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Thread: my ukulele progress

  1. #531
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    As expected, the strings stretched a bit overnight. I had to re-tune. I didn't have much time today so I just focused on the B on the 7th fret and using it as a pivot for a few major and minor pentatonic shapes. I'm not really clear-headed right now. Tomorrow I will try to replicate what I did today and remember everything more fully for a better description.

  2. #532
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    I have a vague recollection that characters in the plays of Euripides (sc., Medeia and Theseus) lament that we cannot see a person's heart and intentions. However some times we can. If someone is sporting a confederate flag, decries political correctness or uses the founding fathers to justify some evil policy they want to perpetrate, then you know to give that scoundrel a wide berth. Luckily my interests insulate me from such miasmic contact. No one cares for what I do, so I can do it in peace as the world percolates.

    I went on a small musical excursion.

    1. started A Dorian #11 with the A on G2.
    2. made my way to the A @ E5
    3. went up a step to the B @ A2
    4. crossed the fret board diagonally from A to C (arpeggiated C maj7)
    5. arpeggiated through D#dim7 and ended up on the F# @ A9
    6a. either used the F# as the top of F# Lokrian 13 whereupon I descended badk to the B @ E7
    6b. or from F#, go up a half-step to G and play the B phrygian Dominant/F# Lokrian 13. Then change to the subdominant pentatonic shape and end on the A @ G14

    Now that's what I call a song. Instead of having the lyrics, chords, and melody micromanaged, this kind of song just gives you places you have to be eventually, and it is up to you to get there. I would buy a book of such arrangements.

  3. #533
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    The current thread du jour seems to be the "not so nice" thread. I'm not really interested so I haven't looked at it, but I do have to wonder if I'm one of the not-so-nice people. It is hard to say.

    However, to be honest, I only half-care. So maybe I'm one of ones being namelessly indicted. No use fretting about it, when I have frets to fret about.

    I've been playing that A Dorian #11 song I mentioned before. I know it is a step backwards from my plan, but I lost some ground when Yorkie was out of commission. Right now I'm comfortable just playing shapes. Once I feel that I'm getting too comfortable, then I'll try to start breaking out of shapes, using the B to disrupt the patterns. I'll try to update as the day progresses.

  4. #534
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    I just ran across the oddest quote:

    The key of love, of devotion, of intimate conversation with God. Feelings of the anxiety of the soul's deepest distress, of brooding despair, of blackest depresssion, of the most gloomy condition of the soul. Every fear, every hesitation of the shuddering heart, breathes out of horrible D# minor

    There are several objectionable assertions there, but my main gripe is why use D#? It has six sharps in its signature. Why not just use Eb with one flat?

  5. #535
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    I haven't mastered what I was working on, but I just need a break. So I thought I would work a little bit on Bird Blues. Perhaps I should call it Bird Droppings because of what I do with it. I do not care for Bebop celerity and the jerky rhythms. I do honor the progression, but I do my own thing with it.

    At this point I haven't decided on with voicings to use. I have a tendency to move chromatically through the progression as opposed to grouping all the chords together in a single area of the fret board. But at point I haven't made any decisions. Obviously the first thing to decide is the initial chord, the Emaj7 (you know I'm transposing it to E). The go-to E is obviously the one on the 4th fret, but I am also partial to the one on the 7th fret, although that would mean a diagonal barre for the maj7. There is always the E on the 9th fret. As I said, I'll see where my mood takes me. I could start on the 9th fret and descend as I go, or vice versa.

  6. #536
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    There was a recent thread adjuring us all to abstain from using our electronic tuners for a week. I could have promised to do so, but it would have been a promise bereft of meaning because I normally do not tune my instrument unless there is a need--i.e., when something sounds off, I will pull out the snark and that probably happens twice or thrice a month.

    It is cold today and snowing. It isn't really all that cold, it is around 0. What makes it cold is the lack of precautions. Since the weather here is clement 90% of the time, it is in no one's interest to waste ratiocinations about the outlying 10%. For example my house doesn't have insulation. Its roof is just bigas and planks. So on mornings like this, I have the furnace on as well as milk house heater, and I am making rice in the pressure cooker for added warmth.

    But it looks like it will be a good day for staying inside and practicing music. And I need it. I have forgotten a lot about my Bird Blues. I remember a few things rather darkly. I remember that I used to consider the first four bars as a unit. And it is a very unique unit. A typical jazz-blues progression goes I, quick change to the IV, I, I. However in Bird Blues it is I, VII7b5 + III7b9, vi7 + II7, v7 + I7. So you can see that there is a lot more going on here. These first four bars begin on an E and end on an E. What I typically like doing is starting on the E at the 9th fret and descend the fret board as I go and end up on the 4th fret. I know many people just play all the chords in the first position, but that sounds a bit boring to me. By moving down the fret board, there is the sound of the different chords but there is also the sound of the chromatic movement as well.

