Mixolydian mix up

Title card from the instructional video

Mixing up the mixolydian

I like alliteration for some reason. Perhaps it offers a supposed semblance of cleverness. I do imagine myself clever though there is limited feedback on that front, so my assumption that I am clever remains intact.

Making the best of what is available to present said cleverness to the world is challenging. Just keeping track of it all is a job. The blog posts, the videos, the related social media accounts, the desire to proffer more of what is me and what I produce. To what end I do not know. I see others with thousands of followers and imagine I would not know how to interact with an audience of that magnitude!? So there is…

Time and the learning process

I read that in order to slow down time learn something new. That thought comes from the author Michael Easter who wrote a book titled, ‘The Comfort Crisis’. The idea resonates with me. A lot of what makes for the passing of time gets ignored because it is so seemingly ordinary. But when learning something new, the time spent can have an impact and be meaningful. And, depending on our level of presence, be involving. But that can be true of the ordinary and mundane as well.

This effort is that for me, I am learning something new. Current technology is new to me, as far as employing it goes to get my imagineerings out into the world in some useful fashion.

But time is a concept seemingly unique to humankind as far as watching it is concerned. Animals seem to not give a wit what time it is. Maybe they do. But they do not mark time in a fashion that resembles observing a clock or calendar on a wall, as near as I can tell.

If my pets are any indicator of how to best spend time it seems it would be to enjoy it. Be curious, find something interesting to do, or rest. They rest a lot!

That’s the thing about time, and wanting to enjoy it. Enjoyment requires a commitment of some sort. A pursuit of happiness, and what that is will be unique to everyone, but we can and should try to help each other along the way.

inciting insight invigorating innovation

Well as far as this musical educational effort is concerned here is a video link comprising my take on the Mixolydian Scale. A Mixing up the Mixolydian tablature of some ideas to pursue in advancing guitar technique, as well as a quick tip video on identifying sharp (#) key signatures with relative ease. Hope it is helpful.

merci

Languishing in the lydian

Lydia Languishing

How does the word languish factor into a musical scale, other than the alliterative letter ‘L’ beginning both words? Well there is the time I spent putting this together. Hoping for a useful result.

So I imagined a person alone lying on on a guitar fret board somewhere with an arm outstretched to a stormy sky yearning for…

Some traction in gaining some useful working knowledge of the guitar.

I imagine many experience a struggle in that effort. That might feel like one is toiling and not making much if any progress.

Even after many years of playing I have sometimes felt that way.

Results might not even be seen or seem relevant to the end one imagines the effort should be leading to.

Nevertheless lessons continue to present themselves.

Lydian wants to exclaim “learn about me, I am interesting and worth knowing”

But wait there’s more !?

But we might rather right now be, watching TV, trying to get to sleep, looking at alternative art on Pinterest, reading comic books, drawing, rearranging the furniture, anything but advancing guitar playing ability, the audacity!

However to get to another level as a musician we have to approach our efforts dilligently.

A claim of being this or that, of going to do this or that, will make no difference until the this or that is actually done!

Despite compulsions, the weather, various obligations all around. We can usually choose to do what we want, we just might need to focus our intention into attention.

That seems simple enough, so how can we stimulate momentum in the direction of our goals?

Answers but the questions still remain

Some questions might help.

(Why) am I working at this? ( I put why in parenthesis because, I think most times it is not needed to ask a question.

And ‘am I ?’ suggests that we have more control or capability in the equation than we give ourselves credit for)

So my answer to ‘am I working at this?’ is:
Here is an opportunity to grow as a musician, to further develop skills that I want to share.
I want to take music seriously and to share my enjoyment of the creative process.

Which in my case, is a perpetual work in progress.

Is it enough to be creative without any reward or recognition?


YES. I would still be and am creative sans reward or recognition. I have to be to survive this existence.
AND. To create something and attempt to share it, with so many options available to do so these days.
NO. Recognition and reward are not my tasks as a creative.

