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#2862117 - 06/21/17 06:18 PM Practicing Too Loudly
BigMoney Offline
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Registered: 05/31/17
Posts: 28
A mature guitarist doesn't need to practice loudly I've come to notice. After 4 years of jazz school, I noticed the best guitarists in the program during my time there practiced rather quietly while the lesser guitarists practiced obnoxiously loud. I try to practice at a talking volume these days. It's just annoying when the girlfriend still complains it's too loud at 10pm

What do you gents think?
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#2862143 - 06/21/17 09:44 PM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: BigMoney]
desertbluesman Offline
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Registered: 05/22/07
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Loc: Near Phoenix Az
Volume is OK if playing in a bigger room with a drummer. I play at the volume that my vocals are without amplifying the vocals. I try to balance my backing tracks and the guitar sound with the un-amplified vocals. I practice at home at reasonable volume levels always. I have a tube overdrive pedal that gives me almost everything I need at conversation levels to get that singing tone. I set the overdrive pedal to the same volume level as my clean sound.
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#2862149 - 06/21/17 10:19 PM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: desertbluesman]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5229
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
I've always kept my practice volume to a dull roar or less. In fact, I most often use headphones.
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#2862150 - 06/21/17 10:21 PM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: desertbluesman]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 4995
Loc: Los Angeles
I practice all my electrics unplugged. That's about the right volume for me. When I need my effects racks, my amplified volume is about what an acoustic guitar puts out. This is basically the result of playing gigs with acoustic players.
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#2862153 - 06/21/17 10:40 PM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Scott Fraser]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 10192
Loc: Northern California
I keep my volumes low, but I still want my vocals mic'ed. My voice just sounds better with a little reverb. I only have one rule when playing with a band on stage or in practice. Never be louder than the vocals (No matter which instrument). You can crank up a lead or play a little louder on fills, but don't step on or drown out the vocals.

Dynamics is very important and I can adjust my guitar volume without turning up the volume knob. When playing solo and when playing with sensitive players, using dynamics is the way to go. I like to play electric the same way I play acoustic. Set it and forget it. Being able to hear myself on guitar and vocals is paramount IMHO. cool
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#2862163 - 06/22/17 03:15 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Larryz]
CEB Offline
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Posts: 12523
Heck 90% of the time I don't bother to plug in. Just an unplugged Tele. Maybe A Nylon string guitar. If I do plug in it is probably going to be at estimated stage levels because I'm probably trying to zero in my benchmark settings. Mostly amp settings, Graphic EQ and dirt box settings. Everything else (compressor, tremolo, phaser chorus and delays) is easy is set. The stuff that is hard to tweak is gain stage related and depends on the room, headroom, how the pickups and amp talk to each other etc ..... It seems to be a constantly moving target sometimes. Probably a big reason I don't trade amps often. My main amp is a Boogie I bought in 91 and my other amp is a 65 Twin I got in 1985 or so.


Edited by CEB (06/22/17 03:23 AM)
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#2862164 - 06/22/17 03:32 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: CEB]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9866
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Only having a couple of acoustics, I really CAN'T get very loud. And since lately, as I said, my main focus is on left hand finger placement and dexterity, I don't NEED to get very loud. So there's no problem. wink
Whitefang
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#2862192 - 06/22/17 07:39 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: BigMoney]
Fred_C Offline
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Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 2037
Loc: PA
I own a Roland Cube 40XL amp. It has a function that lowers the output of the amplifier from 40 watts to 2 watts. The 2 watt setting offers a room filling and musically satisfying sound and the tone remains excellent as well. Perfect for practicing.
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#2862204 - 06/22/17 08:03 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Fred_C]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 6080
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
As Scott & CEB mentioned, practicing on electric gtr w/out amplification can be effective plus there's a couple interesting effects: you can often tell more abt the gtr's natural timbre w/out an amp &, for a real kick, try butting the headstock of the gtr against a door frame for some "room ambience".
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#2862210 - 06/22/17 08:24 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: d]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9866
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I've done that years ago when I had a cheap electric. A friend of mine told me about it.

