Friday, January 30, 2009

Product Update: Taylor Guitars

Not a guitar video today, so it might not be of interest to some, but an update on Taylor Guitars, and their customer relations. Maybe of interest to those beginners who are still in the investigating phase of their first guitar purchase...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Practice day & EMT C#18

Practice has been moving forward, slowly but surely, time increasing with each day as my fingers get used to getting back to normal. I am hoping to get a video up for Lesson 12 this weekend, and then we can discuss Lesson #13 from there.

I got one answer at YouTube about my problem, and I am still awaiting Sarge from RHM to email me his thoughts. So when I get that, we can address them both here.

Edly's Chapter 18: "Transposition"

Transposition is simply changing the key of a melody, a chord progression, or even an entire song. You would do it maybe to put the song within a singer's vocal range, or maybe a certain instruments best playing range. The basic way of doing it is to use the chromatic scale, and move the notes the same number of half-steps up or down. An example would be if you had a man and a woman singing together, you could move the man's melody an octave lower in their duet.

Multiple examples and charts were given throughout the lesson for both vocals and instruments.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Diagnosis of a problem 2

There is an issue with fingers one and four that I should have addressed during the finger flexing exercise, but did not, so with lesson 13 coming up, I thought now would be a good time to get it in the works, before I finish lesson 12, so I have some sort of direction, or options available before beginning. You can watch the video for details...

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:

Ravi & Bobby (RHM)

I decided to jump out of the box, and go with some "Metal" that we can all get something from! How's that for a "Plot Twist"!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Practice day & EMT C#17

Practice has been picking up in duration, but I see it will be a bit before I return to my regular routine. The time spent lagging has allowed the calluses on my fingers to somewhat dissipate, so now I am back to them being sore again! But that is ok... There is no race here, so I don't mind working my way back to where I was when the chaos began. I can withstand some length of time throughout the day, but as I said, will need to work on numbing those fingers again, to get back to normal. I feel good just for the fact that I am on the road back to where I left off, so this setback only strengthens my resolve to keep on with being faithful about not getting frustrated, especially when it is due to circumstances that I have little to no control over.

Even though it was the wife's accident that had caused me the setback, it has been her that has been the biggest encouragement to stay the course, and get back on the right track! Her support through this, as well as my daughters getting excited about me practicing with them watching is quite the lucky thing to have available to me.

For those out there that might be reading, if you are having a tough time with your guitar, or with practice, let me know! I have a lot of gratitude for my circumstances, and I would be more than happy to give some moral support and encouragement to those that might be looking for some. :-)

I haven't posted a pic in a while, so I thought I would show you what happened to everyone's favorite shortcut to get on the other side of the main street (behind the post office by cutting between buildings) when there is no one to shovel the neighborhood goat paths.

Now all of us poor souls have to go to one end of the street or the other to get around to the back of the town. It may seem trivial to you, but to those of used to trudging through the snow, it is a pain in the arse! LOL

Edly's Chapter 17: "Secondary Dominants and Other Secondary Chords"

I will be blunt on this lesson...

I am lost. I read, I re-read, and although I can see what the author is getting at, I am at a loss trying to explain it to you! (Now this is a first!) I am not going to dwell on my being baffled with this, because this is only a part of the whole, and I don't want to get frustrated with not being a "music theory genius". I am in this for the fun, and the enjoyment of the music (the guitar), so lets just say I did what I could with it, and it will be ok. I am not going to die because I am a little stumbly on a subject, I will just keep, keeping on, and enjoy the journey that RHM and Edly is taking me through.

Who knows, maybe someone can dumb down this a bit, and give us the 30 second synopsis about this subject, so there is no gap left in my written journey. If not, then we shall just move along with a smile!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Practice day & EMT C#16

Practice picked up a little today. Spent more time on past lessons then I did the current one. I found that I was a little rusty on the prior chords, so I felt taking a day to go over them wouldn't hurt, its not like I am in the biggest hurry in the world, so I blew out a few cobwebs today. Will hopefully be able to work my way back to the regular amount of time I was spending before the chaos...

Edly's Chapter 16: "Intervals For Ear Training"

There was not much to this chapter beyond "Ear Training Methods", which in the end comes down to my ear, and using it! LOL

Melodic intervals can either be ascending or descending. The general sound of various intervals can be "Hollow" like bagpipes, or chants. Or they can be "Sweet" and sound more flowery and pretty. They can be Consonant (stable) or Dissonant (unstable).

An interval reference-tune chart was given with different examples...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Practice day & EMT C#15

Practice has still been very slow going. I have gotten in quite the rut with the recent chaos in the house, the wife falling and all. But things are starting to get back to normal.

