my ukulele progress

I’m with you there.
That's good, because I'm thawing out some lamb and I know you're not with me on that one!

Just to briefly go back with my grousing about jazz, look at "Blue Monk." You'd never know if was the blues if it weren't for the title. In fact I didn't know it was the blues until I looked at the sheet music; then I could see it. I can play it note for note (although I am probably missing the wonderful gaps of silence betwixt the notes) but is that really jazz? I would think the spirit of jazz would want me to take "Blue Monk" as a theme and then actually do something with it. Make something new and spontaneous. As it is, Jazz is just like other music, although the chords are different, with the goal of emulating the oldies. And I'm looking at something different for a goal.
 
Have you guys not heard of Emmett Cohen and his cohorts?
He played here in New Mexico less than a month ago. I couldn't go because of work. I acknowledge we're painting with a broad brush. What I meant was that if you google "jazz guitar" because that would carry over to uke and watch videos, so much of it is just playing the standards and I find that frustrating.
 
I cannot remember why but I've always used Parker pens. When I was a student I bought the plastic ones you can get from office supply stores. Nowadays all my pens and mechanical pencils are 100% stainless steel. I had been using a plastic Parker at work. Today I switched to a vintage 1960's ball point pen and the difference was astounding. The vintage pen makes writing easier. Maybe it is the weight or maybe it is its over engineered guts (it has washers and springs). Regardless it seems to help you write. And I cannot discount the possibility that it is all in my head.

I also see this trend in my ukuleles. I have fancy custom ukes and they seem to assist you in playing; there's no struggling. Once again, perhaps it is psychological. However it doesn't really matter whence the advantage emanates. It is there and it makes me happy.
 
I just took my breakfast up a level. I had been eating ground beef and eggs. But beef is kind of boring. I switched to ground lamb and it was a quantum leap in flavor. Even opening my tupperware with the lamb in it was a treat. Even raw lamb smells delicious.

I took the lazy way out and used a lot of mixtures. With a pound of ground lamb I put a lot of garlic and oregano, and added some shallot/chive mixture and a turmeric/orange peel mixture. The latter mixture has salt in it and I usually don't add salt to my meat because there's going to be salt in the cheese I sprinkle on top and talk in the green chiles or tomatillos. I rolled the lamb into 1/4 pound balls for cooking during the week. At this point I am scratching my head wondering why I would ever go back to ground beef when price is not an object. Maybe it is because my middle eastern market is further than my local market.
 
There's a thread floating around about high end sopranos and people seem to be scratching their heads about the prevalence of tenors. To me, there is no ambiguity about why. We want to play lead. Tenors are better suited for that. Sopranos were conceived as a rhythm instrument for accompaniment. If you listen to older uke players, the voice is doing 80-90% of the work with the soprano uke used as a very articulate kazoo to play chords in the lower three or four frets to support the voice.

I have absolutely no interest in that tradition. I want my uke to have its voice and for that voice to be center stage. So a linear tenor just gives me more options to express myself on the uke.

I have been diligently working on 9 chords. I feel they are very central but I had had an aversion to them. So I am trying very hard to get them under my fingers and play them as almost the go-to 7 chord. It is still a work in progress and I'll report later.
 
I bought three sopranos recently...

There's a thread floating around about high end sopranos and people seem to be scratching their heads about the prevalence of tenors.
I buy cheap sopranos for the younger students at my school... but I play them first to make sure they are working properly before I loan them out or give them away...

They aren't much fun to play, because they are so small. Even my average sized hands don't fit very well on the fretboard.

That is my main reason for playing tenors and baritones.

Yes, and the sound as well. Not very satisfying.

They are easy to carry and pack I guess... that's about the best thing to say about them.
 
I didn't mean to imply that sopranos don't sound good. I was trying to say that tenors have more notes for playing lead.
They do that, no doubt about it, and you certainly use all the notes. I have a low-g soprano, so I have a few more notes to use than a reentrant does. But by having a shorter scale length and fewer frets, by definition, the soprano still wouldn't have as many notes (and, at this point, wouldn't choose to use them) as a tenor.
 
They do that, no doubt about it, and you certainly use all the notes. I have a low-g soprano, so I have a few more notes to use than a reentrant does. But by having a shorter scale length and fewer frets, by definition, the soprano still wouldn't have as many notes (and, at this point, wouldn't choose to use them) as a tenor.
without a cutaway the extra notes of a tenor are little more than decoration as they cannot be reliably reached. for example, my kamaka is a traditional figure eight shape and I have to reach over the upper bout to get to the higher notes. And forget about chords above the 15th fret; the ergonomics, or lack thereof, put it beyond the pale.
 
I have been feeling unhealthy lately. That isn't to say I am unwell at all. I'm just feeling I should be eating more vegetables. Maybe it is the ex-vegan in me and maybe it is just guilt, but I need to update my diet. I've lost a lost of weight but I think I should be thinking more holistically. On my next shopping trip, I'm just going to pick up some high-potassium foods such as swiss chard, avocado, and potatoes which will supplement my current protein. Growing up I was fed meat, potatoes, and vegetable. I should have just listened to my mom.

The two biggest challenges will be money and prep. Swiss chard, in particular, is about $4/bundle. That would be about $20 a week for chard. Maybe I am being too stingy. My nutritionist friend, Ryan Andrews, says historically people spent about 1/5 of their income on food whereas nowadays that sum is much lower but so is the level of health.

