my ukulele progress

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
I had some culinary successes. Ever since I lived for a while on an olive farm in Italy, I have used stove top coffee makers although I only drink decaf. However my coffee pot's handle was melting and dripping molten plastic on my stove, hands, and towels. It had to go. So I bought one with a metal handle:
1663330716898.png

It is pretty, plus it is stainless steel. Traditional stove tops, like the one I bought on market-day in Italy are aluminum and aluminum surely gets into your blood stream.

The second thing I did was re-create a japanese breakfast I had. It was rice with some tamari, two eggs, miso soup, pickled vegetables, and fish. For the fish I used some swai that I had although my memory says the fish I had was rubicund, like tuna or salmon. However, it was a success with the wife--except for the vinegary vegetables which didn't agree with her digestive tract issues.

Third thing I did was play ukulele until my picking fingers were sensitive. And I thought I would just expatiate a bit on movable chords. In this space I've been praising the Ukulele Fretboard Roadmaps of which I was unwittingly an acolyte. That book lays out the system of movable chords but it doesn't really go into how to use them. And I have found that with freedom comes a great responsibility.

Here's what I mean by that. If you're going to playing a I-IV-V, a super common progression, in E, you play it like we're all taught with the E on the 4th fret, A on the open string, and B on the 2nd fret. Easy peazy. However with movable chords, you're free. You can play any of the 5 or 6 E's on the fret board. But once you choose your E, then you have to decide: do I play an A that's a bit lower on the fret board or one that is a bit higher. Each choice will give a different vibe. Each choice sounds good but different. Then with the B you have to decide do I again go to a lower B or a higher B. So you can see that you're creating either linear pitch changes that move higher or lower, or you're zig-zagging the pitches. And they all sound cool, but different. That's all I'm saying. When you have the freedom to move wherever you wish, then you have to think about the repercussions of your choices. And, of course, this only matters if you're doing your own thing and creating things bare-backed. However if you're supporting some singing with your chords, then of course the voice is everything and you have to support the vocals so that your choices are limited.
 

Oldscruggsfan

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 25, 2022
Messages
945
Points
93
My ukulele progress:
I've separately posted this in SOTU 552 but am re-posting here for future self-reference.
Self-critique- In comparison to my earlier instrumental cover of "The Ballad of Curtis Loew", my finger picking progress seems to have reversed. I'm not being defensive or self centered in attributing that to the fact that I was playing an unfamiliar, borrowed uke without the shoestring strap to which I've become accustomed. I clearly need to work on strumming while 'singing'. My singing voice may be beyond help.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
I don't know the song you're playing or the performance context. So I don't know anything, but purely as a musical consumer I can tell you what I think. The voice isn't an issue; you sing better than Bob Dylan, after all. I think what I would want is another chord--or I should say an additional chord--to support the voice. You play like a troubador with a chord at the beginning of the measure. I think I would want another chord that supports the voice in the middle of the measure. Maybe it would be the same chord strummed again or maybe it would be a higher or lower pitched chord to match the voice. I don't know. Only thing I know is that it was a bit sparse and the space could have been filled with something. That's just my knee-jerk reaction. Perhaps if you added another chord then I'd say it is too busy. Again, I am not sure.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
I just saw a thread about song-books and I couldn't participate because I don't play songs. I only play the song in my head, so my input wouldn't be germane.

However, since I just prepared my beans for the week (pinto beans, with salt, leeks, garlic, and cilantro), I thought it would be entertaining to see what's in my 3-ring binder.

1. in the pouch I have a few long-forgotten things: 5 delta/piedmont turnarounds, Coltrane change, 2 version of Bird changes, and Rhythm changes
2. chord progressions for the modes
3. minor pentatonic shapes
4. E melodic minor shapes
5. E harmonic minor shapes
6. fret board mappings of open D, open D7, and open Dm
7. list of a dozen 12 bar blues progressions I culled from a jazz book
8. a list of all my chord shapes on one page
9. a list of all modes of the major
10. 2 pages listing exotic scales and ethnic scales
11. fretboard maps of standard fretboard highlighting the octaves, all the notes of the E harmonic minor, the D#°
12. there is a bookmarker-sized piece of paper which is just a representation of a 19 fret fretboard that I use for reference.

