Tuesday, October 9, 2018

guitars, penguins , computers etc.

College football odds, picks, lines for 2018 Bowl Games: Advanced computer model loving Georgia and Syracuse

Expect the college football odds boards to see plenty of movement in the coming weeks, as the 2018 college football bowl schedule kicks off on Dec. 15 and extends all the way to the national title game on Jan. 7. Some teams haven't even opened bowl practice yet, but several key players have already announced their intentions to skip the postseason, like South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel, Iowa tight end Noah Fant and NC State linebacker Germaine Pratt. With 39 games to keep track of over the course of the 2018-19 bowl schedule and college football odds and lines moving as kickoffs approach, be sure to check out the latest college football picks for 2018 bowl games from SportsLine's advanced computer model.

Penguin foraging behaviour monitoredCredit: CC0 Public Domain

Accelerometers, video cameras and GPS recorders are providing a new glimpse into penguin foraging behaviour and revealing how they react to changes in their environment.

Ecologist Grace Sutton is using the latest technology to make discoveries about the fine-scale foraging movements of penguins in the sub-Antarctic – bringing new insights into their role in this sensitive ecosystem. Ms Sutton is studying for her Ph.D. with Deakin University's Centre for Integrative Ecology.

Through a partnership between Deakin and the University of La Rochelle, France – supported by a Nicholas Baudin Travel Grant – Ms Sutton initially spent three-months at Kerguelen Islands in the sub-Antarctic collecting data on macaroni penguins. She travelled to Reunion Island, from where the French Antarctic vessel took her to the Kerguelens.

She explained that penguins are the largest group of consumers in the Southern Ocean. As such, it is important that their foraging behaviour is understood. The macaroni penguin population at the Kerguelen Islands forms around 18 per cent of the world's macaroni penguin population, approximately 800,000 individuals.

The research has provided new information on macaroni penguin foraging ecology and gives a sense of the potential impact on fish stock recruitment due to larval fish mortality. This could have a negative impact on the commercial fishing industry and up the food chain.

"It has always been assumed that macaroni penguins perform deep dives to search for and capture krill and that fish comprise only a small part of their diet in the early stages of their breeding cycle," she said.

"However, the cameras revealed that they consume a large number of larval fish during shallow dives close to the water's surface."

The cameras used to record the penguins' adventures at sea are protected by a 3-D-printed waterproof housing. They are attached to the back of a penguin with waterproof tape. Once the camera is fitted, the bird is released back to its nest and the device is removed when it returns.

"The devices are very lightweight and only left on the animal for a single foraging trip, to minimise stress and potential impact on the penguin's normal foraging behaviour," said Ms Sutton.

Part of the research involves examining factors that may influence a penguin's foraging success, such as the abundance of a particular kind of prey. If a penguin happens upon a plentiful array of energetically-rich prey, this will increase their intake and reduce the amount of time it spends searching for food, expending less energy in the process. The presence of other foraging predators could lead to competition over the same prey, affecting the possibility of the penguin's success in obtaining nourishment.

"We also need to take into account the intrinsic variables of each individual penguin, such as body condition. An animal in good condition would be physically stronger and able to catch more prey than those in a poorer body condition," she said.

"As this is the first study to use video cameras with accelerometers, GPS and depth recorders on macaroni penguins, it's important to do additional monitoring over multiple years to understand how this new behaviour is influenced by environmental conditions such as prey availability," she said.

Ms Sutton has also begun researching little and African penguins, with the aim of generating a better understanding of their foraging and other behaviour at sea. She is due to complete her Ph.D. in July 2019.

"I love travelling to new places, learning new things and being amongst nature. I enjoy the challenge of interpreting and discovering new things through the data that I've collected. I hope to continue doing research after my Ph.D. and am currently looking for postdoc positions," she said.

Explore further: Penguin cam captures hunt for prey

PHOTO: Lone Abandoned Baby Penguin Experiences Good Side Of Humans

If you ever thought that human beings can get rather inhumane to their young, you probably have never seen how some wild animals treat their babies. Often, nature’s infants are baptized in fire so as to make them tough; survival of the fittest is the only and all. However, one abandoned baby penguin experiences kindness at the hands of humans after getting nature’s short end of the stick.

