used music, where did you find it?
    Thank you SG. I watched another player perform the song and I always wanted to do it myself. Anthem Score got me close. I wrote it out if you want it.
    JD

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark M.
    Beautiful, Joe. And, it confirms that my L5 needs to be in the hands of someone who can make it sing like that!
    Mark, your guitar is the best most honest deal out there right now. I seriously wish I could take it home myself. Thank you very much buddy. JD

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzmanLehmann
    Hello Joey, i came across your videos a couple of times on the internet and i must say that you got a great taste in music! Its wonderful to see someone cherishing the music of the great Johnny Smith. In my personal opinion and based on the people i came across in my life, too many guitarists doesn’t seem to recognize the greatness of Mr. Smith. I always assumed him to be the greatest of them all, and he will always be a major influence in my personal music life. Anyway, i always enjoy your videos and you sure always got great guitars! Cheers, Jazzman.
    Jazzman, thank for your beautiful words as always. To me, Johnny is the greatest ever. I will alway try to honor him the best way I can. My next visit I’m will be Sophisticated Lady. Yeah, it does get any easier, that’s for sure! I hope I make it through! Thank you JazzmannLehmann!

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    that's a real "tongue-twister" of a tune!...when you mine johnny's vaults you are dealing with the best
    wonderful playing..and great tone...it's all there
    a new Joe D recording on a sunday afternoon...it's the only thing as good as memories of nana's ravioli!!
    cheers
    ps- that track actually reminds me of something robert fripp might have played...really epitomizes johnnys always forward thinking!
    Yes, Neatomic it was taxing on the brain. This morning, I got up and recorded this before I had my coffee. I didn’t want my hands to be shaky!! This was the 1st take out of 7. I just wanted to get a good one in and they weren’t getting better. Then I struggled with Editing for 2 hours! For some reason, DaVinci Resolve didn’t like my iPhone 12 clip. So I had to scrap it. So this only has 3 angles. The best and clearest clip found its way to the cutting room floor..
    Thanks for always being there N. I appreciate you bro.
    JD

  25. #24

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    JD, I’m floored by your impressive technique! JS would be proud!

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    JD, I’m floored by your impressive technique! JS would be proud!
    Thank you 2b. We go back a long way here bro.
    I appreciate it.
    The one thing I can’t get is Johnny’s up down picking as he goes from low to high strings. Impossible.
    Johnny was incomparable.
    JD

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    Yes, Neatomic it was taxing on the brain. This morning, I got up and recorded this before I had my coffee. I didn’t want my hands to be shaky!! This was the 1st take out of 7. I just wanted to get a good one in and they weren’t getting better. Then I struggled with Editing for 2 hours! For some reason, DaVinci Resolve didn’t like my iPhone 12 clip. So I had to scrap it. So this only has 3 angles.
    all good in the end result...a beautiful take... no worries!


    cheers

  28. #27

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    Joe, I know that you love the Epiphone, but there is a marked difference with the L5
    it sounds superb, another great rendition my friend. Just to advise 2b, it appears that
    Gibson is still making the L5 but only three of the Crimson Custom Luthiers remain
    and they work in a small corner in the main workshop. Delivery is now approx 18 months,
    it seems Gibson ignores the wishes of the many, despite the Archtop being the foundation
    of their success.
    It is little wonder that independent luthiers like our good friend Mark Campellone have a
    2 year waiting list and many Gibson Afficionados defer to Mark for a superb instrument.

  29. #28

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    Joe, that's a very challenging piece. I'll bet Johnny Smith did many takes before the final recording, which I think was done in his living room.

    To be truthful, the tone you produce is richer than Johnny put out in his Legends album. His sound is thinner. I know what I write is sacrilegious, but that's what I hear. The L-5 with one or two mounted humbuckers is as good as it gets.

    I hope your restless soul has found a home in this instrument. While it's fun to play the field, you won't do better. Long ago Paul Newman, at the height of his fame, was asked about the temptation of Hollywood women and his longstanding marriage to Joanne Woodward (50 years). He said, "Why would I go out for hamburger when I have steak at home?"

    Thanks for the inspiring videos. Never stop.

  30. #29

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    MG,
    Thanks for your post. I've been thinking about you. Maybe your ears have been ringing.
    I wont stop making videos. I love doing it. Especially of the Johnny Stuff. He has been gone for almost 7 years! Yet I peel back another layer of his masterworks every day and remain amazed. Listen to "Sophisticated Lady" later when you get a chance.
    I learned something about sound while doing this video. There is a marked difference in sound when I pick in the middle of bridge and pickup. Its the "Plinky" zone. But my brain was making my picking hand go backwards when I was doing the descending strokes.
    I think that because I found my Joanne Woodward back in 83' I make up for that for being terribly unfaithful to guitars.
    Believe it or not, I am getting better. The L5 stays. Last week I was teetering, but the 165 is staying. The GB100 absolutely stays. There is one more.. It is between a Johnny Smith of some kind, a Tal or a high end Solid Spruce topped D'Angelico replica. The DA replica thang is basically my desire to play a guitar that to me, is symmetrically perfect. I will never be able to swing the real one that I want, and if I did get one, I'd be deathly afraid to own it.. My fear would be that a piece of it would break off just by me looking at it..
    Thank You MG.
    JD



    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    Joe, that's a very challenging piece. I'll bet Johnny Smith did many takes before the final recording, which I think was done in his living room.

