Monday, 28 March 2011

What's happening March 2011

Okay, everything has been moved onto'm not sure I like the layout, but that can change later.  I particularly don't like the lack of links to old blog entries - Blogger only uses "labels" unlike wordpress that had categories and labels - and the archive blog widget on the side isn't all that useful.  Worse still, the search widget just plain doesn't work.  I'm pretty sure it is something to do with exporting from wordpress to blogger, but I don't know.  Fortunately the global search engines look like they've caught up with the site, but now all the pages are at the bottom of a search list...will be a while before they work their way up to replace the wordpress ones I reckon!

Meanwhile, the guitar playing front is quiet.  Since getting Super Mario Theme out, I've spent most of my time just playing the things I am currently enjoying; stuff like "Sunshine of your love", "Another one bites the dust", "Breathe/Time" and "Wish you were here."  Not focusing on my songs in-the-works, just having fun.  Sounds nice?  Well, I thought over the weekend I should revisit some of my old tunes.  Because one day I will be doing some gig work, and I need to keep them fresh.

I played about two bars into "A Whiter shade of Pale", which I love but haven't played for about 6 months.  I couldn't remember it!  Argh!  I had to go back to my tab (lucky I write these things down) and refresh myself.  Rusty, and even after playing it through twice it was no longer "natural".  A few more plays should fix that, I hope.

So that's another reason why I need to have a regular gig.  Just to make sure I play every piece I know on a regular basis!  That might sound a bit strange and dumb, but as with everything, you do the stuff you like, and ignore the stuff you don't for as long as possible.  Maybe it's not even stuff you don't like, it's just stuff that isn't as much fun as other stuff.

In other news, since I haven't been playing much recently, my left hand pinky is actually feeling almost normal again.  Perhaps it's just time, perhaps it is less stress from less playing; either way I'm pretty happy about it.  I've even been tentatively doing root A-chord pinky barre formations up the neck again.  It's my favourite way of doing a root 5th barre chord (uses just two fingers). I'd been using "standard" barre + 2-3-4 versions for the last several months, not as quick nor as adaptable.  I promise not to go too hard with it though, just use it here and there, okay? :)

The future.  I guess anyone who's been following me for a while has worked out that I like information to be shared; I like to teach anything useful I've learnt myself to others.  I love to see someone respond to one of my youtube videos having learnt from my tabs.  What I've been missing for a long while now, and what I've wanted to do for a while, is actual video lessons.  Work through songs phrase by phrase, showing the phrase tab and talking through it.

I've done three lessons in the past, all three still exist on the internet (somewhere), but they were a bit clumsy and not very well produced.  I've now got myself a nice HD webcam - I shot my Super Mario Theme on it - which will do quite nicely for lessons.

There are some challenges.  I've got some software I used in the past where I can do overlays and stuff, it's time consuming but do-able.  There are copyright issues, and I'm going to continue to look into it.  With copyrights comes costs, I'm hoping the advertising here will offset those (and any other) costs.  There is my ability to do lessons, but just like if you look back on my very early youtube videos (please don't) I'll get better the more I do.

The main challenge is time.  My work life and family life has grown to consume all available time.  I'm typing this during my lunch break.  I'm hoping in the next few weeks to try out my lesson skills at "Here Comes the Sun"; both a great starter for fingerpicking newbies and a pretty straightforward one for me to begin with.

Watch this space!


  1. "There are copyright issues, and I'm going to continue to look into it. With copyrights comes costs, I'm hoping the advertising here will offset those (and any other) costs."

    Maybe you could invite your readers / subbers to donate via paypal to cover such costs :)

  2. Ha ha, been there done that :) I had a donate button up for around 2 years on the old site. There were quite a few people who did make a donation which was great, thanks all who did. To give you an idea, it was in the order of around 10,000 downloads of tabs per month and someone would donate on average $10. You couldn't go professional on that :) So far the adverts have exceeded that amount in just a week, so I hope there will be enough money to cover copyright issues...we will see! :)


  3. Whats Happening in March? ?

    I got my pins pulled today!

    still can't bend it yet but I'm optimistic.

    I sure hope you can work out all of that stuff and stay in the black JAW. Can't wait to start on that Time lesson but I don't think the back of this knuckle will be flicked against any strings anytime soon. I'll have to start with canon or GBBS to ease back into it. Hopefully in a week or so I can play again.

    Its good to be back :)

  4. Ha ha, great to hear RG! Hope it comes back well; it's good to have you back :)

    Staying in the black would be nice, but I'm prepared to take a bit of a hit, for the team, if it's the only way forward. I don't think it will come to that, there are ways...

  5. Well, Your doing a great service.

    BTW I played everything I knew last night! I cant bend the finger much at the last joint but, turns out, you don't really need to bend it much to play. I can't remember if i ever really did much bending at the 3rd knuckle (closest to nail) or 2nd but I'm finding I can play with the 2nd.

    So, this begs the question: do you use your 2nd or 3rd knuckle more while you play? It's hard to tell from grainy low FPS videos. Should we strive for minimal movement in the hand or is this one of those "whatever you feel is best for you" things we all love so much ... :)

    regardless it feels good!

  6. Thanks mate :)

    Knuckle closest to nail is a really interesting knuckle. I've thought about it before, and come to the conclusion I subconsciously use it to create a tone. When I bend it on the stroke, I'm going under the string a bit more, pulling slightly more up, which gives a tiny bit more agressive tone to "Leaving it Limp(tm)". Leaving it Limp(tm) is what you do for rest stroke, so that's a very classical style. I don't use rest stroke anymore, so there is no follow through in my Leaving it Limp(tm), so the sound is much softer and delicate than rest stroke, and bending in.

    It is a more relaxed state too, relaxed is always good. When I'm concentrating on Leaving it Limp(tm), I find playing is easier and more accurate. Invariably I start claw handing, bending that knuckle in, to get more volume and "meat" out of the tone...I should just always play plugged in :)

    Good thoughts R, keep experimenting and report back - you've got a good test going on there!