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Thread: my ukulele progress

  1. #101
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    Feb 2017
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    I practiced clawhammer on my kamaka today. I also practiced all the essential chords (maj, min, dom7, min dom7). I have been getting sloppy and playing without the strap and the different angles are still a shock. I need to do myself a favor and quit playing on my lap. It just sets up bad expectations if not bad habits.

    I also re-did my blue mode cheat sheet. Previously I had only earmarked the roots. Now I have each degree marked as well. My thinking was this: why only switch modes at the root? Now I can go from mode to mode...at least, I think I can. E.g., If I play, from the G string, a supertonic shape, when I get to the C string I am on the 4th degree of the mode. Now, instead of finishing that supertonic shape, I can immediately start, from the C string, a dominant shape, which begins on the 4th degree. I briefly experimented with this and there is the problem of getting watered-down. All the modes contain the same notes, so they all sound appropriate musically. There are no sour notes, but it tends to sound diluted or purposeless. I think the solution is in some degree speed and phrasing. If you do it fast enough, it just sounds like a riff. And if I keep the root in mind, I can punctuate the phrase even though I have moved from mode to mode. Okay, that probably is something for the future. At this point I have to learn to walk before I can run. Even though I have the capability to formulate longer phrases, I probably stick to getiing better at root note changes and then build my way up

  2. #102
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    Feb 2017
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    today I practiced first on the tenor guitar and then moved on to the low-G ukulele.

    Today's obsession was with the central four: major, minor, maj7, min7. Everything went well except for C#. Maybe it was because I was sitting rather awkwardly in a patio chair, but those first fret chords just weren't coming. I cheated and used the fourth fret versions.

    Speaking of the fourth fret, I practiced the A-shaped movable chord because it had been a topic of discussion. I find I can easily make it until I get to the 10th fret and the G major.

    I messed about with some pentatonic shapes, but I can't recall what I did--which is good. I want to get to the point where it is just spontaneous creation that comes and goes.

    I think for next time I want to plan some sequences that I haven't tried yet. I think I'll start on a G-submediant (not in the key of G; starting from the G string) and come back on a G-dominant. The latter has a root on the C string, so that from there I could go G-mediant. The G-mediant has a 4 on the A string. As soon as I hit that four I could change into a C-submediant and then return to the root note on the C string.

  3. #103
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    Feb 2017
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    I'm starting to see some bigger pictures. The time I've spent with my minor pentatonics is starting to have some wider applications. I was just playing around with the trite ii-V-i progression which is, in and of itself, rather boring. However if I fill in the space between the chords, it makes a nice little ditty. For example, for the ii chord, I'm using the minor dom7 voicing, the root of which is on the A string. After playing my m7 I can then noodle around with a G-submediant shape or a C-tonic shape. This is no doubt self-evident to anyone who has studied music, but I found on my own and it seems more significant to me because of that.

  4. #104
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    Feb 2017
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    I've been a little pre-occupied with playing stuff I hear or see. In a dedication to a novel I read, the author ended the dedication with a measure from some part of Wagner's Meistersinger. It had come c#'s and F's. So I started playing around with those things.

    It is funny, but I had written off the typical C# and I've been playing it with the moveable A-chord. Today, the first position C# chord just worked like a charm. Go figure.

    I heard a riff from a stoner band, Glowsun. I played it in F (or whatever the hell it is on a baritone). It was a fun groove.

    Then I played the melody from the 2nd movement of Beethoven's 7th symphony. It wasn't too hard to figure out since I knew it was in A

    I was chatting online how I would like a resource that would organize some elements of classical music that we could use for our own improv. Someone said, 'why don't you just play classical music to learn that?' Dude! I do that all the time and I do pick up stuff...but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't want some resources to save me time. In every other genre you can get it: rock, blues, country, jazz, etc. There are countless videos. However in classical music, there isn't much. And it is a shame. Classical riffs are so melodic. Neoclassical metal guitarists knew this . Randy Rhoads only plagiarized from the best. Anyway...so, yeah, I can play what I hear and apply it, but I want to go one step deeper and understand the principle involved so that I can use the concept in a very flexible way. For that, I would need to gather a lot more data in order to see the underlying logic of all the specific examples.

  5. #105
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    Oct 2016
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    If you google "classical music theory" there are loads of resources out there. Gauldin's "Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music" seems to be recommended regularly. I don't know it myself - it's after my time!
    Latecomer to uke but loving it! Baton Rouge U108S soprano, Kiwaya KS-5 soprano, Uluru II concert low G, Barnes & Mullins banjolele UBJ2.

  6. #106
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    Feb 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukatee View Post
    If you google "classical music theory" there are loads of resources out there. Gauldin's "Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music" seems to be recommended regularly. I don't know it myself - it's after my time!
    Thanks. This demonstrates perfectly the crux of modern research: if you don't provide the computer with the proper lemma, you don't get access to the windfall of information that you know must be out there. Now I just have to sift through it all to get what I want.

