Monday, December 29, 2008

Metal Monday

Every Monday participants pick a "Metal" song, and expound on it. Maybe post a vid for it, or some lyrics, or an opinion about it.

Then you simply fill in the box below with the "Direct Link" back to the page where your submission is posted, and there you have it!

Linking is for participants ONLY, all others will be deleted. You can feel free to grab the code, and post it yourself as well.

So here is ours:


"Peace Sells"

(Don't get your panties in a wad, just because I sorely dislike the artist, doesn't mean I can't give credit to where credit is due when the music is good.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

LRAG-BEG - L# 12 & EMT C# 12

Lesson 12: "Basic Blues"

This time we are working with only two strings, and we are making the rhythm rather uneven. A very interesting lesson this one is, getting away from simply memorizing, and doing more of something that has a little more meat to it. But I would surmise that like any infant, one must start out with milk before one can move on to solid foods.

How ironic, that I would lean towards "Surf Blues", just to have this lesson pop up as next in line. Yet more motivation to be added with this one. And it is evident why the finger exercise was at the lesson before this, as that practice should start to pay off with the beginning of this lesson.

Practice has been going ok, it slowed down a bit over the holidays, so I am going to take more time on this lesson than usual, so I can catch back up on some of the practice I slowed down on before doing a video of the progress with this particular lesson. Besides, not looking at my hands will make this lesson all the harder. Might indeed be a while before the next video.

Chapter 12: "The Circle of Fifths (and fourths)"

I love this little circle! And I am going to have me one of them, (Somewhat like the one discussed) in the first week in January. Here it is here if you have never heard of it, or seen it.

The circle shows keys' relationships to one another, the closer two keys are on the circle, the more notes they have in common, the more closely related they are musically, and the more likely they are to be found close together in a musical phrase or piece. The circle also shows chord relationships.

This chapter was rather short, and had only the blank circle to fill in from past lessons. It was mostly about how to use the circle, and what it can do for you as a musician.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Here is hoping that you and yours have a joyous holiday season...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Practice day

Going to be moving on to lesson 12 tomorrow, and will be picking back up on Edly's Music Theory as well. Waiting on HOS until after 12/25.

Saw Doctor today, and he is putting off any judgment until after the holidays, so that is not so bad huh?

Practice is going fine, not much to say today, been a rough day overall. A pipe blew in the floorboard heater, so most of the day was spent without the oil furnace running, (had space heaters though), and cleaning up the big water mess in my bedroom after the repairs were finally made.

Ergo, not much to say today, just been a long and rough day. A shorty today, and no picture to post either, so we all get a break. :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Practice day & coastal melancholy

Indeed getting back to Lesson 11, and still working on practicing the others without looking. Not about to try lesson 11 without looking! LOL

My 5 year old daughter, (too smart for her own good, and mine) suggested that since I like Surf Music & the Blues, that I should combine them both, and make that my music.

Hmmmm.... Strangely enough, I spent all day Sunday tossing that around in my head, and as a result, I began writing songs for that particular thought pattern. Very scary indeed, because I know that when that happens, I have stumbled across something, and sadly enough, I am now in love with the idea.

Sadly enough you say? Yes. The "Surf Blues"? Oh god, if you only knew what I was hearing in my head all day, and how easy it was to apply lyrics to it.

I had such high hopes for reviving some old roots, but I have been quite stale in writing for that, for some time. Yet the very thought of this new idea introduced by someone who should still be worried about Barbies and Disney, has spawned a flood of lyrics, and sounds in my head that I am going to have to somehow figure out on the guitar.

The drum track is easily thrown together in my mind, and the bass is guessable, but how in the heck do I translate/transpose the sounds in my head into the strings on the guitar..?

