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Week 40 (2010-08-27)

Been a couple weeks. I have a ton going on now. Between work and the baby and the girls, I have school now. Yep, back at college for my BS in mechanical engineering. Very good school for it, too; so, I am excited. I was seriously bummed when I heard they didn't have a jazz band anymore. Oh well.   I do have a jam prospect coming up though. A dude who is a Berklee grad says he'd like to put something together for small cafe gigs and what not. I am nervous at the prospect for sure but I know this is the only way to get better: experience.   This past week did see some changes in my gear for sure. Mark (mgoetting) here on the Heritage Owners' Club sold me his Cube 80x and I gotta say it is the bee's knees for me. I keep saying that I will dial in some good tones for other genres but the moment I hear that wonderful JC tone, I never get past it! haha. One of these days, I am sure I will get to it. The H575 and the Cube together are just something! I couldn't be happier! Thanks again, Mark!   I'd also like to add that I picked up a slick leather Heritage strap for the H575 from Bob (GuitArtMan). Thanks, Bob!   Playing wise, I am spending time still with Why Don't You Do Right as made famous by Peggy Lee. I love the way she sang some of her most popular tunes. I am also revisiting some of the older tunes I have picked up such as Autumn Leaves, Beyond the Sea and All of Me as well as some not so standard tunes such as Sleep Walk. I am also still working on Georgia on my Mind but I will admit there is no progress in the past couple of weeks on it. I have found that I really like Why Don't You Do Right as a playground for someone learning. Nice and easy and slow changes make it easy for me to tryout the new techniques I am picking up such as adding the walking bass line into the chordings as well as trying improv as well as melody and melody imbellishment.

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

This thing called commitment....

So here we are, with a band up and running that can play some half decent songs, we have a superb practice facility which is free to use and the two guitarists and bass player duly spend our spare time practicing at home so we can at least get things done at rehearsals. We are fortunate, our drummer is a guy we get on really well with and has constructive input and good timing, knows his job and does it well.   But why do drummers seem to think that they can just turn up at a few practices and expect the other musicians to practice? I really like our drummer, he is a sound guy, just the man for the job. It is difficult to get together on a weekly basis because he works shifts, so we have to look at it every fortnight. But just now it seems like it is getting harder and harder to get the drummer to practice, we have all said we will work round him. He works evenings, no problem, we will practice in the morning for a few hours.   I do not believe that the band is the be all and end all, our other guitar player had to take a lot of time out as his daughter recently had an operation to remove a brain tumour, so we were behind him 110%, and thankfully all went well. But where is the commitment these days? If you are going to join a band, you know that it involves practice. Why do drummers think that every one else can practice and they can just turn up and put the beat down??   A band needs to be a tight, unified unit that plays spot on together. It's not a jam night or an open mike night, paid gigs expect a lot, and that takes effort.

mark555

mark555

 

Week 38 (August 14, 2010)

Been a couple of weeks. Been playing a good bit.   Of course, still playing All of Me but I also picked up a new tune: Why Don't You Do Right as made famous by Peggy Lee.   Simple changes: Dmin7 (4 beats)- Bb7 (2 beats) - A7 (2 beats) - Dmin7 (4 beats)- Bb7 (2 beats) - A7 (2 beats) - Gmin7 (4 beats) - Bb7 (2 beats) - A7 (2 beats) - Dmin7 (4 beats) - Bb7 (2 beats) - A7 (2 beats) - Gmin7 (2 beats) - A7 (2 beats) - Gmin7 (2 beats) - A7 (2 beats) .... and repeat.   I added a bit of rhythmic flair to it. I also am using this to learn how to walk the bass line while chording. Sounds VERY cool... even in my skill's infancy.

