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

j’ART

an original available artistic expression for purchase.
Recent artistique result derived from the information in the post below
2021 08 31 matter blog 02 vivid

j’ART 0563

The above original image is available to purchase. 18″ by 24″ ink on mixed media paper

$100.00

So I like to be practical and somehow creative. How to multitask so I can do what needs to be done, as well as, do what wants to be done?

Combinations can work. I have had jobs that afforded me a lot of free mental space to think about things that were not work related, sex notwithstanding. Coming up with new ideas that can be utilized outside of the employment paradigm, wherein I want to be proactively and productively creative! 

One such example comes to mind. Once whilst stocking shelves I thought up a game for my 5 year old grand niece (is that a thing?) to play. This involved hiding several of her toys about the house and yard, leaving written clues next to each that lead to finding one after another, and of course blaming it all on the cat! She enjoyed that so much she asked for more of the same. So I consider that and what follows a form of multitasking.

So I also want to express myself to myself sometimes, putting things down on paper sounding out my thoughts as it were. Sometimes stream of consciousness stuff, sometimes pragmatic, sometimes wistful and sometimes pedantic. Not stuff I need to share with the world but need to get out of my head for one reason or another.

I have found away to do that and make something in the process.

j’ART

Art from journaling. 

When writing with this intention, the words I am thinking, get scrawled on the page in a rather haphazard and non linear fashion. As well as in a variety of handwritten fonts and sizes and languages, to say nothing of direction, oops just said something of direction

Then in the clearly monochromatic style that has been my go to for ever. And within the spaces between the marks made from the letters written, I color (?) those in. 

music and media to incite insight and invigorate innovation.

Here is a 2.5 minute video of the effort, and some additional artistique expression.

As I look at/within these combinations of letters, color, of light and dark, I seek some indication of what interests me. Or  maybe I’m just projecting desire into the result of the endeavor?

I ask (sarcastically sardonic) ‘if only there was some way to know what I really want ?’ 

Mundane proclivities aside, and aren’t they all mundane ? 

The want is to matter!

As we are made up of matter, and have interests that matter, sometimes wondering, what’s the matter? Seeing the word in these contexts begs the question. Does it matter?

But there is no escaping that this is a significant part of existence. 

So figuring out how to do that, how to matter and realizing the many ways in which we already do, can and does make it all the more challenging and interesting to continue to do so. I hope you know you do.

We matter, we need to, we do and we are.

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!

the sonique spiderweb in all its glory!
A printable version of the sonique spider web. To make one if you want.

on sale til 8/14 20% 0ff

See bottom to order

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 (See top of page for PDF link) for you to print and use. Here is a video of how to make one should you be so inclined. So if you want one and do not want to purchase it, here it is for the low cost of your time, effort and careful attention to detail.

If you would like 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, Donate below.

One-Time
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If you want Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Choose an amount

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Or enter a custom amount

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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.

normal cost $20.00 til 8/14 $16.00

the sonique spiderweb

a music theory teaching aid to display alphabetic note name data and intervallic relationships betwixt that data. shipping is included.

$16.00

The NPR Tiny Desk Concert Submission Post

Self Portrait: The artist as motivated to try something different!?
I didn’t mention this at the time but..

I really just needed to put something out, get heard as it were. After writing and recording so many songs, and doing nothing with them this seemed like a momentum moment, actuating motivation!? So after having put it out there under the auspices of a contest. I am now second guessing what did I do, by signing over all the rights to use my song Rattle Snake Jane as they see fit, and realizing this is regardless if I win or not?

Getting the ‘You tube channel’ up and running for the submission process was almost too easy. Having been wanting to start one for awhile now. However generating relevant content that I am pleased to put up, is another story. Still a plethora of ideas continues to flow in, preoccupy and befuddle my abilities at follow through but nevertheless, I am willing to continue this endeavour.

but I hate the way I look on camera!

