my ukulele progress

ripock

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I'm really outside of my comfort zone today in the kitchen. Being isomorphic to a vegetarian as I am, I do not have a good feel for cooking meat. Also if I ever eat steak, I eat it basically raw. I like to sear to outside and that's it; I like the flesh to be cherry-red and gelatinous--so soft and edible.
However that doesn't transfer to making meat that is edible to other people. I have a tendency to undercook meat. But I am making my wife some General Tso's chicken: thighs fried and then glazed. We'll see if I was able to fend off my instincts to remove the meat from the flame much sooner than appropriate.
 

ripock

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Screenshot from 2021-09-18 09-39-42.jpg
I took the trouble to upload a screenshot of the scale that I am using over that Am that I've been playing. It is the G Ionian #5, if you are playing re-entrant. If you are playing Linear and can play the three bass strings it is the D# Super Lokrian bb7. Of course, if you're playing linear, you can play both the D# Super Lokrian bb7 and the G Ionian #5 at the same time. That's why I prefer the linear tuning. It gives a lot more options. Once you know the scales all you have to do is pick your notes
 

ripock

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I became a bit side-tracked with life. There was some mid-semester turmoil in my classes, I had to get my head together for an interview for a job promotion, and my wife has some internal bleeding.

But I crested that bump in the road and now I am back on track. I went to the store and got some daikon, sweet potatoes, and kale and I am ready to get back to my chosen life.

I've been reading a few threads around the forum and it reminded me of a few things which I never mention since I take them for granted. I always play with a metronome. A real metronome. Not some online thing which is a recording of a metronome. A real percussion instrument whose beat is felt as well as heard. And I pace around as I play. And I think that's essential as well. I apply body English while playing. It is like playing the flute: I remember having to look up to play the upper octaves. Same thing with uke. Some things work better leaning into it or arching back a bit. I know there are performers like Taimane who do it too much and use movement and sexuality as a marketing tool, but I believe moving your body moderately through space gives the music something that sitting in a chair doesn't have.
 

Down Up Dick

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Hi, ripock. I usta stand or pace around when I played too, especially the flute, but I can no longer do it for long enough to make it worth while. I tried it with my tenor guitar, because it was bigger than I liked. It was ok, but only for a bit. I’m a sitter now.

Sorry to hear about your troubles, especially the family ones. I’m glad things are better now.
 

ripock

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Hi, ripock. I usta stand or pace around when I played too, especially the flute, but I can no longer do it for long enough to make it worth while. I tried it with my tenor guitar, because it was bigger than I liked. It was ok, but only for a bit. I’m a sitter now.

Sorry to hear about your troubles, especially the family ones. I’m glad things are better now.
I understand. I am still transitioning from young to old. I'm still fighting it. I cannot lift as much as I used to, my metabolism is slowing, the mobility is ebbing away. As I said I am still engaged in the futility of trying to preserve some modicum of homeostasis by jumping rope and lifting weights. And I easily can imagine losing the frenetic energy of moving around and playing music. Growing old isn't for sissies.
 

ripock

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I hurt my pinky finger playing those darned dominant chords rooted on the E string (e.g., the F7, 2313). I don't know if anyone gets this affliction but it feels like a blood blister, but there is no blood or a blister. The tip of my finger is sensitive to the touch but there is no visible damage like a blister. It feels like the damage is deep,if that makes any sense--as if the damage is at the dermis level while the epidermis has no symptoms at all. In the past I've had the issue with my index finger. This is the first time that I can remember it on the pinky. I'm going to just grin and bear it, although I will avoid playing any steel strings.

I'm practicing mixing up chord and a melody line. I have been hovering around the 7th fret just because it is closer to the middle of the fret board. Obviously I am playing in A and playing B7b5, E7, and Am. From Am, I have been launching into the G Ionian #5 scale because it contains all the chord tones of the Am. I have been approaching the melody in terms of geometry versus any intervallic consideration. What I mean by geometry is moving in a linear fashion. For example, think of a circle and then from the A on the C string, you move vertically to the B, from the B you move horizontally to the D# on the E string. From the D# you move diagonally down to the G on the A string. Then from the G, you move to the F#, C, and return to A. I know it is hard to visualize, but if you look at a fret board map it is completely obvious that I am just making a circular circuit.

I'm not saying it sounds good. It sounds vaguely appropriate because all the notes are in the shape. However, that's just what I'm doing. I'm just moving through geometrical shapes and when I hear a sequence I like, I stick with it. Of course, someone with a smattering of theory could have predicted that I would ultimately choose; this is just a thoughtless way to reach the same end point, and have some fun along the way.
 