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

More on Trevor Bolder

I was visited by my old friend Ian Bolder,brother of Trevor recently.I'd shown him the entry I made on the Spiders From Mars,and the photo I took of his brother in ASDA ( Wall Mart ) Hull.He dropped by again,and left me this photo of his band playing a local pub in Hull called 'The Good Fellowship' Inn,towards the end of the '60's. L to R, Mike Wright ,drums,Paul Sutton on a Gibson 330 guitar,Trevor Bolder on a Burns Trisonic bass,Singers name forgotten ( Sorry ),and Ian Bolder on a Vox Phantom teardrop guitar.Just a little bit of pre history. Peter Alton Green.

peteraltongreen

peteraltongreen

 

Week 36 (2010-07-28)

Still messing with All of Me. Getting to know the song better and better. I am up to being able to do a more learned improv up to the first Dmin from there... I just noodle.   Wound my first coils for pickups. Here is how it went. The first coil did GREAT! I got 3.92k on it! For what I was wanting, that was ON IT! Second coil.... not as well. Got a 2.7k out of it. Put the two together and I would be only slightly more resistance than a Fender single coil and would lose a noticable portion of the humbucking effect. Before I unwound coil 2, I figured I would try again on a different bobbin. That one I got little to no reading on. I figure it to be the lead wire that I messed up on. You know... the one UNDER then coils. It was getting close to dinner and I had to get across Atlanta (for those of you around here, you know what that means) so I called it a day and will go back in a few weeks to start again on those two coils. Good news is, I got one coil done GREAT!   (For the winds, I used Stew-Mac humbucker kits. They came with AlNiCo 5 magnets which I may switch to AlNiCo 2's. I used 42ga plain enamel wire)   Other good news is, I believe the owner of the luthiery school I was winding pickups at (the owner is a long time friend) will provide me the facilities to build my guitar as well as pitch in as a partial ghost builder of my guitar! The owner has been in the loop of my design since i started drawing it up. Now that it is complete, I figured it was time to show him the complete drawing. He was VERY happy with it. Hopefully, soon, the templates will be cut out. First step is a prototype. Not sure how long that will take, as it will be done in our spare time... and we don't have any of that.   Anyways, that is all for today.

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 35 (2010-07-19)

Good week for me musically.   Still playing around with All of Me.   What I started to do was play along with a nice .  I graduated from playing just the chord changes, to the chord changes with the melody included in the lead tones and then just just the melody.   After playing with the melody for a bit, I started to add little notes, sometimes just neighbor tones but others being from the scale.   For instance, the first part of the melody that has the lyrics, "All of me,..." is R-5-3 in the C scale. I started simple and changed it to R-7-5-3. I then added a simple fill before the next part of the original melody came in. I did this for all parts of the melody through the song. Making those little changes.   After that, I got a bit more brave. I would say 95% of what I did sounded great! It was my first REAL venture into improv playing.   From there, I already knew the C scale for the finger positioning I was happy with for the start of the melody so.... I just played notes in whatever direction felt right making sure to target the original melody notes for familiarity. Even with other notes in between the original melody notes, it held its familiarity. So... that was good.   Next, I went on to E7, then A7 and Dmin. I found myself then doing some rather nice improv single note leads!   What I learned from this was that the song itself must be internalized. Not that you necessarily have to have some sort of cosmic connection with the song, but that you learn every aspect of the song from every imaginable angle. You have to learn the chord changes. You have to know the chord changes. You have to know where those chords are all over the board and really get a feel for the what the different voicings will bring to the song if you use them. Next, learn the melody. Know the melody and really develop a feel for how the melody fits against the song. Finally, really know the scales for the all the changes. Started simple and build on that. Learn one scale in one hand position and add to it.   I'd say within a few weeks of having little to no familiarity and little to no improv experience, you will be doing some improv!   So, yeah. Good week! The 575 through the Vox was the equipment I was playing through for my first jam. Gotta love that tone!   I have jammed schedule for the forseeable future but I will try to get some sort of video posted soon.     ....Try.