Good idea.
Whitefang
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#2862224 - 06/22/17 09:13 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: whitefang]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 2887
I feel I should track down the people who lived around me in my teens-to-early 20s and apologize profusely... I was a volume terrorist! I played in loud bands of the punky indie rock variety (still do, but now it annoys me) and I played loud as hell by myself... it just seemed to be part of writing material for those bands, being engulfed in the volume and the noise... and we practiced LOUD, and were loud onstage. But if I was "practicing," learning things or working on technique (which I didn't use when I was playing noise rock), then it quiet, if plugged in at all.

At the same time, I played in r&b or jazz bands and had to be appropriate with the volume.

Just schizo, I guess...

Once I got acoustic guitars that became more of a focus for playing at home, and little practice amps. Maturity, I guess.

I have a soundproof room out in the back yard, but I never feel like going out there alone unless I get the urge to play drums. Otherwise, I set in the living room (my house was built by a guy who owned a door factory as his residence... I knew I wanted to buy it when I noticed that the interior doors were all solid wood, so if I close the doors and my family is asleep or whatever they can't hear a thing, not even if the alarm gets set off, which might be a problem) and play acoustic or electric (through a nifty Vox AC4 or my iPhone using AmpliTube into earbuds or into a zT Lunchbox Jr., which actually sounds good by itself). I never get the urge to set up the amps I use to play onstage or the effects pedals, really, unless we're doing a full band practice out back for something (and I have the room set up where nobody needs to be loud).

Maturity, laziness, or both?

I can tell you that I can't take the volume that my wife will sometimes play music in the car, while she'll complain about the lesser volume that I play records at home.

I have no patience for bands that are way too loud for the room, anymore (and I'm still called "the loudest guitar player in the universe" by some here in town)... I have no more patience for being in rock bands that practice at blasting levels and put earplugs in and aren't really playing with each other but starting and stopping at the same time (so now those people say I'm gotten to be an old fart). But I notice audiences - especially young women - don't want to be in the same room with loud bands, anymore, so...

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#2862267 - 06/22/17 01:31 PM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: p90jr]
Delta Offline
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Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 239
Loc: Ormond Beach, FL
I play quiter as I grow older. Go figure.
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#2862322 - 06/23/17 03:13 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Delta]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Posts: 24520
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By myself, sometimes I practice with my electric guitar 'unplugged', though often I like to practice plugged-in, and often that was through a digital-modeler and headphones, as well as an amp and speaker. Usually just loud enough to get the dynamic and tonal nuance in my amp's (or a digital-modeler's) response, and that of some of my pedals when used, that is a large part of what I do.

With a drummer and/or a full-on band, I like to practice with EVERYONE just and I mean just loud enough most of the time, with occasional gig-level practice-sessions and those shouldn't be too much louder.

You need to be able to hear each other, you need to be able to hear yourself, you need to be able to hear your mistakes as well as everyone's successful fruition, you need room for variation in dynamics.

I have striven for these goals using digital-modeler/multi-effects units, headphones, low-powered tube-amps, speaker-emulators and attenuators, feedback-generating devices that allow- empower!- feedback at any or NO volume... And, technique and touch and listening-skills and a musical ear.


When I was a kid in High School, when I showed up for the 'Stage Band's' rehearsal with my Peavy T-15 and a high-powered SS Peavey Deuce 2x12 combo and began to play along, the Instructor remarked with a crazy "who knew?!" smile, "WOW, I guess you CAN play quietly! You can actually turn UP a little!" She, of course, had dreaded that I was going to be obnoxiously, inappropriately LOUD, overpowering even the horn section and the drummers and percussionists with bad tone... crazy grin rawk
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#2862325 - 06/23/17 04:27 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9866
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Not knowing for sure, I would assume it more USEFUL for a BAND to practice at "gig level". But for someone in solitude, there's no real need for blowing out the windows.
Whitefang
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#2862330 - 06/23/17 05:03 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: whitefang]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24520
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: whitefang
Not knowing for sure, I would assume it more USEFUL for a BAND to practice at "gig level". But for someone in solitude, there's no real need for blowing out the windows.
Whitefang


"Gig Level" actually shouldn't be very loud; that is, the stage-area should have relatively tame volume levels, and everyone in the group should be able to clearly hear both themselves and everyone else in the group. Ideally Monitors or IEM's should be used and will help this tremendously; some will use direct sends to the PA and monitor-system and thus have NO amps and speakers being heard onstage (other than the monitor-system being used).

