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Thread: my ukulele progress

  1. #561
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    My cat knocked a nearly full jar of red chili sauce onto the floor. It was quite a clean up and I fancy that all the shards haven't been located; that will be a future joy to my bare feet.

    Before that, however, I had a really good day with the ukulele. I was focusing on just playing my D# dim7 arpeggio from the 2nd to the 18th fret. It was just flowing today. I could move liqudly wherever I pleased.

    One of the virtues of this chord is its symmetry. You can use that symmetry to arpeggiate through the chord or you can use it to move horizontally to go from one side of the fretboard to the other.

    So I was just exulting in the pleasure of movement. Every so often I would stop as I was moving along the fretboard to play a modal shape or a chord. It was very liberating.

  2. #562
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    I don't know if people need a pharmakos for the pandemic or what, but they're bagging on Terry Carter. I don't mind him aside from him calling a bamboo uke solid wood. I'm not stupid. That is just a laminate.

    I'm still working on my D# dim7 arpeggio. I'm finding it a very good tool for learning the fret board because you have to be conscious of what note you're on and where the other three notes are, so that you can move horizontally or vertically. Also if you're going to deviate from the arpeggio, you need to know the note you're on, in order to know which shape to move to. And when you're in the shape, you need to know where the arpeggio notes are at, so you can move back to them.

    As I said before, this has become a very nourishing exercise.

    And speaking of nourishing, I am going to keep on practicing for another three hours while I pressure cook some habichuelas
    Last edited by ripock; 03-23-2021 at 06:08 PM.

  3. #563
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    My wife wanted some meat. I don't have any philosophical problem with meat, but I do find it rather inconvenient because flesh just takes a while to bake; it throws my timing off. So we had some trout, black beans, potatoes, and beet greens.

    Then I sat down with some turkish coffee (de-caf of course), Japanese incense to cleanse the air, and I lit up my lamp. So I'm ready to do some studying.

    As far the the ukulele, today I worked on gathering several of the threads that I had been working on. I had been working on using the C note as a pivot point between shapes. I wanted to work on the A Dorian #11 and the C Lydian #2, and I did a little bit. I am still working it out and finding different angles of departure from certain C notes.

  4. #564
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    Finally, after two weeks (or so) of drying them out, my Oasis humidifiers were at last able to spit out their crystals. I bought some replacement crystals, but first you have to extract the previous crystals by letting them lose all their moisture. If you do not remove the older crystals, then there will be a surfeit of crystals and the humidifiers will not evaporate correctly.

    I value my humidifiers. They keep my cases at 48% relative humidity while the surrounding air is, at best, 20%. However if I ever want to do this again, I will just buy new ones.

  5. #565
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    This weekend has been a mixed bag--to say the least.

    My mother died--but don't worry, I'm not going to talk about that. A ukulele blog is the least appropriate place for that kind of thing. Maybe if I was playing my flute still, or a viola, or some instrument capable of some bathos, then I could work that theme. But since we play sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, I'll keep it light.

    I'm going back to work tomorrow. That sucks but it is at a pay raise of $8/hour. And working will get me away from myself, my worst enemy. I put on 20 pounds in the last two months. And that is mostly through beer. For example, last night for dinner I had roasted rutabagas, kale, rice, and black beans. Even if my portion sizes are too big, I'm not getting fat there. So i'm going to restrict myself to whisky because of the kcals. One bottle of beer is around 200 kcals whereas one evening of whisky is 200 kcals. So the numbers are a lot better with my Laphroaig. And there's no sugar.

    To support that I will definitely need to engage in some exercise that doesn't spike my cortisol and insulin and thereby hinder the fat loss. Most probably some interval training and resistance training.

    I wonder where my ukulele practice will be placed in this new schedule. Probably it will be shorter sessions.

  6. #566
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    I haven't played much lately except for some dim7 arpeggios, but I promise: this weekend I am going to try to connect my C notes with those transitioning arpeggios. I'm entering into a corporate position and it doesn't allow for dilettante treatments of the subject matter. You have to commit and that leaves less time for leisure ukulele playing.

    On the bright side, my wife is slowly migrating toward my food. I am a simple "greens, beans, grains, and roots" kind of guy and she just asked for some roasted roots for dinner. And I am not a man to refuse my woman anything. She wants roots and I say I got your roots right here baby. I have more turnips and parsnips than Picasso has paints.

