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Thread: my ukulele progress

  1. #331
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    713

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    I have been so busy packing for my move that I haven't been able to uke. Just to give as idea of how long it has been. I had to trim my left-hand nails. It had been that long. When I'm playing daily, they never need attention. Since my attention has been so waylaid, I've been doing nothing serious with the uke. I've continued playing my blues in F. I restricted myself to the roots on the A string and had some fun. I also played around with the F pentatonic shapes as well as something I heard about mixo-pentatonic scales--that's just a minor pentatonic with a natural third versus a flatted third.

    I do have some news. I guess I am a luthier now because I put the neck back on my cigar box guitar with three drywall screws. When I get to my new abode I think I'll buy some Slinky strings. I think I will finally get electric strings to see how much better appropriate strings sound. I've always just used acoustic strings because that's what I had around. I like Slinky strings because that's all the cool kids used in high school. I'll probably get something like 11's or 12's because I primarily use my cigar box for slide guitar and I don't need to be able to bend my strings as I do with my other instruments.

  2. #332
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Finland
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    588

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    Thank you for the Ab chord suggestion, X343, in the other thread.

    I might switch to it as it sounds at least on re-entrant ukulele the same as 5343, when strumming. Could be better if some difference tone pulsating with the latter by poor tuning etc.

  3. #333
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Kyoto Japan
    Posts
    253

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    Hi, repock and Jarmo!

    My guitar book recommends Jarmo's Ab (Eb in guitar). I've practiced a lot the other Ab with the root on the 4th string (see the figure below). The wrist is bent too much. Hard to quick chord change accurately.



    ripock's Ab sounds good but yahalele's Ab is bad. I will try to practice yahalele's Ab for a while.



    I think I can avoid Ab key in my singing. But it is fun to learn.

  4. #334
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    713

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    I finally made it. 1200 miles with 5 cats and 1 wife. I am still unpacking. By the end of the day I should have all my property out of the modules and into the domicile. Getting everything in order will be another issue. All the musical instruments survived. My Kamaka had shifted a bit but that was the worst of it. At least for the ukuleles. I lost the handle of my tea jar within which I stored my rooibos tea. Now I am waiting for some pinto beans to pressurize and then I'll continue unpacking. I'll re-connect with my goals of playing all inversions of the F blues--in both the major and minor. I think I am on the cusp of feeling good enough to switch to another key. I probably should just move to Bb, the next key on the circle of fifths. That would make sense because some of the notes are the same as F. However, I will probably just do something crazy like go to D or A.

  5. #335
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    I am essentially done with the move. There are still things to be done but they are more or less just individual tasks.

    I unpacked my music stuff, but what's interesting is what I didn't unpack. After a move, a person tends to simplify their life by jettisoning things. I just set up my musical area and here's of what is consists:

    metronome
    five instruments (high G uke, low G uke, cigar box guitar, baritone uke, tenor guitar)
    music stand
    one folder
    amp and fuzz pedal
    instrument stand
    fretboard diagram

    I didn't unpack all my books and sheet music and flute and outdoor uke and harmonicas.

    It is interesting. This is all I need. I had acquired so much stuff and it wasn't really essential. What is left is essential. I feel purified. It is similar to the Stoic concept of ekpyrosis in which the world erupts in flame destroying everything only to be re-born in its freshness and virginity. That's how I feel.

    To expatiate on what I mentioned above as "one folder"--that is my purple three-ring binder that has everything I need. It contains my modes, my scales, my re-harmonizations, my major and minor pentatonic shapes, chords, and my newest addition which was how to form my essential 14 (m6, m7, half diminished, 6, maj7, 7, 9. 13 add9, 7sus4, augmented, sus4, minor, major) using a root on each string. The folder also houses my Chord Wheel which is an amped-up circle of fifths.

    I have to re-start my project, the first step of which was to play in the key of F. I have to re-remember where all the F's, Bb's, and C's are on the fret board. Then I can start playing progressions anywhere on the fretboard. I have to admit that I've really taken a liking to the area between the 7th and 10th frets. It is so central with ample room to move up or down as the fancy bids.