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 34 (2010-07-16)

Alrighty. What a week!   First off, I am registered for school. Good news is that I am starting as a Sophomore. So... only about 4.5 years to complete the degree as opposed to the 6-7 year track I was looking at. Very pumped.   Next, and many of you reading this on the Heritage Owners Club forums may already know, I got my first new guitar that wasn't a 'scratch and dent' that was heavily discounted and required some amount of work from me or some of my friends to get it functioning again. I am now short of guitars in numbers that I once had, but what I have now in terms of guitars left is just something!   Three of the four are K'zoo built! One is an old Gibby acoustic built by the boys at K'zoo and the other two are an H140 and the newly acquired H575. That 575 is just simply amazing. I can only imagine this is what my 140 must have been like when it was new! Graham at Jay Wolfe Guitars in Florida was just class act in getting this guitar to me. It came set up BEAUTIFULLY! Ready to play after a quick tune up!   That being said, really the only thing I did this week was continue on working out a my version of All of Me with the melody worked in over the chords. I am right at the end of the song right after the last melody note.   A couple of the chords are a bit funky for me in moving to them from another chord but I am getting cleaner and cleaner with the changes. The 575 through the MicroCube... WOW. Sorry... got sidetracked.   On top of that, I jammed on a couple of other tunes after I got the guitar just to test the versatility. It'll do Black Sabbath's Paranoid and wonderfully! Of course, anything Jazz.... yeah. That's all I can say... yeah. Stray Cats stuff...ABSO-FRICKIN-LUTELY!   Anyways, that's what I got for this week!

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 33 (2010-07-09)

Sorry I have missed so many entries. I have had a full couple of weeks. I am preparing for starting school in August for my bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. On top of that, I had a nice lake getaway for the Fourth of July weekend. Been reading books on pickup making and so on. At work, they let go of everyone in what was our Toronto office so we are having to pick up their work load as well as shoulder what we already had.   On a playing note, I have really been messing around with All of Me as of late. Although I can play the chord changes through the whole song, I am working on encorporating the melody over the chords so I am picking out chords that allow the lead tone to be part of that melody and put my hands in the best position for the upcoming chords. In some cases, I have to stray from the written chords a bit. Nothing earth shaking. Just, instead of playing an Cmaj7, I might play Cmaj. For instance, first chord of the song is Cmaj7. The melody has the single note progression of R-5-3 or C-G-E for start of the lyrics "All© of(G) Me(E)". The Cmaj chords I have to choose from that will work not only as the chord but also put my hands in a nifty spot for the melody are the basic, old C chord with the root C being on the A string at the 3rd fret. Your index finger, you will find, is on a higher C which will work for the melody. The next note is G which, in the C maj chord, is the next string up and it is already open and ready to go! After that comes E and, again, your finger is already fretting the E you need for the melody. The melody continues with a R-2-R (the lyrics here are "Why© Not(D) Take©..."). The C chord again will work here but to get the D in, you will have to employ your currently unused pinky and fret the D on the B string.   The chord I use mostly, however, is the Cmaj with the root C on the D string. The rest is basically same as above. I then move to Emaj instead of E7 as it written for the same reasons as me using Cmaj instead of Cmaj7.   Anyways, that is about all.   OH! If you get a chance, swing by your local GK dealer and play a good jazz box through one of the Gallien Krueger MB115 combos! It is a bass amp... BUT NICE SOUNDING!   I was looking at it for my electric uprights, but a thought hit me and I ran a Washburn J6 they had through it. VERY, VERY NICE!

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 29 (2010-06-15)

Ok. Another late one. So sue me. haha.     Been a busy week. My mother-in-law came in from Detroit. Good visit. She came for my son's first birthday which was this past Sunday. Had family over. Cooked out. Good times.   Musicially, I got very little playing in. With the guest and getting the house together, I just didn't get much time in that way.   Yesterday, however, I did get my book in on the history of pickups. Great, GREAT read. This is the one I got.   Sorry there isn't much information this week. Very little focus on guitar playing due to all that was going on. Been playing a bit since yesterday so the next post should yield a bit more.