In the past, I simply coughed up the beat, the lyrics, and the sounds I heard, and then Steve, and Greg (Long gone now, coke got the best of him) could find them easily. I am actually contemplating calling Steven, and making the noises over the phone, and having him tell me what they are! LOL.... Problem with that is that he doesn't do blues very much, nor surf music, so he might think I have finally lost what little of my mind I have left! :-)

I am too old for this, why is this crap resurfacing in my head? This was just supposed to be a "Learn guitar, and sit on the couch fiddling with it until I die." Not rehash two decade old feelings... Bah!

My wife joking said to just write them, and then peddle them. Bulls**t on that! So some other clown can hustle all the credit off of it, and simply stick my name on an album cover somewhere? (Album cover? Isn't it called a CD insert or something like that now?)

This isn't what was in my plans, I need to squelch this thought process, and get back to my "pity party", and shrivel up and die in some empty corner of some room, in a town without a name, somewhere in rural Northern New England. Bah!

My #4 finger sure does have a hard time getting down to that 4th fret for lesson 11. Yet another "F Chord" appears in my life is it? LOL

This stupid blues thing has now got me getting edgy over getting "Blues Guitar (Riffs, Rhythms, & Secrets)" just to keep me moving forward with this madness that I regret even listening to her for. I know it won't do me any good where I am at now, but I know the stupid thing will just end up inspiring me, and answering questions I should not be asking, if I know what is good for me.

The calluses on the fingers are coming along swimmingly, and it indeed does make a huge difference having them there, most welcome they are to have now. :-)

Been keeping a close eye on the humidifier in the guitar case, with the crashing snow storm temps, and the fluctuating house heater war going on. Checking the guitar daily to make sure it stays in tune, especially after I played it for a while in the beginning, and Sarge could even tell from a cheap digital video that the beast was clankingly out of sorts.

Tomorrow is doctor day, he is going to be livid that both of the feet are a mess. We were doing so well until I screwed up and busted the right one, and somehow let an infection in on the left one. Hopefully I can just stall around, jerk around, and put off any and everything until well into the middle of January. We shall soon see...

Metal Monday

Every Monday participants pick a "Metal" song, and expound on it. Maybe post a vid for it, or some lyrics, or an opinion about it.

Then you simply fill in the box below with the "Direct Link" back to the page where your submission is posted, and there you have it!

Linking is for participants ONLY, all others will be deleted. You can feel free to grab the code, and post it yourself as well.

So here is ours:


"Something To Believe In"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jingle Bell Rose

Our 5 year old daughter "Scarlett Rose" at here school play/recital yesterday...

There is only 326 people in our village, so everyone's play's/recital's were on the same night in the gym. She is obviously the one in the purple shirt and blue jeans, who is waving to Mommy at the end. :-)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Practice day & The latest round the ways...

So basically I have been doing little with Lesson 11 the last few days because of the personal issues, so today I am moving the primary focus back to Lesson 11 as much as possible, but still keep the rest of my routine working without having to look. :-)

Still holding off on HOS, & EMT for now. A full plate is the last thing I need for the next few days, so I am just going to stick to what I have got going already. Maybe after hearing what the doctor has to say, I can decide further on Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

A nice storm came in last night, so I thought a few pics for my So. Cal friends that are lurking about would be nice...

Here it was yesterday afternoon before the storm arrived:
Here it was at around 12:30 AM as the snow was still coming in:
And here it was this morning when we got up and outside:
Picked up an extra foot or so, not bad...

And to think...
I was listening to whining last night over the phone
because they are freezing down in San Diego at 64 degrees.
Sissies. LOL

Friday, December 19, 2008

A video update on them no eyes...

Here is that video I promised earlier in the week. We are giving this a shot without having to sit and stare at the old hands. And a personal update, to save me the typing...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

(Review) John McCarthy "Drive"

(My music reviews are a lot more critical then my other reviews, so don't judge until you have read it all.)

So I figure, this guy is the one teaching me guitar, but can this clown actually play? "Those who can't do, teach" seems to be a pretty popular saying, so why not put old blondie to the test aye?
I have heard his playing on the instructional DVD, and it seemed "ok", but how much can you really get into the music when you are panning through the DVD contents huh?

