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Tuesday, 20 November 2012
A new banner once again

I'm trying to load a new banner to my truefire forum thing. Let's see if this works once again.

Posted by gilbert davis at 3:10 PM EST
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Friday, 23 December 2011
A new Robbie Calvo and Marc Schonbrun banner

Posted by gilbert davis at 10:26 PM EST
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Friday, 22 July 2011
Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted

I am reminded of the importance of standing up for your beliefs and the importance of not allowing anger and rage be the only voices in the world when I hear an older gentleman rage on about 'CNN'. He objected to the fact that it was on a TV in the world. He raged that it was the "Communist News Network" and it didn't deserve to be on the air where people could see it. Another time the news was flashing and I believe President Obama was answering 'tweets' on Twitter from the public that day. Another man watching the same screen (I think this TV was on FOX this time) called the President a 'F**king Idiot'.  This annoyed me so I turned to this fellow and thanked him. I said he reminded me that I needed to wear my Obama shirts more often. And he had reminded me of the need to stand up. These kind of people, these public rage pronouncers believe that everyone believes in what they believe in and that their rage has the majority voice out there. A curious thought since President Obama, as alluded to by the honorific - was actually elected President by the majority of the people who voted in last election.

The funny thing there is that all of the Obama haters somehow think that Obama voters (me for one) will be silent in the face of their supposed righteous rage. The other funny thing is that these same folks believe that there is one election that counts above all - the election which brought a majority of Republicans to the House of Representatives. That Election apparently was a holy election and the goals of that Majority in one house of Congress must be obeyed. Humm. Still a Majority of Democrats in the Senate and still a Democrat as President but the immovable object in Politics these days is the Tea Party supported Republican members of the House of Representatives.

Still, these folks think that since the Bush Recession continues it now belongs to Obama, that their view is the only view worth listening to and that their obsessive, hate filled rage at President Obama is widespread enough that they can rage in public, rage like pscycopaths, rage and you and I won't stand up. Well, you know, I ordered my Obama 2012 tee shirts and car magnets - car magnets since these are the kind of people who will vandalize your car for not having the same hate filled rage they believe in.  The magnets go on the car when I alone am in the car and come off when my car is alone. My Obama shirts stay on me, I can stand the dirty looks and can protect myself against the cowardly ragers. And most importantly, I can show that others will stand up and show a different opinion. 

Posted by gilbert davis at 9:51 PM EDT
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Sunday, 29 May 2011
Blues Expose - Understanding your G minor Pentatonic in Slow Blues
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Blues Expose - TrueFire Guitar Instructional Video
Topic: Guitar Theory

Blues Expose is a TrueFire course by Steve 'Red' Lasner and Josh Gibson where Red and Josh guide you through seven essential Blues Grooves, - Slow BLues, Organ Shuffles, Medium Shuffles, Fast Shuffles, Minor Blues, Texas Blues and Rhumba Blues.

What is unique about this course is that the two guitar players separate the duties and one plays the Lead and one plays the Rhythm part of the same song. Often times you will get a Guitar Instructional Course where the instructor will play over a jam track, in this case Josh Gibson is the 'jam track' player. They play together and each section is broken down and explained. By separating the parts your ability to understand what is happening is increased. For the advanced beginner this is wonderful, it will click for you and you will see how the Rhythm and the Lead work together.

For the player who is emerging from his studies in the Pentatonic Shapes you can watch the Lead Playing of Red and see how his playing measures up. In the Lead for The Slow Blues Lead Red plays a very good lead that is available with other sample videos here

Here you can see my diagram of the notes that Red plays in that Lead along with a diagram of the G minor Pentatonic. You'll notice that Red plays on the notes in blue and if you have the course you can see the actual tab for this and every song the two play - with both the Lead and the Rhythm tabbed out separately.  The discussion continues at the TrueFire Forum.


Posted by gilbert davis at 8:39 PM EDT
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Putting the banana in the banana post

Posted by gilbert davis at 9:36 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Now Playing: Adele - Someone Like You

Okay that was strange, my post creation area didn't have the menu above it and so I briefly complained about there being no picture ability but here it is. Well, then, here would be a picture or three for my own amusement. Here's a picture of Hiro and I, more like Hiro and my finger but what the heck, then a picture on Destin Beach. Then let's see if the new banner from TrueFire comes through as well.