That is someone else’s task to recognize or ignore, reward or refute. Though as I think of recognition and reward now, I realize that in fact:

the mind never stops making connections

re = again; cognition = to learn; is happening within and,

re= again; ward = to watch over (of germanic origin); it is rewarding in and of itself to produce something even if the only one enjoying the result is the one making the effort. But that is rarely the case. I believe we cannot undertake a creative task with out having the effort affect us and subsequently those with whom we interact in some particular way, regardless if the result produced is put on display or not.

However I didn’t get to this point in my existence without input from and acknowledging the efforts of others

SO. Creative output can and should be shared as best one can for any of the above to have an effect.

inciting insight invigorating innovation

What do I hope is going to come from this effort?
A blog post that incites insight and invigorates innovation.

An outlook, an approach, a take on life and the making of music that keeps it real and at the forefront of my life

What I offer to benefit myself and any one else that might find this then, is another video demonstrating how to use the sonique spiderweb with an emphasis on the Lydian mode as found within the Ionian in the key of A major. Languishing in the Lydian video link

While the obvious forward and across the fret board approach is all that is needed for a cursory understanding of the scale.

Should one be so inclined to develop it to another level I offer my take on the subject.

There are many ways to play scales on the guitar that are unique and instructive.

Which can advance ones musical vocabulary significantly.

These that I offer can of course be applied to other scales and modes, as knowledge of the fret board becomes increasingly innate or 2nd nature.

The options available to have scale study impart a unique aspect to ones musical vocabulary can thus always be improved upon.

There is truly a wealth of possibilities available in the so called ‘basics’ if one can make some time to for it!

There is a Turning the Lydian inside out.pdf of some of the scale studies I’m advocating, available here as I’ve recently got some new software that helps me to produce that. Hope it proves useful!

MERCI

What difference does a schedule make?

Dorian and Phrygian Video lesson links near end of post.

A photo of the recent lunar eclipse. The moon is on some sort of schedule so why not me?

So I track my time rather diligently but don’t schedule it so much, so a lot of what could get done does not. 

How is that working out as respects making music and media to incite insight and invigorate innovation?

Well my music skills are accomplished but also some what stagnant. 

And the hit and miss that happenstance provide as a means of adding to my catalog of artistique endeavors also suffers want.

A schedule can help to build a regimen of activity commensurate with the ideal of making progress as a musician.

Practicing, writing, recording, editing and so on. 

It can be a struggle to parse the latest song and fine tune the timing of all the parts as well as learn to play it and write lyrics for it.

Struggle though it is, it can also be enlivening to do

So help to maintain some momentum is of course needed? 

I find a lot of encouragement on Medium a writing forum that infuses me with enthusiasm, but the follow through is muted at best.

So can accountability help?

I endeavour to some accountability by way of this blog, a youtube channel and recently set up a patreon page (still needs work though)

Begin where you are don’t stay where you are.

Good advice in practically any endeavor, as for making musical advancement a matter of course, here is this.

As can be seen in the strands of the sonique spiderweb the major scale contains 7 common modes within it. 

Out of one many

So by learning one we can have many available. As there are the 7 primary modes we could schedule one for every day of the week

A is at the beginning of the musical alphabet. It seems suitable as the starting point to promote understanding of this useful aspect of music theory.

That is, by knowing all the notes that make up the A Major scale one can deduce:

  1. The Dorian scale in B (a video can be seen here)
  2. The Phrygian scale in C# (a video for your edification if you so desire)
  3. The Lydian in D 
  4. The Mixolydian in E 
  5. The Aeolian in F# 
  6. The Locrian in G#.

This is because all the notes in these modes are found in the A Major Scale!

Go ahead and try to do that

So what to do with this knowledge? Parse the other modes in the A major by referencing the notes and finding them on your instrument. 

I also recommend playing the scale in a variety of ways so as to improve working knowledge of your instrument and provide technical proficiency through shifting ones view of the possibility that scales can be a rather interesting provocation to inspire music making. 