During one sunny day at a beach in Christchurch, New Zealand, a baby penguin was found alone and cold. Its species was called Eudyptula minor or literally little penguin because they are the smallest in the world. So you can imagine that the baby penguin is small and defenseless in such an unforgiving environment where infants are often prime targets for hungry predators.

Jeff Mein Smith was apparently concerned when he first saw the baby penguin all alone on the beach, So he thought to check on the little dude once he was done with his biking routine. Upon returning, however, Smith was surprised that someone already took the initiative and looked after the flightless bird. They even put a simple cardboard sign saying what the penguin might be up to and that people should keep their dogs away:

The sign attracted the attention of wildlife experts. They suggested that while the baby penguin might have been waiting for its mother to return like the sign says, they also determined that the penguin looks to be around two months old. This was an age where little penguins are too old to still be a dependent.

Hence, they stepped in to lend the baby penguin a hand. They also discovered that the little guy was underweight for his size, meaning he did need help. It is now at the Christchurch Penguin Rehabilitation to recuperate its strength and gain weight before getting released into the wild where hopefully, it will get a fighting chance at survival.

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Second Wello Penguin primes for action

Finnish wave energy developer Wello has launched its latest Penguin device for deployment at the European Marine Energy Centre off Orkney in Scotland.

The new device entered the water at Tallinn, Estonia, as part of the Clean Energy From Ocean Waves project, and will be towed to EMEC.

It will be installed alongside Wello’s original Penguin device at EMEC, which has been in place since April 2017.

EMEC said the Clean Energy From Ocean Waves project is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and aims to build and deploy an array of three Wello Penguins at EMEC’s grid-connected wave test site at Billia Croo.

The company added that knowledge from the first EMEC project has fed into the development of the second device, which was built at the Netaman shipyard in Tallinn.

A licence was granted in November for the installation, operation and decommissioning of the three devices.

EMEC environment and consents specialist Caitlin Long said: “We are very pleased that the CEFOW project has been successful in securing consent for the first WEC array on a single electrical cable, in Scotland.

“The awarded marine licence provides Wello and Fortum with the required flexibility to commence with the installation of the second WEC’s moorings and the smart hub.

“This is a great achievement by the project consortium and we look forward to welcoming two more Penguins to EMEC.”The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen massive returns. Over the past three years, this proprietary computer model has generated a jaw-dropping $4,210 profit for $100 bettors on its top-rated point-spread picks.

The model made some huge calls on Championship Week, including nailing Ohio State (-16.5) against Northwestern and Oklahoma (-9.5) against Texas. And when it comes to all top-rated picks, the model has been red-hot, entering the 2018 college football bowl season on a blistering 45-25 run. Anybody who has followed it is way, way up.

Now it has simulated every single play 10,000 times and its 2018 college football bowl picks and predictions are in.

One of the top college football bowl picks the model is extremely high on: No. 6 Georgia (-11) covers against No. 14 Texas in the 2019 Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day.

The No. 5 Bulldogs fell just short against top-ranked Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, and some felt they had a compelling case to be included in the playoff field after their strong showing. The committee disagreed, however, forcing the 11-2 Bulldogs to settle for a New Year's Six matchup against No. 15 Texas, a 9-4 squad that lost its rematch against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game.

The model is calling for 225 yards through the air from Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm and 150 on the ground from a combination of D'Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield as the Bulldogs cover against the Longhorns in 55 percent of simulations.

Another one of the top college football predictions from the model: No. 20 Syracuse (+7) covers against No. 16 West Virginia in the 2018 Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28.

This matchup features top-tier quarterbacks with Will Grier under center for West Virginia and Eric Dungey leading Syracuse's attack. The model projects Grier to go off for close to 350 yards through the air, while Dungey counters with almost 300 yards passing and another 60 on the ground.

