Playing Gigs During Summer Months

So I this has been a summer of learning for me after playing guitar since 1998. I have been playing quite a few of outside gigs with my duo The Gosh Darns. Some of these shows have been in weather close to 100 degrees and very high humidity (75% and up). First thing I notice playing acoustic guitar is my hands are sweating a lot and fingers are dragging on the strings.

Always doing research, I discovered a lot of pros use baby powder and/or corn starch to keep their hands dry while playing guitar during summer months. I tested it out last weekend at two gigs and it worked perfectly.

Another problem electric guitarists run into is using tube amps outdoors. I am mostly playing acoustic these days, but in my research I found out it is pretty common to use some kind of fan pointed at the back of the amplifier to help keep the tubes from getting excessively hot. Seems like a good tip.

I still have nothing but good things to say about the D’Addario Humiditrak – Bluetooth Humidity and Temperature Sensor. I just ordered another one of these units for my electric guitar. It takes the guess work out and I can maintain a good relative humidity in my acoustic guitar case by either using silica gel or bamboo charcoal if too wet, or an oasis humidifier if too dry.

Any working guitar players out there? What are your tips for playing during summer months?

The Marcus King Band

Marcus King Band

I discovered the Marcus King Band a few months back. I went to a local blues jam and they had a Marcus King Band song playing during one of their breaks. At first, I thought it sounded a little like something Derek Trucks might be a part of, then I used my Shazam app on my iPhone to find out the artist and the song.

Since then, I have seen the Marcus King Band twice live. The first show was in Nashville at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville, TN. There were a few special guests at this show. One of my favorite guitarists, Jack Pearson was there, along with Warren Haynes, who rarely shows up to a club gig so that was a real treat. The second show was at the Revelry Room in Chattanooga, TN. It was my first time at this venue and I didn’t like it as much as 3rd and Lindsley personally. The Marcus King Band still put on a great show.

I highly recommend you check out a show from this killer band soon before they get too expensive to see live.

Which Domain and Hosting Company do I prefer?

I have been building websites since the late 90s. You can view some of my work at drewjweb.com. I have settled on two companies for my needs these days.

Namecheap.com

For domains, I recommend, NameCheap.com. Like the name, they are cheap and pretty consistent with their prices. Plus their user interface is very easy to use and navigate. I have had to reach out to customer service a few times and have had a positive experience every time.

For web hosting, I recommend, HawkHost.com. I was working with a developer on a project a few years back who was from Jamaica. We were talking web hosts one day and he mentioned HawkHost. I checked them out and have been using them ever since. They are cheap and reliable.

UPDATED: Thrift Stores and Reselling on eBay

I have been selling on eBay since the late 90s either on my personal account or at one my previous jobs. I have a lot of experience selling items so I thought maybe I could make an extra side income buying used items to resell on eBay.

I checked out a few thrift stores and ended up finding a few items to start with.

Vintage White 1563 Sewing Machine

First item was a Vintage White 1563 Sewing Machine. When I saw this item on the showroom floor at the thrift store, I figured it had to be worth more than the tagged price. I checked on my eBay app and saw some White sewing machines bringing up to $1000 so I took a chance. When I got home, I did a little more research and saw that this particular model is selling between $75-170 so I listed mine right in the middle. I paid $25 at the thrift store for it.

Smith Corona SD650 Memory Portable Electronic Typewriter

The second item I found was a Smith Corona SD650 Memory Portable Electronic Typewriter w/cover. I remember reading somewhere that typewriters are somewhat desirable on eBay. For the $6 I paid, I figured I couldn’t lose. They are bringing around $50 on average on eBay sold listings.

Vintage Bell & Howell 1623 Projector

The last item from this thrift store trip was a VINTAGE BELL & HOWELL 1623 MULTI MOTION 8 AND SUPER 8 PROJECTOR. This was another older item that I knew I should be able to make something more than the $10 I paid for it. I listed it for $40 which is about what they are bringing on average.

