Friday, September 23, 2016


Just a bit of a lull. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Now need to lose 36.8 pounds instead of the 50 I started with.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Charlie, Neil, and Joni

Bought a book to learn guitar improvisation in the style of Charlie Christian and started to use it.
Listened to Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush," and Joni Mitchell's "Court and Spark."

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Tried to play piano today but couldn't do so for more than about a couple seconds. Time to do more.
Thought it might be time to get into gypsy or some kind of swing jazz stuff on the guitar. Looked and listened to some of my learning materials, and found myself much more drawn to old swing guitar than gypsy guitar. Going to get into again a book I used before: "Guitar Roots: Swing," by Paul Howard. Will skip the rhythm material, though, and get to the material on improvisation.
Not giving up the piano, but just doing more.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Saturday Swing

Practiced with band this morning.
Played some piano and was fristrated.
Listened to some really cool old jazz guitar on YouTube and I'm liking it. I like the old jazz a lot more than the stuff from the 1940's on. The old stuff swings. The old stuff has melody.
That old guitar sound is something I am tempted to get into. Eddie Lang.

Friday, September 9, 2016


Music is not just "notes." Music is not having a knowledge of how to voice major, minor 7s, and major 7 chords. Music is not having a knowledge of thirds. All those things are important, but they are not "music."
Music is also rhythm. And I've been missing that consistently in my piano playing. I think it'd be beneficial to continue to work on "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" until I got the rhythm (playing on time). Still, since playing on the fly from fakebooks is a goal, I can continue to do that. However, I think it'd be a good idea to always have a song that I'm working to perfect in terms of rhythm and timing. 

Not perfect timing but better than the previous recorded version:

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Getting bored. But not giving up. Working on getting the minor 7 chords and the major chords memorized / need to work more on them as well as the major 7 chords. Anyway, here's how "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" is sounding today with mistakes:

Looking forward to getting into a couple books I have on guitar fingerpicking.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Now need to lose 41 pounds instead of 50.
Learning the thirds on the piano (away from the piano). 
Listened to a nice album: Graham Nash's "Songs for Beginners."

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Listened to an Eric Andersen album: 'Bout Changes and Things and enjoyed it. Some of it was beautiful.
Had a return to piano day, and it was ok, I guess. Mostly reviewed some chords already memorized and tried to put them in practice by playing Christmas songs, most notably "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." Frustrating not being able to move around quickly. Tempted to walk away from the piano. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Interesting musical day. Worked mor in memorizing piano chords. 
Listened to Leo Kottke's "Greenhouse" album on vinyl, and some things are getting clearer to me about the kind of acoustic guitar stuff I like. I'm not really a fan of the acoustic blues guitar. Came as an insight today (though I knew it all along) that I really like the sound of new age type of acoustic guitar. Not a fan of showey fast players. I like sounds! I like melody. Looked up my Mark Hanson instructional books.  I also have a book of alternative tunings that may be helpful. I'm a fan (not enormously) of Travis picking, but it might be interesting to learn. Still saving for a high quality acoustic guitar.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Cool to have my son home for the Labor Day Holiday.
Band practice went well; rehearsing for a charity gig for which we'll play in two weeks.
Back at the piano, trying to memorize chords.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Starting on a new change of lifestyle,  trying to be more healthy. Took a half hour walk this morning, and here's a picture taken during it:

Ended up with the ability to say I walked about an hour today (when you add up the various walking times). Every Wednesday, starting today, I'll report how many pounds I need to lose in order to reach my goal. Need to lose 50.

Practiced some chords for just a little time at the piano today.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Here is a pic of my youngest ready for her first day of High School today:

After a piano lull, I went back to the piano today and "The Christmas Song."  I think in order to make this work, I have to make a point of learning the chords in the tune and mastering the chords in the tune before attempting the tune. 

I am learning the song; but that's just the problem; I don't want to learn just the song, but I want to have chords ingrained  in my brain. That's where I made a mistake in the past; focusing on the song only. Now this approach may not work for everyone, but I find that although it is laborious, it may yield the best results for me over time if I focus on learning chords.

I must learn the chords, learn the chords, and learn the chords, so they can be ingrained. The more they are ingrained, the easier it gets to play songs in the future (for me, anyway).

New Practice Regimen:

So practice time should be split into threse sections to be used when applicable: 
1) Review repertoire
2) Review old chords as listed on my chord chart
3) Learning new chords as presented in a song. When the new chords are learned, and them to my chord chart and add #4 below:
4) Practice the new song. When it feels somewhat comfortable, add a new song.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Was thinking that the piano was not for me because it's such a struggle. Listened to some YouTube stuff comparing guitar vs piano, and again came to the conclusion that I want to play piano. 
I have gotten really good at rhythm guitar. But that does not mean that I should just play rhythm guitar.
I am not good at solo guitar. Sure, I can do it with enough practice, but it doesn't come natural. Now the same can be said for piano, so why give up piano just because it might not be natural for me?
I can play early rock and roll easily on guitar. So should I limit myself to just what comes easily? No.