HMS Terror

HMS Terror was a ship that took part in the exploration of Antarctica.

Playing the Guitar: One Month Recap (VII)

Q: But... but... if I do that my fingers hurt like crazy!
A: Well... yeah. They're gonna hurt for a while. But only until your fingertips get stronger. Practice 20-30 minutes a day (or more) and they'll stop hurting in no time.

Q: And... and... they sound so bad!
A: Well... yeah. That too.The strings will buzz and make all kinds of strange noises at first. You just have to hang in there and try different ways to do it and after a while they'll get much better.

Q: Promise?
A: No.

Q: And... and you said to strike the strings. But how do I do that?
A: You hold the pick very loose in your hand, and let only a tiny part come out. You might drop it a few times, but that's OK. Then you strike the strings with it, from up towards down, in a big round motion.

Q: And?
A: And... that's it!

Q: And where do I strike the strings?
A: Well... you'll figure it out.


The Soviet T-28 was among the world's first medium tanks.

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Playing the Guitar: One Month Recap (VI)

Q: So, what about those chords?
A: Chords are basically a bunch of notes played on all strings at once.

Q: On all strings? At once?
A: Yes. On all strings. At the same time.

Q: How?
A: You just press your fingers on the strings in a specified way and you strike the strings.

Q: And that's it? If I do that... I'm playing the guitar?
A: Pretty much, yeah.

Q: Show me, show me!
A: The first chords you will learn are the open chords. They are the easiest to play.

Just press your fingers on the neck of the guitar as shown in the pictures and strike the strings. Do not strike the strings marked with an X.

Q: But... you said you strike all the strings at once.
A: Well... there are some exceptions.

Playing the Guitar: One Month Recap (V)

Q: OK. I'm sitting right, I have all the strings, I have tuned my guitar... Now what?
A: Now you start to play.

Q: OK.
A: There are two ways to play a guitar. You can play notes one by one, by striking a single string at a time, or you can play more notes at a time, by striking several strings at a time.

Q: A single note at a time?
A: Yup.

Q: How?
A: Like this.

See? Almost all the notes are played on the high E string. The skinniest. The bottom one by position. Also the highest one by the sound it makes.

Q: I see. And more notes at a time? What is that?
A: Those are called chords. We'll talk about them next time

World Population

The world population is the totality of all living humans on the planet Earth.

Playing the Guitar: One Month Recap (IV)

Part I

Q: OK. I'm sitting. Now what?
A: Now you tune the guitar.

Q: OK... How do I do that?
A: You use the electronic guitar tuner I told you about.

Q: OK... And?
A: You have to make the strings sound right. This is what each string should sound like.

The thickest string, the topmost one, is an E. Then follows an A, then D, G, B and E again.

Q: OK, but... What is an E? And D, G, B... what are those?
A: Those are musical notes.

Q: Really? I thought Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si, Do where notes. Not E and B and stuff...
A: That's correct. The Latin system uses the Do, Re, Mi and so on, while the international system uses letters: A, B, C, D, E, F and G.

Q: I see. So... Do is A.
A: No. La is A. Si is B. Do is C. Re is D. Mi is E. Fa is F and Sol is G.

Q: Really? Why?
A: I have no idea.

Q: OK... If you say so... Now, how do I tune them again?
A: You strike each string with the guitar pick and then turn the corresponding knob until the electronic tuner says you got it. That's it! Strike and turn until your done. Or, if you have a piano handy, you can use that. What's a piano, you say? Never mind.

Na Na Hey Hey

  Is a song attributed to a band named "Steam". The chorus has since become a well known sports chant.

Playing the Guitar: One Month Recap (III)

Part I

Q: Right. So I've got my guitar, it has all the strings, it is not broken or cracked or anything... now what?
A: Now you start playing.

Q: Finally! What do I do?
A: First, you need a good beginner's book. "Guitar for dummies" by Mark Philips and Jon Chappell is the one I have, but I'm sure there are many others. The first thing you will learn is how to sit.

Q: Ha! Ha! Really?
A: Yup. There is a right way...

... and a wrong way to do it.

The guitar should be very steady and your hands should have no part in supporting it. They should be free to move around and do their job. Any good approximation will be fine, of course, as long you don't overdo it.

You can save that for later.

Playing the Guitar: One Month Recap (II)

Part I

Q: How big is a guitar?
A: There are different shapes and sizes. The guitar should feel right for you. You shouldn't have to struggle to get your hands around it.

Q: Acoustic guitar or electric?
A: Acoustic, I'd say.

