Saturday, March 24, 2007

Geek Strums #6

Following on from the last update.
  • One weekend, not so long ago, I overdid it and it triggered wrist pain. There seems to be a hysterisis element to damaging yourself with a guitar that I wish I'd known about. I.e. you don't realise you are doing damage until afterwards. It feels fine when you are playing and if you are having fun, its hard to stop and take a break...

  • Related to the above. To build muscle memory in your fingers you need to repeat actions over and over again. Fine but I suggest spread 'em out a bit so that you are not lining yourself up for an RSI attack. Especially if you spend most of the rest of your waking hours kitting Emacs chords :-) I over did it by spending ages working on G-CAdd9-D-CAdd9-G for Time Of Your Life (Green Day) and E7-F barre chord for Major Tom (David Bowie).

  • I am making progress with the theory side. Some time ago, I wrote about the fourness of four being the least interesting thing about the number 4. Today, I would substitute 4 for 3. Lets see... do you mean the third note in a scale? How about the semi-tone distance of a third? Do you mean a major third or a minor third cos the former is kinda like 4 in disguise... Or do you mean the third chord from the diatonic chord set? By the way are you counting up or down?. Or maybe you mean the third inversion? Or maybe the 6/5 chord which is a first inversion of a seventh in which the third is implicit?...As ever, context is king.

  • My fingerpicking is running ahead of my ability to change chords fluidly. This is incredibly frustrating. From my picking hand I hear pleasant, nippy, Simon and Garfunkesque arpeggios for C chords, G chords, A minor chords and then pregnant silences as my right hand hauls itself through the chord changes.

  • Its great fun though. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

XML and the document format mind bender

    "It is entirely possible to have all the benefits of XML and yet retain the ability to just use user friendly, commodity off-the-shelf tools. However doing so - especially with complex document-oriented information - requires something more than just slapping an XML label on the file format." -- XML and the document format mind bender