March 17th, 2012


Music Theory

chinders borrowed a guitar from miyasato to see if open mic night at Red Rock would be more fun with a bit of accompaniment to her singing.

I have been intending to fuss with it a bit on the grounds that heck, there's an instrument in the house, I may as well learn to play it! Today I actually managed to find a website that explained theoretically basic guitar-related topics in a way that actually made sense to me, then piffled around translating some of the more standard notations (tablature and chord diagrams and the like) into actual sounds.

E minor is kind of an awesome chord.

Anyway, I now understand the logic of the fretboard, in a sort of rudimentary way, which is a great help. I played a nice regular proper scale. Now it is not all random "Do THIS ridiculously complicated thing with your fingers! Now shift to THIS one! No, don't pick that string, augh!" and instead is only combinations of nice sensible notes. Whew.

The interesting thing about the guitar, as distinct from piano or voice, is that it is ALL ABOUT the chords. My typical approach to a bit of music is to figure out the melody, one note after another, and then maybe once I've got that down try adding in a bit of accompaniment with some additional notes, at the same time. Whereas the basic guitar approach seems to be to make sure that your fingers are in a position such that every string is playing a note in the same chord, then play some subset of those notes, whichever ones you happen to feel like at the time, maybe all together, maybe one at a time, maybe an interestingly rhythmic combination over the course of the measure. This is a very different approach. It's one that I had sort of started to fuss with a bit on piano, given simple chords in the left hand as accompaniment to right-hand melody, but I feel like coming at it through the guitar mindset will be terrifically useful. I've been kind of working it out from first principles based on logic, but here's this lovely big pile of natural examples to explore.

It'll be fun. (Once my fingers stop hurting.)
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