  7. #567
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    I filled out a blank fret board map with the notes of my D# dim7. Then I color-coded them for the octaves. My tenors have a little bit of the 3rd and the 6th octaves, and all of the 4th and 5th. It was an instructive exercise. It really cuts down my (perceived) options, and that's a good thing. It makes jumping to different positions much easier. It highlights equivalent notes so that when I run out of space as I move to the bass side, I can jump over to the same note on the treble side and continue further.

  8. #568
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    I see there's a bit of talk on the forums about tone woods. I suppose my main reaction is a big shrug. I am not impressed. I know a bunch of people really obsess on this but I have never really thought it was all that big a deal. For me, tone woods are ornamental. I pick them for the looks. Is there a difference in sound? I suppose so. If I focus I can appreciate the nuance, but it is just a nuance. It is kind of like the difference between a speaker that is lying on the floor versus one that is suspended. Yeah, there is a difference but it doesn't really matter. However, I am conscious of my tone woods because of their concomitant cachet. I am aware of the value people place in them, so I pick my tone woods with that social aspect in mind. I try to get tone woods that will say something good about me and my individuality. But do I care about their actual timbre? Not at all. I am going to play what I'm going to play regardless. All I want from my wood is for people to look and say "damn, you do not play Kalas and your wood choices are unique. You must be special." Maybe that is too much to ask from a tone wood, but that's my hope.

    I couldn't put too much effort into ukulele practice today. So I just focused on stuff above the 15th fret such as D# dim7 apreggio, B Phrygian minor, E Aiolian #7.

  9. #569
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    I received my second covid vaccination. I don't see what all the fuss is about. Yes, I was feeling a bit run-down. Then I took a nap. So much for side-effects.

    A theme that has popped up a few times in my life recently has been the struggle against what is natural. I bought this horrible cheese whose brand name was Cabot. It was rubbery and lactose-free. So it was a non-dairy dairy product. WTH is wrong with people? If you don't/cannot eat dairy, then don't eat dairy. You can't have it both ways. Of course, I also saw something along these lines on the forum. Someone wanted to take GCEA strings, loosen them to DGBE and have them as tight as they were in standard tuning. WTH? Loose strings have a timbre. If you don't want that, then don't loosen your strings. One of the many reasons to appreciate someone like Kimo Hussey is how he accepts a ukulele and understands the nature of that particular instrument and cooperates with it instead of fighting it and forcing it to do something it isn't meant to do. And I actually try to practice acceptance myself. I purposely shop at a little corner market because it doesn't have all the variety that a supermercado has. It has produce and it has meat and it has some dry staples like beans. Shopping there you don't get everything you want, but you get everything you need. It is good practice, especially in this age where the entire society curries to our sense of entitlement.

    As I mentioned earlier. I have accepted a corporate job with a lot of responsibility. My purlieu will be all of California and I am in the midst of a three-week training session. So I'm not getting a lot of ukulele time. But I am still moving forward with my musical plans. I randomized and received the number 7. So I'm not focusing on the 7th degree of my scale as a pivot point. For me, that's the D#. Patently, there are a few clear advantages to D#, despite it being the leading tone of the scale. Firstly, it is part of the D# dim7 arpeggio, so that I can move around with it. And since it is the leading tone, it wants to resolve up to the E.

    Just to re-iterate, the point isn't to go from the D# super lokrian bb7 down to the C Lydian #2; that's too easy and too obvious. In that case you're just uniting two shapes--which is important, but not what I am intending. My goal is to almost create a new shape by pivoting on the D# in the middle of a shape. For example, using the D# that's in the middle of the B phrygian dominant to jump down to the middle of the A Dorian #11. That creates a new sound. When you jump from the beginning/end of a shape, then it just sounds like you're playing two shapes back to back. When you jump from the middle, it seems somewhat random and more fluid.

    So, as always, the set-up is the same. I have 14 shapes to work with. 7 from the G string (linear tuning) and 7 from the C sting (re-entrant). Every shape has a D#. The key is to be cognizant of that fact and use the D# as a spring-board.

    Where, oh where are my D#'s? G8, C3, C15, E11, A6, A18. Okay. Now for the practice. The thing that makes this exercise so valuable is the discipline it forces on you--the discipline to always know where a certain note is regardless of the scale you're playing.

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