August 2nd, 2009


really early to bed

I am trying to reset my internal clock here. I have an edit due at 7 in the morning and so I needed to be up by 3 because I don't edit during the day if I can help it. I ended up going to bed a little after 5pm and waking up a little after midnight--I hope my body can stay awake on seven hours of sleep. it should--I've been sleeping a lot the last few days. it is time to wake up.

I have a song going through my head and I thought about blipping it but if I do that I will get sucked in there for hours. I think it would be a better idea to play my own guitar, don't you? not to worry about the neighbors: headphones after hours. and since I'm mostly playing scales and practicing licks, I'm not banging out loud chords that everyone can hear without amplification.

I am trying to get good enough at improvising to go play out on the street, but it seems I need quite a bit more practice. the hard part is keeping all the patterns straight at first. I am concentrating on minor scales for the time being, with a blues scale thrown in when i get bored. blues have a predictable pattern to them but the minor scale is similar enough in all five positions (I have five. I don't know how many the rest of you have) that it is a bit confusing. I'm slowly learning the names of the notes on the fretboard but that is slow going. when you are old, rote memorization is not as easy as it once was! I need some sort of flashcard system. looking from my fretboard to the map I printed out is very slow.

ok. first caffeine.
  • Current Mood
    awake awake


it just occurred to me: how are students of non-fretted stringed instruments taught to find notes? not only are there no frets to keep you precisely on pitch (although frets actually don't do that for obscure reasons whereas non-fretted instruments are subject to the human ear and subsequent correction) but there aren't even any fret markers. are there? I don't recall seeing any dots on the violin that I had access to for too short a time. there may have been a sticker at approximately the fifth fret.

I bet that non-fretted instrument learners have a better idea of what intervals are and why we use them. you don't have to learn intervals on a fretted instrument and in fact I barely know what a third is, but I bet that intervals have a spatial quality to them that fretted instruments make less obvious because you are looking at dots and not how far you have moved up towards the bridge or nut.

the other thing I wonder about those non-fretted instruments is how the hell do you play those notes way up on the fingerboard without developing carpal-tunnel syndrome. you can't use your thumb for leverage unless you have giant hands and then you'd have giant fingers which would counterbalance your advantage with a certain clumsiness.

I should buy a violin from a pawn shop when I have a little money. I'd rather have a cello but nobody pawns cellos. there is also no place to put a cello in here. I need to play small instruments from now one, like instruments that fit into your computer.

but then I wonder if there is such a thing as Hal Leonard's Violin Method or Mel Bay's Learn to Play Violin.

I'm checking now to see what's available. :)

(I'm also trying to cleanse my palate from that horrible paper I just edited. the next one better be easy. shit.)
  • Current Mood
    artistic artistic