So that means, making videos where I am performing is a challenge. Still I try and get creative with the process, much to my dismay sometimes, as I struggle to puzzle together the next offering in iMovie, or some other program I have available in order to cobble together the disparate views of my idealogy. Yep, I spelt it that-a-ways for reasons you are of course, always free to think about!

I really should plan my posts better

I am always thinking about a graphic after I’ve started writing but get so excited that I actually wrote something that I don’t want to wait to publish before I can find something visual to include here. Then there is the editing, and getting hung up on placement of and defining nevertheless, and momentum moment, and what should probably be a link, but is not, to my idealogy!?

Alack there are more dagblammit ideas to pursue!

So I need to get back to work on editing the next video, so there will be something to write about next. I am contemplating a patreon page so my massive fan base can show their support, but that seems like a lot of work and I always feel like I need to have more to show to warrant such consideration. I did try a self portrait recently that was outside of my usual approach to art, so that’ll be the graphic for this post.

As always leave a comment if you wish, and thanks for reading.

dorkin in the dorian in c

the sonique spiderweb

what else is there to say?

And then some me thinks.
Yes there is more to say somehow despite the plethora of what has already been said.
Do you find an inane distractability in just about everything there is to do?
Maybe during practice, reaching for a beverage instead of maintaining focus on the difficulties of what we’re trying to learn!?
What I’m asking is, is it really thirst?
Does dehydration occur sitting at the keyboard learning to read music?
Enough berating of my anxious concerns about managing to get things done for the moment.

I’ve berated B flat Major in a previous post and as this is something of my paradigm to go through all the modes in all the keys as a project.

We come to Dorian in C.

A natural minor scale comprising all the notes of a Major scale but the root pitch begins from the Major 2nd interval.
In the case of B flat Major, the Major 2nd interval is C.
What makes it a minor is the 3rd note from this starting pitch which is E flat.
The 6th interval in Dorian in C is an A, this is a half step higher than would be in a natural minor scale where the 6th would be A flat.

I know, fascinating right.

All so we can find and play the right note on demand.

So knowing what we know about Major scales and B flat in particular, see if we can parse out or deduce the other pitches in C Dorian.

Fill in the blanks, in your head, on your instrument or on a separate sheet of paper if you like.
The pitches previously mentioned are filled in. The intervals are relative to the root C.

Root C, major 2nd___ , minor 3rd E flat, perfect 4th___, perfect 5th___ , major 6th A, minor 7th___ .

Keep in mind it should be alphabetic. So if there is a C and there is an E flat there must be a..?

Now go and find them on your instrument.

the dorian mode in various positions on the fret board in tablature

When to use the Dorian in C.

What chords are available given the pitches we’ve deduced above?
Find one or 7 and strum and then improvise using the scale over the lingering memory of the chord you played.
The obvious choice is of course C minor as a jumping off point.
Let us find some of the other possible chords that can be built from the sequence of notes we find in the mode.

Here is one way to find chords in a scale/mode

As is my custom, here is my take on mixing up the playing of the scale to challenge our fingers.

inverting the mode/scale to make it interesting to play

Merci

Counting time

Intro to Hopelessly Devoted by John Farrar

6/8 time

Why make this harder than it has to be?
Because sometimes a thing is hard to do?
Reading music is hard to do.
I thought I knew music and I do but there is always more to consider.
As far as reading it, eventually I found the note symbol names easy to commit to memory. I have been rather presumptuous in marching to the beat of my own drummer when trying to learn a new piece of music. The timing of the notes requires another level of consideration I have not been giving them. This I must now understand better especially in the context of timing.

Knowing how the song is supposed to sound but translating that to my fingers has proven to be difficult.
So changing the perspective of my inner drummer, (it wants to go faster than it is able presently), requires a mental shift into a more patient mind set.
Hence the numbering of the timing under the notes and rests, must not forget the rests!
It is really easy to miss an 8th note rest symbol, and what a difference acknowledging its there does to make the piece play properly.
I have also found it useful to name arpeggios (chords where each note gets played individually) when they occur to aid in memorizing the piece.
So writing these out on the music I am learning helps.
As well as the fingering sometimes.
Playing slowly and in time can be a chore, but does help to focus the mind.

beginning JUMP keyboard solo by Van Halen

Those 16th notes can be a challenge to count. But the eye opener for me was that tiny little rest at the beginning of the measure (hi-lighted). Ignoring that little 8th note rest the whole piece gets out of sync!

