my ukulele progress

ripock

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I don’t mean to sound unfriendly, but I do think that a luthier’s work should be respected, even if it isn’t to your particular taste. Each luthier is an artist (not simply a craftsman), one whose painstaking and intricate work pleases a certain segment of the ukulele-playing public. If you’re not a fan, don’t buy.
I agree. I thought I had done that. I thought I had said those ukes are excellent but not my cup of tea. Sorry.
 

ripock

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Sorry if I misconstrued your comments.
No worries. The onus of communication is on the writer. If you didn't receive the message , it is because I didn't send it correctly. I'll try to be more careful when I discuss my travails with the 9 chords.
 

ripock

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Oh my goodness. I just saw another one of those dirty laundry posts--this time about uke republic. Will people never learn that they are always the loser in these exchanges. It reminds me of Cicero.

Cicero published a series of attacks against his political opponent and entitled these items Phillipics--obviously alluding to Demosthenes. In these speeches Cicero could have deployed any of many claims to discredit and defame his opponent: homosexuality, being subservient to Kleopatra, being anti-republican, etc. However, he focused on how his opponent published his private communications. That was the dastardly deed that Cicero hoped to publicize to destroy his enemy. And people on this forum willingly engage in this practice which is crass and vituperative in the eyes of ancient Rome. They publish their private correspondence with a vendor. Invariably, it is a misunderstanding and things work out well in the end...so if the person had said nothing it would have had the same result and he wouldn't seem like a Karen. People need to learn to keep their private business private.

I came back from the dermatologist who took a few chunks out of my right hand just to play it safe. So I couldn't play today--letting the hand heal. So I couldn't try to conquer my issues with 9 chords.

Tomorrow is my anniversary and it was understood that we'd go out to celebrate. however I made an executive decision. My wife is having issues with her GI tract and going out would irritate that condition. Eating out is so bad for a healthy person...let alone someone with a condition. So we are not going out and I bought a bunch of food that my wife likes and can eat: trout (which I will glaze with leeks and molasses), green bean casserole, millet and I bought two pieces of cheese cake. This will be to her liking and won't cause any internal burning. I am such a good spouse.
 

Down Up Dick

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Happy Anniversary, and I hope you two have many more. Too bad your wife doesn’t get to go out to dinner though. They all seem to like that a lot.
 

ripock

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Anniversary dinner went fine. The trout are a modification of a recipe which I remember from a Nero Wolfe novel. The key is to be parsimonious with the sweet. Overly sweet fish isn't very good although fish can be salty, herby, spicy, sweet fish is odd. The 9's not so good. I think most of the problem is the fact that they span two octaves. The 9's seem to jump to higher pitch and I guess that's okay if that's what you envision. However I want them to stay relatively close to the other chords. So I tried playing higher voicings of all the chords but the first voicing of the 9. It is still a work in progress.

Lest I get frustrated by focusing too much on the 9's, I practiced something more attainable: melodizing with modes that I frequently overlook. I am drawn to the 1st and 5th modes based on the tonic and dominant. I do not usually play the intervening modes, and those modes are in the middle of the fret board where I am very unacquainted with them. So I was playing around with the C#Aiolian b5 / F# Dorian b2 and the D# Super Lokrian / G Lydian #5.

I'll update once I become familiar enough to see trends develop.
 

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ripock

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Oh man! I just received a $50 gift certificate from work for being inordinately productive. But I would need another one in order to get the Hardback at $118 (and I wouldn't want the paperback; those don't work well as recipe books in the kitchen)
 

ripock

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I came to some realizations this evening. First of all, I just flat out do not like the sound of the 9 chord. I tried and tried but I just found it shrill and unappetizing. However, I frequently play 7b9 chords a lot and that chord is the same as a 9 chord except you play the 9th interval one half step flat. There might be an application for the bare 9 chord, but for my improvising I am going to stick to the 7b9. And the 7b9 has the advantage of being one shape, the dim7 shape, and all you have to do is remember where the root is.

That was a load off my mind.

Then I focused on the C# Aiolian b5 and the D# Super Lokrian right above it. I am starting to see some connections in these unfamilar shapes. First of all if you descend all the way to the F# on the A string, then you can use the D# dim7 arpeggio to scoot back to the C on the G string. Secondly it is also possible to play the Sub-Tonic shape of the E major pentatonic. So I can switch from the melodic minor to the pentatonic.
 