The volume-level from the PA to the audience will likely be another matter, and will almost certainly be louder than the stage-area.
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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#2862390 - 06/23/17 09:18 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: whitefang]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 4995
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: whitefang
"gig level".


Of course "Gig Level" could be monstrous. Or Not.
I've read interviews with Page, a guy known to occasionally stand in front of a couple Marshall 100 watt twin stacks, where he says they never put Bonham in the monitors. No matter how loud they played on stage, they could always hear Bonham acoustically just fine. He was that loud. Which is kind of amazing.
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#2862395 - 06/23/17 09:24 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 10192
Loc: Northern California
You can always turn it down...

I showed up at a winery gig with my big PA and asked the owner for a larger extension cord. I brought my bigger stuff as it was an outside gig. The owner said: "you aren't going to blow us away are you?" and I said: "no, we left the drummer at home LOL!" and "don't worry, we can always turn it down"...he was more than happy with our volume level.

Another outdoor private party my guitar bud put on, had to stop at 10pm, and the party moved inside. Everyone but me brought their acoustics (guess I didn't get the memo LOL!). So, I hauled my Hot Rod 410 DeVille and my Strat inside and set it up to play with the acoustic snobs (actually my very good buds!). They were giving me a hard time saying: "you're not really going to play that with our acoustics, you'll blow us away!" and I said: "I can always turn it down." Once we started playing, they were amazed that I could play under their acoustic levels and using dynamics get a tad louder for a lead. They were very happy campers and even bragged on me a little LOL!

And, at another outside stage gig, the bass player saw me setting up my DeVille and said "that's a little overkill ain't it?" and you can guess what I told him: "I can always turn it down a little." When you need a little more volume, it's always available. He was happy after hearing me in the mix...

+1 you need to be able to hear everyone you're playing with to include yourself. And, everyone has to be sensitive to their volume levels and be able to hear you as well IMHO. cool
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#2862411 - 06/23/17 10:49 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: CEB]
BigMoney Offline
Member

Registered: 05/31/17
Posts: 28
Originally Posted By: CEB
Heck 90% of the time I don't bother to plug in. Just an unplugged Tele. Maybe A Nylon string guitar. If I do plug in it is probably going to be at estimated stage levels because I'm probably trying to zero in my benchmark settings. Mostly amp settings, Graphic EQ and dirt box settings. Everything else (compressor, tremolo, phaser chorus and delays) is easy is set. The stuff that is hard to tweak is gain stage related and depends on the room, headroom, how the pickups and amp talk to each other etc ..... It seems to be a constantly moving target sometimes. Probably a big reason I don't trade amps often. My main amp is a Boogie I bought in 91 and my other amp is a 65 Twin I got in 1985 or so.


@CEB interesting. I don't often plug in these days either, but it's never because I want to I think of tweaking stage levels. I guess it does depend on the venue to a degree as well. I'll remember this
_________________________
The 3 elements of Western music are: melody, harmony, and rhythm.
When I play fingerstyle guitar, I play them all simultaneously.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcZ2NCZyxrBJYC5yufPaVAg

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#2862522 - 06/24/17 04:19 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: BigMoney]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9866
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
As for hearing the other players, I can understand that. Otherwise, you'd have to employ the use of a conductor, like the big symphony orchestras do. wink And that would look kind of silly, wouldn't it? grin

But I'll have to take all y'all's word for it as when I WAS in a band that only played a few small parties, our scant equipment wasn't ABLE to really get all that loud. wink
Whitefang
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#2862538 - 06/24/17 07:54 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: whitefang]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Because much of the sound I'm going for is tied up in FX and Synths, I tend to plug in to practice, and very often use headphones with an Amp Modeler. However, I only turn up loud enough so I can comfortably hear myself, and I take frequent "ear breaks", every twenty minutes or so, where I take off the headphones, and let the little cilia in my ears relax for a while. Ear fatigue is a real thing, and a precursor to hearing loss, so I don't put up with it.
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#2862547 - 06/24/17 08:43 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 10192
Loc: Northern California
+1 Winston, above all, protect your hearing! thu
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#2862577 - 06/24/17 01:13 PM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Larryz]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24520
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Yes, by all means, hearing safety is a must!
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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#2862636 - 06/25/17 04:24 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9866
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Better SPECIFY more Caev. Critical thought is ALSO on the downswing, and some millennial mudbrain is gonna try stretching a CONDOM over his head! grin
Whitefang
_________________________
I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2862646 - 06/25/17 05:35 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: whitefang]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24520
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: whitefang
Better SPECIFY more Caev. Critical thought is ALSO on the downswing, and some millennial mudbrain is gonna try stretching a CONDOM over his head! grin
Whitefang


