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Today’s post is just an update on my “learning” guitar progress…  Two years and counting…
I’m continuing to practice most every day for at least an hour.  There have been quite a few more days in the last six weeks when it’s only been 30-45 minutes, but that’s life.  Most of those times, I’ve been playing until fatigue / sleepiness and stopping when I start nodding out.  LoL!  I do most of my practicing between 11:30pm and 1am.  I can sit out in the front room and not disturb anyone (our bedrooms are on the other side of the house).
I’m still alternating between my various guitars.  I’m now up to 11, split mostly in favor of electric (7 to 4).  I’ve had them in a rotation schedule of a couple of acoustics laying in the living room and bedroom (for quick access) and then the rest in a monthly rota, but I’ve recently shifted to a three week rota as I don’t feel like I’m actually touching each enough with now having so many.  The perils of G.A.S. (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome)…   If you’ve been counting, or reviewing my “Learning Guitar” page, you’ll see I don’t have all of my guitars accounted for (only eight reviews).  My original intent was to do initial impression reviews and then subsequent updates as and when I “modded” them.  “Life” and my procrastinating nature have more or less shot that plan down.  It’s too late to do the initial impressions and I haven’t done very many mods, but I still plan to do reviews at some point.
I am still planning to get two more guitars to round out my collection – a full size nylon-string classical / acoustic and a single neck-humbucker telecaster style electric.  After that, any additional purchases (quality upgrade) will necessitate a charitable donation to make room for the new toy.)  The “Happy Wife” policy…
As far as “playing” goes, I’ve already forgotten more than I’ve learned.  I’ve been skimming the odd book and watching a lot of guitar videos, but while they “teach” you a lot – it’s really more a case of “informing” you about motivation, techniques and concepts.  The more I’m practicing, the more I’m realizing that if “it” (a given action) isn’t under your finger tips as muscle memory, you really haven’t learned it…  And all of that muscle memory takes time and (more) practice – not more awareness / understanding.
Fortunately, for me (and not so fortunate for my family), my OCD allows me to be fairly content with just practicing things (scales, chords, spider walks, children’s songs) over and over and over again.  I enjoy the repetitive action(s) and I feel like I’m finally starting to hear the notes.  I mentioned in a prior post that I am “kind of” able to hear myself hum an “F#” and then tune the guitar from there.  I’m continuing to get better at this.  I’m also a little better at using a A400 tuning fork to tune the guitar.  This is as opposed to using an electric tuner as a default tuner.  I still (also) use the electric tuners, but I’m gaining confidence in my ear for relative pitch.  Starting out, if ANYONE had said I’d be able to do this AT ALL, I’d have told them they were crazy and it’ll NEVER happen.  LoL.  The old dog is learning new tricks!
Most of the relatives feel I’m going about this “learning guitar” all wrong and that I should be learning songs.  While I appreciate their viewpoint, I don’t find learning “songs” to be that interesting.  I have two “songs” memorized (finger-style): “Taps” and “God Save the Queen“.  I also have a couple more close to memory: “Ode to Joy” and “Drummer Boy”.  On “Ode“…, no, not the full version – get serious…  But enough so you can tell what the song is.  Random people I discuss “learning guitar” with generally say: “As long as you’re having fun, who cares what you’re playing.”  But I have a feeling they’re thinking, “TWO YEARS(!!!), and that’s all he can play?”  (LoL)
So, I still haven’t settled on a single guitar I want to specialize with.  I still haven’t decided if I want to concentrate on finger-style or plectrum-style.  I still have very poor (almost none) rhythm – which makes leaning to strum problematic.  I’m still SLOW at changing chords – even the few I know.  And, I still haven’t decided what kind of music (rock, country, jazz, classical, blues, Spanish, folk, pop) I want to play.  Slowly, slowly.
And, finally, other hardware…  I’ve added a second “amp” and a “looper pedal” to my collection of kit.  The second amp is a portable, super-mini (3 watt) battery operated job.  It sounds slightly better than my original amp, but I don’t know enough about either to have the faintest idea of why – or if I should care.  The looper allows me to record a few seconds of playing chord changes and then play it back in a loop to play lead over.  The problem (of course) is my chord transitions are soooo bad, there is little point in trying to record / loop them – particularly when there are already hundreds of good background loops available on YouTube.  Oh, well, another toy to play with…  Slowly, slowly.
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On This Day In:
2022 A Murmuring Note
2021 Satisfied If Not Fulfilled
You Don’t Know
Urban Ballroom
2020 R.I.P. Kobe
2019 Looks A Lot Like #45
2018 Trying To Stay Young
2017 Seems Reasonable To Me
2016 We Can Get Through This Together (In Time)
2015 How Long Is A Piece Of String?
2014 Heathen, n.
2013 Wisdom’s Folly
2012 When The Student Is Ready
Disconnected Leadership
2011 The Complex Richness Of Life