One question that comes up is how can we employ these various modes. 

What options does this knowledge afford us to add interest to our musical expression?

Stay tuned!

merci

Another Direction in search of THE ZONE

Finding away to get into focus direction.
Paying attention to where you are going.

Backwards and forwards on the guitar

simultaneously!

What do I mean by ‘The Zone’? It is that mental space that allows for serious motivated attention in which to pursue an interest. Seeing how the ‘Russian Method’ or at least a portion thereof, worked on the keyboard in finding that space when practicing to develop skill further. I decided to try and find it on the guitar using my invention, ‘The Sonique Spiderweb’ as an aid.

This way of playing scales is of course possible, however the guitar is unique in that some notes that sound identical can be fingered quite differently, that being said the principle is the same.

The idea is to move from a root pitch 3 octaves apart through the sequence of notes/intervals making up the scale. Instead of playing all the notes in a scale an octave apart simultaneously as is common on the piano keyboard, (now that I think about it, that would be a challenge on the guitar! which will be explored soon, thank you very much mind of mine). Back to topic. We move away from the root pitch by both ascending and descending through the intervals. An example in the A major scale can be seen here.

Here are the specifics in writing

So we begin 3 octaves apart with the A pitch.

Then moving away from the root up in pitch to the major 2nd a B note and down in pitch to the major 7th G#/Ab,

(it is possible to go in either direction with the intervals, higher or lower in pitch, current example shows one way)

Next we move up to the major 3rd C#/Db and down to the major 6th F#/Gb

Then up to the perfect 4th D and down to the perfect 5th E

Then up to the perfect 5th E and down to the perfect 4th D

(same notes different octaves!

as will be the case as we continue)

Now we move up to the major 6th F#/Gb and down to the major 3rd C#/Db

Then up to the major 7th G#/Ab and down to the major 2nd B

once again at an octave A note or pitch

Then inverting again we move down to a major 7th G#/Ab and up to a major 2nd B

Down to a major 6th F#/Gb and up to a major 3rd C#/Db

Then down to a perfect 5th E and up to a perfect 4th D

Followed by its opposite up to a perfect 5th E and down to a perfect 4th D

Then up to the major 6th F#/Gb and down to the major 3rd C#/Db

Then up to the major 7th G#/Ab and down to a major 2nd B

And voila we are back to the root A note and none the less worse for wear.

invigorating innovation

So we can see two ways to reference and relate to the scale, one by the note names, but also as importantly by the intervals or distances from the root. I have found a kind of mnemonic device to remember this. Octaves are obvious, 2nd and 7th begin with the same 2 letters, the 3rd and 6th intervals are divisible by 2, and 4th and 5ths are right next to each other.

So, while this can be a challenge if we haven’t done this before and that is kind of the point here. This can be a useful method for getting into the zone or put another way, a more involved mind set for practicing other concepts we would like to make progress with.

merci

The Sonique Spiderweb is here!

A printable version of the sonique spider web. To make one if you want.

The Sonique spiderweb

Here it is for any to use. I am doing what I can as I am able, to show its utility as a musical instruction device but it can do more than just teach. Which if you decide to track my trajectory of haphazard blog posts and video demonstrations will eventually become evident. So a little more about making one.

As it is rather a bit much to assemble and offer for sale I am making it available at no charge, as a .pdf for anyone to print and use. Here is a video of how to make one yourself if you should be so inclined. So if anyone wants one and does not want to buy it from me, here it is for the low cost of nada.

Although I would not refuse a donation if you wanted to show appreciation for the effort involved in producing this and the associated material, blog posts, videos, and music that are a part of this enterprise!

One-Time
Monthly

for a download Make a one-time donation if you so desire

Make a monthly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$7.00
$10.00
$5.00
$7.00
$10.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthly

So there you go. Hope that is not too much pressure, and it is not required but appreciated if offered. As is simply being interested in my invention!

