my ukulele progress

Uncleleo

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
Messages
37
Points
8
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.
Great progression in earlier post! Do you have your book in public access or you want to commercialize it later? If you don't want to commercialize it then i can typeset it for you.
 
Last edited:

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
I'm afraid not. It is just done with graph paper and a fountain pen. The best I could do would be to go to the Fedex Office store on Friday, my next day off, and make a copy...but it really isn't that special. However I will send it if you want it.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
That would be a bit of an investment for me, Bill. I'd have to buy a memory stick and a cell phone. Remember I still shave with a cut-throat razor. But I'll keep it in mind.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
I had some time on my hands since this is my fasting day. I need to shed my covid fat gain because my waistcoats are too tight. So I played a little tune I guess you could call it for lack of a better name. I started playing my current favorite progression of E add9, Am/Am add9, Bm, Bbm, Am, D, D7b9.

Then from there I ascended the fret board with my D#dim7 arpeggio 'til I got to the D# on 6th fret, and from there to the Em on the7th fret. I created a pattern with that chord and then I would break the pattern with finger picking (kind of like a Stop Time Blues). From the Em chord I would riff with the B Phrygian Dominant and the E minor pentatonic shapes that overlap it: the mediant shape and the tonic shape.

I would alternate the Em chord with the E7sus2, Am, and a different voicing of the Em which added the G from the 10th fret. Every once in a great while I was slip back down to the 2nd fret and start from the top.

I have to admit it sounded good and that was for one reason chiefly: rhythm. I played this continuously for a bit more than an hour. Therefore I missed some notes. However as long as the rhythm keeps going, it all comes together. That metronome work pays off.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
I wasn't eating today since it is a fasting day. I decided to get rid of my covid fat by eating one meal every other day. I'm also doing 20 minutes of anaerobic cardio (300 swings with a 40kg kettlebell) to keep things light so that I don't get any cortisol during my training. My wife is suffering terribly from gastritis and isn't eating well. I made her what she wanted: swordfish, collard greens, millet, and beans.

Then I sat down to play some ukulele before bedtime. I wanted to really dial in my upper frets which I kind of know, but kind of don't. I was engaged in the same exercise of establishing a rhythm with E minor and finger picking within that rhythm.

I was pleased that I was able to play two E minors in this region of the neck. The one at the 12th fret and the one at the 14th fret. The minor at the 19th fret is hopeless. I don't think there's a way for me to barre that fret; it is just too tiny.

Then I just remembered what modes are located between the 12th and 19th frets: G Ionian #5, A Dorian #11, and the B Phrygian Dominant. The minor pentatonic shapes covering that same real estate are the mediant, subdominant, and dominant shapes.

So I had six scale shapes and two E minor chords to work with. And it felt good. It was one of those times when everything was clicking. Some times you get the feeling that you're not really making progress but only laying the foundation for some future progress. However today it felt like I was getting somewhere. After a few days of this, I think I will have the upper fret board down pat and I could then link it up with the middle of the fret board. I will need to remember to work on my arpeggios in the upper fret board as well so that I have another tool.

Last week I had to turn on the furnace because of the chill. Every day my hygrometer seems to slip a percent or two. Today Yorkie's relative humidity was 43%--respectable but I want to make sure it doesn't get much lower. So I guess it is high time to bust out the humidifers and the distilled water.
 

Uncleleo

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
Messages
37
Points
8
I wasn't eating today since it is a fasting day. I decided to get rid of my covid fat by eating one meal every other day. I'm also doing 20 minutes of anaerobic cardio (300 swings with a 40kg kettlebell) to keep things light so that I don't get any cortisol during my training. My wife is suffering terribly from gastritis and isn't eating well. I made her what she wanted: swordfish, collard greens, millet, and beans.

Then I sat down to play some ukulele before bedtime. I wanted to really dial in my upper frets which I kind of know, but kind of don't. I was engaged in the same exercise of establishing a rhythm with E minor and finger picking within that rhythm.

I was pleased that I was able to play two E minors in this region of the neck. The one at the 12th fret and the one at the 14th fret. The minor at the 19th fret is hopeless. I don't think there's a way for me to barre that fret; it is just too tiny.

Then I just remembered what modes are located between the 12th and 19th frets: G Ionian #5, A Dorian #11, and the B Phrygian Dominant. The minor pentatonic shapes covering that same real estate are the mediant, subdominant, and dominant shapes.