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Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, save perhaps two.
    —     Frederic Chopin
[As in “Guitar Acquisition Syndrome“.  (LoL)   —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2022 And Even Fewer Regrets
2021 Today Counts
I Hope You’ll Understand
2020 Maybe #IncompetentDonald Really Is A Great Manager
2019 Your Only Choice
2018 A Good Definition
2017 Getting It Done
2016 Getting To Know Me
2015 Why I Pay Taxes
2014 Inequality Of Sacrifice
2013 I Never Saw A Moor
2012 Fill In The Blank
Not For Naught
Cliff Notes To Life?
2011 Conference Games Sunday

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The joy of playing classical guitar extends beyond the prize (the perfect performance).  It’s the daily journey and how we travel it.  That’s where we find the gold.  That’s where we discover the humanity, in both the music and in ourselves.
    —    Allen Mathews
Allen Mathews is a professional musician and classical guitar instructor who maintains a site located at:  https://classicalguitarshed.com/
Every Tuesday, Allen posts a quote (which may or may not be specifically about music).   He then goes on to tie the quote to a “teaching moment”.  Allen’s “Quote page” is located at:  https://classicalguitarshed.com/tuesday-quotes/
[Disclaimer:  Although I have viewed many of Allen’s videos and subscribed to his emails for over a year, I have not personally purchased any of his packages of instruction as I am merely dabbling in “classical” guitar to see what it’s about.  I have no other association with Allen or his site and have not requested permission to re-post this quote.  If he requests it, I will remove or substantially edit this quote.    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Likely To Be Subtle
My Temp’s Pretty High
Scratching A Persistent Itch
2020 A Word Of Assurance They Are Not Alone
Is #45 Still Crying?
2019 It’s Obvious
2018 Passed Too Swiftly
2017 On Our Wall (Part 1)
2016 Or The Ripples From A Good Life
2015 Titles And Reputations
2014 Unfolding
2013 Again
2012 Needs
Damned
2011 Potter & Prejudice
Blink, Blink