    I found a piece of paper in my folder. It contains progressions which may be turnarounds. Here they are:

    1. I7 VIm7 bVI9 V9 I9
    2. bVII VI bVI V
    3. I7 bV IVm I
    4. I IVm bV I7
    5. I7 bV IVm I
    6. I7 IV IVm I

    In the key of F these would be
    F7 | Dm7 | Db9 | C9 | F9
    Eb | D | Db | C
    F7 | B | Bbm | F
    F | Bbm | B | F7
    F7 | B | Bbm | F
    F7 | Bb | Bbm | F

    I will certainly work these alongside my I IV V progression to memorize the key of F.

  6. #336
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    713

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    Today I got a fancy to do something with the harmonic minor. It is funny; I watched a video in which the person was talking about the iconic licks that started him playing guitar. First, he wanted to ape those licks and then the songs from that band/artist. That's kind of foreign to my way of thinking. I do like certain bands but I don't want to learn how to play their songs. I want a mastery...or at least a competency...of my instrument. I want to play my own songs or at least play around with concepts.

    The reason I say this is the harmonic minor. When I was growing up Randy Rhoads was the gold standard for guitar players and even though I don't want to play his songs, I am drawn to the harmonic minor because supposedly he was revered because he tinkered with that scale instead of just relying on the same old 5-chords like everyone else.

    I, of course, can play the harmonic minor scale but I wanted to take it further. So I mapped out the modes to the harmonic minor. I used the key of Ab because that's the lowest note on the fret board (I don't acknowledge open strings). Some of the modes sounded pretty awesome. The modes starting on Ab, Bb, and E are good. However the others ranged from not sounding very musical to being a bit random. Well maybe random is the wrong word; perhaps I should say unresolved. For example I ascended and descended the mode starting on Eb but when I finished and returned to the Eb the scale didn't sound finished. When I slid down to the Db, then it sounded resolved.

    This might be a coincidence but all the modes I didn't like had a five-fret stretch. Do I not like them subconsciously because of that?

    The mode starting on the E was interesting because its first three notes is the same as the pentatonic minor. I can foresee engaging in a bait-and-switch technique where I could evade expectations by jumping from one to the other.

    *********************

    I also practiced my blues in F to make progress on my project. In my last entry I listed some jazzy turnarounds. I found one in particular that I liked as a big finish to the progression. In the last two bars of the blues progression you're supposed to either turn around or finish. When you turn it around the last two bars probably should be F and C7. And when you end the progression the bars should probably be F and F. What I did was play the F for the 11th bar but instead of seeking the resolution of F in the 12th bar I played an F7 and that created even more tension. Then I walked the melody down to resolution: B to Bb minor to F.

    I took another of those jazzy turnarounds and make it a freestanding progression all on its own. The chord qualities I used were:

    F7
    Dm7
    Db9
    C9
    F9
    F add9
    (end eventually on an F)

    This is a nice progression to use as an outline. It can be easily modified just by using different chord voicings. For example just going from F7 to Dm7 can be altered greatly merely by the selection of the root of Dm7. That chord was pop in different inversions on the 2nd, 5th, 7th, 10th, and 14th frets (it also appears higher up but those chords are hit-or-miss depending on the particular shape).

    good times

  7. #337
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    713

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    I've been busy with music. I had purchased some new strings for my cigar box guitar. I bought some Slinkys (11's). I put them on with nary a problem. I decided to keep my cigar box tuned to open D (D F# A D). The action of the cigar box is extremely high and I accordingly only play slide on it. I spent a little time and I made a little chart of the open D fret board, highlighting all the notes that are in the D minor pentatonic scale. So far I have only been playing without the amp and only playing a straight blues progression. I did play around with some funk using the two D's on the 12th fret with the flat seven on the 10th. Of course I resolved all that stuff with the D on the 5th fret.

    Soon I shall need to do what's natural: plug into the amp, click on the fuzz pedal, and get a little crazy.


    In reference to my minor harmonic modes: I of course changed to the key of E, my favorite. That, of course, means the notes of E F# G A B C D# E. That gives me a good range. One mode starts on the open G string and the last mode starts on the 11th. Above the 11th, four of the modes repeat themselves at a higher octave. What's cool about these modes is that they don't sound very scale-like. All you need to do is play one, repeating a note here or there, and giving the scale some phrasing...and you're playing music. And you can link the modes together and it all sounds good and it sounds like you're just playing some ponderous endless song. And four of the notes of the minor harmonic are also in the minor pentatonic, so it is easy to transition between systems...although it seems a bit jarring sometimes. Anyway a lot of fun.

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