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I have some very pressing deadlines tonight, so dinner is just a hodge podge. I am re-heating some chicken I made over the weekend. As I mentioned earlier, I am horrible at cooking meat, so the chicken was undercooked and it needed to be re-cooked before my wife would consider it. So I threw the chicken in with some potatoes that I was roasting. Also I re-heated some lentils I had and threw in a can of greens that I bought because I knew this deadline was coming up and I would need something quick. After dinner and completing the work of my deadline I will play around with my minor 2-5-1 in A and the interlarded G Ionian #5, and annotate anything interesting.
 

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Things didn't turn out quite as I had envisioned them. My point of departure was the Am rooted on the 9th fret, but instead of going into the G Ionian #5, I descended down the fret board using double stops from the E Harmonic minor: E+A, D#+G, C+F#, B+E, A+D#. At that point I was at the 2nd fret and I made an impromptu progression:

Am add#9
Am add9
Am
E7#5
E7
Am
 

ripock

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I serendipitiously ran across some more A chords. It runs thus:
A sus2
A note x 5
A sus4
A note x 5
A sus4 b6
A note X 5
A sus4

That motivates me to re-do my song book. My song book differs from that of others. My song book has the elements of song-making as opposed to sheet music for existing songs. One of the central pages of my songbook is my chord page. I noticed that my sus chords had a lot of penciled-in annotations and alterations. I think it is time to load my pen with ink and re-do that page.
 

ripock

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I did something that I hadn't for almost two years: I went to the nature conservatory located up in midtown. That's not so important. What is more germane is that there is a co-op up there. I had forgotten how awesome it is...and that is why I don't go. They have everything you could desire and they charge to fulfill all those desires. The key to my financial success is that I go to a local neighborhood market that has everything you need but not everything you want. And it is cheap. If I went to the food co-op I would probably double my grocery bill. I did buy some Stilton cheese from the co-op. I know I probably shouldn't eat cheese but if I am, I may as well make it Stilton.

I used my new beautiful chord chart and played many wonderful chords, mostly sus chords and augmented chords interlarded with some soloing from minor harmonic modes, mostly the G Ionian #5 near the nut and the B Phrygian Dominant around the 11th fret.

Even though it is 2 a.m. I need to put up Yorkie (whose case is at 45% rel. humidity) because it will rouse my slumbering spouse. I have things to do in the kitchen. I pressure cooked some habichuelas that need to be stored. Also I need to make porridge for my wife and well as cut up a watermelon I bought for her. I might just make myself some hash browns, eggs, and stilton cheese--with a dash of tomatillo sauce.
 

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I am making a quick dinner. Fried chicken thighs. To side-step my usual tendency to undercook meat. I am frying them with the lid on the skillet so that they get cooked with frying and steaming. I also made some baked kale. In case you don't know, put a little oil on kale and bake it 250. It will become crispy like nature's potato chip. Speaking of potatoes, I also made some boiled potatoes. After soft, I added ghee, zaatar, and miso paste.

This morning was a glorious sight. It is the time for the hot air balloon fiesta. At eight this morning there were about four dozen balloons in the sky. Hot air balloons are kind of like a very, very slow fireworks display. I always think of John Carter novels where, on Mars, battleships of the red Martians are suspended by something like hot air balloons. I always wonder what it would be like to see all those balloons on a horizon and know that they are bringing death.

I will update with my music after dinner.
 

ripock

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double_harmonic.jpg

I thought I would drop in the double harmonic scale because I watched a video and they touted this scale as very obscure and very dark. It isn't really obscure in my book. It is just the Phrygian Dominant with a raised 7th. Well, I guess it is dark. At least it is no Lydian mode, the gayest of all modes. The thing that's nice about the re-entrant shapes is that you can the minor chord embedded in it (the minor triad rooted on the C string). That's what's great about linear tunings: you have all the scales the re-entrant has, plus all the scales starting on the G string. I'll figure it out a little later after supper.

Supper is a simple affair tonight: roasted carrots and daikon, some pressure cooked mung beans and lentils, and some beans mixed with corn and turnip greens and a squeeze of miso paste
 

ripock

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Once I started playing with the Double Harmonic shape I could immediately see that I was in Ab. And for me the note between A and G is Ab. I adhere to the rule to call the key based on that note Ab..unless there's a musical/artistic reason for using G#. When I see something is written in G# I immediately look for the key of the puzzle. There's usually a reason why something is written in G# or Cb. For example, if you were writing a song from the point of view of a sociopath or Trump, then the key of G# would reflect the difficulty of the subject matter. Or sometimes the reason is technical: if one part of a song is in a key that primarily has flats whereas the other part has primarily sharps, an enharmonic key may be used to make the accidentals consistent. If a composer is using G# just to be different, that doesn't impress me. I will usually just write that composer off as being childishly petulant and move on toward greener pastures.
 