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This post marks the first day of my 14th year of blogging here on WordPress.  A great deal of this post is a repetition of last year’s post…  (And, yes, it’s a long one…)
With almost no change from last year…  The number of countries who’ve visited this site continues to (slowly) grow and the number which haven’t continues to decrease.  North Korea and Cuba are still among them (the latter…)  I’m also still missing a belt across the middle of Africa (but it’s no longer coast-to-coast) and a few spots in Asia.  (Slowly, slowly…  Resistance is futile.)
On reviewing my content over the past year, I’m mostly back to one post a day.  They are almost entirely just quotes with occasional political opinions, infrequent film reviews and rarely book reviews.  I haven’t added near as many posts about learning guitar or music as I thought I would.  I’m not terribly sure why.
My blog is continuing to be part of my “normal” retired life (since 2017).  I routinely receive about 20 to 60 emails (per day) from the roughly 300 blogs I follow.  I say “roughly” because I don’t check how many I follow.  I just looked, and I (still) have fewer than 2,000 followers myself.  Every year there is a trade-off:  you pick up a few steady followers and a few drop off.  Those who actually post about leaving (their own sites) say they are simply moving on to other things.  Most, don’t bother and just stop posting.  A few come back after some period of time.  Many do not.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve stopped blogging.  Some just move to a hosted service to try to monetize their thoughts and don’t provide me a way to follow them.  Or maybe they did and I simply missed the link…
I do have bone to pick with some (many?) of the posts I receive.  Three bones, actually…  First, I receive a large number of posts which don’t contain “Like” options.  This means I have to click to your site and log into WordPress to give you a like.  Most of the time, I will not do this.  I’m just lazy and if you don’t want the feed back, I’m happy to not provide it.  The second is an email with a title and five or six words from your post and then a “read more”.  Again, sorry – PROBABLY 95% of the time, I no longer click through to your site.  If you don’t give me at least a paragraph to hook me, you’ve lost me for that post.  It’s different if you are running a visual / photo site, but not by much.  If you give me one (or two) image(s) per post – fine.  If you regularly have 10 – 15 – 20 images in a single post, I might view one post a week.  And, lastly, in general I only view one post a day from a single source and it’s kind of random…  Sometimes it’s the first.  Sometimes it’s the last.  Sometimes it’s just whatever…
At any rate, I easily spend an hour per day reviewing the posts I get (via email subscription) and sometimes that is simply overwhelming.  It’s not always the average blogger’s fault.  If you post something interesting, I (still) will go off and investigate it further:  authors, artists, locations, books, movies, science / math / history topics – they will all lead me off down the rabbit hole.  And that hole can be DEEP!   There are a few (a handful) of sites which I know are visual and I more frequently click through to the actual site, because I’m interested in the bits which are not offered in the smaller / limited / text based emails I tend to receive.  I apologize if my failure to click-thru affects your view stats negatively…
So, besides this blog, what am I up to?  My health has been mixed.  I’m still morbidly obese and none of my “lifestyle” changes (diets) have stuck.  The problem I have is I’ve had some changes in my meds so I’m not sure if they are affecting me or if I’m just getting older and less motivated – or a combination.  As always, one has to balance the good of the med versus the adverse (potential) effects.  The two which seem the best (for me) are the juicing / blending and the “40hr water fast twice a week”.  The former for losing and the latter for maintaining.  If I can get my meds stable, I’ll probably go on an alternating schedule of these two for a prolonged period.
In January 2021, I purchased my first guitar and I’ve been practicing most every day since. (I miss about one day every other month.)  I “know” my basic (C, A, G, E, D, F, Am, Em, Dm) open / “cowboy” chords and major / minor scales – single string and in first position.  Strumming, finger-picking (Travis style) and chord changes are coming slowly (slower), but they are getting better now that I’m practicing them more consistently.  I now own three acoustic guitars and five electrics, and I have another acoustic on loan from my brother.  I had them on a monthly rotation calendar, but shifted to three weeks at the start of the year (2022).  I’m planning to move to a weekly rotation.  I’m looking into picking up a few (three) more inexpensive guitars and I’ve dropped the idea of basses (for at least a while).  There is no time pressure.  It’s all about my ability to save (here and there) until I can justify a purchase.  [Wife:  How many guitars do you NEED?  Me:  …One more.]  At the moment, the plan is one more strat (type), one more tele (type) and a round-back acoustic.  I didn’t really even think about round-backs before.  I thought they were only over-sized guitars for Mariachi style music, but I’ve learned otherwise.  Anyway, they “tend” to be plastic / fiberglass backs, and I’m interested in what that sounds like.  I have a distinct memory of strumming an “Ovation” (round-back) guitar MANY years ago, but I don’t remember anything about it (sound or feel).  We’ll see…  I am also going to start looking into amps and pedals for the electrics.
The few things I’ve learned (mainly about myself) have truly been amazing (to me).  I do seem to have a smidgen of musical ability (although it’s still buried under layers of doubt).  I’m (still) finding the ability to concentrate on practice to be as relaxing as zoning out in computer programming used to be (in my youth).  Sixty to ninety minutes can easily seem like five or ten minutes.  There is also the complete exhaustion which results from prolonged concentration – however “relaxing” it may feel at the time.  In a strange way, it feels good to be mentally tired at the end of a practice session.
But, am I getting any better at playing?  An objective opinion would be:  Yes!  Am I any “good”?  An objective opinion would be:  No!  Does it matter a whit?  No.  Why not?  Because, like blogging, I’m doing it for the enjoyment of doing it and not for the expectation (mine or anyone else’s) of being any good at playing guitar.  Again, like blogging, as long as it’s fun and interesting and fulfilling, I’ll just keep doing it…  My not so secret goal remains to write a song (lyrics and music) for my wife.  (LoL)
I posted a while back about my guitar goals for the remainder of 2022, but I can easily see them (the goals) extending into 2023.  If I have ANY disappointments over guitars it’s that developing my luthier skills has definitely fallen by the wayside.  I’m happy being able to change strings, round fret ends and play with action and intonation, but it turns out, if you buy inexpensive instruments, the decent quality luthier tools and better quality parts are almost as (or more) expensive as (than) a new instrument.
So, it’s guitar playing and blogging to keep me occupied (and mostly out of trouble).  LoL!!
Other than that, we got one of our bathrooms remodeled back in February 2022 and we’re hoping to get our other one done in early fall.  All things in their time (LoL – and with available funds!)
Once again…  “Excelsior!!
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On This Day In:
2021 Happy 12th Anniversary Of Blogging
We ARE…
2020 Happy 11th Anniversary Of Blogging
2019 Happy 10th Anniversary — Thoughts On My First Decade Of Blogging
2018 Happy 9th Anniversary — Three Thoughts
Day 2 – Notes On Progress
2017 Happy 8th Anniversary
2016 Happy 7th Anniversary
2015 Happy 6th Anniversary
2014 Happy 5th Anniversary
2013 I Resemble That Remark!
2012 Happy 3rd Anniversary
2011 Is America Safe Tonight?
2009 Hello world! (See how it all began…)