All in all, there were 4 selling points led me to make the initial purchase of this CD:

  1. You get a sample of each track at the website.
  2. The CD is autographed. (UPDATE 01-01-09: Mine came, and was not autographed! Burned!)
  3. You get to download the entire CD whilst waiting for the product to arrive.
  4. It was only $10.99
  • The samples were awful short, could have used an extra ten seconds more, but still a sample none the less. Don't be so cheap next time on the samples pal, if folks are going to buy, they are going to buy no matter what. Don't get caught up in the Metallica/RIAA snivel about "If they hear our music without buying it, they won't buy it!" crapola, that is just plain BS, and anyone with half a brain, and money in their pockets knows it is. And even if they get to hear more, is that going to cause them to listen to it in the sample pop-up player instead of buying it? No. And don't give us the "bandwidth burn" excuse, because the added 10 seconds or so will never really show. And if "Well, that's the industry standard" timing for samples, then stop following the tired old standards, and try leading the industry! You can tell I was a bit bent at the short samples huh? LOL
  • How can you beat an autographed CD? And how many artists even care enough to take the time to sign them? Nice "value added" to the product. Good show!
  • Now here is a nice perk. You get to download it right after the purchase, and start blazin it within minutes of paying for it! Again, how can you beat that? With a stick? I don't think so. This was a huge selling point for me, along with the price.
  • $10.99 Now this was the chief attraction, for two reasons...
  1. It is cheaper then the usual CD that we have to buy, so DUH! If you can get something cheaper, then why aren't you!
  2. At this price, you know that the label is not some greedy scum label that abuses it artists, and rips them off for every penny they can bleed off of them. For this reason, and this reason alone, I would have bought this 10 times over! If I can spend my money ANYWHERE BUT Sony, Warner, MCA, blah blah, then I am on it a poor parent battling over a "Huggies diaper coupon", at an Ebay auction! And believe me, if you are a "poverty parent" like me, with infants, toddlers, and the like, you know how valuable those coupons really are! LOL
So on to the music...

The guitar playing is classic. That is the only word needed to describe the talent. If you don't know what I mean by that word, then try listening to something other than rap and hip-hop. Drop back to 1950-1985, and start listening to Rock, Blues, & Jazz in that time frame, and then you will get an idea of the type of legendary sounds these folks are making.

The CD consists of 10 tracks:
  1. The Arrival
  2. Away
  3. Drive
  4. Johnny Blues
  5. Sunshine Girl
  6. Power Rush
  7. The Trance
  8. Melody's Moving
  9. Never Coming Back
  10. Freedom
The following are my impressions for what they are worth...

Alot of 70's and 80's style rock that feels kinda Zepplin-esque at times, and at other times, chimes in with a bit of an Aerosmith flavor.
Track 1 is a good example of that.

Track 2 sounds to me like a "Funky Sammy Hagar" on an acid trip.

The title track, (3) is quite the blusey Motley Crue.

Track 4 is my favorite. Maybe because I have heard it countless times on the DVD menu in the background, but also because it has that "Chillin with the bong, some scotch, and some blues" sound.

Track 5 has a familiar 80's glam ring to it, something I would expect at the Rainbow down on the strip on a Friday night. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Where I come from, that is a good thing.

Track 6 is mix of Chicago, Kansas, and Styx that was written by Rob Halford & Johnny Ramone. Dunno why, but that is the way it comes off. Strange that is the only way I can describe it...

Track 7 sounds like B.B. King and Jerry Garcia sitting in a holding cell down at the county, awaiting arraignment on a bogus traffic warrant. (Dont'cha just love these descriptions so far?)

Track 8 I cannot make up my mind on until I figure out where I have heard 01:35 - 02:00 before. It is probably something right in front of my nose that I can't put my finger on. Same with 03:10 - 03:43 Dissapointing though, is the background feeling of "Enter Sandman" at 04:20. Ya lost me there. (Though that might be cool for many others out there...)

