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Rocking The Blues

Our fascination with the guitar started about 8 years back, a friend of mine used to play and loaned me an acoustic guitar to learn. We took it up rather seriously considering we did not have much to do at that time, bought a few expensive guitars picked up tab books and started listening to Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen and other guitar virtuosos. I would like to believe that we were very good at playing the guitar, but in reality we sucked big time, could barely play a few phrases and even those were played in some whack timing…..anyways, post a few years of playing, life took over and we pretty much forgot about playing the guitar.

So why am I telling you this? Well, post our very eventful birthday in October, we have rediscovered playing the guitar. We also got a brand new acoustic guitar and started learning the instrument the correct way. This time around, we decided not to go the rock way, instead basis our love affair with the blues, we decided to learn the style. I do believe I have learnt more in the last month alone than I had learnt playing for 3 years; The reason is simple – better learning tools, the Internet and the fact that I am older and things are slowing down. Learning an instrument can’t be hurried, the slower you go the better it gets.
If like us you are into the blues he are some awesome tips to pick up this awesome style –
  1. Listen to the blues, learn to appreciate the music….if you don’t like the style you can’t play it.
  2. Start off with popular music: Eric Clapton, B.B King, Muddy Watters and so on. Don’t jump the gun…. Buddy Guy, Hubert Summlin, Howlin Wolf will come later…you need to develop a liking for the blues first.
  3. Start with the absolute basics, a 12 bar progression and then the minor pentatonic scale.
  4. Find a great teacher online or offline. There are few self taught guitarist in this world. Always learn from someone who knows better – we recommend Guitarjamz.com.
  5. Always use a metronome or a drum machine. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, there are dozens of free apps available for the same.
  6. Convert whatever you want to learn into an exercise. Play it ridiculously slow and don’t speed it up until you can play it in your sleep.
  7. Watch Cadillac Records and Nothing but the Blues.
  8. If you are playing the guitar for the first time, we would recommend you go in for an acoustic cut away. This will help you build strength in your hand and also ensure you can play beyond the 12th fret.
Take it from us playing the blues or any other style will take time and will require you to invest a fair bit of it. To start off, try 15 minutes in a day, but if you want to get any good let it go up to at least an hour. Don’t give up if things don’t come naturally, eventually you will pick it up. Playing the blues is probably the most relaxing part of the day and will definitely put a smile on your face. Hopefully, our post will inspire you to pick up the guitar or fall in love with it all over again. Check out some awesome videos to get you started and inspired below :-). If you have some crazy bluesy riff, share it with us in the comments below.

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Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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Unusual Motorcycles

Every now and then you will see a motorcycle on the road and go “WOW! That’s an awesome looking piece of equipment!” People queue up outside showrooms or expos to see motorcycles that have been created basis themes or brands. We have always been fascinated with unusual bikes; hence one of our favourite pastimes is customizing our bike and also watching the Biker Build Off.

To add to the above, Movies, Games and various other brands are also promoting their products using Motorcycles; a classic example of the same – Batman, Gears of War, Tron Motorcycles, etc.. The Gears of War Bike was actually designed by Paul Junior Designs; the wheels of the game-inspired trike include the Gears of War cog skull symbol and the paint resembles armour used in the game. It features crash bars to fight locusts, dual gattling guns and 14 inch wide tires. Check the video below for the unveiling.

The Batpod, on the other hand, is a totally different ball game (we will be covering this in another post). Designed by Nathan Crowley, who designed the Tumbler for Batman Begins (2005), the bike has 20″ front and rear tires (the Tumbler’s front wheels), and is powered by a high-performance, water-cooled, single-cylinder engine, geared toward the lower end for faster acceleration and with no exhaust pipes. The exhaust is routed through the hollow steel/aluminum/magnesium tubing used for the frame of the bike. The Batpod is steered by the shoulders instead of hands, and the rider’s arms are protected by shields. The two foot pegs are set 3½ feet apart on either side of the tank, which the rider lies on, belly down.

The Tron Bike is by far, my most favourite bike, purely on the way it looks and also the way it is showcased in the movie. Electroluminescent strips built into the tire cowlings, wheel rims and body illuminate the cycle. It is powered by a fuel-injected Suzuki 996cc, 4-stroke engine. Riders lay at a near-horizontal position astride the padded leather seat, with feet on foot pegs that control its 6-speed constant mesh manual transmission and hands on the handlebars for throttle and braking. The hubless wheels are former truck tires built up, then custom-shaped to fit onto one of two counter-rotating rims spinning within each other, providing the broad-tired authenticity of the computer cycles from the movie. A chain-driven friction drum manages acceleration and braking from the handlebars. It uses a 3 1/2-gallon main fuel tank and 1 1/4-gallon reserve tank. Check the awesome video below.

I thought it would be fun to put down some Unusual facts on Motorcycles in this post, some of them you already know some will make you go WTF….

The German inventor, Gottlieb Daimler, is generally credited with building the first practical motorcycle in 1885.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2000, 631 motorcyclists were saved by wearing their helmet.

Motorcycles and scooters are, on average, about twice as fuel efficient as cars.

Up to eight motorbikes can fit in the same parking space occupied by one car.

Kawasaki also makes spaceships.

The first rider to ever go over 300 mph was Don Vesco in 1975, on a 1496cc Yamaha-engined streamliner.

MV Agusta is currently producing the F4 1078 RR 312. 312kph being the recorded top speed at the Salt Flats in Utah in 2007.The RR312 reached a recorded top speed of 195, but since speeds are averaged, it’s recorded top speed is 194mph, or metric, 312kph.

The fastest motorcycle is the Dodge Tomahawk, a prototype with an unusual design, featuring the 500 hp (373 kW) 8.3 L V10 engine from the Dodge Viper.(Picture: theRed Bull Bike)

Harley-Davidson built push-bikes between 1917 and 1923. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle, built in 1903, used a tomato can for a carburettor.

When Valentino Rossi was five, his dad Graziano built him a go-cart to discourage him from getting into bikes.

By now you must have realized why the unusual works. Below is a bunch of interesting, unusual motorcycle facts and some awesome imagery for your eyes only. As with all our posts, if you have an unusual bike and an image to share, do add the link in the comments section.

The Unusual Gallery

 

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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