If you watch the video you will see what a challenge it is to manufacture. While the video shows how to make it, it is not demonstrative of how long it takes to produce despite being some 20 plus minutes long. And that is after I cut some material that while, not irrelevant to the process of producing it, it is perhaps not absolutely necessary to show.

All that being said I do feel it has a lot to offer and believe it will be of use to persons wanting to understand notational relationships in music theory displayed simply and alphabetically.

Hopefully the sonique spiderweb will be of value to those who endeavor to increase their musical proficiency and find new and innovative ways to understand musical concepts as a result. What follows is a rather detailed but far from comprehensive explanation of the sonique spiderwebs capabilities. As well as options to purchase an assembled functional sonique spiderweb.

as mentioned previously

So here it is at long last I am letting it out into the wild!
Finally filed for the patent, that was my benchmark to letting go.

I can no longer use that as an excuse not to share it!
There is a lot to unpack here and I plan to do just that as time permits.
I intend that it is helpful to anyone desirous of learning certain music theory concepts.
It has a lot to offer in this regard.
In particular, the relationships of notes and how those can be utilized to work together in harmonious expression.
I have some videos posted of how to use it on my youtube channel.
Some basics to get started.

Links to my youtube videos.

How to use the sonique spiderweb to build chords.
How to use it to make scales, major and pentatonic examples.
How to use it to learn and find the name of the notes on a guitar.
As well as an overview of its many features.

Some information about the sonic spiderweb

From the advert.

What is this thing we are looking at?
Who has devised such a mechanism for capturing the attention of musically inclined persons to satiate their thirst for notational music theory?
How does it impart its wealth of information so practical to the study of music?
When can it be used to further musical aspirations?
Where can I get one?
Welcome to the Sonique Spiderweb.

This machination of musical mystery and perchance mastery has been developed over many years and has taken many forms to reach this present iteration!

I have personally put my own hands to work at the task of making this device as useful and easy to employ as possible. I call myself guitarbeau!

With in its dodecagonique shape lies an amazing ability to clearly display in alphabetic form the names of musical pitches found in a mode scale or chord and transpose that information in a snap with a twist or a turn!

This will become evident as we delve deep into its angular lines and tangental appearance to discover pragmatically proffered, perfectly possible potentialities and prudently practical purposes.

The Sonique Spider Web has been constructed in just such away as to not require alternative energy sources to operate, it can be put to use at a moments notice. No wait time, no boot time, no file search, no extension cord needed.

Obtaining it can be as easy or as complicated as you might prefer.
Order one from guitarbeau.com
As it is hand made and requires some time to assemble it is priced exorbitantly see the website for that information.
Or make one yourself with a printable pdf on display at the top of this article that contains just the musical data available for display but with out all the particularly spectacular tantalizing features that make the Sonique Spider Web such a fascinating choice to explore!
Though you could develop your own perspective on those features, I’ll share my technique should you want to go that route. Visit the video on how to make the sonique spiderweb.

With out further ado let’s spin this thing and see how dizzy we get!?

THE SONIQUE SPIDERWEB

A description

So there is an abundance of information available here on this 8.5 by 11 inch cardboard invention.

Starting with the outer perimeter.

We have surrounding the sonique spiderweb 12 intervals or scale degrees designated at 12 equal distant sections making a dodecagon or 12 sided shape.

These interval designations are:

the ROOT, a minor 2nd, a Major 2nd / 9th, a minor 3rd, a Major 3rd, a Perfect 4th / 11th, an augmented 4th or diminished 5th, a perfect 5th, a minor 6th, a Major 6th / 13th, a minor 7th, and a Major 7th.

These are the 12 intervals or scale degrees used to define the spaces between musical notes from a root note.

Moving from an interval to another interval can be described as moving in steps.

Either a half step to an interval right next to it.

Or a whole step, to an interval separated by another interval or scale degree. This is a teaching paradigm that I don’t use very much.

inside of the outer perimeter

The next segment of the sonique spiderweb has 7 common modes or scales indicated with in it at specific intervals.

