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I have had a music theory bent ever since the very earliest moments that I knew it was a thing, a language for talking about the structure and design of music. Intervals and progressions are definitely my jam.

That said, music theory is a bunch of bullshit, because if you do a deep dive on the music theory of Stevie Wonder's compositions, no magic will appear, yet said compositions definitely contain magic.

Thinking about becoming a deranged craigslist seller who lists used gear for like 25% more than MSRP

Goals/Intentionality (long, rambling) 

Two other things about guitar, especially rock guitar:

1) There is a much greater sense of community to be found when poking around online.
2) While finding musicians who are on the same not-a-newbie-but-pretty-rusty wavelength remains a challenge, a few minutes poking around suggests that it would be a lot easier than finding people compatible with obscure banjo stuff.

As I dust off my pentatonic scales for guitar I'm thinking about giving so-called "Chicago Tuning" (AKA, DGBE like the top four strings of a guitar) a try on for a while; I have tinkered with scales in standard CGBD banjo tuning over the years but the weird intervals are quite frustrating compared to the (mostly) fourths of EAGDBE guitar tuning; you get the big perfect fifth mandolin/tenor banjo interval between the 4th and 3rd strings, then an impractically short minor third between the 2nd and 1st strings; it works well for compact chord voicings, not so well for fluid/unambiguous scale shapes.

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*maybe* a tiny bit of fret sprout but I'm honestly not sure if that's just the side of my index finger hitting the frets more than usual because of the wider neck.

Between the tenor and getting reacquainted with my six-strings, fingers are definitely feeling the wider neck/steel string workout :blobsweats:

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My track record for this is actually very good, there's only one instrument I can really say I wish I had hung onto: It was a pochette fiddle whose peghead was carved in the shape of a pig's head... but I don't even feel too bad about that one because the person who made it contacted me a year or two later and was like "Do you still have that pochette, and if so, would you consider trading it for a bespoke instrument? It's the one thing I've ever made that I regret not hanging onto"

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The virgin keeping an instrument you never play vs the chad trading it in and regretting it forever

You know what, this is a real nice guitar and I'm not quite sure how I lucked into it as a 15-year old dipshit, but I am feeling Adrian Belew's guitar love song tonight 🎸

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I swear, cosmic shit happens when I get these manic bursts of musical whatever it is. Just replied to a local-ish craigslist music community post that's back on the jazz banjo side of the fence if that works out... which is probably a big if, but even if not, it's nice to think there's a kindred somewhat oddball musical spirit in the region

Goals/Intentionality (long, rambling) 

My gen-x guitar rock brain seems to have woken up more forcefully than it has in years, and as always I'm struggling with the dueling impulses to

1) Lean into it
2) Try to smother it and stick to 5-string classic banjo and/or 4-string CGBD stuff

...looming over everything is this midlife sense of urgency, which also leads to conflicting perspectives:

1) Life is short, are you going to just keep faffing about and jumping between instruments and genres and never get good at any of them?
2) Life is short, why in the world would you *not* switch to something that moves you in the moment?

…all of this is in the vacuum of my long-running musical isolation, where I have no collaborators or external pressure or stimulus as incentive to focus on *anything*, and my long-running self-doubt and insecurity as a musician in general; even as a pre-internet kid I felt like was absent the day they handed out the “how to find and be in a band” manual; I lucked into a band in college and have played a couple of gigs with other musicians since then but I tend to feel like I'm just along for the ride.

But, I didn’t really set any goals for myself last time I got the guitar itch; I learned a few old favorites and played along with them and that was about as far as it went; I eventually sold/traded my amp and pedals and went back to “plug a guitar into GarageBand and noodle wistfully a couple times a year” mode.

I’ve absorbed a lot more theory since that last go-around, learned a whole lot more about recording/mixing, and in general right now I’m feeling like the “You can only focus on one instrument and you’ve cast your lot with obscure banjo styles, deal with it” argument I keep having with myself is some calvinist sunk cost fallacy bullshit for something that is supposed to bring me joy.

Anyway, I’m not dumping banjo by any means; what kicked all of this off was the impulse purchase a 4-string guitar so I could keep working on mastering the CGBD fingerboard even outside of a banjo context, and I'm having fun with that. But ultimately there’s no substitute for a chunky power chord on that low E-string, and I’m a big boy capable to mastering chord and scale shapes on two different fingerboards if I set my mind to it; I already have a fair amount of dormant guitar muscle memory.

I do think mindfulness is still the watchword; the last time I tried to do the guitar thing I was gear-chasing instead of goal-setting, and so of course that went exactly nowhere after a couple months.

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A few days ago, I was getting curious about the histories of #house and #techno. Not for any specific reason, just curious about what makes the specific sounds and the cultural backgrounds.

What are your favorite documentaries about post-80s music styles?

There must be so much video material and oral history around, with many of the protagonists still alive and active, and I'd like to broaden my knowledge of #musichistory beyond dead old white dudes and the very occasional white woman.

When you watchlist something on reverb and the seller gives you a not-insignificant offer :blobsweats:

I can fool around with little a electric guitar alongside plectrum banjo, as a treat

It also came with some snazzy picks. I've been using tortex picks for a while and I had forgotten how much I love the smell of celluloid

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The neck is a bit wide compared to a typical tenor neck, which is also in keeping with its bari uke-ness. I'll have to get a side-by-side shot of it with my grampa's old Regal tenor guitar (which is unfortunately a wall-hanger due to having been left strung with steel strings at tension for decades.)

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! I bought this new "Kmise" brand tenor guitar from ebay for an absurdly low price.

at 30" long with a 21.25" scale length it's a little closer to an over-sized baritone ukulele, but it is indeed slightly larger than Kmise's bari uke model, and it's got a pin bridge with steel strings vs the usual ukulele nylon.

I'm pretty sure the body is all mahogany laminate.

It's a really well-made little instrument, absurdly well-made for about $70 shipped with a very nice gig bag. I haven't checked with a tuner but the intonation is spot-on and the action is nice and low all the way up the neck.

It sounds like you would expect a small-bodied laminate guitar to sound; not very loud and not a lot of low-end, but that's fine. I'll record something with a good mic once I've gotten to know it a little better.

I tuned it to CGBD and it will be a lot of fun to noodle around with. Since the scale is something like 5" shorter than a typical plectrum, the strings feel very taut; plus they're steel, which my fingers are not used to. I'll have to research lighter strings.

Rob Zombie's Food Blog 

More Cumin Than Cumin

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The Hon. Mayor of Banjotown's choices:


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