So I had six scale shapes and two E minor chords to work with. And it felt good. It was one of those times when everything was clicking. Some times you get the feeling that you're not really making progress but only laying the foundation for some future progress. However today it felt like I was getting somewhere. After a few days of this, I think I will have the upper fret board down pat and I could then link it up with the middle of the fret board. I will need to remember to work on my arpeggios in the upper fret board as well so that I have another tool.

Last week I had to turn on the furnace because of the chill. Every day my hygrometer seems to slip a percent or two. Today Yorkie's relative humidity was 43%--respectable but I want to make sure it doesn't get much lower. So I guess it is high time to bust out the humidifers and the distilled water.
Hungry died - bad diet. You will lose muscle mass very easy with fat. I prefer this rules for losing fat:
  • Eating every time when you want to eat.
  • Every meal has only three components: turkey (low fat meat for protein) or fish (omega and protein) or squid, buckwheat (low blood sugar and main component for fat loss) and vegetables (vitamins for support diet).
  • If you have problems with vegetables you can replace them with vitamins drugs.
  • I you can get fish oil it is very good. Add it every morning to your meal.
  • You can drink coffee without milk between the meals.
Losing fat will be about 5 kg a week without losing muscle mass.
 
Last edited:

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
Thanks for the tips Uncle Leo, but I come from a culture where fasting is central and not eating comes more naturally to me. my vagus nerve is used to it and I never get hungry, although I will get a headache if I don't drink water. I actually feel better and more clear-headed on fasting days. I've never lost appreciable muscle mass and I have fasted for up to 7 days.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
I thought I'd really quick upload the pattern I use for dim7 arpeggios. The top one is just to get from the G string to the A string more or less horizontally. I guess you could use it iteratively at the 2nd fret, 5th, 8th, 11th, and 14th if you wanted to do all the fret board. And, of course, I'm talking about the A/D#/F#/C dim7 that is in my scale of choice. If you were going to use another dim7, the frets would be different.

The second pattern is what I use when I want to move further in a fluid pattern

Naturally, I also use fragments of these two when playing. For example, I was strumming the Em rooted on the 14th fret. That voicing has a B on the A string. It was easy to slip up to the C from that B and just play around in the arpeggio 'til I arrived at somewhere I recognized. I tend to recognize things out the outer strings more. For example, if I wanked around 'til I got to the A on the 14th fret, I would totally be able to switch gears to a subdominant shape of the pentatonic or the A Dorian #11. That's cool as far as it goes but it is only the tip of the iceberg. I need to practice a bit more to change on the inside strings. That will be more musical and less scale-like. For instance if I arpeggiated to the F# on the 14th of the E string, I could move to the A Dorian #11, the C Lydian #2, the G Ionian #5, the B Phrygian dominant, or the F# Lokrian 13. There are a lot more options, but I'm just not seeing them. I have to work on my musical vision.

In parting, I have to say that I cursorily browsed a thread about plastic ukes. Of course I did not contribute because I had derisive thoughts and there's no need to publish those. However, one thing popped out to me. People commonly used camping as a pretext for the plastic instrument. Anyone can look at this thread and see my commitment to our instrument. I play mine most days. Yet, there is a time and a place for everything. If I were hunting, fishing, or camping, the last thing I would want to see is someone pull out a ukulele. If I am out in the woods I want to sit in peace, not hear some tin pan alley song. I know it is weird and weirder still, I hate buskers. If I am in public space, I think it should be a neutral space where all peoples can pass through without being assailed by other people's noise, let alone being dunned for money to experience this annoyance.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
When I am not taking care of my wife or working my two jobs or advancing my ukulele journey, I am working on my literature. Currently I am re-reading the epistles of Horatius. I have been struggling to understand the first epistle which is the programmatic one. Part of the problem is the timbre of Horatius' voice. He undercuts himself. That's his style and that's the key to his success. If his tone was too serious he would offend his patrons and his readers. That is what distinguishes him from the other Roman Satirist, Iuvenalis. Horatius is laughing at himself as well as others whereas Iuvenalis speaks from an ontologically superior position at his satirical subjects.
The other thing that makes Horatius difficult to read is the connections in his thought. After reading an epistle, you have a vague impressionistic understanding of the concatenation of thoughts but you would be hard pressed to clearly explain to someone else how one thought leads to the next.
Here is my understanding of the first epistle. I am writing it down just to codify it for myself.

