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Posts about Guitar
READIN started out as a place for me
to keep track of what I am reading, and to learn (slowly, slowly)
how to design a web site.
There has been some mission drift
here and there, but in general that's still what it is. Some of
the main things I write about here are
listening to (and playing) music, and
watching the movies. Also I write about the
work I do with my hands and with my head; and of course about bringing up Sylvia.
The site is a bit of a work in progress. New features will come on-line now and then; and you will occasionally get error messages in place of the blog, for the forseeable future. Cut me some slack, I'm just doing it for fun! And if you see an error message you think I should know about, please drop me a line. READIN source code is PHP and CSS, and available on request, in case you want to see how it works.
Check it out. Here are a couple of recordings I've done in the past few weeks, 3 songs and a couple of Hobo Nickel plugs -- Electric Ragtime!
Syncopations are no indication of
light or trashy music, and to shy
bricks at "hateful ragtime" no longer
passes for musical culture. To
assist amateurs in in giving the
"Joplin Rags" that weird and
intoxicating effect intended by the
composer is the object of this
It is a mistake when finger picking to hold your right wrist in place relative to the strings. When you do that -- I have even gone as far as to hold my forearm against the face of the guitar to anchor my wrist -- all of the force for your fingers and thumb striking the strings will come from the muscles of your palm and fingers. If instead you incorporate motion of your wrist and forearm, you will bring the muscles of your arm into play -- and simultaneously bring into play the mass of your hand and wrist, increasing the momentum of the picking digit. All this translates into speed and power. The trade-off at first is your playing can get sloppy, you will need time to adjust and relearn the muscle memory of the strings' positions. But that does come with time.
I'm kind of flabbergasted still about how seemingly good, worthwhile music is just about pouring out of me since I started using these picks! It's like it was the crucial next step from the Dunlop Thins that I used when I was recording "The Modesto Kid" -- suddenly I'm actually a musician! Check out this playlist [redacted rant of self-justification] -- "Jim Dunlop" by Jer "The Modesto Kid" Osner, traditional music and beyond.
Wow! I must say I'm enjoying playing with the new picks I recently acquired! It is opening up a whole new sort of relationship with the guitar for me. Some songs and attempts at songs that I've been recording with these new plectra, are at my Soundcloud stream. Look!:
So a couple of weeks ago I was writing a murder tune based loosely on iconic murder tune "The Banks of the Ohio" -- I came up with "Braddock" as a good name for a town to be the setting; did a little research and found there is such a town, and it is pretty ideally located on the banks of the beautifully named Monongahela River, one of the two principal tributaries of the Ohio. Came up with "Veil of Mourning", which John and I played at our New Year's jam. And weird, this story seems to be sticking with me -- I spent some time last week listening to "The Cuckoo, she's a pretty bird" in different versions including Richard Fariña's, "The Falcon"; and the thing to do suddenly seemed to be to write a new version of the Braddock story, called "The Buzzard" -- so that's what I did. Check it out:
It was fun picking up my guitar -- I have not played it in a while.