These modes are based on a Major scale and each begin from a subsequent interval of the major scale.

These are designated as:

Ionian: A major Scale begins from a root note

Dorian: A natural minor scale with the 6th interval or scale degree 1 half step or interval higher. Begins from the major 2nd interval of the ionian major scale.

Phrygian: A natural minor scale with the 2nd interval 1 half step lower. Begins from the major 3rd interval of the ionian major scale.

Lydian: A major scale with the 4th interval 1 half step higher. Begins from the perfect 4th of the ionian major scale.

Myxolydian: A major scale with the 7th interval scale degree 1 half step lower. Begins from the perfect 5th of the ionian major scale.

Aeolian: A natural minor scale. Begins from the major 6th of a the ionian major scale.

Locrian: A natural minor scale with the 2nd and the 5th intervals both 1 half step lower. Begins from the major 7th of the ionian major scale.

at the heart of the sonique spiderweb

The inner section of the sonique spider web has the musical alphabet indicated on it in sequential order.

Also indicated are key signs that correspond to the note or notes named in this version these are in the treble or “G” clef.

The note name section of the sonique spiderweb can be rotated to allow for transposing a scale or chord into another key.

sliders hiders blinders deciders

This feature really gives the sonique spiderweb its splendiferous capacity!

Just underneath and at the edge of the sonique spiderweb are movable sliders that can be used to hide or allow the display of the note names of the musical alphabet.

For example: to display an Ionian major scale use the sliders to hide note name data on the inner section:

at the minor 2nd, minor 3rd, augmented 4th/diminished 5th, minor 6th and minor 7th intervals,

and display note name data at the Root, major 2nd, major 3rd, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, major 6th, and major 7th intervals and voila the notes to any major scale

are visible.

For example with a C note displayed or dialed in at the root we have C,D,E,F,G,A,B.

A C major scale. if you’re an astute observer you will also see the various other modes are like wise displayed along with the major scale.

This is because these other modes are found with in the Ionian major mode or scale!

With a simple turn of the inner web we can dial in any major scale in any key.

but wait theres more!

But that’s not the only scales we can display!

Using the sliders we can display a variety of other scales. All we need to know is which intervals are used in a given scale.

For example to display the notes of a major pentatonic scale.

Utilize the sliders to allow the display of a root, major 2nd, major 3rd, perfect 5th, and major 6th.

And hide all of the other intervals with their associated sliders sliders and voila! A major pentatonic.

Choose what key to play in by turning note name segment so that the desired pitch appears at the root position.

can you display chords? yes you can!

Chords are possible too!

Want to work on major triads. Display a root, a major 3rd, and a perfect 5th, hide all other intervals and dial in the root note you want to work with.

Want to add a minor 7th reveal the note under that slider and add it to the chord voila!

Want the major 7th instead a simple swap of slider position at the corresponding intervals, et encore voila!

What about something esoteric like a F#diminished 7th chord I discovered whilst playing we are the champions by queen.

This neat chord can be played from any interval and look like itself on the guitar fretboard and use the same notes albeit in different positions.

At least that’s how it occurs to me.

the intervals involved are: a root, minor 3rd, dim 5th, major 6th.

Look how it appears on the sonique spider web, we have root interval open going clockwise 2 intervals hidden, another the minor third open, continuing

clockwise 2 more intervals closed, then the diminished 5th is open, then 2 more intervals closed, the major 6th open, then 2 last intervals likewise closed.

A step and a half betwixt each pitch evenly positioned yet sonically amazing can you believe it.

there will be more to come

So those are the basics basically. Moving forward there will be more opportunities to study and put the sonique spiderweb to use that should provide a lot of fun.

I have made an adjustment in the manufacture of my device to make it more economical.

the sonique spiderweb (revised version simpler construct reduced the time to build it)

a music theory teaching aid to display alphabetic note name data and inter-relationships betwixt that data. shipping is included. please allow 3 days for processing. its just me doing it all. I will respond within 24 hours though with confirmation.

