Tuesday, Jul. 11, 2006 - 12:56 a.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Dead Fish Bones and Guitar Lessons
Well, wow, two entries in two days, how amazing is that??
Well, I worked all day on my contracts, good me, and then had spaghetti for supper with artsyguy, but he was just watching tv, sort of channel surfing, and when he ended up watching Star Trek when it was already halfway through an episode, I came home to practice my guitar (you know he will not feel snubbed for a guitar, since this is the number one main reason he leaves my place... to go home to practice his guitar). Anyways, he must think it is good cuz he warned his son who has playing for maybe six months (mostly People are Strange by the Doors), that I am quickly catching up to him, if not already surpassing him, cuz I am practicing hard and I WANT to learn guitar. hah. Well, I admit that for just over three weeks into the guitar, I am doing pretty good. I practiced three hours Saturday night and three hours tonight. Scales, and then individual songs by picking notes, then "speed exercises" (egads I need them), then playing chords, and then practicing along to downloaded MP3s I get at mp3sugar.com. You become a member, and upload either $19.99 or $34.99 (in which case they give you another $10 free credit) from your credit card. Then albums are 99cents and songs are ten cents each, which is deducted from your account balance. Pretty cool. Except now between the digital camera and the MP3s, I am filling up all the memory on my hard drive. Ack!!
But I am getting pretty darn good at the chord changes in American Pie. Pretty darn cool. The great thing is that there are no hard chords (ie bar chords or weird and wonky 4finger thingies).
Mom-on-Roof apparently just bought an acoustic guitar for her daughter at a garage sale (brave soul you are!), and asked me what I am doing to learn.
Well, I have these books, also gleaned at a long-ago garage sale (ie 1987)... Ernie Ball How to Play Guitar. I am most of the way through Phase I (first book). It is pretty clear and simple, though the way they show to make a C chord is a bit wonky. Just leave the fingers off the sixth string and don't play it. No muting the fifth string... heck, that is the middle C!! Why MUTE the MIDDLE C in a Cchord?? duh. But it has nice little drawings that show how to hold the guitar and everything. Cannot go wrong.
I have Phase 2 (book 2) as well, but have only glanced through it.
I looked online and found some websites that have guitar tablature for some songs I know, and so I printed some out with chords that I learned from the Ernie Ball books. You have to sort of try them out and see if the keys are all wonky, since it is just individuals that have done it by ear I think. To get official music you need to pay for it. Ie go to a music store and buy sheet music (yeah I am pretty sure you can get sheet music online too).
I also downloaded some MP3s of the same songs. So I can play them on my puter while following along the printed lyrics and chords with the guitar as I listen. It really helps a lot. Try three or four songs, ones that aren't too hard (that means not so many chord changes, and not hard chords like F or Bm or B7 ack!!).. and esp songs you can stand to listen to over and over.
I also use this really cool site called 8notes... it has midi files of different chords... click on the one you want, it will show where to play it, and also will play the notes, then the whole chord, so you can hear what you should be playing. It also has a "first guitar lesson".. yes I can now play "I wanna go Home...".
It here is REALLY VALUABLE HELP... ie an mp3 file of the Low E... what the big fat string on the guitar should sound like when it is tuned right.(!!ACK!! for some reason about.com refuses to let you get to that link, and keeps turning it into the guitar homepage. Here is the URL... cut and paste please. http://guitar.about.com/library/media/audio/tuning_lowE.mp3 )You use that to tune all the other strings (here are some instructions) (yes, cut and paste... I think I hate "about.com" http://guitar.about.com/library/weekly/aa_tuning_guitar_3.htm ). And then to check it all out before you start playing (believe me, shoving the guitar into a case makes them little keys turn when they rub against it, and that untunes it when you put it away. ack!).... here is a mp3 file of ALL the strings tuned correctly (same: cut and paste: http://guitar.about.com/library/media/audio/tuning.mp3 ). You can listen to it over and over while plucking the strings and adjusting them to tune them right. It is long at the start but kind of fun.
I personally had taken piano lessons from the age of 8 to 12, so I know some music, can read simple sheet music etc, but 8notes also has a cool music theory lesson site, with midi sounds again. Very helpful for beginners.
Anyways, so far that is how I have been learning the guitar. It seems to work ok for now. I also get artsyguy and his kid rollerboy to show me strumming and stuff. And it probably would NOT hurt to take classes. But for now I am speeding along and thrilled to be able to pick out notes of songs from my piano songbooks from 1974, and sort of strum along with American Pie. so, best of luck to Ms. Childe, Mom-on-Roof!!
The photos are from a week ago Monday when I was bummed that artsyguy didn't want me along to pick up his kid, and so I got a community carshare car and took doggies and my guitar out for a couple hours (I wanted to go all day but booking the car at the last minute it was only available for two hours). We went along the edge of the river, where there was a lot of plant and animal matter washed up on shore. I played guitar while she waded the whole time. I think she stood there drinking water for about an hour straight. I have no idea why she didn't just explode from drinking so much. Anyways, yeah. Dead fish bones and a wet dog! The funny thing is she tried to lay down out where she was standing, but then as the water rose up around her neck she realized it was too deep!! I called her in closer to shore where I knew it was shallow enough to lay down, and told her to. She did, but then when she was all comfy, she decided she would lay on her side, all flat, ie her nose about an inch from the ground... and once again discovered that if she did that in the eight inch deep water she'd drown. It was pretty funny, watching her discover that she couldn't just proceed to the next level of comfort without coming into shallower water. hah!!
OK, I am sure I could write more, but it is somehow nearly 2am already and I want to be up about 8:15. Silly girl!! zzzz
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Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
*inspired by Chaosdaily