    To be truthful, the tone you produce is richer than Johnny put out in his Legends album. His sound is thinner. I know what I write is sacrilegious, but that's what I hear. The L-5 with one or two mounted humbuckers is as good as it gets.

    I hope your restless soul has found a home in this instrument. While it's fun to play the field, you won't do better. Long ago Paul Newman, at the height of his fame, was asked about the temptation of Hollywood women and his longstanding marriage to Joanne Woodward (50 years). He said, "Why would I go out for hamburger when I have steak at home?"

    Thanks for the inspiring videos. Never stop.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx
    "Joe, I know that you love the Epiphone, but there is a marked difference with the L5
    it sounds superb, another great rendition my friend. "
    Thank You Foxman.
    After speaking with our pal Stringswinger last week, I decided to play the 165 all last week. By the end of the week, I fell back in love with the 165. Mainly because of how smooth it is acoustically.
    Then Saturday morning, while trying to revive my Polytone, I pulled the EER off the wall and tested the amp out with it.
    Now I know why I was teetering with the 165 in the 1st place! The EER is really an excellent guitar. A half an hour later, I was still playing the EER acoustically. I just kept playing it... And playing it. The only thing wrong with it, is the rattling of the Gibson ABR-1 bridge that I put on it!
    But when I pulled out the L5 Sunday to record, it hit me. The L5 is the "L5" for a reason. Its like why a 911 is a "911". Why Elvis is "Elvis". Why a Rolex is a "Rolex"..
    The L5 is just like Johnny Smith.. Incomparable..
    Thank You buddy..
    JD

  32. #31

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    Well done Joe! The L5 tone is just unmistakable. I know what you mean about it inspiring confidence. When I pick up my L5 I think "If I just don't play something horrible, this guitar will make it sound great!" It's amazingly forgiving, in a strange way. It seems to muffle my mistakes and amplify my good moments. I think it likes me.

    Yours definitely likes you!

  33. #32

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    I am reminded of this saying as I listen to masterful playing. The amateur practices until he gets it right. The professional practices until he cannot get it wrong.

    The guitar as an instrument is not so difficult. The mind is. Controlling distractions and avoiding repetition of what we are comfortable with, pushing the limits, that's what's hard.

    Great job, Joe. You really do inspire me.

  34. #33

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    Good going Joe !

    As always it's a treat to hear you play ! Needless to say, I love the sound !

    Take care.

    Dennis

  35. #34
    Very nicely done Joe! There has to be a better adjective than "Challenging" to describe that though! Gibson L5 Wes Montgomery ~ Wally's Waltz-laugh2-gif Your WesMo sounds lovely!



  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Well done Joe! The L5 tone is just unmistakable. I know what you mean about it inspiring confidence. When I pick up my L5 I think "If I just don't play something horrible, this guitar will make it sound great!" It's amazingly forgiving, in a strange way. It seems to muffle my mistakes and amplify my good moments. I think it likes me.

    Yours definitely likes you!
    Thank You Lawson.
    You are right. It is forgiving. Or maybe it just projects what you play better. It doesn't require extra.
    I dont know. All I know is, its nice to have one. No B.S.. Especially at the prices we are all seeing right now. If I waited any longer, I would have been highly discouraged.
    Thanks, Joe D

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    I am reminded of this saying as I listen to masterful playing. The amateur practices until he gets it right. The professional practices until he cannot get it wrong.
    The guitar as an instrument is not so difficult. The mind is. Controlling distractions and avoiding repetition of what we are comfortable with, pushing the limits, that's what's hard.
    Great job, Joe. You really do inspire me.
    It is so true.
    I remember my father telling me I was becoming "Complacent" after I learned "Mood for Day" and then took a while to learn a new song.. This coming from a person who barely knew how to play an E Chord.. Now, I am glad he pushed me.
    The mind really is the obstacle.
    And MG, one more thing. Thank you for what you did for a mutual friend in the past 24 hours.
    That was cool.
    JD

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D
    Good going Joe !
    As always it's a treat to hear you play ! Needless to say, I love the sound !
    Take care.
    Dennis
    Hi Dennis, How are you buddy? I appreciate it!
    JD

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blues
    Very nicely done Joe! There has to be a better adjective than "Challenging" to describe that though! Gibson L5 Wes Montgomery ~ Wally's Waltz-laugh2-gif Your WesMo sounds lovely!
    Hahaa.. I am not gonna lie.. That was tough. Like, Elephant tough.
    I am wanting to jump into Sophisticated Lady, but I need to wait a while so I could polish up on the 35-40 other songs I've been neglecting.. And the funny thing is.. Alot of them are Joe Pass songs. If I dont play them for a while, they just fade away.. Amazing.
    Thanks Midnight Blues.
    JD

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    Hi Dennis, How are you buddy? I appreciate it!
    JD
    Fine Joe, thanks !