And those dots between the 1 . & . 2 . & . can be counted thusly 1 e & a 2 e & a etc.. Not easy to do at first or even the 70th time but will make a difference in a performance.

Interesting how the chord begins at the end of each measure

What to practice

Which reminds me of another point of consideration.
I can play various portions or parts of a piece just fine, but putting them together as a whole is where hesitations can occur.
The changes from one part to the next.
Or one chord to the next.
This is the place to focus attention and energy.
Not on what is already committed to memory and understood well.
Though that is a necessary part of the context.
To be able to make it through the entire piece without a hesitation.
So reading music is not only acknowledging the pitches on the page and where they are on our instrument but also the length and time between their occurrence needs to be understood.

A sort of musical punctuation.

Merci

Bloviating briefly in b flat major

Seems pertinent to the title

video LINKS to B flat major scale on the guitar

Some video’s displaying ‘the sonique spiderweb’ and its utility.

B flat major scale demonstrated at various positions on the fretboard

B flat major chord built from the triad of Root, Major 3rd and Perfect 5th.

C minor chord built from with in the B flat major scale.

bref

NOTE NOTES
So in dealing with the B flat Ionian we can use the sonique spiderweb further by building relative chords found with in the scale.
Most chords have a Root, a 3rd (major or minor) and a 5th.
A triad of 3 pitches, these pitches can repeat with in a chord to give it a fuller sound.
Or …., which also gives the chord a unique flavor.
(you can fill in the blank, I learned recently that leaving something to the imagination is pertinent to the readers expectation whilst digesting information and can more actively engage the mind more than spelling everything out! [this is going to happen some more just so you’re aware, this is a teaching effort after all])
Looking at the sonique spiderweb with the B flat Ionian on display we can see on the outer perimeter the Root Major 3rd and Perfect 5th being displayed
Bb D F
The premier triad.
By following that pattern around the sonique spiderweb we next come to C Eb G
A root pitch C a minor 3rd Eb and a perfect fifth G
Notice how we skip a displayed pitch to get to the 3rd and 5th
The outer perimeter of the web does not indicate these intervals, the relationship of intervals remain static.
Root > m2nd > M2nd > m3rd etc..
It is how we are using them in this context that their definition changes.
Above are a couple of videos demonstrating the chord assembly technique available in the sonique spiderweb as well as fretboard examples.
Your mission should you decide to accept it is to follow the pattern all around and ….?
See I told you you would have to use your imagination.

speaking of imagination

PERFORMANCE NOTES

So I gave my keyboard an erection recently.
Yep raised the stand it sits on so that I have to stand to play it or get a taller stool!
I find it offers a challenge and a way of focusing my thinking, changing up my position that sitting sometimes does not allow.
It is incredibly easy to get caught up in thoughts that are in no way focused on the task at hand, and subsequently distract from said task.
In this case, the practice of an instrument I am determined to get better at.
So changing my position in an effort to gain some focus is helpful.
Also I want to improve my vocals so standing helps with that as well.
To stand or sit whilst playing the guitar is also something to consider.
There are advantages to each.
The closer the guitar is to your chest can make playing certain things easier.
But for looking cool, a guitar slung low off the shoulder while standing really sets a mood, (I wanna rock!)
But that can make some playing techniques difficult to manage.
Take a look at your favorite performers at various points in a performance.
Do their instruments proximity change from time to time depending on the song being performed?
Even while sitting movement can be detected to enable reaching certain portions of a piece practical.
When playing do you watch to pick hand or your fret hand?
What can we learn from this?
What does it tell us we know or don’t know while looking at our instrument?

