my ukulele progress

I spent some time today trying to simplify my life. Because I've clicked on certain things, youtube keeps recommending things that gall me and I don't need that kind of energy. I watch a French cooking show. I've never finished a video because as soon as cream or mayonnaise are pulled out, I'm outta there. I don't keep those things on hand and don't want to cook with them. So I jettison the video as not being compatible with my life. Because of watching that show, I get countless other cooking videos and a lot of them pander to low brows featuring stuff with mayonnaise or cheese food. So I spent a good half hour clicking "do not recommend channel" to get clear of all these video series. I am not really a foody or fancy, but I try to cook for myself and use simple, whole foods. For example, right now I am baking a spatchcock chicken with potatoes. Nothing fancy just meat and potatoes with no wine reductions or sauces.
I will soon be able to speak intelligently about what I'm doing with the Lydian. It is starting to come together so that I'll be able to discern what I'm doing. But I'm not quite there. For example, before dinner I had a really tasty motif but after dinner I couldn't remember it. But that's just the process. It happens all the time. That's the whole zen point of it all--living in the moment. If the moment re-occurs enough I'll remember it but until, and if, it does I'm just trying to be free.

I was able to shift the tonal center to F# somehow. I was tempted to just go with that. But that would have meant moving to a Dorian or Lokrian mode. And that's just going back to my comfort zone. Once I'm relatively proficient with the Lydian, then it wouldn't be a sin to use the Lydian as a transition to another mode. But right now, I would just be using it as an excuse to delay/abandon a musical chore that I really should complete.
Just to get some stuff out of the fridge I made a velouté with cheese sauce. It was kind of a mornay sauce but with some stock I bought specifically for my potato casserole instead of cream. I don't like working with cream. Maybe it stems from my more than a decade eating veganly, but I don't feel well after consuming dairy. A little bit of cheese is okay (viz, a little bit of cheese for flavoring and not quesadillas) but cream has always seemed obscene to me.

So I made some kamut for my wife. She hasn't been thrilled with the kamut because it gets clumpy whereas freekeh has clearly articulated grains. I made the sauce for the kamut. I was just roux made from garbanzo flour and olive oil. Then I poured in some stock and roquefort cheese. I ameliorated the sauce with some shallots and chives and tarragon.

I've seen a few titles of threads lately which included the word 'beginner' or 'advanced' and I don't think I believe in that distinction. It implies a linear progression which I don't think is real. In a limited context I might be 'advanced' because of my improvisation and composition abilities. But I suspect that I lack certain beginner or intermediate skills such as forming chords without looking or holding down a rhythmic strum. I never really matriculated from the beginner and intermediate curricula. I just went straight to advanced.

What I did today was spend some time concentrating on the Lydian scales instead of hunting and pecking for notes. There are nine instantiations of a Lydian scale on my linear fretboard (there are more if you just want to slide up the E or A strings for all the intervals, but I think that's silly.

I have the C Lydian #2 at the open, fifth, and twelfth fret. I have the A Lydian Dominant at the second, ninth, and fourteenth frets. And I have G Lydian #5 at the open, seventh and twelfth frets.

So I was just focusing on the modes themselves as opposed to straying outside of them and playing whatever worked from adjacent modes. Every once in a while I need to return to basics and stop being so free-wheeling.

Now I'm going to Ukulele Nick's weekly jazz standard thread because he puts in a lot more work than I do and deserves to be the highlighted thread of this subforum for a while.
At work, pizza was purchased for us. I didn't have any much to the dismay of my co-workers. That prompted me to think about what category of eater am I. I often get mistaken for a vegan or a ketogenic eater but that's just coincidence. All good eating is relatively isomorphic despite some differences which are overblown. I think I am a (w)holistic eater. I eat whole, primary food. I tend to eat food in its natural state, like beans or eggs or vegetables or even fowl and pork (I don't usually eat beef because it gets stuff betwixt my teeth). I shy away from processed grains like bread and pastry and pasta. If I'm going to eat wheat, I'll be eating the grain like kamut.

But that doesn't stop me from feeding my wife what she likes. By necessity she eats what I eat because she doesn't cook. But during the week I make food for her. For example I made a stir fry. It was based with cabbage and leeks. I also added eggs, julienne-cut corn tortillas, and macedoine-cut knockwurst.

But I am not a culinary saint myself. I've been drinking sugar-free fruit drink although I know that stuff emanates from Satan's apothecary. I am going to stop and just get some pellegrino water. That has the bubbles to make it special whilst still being water.

The Lydian studies are proceeding. My previous connection with that mode is that I would the Lydian Dominant in lieu of strumming a 13 chord in the B section of Rhythm Changes.

