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Following the base line

Posted by WayneConrad on Sunday, May 26, 2019

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I bought a ukulele a few weeks back.  I've barely touched the banjo since.  Instead, I've been practicing scales and chords on the ukulele.  Now I can drive my friends and family nuts with scales and exercises on two instruments.

I've been in a bit of a musical depresssion.  This is where I feel like I'm not progressing, or even forgetting what I've already learned.  It happens.  I know I need to not give into it, because it's an illusion--the progress is there, so long as I don't let the depression fool me into not playing.  If I stop playing, then it'll be real, not an illusion.  Unfortunately, in the area of ear training, I did give into the little voice telling me I couldn't do it, and haven't really practiced it for a few months.

But then yesterday, on the way home from work, I was listening to "Walk Tall" by Ziggy Marley (youtube).  Fun song, simple and repetitive.  I think it struck me that the simplicity and repetitiveness of it, and the very strong base line, might make it something I could analyze, so I put the song on "repeat" and listened.  I sometimes paused it while I replayed the notes in my head and figured out what they were.  I was able to figure out the base line, and the chords, by the time I got home.  Not with any kind of alacrity, but when I got home, I was able to take out my banjo and play it.

I'd tell you about the base line...  it's simple, but kind of cool, and has some musical lessons in it...  but I don't know how to notate it.  I need to ask some questions over in the forum before I can know how to communicate it.

Objectively, I think ear training progress has been happening, but I just got frustrated at the slow progress.  Sometimes progress is so slow it feels like there's no progress.  But there is progress.  Now I'm going to be listening for more simple songs I can put on repeat and figure out.


2 comments on “Following the base line”

WayneConrad Says:
Sunday, May 26, 2019 @3:02:03 PM

Here's the base line. I had to ask in the forum how to notate it.

8 10 5 5 7 9

There are two broken chords here. The first, 8 10 5, is a I chord, second inversion. The second, 5 7 9, is a V chord.

The 5th of the I chord is the root of the V chord, which I hadn't really thought about before, although I'm sure I've read it or been told and then forgot. I can say "The 5th of the I is the root of the V" all day long, but hearing it played like that makes it obvious what that means musically. Now I'll never forget that concept.

pickn5 Says:
Monday, May 27, 2019 @8:57:44 AM

Very inspiring. You make me want to give it a try. Keep picking.

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