20.00 $

Time

Music and Media to Incite Insight and Invigorate Innovation
Timing is everything, well time is anyway.

I thought this suitable because I needed a subject and this is one.

It a cliché because it’s true.
Whether in humor, a silly punch line or witty comment delivered at the right time for a laugh.
Or in music, when the spacing of the notes flow and feels right.
A song you can sing or let reverberate around in your head space radio, and carry with you through out the day.
The melody or lyric, sounded in just such a literal time space that is music, so as to elicit interest or give personal concepts meaning, validation and vigor.
Or perhaps in life in general, a word of encouragement or insight gained from reading or study, shared at the right time can make a difference.
In all of these instances time is involved.
To provide encouragement or offer insight, we need information of just such a sort, which requires reading and observation at some level.
To make music sound musical, practice is obviously involved.
Humor seems to arise as if from nowhere, but it too is built on past experience and thought processes even if one does not write jokes as a practice.

All involve time.

PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE

I recently began to try and play some music I had committed to memory years ago.
I remembered I knew it then, but but now? This particular music fell out of practice as other interests encroached upon the time and energy that was devoted to music.
Some times that was other music, too often it was not.
Presently irritated, frustrated and somewhat despondent about the loss of my ability to just start playing these pieces again, believing, once I had learned it, it was mine forever.
I thought I would not forget something I spent a considerable amount of time to memorize.
This is not the case.
I have forgotten more than I know!
Someone once told me, referring to B.B. King and myself in the same thought no less, that “he had forgotten more than I’d ever know about the guitar!”
As I was a brash young guitarist amped up to make it as a musician, it seemed to this person a pertinent point to make.
Not really knowing his motivation for saying such a thing, other than some confluence of events that equated all of us in that instant in his mind.
The statement stuck with me.
However the lesson it now intones has more significance.


If you don’t use it you lose it.

It is easy to remember the concepts involved in music, reading it, fingering on the guitar or keyboard, how it sounds, or is supposed to.
But if it is not actively engaged with regularly, it will suffer want, which can of course lead to discouragement.
Which can lead to ‘why bother’ which has been a go to preference too many times, leading to a lessening of interest in keeping that particular music and the necessary skills to play it, alive.
Revisiting some of the more complex music I once pursued and reorienting myself toward it has proven a challenge to maintain enthusiasm and take the time and energy to hear it come from my hands again. But it has also been one accepted gladly, as I am still having a go at it.
I choose to struggle with this at present because I can see where having this once again as a part of my skill set can contribute to a more involving musical future.
Despite possibly being seen as a resting on my laurels kind of affair, it is in fact a jumping off point. To not only maintain the status quo, but to advance it as well.

To stay active on ones instrument of choice is a good thing.

Even if it is currently only to maintain flexibility and prove that the feasibility to make advancement remains intact.

Music and Media

The particular pieces I am reacquainting myself with are from 2 very different musical era’s and obviously, 2 different people. One is by Fernando Sor (1778-1839) a classical guitar composer, which title appealed to the idealist in me “Fantasy Op.7” It is also in an unusual time signature 6/8, for some one like me accustomed to 4/4 rock n roll. In fact when I first undertook to learn this piece I ignored the time signature all together, primarily focusing on the notes and fingering. Despite this blatant ignorance of an instrumental part of the music and barely knowing how to read music,

I some how managed to make it sound like music.

The other piece is from a guitar master named Guy Van Duser who has the brilliance to arrange music from stride piano players to the guitar. In this case a tune called “Snowy Morning Blues” by James P. Johnson sometimes referred to as the “father of stride piano” This title also appealed to me. Again I had learned the music but due to lack of practice it was no longer available as a part of my repertoire of pieces I could play competently. But I wanted to once again.

Insight and Innovation

I have discovered in reorienting myself with this part of my musical past and the musical past in general that my abilities have also changed.
I can not stretch my fingers like I used to.
The fingering suggested by the music in some parts of the arrangement required a deeper dive into the music notation and not just follow the tablature as presented.

