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Thread: my ukulele progress

  1. #411
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    The Iwato is nice and it isn't as "exotic" as others, such as the Hirayoshi. I immediately started to link my previous thoughts on Rachmaninoff to the Iwato. There was in Rachmaninoff that half step from A to G#. The Iwato has half steps in its scale, so that it is easy to bounce back and forth between the two.

    I think that's a good illustration of the impov-lifestyle. Impromptu improv is built upon many, many hours of scales and other less than glamorous things. I was going to say that I think in scales, but it is more than that. It is is more accurate to say that I react in scales because I am not really thinking; my fingers just do it. It is a randomness inscribed by the strictures of the scales. So I recommend playing scales. The ukulele is a blessing in that regard. Scales are so easy--just one shape for all keys. Compared to my experience with the flute, where every key had its own shape, the uke is a breeze. However the uke also has its downsides as well. It is difficult on the uke to sight read from sheet music because of the options involved. Notes occur more than one place on the fret board.

    I am going to put up my Kamaka. I've been playing it for a week now and I feel I can go back to my Yorkie with a clean conscience. I was playing the Kamaka to justify having it. I must justify it. There's no sense in having an instrument that isn't used. That's why I don't have a vintage Martin soprano. I want one, but it is pure covetousness.

    I did find one good thing about the Kamaka and re-entrant tuning. I was pattern picking an Eb add9 and that high G string sounded good.

    I was playing that chord because I found it. I ran across a document on my computer with the name untitled1.odt. When I opened it all it had was this progression:

    Bb9 Gm7sus4 F Ebadd9


    I don't quite remember why it is there. I seem to recall that it is something of Prince that I jotted down...probably around the time of his death. I wouldn't have otherwise been interested.

    At first the progression didn't make sense to me, but that's only because it is in a key that I never work in. However once I thought about it, it is just a I vi V IV progression despite the crazy note selection and chord qualities. Now I am going to play around with it and find the inversions for those chords that sound best to me. The first few observations I made are:

    1. It is very cluttered. I played all the chords around the 19th fret--just moving a few fingers. I guess that's good for economy of movement, but I want more sonic movement.

    2. Gm7sus4 doesn't make sense as a name for the chord because it isn't a minor chord. The suspended fourth obscures the flat third which makes a minor chord a minor chord. It is probably written as a minor chord to keep all the terms consistent. In a harmonization of the Ionian the 6th is minor and this G minor is what this system anticipates.

    So, as I said, I will work on this progression after I eat. I made some amaranth as part of my new life plan. I am getting a raise at work and I want to be a better person to match my better salary. It is like I was saying to some younger co-workers who were discussing how the choice in women has become depressing. They were looking outward blaming feminism and other cultural forces. I said they should look inwardly. If they wanted better women they should be better men. If they wanted women who weren't gold-diggers they should stop being money-grubbers themselves. They wouldn't be exposed to these women if they weren't going where these women were and doing what these women did. I don't apply different rules to myself. If I want better things, I need to be a better person. To that end, I am going to refine my lifestyle, re-start my physical regimen and re-gain some of the health that I've lost through idleness.

  2. #412
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    well I made some in-roads on this progression.

    As I said above, the chords are very cluttered. Once you locate a Bb, the G, F, and Eb are also right there and concomitantly the chords are very subtly different. My ear needs more movement from chord to chord. So I separated the chords and played inversions at different regions of the fret board. The problem with that solution is that it lends itself to linearity instead of a repeating circle. I started mixing and matching and finally found a version that I finally liked.

    I start with the Bb9 rooted at the 13th fret.

    Then I move to the Gm7sus4 on the 10th fret

    Then to the Fm on the 8th fret.

    Then I go back up to the Ebadd9 rooted on the 11th fret.


    When I tried going from Ebadd9 to the Bb9 something seemed to be missing. There seemed to be some transitional chord that was missing. I wanked around 'til I found what I was looking for. It was actually very close. I just took my Eb add9 chord and moved its E string up a half-step and I had the sound I wanted. The analysis of this new chord yields a Gm13 (which doesn't make sense) or a Fmaj9sus4 which makes sense (although its name is appalling) because that would make the chord a V chord and the V/I turnaround is the commonest in music.

  3. #413
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    I was doing some reading on the forum and couldn't believe my eyes. I know that anti-intellectualism is rampant and even acceptable with our current president as a role model, nevertheless it seemed beyond the pale that people were arguing that music teachers aren't the best way to learn. That's ludicrous. Obviously I don't avail myself to one, but I would never dream of suggesting that having a teacher wouldn't streamline this process.