    I will leave it at that for now. I will annotate the later bars in the future. I will stick to these bars. I do have to say that I really like the logic of the progression: tonic, leading tone, secondary relative minor substitution for the tonic, primary relative minor substitution for the tonic, ii-v-i ending. Good stuff. Once I commit to which voicings I will use, then I have to keep my eyes peeled for which of the seven B's are lying hard by because I haven't lost sight of my B's as a means for transitioning. Since I'm at least nominally playing the blues, I will probably limit myself to the pentatonic shapes that surround whichever B I am near. I will also make use of the b.b. box if I can since it privileges the fifth interval.

  7. #537
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    I just browsed the threads and it is quite hilarious. There are circa 1995 usenet trolls bestirring trouble. I often miss the days of moderated discussions. However it still seems weird to have such throwbacks around. A voice comes from the distant past and urges us all not to feed the trolls. It is too absurd (but I am justified; the trolls started--predictably--spouting off about political correctness as I mentioned eariler).

    Now, back to the Bird Blues. The middle bars, five through eight, These bars have always been a bit beyond me as far as analysis goes. These bars consist of two sequences (one of dom7's and one of m7's) which are alternated. Here's the progression:

    bar five: IV7
    bar six: iv7 + bVII7
    bar seven: iii7 (an interval down from bar six) + VI7 (an interval down from second half of bar six)
    bar eight: biii7 + bVI7 (the chords for bar eight are just a half-step away from bar seven)

  8. #538
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    I wasn't too happy with my playing today. Earlier in the day I got my Kamaka out and I just wasn't hitting the chords. I don't know if it was a CNS issue or what. However, later in the day I was playing with Yorkie and things were appreciably better. Disregarding my fretting problem, I wasn't happy with the second bar. There isn't enough movement for my taste. The D#7b5 and the G#7b9 have too many common notes and they sound too much alike. Tomorrow I'll see if there isn't something to differentiate the chords like making the latter a G#9 or even a G# add6 sus4. Perhaps I will even grow to like the subtle movement of the two original chords. I feel I should come to terms with the second bar because the third bar has one of my least favorite shapes, the m7 with an E string root.

  9. #539
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    People talking about what's a good ukulele song. What song isn't a good ukulele song? You can play anything with the ukulele. I'm essentially playing "Blues For Alice."

    Speaking of which, I was practicing the first four bars and I think I have almost got it where I want it. I didn't change any of the chord qualities. I just got used to the slight differences in the progression.

    Since E maj7 is the first chord of that song, I made a good little ukulele song combining that chord with the E Lydian #2. From there I went to a F#m7 combined with a F# Lokrian 13, which I resolved into the E on the 4th fret for closure.

    I worked in some of my add9 chords.

    So what is a good ukulele song. It certainly can be some ubiquitous ionian/lydian thing we've all heard a million times, or it can be something darker. It is really anything you want to make it.

    Speaking of making it, I have had some success in the kitchen. I made some poutine. I had some leftover potatoes from a dish I tried to make but didn't like it. I have to say that I am greatly underwhelmed by all potato dishes (except fondant potatoes). Whenever I make some exotic potato recipe, I always wish I had just baked the potato. So I had these unwanted potatoes hanging around, so I just re-baked them with gravy and cheese and got rid of them.

    I also made what I called ochre chicken. I stir fried several pounds of chicken thighs in a variety of ochre-colored spices: red chili, tumeric, rogan josh, mustard powder. I'll be eating that for a while

  10. #540
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    Okay. The review of the Bird Blues has been instructive, but now my dilly dallying has started to become shilly shallying. It is time to return to the basics.

    So. There are 7 B's. I can pull them up mentally with no hesitation. Only 6 of them are practical for my transitional exercises. The B @ the 19th fret cannot transition because there is nothing to transition up to (unless I use a slide and slide over the soundhole whilst picking ponticello).

    The plan is to focus on the B at the 7th fret since it is there that my fret board knowledge is the haziest.

    I shall use the same I IV V progression (E add9, Am add9, Bm) that I have been valorizing lately. When I get to the Bm in the progression, I shall use the B at the 7th fret as the root of the chord. I never, for whatever reason, do this (probably because I avoid this area of the fret board). This B, however, is fecund with possibilities. With this B you can either form the Bm by either fretting X675 (my preference) or 878X. I'll see which one sounds better with the progression. Also one or the other might work better with certain scale shapes.

    Speaking of which, what am I working with here?

    That B transitions between the E Aiolian #7 and the F# Lokrian 13. The Aiolian #7 extends to the G string in the shape of the C Lydian #2. The F# Lokrian 13 doesn't actually extend into another shape. But with a little bit of shifting, it can reach the D# Super Lokrian bb7 (or the C Lydian #2).

    What about my pentatonics? For minor pentatonics, we are talking about the dominant and leading tone shapes and for major pentatonics that would be--oh!--the dominant and leading tone shapes. Mixing minor and major pentatonics is going to be something new for me although I hear that that is very normal. Also, I could use the b.b. box for this.

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