Close my eyes during practice.
I do this with the keyboard from time to time in hopes of becoming better acquainted with it.
Try to get a feel for where my hands need to be.
I did this whilst jamming with some friends with the guitar recently, but that was more to focus on the sound we were making.
To listen more I shut my eyes to limit sensory input so my brain could process the sound more closely.
With the end goal of getting the song we were playing to sound good!

Merci

Isolating the Ionian

Slices of the sonique spiderweb looking for something to do!

B flat Ionian

Finally finished A Ionian and the subsequent modes. Took a little over a year, at this rate, it will take 12 + years to go through all the remaining keys and modes.
I can do this more efficiently. Keep it simple stupid. Why the need to over sell the basics?
It is fairly easy to move the patterns learned in the key of A up one degree, or interval, or fret to arrive at B flat major.

Here is a primer video if you would like to see B Flat Ionian on the fretboard.
That is an easy approach. But to get to a deeper comprehension, and greater familiarity with the fret board.
Understanding the relationships of alphabetic music concepts is necessary.

INNATE VERSUS INANE

For something to be considered innate it should be natural. That is the goal of learning to play an instrument well. Having whatever it takes to play our instrument and make it sound like we want it to sound feel natural.

We want to know the relevance as well as the location of the notes we want to play as innately as possible.
B flat Ionian has an A note directly below it in pitch. This can be used as a leading tone, one that wants to find the next pitch almost as if asking a question, where B flat is the answer.
I used this in my song ‘enchanté’ in the segue to the chorus, where B flat chord variations (and they are varied!) are contrasted with an A note sounded at a time (leading to) in just such away as to ‘ask’ for the B flat resolution.

Using a leading

In another context the A in the case of B flat in a chord is a Major 7th which offers a completely different set of circumstances to explore sounding off about.
Just finger a B flat Major 7th triad can be fun and revelatory! Try these for fun.

B flat Major 7th triads

Or as inanely.

My french dictionary says this word is equivalent to inept stupid, this is not what I intend.
Rather I wish to imply by the use of this word, just letting go of preconceived constraints and seeing what comes of it can be fun.
Sitting down at the keyboard or guitar and letting the mind wander for a moment can be an impetus for new music to come.


Trying to remember to forget that which we don’t know is possible!


Is it possible to let go of preconceived concepts about what makes something sound like music to our selves?
Due to culture and circumstances beyond our control, and certain music being repeated more often than others, a musical DNA is ingrained, so to speak?
Exploring with just the desire to discover what else may come of our musical expression may yield surprising results that have just as much to teach us as comprehension of the basics underlying music theory.

More on that next time.

merci

enchanté

en fin

anatomy of a song

enchanté

Really its more of a history.
Developing a guitar technique led me to the intro of the song.
I repeated it thrice in case it was missed.
Discovered when transcribing that all the pitches in the 12 tone musical scale are contained with in its bewildering array!
I did not intend that, just happened, a happy accident!?
Found a chord structure to turn it into something more.
Smudged those in a few places.
The melody was apparent but the lyrics were a long time coming.
Could not commit to who or what the song was to be about / for.
Found some words that made sense with the original verbiage construed at the beginning.
It is for everybody now.
Recording was its own morass of try, become dissatisfied, leave it, try again.
Transpose it to the keyboard, learn to play the keyboard, so it sounds like music.
Become dissatisfied with the result, leave it, forget how it was played, relearn it, try again.
Let recording equipment go out of date, lose functionality.
Struggle to get that to work again, ignoring other alternatives.
Find that other recording alternatives can work!
Try, fail, try again, fail. Keep trying, failing as learning.
Accept it won’t be a grammy winner regardless, but is close enough for rock n roll.
Well Pop, Rock, Jazz as I am want to classify it.
Realize the process is as involving if not more so than the result.
Let it glow so the next one can come to fruition.
Perhaps it won’t take 17 years to complete!?

locating the locrian

More Extraction Abstraction

So I was thinking about writing about Locrius who lived in Locria amongst the Locriites during the Locracious period but thought better of it and decided to stay with some of the more technical aspects relating to guitar playing and such!