1. It starts out being a dedication to his patron, Maecenas. Hortatius complains that Maecenas is again requiring more from Horatius although Horatius says he is old and has already paid off his literary debts (in fact he is old about 40). Horatius says he has given up poetry which is a lie because these epistles are in verse. The background to this statement is that recently Horatius published his three books of Odes which are arguably the most important poetical achievement in Roman literary history. However, the odes were only lukewarmly received by the public. He is obviously a bit nettled. Regardless, Horatius has said he has given up poetry and he has turned instead to an eclectic mixture of philosophies. He does undercut his voice and says that he is imperfect, but improving, and his is impatient to complete his project which will be universally useful. Horatius never actually says what the project is but the project is this collection of epistles which will teach the Roman reader how to advance in society while maintaining integrity.
2. Next is a little section on the usefulness of instruction. He says you don't have to be perfect; all you need to do is be better. And regardless of what sin you have, some instruction will help you overcome it.
3. Having laid the groundwork for the utility of such a resource, Hortatius puts down the principles. He says that virtue is the shunning of vice and wisdom is bereft of stupidity. And what is stupidity? Chasing money. To anyone who knows anything about Horatius or Roman history, this will sound disingenuous. After all, in 34 Horatius received from his patrons a small estate, his Sabine farm, which is self-sufficient and which is more than most of his readership (even those of us reading him 2000 years later) have. However Horatius never deals in absolutes. He isn't saying to eschew money. His stance is to get enough and then be happy. Using Horatius himself as an exemplum, he attained a place to call his own and then he stopped pursuing money and turned his energies to poetry, philosophy, and other immutable goals. Anyway, Horatius says that pursuing money is stupidity. He then goes on to say that this runs counter to what most Romans believe. The Roman credo is to get money first and foremost. Horatius says that virtue must come first. And this is going to be the keynote of these epistles: how do you operate in the highly political world of Rome and receive gifts from patrons, and yet keep your integrity intact?
4. Horatius takes a moment to address why he differs from the society about pursuing money. He essentially says it is because it is dangerous. He likens the money-seeker to someone entering into a lion's den: you see footprints going in, but none coming out. And this isn't just allegory. In practice, if someone spends all his time chasing money, he is bound to offend his superiors and he will be killed. Moreover, chasing money is foolish as well as lethal. Horatius gives several examples of rich and poor people who chase money. The result is that you are never satisfied. There is no goal; you're always wanting more and more. So aside from being a good way to get killed or at least ostracized, running after money is a waste of time.
5. Horatius ends by painting a rather ridiculous portrait of himself and his lack of good clothes and his bad hair cuts. The purpose seems to be that Maecenas may laugh at Horatius' superficial imperfections but at his core Horatius is a solid person with virtue and by implication readers can better themselves by listening to him. This undermining, as I said, is central to Horatius' style. He tries to lessen his gravitas and seem like an average person to be more appealing to his audience.

And now to read the other 19 epistles in this collection to see Horatius' practical philosophy in action.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
I browsed the 2nd epistle of Horatius but am not in the position to comment.

I did my uxorial duty. My wife has had unaccountably high acid but she cannot see the doctor for a month because a plethora of dumbasses who wouldn't take their vaccines are now flooding the hospitals. In the meantime I'm cooking as low-acid as I can. I made some swiss chard, millet, and potatoes (with baking soda).