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The following is my “goal” for learning / playing guitar for the remainder of this year (2022).  (It will be quite a stretch-goal for me.  LoL!)

Guitar Test

1.) How much do you practice  —  # of Day (6) / week (52);  # of Hours (1)
2.) How well do you know the fretboard
3.) Knowledge of major & minor scale for natural notes
4.) Knowledge of major & minor chords  —  open & barred
5.) Perform three:  Maj7, Min7 & Dom7 chords
6.) Playing & modifying a chord progression
7.) Perform three different Arpeggios  —  anywhere on the fretboard
8.) Build A Major scale (at least 3)  —  demonstrate a knowledge of scale formulas (along 1 string)
9.) Name the tones of four major key signatures
10.) Name & explain three time signatures  —  count, beat, stresses & accents
11.) Explain note duration  —  whole, half, 1/4th, 1/8th, & 1/16th
Of course the object of “learning” these things is not the inherent value of knowledge.  It is the ability to put the knowledge into use why playing the guitar.  Some of the items on the list are things I already “know”.  They are just (still) not yet under my fingertips.  That will come with time and practice…  Inshalla
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On This Day In:
2021 Waiting For The Sting
Right From The Start
2020 Reward Truth In November
2019 Prepare For The 2020 Election
2018 Why #45 Is Uncivil And Sinking
Ole! … Ole, Ole, Ole
Is This Still The United States Of America?
2017 Go Where?
2016 Returning To The Same Box
2015 The Hunter’s Music
2014 Dedication
2013 Unhappy Alternatives
2012 Implications
2011 Never Let Us Down

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The reason so many guitarists fail to reach their potential is error filled repetition, aka not knowing exactly how to do each movement!
    —     Aaron Shearer
Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
     —    Rita Mae Brown
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On This Day In:
2021 I Ask For Two Minutes…
Always
2020 At Least A Lot More Gray
2019 Walking The Lonely Path
2018 The Ultimate Trial
2017 Vain Expectations
2016 Or Of One Thought
2015 What’s In Your Future?
2014 Light In Darkness
2013 How ‘Bout Just Obeying The Law?
2012 Or Maybe Not
2011 My Interval Is Too Short!

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Talent is a pursued interest.  Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.
    —     Bob Ross
[Maybe Bob is right, but it sure would be nice if this effortless guitar playing came faster…   Good thing I’m one of those OCD folks who actually enjoys practicing without seeing much improvement.  LoL.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2021 B U
Blueprint Blue
2019 I Struggle With One At A Time
2018 An Infectious Political Cancer
Site Update / Poems Page Evolution
2017 Our Thirst
2016 History Favors The Victor
2015 This We’ll Leave Them
2014 Sounds Like Faux News To Me
2013 Reasons
2012 American Libertarianism
2011 The Goal

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Try to play easy pieces well;  it is better than to play difficult ones in a mediocre style.
    —     Robert Schumann
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On This Day In:
2021 I’m An Optimist
Talent Is A Ticket To Ride
2020 Works For Me
Rivers Versus Waterfalls
2019 Better To Do
News: Drunken Party Girl Saves Seoul
2018 Keep Moving
2017 Fighting Good
2016 Size Matters
2015 Maybe The Best Thing
2014 Ready To Be Fried?
2013 A Real Lover
2012 Winning Wars
2011 A Different Lesson