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 28 (2010-06-03)

Hello all.   Bad news on the pickup winding front. The school where I was going to go wind the pickups at got flooded so it may not be this weekend that I get to wind pickups but maybe a couple of weeks out. I should find out today or tomorrow whether or not they could get the water out.   Other than that, another good week. I got accepted into the university I wanted to go to for my bachelor's of science in mechanical engineering. Now it is just paperwork, funding and so on. I start this fall.   A long lost friend got in touch with me. That was very cool. He once made guitars in Atlanta and moved back to Indy several years ago. His main source of income was cabinetry. Now, he makes the cabinets for his amps! These are simply the most beautiful amps I have ever seen: Trillium Amps. I wish him the best of luck... not that he needs it with beauties like these!   With regards to playing, I have moved from the Dmin7 arpeggio in Cmajor to Emin7 and Fmaj7 all in the 6/4 position.   There is also a pretty good site for resources that was posted by 'mgoetting'. The site is a bit fumbly but not bad by any means. Check it out.   Maybe... a Heritage to start my college days off and a Trillium amp for a graduation gift? hmmmm......

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 27 (2010-05-30)

Busy, busy, BUSY week!   I played for sure. I did a bit of jammin on Autumn Leaves. Always a good tune. More jammin with Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley.   Still working my way through the 6/4 position in the key of C major. I am up to the Fmaj7 arpeggio diatonic to C. As I complete these sets of arpeggios, I work on tying them together. I will go from Cmaj7 in the 6/2 position to the same in 6/4 and back. Dmin7 in between the two and so on. I will also go from, say, Cmaj7 in 6/4 to Dmin7 in 6/2 with four beats on each.   Lots of fun.   I play my Vox some, but my MicroCube gets all my play. The Vox sounds good and all... but the Roland is my favorite and it is just SO accessible. Small, no tubes... won't rattle the walls and isn't hard on my arthritic and injury beaten knees and feet. AlWAYS A PLUS! haha.   A lot of other news!   I turned 35 this week. Had a good birthday. Got some very comfy boots. Got a Dremel kit and ate out at a couple of restaurants. The MicroCube I mentioned before was an early present from my inlaws.   My boy turns 1 in two weeks. For those that remember him being born, can you believe it has been a year?   I signed up for and was quickly accepted into the college I have been wanting to attend. I am going to go for my Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Where I have such freedom, I will make my project music related with regards to guitar or amp parts or tools for making such parts. I can't wait!   I am also gearing up for a PAF wind! This I am VERY excited about! The first weekend in June I am going to my friends luthiery school to wind my first set of PAF type pickups. These will go into my old Gretsch 6120. I have always been fascinated with what makes a guitar and/or its parts to do what they do! I will be going to his school from time to time to work on my first build. That is the plan, anyways! haha.

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Trust your ears.....

It's 5pm here in very sunny Yorkshire, which as you may or may not know is the centre of the universe as we know it. And as I have been tidying the house for when she who must be obeyed arrives home from the surgery, I have been thinking about various guitar related stuff.   Since the arrival of my brand spanking new Tokai Les Paul, which I thoroughly believe to be better than the current Les Paul Standards I see in the shop, I haven't been able to put it down, and as a result, my playing is sharpening up, something which I am very pleased about. For Years I have had a book in my chest of drawers called Jam with Thin Lizzy, Eight songs tabbed for total accuracy plus a CD to play along to. Well, I didn't need the tabs to play Rosalie, but sometimes I use them like a road map, you know, look at which road I need to be on to get to where ever I am going, then just pick on reference points. So, this last week I have been learning 'Don't Believe a Word' which was about 1975 or 76, and one of my all time favourites.   I was playing what my ears were telling me what's right, but the tab was saying I should be playing the second half of the lead solo two frets up, and that just wasn't working. So, just how are accurate are these books and stuff we can download?   I am all for anything that helps us play better, but I think the more we can do for ourselves, the more accurate our own judgement becomes. I now have this solo and the rest of the song down spot on, and it ain't what the book tells me to play.   Happy playing to all......

mark555

mark555

 

Week 26 (May 21, 2010)

