Can you help troubled Music Thing readers?

Recently, I've started getting strange questions through the MT email. Can anyone help me answer them?
"I received a Sliverstone guitar and amplifer for christmas . I am retired and a man of 53 years old ! You think I can pick guitar like the greats ? Been a fan of Pink Floyd , and Hinderx , but life struggles and such Kept me from playing the guitar. Now I Have one I am puzzled ? Don’t know anything about music . My Knowladge is nothing in the Subject . Tried to play when I was in the service my fingers are big and hit too many strings." James, 53
"Is it possible to buy/download the ARP-type backing track alone to Won't Get Fooled Again and Baba O'Reilly? I'd like to play them both live in my band, but the synth parts are somewhat crucial to the overall sound." Gary, Fenland
"Can you please center your blog? I hate when everything is aligned left..." Evan, Iceland
"Hello my name is Rajah, I am a 19 year old male. I live in Columbia Maryland and I have been making instrumentals for two years now. I use the computer program FL Studio. I would like to further my skills and the quality of my instrumentals. In order to do so I feel as though I need to step up my equipment. I cannot really afford an MPC but I still think it is mandatory that I have one in order to further my career in the music industry. I was wondering if it was possible for your company to lend me a helping hand. Wether it be with an donation of an MPC or by making an MPC affordable for me. This would be the best thing to happen to me since I taught my self how to use FL Studio." Rajah, Maryland

my recommendation?

just randomly redistribute the email addresses of these people back to each other ?
Someone really needs to start a "Dear Abby" blog for music advice-seekers. Something that will steer the unwashed masses in the right direction, with just enough tongue-in-cheek to keep the rest of us elitist swine amused enough to read it periodically.
For the guitar chap - yes you will be able to learn but obviously it won't be an easy road, depending on your aptitude, inherent musical ability and perseverence.

Your fingers are not too big, but it will take a long time. My advice is check out some online basic guitar tutorials like, and maybe start taking lessons. It will be frustrating, but you will need to work at it. Don't forget that people like Dave Gilmour have been playing for 50 years so they have a bit of a head start on you ;)

Next: I prefer left aligned sites :D

Rajah: "I cannot really afford an MPC but I still think it is mandatory that I have one in order to further my career in the music industry."

This is absolute bollocks. With your current computer and software you already have *way* more than I had when I started. Stop making excuses and make music.

And if you *want* to buy more stuff, then you'll need to get a job and work for it, like, oh 99.9% of other people.

Rajah: You don't need an MPC. FL Studio has samplers built in that will do half that work for you. They may not be as good, and there might not be that extra-special MPC timing, but you've got to work with what you've got. That said, it is nice to have little pads to tap on. The M-Audio Trigger Finger ($US 199) is a great place to start.
re: left alignment...

it is a proven fact that left alignment is easier to read then center alignment.

There is a joke that says that the only place that center alignment should be used is on wine bottles and wedding invitations.
I work for Akai.

People like Rajah need to stop making these requests.

Especially offensive were the "I lost two MPC2500's in Hurricane Katrina" emails, (the 2500 was released in OCT05 long after the flood was over.)

I hope a gator gets THAT scammer
(Rajah doesn't sound too bad though, long life dude!)
You clowns, he doesn't mean left-justified text. He means coding the page so you can take advantage of that giant white space on the right... making the page "stretch" to fit would definitely make it read more easily.
No he doesn't, and no it wouldn't.

It's the same reason newspaper columns don't stretch across the full width of the page.
"I work for Akai.
People like Rajah need to stop making these requests."

Obviously it would be different for, say, people who write blogs. I had six MPC4000 and three mint MPC60s which were lost in the great fire of London. Could you replace them please?
#1) We're called guitar teachers, and we're in the phone book.

I can teach you to play "Row, Row, Row" in about 15 minutes, "Behind Blue Eyes" will take longer. How good you get will depend on how often you practice.

Remember, some guys have picked up a guitar and had a record deal in a year. As long as you have a year left to live, you may just score a record deal. However, alot of great players have played for 50 years and not gotten a record deal.

I could similarily wonder, "Is it too late to walk cross-country"? Well, the longer I sit here and wonder, the less time I have to do it. And even if I never get all the way across, I can enjoy the journey along the way.

Hmmph, I've been playing 30 years, and I'm still learning.
I just made a patch on my S6000 that was designed to replicate the Pete Townsend Hammond thru a VCS3 (not an Arp, which most places incorrectly state). It ain't great, but it's on the way. A little filter tweak here, a bit of LFO there ;o)
In Firefox and Safari it's pretty easy to make your own CSS rules to do whatever you want. For example,

* { text-align: center !important; text-transform: uppercase !important; }

in a user CSS file will make all sites center-aligned and all-caps.
OK, #1, the guitar teacher idea has merit: don't ignore it. On the other hand, lots of good guitarists have never seen teachers until the teachers start coming to their concerts to learn new stuff...

He didn't say what kind of silvertone guitar. On a guess, if you actually want to learn guitar, ditch the cheap crap and get a real one, with neck and string spacing appropriate to your fingers. Spend a few bucks, becuase a cheap guitar is an impediment to learning, while an expensive one can be resold, often (if you take good care of it) for more than you bought it for.)

Consider dobro/slide styles: fat fingers are no problem. (neither are thin wobbly ones!)

#3: centered. No. Absolutely no. For the person who suggested full-screen width text, nononono. I can read Music Thing on my PDA. Centered would be worse than obnoxious. I come here for the content. It's pretty enough not to interfere with the content. Don't lose the good for imagined 'improvement'!!!
set your' screen resoution to 800 x 600 before dialing in to MT and the text goes all the way across the screen with nice big characters for those who can not read so good :)
Your blog is very very good. I would love you to vist personal development
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