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Thread: my ukulele progress

  1. #91
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    Today I practiced my chords. I played random chord progressions, and I was able to do it without looking and with speed. I was using my metronome and it was set to adagio, I think, and I changed chords every other chime. I am still getting over the bad habit I set for myself in holding the ukulele. I practiced standing today and the angle is very different with the strap. It is good because I cannot see anything but I am still re-learning the angles.

    The same holds true of playing modes. My fingers tend to drift because my wrist is situated differently.

    I also played around with my brass slide and an open C tuning. I played both a nice little shuffle as well played around the 12th fret, doing some stuff that I have culled from cigar box guitar videos

  2. #92
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    I have been having fun with some open-chord tunings. The latest I have been toying with is the A. I like it because it is orderly. Going from left to right (as any sane person would) the ukulele strings are the root note, the third, the fifth, and the root note, an octave up.

    I have noticed that some people are obsessed with their strings and are unapologetic about their fickleness. I don't really understand it. To me that's my ukulele's voice. I would never change someone's voice; you just deal with the quirks. Same thing with the ukulele. I keep to the brand of strings that they first had because the change would be unsettling. You get used to a uke's voice. It is part of its personality and part of the thing you come to love. For example, my kamaka came with nylon strings. I prefer fluorocarbon, but I wouldn't change it because that's my kamaka. In a way, I wouldn't want it any other way. I like having to adapt and compromise. For instance, nothing sound more boring to me than the concept of the jihadist's reward in heaven of 97 virgins. That's too easy. Give me a spirited, sassy woman. I have changed strings on my Oscar Schmidt and it doesn't seem to have a personality anymore. I remember what it used to sound like and what it sounds like now, and those things aren't the same. Of course, my string-theory is predicated on having quality instruments which come with quality strings that deviate from each other only in nuances. I'm not talking about getting a crappy $50 ukulele that has intonation problems. I'm talking about getting, e.g., a Mainland mango tenor which come with Guadalupe strings, I think. Those strings would be different from my favorites, Brown Worths, but I would embrace that difference. Or, If getting the ukulele by mail, I would request that they put brown Worths on it before sending it.

  3. #93
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    today I practiced on the right hand almost exclusively. I worked on a pattern based on Elizabeth Cotten. It seemed well-suited to me because she picks like I do. I tend to use my first two fingers in the picado style, although it should be called pecado because of the sinful way in which I slaughter that flamenco style. Anyway...the Cotten picking didn't seem to click with me. It is somewhat syncopated and after an hour or so of practice I did make some headway, but I don't really know where to accent the phrase. I tried accenting different beats and none of it worked really well. I should probably just go watch some Elizabeth Cotten videos and copy what she does.

    Okay, I watched a video and I wanted to update for posterity's sake. First of all, she is doing so much more with melody that it was hard to isolate what I wanted at this stage. However I did notice that I had misremembered. I was pinching the G and A strings whereas you're supposed to pinch the C and A strings. That will definitely make a difference when I practice again. For I was pinching the G string and then immediately going into a roll starting with the G string; it made things awkward.
    Last edited by ripock; 07-29-2017 at 07:25 PM.

  4. #94
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    I did more right-hand practice today. I am getting along with the Cotten picking and for whatever reason my clawhammer technique is also working even though I hadn't practiced it for a while. Some of the notes were less than crisp, but I was hitting all the strings. I suffered for my art today. I practiced on the porch for a span of time that it takes to smoke two pipes. It must have been an hour or so. And my ankles are all bitten-up with mosquito bites.

  5. #95
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    I just played around today. I went to the brewery and had two stouts and read some of Aratos' Phainomena. I came home and played some clawhammer. I am up to the third song in my clawhammer book. Then I just played around with G minor pentatonic, playing between frets 1 and 13 with several shapes. G is my favorite because it starts in the middle at the 7th fret and then I can either work my way down to the first fret or play up to the 13th.

  6. #96
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    making progress in every direction. However I have been pre-occupied with certain strains of thought. Through inference I have ascertained that many people have song books which they compile. That underscores the great divide between myself and others very starkly because I find nothing more boring than learning songs. My basic viewpoint is: what's the point? Yes, I could go measure by measure and perfect my emulation of some other player, but then what? Learn another song. I need some bigger motivation for myself. I want to be learning something that I can apply to myself. I am studying clawhammer technique and some elementary jazz stuff. Eventually I would like to be able to take something jazzy like a minor seven flat nine chord and play a chord melody using clawhammer.