Due to my late entry for last week, this entry only comes a few short days after my last one... but I needed to get back on track.   Since my last and very recent entry, I have been going after the Dmin7 arpeggio diatonic to Cmaj in both the 6/1 and 6/4 hand positions. I have already committed 6/2 to memory.   The interesting part for me is that in the 6/4 position, the fingering pattern for Dmin7 is the same as Emin7 in the 6/2 position also diatonic to C. What this could ultimately mean for a solo run that uses the iii-ii progression is that you can play the same fingering pattern over both but only moving your hand back a full step to move from iii to ii. Does it get any easier than that?   There are others but I won't get into those as I have only noticed those in fleeting glances.   One thing I am being very careful of is to always run through the diatonic arpeggios for C in the 6/2 position before I practice on the 6/1 and 6/4 patterns. As I do this, I make sure to tell myself at the start of every arpeggio what chord this is for. I am beginning to recognize the patterns as Dmin7 diatonic to C or Fmaj7 diatonic to C. Also I am now starting to associate the note positions on the fretboard as note names and not merely fret positions. This is a 25 year old habit that is proving painfully difficult to break but it is happening.   Before I started this journey, the only notes I could immediately name off of finger position were the open notes, the 5th fret (4th for the B string), 7th fret and 12th fret notes. All of those for obvious reasons. The rest I could come up with fairly quickly but not nearly fast enough to work in a band setting. I would have to rely on the fret numbering where the inherent weakness is obvious. Now, in this arpeggios, I can easily call up D, F, G and all the others. The one that is still slowing me up just a bit is G on the B string. For what ever reason, I see the B string as an abyss of frets. Typing here, I have no issue calling up the notes, but when I am playing the guitar, there is anxiety around the B string. haha. Not that bad. I am getting it.   All things in good time and not a minute sooner than I am ready to handle it.   Although my progression is slight compared to where I want to be and may seem small to accomplished musicians, for me, I might as well have landed on the moon. It is that exciting to me. Last night was when it hit me that I was seeing the guitar's fretboard far differently than I ever had.   Thanks, Sal!

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 25 (May 17, 2010)

Sorry for the delay in getting this up.   Not much to report really.   Still running through exactly what I did last week going though all of the arpeggios diatonic to C in the 6/2 hand position. The cool part is I am feeling those runs being committed to habit and am having to think less and less about it as I do it.   Also, of the things Sal taught me, one of them was that the melody dictates the chords and not the other way around.   Taking that info, I went to a song me and buddy messed around with a while back. For the most part, it was fine. There were some parts though, it would go pear shaped for a bit then go back to being fine again.   The problem was my chord choice in a couple of places. Based on the melody over the chord, I remapped the chords and WOW... what a difference it made in terms of sound. It had that "We are on the same page" sound. haha. Taking my ears some time to adjust to it as they have grown accustomed to hearing the chords being a certain way and when it doesn't happen, it sounds wrong... until the vocal melody comes in.

