Hurricanes (Video)

Some minor lyrical edits since the last time, but nothing significant. I fixed some grammatical quirks (in the last version I switched between “you” and “he” a few times. I changed them all to “he” in order to be consistent.), and I made some edits to one of the last verses that wasn’t flowing quite right, as well, but if you heard the last version, this isn’t significantly different.

Slacker cam again; it actually works better than the fancy set up with less fuss, even if it means you have to look at my messy bed. meh. whatever. It’s the best combination of audio and video so far, until I come across some other magical position that’s not at risk of wobbling around. At least you can actually see the instrument for once.

Until Next Time, editing and practicing, mostly.

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27 thoughts on “Hurricanes (Video)

  1. You’re really coming along. 😉

    Tonight, I played something with my wife. I might blog about it later. I looked at an exercise/chord progression from Building Rock Bass Lines (Am-C-G-D, Am C-G-E) and she played something really simple on piano (she hasn’t played since she was like 6) while I provided a bassline to it. It actually worked. 😉

    I just tried to figure out something similar to your video. I don’t know if I’m right or not, but I tried 3 notes each of C-A-G-E (first 2 on the A string and 2nd 2 on the E string) and it worked. I’m really only trying with roots, because I don’t trust my ear completely.

    It was fun, and a learning experience. Thanks for posting that song!

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      1. Adding 5ths to the A and G seems to work well too. It basically looks like this:
        [C-G-C] [A-A-A] [E-E-E] [G-D-G]

        Its actually really interesting to try and come up with something. That exercise in the BRBL book has me doing that a bit recently, but my general lack of fretboard familiarity and speed probably hinder me.

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      2. Yeah, I run into the lack of fretboard familiarity too, and I’m not nearly as far along as you. It’s a serious handicap, because you’re looking at something, and since you don’t know what notes you’re hitting, there’s not even enough competence to know why those are the notes chosen. First, you have to go ‘okay, first step, what actually are these notes’. 2nd step ‘what chords are being played in this song’… There’s a lot of legwork to even get to the point of identifying roots and such, if you first have to identify what note you’re even playing.

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      3. I just tried to count out what you were doing, to get a feel for your rhythm. Then, I tried to hum the opening note for each of your changes (which I hope I got right) and then I tried to match them on the bass. From there, I stuck with just those notes – the roots, really – until I thought I had them with a pattern/rhythm that fit and finally I added those 5ths.

        I know the 5ths by pattern (1 string up and 2 frets up from whatever note I’m currently on). I didn’t think about their names until after I stopped, just their position.

        Someday, I’ll know the names as I play them though.

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      4. Ah, that’s a neat trick. I haven’t learned any patterns to speak of, unless you count my very forgetful efforts at the major scale (seriously, if I don’t play it a few times almost every day, in a month it’s completely gone from my brain…).

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      5. If you practice the major scale, just count the notes as you play them. Those are the scale degrees. That’s how I know that the 5th is always in that place. The octave is also there – its one string above the 5th, but on the same fret.

        You should totally learn the minor scale though. Its dead-simple, and I like the sound of it more than the major. I think we use it more in modern music than it was used in history.

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      6. Yeah, I know that conceptually. It’s just the issue of it not adhering in my memory. That’s why I haven’t learned the minor scale yet. I plan to, but I want to have the major scale down cold (to where I’ll stop forgetting it all the time) before that point, or I’ll just get the two confused for one another. The minor scale is definitely in the plan. I’m just struggling with memorization, and so taking my sweet time with that.

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      7. I know the major scale, but I found that almost everything I try to practice is minor. 😉 I think it basically replaced the major scale for me, although I use both as needed.

        I don’t actually USE the scales though. When I’m lost, I use their patterns to try to find notes that flow easily with what I’m trying to play. Its also how I identify the notes I’m playing as being notes from the scale or notes from outside of it (chromatic notes).

