What are y’all up to? # 3 (Current NEW thread)
August 17, 2020 at 9:07 PM #85644Great ScottModerator
I have closed the previous thread because it was nearing the 30 page mark ; which is a little long for a thread. So feel free to continue sharing your activities here in this new thread, as I’m sure we all love to hear what our BGD friends are up to.August 17, 2020 at 9:33 PM #85646Great ScottModerator
I hope everyone is keeping well and safe.
I am still traveling. The China virus is pretty much under control here ; but has begun a second wave on the mainland with 200 cases of infection being reported daily. So I guess where I am at present is one of the safest places on planet Earth. Here, it is just so quiet and a bit like a ghost town. There never was a lot of people here, which is good.
My computer was infected with some malware and hacked a few months ago, without my realizing it at the time. Passwords and other documents and files went missing. Some corrupted. I only discovered this shortly after I posted my last video in the Composer’s Corner forum, when I experienced difficulty logging into my Vimeo account as well as several other accounts. My computer was slowed right down (despite already being a problematic computer with a mind of it’s own that caused me so much grief) as a result of the malware and hacking. Going with Bitdefender anti-virus / malware etc. for my internet security.
So, now I am contemplating building a desktop computer with all up-to-date specs and security. I will most likely make it a LINUX system because I detest MS and the duopoly that they engage in. That said, I will need to use MS Win 7 to run my numerous programs that rely on MS.
So, still having miles to travel to find WiFi, I will be looking at getting most of the parts locally while they are still available. Most orders from the US are taking well over 5 weeks to get here — that’s IF they do end up getting here, at all.August 17, 2020 at 10:49 PM #85649Steve SraderParticipant
Good luck Scott , the old windows are not supported much , You will probably have better luck with Linux , If you wont things to arrive you will have to use FedEx or UPS as the USPS is not doing well !August 18, 2020 at 6:19 AM #85650
Hey Scott. Sorry to hear about all the computer difficulties. If I could afford it, I’d have a big ol’ Mac of some sort. I think it would run the Presonus better and I think they don’t have the slowness and get the viruses and stuff like windows…at least from what I hear. Of course, I’d really love to go back to the old computerless, phoneless, simple small town society that I used to know…but…don’t think we could have it back again unless it was the end result of some great societal tragedy…lol…don’t want that.
I’ve been puffing along with my usual stuff. Haven’t been playing music because my daughter has me working on some tracks for a video project she is doing, just to keep herself from going crazy…lol…sometimes you just have to get something going that takes up all your efforts to keep you from losing your mind, ya know? So I’ve been getting her some tracks going although having a difficult time, even though the music she wants isn’t hard…lol…just hard for me. I’ll get it eventually, though. Persistance always pays. Well, mostly.
Other than that just fiddling around with the garden. Got some heat loving tropical leafy greens going…put some into the ground finally only to see that apparently we are having a cool August for the first time since we’ve lived here…lol…of course…that’s how my luck runs sometimes. I hope they will do ok anyway…I think anything under 65 or so can hurt them…and we’re getting into the 50s at night…which just never happens in August here…so…we’ll see what happens. Fortunately I kept some in a hydroponic, mobile kinda situation so I can put them inside overnight and have them on standby to get enough cuttings so that we get them through the wintertime and ready for lots of good eatin’ next year. We like our greens around here.
Hope everybody’s finding time for music and staying safe from storms and viruses and all of that.August 18, 2020 at 8:03 AM #85651
Hey Scott, Joe, Peggy, Steve and others, Thanks for the kind words on my recent losses. I just lost another adopted brother two days ago. He didn’t even reach 70.
In my music world, I finally got to play “Old Country” last night at the weekly Monday night jam session held here in Arkansas at a friend’s garage. It’s been at least three months (actually, now that I think about it, 5 months) since I’ve seen all the guys and picked with them. It sure was fun. Hope to get back there next Monday, too.
Hope everyone is doing well. 🙂
August 18, 2020 at 8:17 PM #85663John (BGD)Keymaster
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by Frederick. Reason: changed 3 months to 5 months
I’m so sorry to hear that, Fred. I’m glad to see you back on the forum! JohnAugust 19, 2020 at 10:29 AM #85666
Thank You, John. It’s nice to be back. I’ve missed this place. 🙂August 22, 2020 at 3:50 PM #85687
So much 2020 stuff going on everywhere…hope everybody is doing ok here.August 22, 2020 at 6:16 PM #85688
Had a great band practice today (using social distancing in a large hall where we often gather to practice). We all played for 3 hours before tiring and giving up for the heat of the day….too hot 94 degrees.
