Something reminded me earlier today that I have my late grandfather's Hohner chromatic harmonica, and then while looking for something else I (perhaps subconsciously) looked in the drawer where it's been sitting the last however many years. The last time I gave any thought to learning how to play it was just before YouTube became a thing, and *now* there is an embarrassment of riches online when it comes to learning harmonica. /

Spent pretty much all day yesterday getting reacquainted with the pieces I had picked for the EP I started working on last year, and building piano parts for them with .

I'm terrible about following through on my recording projects in general, but part of the reason this one petered out was that I wasn't happy with any of the instrumentation I was experimenting with. These piano parts are simple but they fit. Going to push in this direction.

One very nice thing has is a randomization feature, which can vary the volume, timing, and duration of notes so they're not totally robotic. (And you can adjust how extreme each of those metrics are.) You can also actually tweak the pitch, which I imagine could be pretty interesting in some scenarios.

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Re-upped the premium trial, I'd forgotten how satisfying it is. Here's a duet by Herbert J. Ellis called "Cobler Breakdown", written circa 1900.

I'm delving back into "Turner's 60 Breakdowns, Jigs, and Hornpipes" by Herbert J. Ellis, a book full of fun little bite-sized duets that work up pretty quickly.

I'm pretty pleased with this piano track, generated using which I still barely grok, but already prefer to apps like iRealPro in the same way I prefer LilyPond+Frescobaldi to MuseScore et al.

Longer days, warmer weather, and the current need to self-isolate have made me realize how badly I am absolutely starving to play music with other people on a regular basis. I'm feeling stupid this morning for willfully separating myself from the scene I used to be nominally a part of (although in fairness part of that was me moving far enough away to make it difficult to stay as engaged with it.)

(this snippet was recorded at an open session I was at, almost 10 years ago now)

Felt like going back to basics tonight looked up a tune from my "to learn" playlist and learned it.

This is an called Spotted Pony, usually played in D but played here in C because I think my capo is in a case in the attic.

Update: nylon strings are definitely good for working on chords, and I think they sound pretty good, but I'm not sure I like them as well as steel. It's hard to say because I've been playing on mostly nylon for the last 10 years, and I'm not used to the piercing quality of steel, especially combined with pick strumming.

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Piano Progress 

Hm, this will do for now, not bad for not really knowing what I'm doing with the Glimpse image editing predecessor

Holy smokes, Arthur Shilstone, the artist who painted the evocative cover of Vol. 4 is also still alive (I think? He was in 2017) in his 90s and still painting. He is an absolutely incredible watercolorist (

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I found a vein of mid-19th century "Honky Tonk" piano LPs at a junk shop yesterday, and I want to know everything about the person whose collection they were from.

I brought home a few and as I expected, they've got that Shakey's Pizza Parlor vibe to them; ragtime era music distorted through the lens of 1950s/60s nostalgia, conflated with early jazz and mashed into an old-timey pastiche. /

I can tell using SID Wizard efficiently will require memorizing emacs-level keyboard shortcuts, but this isn't bad for a half hour of tinkering (time spent looking up shortcuts not included)

Anyone get a new for the holidays and want an instant learning library? I've got this pile of books , all of the CDs are included and still playable as far as I know. The Ross Nickerson book is autographed.

$25 for the lot including media mail postage anywhere in the U.S. Ping me if interested; first come, first served.


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The Hon. Mayor of Banjotown πŸͺ•'s choices:


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