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      8. Well, I think that’s rather the point of major and minor scales: to be able to identify the 5ths and etc, or where they would likely be placed. I mean, they’re only useful insomuch as their application. So, I need to learn both with that in mind, but one at a time.

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    1. Considering I still don’t even feel confident playing everyone’s first guitar song (Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door), I think the only way to go is up! lol. But, it’s somehow become clear that I seem to have way more interest in writing songs than I do in learning covers. Or, at least more attention span for that because I get to be making stuff.

      It’s great that you have someone around willing to play with you though – that’s handy as heck for bass.

      You know I’m utter crap with theory yet, which means I just had to google and figure out what notes are in C, Am, and Em to figure out where the G came from, but I think I get it, after having googled. Glad I could inadvertently be of help in your practice! I had to put it away for a while right after I recorded. I run into an issue where my fingertips don’t bounce back well, so after playing a while, they get so dented by the strings that I have trouble getting a clear chord to sound. I may pick it up again now that the skin has returned to it’s normal state. lol. Definitely feeling some mild tenderness in the fingertips after working on guitar for a few days though – ukulele it is not. 🙂

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      1. I like coming up with stuff more than I like learning other people’s songs as well, but I don’t know if I have a whole song in me yet. I mostly come up with short bass phrases that I repeat and sometimes take into different keys. Then, when I have it under my fingers like that, I might vary the phrase/pattern in one or two of the keys. Its simple, but it makes me happy. 😉 I’ve figured out parts of songs though, and I hope that some of it is in my fingers and in my head, so I can draw on it someday.

        I don’t know how frequently Joan and I will play stuff together. She’s wanted to get back into music – but more with drums, really, and she’s still finishing her 2nd thesis, so this was a rarity. I think it was working on that exercise that has us come up with our own rhythm for that chord progression I mentioned that even made me consider playing something with another person. Its fun, but its also something of an interesting lesson & experiment to me, because I’m realizing how little I can improvise on the fly. I have ideas that come when I’m playing, but I just don’t know the note sounds (intervals) well enough to act on them in real-time.

        The theory thing – I added in 5ths because they’re neutral. They’re the same whether we’re in a major or minor key, so I knew I wouldn’t completely screw up with them. 😉 And, they added a little bit of variety to what I was practicing. I hope your fingers ramp back up. I had some trouble with the little finger on my fretting hand when I started back up last week, but its basically back to speed (or strength, more appropriately).

        Keep writing songs!

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      2. Yeah, with bass though, I think little chunks are probably more natural than full songs. I’m mostly just playing along with bass lines at this point, and there’s a lot of repetition (the same could be said for rhythm guitar and uke, though), so if you have the basic framework, with some variation, you’re basically just doing the same thing a handful of times.

        I think for me the issue with 5ths and stuff is very much like your issue with fretboard familiarity; there’s still just too much activity that goes into figuring out what the 5th of a chord even is. There’s a lot of counting, it’s just not something I have a natural feel for yet because I haven’t spent much time with it.

        Yeah, a large part of the finger thing is the way I chose to handle the muting of the E string (see: thumb over neck), it gave me less mobility and leverage, so required more finger pressure to get a clean sound than I would need if I wasn’t muting the top string that way. But, since I’ve chosen to play without a pick for a while (which actually is turning out to be easier), it was necessary.

        Since I have a few minor medical concerns which tend to give my skin a little less elasticity than the average person, when I’m playing for an hour or so, the fingers just get really REALLY indented, which makes me more prone to buzzing. I’m hoping eventually the calluses get big enough that they don’t dent as much over time, but we’ll see.

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      3. Well, maybe the patterns will help. Just remember that 1 string up and 2 frets up is the 5th. It doesn’t matter what note you’re starting on. The pattern is the same.

        The octave is on the string right above the 5th. The only thing is, with the guitar, I know you have that one string that’s different, so It throws stuff off. I don’t remember which one it is, but I think one of them is tuned in a 3rd instead of all 4ths like bass.