Posted by gilbert davis at 1:31 PM EDT
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Friday, 24 September 2010
So I walk into this Center for Guitars - Guitar WalMartland
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: NCIS
Topic: Mysteries of Life

I went to the Mall and tooled around the Apple store - the one where a dude got a finger ripped off by thieves who stole his iPad he had just bought a few months ago. Very exciting. Then it was across the street to the Guitar place.  There's the older dude at a desk area in front of the doors, he looks suspiciously at me - wearing dark hat, dark glasses etc.  I smile, say hello and wander around looking at the Gibson Gold Tops (which don't thrill me)

I'm seeing Telecasters fronm $119 to $1199 - I cannot discern a difference in quality. I see a pretty Wine Red Les Paul Gibson for under a grand and under it is the Epiphone for 299. The only difference I see is the Gibson has gold gear and the Epi has silver gear on it. Lots and lots of cheap guitars, from 200 bucks on up. Two mousy, sad looking guys walking around - Big guy who works there has plugged in a Tele and is playing it -badly. He looks like Fred Flintstone.

I go to the Acoustic Room and it's three different rooms. The big room has cheap ass guitars. Lots of strange brand name guitars, I see a twelve string for 249. Really? What's that made of - cardboard? Seagulls I think, I can't even look at them. Then I hear someone in one of the higher end guitar rooms, white guy with Dreads playing something - badly. I go to the high end room and there are a bunch of Taylors behind glass. Who likes Taylors anyways besides the guy from Dave Matthews Band? I visit with the Gibson Hummingbird and the Songwriter, I strum the other high end guitars, they all sound the same to me.

Blech. I go to look at the books. I hear some guy come in asking for strings. Do you know what you want? NOPE! I play Bass! Guitar guy tries to hard sell him - I'd get these ones with silicon on them. Buy two get One free! Only 24 dollars for three sets of strings! (a good set costs five bucks)  Even though the guy is a Bass player and acting dumb he wisely decides he only needs one set. I am thumbing through books. The door guy is eyeing me like I'm a twelve year old twitchy kid stuffing things in my pockets. I find a Guitar Soloing Book that looks interesting, decide to buy it and go to the counter. Guy says Hi there! I smile and say hi right back. He stands there posed at the register. Can I get a phone number!? I say you could probably get one from the phone company if you needed one. Dude looks puzzled. I helpfully say that I don't give my phone number out. I'm also holding cash money. I say 'Cash money' Dude thinks for a minute, can't process what I'm saying so he goes to the next thing. Can I Get your name? I usually go by "Fred Flintstone" when I come into this chain store. He looks puzzled. I glance over and the guy who looks like Fred Flintstone and who played the Tele badly and he's glaring at me. I smile back at him and say to both of them loudly that in every one of these places I've been they've always been able to find me - as Fred Flintstone in their computers. I could have started to talk about my philosophical objections to being nailed to the grid with every transaction I make or I could have started in with my fake religious rant about how we're being numbered by the antichrist but I doubt that my audience would have had a clue either way. Glaring guy keeps glaring at me, I cock my head sideways at him until he looks away and shambles along in I guess what he thought was a menacing way. I laugh at him and he double clutches his shoulders and continues on.

The whole time dude at the door is looking at me. I get my change and walk over to him and put my book down with the receipt in it. He had just seen me buy it, there are three people in the whole store and he pulls out the receipt and checks it against the book. I tell him about the last time I was in one of these store that shall remain nameles except to say that it's a large Center for Guitars, and how I felt the previous security checker tried to make me feel like a criminal but only succeeded in pissing me off and that I complained to the manager and got him fired. This dude looks up at me with eyes widening and stamps my receipt with a 'Thank you for Shopping at Blank Blank. Ahh, it's why I hardly ever go to that chain guitar store.

