Nov 25, 2007 Uncategorized
Okay, this may seem silly, but I purchased Guitar Hero III for the Playstation 3 a couple of days ago, and as of today, I’ve determined that I play it *wrong*. The essential problem is that I whack the strum bar with the side of my thumb (probably harder than needed) to play each note. I don’t think I can do this anywhere near fast enough to progress much further. I’m just about done the game on Medium, having finished it yesterday on Easy (with Sarah’s help). I don’t think my technique will cut it for Hard. What I really need to do is learn to strum both up and down, holding the strum bar between my thumb and index finger. That will not only give me greater speed, but hopefully reduce the level of RSI destruction I’m sure I’m wreaking upon my hands.
In similar news, I sat down to play my EWI for the first time since I left for California. Yes, it’s been some time. I didn’t play a single note. I’ll try to face it again tomorrow. Here’s the big admission time coming: I can’t really read music. Okay, I can. Like I can sit there and look at the notes on the page and figure out, quite slowly, what they are. However, I can’t put it all together in my head. They stay a collection of notes, as if your letters didn’t form words or your words didn’t form sentences. I’ve learned some songs over time from sheet music, but they’re all songs for which I had the music in my head already and the sheet music was more serving as a clue sheet on how to play that song I was hearing rather than a notation of a song I could play having not heard it.
And there’s the rub. Most of the books of clarinet music that I have are full of songs that I don’t know. So I stare at them for ten minutes and just feel disheartened and defeated and then put it away.
Obviously, that’s not really an option. I’ve pondered taking lessons. Maybe someday I could prod a friend who teaches about that. I’m not at the point where I want to do that yet, though. I think I have some software that covers this, and I’m going to try to spend a little time working with the software each day and then a little time working with the EWI. Better yet would be if I could find some software that made it almost like Guitar Hero but with a sheet music display and MIDI input. Then I could play the EWI and try to play the music and get feedback on whether I was right or wrong until I could get it right.
Anyway, that’s my big admission for the day. I might go work on a piece I’ve been mulling for a bit, or I might read, but I have to face that or I’ll just block it from my mind and do less and less music as an avoidance mechnism. And as much as I like video games, that’s not all I want to have to show for my time at the end of the day.
Nov 19, 2007 Site
WordPress folks: Ever since (some version a couple of versions back), I’ve been unable to insert paragraph breaks while using the visual editor. It shows them, but then it gets rid of them when I post. I have to go into the Code view and manually put in paragraph tags. And if I have to edit the post at all, it strips them out again and I have to re-enter them all. This is, needless to say, kind of tedious. Anybody have any suggestions about that?
Nov 4, 2007 Uncategorized
In the aftermath of seeing Control last night, I got up today and ripped my Joy Division and New Order Peel Sessions today. I find that these are the albums where you can most see that it’s the same band — the New Order release in particular has a very “Joy Divisioney” sound. (I think that they eventually put out more than one Peel Session from New Order, so this is the one from June 1st, 1982.) These are some of my most beloved recordings, but I almost never listen to them because I only have them on vinyl. Now I’ve got them in my iTunes playlist and I’ve just been listening to the two on shuffle for the last hour or so.
It’s sometimes hard for me to get over how good a lot of the music that I have hanging around on vinyl is. I’m sure that a big part of that is that it was my formative music. Well, probably almost all of the blame goes to that relationship. Still, I rarely go back and listen to this stuff, and I think I should do so more often, as it really makes me feel connected to the world.
Although, on the other hand, these albums always really make me want to go learn to play bass, which I’m not sure would be a great plan for me just now.