Also played last Thursday evening with my Old Country music buddies. We played outdoors in a park and it was a blast. 🙂August 22, 2020 at 7:40 PM #85692fiddlewoodParticipant
Sounds like good times Fred.
I was invited to go jam this weekend but declined going.
I’ve been playing alone so long now, and have been turned down so many times by people I know well when looking for a unit to play in regularly, that I seem to have become very self conscious and don’t feel comfortable playing with/around others anymore.August 22, 2020 at 7:55 PM #85693
Fred…sounds like fun!
Dave…I sure hear ya. I’m getting to feel the same way. I think I like playing alone now better than with others…I don’t like it that I like it, but, well, I do like it. I like to hear your playing too…you can always give us some homespun concerts of your playing here. i look forward to it.August 23, 2020 at 10:11 AM #85696fiddlewoodParticipant
I think I’ve gotten pickier on what I want to do with others. I used to pay at the drop of a hat…now I prefer to work things out and have things organised. I care more about being intimately familiar with what i’m attempting to play…this seems to lead toward a more solitary existence music wise…I also wish I didn’t feel that way, but it is what it is, and I am living the amount of stuff I’m learning and am still quite excited about playing fiddle.
On another note, I have read up to the little girl getting run over by a train in “The Dollmaker”. I loved the beginning, but wasn’t thrilled it took the turn it did with the big move…it does continue to be an interesting read though…I just want someone to be happy in this story before it ends…August 23, 2020 at 10:30 AM #85697
Sometimes when I feel like playing the fiddle, the fiddle just doesn’t sound right to my ears and I grow agitated and switch back to my banjo during practice sessions. I think I have it tracked down to the bow I’m using at the time. I have an awful habit on running many, many hours on the rosin I put on a bow when I finally rosin it. That may be the problem or it could be something else, but it just seems like I’m getting more finicky lately on enjoying playing the fiddle.
Also, when I get into a public setting and have to play “Old Country” instead of Bluegrass, I don’t feel as sure of myself and use the mute too much and folks can’t hear me and complain that I’m playing too softly.August 23, 2020 at 11:04 AM #85699jazzstudentParticipant
For me, music is a life-long journey. Each time I pick up an instrument, I learn something. I am new to the fiddle, but even at this early stage of learning, I can see that it offers me lessons and knowledge that are different from what I bring to, and take from the guitar, banjo and mandolin.
A long time ago, it became clear to me that this process is seriously inhibited by the ‘condemning mind’. It is useful to evaluate my playing, and make adjustments based on an honest and accurate catalogue of skills and understandings that need to be changed. But, to beat myself up because I have not lived up to a deluded, imaginary ideal is not skillful or useful.
Right now, on the fiddle, simply playing in tune is a major undertaking. But, the difficulties of finding notes accurately on a ‘fretless’ instrument is opening me up to a new intimacy with scales, arpeggios and chords that I had lost playing a fretted instrument. The complexity of bowing and making bowing choices are forcing me to revisit rhythm and time.
There is a Buddhist saying: Before beginning to study, mountains are just mountains and rivers are just rivers. After studying diligently for a while, mountains are no longer mountains and rivers and no longer rivers. When deep and thorough understanding has been achieved, mountains are just mountains and rivers are just rivers.
Every time I pick up and instrument, whether it is to play a complex, fully articulated jazz or blues composition on the guitar, or stumble through a scale on the fiddle, my tongue clenched tightly between my teeth, trying simply to play a two octave ‘G’ scale in tune, I am making music. That is enough for me.
BillAugust 23, 2020 at 1:05 PM #85700IcebikeParticipant
Slowly getting back into playing music with others. Our Irish group is now back to playing at a Senior’s home, although out in the courtyard and spaced apart. Also, starting to have friends come over and playing outside in the yard. The only problem is that the first frost is only a few weeks away, so it’s time to find a large space inside. Since I’ve been playing alone for most of the last few months, I’ve spent more time on the mandolin then the fiddle, and it shows. Like Fred mentioned, I’ll get frustrated with how I’m playing the fiddle, and switch to the mandolin. I just need to spend more time on the fiddle and get back to where I was. Regardless, it’s nice to be playing with others again and I enjoy all the visiting (and a few beers). JoeAugust 23, 2020 at 1:06 PM #85701
Dave, I’m sorry to tell you that the Dollmaker is basically a tragedy…lol…not a lot of happiness in there but a lot to think about. You’re in the region, I mean I don’t know how close, but the part where their tragic lives ended up…I was in the area where their tragic lives began…so there oughta be something very familiar in there…but, yes, it is tragic. If you read the two that came before that…it’s kinda interesting, historically, about rural America and especially Appalachia…how things changed with development. The first one, Mountain Path, and the second one, Hunter’s Horn…I believe Arnow’s writing skills were improved quite a bit, though, when she got to the Dollmaker. Still, some lit profs consider the three a sort of unintended trilogy of rural America back through history.