Track 9 is the same scenerio as track 7, except this time B.B. got popped with SRV instead of Jerry. Will King ever learn to deal with those tickets before they turn to "Failure to appear's"? LOL

Track 10 is back to the Aerosmith/Led thing... Interesting how the disc opens and closes the same way huh?

My overall impression of this CD?

"Head out to the living room, dim the lights, put a lava lamp on each side of the ol' Hi-Fi, slide the disc in, plop down on the couch, prop your back up against the arm, stretch your legs out, roll a couple of numbers, tilt your head back and take a big draw off of that bone wedged between your lips, and spend about an hour playing some smooth air guitar..."

My rating on this, (with 1 star being Disco, and 5 stars being Old School Legendary) is 3 stars. (UPDATE 01-01-09: Was 4 stars until the non-autograph clip, so it only gets 3 now for not living up to promises.)

But never fear Johnny, only a dozen artists qualify for 5, and less than 100 qualify for 4, so you are in good company! And like I said in the beginning, I tend to be more critical of music then I do other product reviews, but what artist in his or her right mind is interested in some "yesman" review, where nothing is accomplished but the acquisition of a brown stain on the reviewers nose? If there is something wrong, or something that could be done better, wouldn't the artist be chomping at the bit to find out, so they can repair or make changes in the future, as opposed to just letting it slide by without ever knowing?

Ya know, any monkey can throw together some music and call it rock/metal. But it takes someone with talent to infuse their creation with something outside of the pre-defined lines, like blues or jazz. And our boy John does just that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Practice day & A road trip...

Still sick, but still practicing.

The "closing my eyes" thing while practicing is working out much better then I thought it would! I am even doing the same thing with the earlier "picking exercise" on the dvd, and was surprised to learn that I can actually find the strings with my right hand without looking, who woulda thunk it?

Took a road trip this morning out to the Christmas Tree Farm in Swiftwater, NH to get our Christmas tree, so here is a picture of it:

It is the one right up in front of the picture obviously!

Gonna buy John McCarthy's "Drive" tomorrow,
give it the listen, and review it tomorrow as well.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Practice day

Kids been sick with round two of the flu, my left foot is infected, and I have been able to do some practicing, and some child rearing, but hopefully will be back on track asap.

Gotta love laying in bed all night burning up! LOL

Never fear, I will have a video this week for us to laugh at! :-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Metal Monday

Every Monday participants pick a "Metal" song, and expound on it. Maybe post a vid for it, or some lyrics, or an opinion about it.

Then you simply fill in the box below with the "Direct Link" back to the page where your submission is posted, and there you have it!

Linking is for participants ONLY, all others will be deleted. You can feel free to grab the code, and post it yourself as well.

So here is ours:

Bullet Boys

"Smooth Up In Ya"

"The Next Van Halen"? I never thought so, but them, and a bindle of blow, got me hooked up with two big haired beauties at Irvine Meadows. LOL Good enough for me...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Full Plate...

I am going to be setting "Hands Of Steel" & "Edly's Music Theory" aside next week, and just concentrate on Lesson 11, and my practice. I have implemented the suggestion that Sarge gave about playing with my eyes closed, and since that is going so well, and because the "Finger Flexing" exercise is having a slow start, because I am having trouble getting my fourth finger on the fourth fret right, whilst keeping my first finger on the first fret. It will just be easier this upcoming week to focus alone on the lesson, and the practice.

Not ditching them, just taking a week to learn to get my eyes off of my hands, and the current lesson. I need to pay a lot of attention to playing with my eyes closed, so I can get past having to depend on looking at my hands when changing chords.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

LRAG-BEG - L# 11 & EMT C# 11

Edly's Music Theory Chapter 11: Minor Scales And Keys.

Every major chord, scale, or key has a relative minor chord, scale, or key. Relative major and minor keys share the same key signature, and are often neighbors in different sections of the same song. A major chords relative minor is the minor chord built on the note of a major sixth higher than the major chords root.