And speaking of Changes, I found a sheet of paper with very detailed notes I took on Bird Changes. The changes are quite idiosyncratically grouped in little sub-sections to denote my conception of what's happening in terms of build-up, denouement, et c. And I cannot believe the chord qualities. Among other things there's a 7#9 which I never play. It is like looking at someone else's notes. It doesn't seem like me at all. And, of course, since it is bebop, the changes are so fast. That's no problem. I can take anything and slow it down and make it a bit more lugubrious and pensive.
I have been expanding upon my Lydian research by moving laterally into other modes briefly. This is easy because modes overlap.

I have mentioned this previously but there are linear modes (played on the G, C, and E strings) and re-entrant modes (played on the C, E, and A strings), so that two modes will share the notes on the C and E strings--only to be differentiated by whether you play the G or A string.

Here's an example to hopefully make this less esoteric. You can play the G Lydian #5 re-entrantly (G,A,B on C string; C#, D# on E string, and E, F#, G on A string). Now you take the exact same notes on the C and E strings, but preface them with the D#, E, and F# of the G string (assuming you're low G), then you're playing D# Super Lokrian.

So What I'm doing is starting in D# Super Lokrian and then moving into the G Lydian #5 and then moving up or down the fretboard in a Lydian fashion. In essence I'm just prefacing my Lydian stuff with a bit of Super Lokrian to add a layer.
The house is smelling nice. I am pressure cooking my beans. into the boil I threw an entire decapitated bulb of garlic and half an onion. I am going to char the other half of the onion and combine the blackened onion with the cooked beans for a certain smoky flavor. I also bought two or three (I cannot remember which) bunches of cilantro. I am going to make this batch of beans almost into a salad with all the greenery in it.

Today I'm working on my lydian #2 and lydian #5. My Lydian Dominant I have under control. I know where it is located on the fretboard. The other two not so much. My goal is to play them and play with them a lot more so that I get a connection with them.
I called some last-minute audibles. I added a little lime, cumin, and my favorite scorpion pepper/bird's eye pepper sauce. For the sauce I just added a dollop for an entire batch of beans. You don't even taste it 'til afterwards. If I had added that dollop to a bowl of beans, the effect would be rather distressing. But it is perfect as it is.
The Lydians are starting to flow a bit more readily. I'm connecting the 3 Lydian scales and I haven't even made use of the octaves above the 12th fret yet. The melodies are a bit offbeat under my influence but they still sound a bit conventional. I guess that's good. That's 'same but different.'

The Lydians do have 2 half-step intervals with the B/C and the G/F#. And half-steps are where the spice is. So I do use them liberally.

However, the less I see of the Lydian, the better I like it. So I have been tastefully mixing in some other elements such as chromatically descending double stops in triplets to transition for the chord progression to the picking.

I have also been, for a measure, doing a little flourish in 1/16 notes with the half step intervals of the Phrygian Dominant.

Lastly, when I find myself on the A string, I will quickly descend across the fret board to the G string with a dim7 arpeggio.

The only thing I have accomplished in the kitchen was adding crema Mexicana (curdless cottage cheese) to my eggs and then making a frittata. The texture changes a bit. It is more like a crêpe or even a bit like yorkshire pudding. It is different but nice. I was motivated to do it for increased protein.
I see they've removed the adjective "shameless" from this sub-forum's title. That's good because I was quite ashamed of the mediocre condition of my 10" skillet. I almost always use my 8" skillet but felt I needed to pay some attention to my 10". It is a bit difficult to cook with. You wouldn't believe what a difference two inches make (insert obligatory 'that's what she said' joke). I am now making a farinata in my 10" skillet. The farinata will be thinner but making farinata is the best way to polymerize the oil to the cast iron. There's something about that 475 degree oven that does the trick.
I've practiced my Lydians enough. Now I'm starting to put them in a more musical context. I'm not the kind of person that says that I am going to compose something in the Dorian mode and then sticks to it. I use the entire fretboard to express what's in my head and fingers. Now I am going to use the Lydian as one of several modes to navigate the fretboard.
Why not post a recording at some point? I'm sure many of us would like to hear what you're working on. 137 pages in, it is a bit puzzling that you're sharing your music only in narrated form.

Quite a few of us are into improvisation here, and personally I am always keen to hear people's musical ideas and experiments.
Why not post a recording at some point? I'm sure many of us would like to hear what you're working on. 137 pages in, it is a bit puzzling that you're sharing your music only in narrated form.

Quite a few of us are into improvisation here, and personally I am always keen to hear people's musical ideas and experiments.
I agree. Inquiring ears want to hear Ron play!

Though I always enjoy the deep and scholarly description, I have no cognitive ability to imagine/ conceive how something sounds in a Lydian, Meridian or Mandalorian progression.