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

starting out with a fresh line up

We all love to make live music with our guitars, and it has been a good nine months since the last band I had put together called it a draw when all of a sudden the other guitar player decided that he didn't want to play in a band anymore. But I can respect that, he was after all, coming a long way and was working some long hours. So, we called it a draw and that was that. However, after a few months had gone by, Tony, our drummer, who incidentally had been brought in by Mike, our old guitarist, got in touch and said we ought to carry on. I was very pleased about that and got in touch with my friend Shaun, our bass player, about getting another guitar player into the line up.   I put some ad's out wanting players interested to contact me, and sadly, very few did. I think that there are many people out there who want to play but perhaps are a bit nervous about doing it, and also guys of my age (50) seem to be more content to have their nice guitars and just enjoy them at home. There is nothing wrong with that of course, but we needed a player who had experience of playing live, and the few that contacted us were people who were looking to be in their first band. Anyway, it turned out that Pete, a mate of mine and Shaun, who we had played with before in a previous band in the early nineties, and recently played in a band with Shaun (that had never got off the ground gig wise) was at a loose end and asked Shaun what he was doing musically, and did he know if any one wanted a guitar player?   So When Shaun brought this to my attention, I thought yeah - why not? Pete is an exceptionally nice guy, not exactly a killer player, but solid and easy enough to get along with and will give a proper committment and not let you down. As I like Pete very much I was pleased to have him on board. Pete is pretty minimal when it comes to gear, two guitars, one of which is a USA Telecaster in bright yellow and an electro accoustic. I myself favour guitars with humbuckers in them for the kind of music we are going to play and I am trying to persuade Pete to get a Heritage or something similar. I have recently bought a Tokai Les Paul which is made in Japan - more of that later.   For weeks we tried to get an initial get together, but at Tony our drummer works alternate shift patterns we can only rehearse every other week. This is fine with me as none of us want this to rule our lives. But illness and severe colds and one of the band members daughter having a brain tumour held us back for at least two months. But eventually we managed our initial get together last night.   The oldest guitar in my collection of four is my trusty old strat which I got about '88 brand new. I have never been fanatical about Fender guitars, but they are what a mechanic would define as a good adjustable wrench, able to fit different nuts. And this is what the strat is for me. It evokes no passion in me what so ever, it's a working guitar, nothing else. My next guitar is my Heritage 555 which fulfills the desire I have had since I was fifteen for a high quality semi - few 335's are even in the same ball park as this guitar, it is in mint condition and I intend for it to stay that way. But recently I have bought a stunning Japanese Tokai copy of a 59 les paul standard. Right now I can not afford a 150, I refuse to buy a modern day Gibson as they are just too over priced and not worth the money. I am pleased to say that the tokai performed fantasticly well, sounded superb and is a match, if not better than the current les paul standards out there in the shops. Tokai's that sell for the same money as Gibson's just leave them hanging on the shop wall, mine was £1000 less than a Les Paul standard and is better - that's the Japanese for you, they take what you make and make a better version of it for less money. These are guitars not only for players on a budget like myself, but for real players who are not tied to having a lifestyle brand guitar just for the sake of it.   The rehearsal went well, the best number we did was the old Thin Lizzy version of the traditional Irish folk song "Whisky In The Jar". The three we want down next are All Right Now, I Can't Get Enough and Rosalie, shouldn't be too hard at all, but I'll bet we get a few more down as well next time.   So now I have three great guitars, nowhere near as many as some here, but they all do an individual job. The next purchase for me is change of amp. However you look at it, the Fender amps they make these days are just not built to last. My ideal amp will be made by a local company called 'Matamp'. Completely hand wired point to point amps, these are as good as anything on the market. A small producer of amps that exports mos of its production the the states, but Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash uses them and they sound fantastic live - they will also last for ever.   But for now, it is a case of getting the show on the road. Watch this space.....

mark555

mark555

 

Bowie's Spiders from Mars. (Hull really !)