The Natural Minor Scale: The relative minor key, like the relative minor chord, begins and ends on the sixth note of a major scale. To find the minor key, find the sixth degree of the major scale, start there, and play the notes of the major scale all the way until you hit the sixth degree one octave higher.

The Melodic & Harmonic Minor Scales are also discussed, with various charts, examples, and small work areas for finding the minor.

Five pages overall, and plenty of info and work stuffed into them!

Lesson 11 in Learning Rock Acoustic Guitar is "Finger Flexing". And we get to start using the tablature learned in Lesson 10.

Using alternate picking, we are going to play each measure 4 times on all six strings. *whew*. I don't want to go into much detail as usual, because that would defeat the purpose of purchasing the DVD. But let me tell you, that exercise, combined with the picking exercise will make for a great practice routine in the future.

Friday, December 12, 2008

LRAG-BEG - L# 10

Lesson 10 : Reading Tablature

This was quite the short lesson on the DVD, and it has an example page in the booklet. There is really not much that the instructor can do for you in this lesson, but explain the tab, and what and where everything is. In essence, it is up to the student to sit down and get it down, hence the reason it was in and out! LOL

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Freaking F Finally! & EMT C# 10

Practice is going quite well indeed. I have moved from practicing, to playing the majority of what I am doing now. And it does make this whole journey much more satisfying, when I can see and feel the progress for myself.

After an extensive war with the "F" Chord, I have emerged victorious! So I thought a video was in order to celebrate, and discuss its place early on in the method.

Edly's Music Theory Chapter 10

"iim, iiim, vim, and vii┬║ Chords... Intro to Chord Substitution"

This is a short chapter that discusses the remaining four diatonic chords.

Each of these chords shares two of its three notes with at least one of the diatonic major chords. So since they have notes in common, they can be somewhat interchangeable. The more notes shared by the chord, the more consonant the sound.

And I just learned that new word up there. LOL Which means "pleasant, resolved, and stable". Its opposite is Dissonant, which means "tense, unresolved, and unstable." But the author made sure to remind us that the descriptions are only relative, and what may be ones man's junk, may be another man's treasure. :-)

There were a few examples of substitutions given, and the most used example was "Oh Susannah". A couple of daitonic progressions were shown, with the most discussed being one that that shows up in "doo-wop" songs of the 50's. The roles of the chords themselves will be discussed in Chapter 14, hense the reason this chapter was short.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

LRAG-BEG - L# 9 & and a video update.

We are doing Strumming Pattern #2, with my version of it. I have heard enough folks say to play around with what you are doing, so I have been doing that lately, instead of trying to grow up to be another John McCarthy! LOL

You Tube was going through maintainence through the night, so it took a while before I could upload it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Practice day

No Edly's today, and no Hands of Steel...

I spent the entire day practicing the new strumming pattern. I have been feeling so good about my progress lately with it, that I wanted to simply just get it down. Mostly switching from one chord to the other, and then mixing them up a bit, instead of the same old order.

I am going to do an update video tomorrow, and I thought it would be a good idea to make sure I am ready before. I know I will flub it here and there, but now I have gotten to expect little "blow-its" every now and then, and I even welcome them! I have gotten feedback from places other than the weblog that have had folks tell me they like to see me "learning", as opposed to the same "showing off", they see so much of. They were all in agreement that seeing people fail in the midst of learning, gives it actual sincerity, and piques their curiosity as to "How is he doing lately?" Which is actually what I was shooting for here, kind of a "Hey, I watched that old man for years, I knew him back we he opened that box with Taylor Rose in it the day it arrived!"

I did notice that interest did fall off of the weblog here, and on our You Tube channel after I posted the video response to brandyismyname, over the Thrash vs. Glam Metal rivalry in the 80's.

I discussed it with a few folks on my other login at You Tube, and the consensus was "If the truth stings that bad, especially when supported by historical fact, then let those posers go blow."

I had to agree with them, if blogspot went offline tomorrow, and my weblog never got back on the net, I would still be practicing the guitar, still using the Rock House Method to learn it, and still studying Edly's to learn Musical Theory. So let those that oppose blow it out their nose.

