Saturday, October 25, 2014

Melodic Extensions

Went over my repertoire, but spent most of my practice time trying to get those Fewell melodic extensions on my fingers. Working hard!

Went food shopping today to begin the vegan diet again tomorrow. Will also begin walking 1/2 hour a day starting tomorrow. I hurt my knee walking an hour a day not too long ago. 

Friday, October 24, 2014


A good Friday practice with most of the band of mostly Christmas songs. "Happy Christmas (War is Over)" by John Kennon remains a challenge, but we are trying to work it out. I really have a blast singing and playing "Merry Christmas Baby" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (The Bruce Sprinsteen versions). 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Jimmy Reed

Mr. Jimmy Reed. Some of the best blues music as well as best music in general that I love listening to.

Add another page

Went over repertoire; added another page of knowledge regarding the Fewell book. Seem to not look forward to practice, but once I get going, I'm ok.
Rock and Roll band practice tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Practice

Did not go over anything new, but at least put forth time into going over repertoire and going over what I've been learning in the Fewell book.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I am going to learn this inprovisation stuff. I feel the Fewell book is helping. Will NOT give up. Did you hear that? I will NOT give up. Even when I miss a day or so of practice. That doesn't mean anything. I will get this thing in my hands so I can express myself using guitar sounds in a sonetimes beautiful and sometimes dissonant and sometimes funky way. Will not give up. The commitment and tools are there. 

Tuesday Practice

First of all, I know that the last paragraph of my last post should have been edited, but in not sure why it wouldn't let me edit.
But I had a good practice day: went over repertoire and adding a page of knowledge from the Fewell book. 

! ! Announcement ! !

Very proud to announce that my 17 year old son (who goes by the name "New-Hope") has released his first EP called "Not Tangible" on iTunes:

Not Tangible - EP by New-Hope:

One thing I find cool is that one song is called "Treestars." When he was a small boy, me and him were going to form a band and he wanted to call the band the "Treestars."him were going to form a band, 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Florida State University

My alma mater Florida State University beat Notre Dame last night and that is just fantastic. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Trek

Went to visit an old town today; had some good food, and met up with a high school friend who introduced me to the Rolling Stones many years ago.
Practiced my repertoire and continue to work on the Fewell book.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy Christmas

Went over some Christmas songs with the band tonight. Did a rough recording of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)." Took the recording home and added tracks. This is me on everything except one background vocal and mandolin:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Practice, Learning, Garrison Fewell

Practiced repertoire and the Fewell book. This improv stuff will take some time. Yesterday I actually tried to learn some stuff about modes.

I know I've probably said this before in different contexts, but yet again, I'm learning the fact that LEARNING TAKES TIME. There ain't no magic book. (Though Robert Conti's "The Assembly Line" is an exception!)There ain't no way of learning a musical instrument easily (for me, anyway). What I'm really talking about it that there is no real easy method out there that teaches inprovisation for me. 

So what I ended up doing is getting a bunch of books that teach guitar inprovisation. I have a hunch that dedicating one's self to any one of these books can lead someone to improvise. But it ain't easy! These books are not easy. 

So this is one tactic that I used: 
I got my improv method books and listened to the accompanying CDs or downloads to hear what I might sound like as a result of using the method in question. 

I kept coming back to Garrisin Fewell's "Jazz Improvisation for Guitar: A Melodic Approach." So this is the book I remain committed to. Now I may gain some knowledge from other stuff, but this is the book for me. 

Not to say this book is easy. For someone at my level, it is quite a challenge. But my habit is usually to quit one method and go to another when the going gets tough. I don't think I'll use that escape this time.

If I want to learn to improvise jazz, this is the method for me. The solos sound musical and not like just a series of notes. So it's time to stay committed, knowing that it will take a long time to get through this book, and there will be times of frustration, but the rewards might just include helping me to do what I want to do: express my spirit and soul using the language of melody and improvisation.

So thank you, Garrison Fewell!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

As a kid, I thought the Batmobile was so cool

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Not the Best Practice Day

Seemed like brain and fingers just refused to cooperate. Perhaps I'm tribe to do too much than what is recommended. So I'll just go back to following along most of recommended paths. Yesterday played guitar at Mass at Church and it went ok.