Fred…I don’t know what it could be…sometimes when I pick up a fiddle it just sings out…then, sometimes it just screeches ugly and i don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s my rosin, my bow tightness or looseness, rosin build up on the strings, the humidity, or my ears…lol. I just wish the fiddle would be my friend EVERY day, not just when it wants to.
Bill…back in college…hate to figure up how long that’s been…since I studied philosophy and that kinda stuff…I remember a similar little Buddist expression…Before Zen, a man is a man and a mountain is a mountain. During Zen there is some confusion. After Zen, a man is a man and a mountain is a mountain. And of course, the student asks the difference between before and after. The answer if I’m remembering it right, is after Zen the man’s feet are on the ground…something to that effect…lol. I have thought about that many times when it comes to dealing with music and musical instruments!August 23, 2020 at 1:19 PM #85702
Here’s one for y’all: I have driven myself crazy learning to play Windy City Rag. I’m serious when I say I must have played it 4 or 5-hundred times. The other day during a practice session, after having played it successfully several times through, I flubbed it up on another pass and subsequently couldn’t remember how it went through the 2nd part. So bad, my memory loss, that I had to get out my notes on the piece and re-learn the part that stumped me.
I worked way too hard on that tune for a memory lapse but it came anyways. Now I’ve got it again but I’m like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs every time I approach the part that got me in the first place. My goodness….does it get better???????? 🙂August 23, 2020 at 2:38 PM #85703jazzstudentParticipant
Does it get better? – “now that’s a question!”
When I first began to study music, I spent a lot of time working through exercises and drills from books and structured learning protocols. After years of this, it occurred to me that most of this stuff had been developed to, in the least useful cases, solve problems specific to the author of the published learning material, or in more useful instances, to solve problems encountered by a variety of his or her students. The question for me became, “how useful is this stuff to my own needs as a musician?” In most cases, I was forced to admit that it was of minimal value. I am sure all of us have had the experience of spending hours, days, or weeks slaving over some arcane musical pedagogy, only to find it of no particular value, or completely unable to find a pragmatic application for it in our ‘actual’ playing.
One of the alternatives is to pay close attention to our own process. To begin to understand ‘how’ we, as individuals, learn – what our process tells us about what we ‘need’ to learn – and how to ‘recognize’, what our own playing is trying to tell us. I think that much of what we do as musicians is like the individual who begins to lose his balance running down a hill and has to run faster and faster to keep from a horrible, bone breaking fall. Eventually, he is going to crash.
I have found that when I make mistakes, am faced with what appears to be an insurmountable difficulty, feel frustration, disappointment or distress, I am experiencing a clear, pointed message about where I need to focus my effort and direct my study.
At the present, there are so many distractions to learning – systems to learn jazz in one week, master musical theory in an afternoon, play like (fill in a name here) by simply learning this ‘secret insight’ known only to the guy selling this week’s musical snake oil – that, often, we can’t tell up from down. Even when the learning system is legitimate, it can become impossible to differentiate it from all of the inflated, two-for-one, once-in-a-lifetime, one-time-only musical ‘slicers and dicers’ out there.
One of my teachers told me, “pay attention to the small motion.” When we boil away all of our expectations, preconceptions, and external frames of reference and identify what, precisely, we are having problems with – I think, then, we can begin to order our efforts in a way that optimizes our results and helps us to effectively direct our practice. As well, that kind of focus changes the nature of frustration and disappointment. It alchemically translates them from stumbling blocks and sources of distress into an enthusiasm for, and expectation of, new learning.
August 23, 2020 at 3:28 PM #85706
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by jazzstudent.
Thanks, “Jazz”. Good stuff there. 🙂August 23, 2020 at 4:27 PM #85709Steve SraderParticipant
I find that the more different tunes I learn the easier it gets , When first learning each new tune from BGD I just try to be a twin fiddle along side Dr. John performance video or mp3 , and copy him , till I can , My Dad always told me to keep going and if you make a mistake , don’t stop and next time through , try to get it right and eventually you will get it right , Then like magic , after I am a carbon copy of the tune I start picking up on embellishments here and there in some of the tunes , So getting comfortable with a tune , you become it , then it becomes you !
I don’t know if this makes scents , but works for me !
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