    And what I want (this is a note to myself more than anything else) at this point in time is rather modest. Many of the 'classical music theory' resources are geared toward composition. That's not my aim. As far as I'm concerned, I have the complete Haenssler Bach collection. When I want a kick-ass composition, I know where to go. What I want is the ability to conjure up patterns to incorporate into my music, which I suppose could be broadly called Roots music although I am such a tyro that I wouldn't want to disparage any musical movement by saying that I'm an adherent.

    Here's an example of what I'm aiming at. I played one of the melodies that I heard from the 2nd movement of Beethoven's 7th symphony. I noticed that I could play it using the finger pattern that I use on the first string of an aeolian mode (index, middle, annularis). Now I have something that is similar to a banjo roll. I can play a minor pentatonic in the tonic shape on the seven fret, roll down to the fourth fret in whole steps using my Beethoven roll, and then from the fourth fret play a minor pentatonic in the same key but in the dominant shape.

    So, it has been a good day musically since I took one step forward. I also finally put a strap button on my new tenor guitar. It was nice to have so much wood on the heel to work with. It is so big that I probably could have put the button in a fowling piece and shot it from across the room and still hit the right spot. However, I probably would have needed to re-tune it from the impact. The tenor guitar tends to go sharp, whereas the ukuleles tend to go flat. I wonder if that's a steel string thing?

  7. #107
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    Feb 2017
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    Halfway home from work, my brakes totally went out. Probably one of my enemies cut my brake line. However I cheated his expectation by using my gears and my parking break to get to my mechanic and drop the jeep off. Luckily I was on a straightaway on a country road as opposed to the freeway which I could have taken.

    I was wanking around with some blues progressions. I played around with an 8-bar blues as well as a jazzier version of the blues. The main difference was maj7 for the I chord, a quick change in the second bar, and for the turn-around which had been printed as two bars of maj7 I substituted a 2-5-1...or I suppose I should say a 2-5; the 1 is the first bar after I start over.

    I found another progression, which I haven't tried yet, and it looks intriguing. It has some minor6's, three different diminished chords, as well as some augmented 7's. I can't even imagine what it sounds like, but I'll try it eventually.

  8. #108
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    Feb 2017
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    I hadn't really practiced in a few days. My free time was occupied by reading two early Herman Melville novels. Don't ask me why; it was just one of those vagaries of intellectual life. It wasn't completely satisfactory. They exhibited the same trait that annoyed me about Moby Dick: the narrative is interlarded with these long excursions into tangential material. In the present case, it was ethnographic background on aspects of polynesian life. Next week I have to read a literary analysis of the Alexandra of Lykophron. I have to read it because I procured it on-loan from a library and it is due back on October 23.

    In the meanwhile I am squeezing some ukulele into my schedule. On the linear-tuned instruments I have been practicing travis picking with some pinches added to the inside/outside patterns. In conjunction with the travis picking, I have been practicing some jazzy blues. Instead of strumming the progression, I have been travis picking them. I can do that well enough, but I still don't see how it is going to make my thumb autonomous so that I can improvise with a drone. However, I'll have faith and keep practicing as everyone says I should. The progression itself is nice:

    I /\ | IV7 | I /\ | I7

    IV7 | IV7 | I/\ | I/\

    V7 | V7 | turnaround


    The final two bars were just I/\. However I found a turnaround that I liked better. It was iii7, VI7, ii7, V7. But I didn't really like the iii7; it sounded so similar to the preceding measure's V7 and that just wasn't doing it for me. So I changed it to a V7sus4. That really set the turnaround apart. The rest I left alone because it is just a tried-and-true 2-5-1 and that is never out of line.

    Wondering what I could do to pimp out that blues progression a bit more. I was thinking of playing some appropriate modes with the chords. The default modes would be a mixolydian with some of the dominant chords and perhaps a dorian with the minor dominants.

  9. #109
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Sweet Home Osaka Japan
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    Hi, ripock!

    If you play Travis picking or arpeggio for pattern picking like the figure below, we can not do them on ukulele.
    When chords change, the first notes are root of the chord in travis picking or arpeggio. There are some exceptions but we can not do it on ukulele. G7 should start with G on ukulele but it starts D (red cross in the figure below). It sounds often bad and difficult to remember by ear.


    Kamaka HF-1 100

  10. #110
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    Feb 2017
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    Thanks ZZ. I had never really applied any thought to the topic, but I did have a vague intuition of what you're saying. I noticed the advantage of clamhammer technique in this regard because you get to hammer any string you want, so that you can choose the root note no matter where it occurs.

    By the way, your avatar resonates with me. It reminds me of my HF-3L. However my Kamaka has geared tuners. I am obviating that discrepancy in my next ukulele. I am commissioning a custom built tenor with a long neck and friction tuners.

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