Because the guitar is structured in such a way, alternate positions are available on the guitar to play the music in more than one position on the instrument.

For example: Near the end of Sor’s Fantasy Op. 7. There is a pedal G note part The G gets played continuously through out several bars, at one point the score suggests a D note on the B string and a B note on the E string this is a 5 fret stretch. Trés Difficile (very difficult for me)
The same notes can be played at the 12th fret and still allow the pedal G note to sound.
Given my current abilities, this is a useful work around.

In Guy Van Duser’ “Snowy Morning Blues” arrangement a similar stretch was asked of my fingers. This time it was a 4 fret stretch but one that could be accomplished by another fingering.
It has an open A string as the bass, B on the G string, and C on the B string. An A note is to follow the B on the G string as is and open G string after that.
By fingering the A note on the D string and the C note on the G string and the B note on the open string the same combination can be effected and my hand isn’t quite so overextended. See the tablature below.

I was able to transpose the notes with out reading the music but it was still helpful
Summary

As a result with the careful study of the notation, a work around presented itself and I felt a sense of accomplishment in applying myself to the task and gained a deeper connection with the music and my abilities as a result.

So this would suggest, with a little digging and will power, alternatives to certain difficulties can be overcome and further develop musical skill.
It is a struggle some times to go deeper but by doing so even at a seemingly microscopic level, improvement can be made and we can become more invigorated by investing in the process rather than giving up because a certain challenge has presented itself.

Mais Non?

Not in the mood to practice?

productivity and attention

So its a fairly well known concept that to be good at something you have to do it a lot. This is not always easy to do. Focus often suffers for a number of reasons.

  • Tiredness
  • Motivation
  • Complexity
  • Fear

These are the few that I came up with as I am tired, not unmotivated but challenged by the complexity of blogging and fearful of putting it out there. Well the blog has been here quite awhile and I am now earnestly making a go of it. Fear has been supplanted by momentum as I just started a you tube channel, ‘guitarbeau’s youtube channel’ posted a music video for a contest submission, and directed viewers to this site so… I have motivation to make it worth the trip, as well as some momentum which some have argued is more important than motivation.

Just get started and what follows is a result in the direction one is going. Obviously results may vary depending on the amount of interest and attention given to the effort, but it will stimulate focus by ‘just doing it’ or ‘do or do not, ‘there is no try’ if you prefer to get your act going via quotes from pseudo otherworldly guru’s! There is in fact a ‘try’ just like there is a, ‘taste it you might like it?’ So as this is about practicing a musical instrument when unmotivated or unfocused read on.

Try it with your eyes closed

So I maintain a schedule for practice or try to, it is sometimes difficult to get with my self imposed program. But learning music is a must do for me, as is improving my ability on the guitar and keyboard. In a previous post I mentioned and referenced an article that made some fine suggestions for improving the ability to learn, As the subheading here suggests I found another way to make that happen as well as find a new way to obtain focus on the effort of musical education and improvement.

Its not that difficult

I was struggling to get going one morning so I thought I’d feel my way around the keyboard and see how much muscle memory had become apart of my skill set. Turns out, it was quite a bit. Not that I am flying through the scales at break neck speed, even with my eyes open. But I can find the way with my fingers and ears better than anticipated or that I thought I’d remember.

but wait there’s more

Not only did I impress myself with this version of practice but discovered a component to scale sequences that I had not encountered before. Going through the cycle of fifths and corresponding harmonic and melodic minors related to each I discovered the relative minor scale of the major can lead to the next scale degree in the cycle of fifths.

Briefly and as it relates to the keyboard

Starting with the C major scale and then playing the relative A minor scales, harmonic and melodic, the G major, the fifth from the C, of course is found left of the A (minor), making it easier to find “in the dark” so to speak. G major then is related to E minor or vice versa left of which is the D which is the fifth from the G, got it? And so it went until I reached the scales that for me still require a visual reference from which finger to begin so back to my chart I go to get um, my footing!?