I just know it'll be another year or so before I go into one of those stores again. I'll go buy my Gibson or Fender or Guild at the friendly guitar store when it's time to buy. It's always amazing going to some places and a wonder they even stay in business. Crappy customer service and crappy manners.

Posted by gilbert davis at 6:22 PM EDT
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Now Playing: Banner fun

Posted by gilbert davis at 5:31 PM EDT
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Monday, 24 May 2010
The Five Pentatonic Shapes and their meaning
Topic: Guitar Theory

Sometimes the answers to questions are right out there - I mean, really right out there and they seem so evident to some folks that actually explaining them doesn't seem necessary. But alas that is not the case in real life. Here we have a diagram of the Five Pentatonic Shapes along the Fretboard. Now the shapes are pretty good to know but it's only one step in understanding them. You can see them lined up together on the Fretboard in the usual manner - confusing unless you can see the individual shapes as you can in this diagram. Not only can you discern the five individual shapes but there is also actual reasons for the shape that become apparent to you when you've memorized all the notes and shapes and have spent years in study. But for me without a music education I need things put a little more simply and understandably. To the left you can see the two 6th String Root, Minor and Major Pentatonic shapes. Those have a purple box for the 6th String Root, Minor Pentatonic and a green box for the 6th String Root Major Pentatonic Shape.  So the first shape you usually see nearest the nut on the Fretboard is the shape for the 6th String Root, Minor Pentatonic Shape. The second Shape you see is the 6th String Root, Major Pentatonic Shape. Now those shapes give you the minor and major pentatonics for the root note which is the lowest note on the sixth string. That note is the note closest to the top or nut of the Fretboard. You can go down the sixth string and put the root for the major and minor shapes, looking below this entry for those Scale Formulas for the 6th Strings and just go to town. It's a good way to start learning those notes and why you want to learn those notes. The middle Pentatonic Shape, the Third Pattern has it's own unique information with both the minor and major shapes from that pattern, - that's another posting. The two shapes at the end or right of the Fretboard diagram are for the 5th String Root, Minor and Major Pentatonic Shapes.  They use the same scale formulas that you will find in previous blog entries below.  It's almost like this stuff is making sense to me. Cool

Posted by gilbert davis at 12:14 PM EDT
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Friday, 14 May 2010
G Major Pentatonic 6th String Root
Now Playing: Dexter Gordon, Scrapple From the Apple
Topic: Guitar Theory

Well here is the next chart I have, suitable for printing and posting on the wall of your practice room. The G Major Pentatonic, 6th String Root. I know the reason it says 6th String Root is because we're on the Sixth String to start and it's the Root of this Pentatonic in G Major.  The Cool thing here is that the shape is the Second Shape of the Five Shapes of the Pentatonic. And as such, you can play 12 Major Pentatonics by just moving your Root on the Sixth String up and down that string, follow the Chart, put your finger on the Root you want. Fascinating. Nobody has explained to me why you can do a Major Pentatonic starting on the Ab since that's a flat or on the A#. My mind easily boggles and I'll just take this on faith for a bit.  The Scale Formula is R (Root), 2, 3, 5 and 6.  Pretty simple, none of those scary b's (flats) or #'s (sharps). For where this fingering is shown, starting the Root on the 6th String, third Fret - the G Note - the rest of the notes line up pretty nicely in this instance. R,2,3,5 and 6 translates into G, A, B, D, E. (and then repeats across the Fretboard) Peach keen and just this much short of Fabulous! Ah, discussions with actual people can be found at the forum - right about HERE

