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