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Messages - vanbrettakov

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General Discussion / My first busking experience
« on: November 11, 2008, 06:33:07 PM »
LMAO Saint. Believe it or not, that guy probably makes $$$. I read somewhere the crazier you look, the more people give. My look isn't as daring as that guys, but perhaps over time (maybe I should go back to the mohawk :)

As for the money I made, not much. I've made more at other jobs. Much more. But it was the first time I made anything on my own steam. That's what made it such a big deal for me. I show up when I want to show up. I play what I want to play. I leave when I want to leave. I'm sure the money will get better. The holidays should be good. If our economy improves. Things like that. Hopefully my 'act' will sound tighter with a better guitar. I went down there with a cheap one. Plus I'll learn to interact with the public a little better (I wore sunglasses and didn't move much, like I said, I was a little nervous). The corner I picked was a bit noisy too from a bus station across the street and the lightrail passing by every so often. The other buskers were in the middle of the blocks they were on - less noise.

I just wanted to get that first one out of the way. Experience is the best teacher and I learned a lot that day.

Brett

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General Discussion / My first busking experience
« on: November 11, 2008, 01:46:47 PM »
Busking. Street performing. Putting yourself out there for the world to see. What a strange career choice, if you can even call it that.

 I've been playing guitar for years. Been singing even longer. Only recently have I figured out that I can do both at the same time. Is it hard? Well, at first, yes. Very hard in fact. Your hands are doing one thing, and your mouth is doing another. My brain felt like it was being pulled in two different directions. Trying like hell to get them right and make it sound good. People that are good at it make it look so easy. Kids do it for cryin' out loud. It's tough for me cause I just started doing it in my early 30's!

 Something happened just before the summer. Michelle (my wife) and I went to see The Cure at Red Rocks here in Colorado. It'd been a while since I'd seen them (12 years) so naturally I was really stoked. A couple days after the show, I decided to learn the chords for a song called 'Catch'. I figured out the solo about three years ago, but couldn't sing the song cause I didn't know the chords. The internet is a great tool for learning music and I used it to get what I needed. I couldn't believe how easy the rest of the song was. I could've been playing this for years. The flood gates were now open and there was nothing to stop its momentum. Things really picked up when my psychiatrist put me on Adderall for ADD. My concentration went through the roof and I learned 20 songs in just 2 months! I'm even starting to figure out whole songs without the help of the internet. One day, Michelle suggested that I go downtown and play on the street for tips. What? Do what I love for money? Get paid for playing music? I couldn't. I shouldn't. I...I...why yes, I can.

 Using the internet once more, I started doing research on street performing. Turns out it's called busking and it's one of the oldest proffessions around. There's all kinds of busking acts: magic, music (solo or groups, intrumental or vocal), acrobats, comedy, pantomime, contortionists. Even those 'human statue' people that don't budge are street performance artists. A little more net research turned up a location in LoDo (lower downtown) Denver where It's perfectly legal for me to do this. All I have to do is follow some simple rules (don't sell anything, don't get in the way of foot or vehicle traffic) and I'm good to go. I've been perfecting my act and adding good songs to my repertoire for the last month and a half. Finally, yesterday I was ready to try it. It went a lot smoother than I'd imagined it would. I just picked a corner away from other buskers and started playing. Almost immediately someone put money in my tipjar. Cool! That was easy. I continued on, playing for about an hour and 15 minutes. I was a little nervous. My voice didn't sound as good as it does at home and I had trouble hitting some of the chords but no one seemed to notice or care. I even ad-libbed parts that I messed up. It was great. I never got a captive audience. People were just walking by the whole time and yet they still put money in my jar. I ended my set with 'Boys don't Cry' and started packing up. I could've found another corner to busk on but I want to get into this slowly. Yesterday was just an ice-breaker for me. Hopefully it was the start of a lenghthy self-employed career [:D]