Posted by gilbert davis at 1:50 PM EDT
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G Minor Pentatonic, 6th String Root
Now Playing: Dave BruBeck - Take Five
Topic: Guitar Theory
This chart has the G Minor Pentatonic, 6th String Root, it also has the Minor Pentatonic Scale Formula which is R (root), b3 (Flatted 3rd Note), 4th, 5th and b7 (Flatted 7th Note).  And as a super extra bonus the 'Shape' is first shape you see when you are looking at the chart of the Five Pentatonic Shapes! Use the chart just below to see what those notes actually are. The Root is G as you can see.  The b3 note is the Flatted Third. Looking at the chart we see that it doesn't land on a Whole note. Oh fudge. Well, lets see. The notes that aren't Whole notes are flats and sharps. Now owing to a confused sense of direction the flats and sharps confuse me.  Which probably means I need to make myself a graphic for it. On the 6th String, the low string, the string is tuned to E. Press that first fret at the top and you get yourself a F note. The next note down the string is a F#(F Sharp) and a Gb (G Flat).  Ah, blinding confusing. That third Fret on the E String in this instance is the G - which as you can see by this chart is the Root of this Pentatonic Scale. I count three frets down and find myself out of the comfortable territory of the Whole Notes and find myself on the b3 Note of this scale. The Fifth Fret on the E String is the A Note so the sixth fret holds the A# (A Sharp) and the Bb (B Flat). So the first two notes of our G Minor Pentatonic in this case are G and Bb. So far so good. The chart shows the next note on the scale is the 4th and it's on the A String 3rd Fret. That looks like the C Note. I hop a Fret to the 5th Fret and find myself on another Whole Note - the D Note.  So now we're looking at  - G, Bb, C, D. There is that Flatted 7th on the next string up and on the 3rd Fret of the D String.  Humm. I see from my Note Chart that it's the F Note. Interesting. Not sure why that isn't a flat or a sharp. But I'm sure I'll get that figured out someday. So, the notes here are G, Bb, C, D, F. I better go take an Aleve and see if I can fret a bit.

Posted by gilbert davis at 1:33 PM EDT
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All the Whole Notes along 12 Frets
Now Playing: Sonny Rollins - The Bridge

Well, as I mentioned, a bit of the carpal tunnel in the fretting hand and so I have to do some things I can do with one hand, so a bit of graphics updating is in order. Here is a Fretboard Diagram of all the Whole Notes along the first 12 Frets. The A notes are all one color, the B notes are all the same color and so on. Something to print up and hang on the wall if you're like me and a visual learner and wish to commit the notes on the Fretboard to your memory. Life is an adventure, find your fun and find your groove.


Posted by gilbert davis at 12:49 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 14 May 2010 12:58 PM EDT
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Animated Whatcha talking bout Wolfboy?
Now Playing: Christian Sands, Lonesome Lover - Jazz
Topic: Art and Poetry
  A little animated graphic to respond to Wolfboy1 teasing me a bit about my overly detailed Pentatonic Scale charts. I do such charts when my fretting wrist is in pain and there isn't much to be done in the way of playing the guitar.  :)

Posted by gilbert davis at 12:30 PM EDT
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Monday, 29 March 2010
Updating the Front Page a Bit
Now Playing: Sirius NFL Radio

Well I've put a few new pictures on the front page of the website for those who occasionally check that out. Always good to have that recent picture and so I put one of those up. I mention on the front page that I'm looking for a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. It's one of those desires that has taken a while to come to me and now I'm deep in the process of trying to find a good quality puppy. Now in my self education here I've come to know that there are actual 'Puppy Mills' where I have to think the folks are not trying to do bad things but in the scheme of things they breed their dogs without much regard to the health certifications that many breeds use to maintain the quality and improve the quality of the breed. For instance, there are back and joint and cancer issues with some dogs and responsible breeders are spending a great deal of time and effort to breed those bad things out of the dogs. Well, I'm staying away from those sort of establishments. The result of that is that all of the breeders I've spoken with are very protective of where their dogs go. So my discussions turn into interviews to see if I'm worthy. I understand that and it's a bit like trying to get into Law School. Sort of an endurance test but the end result will be worth it. A  loyal companion of good temperment - yup definitely worth it.











And here is that recent picture of me. :)

Posted by gilbert davis at 1:46 PM EDT
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Thursday, 31 December 2009
Another New Year Arrives

another year comes on down and good riddance to the last one. Hopefully everyone has a better year this time. At the Truefire forum we've had a new course by Mr. Larry Carlton - an honest to goodness Jazz Legend. A great course, a great guitarist and a good fellow. I've even got the autographed CD he put out last year. That's how cool I am. Cool

Posted by gilbert davis at 10:48 PM EST
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