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Out of the depths of the mysterious box,
Flowed the marvelous symphony,
Of all the virgin voices of the forests of America
    —     Agustín Barrios Mangoré
From his poem:  “Profession of Faith
[Happy Birthday, Mom!  Love, Kevin    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2021 Maybe Faith Is Based On Hope
I Want To See You Smile
2020 Thank You (To Those Who Serve)
Hanging In There
2019 Her Job, Too
2018 Just Another Song I Like
Earlier Still
2017 Ten To Go
2016 Unstable Emergence
2015 88
2014 Some One-Liners Are Too Easy
2013 Greatness
2012 Memories Of Arlington
2011 Wake Up

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I’ve been learning how to play guitar for a little over thirteen months and this morning when I began practicing I realized I’ve already “forgotten” more about guitar than I know (remember)…
Because playing a musical instrument is so much about muscle memory, practically none of the information I’ve read / watched has been retained in a usable format.  I’m reminded of what we used to say in the Army:  “You don’t know it until you can teach it and you can’t teach it until you can do it.
I’ve “learned” about so many music / guitar concepts without practicing them – until they are “under my fingertips” – that I am constantly experiencing “oh, that’s what that was talking about” moments.
Lately, I’ve been trying to tune the guitar by ear.  I’m actually starting to get close.  Of course, all of my guitars are already close to being “in-tune” (from frequent use), so I guess my next step will be to fully un-tune (de-tune?) one of them and see how close I can “really” get from scratch (on my own).
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On This Day In:
2021 And My Sister Is Taxing
What Did The Wise Men Say?
2020 One Phrase
2019 Why #LyingDonald Can’t Trust Any Honorable Person
2018 An Old Style Conservative
2017 John Q.
2016 In Trembling Hope Repose
2015 Let There Be Light
2014 Unless
2013 Divergent Roads To Similarity?
2012 In The Process
2011 What Do You Emphasize?

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When we see someone online play a piece note-perfect, we are seeing the fruit of more time than we would ever suspect.
Professional players have often spent hundreds of practice hours on a 3-minute piece of music.  And even more time working on basic skills and abilities.
When we see and hear them, it appears simple.  It looks easy.  So we again assume incorrectly.  We chalk it up to talent or luck.
But the reality is that high-level playing is possible for anyone (physical limitations aside).  It’s all matter of minutes and hours.
Luckily, time will pass whether we practice or not.  In three years, we will either have three more years of practice behind us, or we won’t.
We don’t need more time in the day.  There’s no race or competition.  No one cares how well we play.  Guitar is a personal challenge and pursuit.  Others may support and encourage, but they don’t care whether we practice each day or not.
The trick to putting in more time on something is to enjoy the practice.  And this is born of creating small, achievable challenges, and meeting them.  Over and over.  We find something slightly difficult then we work on it.
We get feelings of satisfaction from winning the challenge.  And our skills expand bit by bit, day after day.
We can (and should) still care about short-term results.  We need the motivation that comes from success.
But we can also keep the long-term in mind.  We can accept that pieces may take months or years to play well.  Our speed and agility may take months and years to improve to where we want them.
Like life itself, our music is made of small moments, lived well.  And the more we focus on process and quality, the smoother and more quickly we enjoy the fruits.
From a website I follow:  https://www.classicalguitarshed.com/
The specific post / page is:  https://www.classicalguitarshed.com/tq-raymond-joseph-teller-magic-time/
[Please visit the original site if you have a few moments…    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Small Moments, Lived Well
Shaking My Confidence
2020 Two Happy
Every Time I Look Around
Boxing (Day: 3) – Double-End Target Setup
2019 Stand Up, Hook Up, Shuffle To The Door…
2018 Ridiculous Idea
2017 Waddle On!
A Severe Challenge — When The President Is A Liar
2016 The Best Of Circumstances
2015 Reverberating Silence
2014 Wrong Again?
2013 Improper Faith
2012 One More Rung
2011 Sunday Morning Earlies (Hugging trees and smiling…)
Hurry
Updates On Life
2010 It’s Gettin’ Deep In Here

