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Thread: my ukulele progress

  1. #461
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    I just re-read what I wrote and I wanted to point out that it isn't as technical as it sounds. These are all just modes of the E Harmonic Minor. So all I'm doing is using those notes in differing orders. I'm not even introducing non-diatonic notes. It is also obvious that what I'm doing is made possible through a Low G tuning. The reason I prefer low G (aside from not embarrassing myself by sounding like Tiny Tim or George Formby) is that it allows two systems. There are scales that start on the G string and end on the E string, and there are the scales that start on the C and end on the A. It is nice having the option of playing a scale in more than one place. Also, as I showed above, it is possible to start in one system and end in the other. For example, you can start on the G Ionian #5 and switch halfway through to the C Lydian #2. There's a lot to do.

  2. #462
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    What have I been creating?

    I made some Tuscan soup for this week's staple. It is inspired by the soups my wife and I ate while we were in Italy for a month. I use a pound of cannellinis. A cup of barley. Those two things I pressure cooked--obviously, not together because beans take two hours whereas grains take fifteen minutes. I added a pound of browned meat (lamb). I added two cans of Ro-Tel (which is a commercial brand of spicy dice-y tomatoes). I added a liberal amount of basil and oregano. That's it. I might have to add some water when I re-heat it.

    I also made some mustard for my condiment needs. For mustard I have more of a method than a recipe. I pour some black mustard seeds into my mortar and add some salt and tumeric. Then I add a jigger of Laphroaig scotch and a jigger of vinegar. Then I just grind it with the pestle. Then I add more vinegar or more seeds to get the texture I want. Today I finished it off by adding some garbanzo bean flour to thicken it up. I added some more salt because the flour made the mustard a bit bitter. Beans are one of the few things that absolutely need salt. Otherwise they taste like soil.

    Musically, I am enjoying finger picking my harmonic minor modes. I was listening to an old song "Diary of a Madman" and I heard a motif which I knew I could play with the modes. It was relatively simple. I started off in the re-entrant B Phrygian Dominant and used the first two notes thereof. Then I backed up into the re-entrant A Dorian #11 and used its first three notes. The re-entrant A Dorian #11 is embedded within the linear E Aiolian #7. So I quickly changed to the latter to get the "buuum-bump"--that two note base that caps off the riff. So I played that for a while and did some other things not worth mentioning.

    I have a lot to do (my two jobs, go to doctor because of a retinal detachment I have, pick up my new spectacles, take my jeep for $2000 worth of repairs, get my wife's care safety-inspected and registered) nonetheless I want to work into that schedule some ukulele work. I feel inclined to stick with what I'm doing and try to get a little bit more fluid with my modes. The biggest stumbling blocks are linear G Ionian #5 and the re-entrant C Lydian #2, both of which are the shapes that include open strings. I avoid them because they have open strings and that affects my scale shapes since the index finger is replaced by the nut. The problem with that (aside from not inviting your demons to tea and embracing your adversities) is that I am depriving myself of the lowest frets and the lowest frets are the best frets. So I'm really doing myself an injustice by not using my bass notes. So I'll be working on getting comfortable with those shapes. I don't know if I should just consider these shapes as unique and just memorize them or if I should just not use my index finger, thereby preserving the shape that occurs at the 12th fret. I'll try both.

  3. #463
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    I have some free time before my wife wakes up and I thought I'd update what I've been doing.

    First of all, I've been playing around with some new chord qualities. Well...they aren't new; I just don't use them. The first one is the sus2. It isn't the easiest to play. Making those chords dominant--i.e., 7sus2--makes it a little bit easier and more applicable as I would probably be using them in that way.

    Secondly, I have been experimenting with some minor add9's and 11's. Those qualities have a bit of a stretch to them. Honestly some of them aren't going to be practical because they are so difficult (similar to the maj7 chord rooted on the E).

    * * * *

    For the right hand I have been focusing on The Dorian #11 scale and my open string scales. The Dorian #11 is interesting because it is the only shape in linear tuning that doesn't have another re-entrant shape embedded within it. With the linear Dorian #11, once you finish with the E string, to move to the A string you either have to move down to a Lydian #2 or up to a super Lokrian bb7. Just to give an example of the normal proceedings, if you start playing a Lokrian 13 in linear tuning, there is a Phrygian dominant contained within it, and if you play them both together you can play all four strings. Anyway...I have been focusing on the Dorian #11 because it is an anomaly.

    I have also been focusing on the linear G Ionian #5/re-entrant C Lydian #2. I am focusing on them because they employ open strings--something I normally avoid.

    It is worth noting that all open strings are in the E harmonic minor so that it is convenient to pull-off any string.


    Before I go I'd like to mention two recent threads. One was devoted to expensive ukes and the other to a checklist of things to do with a new uke. I'd just like to say that when you buy an expensive custom uke, part of the value emanates from the fact that you don't have to do anything to a newly acquired uke. It is already perfectly ready to go.

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