That's it. That's my dirty dozen. Those are the things in my song book which I currently use to make my song. As time goes by, I may augment or discard items. But that's it for now. And speaking of now, I feel now is the time, the time of obligation. I am going to have to play my kamaka today to justify having it. That means playing chords with different voicings and only picking the first 3 strings. But duty is duty.
 

bbkobabe

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
713
Points
93
I wish I had your level of discipline, Ripock. If I bought a Kamaka, too, do you think that would help?

I used to play bass guitar... I think I killed all the nerve endings in my finger tips already... they never get sensitive from playing the ukulele at all...

I'm also a bit envious of your coffee pot. I'm a half-caffer myself...
 
Last edited:

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
the coffee pot is awesome but it makes very clean coffee. I'm more used to a gritty texture.

My Kamaka is awesome and I bought mine with every disadvantage. It is re-entrant which I don't like, it has a soft wood top which I don't like, it lacks a cutaway which I don't like. Why, you may ask, did I ever get it? It is because I acknowledge my bull-s**. I have strident opinions like everyone else but I realize they are just opinions. I realize they are bull-s**. They happen to be the bull-s** by which I live my life but they are still bull-s**. Realizing that I am full of bull-s**, I sought the counterpoint. I sought a uke that would represent a rebuttal to everything I am and balance my bull-s** with someone else's bull-s**. That's why I have the Kamaka--to keep me honest but although I assign it an unenviable task it is still a flawless machine. I think you would enjoy one. Will it inspire you? That is a personal question predicated on why you are currently not inspired. If having a very nice uke would inspire you to play really nice, then it would help you.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
I saw an interesting headline about people standing in a queue for 24 hrs to be near the bones that once housed the soul of the queen of England. If my wife died and I was faced with a similar circumstance and I asked the ghost of my wife what I should do, I know precisely what the ghost would advise: wait a few weeks and visit the bones when there's no lines.

I am going through my own problem of lesser significance. My favorite skillet has had a seasoning issue. I have had it for 30 years or more. I felt it was just time for a re-do. So I stripped off the polymerization with some lye. And now it is in the oven with a coating of olive oil to re-start the polymerization process.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
Along with my fancy new stainless steel coffee pot, I also have stainless steel demi-tasse cups, so I am quite a fancy lad. My wife commented it made me seem more like a James Bond villain. I don't know what she's referencing and don't have too much time to care.

Here's what I was doing. I'm still playing around with using two different voicings of the same chord in the same progression. It is working well.

I started with a F#ø on the 14th fret then slid down to G7b9 on the 12th, then a Cm. Then a B7 on the 11th fret, Em on the 12th fret, F#ø on the 9th fret. I modulated between the standard chord and the chord with a raised 1st. Then I resolved to Em on the 7th. From that E I transitioned to playing note. I mostly used the E Hungarian Minor D# Super Lokrian. It is a nice song. I played it for about an hour.
 

Tin Ear

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
634
Points
93
Hey rip - just happened upon your personal thread. Have read a few of the latest page or two of postings. The personal musings of your daily life pertaining to cooking or interaction of the seemingly mundane tasks one does while being conscious are entertaining - but do provoke thought.

I get lost when you get into the music. (over my head mostly) I can relate though to the other stuff.

(y)
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
I wanted to continue seasoning my old skillet, so I am going to make a favorite of mine, farinata. I think I have also seen it referred to cecina. It is good for polymerizing my pan because it is 450 degrees. It is easy.

Put some fat in a pan and throw it in the oven and set the temp for 450 degrees.
Meanwhile mix together 1/2 cup of garbanzo flour and 5 ounces of water.
When the oven is at 450 and the oil is smoking, take the mixture (to which you add olive oil and whatever spices you want) and pour it in the pan and re-insert into the oven. In about 15 minutes it becomes a flat bread with a porous crunchy bottom and a soft top.

That's easy. What's hard is nori. My wife mentioned she like nori so I bought a leaf and now I have to figure out how to use it. First of all I will need to take it out of the packaging and see if it is brittle or flexible. I will proceed based on that knowledge.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
The nori wasn't that difficult to use. I just made a filling of baked trout and basmati rice, and then I just rolled them up in the nori like a burrito to seal the ends. The trick was to wet the edge of the nori to seal it as if you were rolling a cigar.

Things didn't go so well with music. I played my Kamaka and its upper bout completely threw off my game plan by blocking my chords. I never quite recovered from that. I wandered down to the low end of the fret board and played rather disjointedly in Bb and I ended after playing some improv tunes in G using double-stops harmonized with the 4th. So it was a very unproductive night of just clowning around
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
I switched back to my Yorkie today and breathed the sweet air of freedom once again. I could go wherever I wanted and chord whatever I wanted. I won't resuscitate that hackneyed ukulele trope of linear vs. re-entrant.