That big day from Dungey helps Syracuse, which won five of its last six games, keep it competitive against the Mountaineers. WVU wins straight-up 55 percent of the time, but the value pick against the spread is on Syracuse because the Orange cover in almost 60 percent of simulations.

The model is also calling for multiple favorites to get stunned in bowl season, and has an extremely strong pick for the national semifinal between Alabama and Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, saying one side covers in over 60 percent of simulations.

So what college football picks can you make with confidence during college football bowl season? And which side of Alabama vs. Oklahoma should you be all over? Check out the latest college football bowl game odds below, and then visit SportsLine to see which teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from a proven computer model that has returned over $4,000 in profit over the past three seasons.

New Mexico Bowl: North Texas vs. Utah State (-9, 66.5) Cure Bowl: Tulane vs. Louisiana (+3, 59) Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona State vs. Fresno State (-4.5, 52) Camellia Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. Georgia Southern (-1, 47.5) New Orleans Bowl: Appalachian State vs. Middle Tennessee (+7, 50.5) Boca Raton Bowl: UAB vs. Northern Illinois (+2, 43.5) Frisco Bowl: Ohio vs. San Diego State (+3, 54) Gasparilla Bowl: Marshall vs. South Florida (+2.5, 55.5) Bahamas Bowl: Toledo vs. Florida International (+6, 68.5) Idaho Potato Bowl: BYU vs. Western Michigan (+12, 48.5) Birmingham Bowl: Memphis vs. Wake Forest (+5, 74) Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. Houston (+3, 67) Dollar General Bowl: Buffalo vs. Troy (+2.5, 53.5) Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. Louisiana Tech (+1, 60) First Responder Bowl: Boston College vs. Boise State (-3, 55) Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota vs. Georgia Tech (-4, 60.5) Cheez-It Bowl: TCU vs. California (PK, 40.5) Independence Bowl: Temple vs. Duke (+3, 56) Pinstripe Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Miami (Fla.) (-4, 47) Texas Bowl: Baylor vs. Vanderbilt (-3.5, 55) Music City Bowl: Auburn vs. Purdue (+4, 54.5) Camping World Bowl: West Virginia vs. Syracuse (+7, 75) Alamo Bowl: Iowa State vs. Washington State (-4, 54.5) Belk Bowl: South Carolina vs. Virginia (+4, 54.5) Arizona Bowl: Nevada vs. Arkansas State (-1.5, 60) Military Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech (+5, 53.5) Redbox Bowl: Michigan State vs. Oregon (-3, 48) Liberty Bowl: Missouri vs. Oklahoma State (+7.5, 74) Holiday Bowl: Northwestern vs. Utah (-6.5, 45) TaxSlayer Bowl: Texas A&M vs. NC State (+4.5, 58.5) Sun Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Stanford (-6.5, 52) Outback Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Iowa (+6.5, 44.5) Citrus Bowl: Kentucky vs. Penn State (-6, 48) Peach Bowl: Florida vs. Michigan (-7.5, 50.5) Fiesta Bowl: LSU vs. Central Florida (+7.5, 55.5) Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Washington (+6.5, 58) Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Texas (+11, 58) Orange Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma (+14, 81.5) Cotton Bowl: Clemson vs. Notre Dame (+11, 55)

Florida Teacher Spearheads Computer Code Learning for Young Students

(TNS) — Leah Holzler may only be 8, but she already has a dream to create a Youtube channel dedicated to the joys of coding and computer science.

Leah plugged in commands on her computer at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus Tuesday morning, watching as the short written cues on the computer created three cat figures dancing to the tune of Justin Bieber's "Sorry."

"Coding is fun because you can change things, you can make things do so many cool things, you can make them change color and do different dance moves," Leah said. "Coding is awesome. I want to show people how awesome it actually is."

For Bay Haven students, the first week of December marks their participation in Hour of Code, a global program intended to expose students to computer science education. Technology teacher Sarah Hu has spearheaded the program at the district's north Sarasota elementary school for the fourth year in a row.