Q: Why? And what the heck is an acoustic guitar?
A: An acoustic guitar is a classic guitar. It does not need any electrical power or fancy equipment. It has a body that amplifies the vibrations of the strings, and you can feel it vibrate (or dance) in your hands. Quite a satisfying feeling.

Q: How many strings does a guitar have?
A: Six. There are usually six strings.

Q: Is there a problem if my guitar has less strings?
A: Yes. If you have inherited the guitar from someone else or your guitar just snapped a string or two, you have to replace them. Just buy a set of strings and ask someone with experience to replace them for you. Or do it yourself if you don't have two left hands (a pretty good way to tell, actually). Anyhow. If you have less than six strings on your guitar you ain't gonna be able to play it (even if your grandpa's name was Jimi Hendrix).

Battle of Raate Road

   Battle of Raate Road was a battle during the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union.

Playing the Guitar: One Month Recap (I)

Q: What is a guitar?
A: A guitar is a torture instrument used by hairy kids to terrorize their neighbors.

Q: What does it look like?
A: It is a wooden box with a hole in it. It usually has a neck and strings.

Q: How does it work?
A: You strike the strings with one hand to make sounds.

Q: That's it?
A: No. You have to use the other hand to modify the sounds. Make them higher and lower.

Q: What do you need to play the guitar?
A: To play the guitar you need the following:

1. Two good hands. If you have two left hands - like I do - you might be in trouble.
2. A guitar, obviously.
3. An electronic guitar tuner. Or pitch fork. Or tuning pipe. Whatever. But trust me, the electronic tuner is the best.
4. A guitar pick.
5. Access to the Internet. To listen to music. To find books (for dummies... err... beginners, at first). To find music tabs and sheets.
6. An YouTube account. To show the world what you can do. I mean... why limit yourself just to your neighbors, when you can terrorize the entire world?

Sukhoi Su-15

This war plane was a supersonic interceptor developed by the Soviet Union in the '60s.

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So Lonely

   Simple song to play from The Police. If only Sting wouldn't sing so darn high. Anyway. This guy has the voice (or the nerve) to try it.

Battle of Bataan

The Battle of Bataan was the most intense phase in the Invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

We Will Rock You

A not so easy song to play, in an epic interpretation. I'm going a little off the reservation here, but since I ain't be playing anything like that any time soon... it's OK.

The Superstring Theory

Is the theory that attempts to explain all the particles and fundamental forces in nature.

Save Me

An easy song to play. You can either play the chords, or you can find the Queen song book and just play the vocal part from there. Or, if you're the more ambitious type, you can play the guitar part, which is not all that different from the vocal part. There are just a few arpeggios here and there, and a few double stops.

If you play the chords, just play the ones you know and skip the ones you don't know (stay away from Bm7. You might hurt yourself). So it's gonna be "Save me, save me, M! me"... Big deal!

The "Oldies" Progression

I kept talking about it, but never said what it was. I think this guy explains it very well.

Just a Gigolo

A change of pace from the "oldies progression". David Lee Roth. The music starts at 1:35. So it's got a little more chords. Deal with it.

See? So easy.


Is a state of equanimity or imperturbability, associated with a Japanese martial art, usually.

Poor Little Fool

Yet another song to be played in the oldies progression. C-Am-F-G.

No cover today. There were a lot of people howling but... no thanks. I can do that myself.

The Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921

This armed conflict was part of the all-in free-for-all that raged across Europe before, during and after World War I.

Runaround Sue

Another song in the "oldies progression". I lost count, but there are still a few left. Anyway. C-Am-F-G (if you use a cappo at the second fret). Or, if you prefer the original version, you can do D-Bm-G-A. What the heck is a Bm? Don't know.

And the guitar version. The only one that didn't make me cringe.

I've Gotta be Me

A popular song that first appeared in the Broadway musical Golden Rainbow. Sang by Sammy Davis Jr.

Now. Who the heck was Sammy Davis Jr.? I'll have to look into it, but one thing is certain: the man could sing.

Stay (Just a Little Bit Longer)

Another song in the oldies progression. G-Em-C-D.

And the guitar version. This guy gets huge points for enthusiasm. Way to go, dude!

The War of 1812

It was the war between the United States of America and the British Empire. It was also known as the Second War of Independence.

Oh Susanna

Still a beginner's song, but not so simple anymore.

And the simple guitar version.

Old McDonald Had a Farm

An easy song to play.

And the guitar version. This girl's act is quite random but we love it, we love it! Live a little we always say, here at Random Bits of Pie.