THE LOCRIAN MODE

Primer on locating the Locrian on the guitar fretboard video

A very odd sounding scale that can evoke notions of the mysterious or ambivalence.
Is interesting because of the proximity of the m2nd right next to the ROOT and the 4th has a diminished or flat 5th rubBing up against it so to speak.
Who is the naughty one here!?
In relation to the Ionian in A Major, the Locrian has as its root G# / Ab.
By beginning the mode with this as the root point, the interval relationships change as they also do in the other modes.
No less than 4 minor intervals in this mode. m2nd, m3rd, m6th and m7th.
Plus the 5th is diminished, (a type of minor pitch relative to the ROOT) so there is technically 5 minor intervals!

playing in the Locrian mode

So much is off when compared to the relative Major that it practically begs for resolution.
That is to say it builds a sonic tension when expressed.
You don’t have to begin on the Root of course. But it does show its color when played against a chord based on it the intervals it contains.
Fingering such a chord does get the mind involved if we are not familiar employing the intervals in the mode in this way.
EXERCISE: Make up a chord with as may of the pitches in the mode as possible without repeating one i.e. an octave.
EXERCISE: Play the mode or a portion thereof against the chords suggested from the other intervals.
EXERCISE: Using the sonique spiderweb Dial in the intervals to the LOCRIAN MODE. You can reference the actual intervals on the outer perimeter of the SSW
ROOT, m2, m3, P4, dim5, m6, m7,

OR;
Knowing that the notes of A MAJOR are also the notes used in LOCRIAN G#/Ab find which intervals to display that way.
A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#

experiments

Experimentation is involved to get to the usefulness in expressing this mode in our playing.
Remember to develop our technique in the various modes by not just playing them forwards and backwards, but crossways and slideways!
The creative muscle is strengthened by searching out ways to make it relevant to our musical expression.
I discovered whilst generating a fret board diagram of the Locrian / Ionian in the key of A that, across some frets on all strings an associated pitch could be found that is in key . See Diagram.
I point this out as an additional exercise that does not demand too much mental effort looking for ‘pitches in key’ to make playing around with the scale an exercise in exploration and finger gymnastics without the associated ‘is that a relative pitch to the scale’ thought process.
So in this case the relative pitches are found on all strings at the 2nd 7th and 9th fret.

Try that on for fun!

MERCI

axercising the aeolian

2021 11 28 j’ART Original Digital Art by BEL

Did you see what I did there? Combining exercising with ax, a term some people use to describe a guitar, clever no?
Not certain when that terminology came into use, or when the riffs musicians played came to be known as chops? But as a species we do like to change things up, to keep it interesting. It was very probably someone trying to be clever that brought about such changes to descriptive analogies amidst the mix of humanities linguistic propensities. I personally don’t think things ever get boring, and this post is about the need to be interested in order to make progress.

About the image

Why is there an interest to share the vicissitudes of my life thusly? I don’t know, but there it is, a mangled morass of my mental ambiguity modified for mass consumption.
I multitask to make this.
First as a digital journal entry of my scatterbrained thoughts and then, by further manipulating that output I can express my experience of life to the light of day.
The thoughts rendered thusly can then be considered processed by me and leave something of interest I feel comfortable sharing.
There is also video of the process, to add as a visual backdrop for music I generate.
That will be available when the next musical composition is finished.

If you like this digital distortion of my thoughts and would like to see it in full, without the ‘Sonique Spiderweb Title’ obscuring the image, email me and I will send a .jpeg.

In the mean time here is another strand from the Sonique Spiderweb.

So I have been demonstrating the Sonique Spiderweb within the framework of the Ionian in the key of A. I have went through all the basic modes thus far now leading to the Aeolian in F# a natural minor scale.

So once again as with all modes Ionian, we have all the notes in A major but F# is the root making the A note the minor 3rd in the sequence.

The natural minor is remarkably fun to play in, and offers so much to use in any number of corresponding chord sequences, in whatever key we are playing in of course.