I am hoping that this weekend will kick-off my regular practice routine again, and I can get back to some serious commitment to the guitar. I will keep us all updated of course!

Edly's Chapter 15
: Interval Inversion

It is simply lowering the top note by an octave, or raising the bottom note by an octave.

For example, if you invert the perfect fifth of E up to B, you get the perfect fourth of B up to E.

Intervals that invert to each other share similar general sound characteristics. Knowing it also helps with getting around scales and keys as well.

There is a formula for this as well:

9 - interval number = inverted interval number

An example would be... How do you find what a third intervals to?

9 - 3 = 6, therefore a third inverts to a sixth. A to C is a third; C to A is a sixth.

All intervals of a certain quality always invert to a specific quality, such as major intervals always invert to a minor interval. Only perfect intervals invert to the same quality. All others invert to a different quality, such as diminished to augmented. Interval numbers always invert to to specific interval numbers ie; thirds always invert to sixths, seconds to sevenths, etc...

There were a number of charts to work with showing the interval inversion, as well as a few diagrams.

Monday, January 19, 2009

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:

Motley Crue

"Mutherf*cker of the year" (EXPLICIT)

New Crue? Of course, and still as good as day one in my most humble opinion. So Vince uses a "naughty word"... As if folks were expecting "Milk & Cookies" from them?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Practice day & EMT C#15

No practice yesterday. The wife took a tumble down the basement stairs of the building next to us where the laundry machines are, and was rushed to the ER via ambulance, so the house has been in chaos! I did some practicing today, and will do some tonight. I have read Edly's Chapter 15, but need to re-read it before I can discuss it here. I had a hard time concentrating with all of the things going on now that the wife is home.

See Ya Tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Practice day

Been getting back up to speed as of late, but still somewhat behind from where I should have been if it had not been for the interruptions.

Getting a little better at hitting the two strings only, still need to look at the old hands of course for now. Been trying to implement Sarge's suggestions as best as I can so far, working a bit better. It was hard at first, because it was something new, but like the rest, as soon as I get used to it, then it will be just fine. Hopefully I will have a video update this weekend sometime.

Got an email about the chord wheel I ordered, it was on backorder for 1/19/09 shipping, but the shipping date has been moved back to 1/30/09 because of the manufacturer being late on their end of the shipping. No biggie, that was going to be more of a tool used with RHM's chord book, so I am in no real hurry or panic.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No practice, but EMT C#14 completed...

No practice as of yet today. The wife had to go to the hospital, so my focus is on the child rearing alone so far. When she does get home, (later tonight I hope) I can start to squeeze in what I can, with what time I have left. Maybe after typing this, (whilst spying on the kids at the same time) I can do a bit of practicing in the living room with the kids, who knows.

But I did get a chance to read, and re-read, and re-read again: Edly's Music Theory Chapter 14 "Diatonic Chords and Functions"

This chapter dealt with diatonic sevenths, as well as diatonic triads.

It discussed diatonic chord functions in major keys, the chord families, their triads, and various extensions...

  • The tonic (I)
  • The dominant (V)
  • The V7 Chord
  • The subdominant's (IV)
  • The supertonic(iim)
  • The mediant (iiim( and submediant (vim) The leading tone or subtonic (vii°)
The song "Oh Susannah" was used as an example of usage.

Diatonic chord functions in minor keys were also discussed...
  • The mediant
  • The dominant
  • The Flat VII
Greensleeves was the song used as an example for them.

There was a few diagrams, as well as a Diatonic seventh chords chart to be filled in. I am getting a little better as we go along in filling out these charts! LOL

Monday, January 12, 2009

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:


"Nobody's Fool"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A new look...

As you can see, we have gotten an overhaul for the website! Thanks to...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dr. Sarge at the Rock House Hospital

So I was having a problem that needed a diagnosis, to see what I was doing wrong, and how I could correct it...

And like the faithful folks they are over at "The Rock House Method", Dr. Sarge steps up and quickly diagnoses the problem, and writes up a scrip for the proper medication. Lets take a look at it shall we? Hopefully this will be of some help for others on this road as well..

Hey Guy

Ok dude here's the scoop...

In pic 1: First notice that I have a couple fingers anchored to the body of the guitar. I do this to help control how far my hand actually travels down (or up) the strings. You can practice this just playing the first and second notes of the blues progression, Once you get a feel for it go ahead and move to the chord.