This year, she has also prioritized the involvement of female students through Bay Haven's chapter of Girls Who Code, a national program dedicated to getting young women interested in coding and computer science. Women tend to be under-represented in computer science, Hu said, but female elementary school students often outperform their male peers in science and math. It's at the middle school level where female students' participation tends to decline, she added.

"Early exposure is key," Hu said.

Share your thoughts by joining the Herald-Tribune's Sarasota and Manatee Schools Facebook group.

In her classes, she notices that boys and girls are often "totally equal" in their interest in computer science.

Taeghan Scott and Emily Tindell sat next to each other on their respective computer screens, watching a video instructing them how to choose a dance move for their character and pick certain commands to change how often their character completed a dance and what size the character would be.

The two female students represented the difference in interest many students have. Taeghan said she preferred to read, finding coding "sometimes confusing," while Emily admitted she had thought about pursuing technology as a career, though she is many years away from that reality.

"Sometimes coding gets my mind off of stuff when I'm mad," Emily said.

If Leah's enthusiasm is any indication, maybe girls at the elementary school level are becoming increasingly confident in their coding abilities and, perhaps, the chance to make that their job one day.

At one point, a classmate asked Leah to look at his work.

"I've already been through that level," she told him, "but you did a good job."

©2018 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Why Computer Science Education Week Must Do More for Young Men of Color

As Computer Science Education week comes to a close, it’s important to highlight one group that’s frequently left out: young men of color.

Eight years ago, as a New York City-based national journalist, my network was pretty wide. When I went to my first technology conference in 2011, I saw that the industry was an amazing engine of creativity and job creation. But what quickly stood out was that only a minuscule number of Black or brown individuals were successfully participating in this fast-growing segment of entrepreneurship.Too often I fear most computer science educators simply overlook young men of color.

Why? Exposure to quality computer science education and computer scientists is key to getting young people interested in pursuing the technology field. There is a growing number of organizations focusing on exposing and training young girls in technology skills (think: Black Girls Code), but few organizations have focused on boys from under-represented communities of color. So, after nearly a year of research and 150 interviews, I started one, called All Star Code. Our mission is to create economic opportunity by developing a new generation of boys and young men of color with an entrepreneurial mindset who have the tools they need to succeed in a technological world. Since our launch, other organizations have formed or grown significantly with similar goals, including The Hidden Genius Project in Oakland, Calif. and Black Boys Code in Toronto, and Teens Exploring Technology (TXT) in Los Angeles.

To be sure, it is absolutely right that Computer Science Education Week focuses on inspiring all of our youth to take interest in computer science. And I greatly admire Grace Murray Hopper, the pioneering female computer programmer, who should be a role model to boys and girls and people of all races and gender.

But too often I fear most computer science educators simply overlook young men of color. While boys generally are over-represented in computer science, young men of color are still one of the least represented groups. Without targeted solutions, they are increasingly likely to get left behind. And we can’t afford to leave any groups behind.

There is a lot of evidence to show that educators should put more focus on our boys, particularly Black boys. Earlier this year, data collected by Harvard and Stanford revealed that Black boys raised in America, even in the wealthiest families and living in some of the most well-to-do neighborhoods, still earn less in adulthood than white boys with similar backgrounds, according to a recent study published in The New York Times.

The study concluded that income inequality between Blacks and whites is driven entirely by what is happening among these boys and the men they become.

In the meantime, computer occupations are among the highest-paying jobs for new graduates, yet only 13 percent are Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino. We need to be paying attention to under-represented girls and our under-represented boys in order to successfully move these numbers.

So, on this Computer Science Education Week, I join educators everywhere in a call to raise awareness about the power of computing. And I also call on all educators everywhere to remember to explicitly include young men of color in their efforts.

Correction: This piece previously misnamed Teens Exploring Technology (TXT). It has been updated.

Everything You Need to Know to Set Up Your Guitar

Setting up a guitar can be a daunting undertaking, even to seasoned players. Guitars, and wooden stringed instruments in general, are malleable. Wood warps, grime cakes on necks, strings break. When tinkering, things can go wrong. But things can also be greatly improved.

