tiger_spot: (Default)
[Poll #1874701]
tiger_spot: (glare)
me: What do you do with a drunken baby?
What do you do with a drunken baby?
What do you do with a drunken baby, early in the morning?

Andres: Babies shouldn't be drunken.

me: Dry 'em out and keep them sober,
Dry 'em out and keep them sober,
Dry 'em out and keep them sober, early in the morning.

Your verses are boring. Morgan, tell Papa his verses are boring.

Andres: What do you do with a bouncing baby? Although last night it was barfing baby.

me: Grab a spit rag and use it wisely,
Grab a spit rag and use it wisely,
Grab a spit rag and use it wisely, early in the morning!
tiger_spot: (Venus)
At some point, when songs like Nine Inch Nail's "Closer" come up on shuffle when I'm making dinner or sitting at the computer or what-have-you, I should probably start hitting "skip". When do you suppose that point is?
tiger_spot: (magic)
[livejournal.com profile] chinders borrowed a guitar from [livejournal.com profile] miyasato to see if open mic night at Red Rock would be more fun with a bit of accompaniment to her singing.

I have been intending to fuss with it a bit on the grounds that heck, there's an instrument in the house, I may as well learn to play it! Today I actually managed to find a website that explained theoretically basic guitar-related topics in a way that actually made sense to me, then piffled around translating some of the more standard notations (tablature and chord diagrams and the like) into actual sounds.

E minor is kind of an awesome chord.

Anyway, I now understand the logic of the fretboard, in a sort of rudimentary way, which is a great help. I played a nice regular proper scale. Now it is not all random "Do THIS ridiculously complicated thing with your fingers! Now shift to THIS one! No, don't pick that string, augh!" and instead is only combinations of nice sensible notes. Whew.

The interesting thing about the guitar, as distinct from piano or voice, is that it is ALL ABOUT the chords. My typical approach to a bit of music is to figure out the melody, one note after another, and then maybe once I've got that down try adding in a bit of accompaniment with some additional notes, at the same time. Whereas the basic guitar approach seems to be to make sure that your fingers are in a position such that every string is playing a note in the same chord, then play some subset of those notes, whichever ones you happen to feel like at the time, maybe all together, maybe one at a time, maybe an interestingly rhythmic combination over the course of the measure. This is a very different approach. It's one that I had sort of started to fuss with a bit on piano, given simple chords in the left hand as accompaniment to right-hand melody, but I feel like coming at it through the guitar mindset will be terrifically useful. I've been kind of working it out from first principles based on logic, but here's this lovely big pile of natural examples to explore.

It'll be fun. (Once my fingers stop hurting.)
tiger_spot: (Magritte)
The people across the street (the ones who moved into the very, very weird house) frequently play random instruments -- saxophone, clarinet, trumpet -- in their garage.

Today they have about 20 people over, standing in the front yard, with an amplified microphone and speaker system, an entire drum kit, trombones, clarinets, trumpets, a tuba....

They seem to be having quite a good time over there.

My desk is vibrating.
tiger_spot: (Magritte)
Last year, I bought The Peanuts Christmas Carol Collection, on grounds that it had a lot of songs I like, no songs I detest, a few songs I hadn't heard of, and looked like a set of nice easy arrangements suitable for having people sing along with. I hadn't actually gone through it until the last few days, when I started going through it from the beginning to see which songs I want to work up so that, when relatives are visiting this Christmas, I can play and they can sing along.

It turns out that it ought to be titled Christmas Carols: The Gloomy Versions. They've made some very strange choices in the arrangements. Some of these can perhaps be put down to over-simplification: Coventry Carol, for instance, is in the key of C, which is Just Wrong. Some may be attributed to a Puritan spirit of solemnity and having no fun at all, or perhaps to simple ignorance of the songs in question: Go Tell It On The Mountain is made slow and melancholy by the simple expedient of writing every fourth measure to a completely wrong tune. Some are just inexplicable: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen traditionally ends the chorus ("tidings of comfort and joy") on an E. The arranger of the Peanuts Collection decided that one good strong note in both hands (as my old free arrangement has it) was too simple, and added a chord. This is all well and good. However, the chosen chord is E minor. E minor is not comfort and joy! E minor is afflictions and doom! E minor is sins and tribulations! E minor does not belong in my Christmas carols!

I didn't make it past God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. I switched to my other new book of carols, which seems much better so far. They're arranged as solos, so there aren't any printed words, they're substantially more difficult arrangements, they have lots of decorative flourishes, and they'll be harder to sing along with, but they sound good and they're not blatantly wrong. (Well, Coventry Carol's a bit cheerier than is really called for, but in a pretty way. I have not thoroughly investigated the rest of the selection; see also, substantially more difficult arrangements.)


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