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The Circle Of Fifths For Guitarists” (2017©)   —   book review
This review is for the first guitar book (non-song book category) which I have finished reading.  Hopefully, there will be many more in the future…
The book is written by:  Joseph Alexander and is part of a series of learning about music / guitar titled:  “Fundamental Changes“.  There is an associated website at:  www.fundamental-changes.com.  It also has associated Facebook and Instagram blah-blah-blah…
Background:
In January of this year (2021), I decided to teach myself to play guitar.  I’ve now purchased multiple guitars (acoustic and electric) and about a dozen books on learning music and learning how to play various genres of guitar.  I am trying to “find” my voice on both hardware and in music.  I am doing this (journey / vision-quest) “mostly” through YouTube, Wikipedia, Google and my local second hand bookstore.  I am averaging about one hour a day of hands-on practice and another couple of hours exploring genres, music theory, musicians / bands / songs, and hardware reviews.  Although I have (probably) over 300 hours of hands-on practice, I still consider myself to be a near complete-beginner guitarist.  I have watched multiple hours worth of videos on “The Circle of Fifths” and given this book is only a little over sixty pages of material, I’ve spent far more time watching videos than I actually spent reading this book.
Review:
Having said this, the questions remain:  is THIS a good book about the topic and would I recommend it to others?  The answer to both is:  “YES“.
First (good):  this is not a particularly easy topic to cover / explain.  I may feel this way simply because I’m such a beginner, but I’ve asked a few people who’ve “played” guitar in the past and they (mostly) said:  “Just learn some chords and play songs. Nobody is interested in theory.”  The problem is: I AM!!  Not only am I interested in guitar (as a physical instrument), I am also interested in it as a means of musical expression.  I seek to “Grok” guitar.  This means I have to learn the how’s and why’s of just about everything “guitar”.  Hence, my interest in the topic:  “The Circle of Fifths” (TCoF).
Alexander has written a very easy to read explanation of TCoF and I feel this book significantly increased the depth and breadth of my understanding of this music tool.  Obviously TCoF is a tool for all musicians and not limited to just use by guitarists.  Having said this, the author appropriately makes the effort to explain things from / for a guitarist’s point of view.  He defines words / terms when he first uses them, so ensuring the budding guitarist knows what he is talking about.  Alexander also takes the time to briefly explain some things beyond the scope of the book and cautions readers when a side topic is going to get deep.  Basically, he explains fundamental concepts clearly and then builds on the foundation to round out the reader’s understanding.
As mentioned earlier, there is an associated website with audio files which can be played to increase understanding by ear training and not simply expecting the reader to “understand” a point by reading about it.  This is a book about practical application of theory to music (sound).
Second (bad):  If that’s the good, what’s wrong?  Well, my copy came to me with every third page glued together.  Not consecutive pages, but facing pages and every other set:  two pages open, two pages glued, etc.  The glued spot was pretty uniform at about two inches in from the center / binding.  Most were only spots.  A few were lengths (a quarter inch to two inches) running from binding margin to the center of text.  A couple were the full height of the page as well as being over an inch in width.  Most could be pulled free.  Three of the sets completely shredded the opposite page – which meant you couldn’t read the back of that page either, even though it wasn’t glued.  Fortunately, the worst pages were at the extreme front and end of the book.  When contacted, the response was:  the books are printed and delivered by Amazon;  take it back to them and they’ll arrange to give you another.  If this was a hardbound book or more expensive, I would have done this.  Weighing the cost versus my time, I just decided to live with what I have.  And, after all, the book was still readable.  Although annoying in multiple locations, I could figure out the missing words from surrounding context.
Third (bad):  The book had a handful (less than five) of editing errors where either a word was dropped or an incorrect word was used.  Only one was so bad (impactful) that I had to go back and re-read adjoining text to ensure I knew what the author was saying instead of what it looked like he was saying.  I would add, I personally would NEVER buy this type of book in kindle format without having seen the complete book on whatever hardware version I owned.  There is too much valuable information easily accessible by laying out two pages and seeing them next to each other in a readable size / format.  In fairness, I am a “book” person, not an “ebook” person.  Of course, with kindle I wouldn’t have had the glue issue.
Final recommendation:  strong recommendation.  If you are interested in learning a bit about music theory, how chords and keys are built and how chords work together to create music, this is an excellent beginner’s resource.  Is it going to “vastly” improve MY music skills.  Not in the immediate future.  I’m not that good, yet.  But I’ll get there some day and I believe reading this book will have helped me get there sooner than if I’d not read it.  I will look for this author and series in my local used book stores where I can open and check the pages before I buy the book.
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On This Day In:
2021 Misunderestimated
The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
Four Fifths Of Music
2020 Doctor’s Orders
Make That Seven Orders…
2019 Innocent
2018 Ripost
2017 Just Asking…
2016 And 4
How Tall Do You Stand?
2015 More Prejudice
2014 Say What?
2013 Daring Errors
2012 Are You Comfortable?
I Just Have To
In Flux
2011 True New
2010 A Job Well Started Is A Job Half Done
I See With My One Good Eye

