Sunday, May 20, 2007

Newbie Geek Strums #5...

being a follow-on from Newbie Geek Strums #4 and its predecessors.
  • rsi: I think I'm okay on this score now. I took a break after I F-barre-chorded my way into trouble and built it back up slowly. I have taken steps to reduce wrist strain while keyboarding emacs all day and that has helped too.
  • emacs: I have grown nails on my left hand for fingerpickin' (a style that I am becoming devoted to). The long nail on my pinky was becoming a problem in emacs which is a
    pinky-intensive editor. Then it occured to me that I never pick a string with my pinky so I cut that one. My fingernail assymetry has now deepended but life in emacs is much easier.
  • physics: The physics of harmonics (natural, tap, pinch) has provided an unexpectedly interesting detour. I found some pinch harmonics on the high E string of my acoustic. Now it has all the dynamic range of a deep space vacuum on my acoustic but come the glorious day I get an electric, I'm looking forward to outdoing the local felines with my sqealies.
  • ear: My ear is changing and my ability to discern differences in pitch is definitely improving. I can tune my guitar to standard tuning given a correct high or low E and get the rest
    reasonably correct. A couple of months ago I couldn't to this.
  • playing over a chord sequence My ignorance of music was such that I didn't really grok what that phrase really meant. I'm beginning to get a handle on the relationship between vamps and lead lines and how music theory can guide you as to what goes with what. I got a backing track for a 12 bar blues in A... I played random notes from the A minor pentatonic on top of it... The lights went on in my head. I cannot do it yet. But I get it now. I see where I'm going now.
  • rag time finger picking:The zoo of fingerpicking techniques is completely fascinating. I can hobble a few pinch patterns and the odd hammer-on/pull-off. The bit that blows my mind at the moment is the rag-time technique of keeping an alternating baseline going with your thumb while simultaneously picking out melody notes on the treble strings. I don't have enough independent CPUs between my ears to handle all the independent - but synchronised - processes
    involved here. I need an Erlang upgrade for my head I think.
  • metamodels, onomies and ologiesThe "I,IV,V" chord notation is a meta-model. Maybe even an SGML-style architectural form...I can see the beginnings of a taxonomy of fingerpicking styles taking shape in my head...With a little bit of Python magic I can create my own software-based effects box....Argh! Stop!
  • useful online stuff: Mike Herberts, Justin Sandercoe, Next Level Guitar and Heartood Guitar all have great stuff available online. As well as oodles of great free stuff I have paid some real dollars to both Mike Herberts and Next Level Guitar for other stuff. A small amount of dollars well spent. My latest fave tool is Slomo Director from Mike Herberts which I can use to slow down and repeat segments of audio/video. I am using it a lot with Mike's videos at the moment but it will work with any wmv/mp3 source.
  • "establish the possible and then slowly move towards the impossible": I think that is a Robert Fripp quote. I know what he means now. Every month I find a new impossible thing. Every now and then it ceases to be impossible (which is good) but it is instantaneously replaced by something else which is impossible. All evidence suggests that this pattern repeats forever. Perfect knowledge is unattainable, the more you know the more you know that you do not know. All of that
    stuff. Take a deep breath and survey the infinity that always stretches out in front of you. I like that. The journey is the only reward because the road never ends.


1 comment:

Peter Keane said...

Once again, I amazed to discover another fingerpicking information professional/software engineer. Not sure why, but it's definitely a pattern. I've done my time there myself (see my link).

If you have not checked out Mississippi John Hurt, I recommend his stuff highly!