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Oh man! I just received a $50 gift certificate from work for being inordinately productive. But I would need another one in order to get the Hardback at $118 (and I wouldn't want the paperback; those don't work well as recipe books in the kitchen)
Quick! Look on eBay. Hardcover for $54.08.
 

ripock

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I had to cut my practice short yesterday because I opened up a blister while playing and I didn't want to get blister serum on my strings or fret board.

And I still have room for improvement because I cannot remember anything. Nothing stuck. I remember I was playing modes that started on the C# and the D# but that's about where my memory ends. In a while I am going to take up where I left off and try to encode those shapes while I have some fun improvising.
 

ripock

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I played around with those shapes I have been trying to become acquainted with. Here are the building blocks I used:

1. the progression: A7b9, B7, A7b9, B7#5, E+
2. D# dim7 arpeggio
3. mediant shape of the E major pentatonic
4. C# Aiolian b5 and D# super lokrian

I wasn't so much trying to make melodies today. Today was more devoted to just getting the shapes under my fingers. My target notes were the D# and F# on the A string.

To get to my target notes I either used the 2nd or 5th position D# dim7 arpeggio. Once I was at the target notes, which were the high notes of the shape, then I'd just descend through the shapes.

It takes much more energy to describe what I was doing than in doing it, and I find I just don't have the stamina to do it right now. I'll have to let this suffice and try again tomorrow when I am more rested.
 

ripock

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I will be working on july 4th but to prepare for the holiday I just re-read Frederick Douglass' famous speech on July 4th which seems timely in the face of renewed virulence of white nationalism and all the recent decisions of the supreme court.

Certainly times which would require a Petronius Arbiter who lived well but died better.

But I did work on my new shape. I admit that I did have to review the chart for its shape but things started flowing a bit more freely after that.

The C# Aiolian b5 is very Ionian in a way. If you moved the two notes on the A string down a fret, then you'd have a backwards major scale. That probably shouldn't matter but since I am a very visual player, I cannot unsee that and I tend to fall into the trap of playing it like a major scale. So, it was nice to start breaking up that conception and making melodies that leaned away from anything approaching a major scale. I should point out that a proper musician could take any chromatic scale and pull my melodies out of it. However I find I rely on the shapes as inspiration. The modes actually give me ideas by the way they're laid out. That's the main reason I use modes. I don't actually use them like you're supposed to.

Aside from making melodies, I am also making connections. The C# of this shape is just a whole step away from B and with B comes the B mixolydian b6, my favorite melodic minor mode. Similarly with the D# Super Lokrian it contains a B on the 11th fret which a part of another iteration of the B mixolydian b6. If only I could find a natural way to then transition to the B mixolydian b6 on the 16th fret, I would be golden.

Obviously I would just use the G Lydian #5 to get to that mode. But right now I want to focus on using my two modes bookended by the B mixolydian b6 on either end to be able to play the frets from the 4th to the 14th. If I can attain that, it will be a major feat because pitch is so important in improv. Things build in pitch and culminate in the high note. It will really give some subtle structure to what I'm doing.
 

ripock

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I had a fairly decent day. I made some progress on the epistle I was reading. I was misunderstanding that the writer was employing irony. It made me feel sad for people with ASD who cannot pick up on social cues and identify sarcasm. That must make life difficult.

I also received back one of two things which was actually impacting my quality of life. My pocket watch finally came back from the jeweler's. I really missed it. Now if I can only get my sports coat back from the tailor I will be on top of the world.

I started connecting the modes. I am getting stuck around the 15th fret. But with some peeking at a chart, I can pick up the thread and continue onto the E on the 19th fret. Therefore I am not quite ready to talk about it; it is still a work in progress, but really soon I will be able to move from the 6th to the 19th frets. It makes me hopeful.
 

ripock

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Another week, another merchant-bashing thread. This time someone is warning us not to spend $35 for the merchant to send us pictures of the uke we are considering...and not to pursue the merchant's real estate opportunities. Who actually needs this advice? Isn't that like starting a thread to warn people about not wrapping their lips around a red hot poker. If anyone puts a red hot poker in their mouth, or pays a merchant to send them photos of a uke, then they get what they deserve.