My fingers looked like a New Jersey road map with countless lines and crevices in them after playing the high frets for an hour. I spent a lot of time around the 16th fret where I was favoring the D# up there. Oh, I have to go.
 

Oldscruggsfan

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 25, 2022
Messages
945
Points
93
I switched back to my Yorkie today and breathed the sweet air of freedom once again. I could go wherever I wanted and chord whatever I wanted. I won't resuscitate that hackneyed ukulele trope of linear vs. re-entrant.

My fingers looked like a New Jersey road map with countless lines and crevices in them after playing the high frets for an hour. I spent a lot of time around the 16th fret where I was favoring the D# up there. Oh, I have to go.
OK, I’ll bite. Context clues indicate a longer-necked uke, but what exactly is a Yorkie? Is it similar to a Henway?
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
that's my long-neck tenor from Yorkshire. Unfortunately I won't be playing for a few days. I cut the tip of my middle finger on my fretting hand.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
I believe at the time of that photo those are worth strings. But I currently have Fremont blacklines on it. I only use dark strings; it is solely an aesthetic issue. Other people are chasing some mythical sound with string choices. I merely want handsome dark strings and I don't care about their timbre. As long as they play the correct notes I don't really care what nuance they provide.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
I super-glued my cut finger wound, so I was good to play for a while.

First, it was a feeding day so I threw together a farinata, 2 eggs, and some beans with green chilis. And my skillet's seasoning is black as the heart of satan and sleeker than a seal.

In this thread I have talked before of my ethnic scales. They are scales like the Japanese or the Indian or the Hirayoshi or the Piongio. They are a collection of scales I amassed and have had since the 80's. I found a lot of them on speed metal band websites back when a 28.8 baud modem was cutting edge technology.

I ran across a reference to John Coltrane using the Kumoi scale and I really like that scale as well. One of the things I like about the scale is how it contains two geometrical shapes that are mirror images of each other. In linear tuning the image is a trapezoid with one of the side being straight versus slanted. In re-entrant tuning the shape is the right triangle. This probably has nothing to do with the music, but I like the visuals. On the other hand there is a point where all knowledge comes together, when music and geometry are the same thing or at least on the same plane.

The Kumoi is also rather useful to what I like to play. Its intervals are: unison, 2nd, flat 3rd, fifth, sixth, octave. That's almost a m6 my favorite chord quality (if you take out the 2nd) and it has s 2, a 5, and a 1. So I can play it over a lot of the usual line-up of chords. The only thing tricky about the Kumoi, at least how I finger it, is that you need some decent pinky muscle memory. I practiced a little bit but didn't want to push my luck too far with a super-glued middle finger. I'll need to investigate more after it heals.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
My wound is better. I found that it wasn't so much the wound that was hurting but the skin flap caused by the wound. So I gnawed off the flap and spat it to the ground with an expectoration of contempt.

In my perusal of thread titles I see that the ukes you must try thread is still elongating. For me, ukes are ukes. It is really more important to focus on how you're playing than what you're playing. A thread I would like to see is: techniques you must play (competently) before you die. Hopefully such a thread would move past strum-alongs and "fingerstyle" (whatever that means), and expatiate on concrete things.
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,686
Points
113
I was playing around with the kumoi scale. Screenshot from 2022-09-24 09-09-51.png

It is hard not having a 4th and a 7th. It sounds very halting, abrupt, and a bit syncopated. But that is the point of this exercise: to stop outside the norm and grow a bit as a player.

Also I didn't like the way the E Kumoi related to the Em6 chord when I play them together. I think what doesn't set well with me in the difference in pitch. In the scale the E is the lowest note whereas the chord seems a bit lower in pitch. I much more enjoyed the A kumoi used with the E m6 because the chord was within the scale more so it seemed like a better match. But that applies only if you're going for a match. If you follow more of a rock and roll template, it is low pitch rhythm and with a high pitch solo.

I'll just document one way I used this scale. I started on the E on the 9th fret and made my way to the G on the A string. From there I slid up to the B on the 14th fret. And then I would do one of two things: 1. get back to the G string using the Mediant shape of the E minor pentatonic or jump to the B on the 19th fret (which, like the B on the 14th fret, is a B5) and from up there descend down D# Super Lokrian to resolve on the E on the 16th fret.

That was just one example. So this Kumoi scale does have some possibilities.