Heck, I don’t even understand the Nashville numbering system but have apparently been strictly adhering to it for more than four decades which, in retrospect, has been a subtle and relatively benign version of indoctrination / brainwashing. :giggle:
Hey folks, thanks for dropping by. I have just a little time before I have to get ready for work. And time, or lack thereof, is the answer to your queries. I don't have time to orchestrate a multi-media experience. This thread is for me with more inside knowledge than a Republican senator's stock portfolio. If I were to take an audience into consideration, It would take hours to competently make the presentation (after I bought the equipment; right now all I have is this old computer which I bought for my teaching job despite my being an avowed ludite). I just prefer to play for an hour instead of trying to figure out how to create and embed chord and scale charts and sound files.
I respect that.

I also enjoy playing solely for my own enjoyment and relaxation and have zero recording or amplification equipment. At the suggestion of another UUF member, I use the “Voice Memos” app that is a standard offering on my smart phone for instrumental audio.

I also have neither the time nor the inclination to dub- in a backing track and the one time I attempted to include a metronome tap in a posted cover, I was unable to control its volume thus the result sounded like I was playing near, and reasonably near the beat of, an industrial pile driver. :giggle:

(FWIW, the tune was “Hello, My Baby”, recorded back in January)
As it happens periodically, the wife and I weren't on speaking terms. I took advantage of the solitude to prep some food for her upcoming week. I made
1. a stir fry with collard greens, leeks, shrimp and rice coated in egg.
2. pork strips. I took center cut pork chops that I had previously cut from a whole loin. I made a marinade/sauce with sesame oil, lemon zest, garlic cloves, paprika ahumada, and salt. I baked the strips
3. quiche. I'll start at the bottom and work my way up in the description. Layer of three-year old Canadian cheddar that's so sharp it crunches. Then chiffonaded red swiss chard, then cooked bacon which was specially requested. Then I poured the liquid: eggs and cream with melted gorgonzola and roquefort. Then a layer of topical Vermont cheddar for looks as well as for cheesiness.

That took about three hours.

Because of my exercise regimen and because I don't eat that quiche, I'm finally under 90kg which was my weight when I was competing in lifting. I am shooting for 85kg because I can see that I still have some inguinal fat to lose.

I combined my Lydians with some Lokrians. That sounds like an unlikely pairing because Lydian is the brightest mode whereas the Lokrian is the darkest. However they don't actually clash because I am not exploiting the signature sound of each. I am using them because of their locations. The Lydian is a little above the 12th fret and the Lokrian is a bit below the 12th fret. So I'm just melodizing using these adjacent shapes.
What happened... did she find out how much you spent on that baritone? ;)
No, she knows about that and is somewhat dreading when it gets done and I have to pay the balance which should be well under a $1000. But I've been saving up for that for years now and she's somewhat cool about it because it is my only extravagance. The matter (to put it generally lest I trash her online) revolved around her making some critical remarks about a behavior of mine and me saying something rather spiteful (to use her terms). It is all in the past now
I wonder if anyone else has an irrational opinion on ukes. Mine is about baritones. I go somewhat bonkers when people mention re-tuning it dGBE or GCEA. To my credit, I never contribute to those threads because I can perceive that my reaction is visceral and baseless. Moreover, I am not a strict adherent to DGBE. Depending on the strings, I will downtune a fret or two, or uptune a fret or two, so that I get the feel I want. Thus, I know my feelings are without merit, but they're still there nonetheless.
I wonder if anyone else has an irrational opinion on ukes. Mine is about baritones. I go somewhat bonkers when people mention re-tuning it dGBE or GCEA. To my credit, I never contribute to those threads because I can perceive that my reaction is visceral and baseless. Moreover, I am not a strict adherent to DGBE. Depending on the strings, I will downtune a fret or two, or uptune a fret or two, so that I get the feel I want. Thus, I know my feelings are without merit, but they're still there nonetheless.
I don’t understand the draw for retuning in general. I somewhat half heartedly competed in a recent contest involving alternate tunings by tuning up one full step. I very much disliked the sound and immediately tuned Yowling Tom soprano back to GCEA.

Much the same as with my many other personality quirks, I am what I am but am not angry about it nor seeking to evangelistically convert anyone into following me. :giggle:
I just received a few videos from my luthier. My baritone sides are bent and looking lovely. The bubinga sides are half red and half white. I feel like a 15 year old british girl at a Beatles concert.

To obviate the need to swoon, let me get back to a common train of thought. I have rehabilitated an old friend. I was searching through my knife drawer and stumbled across my old friend, a 6" utility knife. Around 2015 or so, it was my main knife. But then I read that all one needs is a chef knife and I consigned my old friend to a drawer. But I recant. There is definitely a place for the utility knife. Sometimes you don't want to pull out a full chef knife. The utility knife has a thinner blade and it is better suited to take care of onions or in severing the joints of a chicken. The utility knife certainly has a place. So now my daily knife set is: a paring knife, a 5" or so serrated knife for vegetables, my 6" utility knife for all smallish jobs, a serrated and non-serrated chef's knife, and a vegetable cleaver.
Top Bottom