Saturday, March 03, 2007

Newbie Geek Strums #5

Following on from the last update

  • I can hit F's and B's using barre chords - but too slowly to
    strum anything other than the sound of paint drying.

  • I am having difficulty picking up very thin and flat things - like stamps and plectrums and paper clips - with my right hand. As a lefty, this is my fretboard hand resulting in (a) practically non-existent nail protrusions over my fingers and (b) leather like skin at the tips of my fingers. (Imagine picking up a paper clip while wearing a glove...That is what it feels like.) The nails on my other hand I have let grow longer in order to finger pick. This new assymetry is weird and takes a bit of getting used to. The feel of a computer keyboard
    changes for example. I'm hitting some keys with my nails (left hand) and others with skin (right hand). I've switched to dialling numbers on my cellphone with my right hand...

  • I can hobble through quite a few songs now as long as they involve mostly open position chords of the minor, major and seventh varieties. I have started to get some fludity in basic finger and strumming patterns. On a good day, I can do basic Travis picking. It is very interesting watching how this finger picking process works mentally speaking. I switch my conscious mind to my left hand, put the pattern in motion and then switch my conscious mind to my right hand, leaving the left hand on some sort of auto-pilot. It is starting to
    work for me and it feels very, very strange. If only parallel-programming worked this way...

  • When physical frustrations kick in or I find myself with time but no access to a guitar, I switch into theory mode. I'm a sucker for abstractions so its probably no surprise to anyone who knows this stuff that I have ended up scanning through stuff on neo-Riemannian theory and Pat Martino's (mind blowing) take on the organisation of the fretboard in The nature of guitar.


Oh, and finally, I wanted something to bring with me on my regular overnight stays in Dublin so I got one of these Traveler Escape Steel - the only travel guitar I could find with a lefty model. Fantastic fun.

I realise this puts me on the slippery slope towards full-on Gear Acquisition Syndrome...

Friday, March 02, 2007

It's not what you know, but who you know

    "...an interesting tension exists in the knowledge economy between the Internet as a self-help tool for finding specialist knowledge and the Internet as a tool for the selling that same specialist knowledge.--It's not what you know, but who you know

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

In praise of parasites

    "The Law of the Parasite: 'As an enterprise IT application approaches mission criticality, the probability of it being a host to one or more parasitic Enterprise Applications approaches 1.0.'" -- In praise of parasites