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It is Saturday and I'm making a meal with a tad bit more effort. But just a tad. I made toasted millet. I toasted millet in some infused olive oil I have (mushroom and sage). Then I pressure cooked it. The toasting gives the millet another facet. It just adds a flavor--just like toast adds something to bread. Then I roasted potatoes with some pepper and a chive-salt I have. I boiled some kale. Lastly I took two swordfish steaks and I threw them into a skillet. When they were cooked I threw some spices on them.

I'll update later how I'm imbricating the Ab Double Harmonic Major with the A minor chord.

I forgot to mention that I made dinner to the accompaniment of Tom Waits' Swordfishtrombone to complete the theme of the meal. I wonder how that will affect my improv later tonight. It is very blues-based and with unique rhythm.
 

ripock

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I have been away from the ukes for a few days and I didn't really feel like doing much. I just played around with E minor, A7 and B7. I varied the E minor with a few other chord qualities I have been thinking about: E7sus2, E+, Eø. I was using the augmented chord in the standard way...using it to resolve to something a 4th away. E+ to A7 and B+ to E. The augmented chord is a bit unforgiving. If it isn't clean, it loses something. For me the challenge is muting because I usually play the augmented as a triad. A lot of the times I don't quite mute the offending string or I mute too much and choke off one of the essential strings.
 

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I had a bit of a frustrating time with an old problem. There's a progression that I play that's based in E harmonic minor. towards the end of the progression I play D major which is non-diatonic but I like it. Then there should be something. And then return to the top. I cannot really figure out what that something is. It is like I have an idea of what I want, but nothing that I play attains that idea. So I'm just floundering a bit trying to find the missing chord to complete the progression. That almost sounds profound.
 

necessaryrooster

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I'm really outside of my comfort zone today in the kitchen. Being isomorphic to a vegetarian as I am, I do not have a good feel for cooking meat. Also if I ever eat steak, I eat it basically raw. I like to sear to outside and that's it; I like the flesh to be cherry-red and gelatinous--so soft and edible.
However that doesn't transfer to making meat that is edible to other people. I have a tendency to undercook meat. But I am making my wife some General Tso's chicken: thighs fried and then glazed. We'll see if I was able to fend off my instincts to remove the meat from the flame much sooner than appropriate.
Get an instant-read thermometer. At the risk of sounding like an ad, I won't list a brand. But a good thermometer will make you wonder how you ever lived without it. I grew up vegetarian and didn't start cooking meat until my 20s, but I had the opposite problem you have. I overcooked everything (I got food poisoning once and it was an experience I am not keen to repeat in my life). After regularly using a thermometer I got a pretty good feel for when things are done. I still use it to double-check, but I've noticed more often than not I'm correct the first time I pull the food out.
 

ripock

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thank you for the reminder. I do actually have a meat thermometer but I only use it for big meat like roasts. And I haven't made big meat in about two years.
 

ripock

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I finally figured out what I was looking for in that progression I was mentioning above. I was attempting to figure out where to go from the D major to get back to the top of the progression. My problem was that I was looking too far afield. I was looking high and low for another note when the sound in my head was another D. Instead of a different note, I just needed a different chord quality. A 7b9 worked for me. From that D7b9 I could either go back to the E add9 or slide up to the 11th fret and play the melody line of the chord progression in responsion. Since I was hamstrung by playing my re-entrant Kamaka, I had to slide back down to play the chords again. If I had been playing linear Yorkie, from the 11th fret I would have backed into the F# Lokrian 13 and then to the E Aiolian #7 to resolve on the E on the 9th fret.
 

ripock

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I was doing quite a bit of reading today. I re-read the first epistle of Horatius. I have been meditating on it, trying to understand it on a deeper level. When I was a boy, we had to read it and the assignment was basically to know what it said. Now I have nothing but time and death before me, so my goal is to know what it means. I'm coming up with some answers but it is a slow process.

I was also reading an old british novel and I was struck with the sense of community they had in their time of crisis and our sad comparison. During the wars, there were deprivations and rationings going on and people did it to come together and overcome the common enemy. Currently our country is being decimated by a communicable disease because people cannot really get behind the idea of a community. We need to get vaccinated so that we do not communicate the disease to other people. If the disease doesn't spread, the problem is over and we can get back to normalcy. However people cannot see beyond the our nose and they're only thinking about their lives. They need to think of others. They need to plan on how not to spread this disease to others...then the crisis would be over. I hear all this talk about freedom and how people should be free to make decisions about their body. However, by being free, they take away my freedom. I want to be free from disease but I do not get to make that decision because I have to be exposed to these walking cess pools. I guess I'm feeling testy because our local hospital is being overrun by covid patients from other states. Responsible citizens from our location are put on the back burner because dumb asses from Texas would not listen to frequent warnings. I don't know what I'm saying. I am not saying since they were stupid they and their children should be left to drown in their own body fluids. But I am thinking that to some degree. I am heavily conflicted. I'm just going to go play some music