    It is weird, but I don't want to write songs myself. I think I want to learn to improvise. I want to have more Dadaist moments when I create something with my ukulele, enjoy, and forget it as that moment passes like ripples in a stream. If anyone ever reads this, know that I am not being critical. I realize that I am the odd one here and that everyone else practically is of one accord in terms of learning songs.

    I actually do have a book--only it isn't a song book; it is a book of things I want to remember in order to express myself. It is always morphing, but I'll list out what is currently in there just for giggles

    1. a fretboard chart and a piece of paper with what looks like blues turnarounds with tasty chords (minor 7's, 9's dims).
    2. charts of pentatonic scales in all positions for low and high G
    3. dom9 chords with and without the root note
    4. major and minor dom7b5
    5. variations on the dom7 (sus4 and augmented)
    6. maj7
    7. add6
    8. diminished and augmented chords
    9. sus chords
    10. add 9
    11. modes
    12. a couple of pages devoted to useful movable chords
    13. a chart of major and minor triads as well as major and minor dom7
    14. Then I have some sheet music that annotates for all keys some scales: chromatic, major, natural/harmonic/melodic minors, pentatonic major and minor
    15. a few pages of strange scales that I found on a heavy metal website about twenty years ago
    16. What appears to be my transcription of a Thelonious Monk song as well as a Beatles song

    That was interesting in a way. It kind of encapsulated what music is to me--at least for now.

  7. #97
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    Default ukulele records and a tenor guitar

    I purchased two ukulele records. One I liked and one I was meh about. First I suppose I should give some context. I don't like Jake's music. Don't get me wrong; it would take twenty years to even be in the same ballpark as him. However, I find him perfectly beautiful, perfectly flawless, and perfectly boring. It is like this: There is this absolutely gorgeous woman I know and she does nothing for me, because she is too perfect. When you start evaluating all her facets, it goes like this:

    face 10/10
    eyes 10/10
    nose 10/10
    hip-to-waist ratio ***yawn*** 10/10
    hands ****stretch, stretch yawwwwn**** 10/10
    neck ****I wonder if it will be humid today--what was I think of, oh yeah***neck 10/10
    etc

    it is just boring. If there were some flaws/deviations, then you could use your mind and higher faculties and counter-balance and adjust and amend your overall estimation.

    So that's where I'm coming from. I need something with some raw patches and some quirks, and some individuality and risks.

    With that said I bought Lyle Ritz's two albums and I was like "veni vidi vici"; next please! I mean, like the ridiculously gorgeous woman of my acquaintance, there was nothing wrong with Ritz. It was masterful, very appropriate, and not very exciting. Someone would probably like it if they like smooth jazz. I don't. In fact my wife's eyebrows were a bit raised when I played these. She knows me and knows my tastes run more along the lines of Coltrane, Monk, or even Captain Beefheart.

    The other album I received was the music of Ben Carr. I actually had feelings about this album which was a marked improvement over the Ritz albums which I didn't like or dislike. Carr's music made choices and took chances. Some of those things I liked, some I didn't--but I at least had to respect the fact the music was an entity with defined boundaries that I had to accept. For example, he had some reggae songs which I found monotonous. However his whimsy also included some funk, some blues, some very buttery riffs put into relief with some discordant chord progressions and arrangements.


    Lastly, I was stupid and bought a Blueridge tenor guitar. It was stupid because my wife is going to kill me. I don't really know what to do. At this point in time my plan is to get it before she sees it and hide it. I know that is assinine, but it is all I have right now.
    Last edited by ripock; 08-20-2017 at 12:58 AM.

  8. #98
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    Oh my goodness. The sun is coming up. I have stayed up all night dinking around with the baritone. What have I been doing? Well, tonight it was primarily jazz progressions. I have Glen Rose's two workbooks and although I have cherry-picked from them in the past, I thought I should systematically go through them and cull from them everything I should. Anyone who has read this thread knows that I do not desire to play jazz standards, or any standards for that matter. However I do want to be able to have at my disposal the ability to improvise with tastier chords. So I am practicing some rudimentary progressions--or groupings. I am now comfortable with changing from min. dom7 to dom9 to maj7. The only thing that is noticably lacking is my understanding what key I am in. I understand the relative positions of the different chords, but I don't know what they are. I suppose the minor dom7 and maj7 won't be that hard since their roots are on the A and G strings, respectively. However the dom9 chord is rootless. You just have to memorize that shit. You have to know that E dom9 is on the first fret and then deduce the rest from there.

    I am also playing "Sunshine of your love" just in time for the eclipse. The arrangement primarily uses the movable C-shape along with some riffing with the pentatonic scale.

    I think what I'm going to do is drink a beer (I don't usually have them around but I'm on holiday) and have a pipe, let the sun lull me to sleep, and then go to bed.

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