This is a fundamental skill that can best be appreciated by applying it within our practice.

The point of learning to use the scale to develop improvisational skill is demonstrated here in this short video about the mode.

FINDing THE WILL TO MAKE PROGRESS.

What is of interest when we imagine reaching our musical goals?

Performing a song perfectly, proficiently, painterly?
That term ‘painterly’ I mean as a painter paints, the brush strokes they use to express a tree or mountain for example, may not look like that at all, before the picture is complete. The same with playing a song, we may not hit every note exactly but we have sufficient grasp of the piece to convey it satisfyingly!

this could also be interesting.

Being on stage performing, playing in a band
Your music being streamed online and you’re banking some bucks.
Conveying a deep emotion to a significant other.
In a recording studio, comping some riffs for another musician you admire.
Writing music to inspire, to incite insight, to invigorate innovation.

options require CHOICES be made

Regardless of our level of interest though, the consistency of pursuit remains the determining factor in a sense of accomplishment.
What are we willing to do so that we can be the musician we want to be?
There is a lot of advice available to encourage action in accord with our aspirations, but such motivation can be short lived. I know this to be true, as my blog posting schedule seems to suggest. That is, I don’t really have one!?

Thus in anything we want to do, it helps if the thing that interests us is also compelling enough for our best effort to be engaged.
Consistent, constant, constructive, instructive, these are all words that are part of a vocabulary of attempting successful accomplishment. But wait there is so much to…

We CAN DO ANYTHING (+/-) we CANT DO EVERYTHING.

It is problematic to want to do everything. The wanting is possible, the doing is not.
There is always something else to pursue or is perhaps easier or more fun to do.
Distractions likewise abound and confound, challenging us to try to continue to make any real meaningful progress.
If we focus on why we want what we want then we can put in the effort needed to attain the level of success desired. To be a musician this effort will take many forms, practice, study, listening, recording, to name a few. So if we cant do one, another is available. Or we can distract ourselves and do such things later.

What matters and why? To me its all about being interested and involved, and that can have many degrees of intensity and attention. Given time we will become the musician, artist, idealistic aspirant we want to be!

So whatever the goal or task at hand then, please, prudently and patiently pursue the process of making proactive progress possible that are pertinent to your proclivities!

merci

Treize

treize original musique video here

how

So this song has been with me awhile. I generated it using ‘the sonique spiderweb’ whilst working at the keyboard. By confining myself to the notes with in a key I was not particularly familiar with, and to aid in improving my always wanting to be better mind set. I recorded this. Was I successful? You will have to make that determination for yourself if you feel so inclined.

I did some guitar overdubs in one of the DAW’s (digital audio workstations) I have available. As well as taking apart duplicated MIDI keyboard parts to add interest. That involved subtracting notes at random and assigning different synth patches to those tracks.

what

I am pleased with the results for the most part. I call it a demo because of some imprecise improvisation I hear on the guitar tracks. Also audio engineering is a skill set that also gets the ‘I want to be better at this‘ mind set. The video also is a recent amalgamation of artistique enterprises combined with video expressions to add interest and make it post-able to youtube.

When

As it is, projects get started with one intention and then other ideas crop up to impact the process. Not the least of which is ‘I can do better’ but then that gets difficult to pursue and then nothing gets done, sometimes, for a long time. Treize has been on the shelf so to speak, for years. Perfectionism is a hazardous road to walk on especially in comfortable shoes!? So barefoot forward I will proceed and avoid the rough spots as much as possible.

Where

By collecting, creating, modifying, recording images and ideas, all the time. Intending to compile such into a result like ‘treize’ linked to above and thereby adhere to my mission statement.

“musique and media to incite insight and invigorate innovation”

why

Why not?

Who

Me. I realized after tracking my time, how much of it I spend creating multimedia compositions. So that is what I am doing right now, being a practicing multimedia artist. Amongst of course, all the cacophony that life has to offer, my 2¢ is now also on the table.

merci

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