Part of developing as a musician is forming a bond with your instrument and understanding how it works. What's more, cheap, beginner guitars are usually set up poorly, which makes playing them more difficult.

Here, using my friend’s old $100 Fender Squier as a model, we break down the essential components of a guitar setup, hoping to encourage guitarists to start tinkering. These steps aren’t really linear. It’s all about how each part interacts, so you’ll have to circle back a couple of times.Setting Up the Action, Adjusting the Bridge

Ideal action is a subjective matter. If you’re a metal or jazz player, you probably want a pretty low action so you can play lightning fast licks and fret complex chord shapes with ease. If you’re a blues player, you probably want a slightly higher action for intense string bends and to really dig into the notes with pronounced dynamics. Regardless of your playing style, the strings should be close enough to the fret board to be comfortable but not so close that they buzz.

If you’re a beginner and aren’t sure what measurements to set the action at, you can reference an online guide like this Fender owners manual for factory specifications. A 6-inch metal ruler with 64th inch increments comes in handy here to measure the space between the fretboard and the bottom of the strings. This distance at the 17th fret is typically set around 4/64 inches. On a Strat-style bridge, you can control the height of each string individually by adjusting the corresponding saddle, which is helpful because each string has a different thickness. To lower the action, simply turn each saddle screw clockwise with an Allen wrench. And to raise it, turn the saddle screws counterclockwise. And beware: A lot of entry-level guitars have high actions to mask warped, shoddily constructed necks. If that's the case with yours, there's not a whole ton you can do about it.Turning our saddle screws. (Yes, it’s filthy but we’ll clean it up once the strings are off.)

Eric Limer

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can improve your guitar’s overall feel and get a more consistent action throughout the neck by filing down the nut, the part where the strings meet the headstock. A lot of cheaper brands err on the side of assembling nuts that are too high up. Keep in mind—filing can’t be undone; if you file down the nut too much, you’ll have to buy and assemble a new nut, thus making your set up a lot more complicated and laborious.

Once you find a comfortable action for your playing style, you may be good to go. But it’s likely if you’re playing a cheap guitar or there’s a change in seasons and thus humidity, you’re going to have to tweak your neck.Adjusting the Truss Rod

The truss rod is a steel bolt that runs through the neck of the guitar to reinforce it and prevent warping. You realign the neck by tweaking the rod, but you must use caution because if you crank the rod too far clockwise, increasing the compression, you can snap it and destroy your neck. So only make adjustments when necessary. I find I make them about twice a year, when the humidity changes.

To check the straightness of the neck, hold your guitar up and look down the neck with your dominant eye like you’re sighting down a rifle. Necks should upbow ever so slightly to produce resonance. If they were completely straight, you’d get fret buzz and if convexed, the fret buzz would be severe. More often than not, especially if there is a drop in humidity, the necks will upbow.

On the headstock there’s an adjusting nut where you insert an Allen wrench to turn the truss rod. Always err on the side of caution, so I’d recommend never doing more than 1/8 to ¼ of a turn before testing out the guitar and sighting the neck again. In the Squier, there was too much relief so I tightened the rod. If we had fret buzz and the action at the bridge was set at reasonable height, there’d be too much tension and we’d crank the truss rod counterclockwise to increase the relief. Besides sighting the neck, a good way to gauge neck relief is to do a tap test.Adjusting the truss rod.

Eric Limer

The Squier has a single action truss rod with the nut oriented at the headstock, but the nut could be oriented facing the body. In a lot of acoustic guitars this is the case, and you’d access the truss rod through the sound hole. Or you could have a double action truss rod, (i.e. Rickenbackers) which can be adjusted from both directions for extra precision and neck stability.

It’s important to keep the strings on your guitar when tweaking the truss rod and to keep them at least roughly in tune. The steel strings exert tension on the neck which causes the neck to upbow. Tightening the truss rod reinforces the neck with a compression force to offset this tension. Feel free to change your strings before you tweak the truss rod if you’d prefer. Just don’t tweak the truss rod with your strings removed.Adjusting Intonation

Just like adjusting the action, you can adjust your intonation without changing your strings, but if you plan to change your strings, you should do that first.

