Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The major scales are very useful to playing an instrument. They make it about 12X easier to jam, because you know that all your jammings will be in the same Hz family. Otherwise, it's like going in without a helmet.

Many net teachers show up trying to tell you to do it with "w"s or 1/2 w's or worse, the notes with the little flags. They are Latin. They are no longer a living music language to me. The only music language I speak is circles and numbers, within fretlines. Or fretless number approximations, or plain Hz with an electronic box.

Anybody who doesn't do it this way is selling something, such as Google, who removed my formatting.

N 1 2 3 4
0 x x x 0
1 x x x x
2 0 0 0 0
3 0 x x x
4 x 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 x
6 x x x 0
7 x x x x
8 0 0 0 0
9 0 x x x
10 x 0 0 0
11 0 0 0 x
12 x x x 0

This is the Ionian scale. Play the 0's, do not play the X's.

My friend Jon made a great paper sliding mechanism with dots to show the scales sometime in January. He noted that they look like tetris blocks.

It doesn't matter whether you begin the scale at 12 or at 0, so long it retains its relationship to itself. You can begin at any Hz frequency, so long as it is in relation to the other notes.

Other scales include the Lydian, Dorian, C, A. Note that there are different organizations for 4-string and 5-6 string instruments, called the bass and normal guitar scales. Bass strings are tuned in all-5 relation, while normal guitars are tuned in 4-4-4-5? Or 5-5-5-4 style. This will mess up your rock.

Doing one note at a time within these chords is great, but two at once is sure to make them drip from someplace.

Friday, December 22, 2006

It's a sly trick to change the tempo within the tempo. Do it whenever you've got some extra balls.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

If you're playing a song you don't know, you could do well to simply slide your fingers along the string in sympathy with the symphony. The frets will strike the sounds and you'll sound like you're going along with the story. Doing this in the appropriate way is very likely to cross the established pattern many times, even in roughened translations of pitch.

As you slide, also pluck. Sliding will get the tamber. Plucking will get the melody and help your tempo, as will the speed of your slide. You can also take the time to hop on notes as you slide to try the area out for some internal melodizing. This sound is pretty good/tight/sly on the electric guitar. Lots of fun and very useful for accompanying an acoutsic or a lead with many good chords that bass has a difficult time rhythming with.

Sliding for more than a few minutes will also build up excellent callouses on the fingers.

As stated before, a song is a wave, and the notes are merely level marks on that wave. Sliding is a very good way to produce or duplicate this wave without knowing the notes. The sympathy between the two waves will be ~constant, and can then be defined.

Do be and believe what you can be proud of!!

Quote from the mouth of a groovy chick: "Ladies love the thump of the bass on the vagina."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I just recently noted that when you begin riffing on a certain area of the guitar strongly, there sometimes seems to be an equalization of justice around the original note, or a certain random note which then becomes central, or a note which is accented midway through.

This note takes the place of the 12 spot whole note in a new mathematical formulae of octavity. If you riff above it and then below it, the sound is kind of sour and predictable around that note, possibly because we're used to hearing the 12/octave at its normal position, and as noted above, the natural 12 doesn't sound so great when you begin riffing above and below it. So keep that in mind when you're striking out on a new octave. Stay on one side to maintain distinction, or if you do go across, respect that distinction.

Notes on the 3 skinny strings: open, 2 & 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 & 12. Hit them!!
Notes on the trick string: open, 2, 4 & 5, 7, 9, 11 & 12. Hit those ones too!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Also, I know you'll learn and enjoy from these shamisen videos!!

The universe is so beautiful when viewed at a distance. Is it not that beautiful even at our own resolution?
I have found that string 2 feels really nice when played below the 12. You can hit the 15 or 17 and they do quite well, and then use either the 2 open or the 12 as open. Then, if you mix it up with the thin string's 15 or 17 you'll like what you hear. If you're American.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The E-string on bass, the thickest lowest string, has a tendency to clang on the frets when it is plucked because of its girth and width of vibration. This is problematic in some music. There are few things you can do to make this sound better.

For this reason, the E-string is now the Trick String. If you're playing on the Trick String, you should do tricks. Pull the string to the side as it vibrates, slide your fingers along it as you pluck it, scrape the pick or your nails on the string coils, or do something else that make the music more than just a single pluck. Furthermore, that string is so low in comparison to most other music that it will stand out anyway, so no sense in letting that contrast go to waste.

Unfortunately, on these strings a single note does not arrive. The Hz vibration from the string oscillates up and down as the string revibrates. This actually produces a series of similar notes. The music is played on a wave, and any note that you strike in a song is a point on that wave.

I've had difficulty resonating a good bass line with a complex 3 or 4 note chord from an acoustic. The bass must hit at least one of those notes dead on every time, and with the many notes it is a complex shift that a single or double note bass stroke cannot easily duplicate. If the bass then goes off on single note whopping it's simplicity will be heavily contrasted with the multi note chord. It may be best to play a predictable or background or support line here with unemphasized interference/resonation between the instruments. Or to write the music first and stick to that. Jamming freelance in that manner seems odd.

You might also want to try this neat combo: 1A, 3D. You're going to want to be able to stretch over 2 frets and hit 1 & 4 a string apart. This is possible for a man with reasonably sized hands to do with the pointer and pinky. Work on your pinky muscles and tendons. It will be improbable to do this on the Trick String.

The notes in a song are points on a wave. The wave is important, not particularly the notes. As long as the/a good wave is represented by the notes, the song is clear. Not every song is well demarcated by notes, and not every note is necessary nor fluff in a good song. A fretless bass is a good way to address this matter, in the hands of a skilled musician or a youngin playing around with math and music. The piano is brutally distinct in this respect, although the notes could be considered even fractions which the song's wave can divide or round its sound into.

