I am trying to learn vibrato. I am trying to learn to bend strings.
I have played guitar for over fifty years. But I never learned the blues and rock techniques of string bending and slow vibrato.
When I began playing guitar I studied with a locally legendary Hollywood Florida guitar player and teacher named Del Staton. He admonished me never to have my thumb hanging over the top of the neck. He emphasized a strictly classical style. Somehow I went through my whole life never learning these essential rock and roll techniques.
Until I come to Michele Castellani here in Italy for lessons. And here I am a home now, after my most recent lesson with Michele, sitting in my oversize IKEA armchair, practically lying on my back, trying to acquire this new motion in my left hand, this twisting vibrato motion with my thumb wrapped around the top of the neck. It works fine until I wrap my thumb around the neck. I do it over and over again.
One day I will have great vibrato.
In our little town in Italy there is a cool little theater like something out of a Wes Anderson movie called Teatro Mario Spina and since I was a boy I always wanted to have a box seat in a theater and whereas you’d have to be a Getty or a Blum to have one in San Francisco here in Castiglion Fiorentino we just had to go chat up Paolo at the edicola, wading through the Italian jazz magazines and the dubbed DVDs because he is the king of local entertainment and for what it would cost to go to one opera in San Francisco we got season box seats at the Teatro Mario Spina and that’s how we got to see Duo Baldo who were both hilarious and friggin’ virtuosic and you can’t beat that.
Seriously, we laughed a lot and the music was amazing.
I came home and I was so happy I wrote this blog post.
Well, I thought I’d just check in. Actually Norma came in my office/kitchen just now and on her way out said that if I had any “content” for the site that it would not be a bad thing. So here is some content.
I live in Italy now.
We’re getting a new kitchen.
I ate roast beef with artichokes for lunch at this place we go to almost every day lately while we’re getting a kitchen (my office is kind of a kitchen too but not the kind of kitchen you’d actually cook anything in) La Sfizieria, which is just one of many many wonderful places to eat here in Castiglion Fiorentino. Another wonderful place to eat, actually, is our friends Alfeo and Miranda’s kitchen, where we ate last night, but they have to invite you and everything, it’s quite complicated, I do not think you can just show up and ask — or maybe you can? I must ask them if anyone has ever just appeared at their door and said, Can I eat here? That would be weird. ‘Cause they’re just our friends. They don’t have a restaurant, though if you stay at their place, Le Santucce, and you’re part of a group, then you get breakfast. Wow, speaking of which, we’re getting people coming in June to our thing, our writing workshop thing, that we do in June. Maybe I’ll make a link to it but maybe we’ll just assume you know about it and if you don’t you can find out. Because it’s probably plastered all over the front of this web site. (I think it is but I haven’t looked lately–Seriously!)
So the idea is that I’ll post “content” frequently as part of our “internet strategy.”
Aren’t “quote marks” useful?
Seriously, I could go on and on about so many things but I’m going to try to keep it light and brief. If you have any questions or things that annoy you especially if there are annoying things that annoy you and are also unusual, please feel free to let me know.
Cheers, ci vediamo, till next time, hope it’s soon!–ct
Oh, p.s. almost forgot, holy crap how could I almost forget well it’s been 3 years now in Italy: Happy Friggin’ Thanksgivin!