Its kinda sad, and quite hypocritical that the thrash crowd can spout "Gay L.A. Metal" 24/7/365, but the first time a Crue, Poison, or some other hair fan speaks up, they cry and stomp off pouting. Heaven forbid that Eddie Trunk might actually like something other than Metallica's black album...

I stated early on that this weblog was not going to be all about practicing, and that every once in a while I would post some thoughts, pictures, vids, and the like. So there is a thought, and here is a pic!

Three little patriotic roses...

And a blast from the past...
(I used to be so in love with Martha...)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Practice day, EMT C#9 & HOS R1/S1


So my wife and I watched "Hands Of Steel" all the way through. (Which we do with every DVD before I start.) And besides the "He's got that stoner surfer look that's so hot" a few times... LOL, It appears that I am going to be at Routine One/Section One (Picking Exercise) for quite some time. Lemme tell ya, if you DON'T become a better guitarist after using that DVD, then there is something wrong with YOU, not the DVD. As for me, I will be content with the picking exercise for a while.

Edly's Music Theory, Chapter 9: "I, IV, V and the Twelve Bar Blues" was quite the read! And rather interesting at that.

The first, fourth and fifth degrees of the scales (tonic, subdominant, and dominant, respectively) holds quite an important relationship in Western music. Quite a bit of music can be reduced to these three chords. The simpler the song, the more likely it is that the chords will boil down to just these three.

The book used three children's songs as examples...

  • The Farmer in the Dell
  • Old MacDonald
  • Oh Susannah
And when you see the examples themselves, it is absolutley true, and here I never knew that. LOL...

I learned what "bar lines" are, and how they show the beginning and end of a measure, and "double" bar lines with double dots telling you to repeat what is ever inside of them.

The three examples they gave were rather common "one-four-five progressions", but one of the most important ones is the "twelve bar blues".

It appears that this is one of the most important song forms in quite a bit of different styles of music, and by understanding it, and its variations, you will understand hundreds or thousands of songs. The I, IV, and IV chords form the backbone of the blues, and any music based on the blues.

It discussed the use of "call and response", which consists of three lines of four bars each. Each line consists of a usual two bar statement, followed by an implicit, or explicit response.

An example being:

| Oh, my baby left me, | cold and alone! | (cold and alone!) |-----|
| yes, She up and left me, | so cold and and alone! | (cold and alone!) |-----|
| Goin' to the depot, | catch the next train home! | (go home, go home! |-----||

Two variations were discussed with examples of each as well.

Practice is going quite well, and I think I just might be able to record a video of where I am at with the new strumming pattern on Wednesday. I might take an extra day to better be able to switch inbetween chords, or I may just go with what I have, I am sure we will find out in the next couple of days which way I go.

Metal Monday

Every Monday participants pick a "Metal" song, and expound on it. Maybe post a vid for it, or some lyrics, or an opinion about it.

Then you simply fill in the box below with the "Direct Link" back to the page where your submission is posted, and there you have it!

Linking is for participants ONLY, all others will be deleted. You can feel free to grab the code, and post it yourself as well.

So here is ours:

The Father Of Heavy Metal...

Dick Dale

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Practice day & EMT C#9

Practice is going good enough now, that I am going to start Hands Of Steel" tomorrow, so I will have another aspect to add to my routine. The strumming pattern itself is still the stickler, but I do have the new chords down. Hopefully I will have it somewhat down enough to do an update video by Wednesday methinks.

Edly's Music Theory Chapter 9: "I, IV, V and the Twelve Bar Blues"

Like a couple of the others, this one needs to be read, and re-read before I can discuss it. So tomorrows post should be pretty long with all the stuff to talk about...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Practice day & EMT C#8

Another day of practice is going well. The strumming pattern is the only thing that is taking its toll. I have the newest chords down, put the pattern is quite the challenge, even when using learned chords from back in the beginning lessons.