3
Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / To USA Folks
« on: November 05, 2008, 02:10:00 PM »
I'm so happy we voted. At first, I didn't think we'd get the chance as we were supposed to vote early. My wife was scheduled to work until 5pm last night. This left little time for her to drive home, pick us up, and make it to the polling station in time. Lucky for us, most of the crowd had already come and gone. There was absolutly no wait at all, and we live in a big city (Denver). Moments after we cast our votes we were home again glued to CNN and CNN.com watching the results. I witnessed history being written as I saw CNN announce Senator Barak Obama as president-elect. I also watched Senator McCain's speech as well as Obama's too. Both are strong, intelligent, stand-up guys who care deeply about this country. For me, Obama's message of change was just too irresistable. I also respect his honesty and hard work with grassroots organizations. I hope people know that in college he majored in polical science specializing in foreign relations. His father was from Kenya and his stepfather is from Indonisia. He attended school (college) on the west coast and the east coast and taught in Chicago. He's a Harvard graduate, a civil-rights lawyer, a United States Senator, and a world traveler (resident too) and he's not even 50! I think we made the right choice my friends.

Brett

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Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / To USA Folks
« on: November 04, 2008, 11:51:45 PM »
WE DID IT!!!



DREDDSONG BY THE CURE
never say it's over
never say the end
anytime you stop just start again
never say give up
never say give in
you always have to fight to win
however much it hurts
however much it takes
believe and all your dreams will all come true
however hard it gets
however much it aches
always believe in me
as i believe in you

to never say too late
never say it's done
make me know for real you are the one
the one that never turns
never walks away
the one that i can trust to always stay

never say surrender
never say die
you only ever get there if you try
never say give up
never say give in
you always have to fight to win

however much it hurts
however much it takes
believe that all your dreams can all come true
however hard it gets
however much it aches
always believe in me
as i believe in you

never say if only
never say regret
only the weak remember to forget
never say it's over
never say the end
never say never again

however much it hurts
however much it takes
believe and all your dreams will all come true
however hard it gets
however much it aches
believe in me
as i believe in you

5
General Discussion / What makes you tick?
« on: November 03, 2008, 01:24:19 PM »
thanks Yan, anything for my Dante

6
Motorcycle accident if I recall correctly. Yes, very tragic, but Gregg is still a tool.

Brett

P.S. I feel the same way about Paul McCartney too

7
General Discussion / What makes you tick?
« on: November 03, 2008, 12:11:38 PM »
ok, here goes...

First Name: Brett
User Name: Vanbrettakov

Story behind user name: It was the nickname my grandfather called me.

Reside: Denver, CO

Age: I turned 33 in August.

Family: I've been with my commonlaw wife Michelle for 5 years and have a 1 year old son, Dante.

Occupation: Full-time dad, hopefully start busking part-time. Michelle is in restaurant management.

Hobbies: Watching Dante grow up, playing covers of The Cure on my acoustic guitar, singing The Cure's music while I play, Nutrition (I'm trying to get down to 170, currently at 192), This forum, keeping in touch with family and friends in New Orleans on Myspace, buying clothes, etc.

Why do you like this forum?
1) Great people (keeps me social, I don't get out much)
2) Great info
3) um, it's free? LOL

When did you buy your 1st Washburn? Early 2008.

Why did you buy your 1st Washburn? My wife got it for me because she said I needed something to do :)

Future Plans:
1) busking
2) rock-hounding (traveling)
3) buy a more expensive Washburn

Something most people don't know about me:
(gulp) I'm on medication for bipolar disorder and adult ADD. I may also have PTSD and a learning disorder. They all went untreated for 30 years until we evacuated for hurricane Katrina and ended up in Denver. I wasn't able to finish school and have had 37 failed attempts at holding down a job. I have no real friends as most have gone on to make something of themselves. I used to self-medicate with cannabis (8 years) but quit when my son was born.

8
Dugly,

Ever rode the City of New Orleans? My wife and I did it last year when we went home for a visit. The California Zepplin picked us up in Denver and took us to Chicago (cool city btw). We boarded The City of New Orleans the next day and arrived in NOLA the next evening. Not the quickest way to travel by any means, but it had it's merits. Next time we're gonna fly LOL.