    Speaking of dropping a fly in the amber of streamlined process, I recently became side-tracked with another idea. I should start off by including the shape of the Hungarian Minor
    hungarian_minor.jpg

    I don't think I currently have the ability to articulate what I want to say. I think I will sign off, think about it, and return with some cogency.

    Alright. I took some time and here's what I came up with for an explanation of what I'm currently undertaking. Usually when I use a scale as a basis for something, I think in terms of notes and intervals and traveling within the melodically guaranteed confines of the scale. However, now my emphasis is more geometrical. I'm not really concerned with notes; I'm concerned with tracing a trail and making designs. It works because music is mathematical at its root. The symmetry of the music lends itself to viable melodies. Furthermore, the more or less random path I choose allows me to step outside of the box musically. Here's one illustration: if you look at the Hungarian Minor diagram, you'll see there's a dense box of notes. Now what I do is determine how to travel around that box. For example I might visit the diagonal corners of the box. It may sound a bit random at first but after you do it twice or thrice...then you have a motif. It is like that old adage "do it once, it's a mistake, repeat it and it's jazz." In essence, that's what I'm doing. I'm just trying to use designs to create melodies. It is fun. It is sort of like using an etch-a-sketch or a spirograph--for those who were born before the internet.

    Before I leave I did want to mention something that blew my mind, but which really shouldn't have. I was playing the D Hungarian Minor in both the linear and the re-entrant tunings. In the box of the Hungarian Minor, which I mentioned above, I decided to play the notes horizontally. When I played that linearly the result was a major arpeggio. That was cool. But when I played it re-entrantly it was minor arpeggio. I was very confused. I painstakingly double-checked myself and, yes, I was playing the exact same notes. Therefore, how could I be playing different arpeggios if all the notes were the same. After a while, it finally dawned upon me that the relationship of the top three strings is not the same as the bottom three strings. Although the notes are the same, the same notes aren't next to each other. It probably makes sense to everyone else but it took me a while to figure it out. The upshot of all this is that here we have another instance of the difference between the two tunings (beside the vapid observation that the G strings are different). It is another motivation to choose one tuning over the other in terms of arrangements. For instance, you might prefer one tuning over the other because they are played in different positions and you might have a preference for lower or higher frets. You might like the configuration of notes better in one tuning or the other. For example, minor scales work better on linear tuning whereas major scales are more straightforward on re-entrant. Or in this brand new case that I just stumbled across, you can get different sounds.
    Last edited by ripock; 06-04-2020 at 06:14 AM.

  4. #414
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    The day has had its crests and troughs. I bought 4 imperial stouts and 12 IPA's. That's good. My roof was repaired. That's bad. I have a traditional adobe home with bigas and 1X8 planking for a roof. Dirt came down the cracks and the house is a mess. One of the workmen put a hole in the roof right over my Yorkie. I saved my Yorkie just in time. As I was bending over the ukulele stand, a lot of dirt fell from the hole and landed on my head. I saved Yorkie's life, or least I prevented it from getting dusty. I can now hear that the job is almost over because I can barely hear the workmen's radio; the roof must be sealed. All that's left to do is dust and mop up the house to the wife's standard.

    I have been pursuing my geometric music and in a while I'll have something to report, even if the report mentions that there is nothing to report.

  5. #415
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    I'm lazy, I suppose. I could easily google the scales you mention. However, having the screenshots easily accessible has spurred me on to play and listen to the hungarian minor myself. I'll now scroll back and check out the previous attachments. Thanks for providing those!

    I'm not a fan of stout. However, I love a good IPA, double IPA, etc. I didn't care for them before I moved to the UK. Growing up in Belgium I preferred Belgian Tripels once I graduated from the cherry beers I drank as a teenager (legal drinking age is 16 for beer and wine, 18 for hard liquor). These days I don't drink much at all, maybe a pint a week, and often a non-alcoholic beverage. Normal Belgian beers taste fantastic but I can't cope with all the gas anymore. There are a few microbreweries around that produce great beers. Once the lockdown measures ease further I'll pick up a few beers for a few warm summer nights.

  6. #416
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    thanks for dropping by. I used to make my own beer. Imperial stouts and IPA's were my main emphasis. I did get inspired by Belgian white ale into trying an open fermentation. Apparently on the western coast of the U.S. we have different lactobacillus than Belgium. My beer turned out to look and taste like mop water. When I was driving to work yesterday, I saw some people sitting on the patio of a local pub. Things are starting to return to normal. Of course, that means we are about to initiate the second wave of the virus through our carelessness. Nothing to do, I suppose, except avoid body fluids and hope for the best.

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