I... I can't heer yoo... Whutt?! freak
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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#2862651 - 06/25/17 06:22 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
JuJu Kwan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/08/16
Posts: 205
Loc: Shenzhen, China
Millennial mudbrains have been dying in a war they didn't start for 15 years, and generation Z will be fighting it for another 15 years. Millennial bashing is getting old. People in to 30s were probably doing the same thing to the generation that fought WWII, and on and on.

I don't belong here.
Ju Kwan


Edited by JuJu Kwan (06/25/17 06:28 AM)
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#2862697 - 06/25/17 10:32 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: JuJu Kwan]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24520
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: JuJu Kwan
Millennial mudbrains have been dying in a war they didn't start for 15 years, and generation Z will be fighting it for another 15 years. Millennial bashing is getting old. People in to 30s were probably doing the same thing to the generation that fought WWII, and on and on.

I don't belong here.
Ju Kwan


I think you belong here, JuJu'; and every generation and any in-between has had its share of mudbrains, geniuses, and everything in-between, not to mention detractors and bashers, lovers and haters. I don't think whitefang was directing that toward you- nor was I with my previous reply to your post on the NYTimes: "The Death of the Electric Guitar"-thread; your words just presented a spring-board, a catalyst, inspiring what came to my mind and keyboard. Please forgive if we've offended or hurt you!

I'd hate for you to completely leaver this forum- and even more so, I'd hate for you to have been hurt and insulted.

Originally Posted By: JuJu Kwan
People in to 30s were probably doing the same thing to the generation that fought WWII, and on and on.


Good point; you're right.
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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#2862699 - 06/25/17 10:51 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 6080
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
JuJu, splitting is a doubleplus-ungood idea.

I think you might've just misunderstood an attempted joke abt "protection" but it was rather annoyingly put, w/ the generational angle.

Stick with us, many think yer some fresh air.
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#2862732 - 06/25/17 01:22 PM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: d]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 10192
Loc: Northern California
Don't leave us JuJu! You definitely belong here and bring a breath of fresh air to this forum. I'm still waiting to comment on your upcoming Millennial thread. I'm a baby boomer mud brain and had to fight in a war for 1 year at the tender young age of 19. That old fart attempt at a joke could have easily been aimed in my direction back in the day... cool
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#2862819 - 06/26/17 04:50 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9866
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Could have been aimed at many I KNEW TOO back in that ambiguous period of American history known as "the day". wink Wasn't anything PERSONAL intended, nor aimed at anyone in particular.

And in one way or another, I too have taken my share of lumps over the years in this forum. Comes with the territory. And nobody seriously means much of the "ribbing" they give and get. That some DO is something you just have to let roll off. Life EVERYWHERE is a bit like that, and if you don't build up a thick skin HERE, you might not out THERE, and that'll just make your life miserable.

Not for ONE SECOND did I enter this forum expecting some kind of "custom fit" to my particular sensibilities and idiosyncracies, and WELCOMED the wide variance of diverse personalities, far different from my own, exchanging ideas and experiences.

A "Twilight Zone" episode titled "The Mind and The Matter" with Shelly Berman might show what I mean in a way.
Whitefang


Edited by whitefang (06/26/17 04:53 AM)
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#2862835 - 06/26/17 07:01 AM Re: Practicing Too Loudly [Re: whitefang]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5229
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Originally Posted By: whitefang
Better SPECIFY more Caev. Critical thought is ALSO on the downswing, and some millennial mudbrain is gonna try stretching a CONDOM over his head! grin
Whitefang

For some, that's a good look...
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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