[thechat] WAS Anybody here NOW: guitar ka-ka

Luther, Ron ron.luther at hp.com
Thu Apr 8 10:58:59 CDT 2004

The Musically-Inclined Martin Burns Warbled:

>>Useful to know real harmony basics (which you surely already get, Ron)

Well, yes and no ... I think I've got a lot of snippets of theory 
meandering around in some background processing daemon in my head. 
{I think I probably aced the only music theory class I took in 
college. I've just never really tried to apply much of it.}

The information feels 'dis'-integrated ... like a large mote in 
my ear ... a musical version of writer's block ... not seeing the 
staff for the notes ... a failure to Steve Cropper [1] it and connect 
the dots between theory and application.

Sad to say but I think I've been playing like one of Madhu's trained 
monkeys. {Yeah, yeah, I know, "apes".} Or maybe more like a drunken 
Amish buggy driver ... the brain goes to sleep in the back and just 
lets the fingers take the familiar way home. 

So even though I may have fondled the fretboard for quite a few years 
... ['Cor! That sounds a bit naughty doesn't it?] ... I haven't really 
given much thought to what I was doing.  

It's kind of wierd. If you call out "C chord", I can play at least 3 
or 4 in different positions up and down the neck without blinking an 
eye.  But if you ask me what notes make up the chord or where the root 
is for the chord I'm playing it'll probably take me 3 minutes to count 
frets and work it out. Now, I can explain chord inversions and visualize 
them on a pinano keyboard ... I just don't think of them in terms of 

It's like I can 'look' at the sheet music and play it ... without 
'seeing' or considering the underlying structure .... Like I said 
"trained monkey".

I guess the good news is that I see this as an area I need to work on 
... and I'm starting to wake up a bit ... not just seeing the notes 
Clapton is playing in the verse for 'Layla' ... but seeing the underlying 
Pentatonic structure ... which lets me add and delete notes and 'monkey 
around' with it a bit.

<snipped much good music stuff that I will review and digest>

>>Ooh, look what I found:

Thanks!  Yeah - spending lunch times reading articles on a few guitar sites ... 
haven't really hit the forums yet.


[1] Vague tangential reference to Steve Cropper's great quote about 
not being able to go wrong by staying on the dots ... guitar necks 
often have dotted fret markers.

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