Anyway, this is a source of deep familial shame, as my mom is musically inclined (she was first chair first horn in high school) and in addition to being a historian, my dad is a luthier and pretty damned fine blues banjo player. You can hear one of his songs here: it's the song of the month on Lightnin' Wells' home page currently. Also, it's a source of annoyance to me, as I dearly love music, and would like to know more about it on a practical level.
And I frankly need some sort of creative hobby that isn't narrative-related, because writing is my job now, and no longer induces an alpha state. *g*
Anyway, after spending two days trying to convince me to take up harp (I thought about it, but that's way too twee for a fantasy writer) with me going "I dunno, I was thinking of picking up a second-hand banjo or guitar or something I can noodle around with" (My supreme ambition right now is to be able to play "Eleanor Rigby," to give you an idea of just how much I suck), he threw up his metaphorical hands (the only thing as stubborn as a Ukrainian is a female Ukrainian) and said, "Well, don't buy a guitar, I've got an old one Bud made lying around I'll send you."
Bud is my "Uncle" Bud, Bud Russell (no relation, afaik), a gifted woodworker and artist who also made me a fantastic pair of bear bookends that hold up my brag shelf. And stwish, given what he does for a living, tends to accrue old musical instruments the way I accrue books. Which is to say, check before you sit down, or you might have an intimate encounter with a mandolin or something.
Brothers and sisters, my dad pulled a fast one on me.
This guitar is a thing of beauty. The body is canary wood, and the faceplate is salvaged chestnut, patterned with borer holes. And it sounds fantastic. And he sent along an electronic tuner, so I have no damned excuse. I just tuned it and spent a happy half an hour playing chromatic scales and trying to hold down a c major chord without screaming. And man, I have no finger strength at all.
On the other hand, my ear is better than I thought. Which is something.
Yell at me if I don't practice, okay?