You mentioned a ghost song on your post. My favorite country-style ghost song has got to be 'The Beaches of Cheyenne' by Garth Brooks. I'm even thinking about learning it to busk with. After all, this IS Denver. Another that could fit into that sound or genre is 'Ramblin' Man' by The Allman Brothers but I want to learn 'Midnight Rider' first (I like it better). I might not even bother with either after reading an article with Greg (or is it Dwayne) Allman in a guitar mag a couple years ago and finding out what a egotesticle little TOOL he is. That dude is a priss. I do like Willie Nelson's stuff. I've been promising myself for a while now to really get into his catalog of music. I know he starts off every live set with 'Whisky River' and I heard 'Gravedigger' recently. The rest of his songs still remain somewhat of a mystery to me. I caught part of a tv interview with him a couple years ago and I'll never forget what he said: I'm not the best guitar player. I'm not the best singer either, but I can write good songs. I have tremendous respect for that.

Brett

9
Welcome to the Southwest US Washburn Jam Group. / Anyone in Denver?
« on: November 02, 2008, 07:13:46 PM »
Hey all you mile-high hippies. Let me know you're there! [:D]

Brett

10
Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / I need your help Pike
« on: November 02, 2008, 05:14:24 PM »
Cool thanks

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Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / I need your help Pike
« on: November 02, 2008, 03:41:10 PM »
Thanks Pike, but I'm having no luck with this link. I've input the model # and both serial #s and it keeps telling me 'no content available'. Do you know of another resource I could use? Should I just Google it and see what happens? The mystery deepens.

Brett

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General Discussion / Washburn Vs. Epiphone
« on: November 02, 2008, 02:15:48 PM »
Dude, if I were you I wouldn't worry. By the look in those devil-red eyes, you obviously already met Satan [}:)] at the crossroads and sold your soul for some evilmad guitar skills.

When you play, the strings start to smoke and a vortex of black clouds start swirlin' overhead droppin' demons out the sky who dance in a frenzy at the wicked sound comin' from your twisted axe.

Only Robert Johnson and Eric Clapton have traveled this dark path, and neither were ever the same.

14
Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / I need your help Pike
« on: November 02, 2008, 12:27:24 PM »
Hey, I was wondering if you could help me get more info on the 12 string my grandfather gave me. Back in New Orleans I had a home studio made of cheap gear. I started writing down all the serial numbers in case anything went missing. Last night I was cleaning out a closet when I happened upon the notebook with all the serial numbers.

The guitar was an FG-312. It had two sets of numbers on it, one on the neck and one inside the body. The number on the neck is 1031378. The number in the body is 7040902.

I know you're the 'guitar detective' on this forum and I thought you'd have fun with this one. Plus, I don't really know anything about it (year it was made, listing price, etc.)

Let me know if you find anything.

Thanks,
Brett

15
Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / my guitar
« on: November 02, 2008, 11:08:58 AM »
Bon Jour Oscar (hope I spelled that right). Welcome to the forum. I think it's awsome that you're getting your first guitar. Washburn is an excellent choice. I got turned onto them by listening to a heavy metal band called Pantera ('86-'01). The guitar player, Darrel (dimebag) Abbott, was a true virtuoso of his day. Sadly, he was shot onstage while performing with his brother Vinnie and their new band Damageplan in 2004. Recently, I (being without a guitar for two years) picked up a cheap box set at a major retail store. This is something I would've never done had I not seen Washburn on the package. I'm not recommending the guitar I got (except for certain circumstances) as I see you can afford something a bit better. I'm just saying that I think you'll be pleased if you go with them. Other brands I've been satisfied with are Seagull and Takamine. My first guitar was a Seagull (Canada) and that's what I learned on. Yesterday I went to a music store to purchase some new strings for my Washburn and spent nearly two hours playing a Takamine (Japan). I think the next one I buy will be this brand. The chords were so easy to hit I couldn't believe it. The tone could've been a little better, but it was just a floor model without my choice of strings on it. All in all there are many directions you can go. A guitar isn't just a guitar. You can make this instrument sound just the way you like it. No two are totally alike, that's what makes playing and collecting so much fun!

Good luck.
Brett

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