If your open strings are in tune but, as you play up the neck, you notice that the notes are a little flat or sharp, your intonation is off. The notes on the 12th fret should be exactly one octave higher than the notes on the corresponding open strings.

Scale length is the distance between the inner edge of the nut to where the string meets the saddle in the bridge and the midpoint is the center of the 12th fret. The Strat I’m setting up has a scale length of 25 ½ “ which is very common. The other most common scale length is 24 3/4” which is what you’ll find on most Gibsons.

On a Strat-style bridge, the intonation of each string can be adjusted individually. Using a small Phillips head screwdriver, you can elongate the scale length by turning the saddle adjustment screw clockwise. You would do this if the fretted note at the 12th fret is sharp. If it is flat, you need to shorten the scale length and turn the screw counterclockwise. If you feel considerable resistance when you turn the screws, it’s probably because gunk has built up on the saddles and you should clean them out with a microfiber cloth and polish.

Besides using a tuner, a quick way to check intonation is to play a note on the 12th fret and then play the same harmonic on the 12th fret by lightly depressing your finger on the middle of the fret and letting the note ring out. The fretted note should be the same pitch as the harmonic. If it’s sharp the corresponding saddle will have to be moved back and if flat, it will have to be moved forward.

Once your intonation is set correctly, it most likely won’t falter terribly, but it’s still a good idea to check intonation periodically because the screws can shift over time, especially if there are changes in weather or you’re changing the gauge of strings you use, or even if you knock around the saddles too much when changing strings.Cleaning Your Instrument

You should always wash your hands before you play, but inevitably you’ll still sweat, shed dead skin, and secrete oils into the fretboard and gunk will accumulate around the frets, and your guitar body will get smudged and dusty. It’s normal wear and tear. Guitar hygiene is important. It’s a lot easier and better to clean your guitar consistently rather than to let it get grimy and have to do a deep clean.

I rarely take off all my strings at once, because I don’t want to mess with the tension/compression of the neck. Normally I just rub the guitar down with a dry or slightly damp microfiber cloth when changing strings—one at a time—and sometimes I’ll spray and work in a little fretboard conditioner like D’Addario Planetwaves Hydrate to hydrate the board which prevents potential cracking. But if you have built up considerable dirt and you’re doing a setup and adjusting the neck anyway, it can be beneficial to cut all the strings to have an easier time navigating the crevices when cleaning the fretboard.

If you’ve built up a lot of crud, a microfiber cloth may not be sufficient. You definitely don’t want to scratch the wood so you don’t want to use a material too abrasive, but a lot of guitarists will remove some of the gunk with 0000 steel wool. If you opt to do that, apply painters tape over your pickups because the steel fibers can cause the poles in the magnetic pickups to corrode. Vacuum up any steel residue. For a safer bet, sub out steel wool for an old tooth brush.

Dunlop 6554 Fretboard 65 Ultimate Lemon Oil 4oz.

The guitar I worked on for this demo has a rosewood finger board so lemon oil in moderation is safe to use for cleaning and conditioning. DO NOT USE PURE OR FURNITURE-GRADE LEMON OIL. Use a brand of lemon oil that is manufactured specifically for guitars, like Dunlop 65 Ultimate Lemon Oil. Lemon oils made for use on guitars are highly diluted and actually contain very little pure lemon oil; they mainly consist of mineral oil. Pure lemon oil is highly acidic and can break down adhesives holding your frets in place and irritate your skin. The miniscule percentage of true lemon oil that guitar “lemon oils” contain will help remove the grime and the mineral oil will rehydrate, condition, and protect your fretboard, making it harder for dirt to cake up in the future.