Having one more whisky than I should have, I sat down to explore the highest frets on the uke. Intellectually I know the highest frets are the same as the lowest frets, but that isn't really registering in my fingers. I am finding that I have to develop a relationship with the highest frets that are independent of the analogues which I have formed with the lower frets. I am gravitating toward the A on the 14th fret and I am trying to pull as much significance out of that as possible. That A is the A of the subdominant pentatonic shape. It is also a whole step away from the B Phrygian Dominant, so that I am starting to make connections. I really have to start making connections between the interior strings. That is a weak point of mine.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
Chilly night with a north wind coming off the mountains. I made some swiss chard, lentils & millet, and tilapia for my wife, and settled down to some ukulele. I maintained focus on the A on the 14th fret. I mainly played the A Dorian #11 mixed with a subdominant pentatonic shape. Using those for my points of reference I slid down to the G Ionian #5.
I did use some major pentatonics as well. The main attraction of the major pentatonic is F# for me. That F# gave me access to my D# dim7 arpeggio which in term led me to the D# super lokrian bb7 on the upper strings. I never play that mode for unknown reasons. And that D# opens up a lot of new avenues for me that I don't usually take.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
I have just won the longest of long games. I have been promoting millet since the 90's but my wife has always been lukewarm. Now she is requesting it. It has taken 25 years but I won. Now if only I can get her to call me by my title. In my recreational sport Girevoy Spotivna I have earned the rank of Master of Sport, but I cannot get her to refer to me as Master. Very frustrating. She won't even call me Dr. Love although I have a PhD. Kids these days...
In my recent focus on the upper frets, I have been somewhat monomanic about my D# and F# notes. If I had a social media account I would make a hashtag hashtag for those sharps. I think what i like about those sharped notes is that they are very interior, so that when I focus on them it is turning my shapes inside-out. They are roots for Lokrian modes. They are definitely the outliers.
My plans at this point center around the Dominant shape of the major pentatonic, which have an F# on the upper edge of the shape. The linear pentatonic shape shares space with the linear B Phrygian Dominant and the re-entrant D# Super Lokrian bb7. The re-entrant pentatonic shape is basically within the linear B Phrygian Dominant and the linear F# Lokrian 13. So these sharp notes are patently located within the grooviest modes.

Now for supper. I am trying something a bit different. I am pressure cooking on three levels. I have millet and bone stock and stacked above it is sweet potato and stacked atop that is a frozen rainbow trout. That's my triple-decker. I am boiling separately some collard greens, to which I will add my favorite dressing: coconut oil, homemade mustard, and lime juice.
 

Uncleleo

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
Messages
37
Points
8
I have just won the longest of long games. I have been promoting millet since the 90's but my wife has always been lukewarm. Now she is requesting it. It has taken 25 years but I won. Now if only I can get her to call me by my title. In my recreational sport Girevoy Spotivna I have earned the rank of Master of Sport, but I cannot get her to refer to me as Master. Very frustrating. She won't even call me Dr. Love although I have a PhD. Kids these days...
In my recent focus on the upper frets, I have been somewhat monomanic about my D# and F# notes. If I had a social media account I would make a hashtag hashtag for those sharps. I think what i like about those sharped notes is that they are very interior, so that when I focus on them it is turning my shapes inside-out. They are roots for Lokrian modes. They are definitely the outliers.
My plans at this point center around the Dominant shape of the major pentatonic, which have an F# on the upper edge of the shape. The linear pentatonic shape shares space with the linear B Phrygian Dominant and the re-entrant D# Super Lokrian bb7. The re-entrant pentatonic shape is basically within the linear B Phrygian Dominant and the linear F# Lokrian 13. So these sharp notes are patently located within the grooviest modes.

Now for supper. I am trying something a bit different. I am pressure cooking on three levels. I have millet and bone stock and stacked above it is sweet potato and stacked atop that is a frozen rainbow trout. That's my triple-decker. I am boiling separately some collard greens, to which I will add my favorite dressing: coconut oil, homemade mustard, and lime juice.
Wow! I do kettlebells workouts too. After year training i can do a snatch with 40 kg kettlebell. Now im learning jerk with 50 kg kettlebell. Only learned with right hand now. Left hand is too weak yet. What i need to do to get master of sport title if my weight is about 80 kg?
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
I'm working from memory here, but the numbers I remember are:
100 snatches with the 2-pood in ten minutes with one switch allowed;
55 jerks with 2X2-pood in ten minutes

I cannot remember if I was competing at 90kg or 90+kg. For 80kg, my guess is that everything would be decreased by 5 reps or so. And, of course, the organization which sponsors the meet affects the situation. They all have slightly different numbers and different weight classes and rules. Sometimes even the girya weights are different. When I was more actively involved the giri went up in half-pood increments. Nowadays there are quarter-pood increments which result in weird (to me) weights such as 28kg.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
I was messing around with effects. First effect is guttering. I learned that term this week. Guttering is just pulling a string off the fret board. The result is a higher pitch. I don't know if this is universal, but on my ukuleles when I gutter the A string, it goes up two half steps. When I gutter the G string, is goes up three half steps. Obviously it is just an ornamental thing, but it can be used in playing as well. For example in the B Phrygiran Dominant, you play G A and B on the A string. So you could play G A and then gutter the A, resulting in a B.