As far as eBay used pricing, I usually look at sold listings and I make a spreadsheet with all of the used values I can find. Then I take an average and start my buy it now price around it and go from there. At the time of this post I have 1056 feedback on eBay and 809 are from selling.

So far I am mostly looking for older unique looking items to resell. I checked sold listings on eBay to make a judgement if something is a good buy. If I can sell these 3 items at my asking price, I will turn the $45 I paid after tax into around $180 after fees. A $135 profit is pretty good for about an hour or two of work. I will continue to post my journey thrifting as I find more stuff to buy and sell.

 


Update 8/8/2017

Well so far I have sold 2 out of the 3 items. These purchases are looking to a bust. Thinking I am going to stick with buying/selling/trading music gear since I know more about it.

 

Vintage WHITE ZigZag Sewing Machine 1563 Zig Zag Stitcher : I ended up selling this for $75 plus shipping after being listed about a month.

Here is the breakdown

$27.44 item cost with tax

$75 sell price

$37.52 shipping charged

$14.63 eBay and Paypal Fees

$32.20 shipping cost

$38.25 net profit

 

VINTAGE BELL & HOWELL 1623 MULTI MOTION 8 AND SUPER 8 PROJECTOR : I ended up selling this for $38 shipped after being listed about a month.

Here is the breakdown

$10.98 item cost with tax

$38 sell price

$0 shipping charged

$4.94 eBay and Paypal Fees

$12.02 shipping cost

$10.06 net profit

 

So I am at $48.31 total profit so far. No interest in the Typewriter yet. Might have to donate it back to the thrift store. Lol

Maton Guitars Event in Franklin, TN on July 11th, 2017

Maton Guitars Event in Franklin, TN on July 11th, 2017

I bought a brand new Maton Acoustic Guitar about a month ago from Artisan Guitars in Franklin, TN. I have wanted one of these guitars for a long time and finally broke down and bought one. I had to sell my Martin 000-15m that I played for the last few years to help finance it.

Artisan Guitars invited me to a Maton Guitars Event that was held about a week ago in Franklin at the Little Brick Theater. It was their way of saying thanks for buying a Maton from them. It was a real treat. I got to see Andy Allen (Custom Shop Builder at Maton), Tommy Emmanuel, Joe Robinson, and a 12 year old kid from Croatia named Frano Zivkovic. The amount of talent on that stage was incredible.

Anyone looking for a great playing acoustic guitar that sounds incredible amplified should check out Maton guitars. There are only 4 dealers in the US and luckily Artisan Guitars is only a little over 100 miles away. I can’t wait until I can get enough money to buy another one. They are THAT good..

Guitars and High Humidity Don’t Mix

Wet Guitar Image

For the last month or so, I have been driving myself crazy trying to find out why my acoustic guitars were becoming hard to play and sounding like someone stuffed a towel inside. After some research, I discovered the high humidity lately in TN was the culprit.

I found the following recommendations on the web and here’s how they worked for me:

1) Eva-dry Edv-1100 Electric Petite Dehumidifier, White – I tried this for a few days in my closet and couldn’t tell any difference in the sound or playability.

2) Ever Bamboo Guitar Dehumidifier Bag Set w/ Bamboo Charcoal (3-50 g, 2 Pack) – At the recommendation of Taylor Guitars, I found this stuff and it seems to work as described. I put it in my hardshell case with the guitar for a few days and it pulled out a little moisture, enough to drop the relative humidity in my case.

3) Eva-dry E-150 Moisture Eliminator Pouch – This ended up working the best for me. They have another unit, New and Improved Eva-dry E-333 Renewable that can recharge by plugging into the wall. I may go that route next time.

Knowing what I know now, I would recommend to leave your acoustic guitar in the case when you are not using it during the hotter months. If you have an iPhone, I highly recommend in investing in one of these: D’Addario Humiditrak – Bluetooth Humidity and Temperature Sensor