Apply a thin coat and rub it in with a microfiber cloth and then buff it. If your guitar has a maple fretboard, don’t use steel wool or lemon oil at all. Even super fine steel wool can scratch the lacquered finish on maple and unlike rosewood or ebony, maple fret boards are normally sealed so the lemon oil won’t seep into the wood and it will be ineffectual. Lacquered maple doesn’t need to be hydrated, but for unfinished maple, stick with a mineral oil that contains no lemon extracts like F-One Oil by Music Nomad.

After you clean the fretboard, cleaning the rest of the guitar is a cinch. Simply apply a thin film of guitar polish on a microfiber cloth and wipe down your guitar body, your hardware, the back of the neck and your headstock. Then buff it and gaze in awe at the restored shiny veneer.Stringing It Up

It’s easy to overlook stringing up a guitar when discussing guitar maintenance, since this is about the most basic “repair” a guitarist can do and every guitarist should be able do it. Strings get dirty and start to sound dull over time. Don’t be that guy who waits to change his strings only when one snaps and then begs his friend to string it up.

Some guitarists are more meticulous than others, but a good rule of thumb is if you play about 5 hours a week, change your strings once a month. You’ll totally hear as well as feel the difference. Fresh strings resonate with high-end sparkle and punchier lows compared to worn strings. There are countless tutorials online showing how to properly string up a guitar. Getting yourself a wire cutter and string winder is helpful to make the process less tedious. D’Addario makes a nifty wire cutter/string winder combo which I’ve used for years.

Normally, I cut off and replace the strings one at a time, but in the case of doing a full cleaning, I’ll snap all the strings off. When you wind up and tighten a string, you exert tension on the neck, so when you snap all the strings off, the neck will straighten or downbow a bit. After you restring, make sure to check the neck curvature again and see if you need to tweak the truss rod or adjust the saddles again. Most likely you will, but if you adjusted these things before snapping off the strings, the necessary tweaks will be slight.

One thing to keep in mind—if you are changing the string gauge or the way you’re tuning your guitar, you’ll have to make the appropriate adjustments. Say if you go from .009 (meaning the high e string has a diameter of .009 inches) to .011, you’ll be exerting more force on the guitar neck and so the upbow will be more pronounced. If you play in dropped tuning—for example you tune your guitar to D standard instead of E standard—you’ll be exerting less force on the guitar neck. To offset this loss of tension, players will usually play with thicker strings. Thin strings in lower tunings tend to sound flubby.

Don’t be afraid to try out new gauges or tunings—alterations can inspire and change the way you play—but adjust your guitar accordingly or you’ll be disappointed.A Final Thought

One overarching theme that’s important to emphasize for doing set ups: Try not to get carried away. You don’t want to be too invasive or you could cause more severe problems for your guitar. However, if you err on the side of caution and do fine-tooth adjustments, a little at a time, you won’t cause problems—you’ll fix them, and eventually you’ll develop the right feel for the job.

Prince estate sues maker of famous 'cloud guitar'

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota --When you think of legendary performer Prince, you probably picture him holding a guitar.

The guitar most synonymous with the singer is the iconic cloud guitar.The custom ax was designed and built by a Minneapolis man named Dave Rusan.

He says people started asking him for replicas of that signature guitar after Prince died in 2016, so he trademarked the design and started making more of them.

But now, Paisley Park, the name of Prince's estate, is demanding he stop.Rusan says making the guitars has become his livelihood, "and he said that Prince is going to make a movie, and I remember thinking, 'Jeez, he's going to make a movie? Wow, and he needs a guitar built for the movie and you're going to make it.'"

"I feel it's kind of a David and Goliath thing. I'm all alone here trying to make these for fans and enjoy doing it. It's like my legacy. It would feel real bad, yeah," Rusan said

That movie Rusan designed the cloud guitar for was Prince's breakthrough film, Purple Rain.

He says he hopes he can resolve the issue without a legal battle.

Blind woman fulfills lifelong dream of learning how to play the guitarNo result found, try new keyword!The tape Jessica Stine placed on the neck of her guitar isn’t there for decoration. It’s there so she can feel where to place her fingers so she can learn the chords to play songs by her favorite band ...

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