        You can actually play a lot of bass with just roots and 5ths.

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      4. Well, guitar’s low strings are EADG, which is the same as Bass, so on that much I think they’re fairly consistent (but could be dead wrong). It’s the uke that has a tuning different enough to really throw off your game, but even then I’ve noticed that only one string is very slightly different on the major scale between bass and uke, so it can’t be QUITE as far off as it at first appears.

        It’s all just a matter of focus and memory for me. I understand the concept, and how to figure out the 5th once given a root (though the patterns seem like a handy shortcut for those of us with the memory of a goldfish), I just have to sit down and go ‘okay, right…how did that scale go again? And from there, if I count…’ I’ll get there, it’s just a matter of drilling the boring stuff until I can get it to stick.

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      5. I can’t speak for guitar, but I know that when I’m trying to find a particular tone on the bass, the minor scale tends to help me find it. Go at your pace though. You’re actually writing and playing songs – and you’re SINGING and playing at the same time. I’d never dare that. Not for a while, anyway. 😉

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      6. The singing and playing took a long time. I couldn’t do it with bass, but as long as the strum pattern is familiar, I can do it on uke and guitar, now. Have to have the strumming hand on autopilot to do it, though.

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      7. You know – it just occurred to me… you have something really interesting that I don’t: total control.

        You have both a guitar and bass (and the uke if you want to incorporate it). You can actually record yourself, like you did in that Youtube video, and then play along with yourself on a different instrument. You can create your own basslines to accompany your guitarwork and really learn how to mesh them together.

        If you do it, you can even try free software, like Audacity, and load both tracks together and make a song with multiple parts. I did that a little today with Joan. She recorded her piano on her phone and I plugged into the PC and recorded the bass. We loaded them into Audacity and played them together. We had to snip the beginning of the tracks a tiny bit to make them line up, but it worked. Afterward, I showed her some other attempts I had made at that exercise, and because they use the same chord progression, we were able to test them out with her recorded piano. One didn’t work though, because the tempo was faster.

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      8. I do have audacity; it’s what I use when I record on the PC – though I usually use my phone for recording because being able to move it pretty much wherever gives me more control on getting a passable sound balance.

        But, I have no idea how to do that with it – load multiple tracks and merge them together. I know the program is capable of it, and I know it’s something I’m eventually really going to want to know how to do. But, any time I’ve looked up things about how to record at home properly, all I turn up are articles on all the equipment you should buy, not the very rudimentary ‘how do you record separate tracks and then merge them, and adjust the volumes as necessary to mix them well’, which I think is something you have to have a handle on before you’re ready for all the fancy stuff that the home recording articles are trying to push. Makes for very frustrating reading, so I just kind of went ‘fuck it. I’ll just have to try to sing louder.’ lol. I do need a decent tutorial on that eventually, though.

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      9. I just figure it out as I go along. 😉 Today was the first time I ever loaded multiple tracks into Audacity. Actually, today was the first time I ever loaded a track into Audacity – I only use it to record. I never used it to load a file and play back before.

        Just go to File -> Import -> Audio and browse to the track – it can be MP3, WAV or other stuff.

        Joan’ piano thing came up in mono. My bass thing was recorded on the PC with the Rocksmith cable and came up in stereo.

        Each time you load a file it comes up with its own waveform, so you can mess with them separately. Joan found that on the left side of the track was where to individually control the volume. I missed it because I was hunting for barbecue sauce for my fries, and arguing with Bopps so I could change her pamper. 😉

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      10. If you’re interested, here’s a Soundcloud upload of what I attempted. I screwed up about 3/4 of the way through, and then did it again a bit, but it should give a general idea.

        You can probably play it at the same time as your file and then cringe when my bass comes in. 😉

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      11. I’d like to do that, but I’m so damned awake at night. Anyway – good night! I’m going to work through some of that book.

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      12. Now that I posted that, it occurs to me that I should have gone to the link with the small pic of my mug…

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