It's amazing who you bump into in supermarkets.I was in a Wall-Mart supermarket ( Asda U.K.) in Hull,East Yorkshire,recently,and I bumped into my old mate Trevor Bolder and his son.Trevor,all you Bowie fans know,was the bass player in the 'Spiders from Mars',with Hull born guitarist Mick Ronson. Mick,in his early days,occasionally used to come & watch me and my band play. I am a little older than he was,and by 1963/4,I'd already been playing about 6 years,so at that time was more advanced.That rapidly changed later,of course,as he progressed in a pop blues style,and I sidetracked into jazz and middle of the road stuff.Mick started out,as we all do in local bands.I remember him joining a band called the 'Mariners'.probably so called,as Hull city is a sea port.He was in strange company there,as other band members were much older,and it was a club/rock type band,perfect to learn with.Next up came the 'Cresters' ( as I remember ) This band were,musically,more advanced,and by now he was getting good.The band had an experienced rythmn section,and 2 great local singers,Eric Lee and Johnny Hawk,who had both been in other local bands.After that came the Rats.The Rats were formed about 1964.Benny Marshall,the singer,used to come to see my band in a local pub,and would get up and sing with us.He was much better than our singer,but our loyalties were strong.We knew of a band that was looking for a singer,so he joined them.That band ,eventually had a minor hit in the U.K called 'Spoonful' Mick Ronson was not on that recording,or the follow up. I was in the studio in London when they made it.Mick did some private recordings at local recording studios,'Fairview'.I remember listening to these,as Mick tried to come to grips with whole tone bends and distortion,and play like his hero,Jeff Beck. I rather lost track of him about this time,but he was joined by drummer,John Cambridge,who was in the first Bowie line up.As it so happens,last new years eve ( 2009 ),John was the drummer in the band I was playing with.We've done many gigs together over the years,and as well as being an excellent drummer,he has a great sense of humour ! Trevor now player with U.K. rock band 'Uriah Heep'. Mick,unfortunatelly,is no longer with us. The photo's I've included here are 1) Trevor Bolder & son in Asda supermarket, 2) John Cambridge at the 2009 New Years eve gig,posing,of course ! 3) A line up of the Rats, L to R, Jeff Appelby ( bass),who joined Ian Hunter's band,breifly,Benny Marshall ( singer & harmonica ),Mick Ronson ( guitar ) and Jim Simpson ( drums ). 4) a picture that came to light when I visited a friend's house.He'd been in a band with Mick,and someone had taken a photo.I had it copied,and chopped out the other members.The photo was taken at the 'Half Way House' public house,on Spring Bank,Hull.On the board behind Mick is an advert for a band called the Small Four,who went on the have a minor hit in the U.K. with a song called 'One Up On Me'.John Small,the singer,eventually emigrated to the U.S.,his wife was American,and now lives in North Carolina.

peteraltongreen

peteraltongreen

 

Week 24 (May 7, 2010)

This week is just more of the same of last week.   Playing all of the arpeggios diatonic to Cmaj in position 6/2. Still on Cmaj7 and Dmin7 of the 6/4.   Although, I am thinking that I probably ought to make sure that I can play every version of Cmaj7, Dmin7, etc in 6/2 before I really dig into position 6/4. That way I can really move easily between chords and single notes before I move to another position. Once I get that down, I will move to the 6/4 and then do the same. Scales, arpeggios, chords.

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 23 (April 29, 2010)

Well, today I am out of work due to hurt ribs. I don't know what I did other than get older but boy does it hurt. No playing today but plenty up to this point.   Last week I mentioned I was working the Cmaj scale in the 6/2 position as well as the Cmaj Pentatonic scale in the same position and was starting on the A Aeolian scale also in the Cmaj 6/2 position.   In that theme, I have been playing the arpeggios for Cmaj7 Ionian, Dmin7 Dorian, Emin7 Phrygian, Fmaj7 Lydian, G7 Mixolydian, Amin7 Aeolian and Bmin7b5 Locrian in the 6/2 position. (I mention the modes so as to be clear what scale is being used that the chords are being derived from).   As I play these arpeggios, I am being careful to spell the notes as I play them so it isn't merely becoming a dexterity exercise. I also make sure I am aware of the interval that I am playing. For example, I try to be aware that if I am playing the C that is at the 8th fret of the low E, that I know in the Cmaj scale, it is the root. In the D dorian scale, it is the 7. In the Fmaj Lydian, it is the 5 and so on.   There is also a good ear trainer online that I have been using for the last week.   Check it out!   With the context that Sal has provided me, I am growing more and more confident with what I am learning. Very pleased so far.

