changing guitar strings

Reflecting on Don Rickles

Reflections on the Philly Podfest Episode

philly podfest at tattoed moms hal. dan, lizanne, ciara

So, I’ve been reflecting on last weeks episode, the live show from the Tattoed Mom with Dan May, Lizanne Knott and Ciara Grace. Well, a friend of mine used to always say, you’re only a good as your last performance. And y’know – I thought I could have done a lot better, but you see, it was my first time doing a live panel discussion, and I probably could have been a lot more prepared, but you know what? My guests still brought it! So, it still turned out all right.

One thing that really stood out to me was the fact that Dan and Lizanne both told me they don’t change their own guitar strings. I had just assumed that all guitar players change their own strings. So, what does Dan do if he’s home practicing and he breaks a string? He just picks up another guitar and has an assistant change it for him at the next gig. But it got me to thinking…   there are probably a lot of people who don’t change their own strings. In fact, I didn’t learn the correct way to change strings myself until I was in my 30’s. I had to take my guitar in for repairs one day in the 1990’s. The guy who fixed it was an 80 year old luthier named Branko. BTW – a luthier is someone who builds guitars from scratch. It is  a very special skill and finding a good luthier is rare. So, if you ever buy a new guitar, especially if it’d an expensive one, find yourself a good luthier right away and have him set it up for you and walk you through some of the basics of guitar maintenance.

Anyway, Branko noticed I had put the strings on all wrong, so he introduced me to the string winder and how to use it. Not only did I learn how to do it right, it also took me 20 minutes to do what used o take me an hour! So I took that misstep during the podcast as an opportunity to post a video on the show notes page. The links are posted again below for the benefit of anyone who wants to know how to use a string winder to change their own guitar strings. I’ve also included links to Amazon in case you want to grab a string winder or musician survival kit for yourself or a musically inclined family member or friend.

Okay! So, today is the first day of the rest of this podcast! Recently, I made a few changes that I thought you might find helpful! Firstly, you may have noticed that I no longer use my full name which is Hal Aaron Cohen. Why? Well, it suddenly dawned on me that my username in a lot of online forums and discussion groups has been halinphilly for years. My email address is – and has been for years. So now, I own the domain name. From now on, instead of trying to remember Tales of the Road Warriors dot com (man that’s a lot to type, isn’t it?) – you can  get there  by typing HALINPHILLY.COM  All one word. All you have to remember is Hal (that’s ME) and I’m in Philly!

halinphilly dot com

If you want to send me message, just email me at – – – Easy-peazy!

BTW, I encourage you to send me your thoughts on the show. Who should I talk to? What should I ask them? What do you want to know? Should I have a co-host? Do YOU want to be a cohost? There’s also a comment section at the bottom of every page. And a Tales of the Road Warriors Facebook Group where you can add your own stories! So please! Get interactive. Get on the email list. I send out maybe one newsletter month, so you don’t have to worry about me clogging up your inbox.

Now here’s where, if I had a sponsor, I’d be telling you all about them. Great guitar accessories, a great pizza place, best place to go for live music in in Philly or L.A. – Jump in early and grow with me!

If you’d like to directly support the podcast and help defray some of the costs – use the good ol’ Tip Jar. Anything you’d like to contribute would be most helpful and appreciated. I’m also thinking about doing some merch. What would you like to see? Coffee mugs? T-shirts? Hoodies? Just let me know and I’ll get it going.

And now for one of my own Tales of the Road Warriors…

A Don Rickles Encounter

I often talk about how musicians invented the gig economy. The word GIG used to apply pretty much to musicians and comics or others in the entertainment biz. But the word gig is used for uber driving, pet sitting, food delivery. Even some professional contractors refer to a job as a gig these days. As a musician I’ve worked quite a variety of gigs. I was working an interesting side hustle when I had one of my many celebrity encounters…

A old friend of mine is a party planner. He used to send me out on a gig every once in a while years ago back when I lived in L.A.

One day he called to ask me to help him out for a children’s birthday party [Read the original article here] Continue reading →

Posted by Hal in acoustic, comedy, dan may, entertainers, musicians survival kit, Road Warriors, singer songwriters, 0 comments

Philly Podfest

Dan May, Lizanne Knott, and Ciara Grace

Live at the Tattoed Mom at 535 South Street in Philadelphia

Halinphilly at Philly Podfest

Photo by Carolyn Miller

Welcome to TotRW live  – presented by the Philadelphia Podcast Festival at the Tattooed Mom (535 South Street in Philadelphia PA)

Guests Dan May, Lizanne Knott and her daughter Ciara Grace. Congratulations to Lizanne  who just released her brand new album “Bones and Gravity” and it’s already getting stellar reviews.

Daughter Ciara is working on her debut album and the buzz is crazy good. Dan’s starting work on a new music project, too, but even more exciting, he’s also putting the finishing touches on his new book, a sequel to his best seller, Adventures In Grocery Shopping.

Topics we talk about include,

Tattooed Mom’s Poutine Fries

Cheese curds

Changing guitar strings (or not)

Changing strings on a lute

Pets and gigs

Staying hydrated.

Billy Eilish

Cds, streaming, and vinyl

How we listen to albums now vs then

What to include in a musician’s survival kit?

Favorite places to perform.

cell phones at concerts

Dan’s book

James Taylor’s Fire and Rain Update

Parking issues

There’s a whole lot of me talking too much and not doing a very good job at moderating. It was about the 5th day in a row of a heat wave (about 102 degrees that day. I had never done a podcast with more than one other person before, so I apologize in advance for the looseness of this episode. Still, we did get some good stuff out of this little bull session.


Dan with Lizanne and Ciara – “Imagine” at Sellersville Theater July 5th, 2019



Dan’s Previous Conversation with Hal on Tales of the Road Warriors

Dan’s book: Adventures in Grocery Shopping


Lizanne’s Website

Lizanne’s Music Video
Be Careful With My Heart

Lizanne Knott Video
Miss You


Ciara live Songwriter Circle on Youtube
This Is The End I Swear


James Taylor – “Fire and Rain” Updated Version


Tuning a Guitar with a String Winder

Stringing a Lute

Tuning a Lute

Get the D’Addario String Winder $10.99

D’Addario String Winder/Wire Cutter/Pin Puller

GIG MATE Guitar Care and Tool Kit $33.95

  • Carbon steel String Cutters, 2-in-l Screwdriver (Philips/Flat), Led Flashlight and 2 AAA Batteries
  • 5 Allen Wrenches. Made in USA: 0.050inch for Fender USA saddles -1.5mm for MIM Fender & most import saddles – 2.5mm & 3mm for Floyd Rose. Plus 5mm long Ball End Acoustic Truss Rod Wrench (Takamine, Martin and most Asian truss rods and more)
  • 6 Pockets for string storage, Pick Pocket for picks, gauge and business cards etc.
  • Stainless Steel String Action/Set Up Gauge. String Winder with bridge pin remover. Trem Poker. Strings/picks are not included. Ships by USPS
  • The reviews of the GIGmate Guitar Tool Kit are not paid for in any way with discounts for reviews – unlike other similar products.

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