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We don’t learn theory ‘just because.  We learn it to get closer to understanding the music we love.  Theory explains music, but theory is not music.
    —     Joseph Alexander
From his book:  “The Circle Of Fifths For Guitarists
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On This Day In:
2021 Closer To Understanding
On My Knees
2020 Profit From Ongoing Disintegration
I’m A Dreamer
2019 Even When We Have A Criminal / Dangerous / Incompetent President
2018 But It Keeps Trying
Blue Wave, But Not Blue Tsunami
2017 The Promise At Risk
2016 Or As Will Come In Time
2015 It Is Another Beautiful Day At The Red Pony Bar And Continual Soiree…
2014 Days And Years
2013 Currency And Transport
2012 Something Which Did Not Exist Before
2011 True Magic

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I have been learning to play guitar since January of this year.  Although I’ve always liked music and songs, I’ve never given much thought to what music is.  I mean, I’ve always considered it as “sound” (in a physics sense), but learning to “play” music (make sounds) has turned into a deep and enriching exercise in itself.  Last night, I read someone’s definition of “music” as a combination of three things:  rhythm, melody and harmony.  I thought this was interesting, so, today I went on Google and Wikipedia to see what they had to say about it…
There seems to be a (little / minor) disagreement about what “makes” music.  Most of what I read agrees with the three parts above, but I also found other sources which added a fourth:  dynamics.
This is my simplistic understanding of each:
1)  Rhythm:  the beat and speed of the sound(s);
2)  Melody:  the grouping of the sounds (typically making it – the “music” – distinctively memorable) into start, order and ending;
3)  Harmony:  the mixing of sounds for effect (happy / sad, blending / discordant); and,
4)  Dynamics:  how loud or quietly / soft or hard something sounds.
I’m sure any readers who are “real” musicians will find my explanation / understanding of these elements of music simplistic, and I’m okay with that.  LoL!  I think it’s amusing (amazing) I’ve enjoyed music my whole life, but never thought about ANY of this.  And, to be honest, I have large blind spots about most things under “arts and culture”.  I know I don’t know about them, but I have no idea how much I don’t know about them.  It’s fun starting to learn!
C’est la vie…
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On This Day In:
2021 Three Or Four Elements
Something In My Eye
2020 I Am Shocked! Shocked I Say!
But You Gotta Have Faith
But Only Half
2019 …And Bullet-Proof Suits
The Bottom Line (Is No Surprise To Me)
2018 What Do You Hear?
2017 I’ve Got A Pocket Protector
Word Up!
2016 Better Value
2015 Any Port In A Storm
2014 Babies (II)
2013 Why The Young Stay In College Longer These Days
2012 Perceptions Of Worth
2011 Flavor
2010 Giants Win 1-0 !!