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 22 (2010-04-23)

Productive week.   I have still been running the scales as I mentioned in the previous weeks but now I am starting on A Aeolian. First running the normal scale which is, of course, exactly like the Cmaj scale but with the root moved to A. Next, I run Amin7 arpeggio as far as I can carry it in that position. Then the pentatonic scale of A Aeolian.   So far, I am only practicing in the 6/2 position of Cmaj for A Aeolian.   What little knowledge I have aquired in really hammering these scales into my head resulted in a mildly improvised version of Sleep Walk (one of my favorite guitar tunes of all time).   For those that have been requesting FOR MONTHS that I record something, here you go! ...most of you have probably already seen it.   Sleep Walk

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 21 (2010-04-14)

Last week I mentioned that I was just beating on the C scale and all of its positions: 6/1, 6/2, 6/4, 5/1, 5/2, 5/4 and open positions.   This week is sort of the same but with a variation: running the CMaj7 arpeggio and the C pentatonic scale. Again, running these in all of the positions mentioned above.The great thing about it is you have an opportunity to really familiarize yourself with the parts of the scale (with the fourth interval being notably absent in everything but the full major scale).   From here, I start connecting the scales. Going up in the 6/4 and down the 6/2 then up the 6/1 and come right back down 6/1 then up 6/2 and the down 6/4 and so on.   From there, I do the same with the arpeggio of Cmaj and further with the pentatonic scale of Cmaj.   Not done yet! From there, I mix it up a bit.   Starting in 6/4 I will go from C to C in the full scale and go through the next octave as an arpeggio and then come back down that same octave in the full scale and continue going down in pitch into the first octave I played through but this time only the pentatonic notes. I also carry this on to connecting the positions as well. A very large range of practice drillls can be derived from this.   I will continue to do more of this over the next week.

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 20 (2010-04-07)

This past week has really been something! It is amazing what even a little time with a teacher can do! Before I was merely understanding what my theory and practice books were saying. Now, they have context! THAT IS HUGE! Since I discovered this, I went back to the beginning. Going through simple chords and drills.   Before I mentioned that I was going through the C Major scale with the root starting on different fingers such as 6/1, 6/4 and so on. For the past week, I have been playing the C scale RELENTLESSLY from the 6/1, 6/2, 6/4, 5/1, 5/2, open and 5/4 positions (this one is a bit hard on a dreadnaught).   A few days a go, I started connecting the different scale positions. Starting in the 6/4 position, I would go up the scale until I hit the highest C in that position and then went down in 6/2 until I get to the lowest C in that position and then go up the scale again but in the 6/1 position. I do this until I get sick or the wife finds something for me to do. haha.   A baby step was also taken! With my growing familiarity to the C scale, I started playing the positions with my eyes closed and noticing when I hit a wrong note in the scale simply by sound. From there, I would just noodle around in the scale over Cmaj. It was improv but EXTREMELY simplistic. Baby steps. I know the basic feel I want as I go through it and do something along those lines.

barrymclark

barrymclark

 

Week 19 (2010-03-31)

Well, today is a sad day in my studies, but I stand by it for the reasons I have are good. There isn't much in this world that will come between me and music, but my children are 3 of those handful of possible interferences. I don't know if I have mentioned it much on here, but both of my daughters have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and, although they are responding well to their treatments, those treatments are coming at a cost. That cost coupled with the cost of my time with Sal have had a noticeable impact on my household finances. So much so that we are watching our bank accounts with more fear than we ought to at then end of every pay period. We have savings, but we are trying to avoid using them. To that end, I had to cancel my lessons with Sal. Although he gave me a great rate, that is just $85 per month I need in my pocket.   To that end, I am not stopping. I have the lessons I have received up until this point and I have my books that I can work with by Jody Fisher. Nothing will replace having Sal there guiding me into Jazz, but I will make the most of what I have to work with.   When money loosens up for me, I plan on returning. I only hope he is still teaching then.   What I have been doing this past week is just running scales and chord tones.   In the 6/1 position (Root on the sixth string at the index finger), I ran C maj. I then ran the same scale but in the 5/1 position (Root on the fifth string at the index finger).   In the same scale, I ran the pentatonic scale in the 6/1, 6/2 and 6/4. Pretty much did this daily until I couldn't keep my eyes open any more.   Just as a drill, I took the C major scale in the 6/1 position and did the following ascending in pitch:   C D E F D E F G E F G A and take that pattern and extend it on up the scale.

barrymclark

barrymclark

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