Pic 2:
After strumming the chords it's hard to see but I use the heel of my hand and touch it to the top strings that are not supposed to make sounds. An important thing to remember though is that they will sound some which is ok. You'll hear a thump kind of sound when you mute them. This would be an example of palm muting.

Pic 3:
Notice how on the strings under the one I have pressed to play the note that the finger lays on top of it? I'm not actually pressing it down to make it sound out but rather muting that lower string with the finger.

Using these techniques and practicing them should help you make a better sound but it will take some time and patience before it all comes together.


So obviously I will be implementing this, and I will let us all know down the road how it is coming out!

Thanx Again Sarge!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Practice day & a problem.

Ok, so I have been struggling with practicing on and off with this lesson. It seems that I can hit the open string just fine enough, but the one right below it is where I can't seem to hit.

I am also having trouble getting my #3 finger on the 4th fret, with my #1 finger on the 2nd fret. I can't seem to get the 3rd finger down far enough on the fourth fret to get it to sound right.

Watch this video, and see if you can help me diagnose it:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Practice day & A doctor's visit...

Practice is now picking up after today's visit with the doctor.

My medication was changed from 15 mg MSIR Q6 to 5mg Oxycodone Q4-6. It does indeed work much better, but its usage will be short lived because of the possibility of addiction. I have been on the medication in the past, and historically I have voluntarily DC'd it after a certain time of use, to avoid becoming dependent on it.

My hope is that I can squeeze in as much healing as possible before separating myself from it. And then I will have to go back to adapting to the pain as best as possible. :-)

So the way I see it, I have roughly 15-22 days of practicing like a madman until I begin to slip back into a much slower practice regime. I am hoping that by this weekend, I will have a video update of how the learning process is coming along.

Tomorrow I will have an update on the latest chapter in Edly's Music theory. Got an email from Musicians Friend telling me that the Chord Wheel is officially on back order, and they will let me know when it comes in, and is shipped out.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Practice day & EMT C#13

Edly's Music Theory, Chapter 13: Chords: 7ths (& 6ths)

Been a while since I got back to this book, and luckily for me and my current condition, this was a short chapter, that will be re-visited later on in the book.

Four note chords include various seventh chords (seventh, major seventh, minor seventh, and so on.) and two sixth chords (sixth and minor sixth)

To make a seventh chord, we are simply adding a seventh, or lowered seventh, to the three notes which make up a triad, which we read about a few chapters ago.

An example built on C would be:

major 7th ................... C - E - G - B
sixth ........................... C - E - G - A

Most of the chapter was review, and a reminder that this will be re-visited, along with worksheets for chord building practice, as well as a number of charts giving examples, and usage.

As for practice, it is still slow going. I imagine it will be that way until Tuesday morning, when I see the doctor, and get a change in medication, or an increase in dosage of the medication I am already taking. Or... He might just say, "Oh well, too bad. No more medication, if what you have isn't working now." Ya never know with this old boy.

The playing without looking at my hands is still slow going, but I surmise that it is that way because of the lack of practice time as well. But I am still looking at my hands for the current lesson. I will add that to the "no-lookie" regime when I move on to the next lesson.

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:

Iron Maiden

"Aces High"

Friday, January 2, 2009

Practice day

Practice has been slow, and little going. The old foot has branched out its painful insanity into the leg. Got a doctors appointment Tuesday morning, maybe a change in pain pills, or yet another referral to the pain clinic. Will try again tomorrow. Sorry for the disappointing day. :-(

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Practice day, a wheel, a foot & a disappointment...

Ok, so I put in the order for "The Chord Wheel", but it won't be available until 01-19-09, so I will have to wait a bit for that to arrive.

Practice has been slow going, the old feet have been in some dire pain, so I don't get as much time to concentrate on anything much but child rearing, agony, and trying to live my life 5 minutes at a time. :-(

The CD arrived today... "John McCarthy/Drive" and I must say I was disappointed. It did not come "Autographed" as it was described on the sales page. So for that little hose, I am knocking down my review from 4 stars, to 3 stars. (Sorry John, but ya gotta live up to your promises to get the 4 stars.) I guess there is someone to blame out there, maybe the supplier, maybe not. But I am not going to snivel. I got it for the music, and the music was what I got. The value added clip was a sad happening, but again, at least the CD was in good condition. (And I removed the banner off of the bottom of the page. Sorry again John, I can't tout what isn't living up to what it offers.)

Don't get me wrong, I am still RHM %100 for guitar method, but like I said in my review of the music cd, I am much more harsh in that area. LOL

Going to read up on the latest Edly's, and get some decent practice in tomorrow, so I will have a much more positive post next time. :-)

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