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This post marks the first day of my 13th year of blogging here on WordPress.  The number of countries who’ve visited this site continues to grow and the number which haven’t continues to decrease.  North Korea and Cuba are still among them (the latter…)  I’m also still missing a belt across the middle of Africa and a few spots in Asia.  (Slowly, slowly…  Resistance is futile.)
On reviewing my content over the past year, I have done mostly two posts a day.  One is a thought, review or quote;  one has been a music video.  My intent was to offer up to any who stumbled onto my blog a chance to sample some of the music which affected my life.  In the process, I’ve rediscovered a tremendous number of songs which came and went (in my life) and a core of songs and performers who have helped make me – me.  Not, physically, like food or drink or air, but spiritually…  Now that the year is completed, I doubt I’ll be continuing with the videos every day, but I will include them periodically (sporadically?).
My blog has continued to be an increasing part of my “normal” retired life.  I routinely receive about 20 to 60 emails (per day) from the roughly 300 blogs I follow.  I say “roughly” because I don’t check how many I follow.  I just looked, and I have fewer than 2,000 followers myself.  Every year there is a trade-off:  you pick up a few steady followers and a few drop off.  Those who actually post about leaving (their own sites) say they are simply moving on to other things.  Most, don’t bother and just stop posting.  A few come back after some period of time.  Many do not.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve stopped blogging.  Some just move to a hosted service to try to monetize their thoughts and don’t provide me a way to follow them.  Or maybe they did and I simply missed the link…
At any rate, I am still posting thoughts, quotes, movie reviews, book reviews, and favorite music videos.  I easily spend an hour per day reviewing the posts I get (via email subscription) and sometimes that is simply overwhelming.  It’s not always the average blogger’s fault.  If you post something interesting, I (still) will go off and investigate it further: authors, artists, locations, books, movies, science / math / history topics – they will all lead me off down the rabbit hole.  And that hole can be DEEP!  I don’t know why, but this year, less frequently, I’m choosing to delete fewer (unopened mail / posts).  I apologize to you if you are one of those authors.  I will admit to only viewing actual posts sent to me (most of the time).  I seem to get a lot of “read more” posts / emails.  I’m not sure why this is.  I guess it’s a WordPress feature I don’t use or don’t know about.  There are a few (a handful) of sites which I know are visual and I more frequently click through to the actual site, because I’m interested in the bits which are not offered in the smaller / limited / text based emails I tend to receive.  I apologize if that affects your view stats negatively…
So, besides this blog, what am I up to?  My health has been mixed.  Last year, I was back in the hospital for “jump start”.  I have AFib and every now and then I get my heart zapped (“reverted”) to a normal rhythm.  We’ve also had this whole COVID lock down, which has put a damper on things.
In January, I purchased my first guitar and I’ve been practicing most every day since.  I “know” some basic chords and scales.  I’m still having a dickens of a time with strumming and chord changes, but I’m told that will come with time.  I now own two acoustic guitars and one electric (a Stratocaster style), and I have another acoustic on loan from my brother.  I have the four on a rotation calendar, but the first is still my favorite.  I’m looking into picking up a few more inexpensive guitars and two basses.  There is no time pressure.  It’s all about my ability to save (here and there) until I can justify a purchase.  [Wife:  How many guitars do you NEED?  Me:  …One more.]
The few things I’ve learned have truly been amazing (to me).  I do seem to have a smidgen of musical ability (although it’s still buried under layers of doubt).  I’m finding the ability to concentrate on practice to be as relaxing as zoning out in computer programming used to be (in my youth).  Sixty to ninety minutes can easily seem like five or ten minutes.  There is also the complete exhaustion which results from prolonged concentration – however “relaxing” it may feel at the time.  In a strange way, it feels good to be mentally tired at the end of a practice session.
But, am I getting any better at playing?  An objective opinion would be:  Yes!  Am I any “good”?  An objective opinion would be:  No!  Does it matter a whit?  No.  Why not?  Because, like blogging, I’m doing it for the enjoyment of doing it and not for the expectation (mine or anyone else’s) of being any good at playing guitar.  Again, like blogging, as long as it’s fun and interesting and fulfilling, I’ll just keep doing it…  My not so secret goal remains to write a song (lyrics and music) for my wife.  (LoL)
My personal goals for last year (to learn some assembly language programming and to have a play with chat-bots) never really got off the ground.   I spent a few weeks looking into them and playing with some free software, but the former has been passed by history so resources are limited and the latter is beyond my means as a retired person on a limited income.  In any case, I have usually been at my best when given a customer with a problem, not when I have to make up my own problems (and then create their solutions).
So, it’s guitar and blogging to keep me occupied (and mostly out of trouble).  LoL!!
Once again…  “Excelsior!!
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On This Day In:
2020 Happy 11th Anniversary Of Blogging
2019 Happy 10th Anniversary — Thoughts On My First Decade Of Blogging
2018 Happy 9th Anniversary — Three Thoughts
Day 2 – Notes On Progress
2017 Happy 8th Anniversary
2016 Happy 7th Anniversary
2015 Happy 6th Anniversary
2014 Happy 5th Anniversary
2013 I Resemble That Remark!
2012 Happy 3rd Anniversary
2011 Is America Safe Tonight?
2009 Hello world! (See how it all began…)

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