Edly's Music Theory Lesson 8: Chromatic Intervals.

They are intervals including those not found in the major scale. They gave an example in a chart showing the Chromatic intervals from an octave down, to a unison, the example was built on C.

The Chromatic Alteration Of Intervals...

  1. when the top note of a major interval is lowered, the interval becomes a minor interval.
  2. When the top note of a minor interval is lowered, the interval becomes a diminished interval.
  3. When the top note of a perfect interval is lowered, the interval becomes a diminished interval.
  4. When the top note of a perfect interval is raised, the interval becomes an augmented interval.
  5. When the top note of a major interval is raised, the interval becomes an augmented interval.
The chapter was actually very short (2 pages) it was mostly something to get you started before going in depth in later chapters as was the example of less common enharmonic spellings of intervals.

Friday, December 5, 2008

EMT C#7, practice & a new family member joins in!

Practice is going just fine, the old fingers are starting to callus nicely. :-) Again, since Sarge deciphered my problem, the practice has just been outstanding, and I just can't get enough! Speaking of practice, you should check this post out by Sarge on that very subject: 13 Tips To Get A Better Practice Routine I bookmarked it, and let me tell you, this advice that Sarge gives is just pure gold. If you are struggling with your practice, or are looking to review it, and see what can be done better, I highly suggest you read this.

The wife asked me yesterday about playing the keyboards. It has been something she has always wanted to learn, and seeing as I was learning the guitar, and she has been getting inspired by my progress, and she likes the format of the RHM products, we decided to get her the lessons:

The Keyboard I am getting for her is:
She is really excited about getting started, and I am just overjoyed for her, this will be great for her, and I am going to be right beside her to support her along the way...

Besides that good news, she is also going to be posting here to chart her progress on the Keyboards, and we are going to film videos of her practice sessions as well, in the hopes of inspiring others to take up the keyboard! So now we have two journey's to watch over soon.

And if that weren't enough... My 5 year old has been barking daily about playing the drums! So I finally gave in, and told her that early next year, I will get her:
And let her start banging away! She insists on having a video like Daddy, and now that Mommy is getting her own DVD's, and a "piano", she wants more than ever to play the drums. So how can I resist? One more journey to follow here, one more set of videos to post on her progress. I tell ya, with 3 total, this blog is going to get pretty busy indeed!

I think it will be good to let RHM set her up with the basics, and give her something to watch. I can always guide her along with the DVD, and lead her in the right direction. Then when we reach the end of the lessons, I can pick up from there, and teach her whatever needs to be absorbed to get her on her own. (minus the R&R lifestyle that I am better at then the instrument! LOL)

My family getting really excited about learning instruments of their own has just flooded me with motivation. My desire not only to strive on with the guitar, but to be there for my wife and children as they reach out for their dreams has just made this journey all the more worth it.

I have to give out yet another big Thank You to John McCarthy for his excellent teaching skills, and to Sarge for his "remote teaching & support". Going with The Rock House Method was a decision that changed not only my life, but the lives of family as well. You two are men of exceeding character, and it is an honor to learn under both of you.

*There is a growing thought in the back of my mind that I might gently guide my 3 yr. old towards an interest in the Bass. There could be something in the wind for a family whose members comprise an entire band! But what to do with my 2yr. old, and the 4 mo. old? Rhythm guitar? Vocals? Fiddle? A wind instrument?

Edly's Music Theory Chapter 7 was on "Chord Inversion".

I have been dealing with chords in the "root position" (The lowest note in the chord) But now we are transposing (moving) the lowest note up an octave, and by changing the order, it is inverted.
  • Chord progressions sound better with root position chords mixed with inverted chords.
  • Inversion makes the chord easier to reach.
  • A chord-tone is simply a note in a chord.
There were several charts and examples that dealt with inversion, determining the root and chord type for unknown chords, chord-tone doubling, and using inverted chords for smoother voice-leading.

Yet another chapter I will re-read like the rest before moving on.