In summation

So the crux of the matter is, focus can be started many ways, and while practicing with your eyes closed might seem daunting to try at first, it can yield beneficial results when done with the intention to improve our musical proficiency. As can just about any endeavor. Just get doing it, or not.

The Zig Zag Scale

Finger Exercise warm up

This is a finger exercise that will challenge you and perhaps add a new component to your musical vocabulary. Its a fairly straight forward structure, despite the name, almost chromatic in nature. So the simple animation provided below will give a good sense of how it is to go. It can be played anywhere on the fret board. The animation suggests the low end of the fret board. So begin by working up the neck

  1. 1st finger 1st fret E string (F note)
  2. 2nd finger 2nd fret A string (B note)
  3. 3rd finger 3rd fret E string (G note)
  4. 4th finger 4th fret A string (C# note)
  5. 4th finger 4th fret E string (G# note)
  6. 3rd finger 3rd fret A string (C note)
  7. 2nd finger 2nd fret E string (F# note)
  8. 1st finger 1st fret A string (A# note) from here begin the pattern anew next note on the D string
  9. 2nd finger 2nd fret D string (E note)
  10. and so on across the fret board.

Depending on where on the fret board you try this, find corresponding chords to play along with it.

Zig Zag scale finger exercise animation.

Guitarbeau, Musician Teacher Northwest Tucson Marana

On Teaching

Teaching is an art, requiring many things, understanding of the subject matter, skill with related articles of usage, patience.

I have had many opportunities to reflect on and realize this.

Why?

Knowing how to do something does not mean one will be able to explain to someone else, how to do it. Or be understood.

I am reminded of something I read in Readers Digest years ago.

“An education is something you give to yourself”.

To me that means, despite the best efforts of teachers, the most interesting of presentations and the most comprehensive materials, we learn because we want to.

In many cases we learn things like walking, talking, driving, writing, all because we have to. But when the subject is something we want to do , then we choose to educate ourselves.

So when there is a desire to learn, and there are, always increasing and evolving methods with which to acquire an education, the means to do so are many. How best to proceed?

There are many ways to acquire a skill, one of the most needed though is patience. On the part of anyone involved. Whether teaching or studying, a mindset of patience helps immeasurably.

We can also learn by teaching.

Our own knowledge is enhanced by showing another how to acquire skills within our interest.

If you are a life long learner, show someone what you know and prepare to be enlightened as you uncover a new way to look at that base of knowledge you have as you share!

So regarding learning anything let alone music, why use a teacher when there is YOUTUBE, the internet, CD’s DVD’s, Books?

Reasonable question, and a committed student will find these methods useful at times as well, to pick up a new tune or technique. However there are some things a teacher can provide more responsively:

Encouragement, if I can do it you can!

Incentive, someones going to hear me I better practice!

Observation applying the instruction, am I doing this right? this can lead to faster more relevant progress.

Having a teacher also shows a sincere commitment to see the effort through.

I am currently accepting new students for the guitar and electronic keyboard.

I have been playing and learning the Guitar for 36 + years and have been developing my Keyboard abilities for 9 years.

I teach musical skills by way of rock and pop and original music.

I can teach you how to read music, tablature, and learn songs by ear.

I have developed a tool useful for understanding some of the more complicated music theory concepts to a single page, as in notes, modes, scales and chords.

One of the main benefits that I provide is that I come to you,

(Marana, Northwest Tucson)

I am also patient, an ability necessary to acquire and advance musical skill. If you prefer a by the book approach I can accommodate that as well.

There are many avenues to learn by. We can use whatever method you deem appropriate. No long term commitment necessary, if you just want a single lesson that is ok. If interested email or contact me at:

Guitar and/or Electric Keyboard.

idealist@idealisticaspirationsunltd.art

Or call & leave message please 520-288-5617 Bill L

Thank you for your consideration.