I have a slight injury which is affecting my playing and I never thought it would. The dermatologist removed a section of skin betwixt my pinky and wrist and I never imagined how important that area of the hand is. I routinely mute my 4th string for aesthetic reasons. However it is now apparent to me that I palm mute Life. I am constantly doing things throughout the day that irritates that wound by contacting it.

I was trying to analyze how I jump from mode shape to mode shape. I fancy that the pathways will change because I transition where I am comfortable. And that will change based on what I'm currently doing at the time.

I am going to refer to shapes in their linear nomenclature and ignore the re-entrant shape embedded within it.

I start on the C# Aiolian b5 and I typically slide down from the C# to the B on the G string and then I am in the B mixolydian b6.

Then I move back up the the C# Aiolian b5. Then using the C# on the E string, I transition to the D# super lokrian. From this shape, I can either arpeggiate back down to the C# Aiolian b5 using my D# dim7 arpeggio or I can use the B on the C string to transition to the F# Dorian b2 (which is the re-entrant B mixolydian b6).

At this stage, my knowledge is a bit fuzzy. I believe what I do here is transition with the E on the E string to the G Lydian #5 and I use that shape to get to the B on the 16th fret, at which point I can play the B mixolydian b6/D# super lokrian 'til I get to the D# on the 18th fret. Then I just play the E on the 19th fret because that's the resolution we all really want anyway.

* * *

I was about to add some chords to what I was playing but I cut my thumb on a grater and when I strum I tend to use a loose fist and I contract the strings with my ring finger on the down stoke and use the knuckle of my thumb on the up stroke. And there's no reason for this whatsoever. It is just what i do and I noticed some time ago. However it hinders strumming.
 
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ripock

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Had a simple july 4th. Got a bucket of chicken and biscuits and drove with my wife behind a rehab hospital that has a clear vista of the fireworks. Of course it is always risky to be so secluded in New Mexico, but it is nothing that an experienced eye and a pistol cannot remedy.

However our guts are screwed up today since we are not used to processed food. So it is back to basics: kale, millet, and some rainbow trout.

I took my humidifer out of Yorkie's case because the readings were around 60%, too moist for my liking. I'll re-check today. And today I am going to play my re-entrant Kamaka although that will undoubtably mess with my mind because, for example, instead of playing the C# Aiolian b5, I will be playing the F# Dorian b2 at that position.

My Kamaka is very moist as well, so I took the humidifier out. However it did smell very good. The moisture must have an influence on the koa. As predicted the change in tuning gave me some troubles for a bit. I got over it soon and made some melodies. I have discussed this with some good folks in a phrygian mode thread, but I seem to be productive with the modes because they are the same old notes but they are arranged differently, so that they offer different suggestions to my mind. I realized this when I switched from Harmonic Minor modes to Melodic minor modes. In these modes, there is usually just a half step's difference. But that difference really affected me.

I won't belabor and beleaguer you with too many details. With effort I floated from the F# Dorian b2 to the C# Aiolian b5 on the 13th fret. I stopped there although I could have played the D# Super Lokrian and the E Aiolian #6#7 above. I'll see about that tomorrow.
 
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ripock

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half-diminished or minor seven flat five. It is a great chord.
 

ripock

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Tonight is a pot-luck evening to rotate stock and use up food before it goes bad. I have some habichuelas rojas with cilantro that needs consuming. I am making a little bit of basmati rice which is extremely rare for me. Part of the reason is that rice is just so hoi polloi. But the real reason is that there are always better nutritional choices. On my shelf, aside from the basmati rice, there's barley, lentils, amaranth, quinoa, millet, mung beans, sometimes Kamut or teff but that jar's empty. Those foods just have better numbers than rice. There's just not enough calories in the day to squeeze in rice with those other choices.

Anyway, I am combining the rice, the habichuelas, some turnip greens, and I have to throw in some meat because I'm trying to fatten up my wife who's lost almost two stone of mass. I bought some ground beef for some cheap fat. All the boutique meat at the market has skyrocketed due to corporate culture foisting inflation onto us. Bison or elk was about $16. Personally I am all or nothing. I would prefer no meat or a very very rare porterhouse steak. I'll edit this entry later with the music.