Let me hear a blending over time of the notes in a classical score. What would it be like if the notes melted into one another like a color/music wheel X performance? Some stringed instruments with sliding fingers seem able to do this, but each pluck is still a demarcation.

I will make an instrument that is permanently ringing while it is on. Then the note will be grasped and slid on the string/s. It will be an upright-standing instrument. Foot pedals might stop or start the notes on the strings, and the hands would select the notes. Furthermore, the instrument could be turned to pluck mode for demarcation. I'd call it the bassomer.

It has also been said that if you cover a song you must make it dramatically different in some way. We will have heavy metal Beatles. I want lines and words changed, bridges changed, new solos, and basically for it to be seen that the song was well reupholstered.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Okay, when you’re rockin out, it is important to know some things about the bass frets.

When plucking a single thread, follow these rules:

Do not fuck around with #1 and 2 to the bone [open or 0] unless you know you’re going there. Frets 1 and 2 are close to the open bar, but not on it, and will twist against that open rhythm unpleasantly unless they’re backed up by something proper. Especially #1. You can do 2-3 and such. 3 is a good spot. They even mark it with a dot. I call this the ¼ note, per string. The 5/12 is somehow the next step up, then the 7/12, then the 9 which is the ¾ note. The 12 sounds super sweet and will fix most any jam you’re in on the string. Above the 12 is not to be used in conjunction with any of the lower notes.

The 0-12 is whole, and that wholeness must be respected or you'll wipe out. You can jam around the 12, but pick one side to jam on. Don’t jam 11-12-13, that’s not right. That’s wiping out the bar incorrectly. You can jam 11-12, or 12-13.

Plus you can jam one note and then go straight up to the next string on the same number. That is a fine progression. You'll find an acoutsic chordlike quality in this that gives the note some depth. You can spread the rhythm here on a different plane without leaving it. You won't generate much newness if you stay on one fret among two strings, but it's a kind of active waiting for a new note to come along if you need a second, or have an extra one.

You can also jam 5-6. That is in the neighborhood. It's often nice to freak out on a neighborhood of notes and just go from one to the next as best as you can. If you've got a sharp ear you can pull some cool rhythms out of a little soloing there. If you break up a song with a solo or two, or solo on a neighborhood it can make secondary rhythms with the rest of the song, producing fun.

Plus you can seperate odds and evens on the frets. Circles and squares. Don't mix circles and squares if you're sticking to one set, or a square in a line of circles will get you negative points.

Whatever you do, do something and stick to it until you do something else. If you mess up, don't overreact. Try to slip it in quiet like. React, but less than you'd call a panic away from a perceived failure. Then switch it up later.

Sometimes the speed at which you play the notes in relation to one another is at least as important as the tone of the notes themselves. You could play a song in beats and not care about the hz of each note, but be counting the hz of the noteS. The trick to playing a good song is to play a lot of nice songs that sound good *together*. Even on the same instrument. Especially in the same band.


The strings are ABCD, from smallest to grandest. I know they’ve already got names for notes, but I am reworking the scale myself, by local gemoetrics. This seems regionally unpopular, but I dig it. I have also just discovered a lot about music and how it works through my own method, where conventional science has failed me for years.

If you dig the continental stuff, fine. But I do ABCD, and the frets are numbers up the letter.

It’s super pro to play the A9+B7 together. They sound fantastic! Then Give it a second stroke, flip up the open strings,

It is a great 2-note bass chord to hit the Ax and Bx-2. That always produces a huge boner.

Try A9 B7 at the same time. Flip it open and then try just B7, then B5, then pull A7 B5. Then pull a B3, open again, then go up the A string from A3 to A5 or A7. Then pull it back to A7 + B5, or A5 B3, based on whichever A you used first.

Now you've warmed up the entire odd [square] frequency on strings A and B. You've established a song. They are yours to make magic with. They're wide open. It's a complete circuit, keep it going, and tweak it now and then. Keep the frequency and you can solo on those notes switching up between doubles and singles until you get tired of the tone.

Also if you've got the knuckles for it, do an A8 B5. Bass notes are wide so you better be too. If you have that you can play bass all day.


Don’t try to incorporate 5-6-8 or something into a circle or square arrangement. That sounds like 3 blind mice, but when you had circle/square before, you now have circle+square, and people will get confused. You cross a rhythm there. 2-4-6-8 are okay together [circle]. But if you’re plucking evens and you hit and odd it’ll be sour. And if you’re plucking dots and you hit a space, it’ll be odd.

You’re jamming along the string in quarters [dots], evens, odds, or neighborhoods. Don’t cross any of these categories unless you’re flirting them together like an ambassador. And when you’re doing odds, the open fret doesn’t count among them until you get past the 3.

Open is an important note. I like to skip to the open as a half-tempo between many or most of my playings. 5’05 is a fine strum. Five-oh-five. So is 5'07'0. [The - ‘ - indicates half tempo on the space between the notes it demarcates.]

As important is the 5-0. The 5 on one string is the same note as open on the next up, if you tune them right. This can produce some synergy. This also means that stepping straight over one thread is fine for almost any combo. This can give you a broader difference between your tweaks and make them sound more dynamic, instead of reaching all the way down to the 12 or so. Plus it’s already -5- apart just by the string that is automatic 5/12 resonance. A7-B5 is automatic 7/12 resonance. This effect is really stellar around the 12 area of the string.

You can also pull on the string you're holding to produce unches. The note will sway up a little bit, producing lots of tiny fractional similarities and a cool whine. You should probably look for 1/2 "12" up the note. That is one half of a single 12-0 note. Aka, going from 1 to 1-1/2. That will produce 24ths, and set a groove for multiples of 12 as high as you can figure. That is the technical definition of the twang going up the note.

This is music.