Aside from guttering, I also made use of playing all my chords ponticello today. It really adds a bass thump. It is also like Impressionist painting where you can see the brush strokes. It emphasizes the strum and draws attention to the agent as opposed to him being subsumed into the process.

Mechanically I was mostly using the dominant shape of the major pentatonic. I was using it to transition into my modes. I didn't really pay attention to what I was doing, but one principle I learnt was to not change from one scale to the next on the same string. The change is too harsh. The notes are too close and they step on each other's toes. You need more intervallic space. What I'm saying is if you want to change scales on the C string, don't do it on the C string. Move to the E string with the first scale and then jump back to the C string and land on a note from the second scale. The ear hears the modulation but it is more interesting than harsh.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
There is a current thread about guilt and it made me cognizant of the source of my guilt: my Kamaka. It has been neglected recently because it doesn't really fit into my plan right now. So I thought I would pull it out and see what I could do with it.

Whew. It is really handicapping. I can only play two of my major pentatonic shapes, the Leading Tone and Tonic shapes. Of course with the re-entrant Kamaka I also lost half of my 14 modal shapes. And I also lost that E minor chord rooted on the 16th fret--unless I do some acrobatics to get over the upper bout of the body.

On the bright side, it does simplify matters a bit. It leaves me with the D# Super Lokrian bb7 at the 15th fret. So I worked it and imbricated the major pentatonics and Dim7 arpeggio where I could. Strictures aren't always bad. They can add some focus.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
I've started reading the second epistle of horatius. It is written to Lollius Maximus about whom we know next to nothing. And that is significant. Horatius wouldn't be writing to elites giving advice. Their careers are set. They receive their legecy and inheritances and walk in the path that has been set out for them, or in Trump's case you squander your footholds and slide down the mountain. So Horatius' correspondents are well-to-do but otherwise unknown. That redounds to his credit. He came from slave stock and rose to independent status. His correspondents are well-to-do and seeking to make it to the elite status and Horatius' advice can help them. Also, it is a boost to Horatius' ethos to be speaking and advising a class above his own.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,842
Points
48
I've been silent lately not because I haven't been doing things, but because I didn't know how to annotate them. I wasn't playing consciously enough to be able to describe what I was doing. It is the Brechtian verfremdungseffekt. One needs some distance in order to be critical.

Today I was a little more self-aware and perceived what I was doing.

for chords I was playing Em6 (my favorite chord), Am add9, B7, D, D#dim7.

For picking, I started in the Leading Tone shape of the E major pentatonic. That shape has F# at the high end and C# at the low.

That C# is also the high note of the Dominant shape which features, as its name suggests, B the dominant note as its tonic. The thing that makes the Dominant shape of the E major pentatonic so useful is the B on the 7th fret. It is the same B as the one of the 11th fret. I can play a riff in the pentatonic shape but instead of ending on the B on the 7th fret, I slide up to the 11th. the riff sounds the same but now I'm high on the fret board. Here, what is essential is intervallic space.

I am too tired to go on. I will pick this up later.

I'm back after sleeping and working. I was quite nodding off when I wrote the stuff above. What I was saying is this: You finish a riff with the B at the 11th fret instead of the B on the 7th fret. They are the same B but the tactical advantage is that with the 11th fret B you poised to move elsewhere musically instead of being trapped in the pentatonic box.

Here's the thing. In the pentatonic shape there's a C# next to the B. In the B Phrygian Dominant there's a C next to the B. When you first transition to the 11th fret, it still sounds like you're in the pentatonic shape. So if you play the C note, it sounds wrong. You can either shrug your shoulders and say screw it; this is jazz, and move on from that awkward transition. Or you can play something that's farther away in the modal shape. For example if, instead of playing the C which is adjacent to the B, you play the E or the F#, the transition isn't so strident. Since it is a bigger interval, I think the ear doesn't judge it so harshly. Of course, moderation in all things. If you move too far away from the B it sounds somewhat random. For instance, if you play the G or A on the A string after the B on the C string, it doesn't really sound musical to me.
 
Last edited:

necessaryrooster

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
335
Points
43
Will you ever record a short sound sample to accompany your writings? Would be interesting to hear some of your riffs.