The other issue is prepping. I could easily bake a jellyroll pan of potatoes or sweet potatoes and then have them ready for throughout the week. With the chard, I could devein them and saute them, but then my wife would eat it all since chard is her favorite green. I might have to get $40 worth of chard to ensure I would be able to have some.

I am still trying to cultivate a taste for the 9 chord because it is the most pervasive 7 chord in existence. I think part of the problem is that it spans more than one octave and therefore always sounds higher than I want. I think I will play around with the accompanying chords and use higher roots to see if I can match the sound. I really don't have a game plan at this moment, so I'll just have to report later.
 
I cannot remember why but I've always used Parker pens. When I was a student I bought the plastic ones you can get from office supply stores. Nowadays all my pens and mechanical pencils are 100% stainless steel. I had been using a plastic Parker at work. Today I switched to a vintage 1960's ball point pen and the difference was astounding. The vintage pen makes writing easier. Maybe it is the weight or maybe it is its over engineered guts (it has washers and springs). Regardless it seems to help you write. And I cannot discount the possibility that it is all in my head.

I also see this trend in my ukuleles. I have fancy custom ukes and they seem to assist you in playing; there's no struggling. Once again, perhaps it is psychological. However it doesn't really matter whence the advantage emanates. It is there and it makes me happy.
As to pencils, my engineer son also insists on using only the stainless steel mechanical variety. I visited over the weekend to find him silently struggling over his workbench to mark-out the pieces for a Barred Owl house on a sheet of 3/4-inch marine plywood. I had already loaned him my protractor and compass to make it easier to center the 7" half-round entrance hole but have now also bought him a carpenter's pencil:).

He initially feigned indifference but after discovering the ability to make marks that are actually visible as a guide line for a circular saw, he readily agreed that a CP was the proper tool for that job. That the vintage pen improves one's penmanship is definitely NOT just all in your head.
 
I have been on cloud 9 with my dominant chords.

Well, that is overstating the case, but there are limited opportunities to be clever with 9. There is the movie, Plan 9 From Outer Space. There is "Revolution 9," the penultimate song from the Beatles' white album. There is the phenomenon in which a person can be dressed to the 9's.

But I have been working on my 9 chords. I find the key for me is to not mix genres. I am aware that certain people insert a 9 chord where traditionally a dom7 belongs. That purportedly adds a little spice to the mix, but it doesn't work for me. the 9 is both a bit dissonant and yet creamy. If I'm fully in the jazz mode, it works for me.

I have been playing E9, Bø, E9, D#m, G#13, D#m, E9, Bø...and things are working out.

The 9 chord, as I play it, is wonderful because the 9 shapes (omitting the tonic interval versus omitting the dominant interval) are also ø chords or m6 chords depending on which note is considered the root of the shape. So it is a very economical shape insofar as you get three chords for the price of one.

I'm at the point in my musical career where I don't have to pick shapes to compensate for my lack of technique. I can choose the voicings I like based on how I like them. Oddly enough I do not prefer the shape rooted on the E string. It is odd because it is merely a double barre chord, the simple shape. You'd think that would be to go-to shape but I don't like it too much. It seems a bit too etiolated for my tastes.
 
I have been on cloud 9 with my dominant chords.

Well, that is overstating the case, but there are limited opportunities to be clever with 9. There is the movie, Plan 9 From Outer Space. There is "Revolution 9," the penultimate song from the Beatles' white album. There is the phenomenon in which a person can be dressed to the 9's.

But I have been working on my 9 chords. I find the key for me is to not mix genres. I am aware that certain people insert a 9 chord where traditionally a dom7 belongs. That purportedly adds a little spice to the mix, but it doesn't work for me. the 9 is both a bit dissonant and yet creamy. If I'm fully in the jazz mode, it works for me.

I have been playing E9, Bø, E9, D#m, G#13, D#m, E9, Bø...and things are working out.

The 9 chord, as I play it, is wonderful because the 9 shapes (omitting the tonic interval versus omitting the dominant interval) are also ø chords or m6 chords depending on which note is considered the root of the shape. So it is a very economical shape insofar as you get three chords for the price of one.

I'm at the point in my musical career where I don't have to pick shapes to compensate for my lack of technique. I can choose the voicings I like based on how I like them. Oddly enough I do not prefer the shape rooted on the E string. It is odd because it is merely a double barre chord, the simple shape. You'd think that would be to go-to shape but I don't like it too much. It seems a bit too etiolated for my tastes.
Why does the number 9 loom so large in English idioms? Cats have 9 lives. A stitch in time saves 9. To the nth degree.
 
I have heard that 9 is significant because it is 3 X 3 and 3 is a mystical number. I have always thought it had something to do with dials which typically go up to 10, so that 9 is very high. I don't know.

I did my shopping and bought a few bundles of swiss chard but for the bulk of my greens I bought bags of frozen spinach. I dislike spinach like I dislike blueberries: they are just the common iteration of their kind and everything tastes better. But cash is king and I went with the cheaper option. Spinach's stats are less high than chard but still really high. I also bought a bag of potatoes and I'll bake them in halves tomorrow in preparation for meals during the week. I also bought sweet potatoes and avocados. Them and my lamb should keep me fueled.
 
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