    All the best to you & yours !

  41. #40

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    Joe - for bridge rattle I keep a sheet of thin cork for re-padding woodwinds. I just snip off little bits of cork and use them to pad the vibrating bits of the bridge. Un-obtrusive and cheap. Sometimes a little parrafin, too. Silence is sometimes golden!

  42. #41

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    When I was cleaning/polishing the ABR1 the little wire came off the back. It was a joy to get it back on (not). I guess I messed up and didn’t put it back on correctly.
    I might buy a bunch of Nashville bridges and use those.
    Thanks for the cork tip C74.
    JD

  43. #42

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    yes Joe D, those little retaining wires are a common source of rattling on abr-1's...there's a ton of info on bending them with the tip of a screwdriver so they don't rattle...google rattling abr-1's


    luck pal

    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 03-11-2021 at 01:36 PM.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    When I was cleaning/polishing the ABR1 the little wire came off the back. It was a joy to get it back on (not). I guess I messed up and didn’t put it back on correctly.
    I might buy a bunch of Nashville bridges and use those.
    JD
    A bunch of Nashville bridges?? Are you buying in bulk?

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    yes Joe D, those little retaining wires are a common source of rattling on abr-1's...there's a ton of info on bending them with the tip of a screwdriver so they don't rattle...google rattling abr-1's

    luck pal
    cheers
    Neatomic, thanks buddy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    A bunch of Nashville bridges?? Are you buying in bulk?
    Just a couple. I have them on 3 guitars. You know me. I like things neat and tidy..

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    When I was cleaning/polishing the ABR1 the little wire came off the back. It was a joy to get it back on (not). I guess I messed up and didn’t put it back on correctly.
    I might buy a bunch of Nashville bridges and use those.
    Thanks for the cork tip C74.
    JD
    The ABR is complete junk. Gibson upgraded to the Nashville wireless type in 2008/9 on all their archtops. The better version never rattles.
    What all Gibson tun-o-matic bridges do in time if you use heavy gauge strings is the adjustment screws bend from string pressure as they are made of brass rendering intonation impossible when that screw bends. Yes the new version is way better but all tun-o-matics have a shelf life with heavy strings. I have seen a aftermarket one made of stainless steel but you need the gold plate on a L5.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    Joe, that's a very challenging piece. I'll bet Johnny Smith did many takes before the final recording, which I think was done in his living room.

    To be truthful, the tone you produce is richer than Johnny put out in his Legends album. His sound is thinner. I know what I write is sacrilegious, but that's what I hear. The L-5 with one or two mounted humbuckers is as good as it gets.
    Not sacrilege- Joe's big round L-5 sound is sweet! From what is written in Johnny's biography, his songs on that CD recorded acoustically and- like Joe's- at home; they were intended as examples for students, if I remember correctly, and that something he intended to release.

    Great job, Joe! I started trying to figure that song out once it was so hard to keep anything straight after about the fifth bar that I gave up on it. I may have to give it another shot! Dropped D tuning, I am thinking?

  48. #47

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    C, I try to write these out so I dont forget them.
    I plugged this into Excel, and then made a PDF. I hope you (or anyone else) can find some use out if it.
    Once again thank you for really nice things you say. Johnny is an inspiration to many around here. I hope he or any of his family who are still around looks in once in a while and notices that we will not let his legacy fade away.
    Not while I can still put my paws on fretboard, that's for sure!
    Thanks,
    Joe D
    Attached Images Attached Images

  49. #48

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    Great to hear you play that beautiful L5! First time I've heard this tune and was completely mesmerized watching you pick and change positions with such speed and accuracy.

    When I was a teenager in the 1960s, my first guitar teacher introduced me to a method book by Matteo Carcassi (1792-1853), containing Carcassi's etudes for classical guitar. Instead of classical finger style picking, I played suitable pieces with a flat pick. This required a lot of difficult "pick shifting" and moving up and down the neck. Every once-and-a-while I go back to that book for a sort of "picking boot camp".

    Thanks again Joe. Hope all is well

    On the COVID front, after nearly a full year of quarantine, my wife and I will receive our first vaccination this afternoon.

    Happy Landings!

    Tony D.

  50. #49

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    Yes!
    Tony is always nice hearing from you. And hearing you guys are doing good makes me feel even better.
    I hope it goes smoothly for you and your beautiful girl later on today.
    Please stay in touch.
    Thank you and I have to check out Carcassi's etudes for Guitar.
    Thank you my man.
    JD

  51. #50

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    Joe, you inspire me, brother. I see and hear you play, and I think, man, I wish I could play like Joe! You work hard at it, and it really makes me stretch a bit, listen a little more carefully, aspire to be a better player. I'm sure that's true for a lot of the folks around here, and it's true when I watch other talented and gifted players video's that get posted on our forum. But with you, we get to partake, interact, and share in the magic. That's very cool. Thank you. Please, keep on doing it. And Johnny Smith has a huge amount of material to work with!