And speaking of Guitar, Keyboards, and Drums being a family affair...

(Review) The Only Chord Book You Will Ever Need

I usually write the review, but in this instance, since it is a book, I thought it would be nice for folks to take a look at it, so they can get a better idea of what they are purchasing...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Practice day & EMT C#6

Practice has been going much better since Sarge had me turn the routine around. I seem to focus a lot more on the current lesson when I start with it, rather than end with it. And I am also starting to enjoy practicing the prior lessons more now that I am ending with them, it gives me more focus on starting to play when I have gotten the more complicated stuff out of the way.

Edly's Music Theory Chapter#6: Diatonic Harmony

Anything occurring in the major scale-that is, without changing any notes, or adding any notes from outside the scale-is diatonic. Basically harmonizing a major scale with itself...

The majority of the lesson consisted of diagrams and charts, as well as worksheets.

Diatonic Triads were also part of the lesson. Chords consisting only of notes from the major scale; one chord built on each note of the scale.

I am going to re-read this again, and go over the worksheets as well. The lesson stress that these two subjects play an important role in other lessons in the future, so a few re-reads won't kill me.

Hands Of Steel & The Only Chord Book You Will Ever Need arrived today, so I will be starting HOS soon, and after taking a good look at the chord book, will be reviewing soon as well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

EMT C#5 & Practice day

Edly's Chapter 5 was on Chords: Triads

Finally something I am having hands on experience with whilst reading about! LOL So I have learned a few things the last day and a half...

  • I know what a Chord is, and what it is made up of.
  • A Triad is a 3 note chord.
  • I see where "intervals" are applied now.
  • I know what arpeggiating a chord is.
  • Chords are derived from scales.
  • You can build chords by stacking intervals.
Chord names are separated into two parts, the chord root, and the chord suffix.
  • The root tells you what note the chord is built upon.
  • The suffix tells you the chord type.
There are many types of chords...
  • Major
  • Minor
  • Seventh
  • Major Ninth
  • Minor Eleventh Flat Five
Just to name a few of them. If a chord has NO suffix, then it is a Major triad, so unless something else is specified, then it is a Major. So taking the first, third, and fifth note of a scale, and stack them up, you get a Major triad. You can also count the half steps between the notes to see if it is a major. There should be four half steps from the root to the third, and three half steps from the third to the fifth note.

Lowering the top note of a major interval by a half step makes it a minor interval. There are also three other triads:
  1. Diminished - Everything except the root of the chord is lowered.
  2. Augmented - The fifth is raised
  3. Suspended
Sounds of chords can be described somewhat:
  • Major sounds happy, heroic, or strong.
  • Minor sounds sad, lonesome, or haunting.
  • Diminished sound suspenseful and haunting.
  • Augmented are dreamy, strange, and eerie.
  • Suspended just plain leaves you hanging.
Practice is going much better now that I have turned the routine around 180 degrees. Luckily Sarge easily figured out what was wrong, and adapting was quite simple. Using strumming pattern two on chords I already know helps out quite a bit with lesson 9.

The humidifier arrived today as well, that is a relief to finally have that here, and able to use. I certainly don't want that new guitar in a shambles before I actually get a chance to learn it! Still waiting on the two other products from RHM, I expect them here by Saturday at the latest.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Practice day

So I turned the whole practice around, seeing as Sarge cleared things up for me. Now I start out with the current lesson, and then work my way back through the DVD from there.

Been a busy day all around, so I will expound more tomorrow.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Metal Monday

Metal Monday

Every Monday participants pick a "Metal" song, and expound on it. Maybe post a vid for it, or some lyrics, or an opinion about it.

Then you simply fill in the box below with the "Direct Link" back to the page where your submission is posted, and there you have it!

Linking is for participants ONLY, all others will be deleted. You can feel free to grab the code, and post it yourself as well.

So here is ours:

L.A. Guns at the Key Club, (where Gazzarri's used to be...) *sigh*

"Ballad Of Jayne"

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