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Date this web site was last edited:  12/06/2015







"The Sickness"

All thumb picking finger style guitar players (professional or amateur) remembers when he or she first heard a true "thumbpicker" play.  Some heard it over the radio, TV, or record.  Some heard it at a club somewhere or at a family reunion when Uncle Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob-Harry-Frank broke out his old Harmony flat top.  Some were as young as five or six, and others had already retired.  Others were accomplished guitarists, yet some of US hadn't picked a note yet.  But, it doesn't matter how, where or when because we all had basically the same thing to say about that experience,  "It was like nothing I'd ever heard before, and I was held spellbound - and, I've had "the sickness" ever since."   (First Time I Heard Chet)

You know you have "The Sickness" when:

  • You find yourself physically and verbally abusing little ol' ladies at garage sales when you see them looking at an old Chet or Merle album you don't have.

  • You notice that you are having problems remembering three of your four children's names after two months of working on "Struttin'.

  • You somehow lucked out and didn't let the spousal unit know how much either the Godin or it's upgrade to a CE Studio cost that you recently purchased - and you are already thinking about calling Kirk Sand.

  • At 9:00 pm with the kids all tucked safely into their beds and the wife "set up" with a good book you sneak down to the basement to "work on a couple."  The next thing you know it's 3:00 am.... and, yer not one bit better at either lick.

  • The finger tips on your frettin' hand start looking like ET's.

  • You start worrying more about your nails than keeping up with the mortgage payments.

  • You start avoiding any sort of manual work to avoid breaking a nail.

  • You've lost all your flat picks - and you don't care.

  •  You have a major urge to steal that gorgeous Taylor from the young man that is "banging" chords on it, and find it a better home.

  • You have run out of places to hide more Chet 2-fers...

  • Your "current" wife just yelled down to the basement,  "Do you know how to play D-I-V-O-R-C-E????"

  • Your boss just sternly asked you if you understood what an impact on your career your compliance to company policy will be - and, your thoughts are,  "I got it!  ---  I'll bet Chet was using an open B string in that run....."

  • You remember phone numbers by the "chord" shape/pattern of the numbers.  (Sent in by Frank Robinson - GFGA)}

    (These next few were sent in by Ron Thompson, Canada)

  • Your quest in life is to find the elusive "perfect" thumbpick.

  • The first time you "nail" that lick you've been working on for the past month is better than getting a raise in pay!!

  • The clerk at the local record store runs and hides when he/she sees you coming, because he/she KNOWS you're going to ask about some fingerstyle picker on a label he/she hasn't even heard of.

  • The wife's labour pains are coming fast and furious but you have to try that lick just one.......more.........time, before rushing her to the hospital. (Guitar in back seat, in case there's a lull in the "action")

    (These were sent in by Forest Ratlif, Euclid, Ohio)

  • You wear your wedding band on your right hand when you play, (so as not to scratch or bang against your guitar neck) and can't understand why your spouse objects to this practice ...

  • You wear your two favorite thumb-picks, (the long. sharp pointed one for steel string, and the shorter, rounder one for nylon) under your watch band everywhere you go ... (just in case the opportunity to pick one presents itself)

E-mail me some more.....  Palmer Moore @  Say Hello