(last edited on April 29, 2014 at 1:27 am)
I’ve been a slacker on this meme, having been tagged months ago by Katy, Grigor, and now Senia. So without further delay, here are five things you probably didn’t know about me, but maybe could have guessed.
- I like brightly-colored beverages. The more artificial-looking, the more I want to try it. This doesn’t apply to mixed drinks though…I don’t really like alcohol.
I can’t hear lyrics in music, but I can hear orchestral music in my head. Sometimes I lie awake at night arranging music in my head, wondering if I’m really hearing it or if I’m just deluding myself. One of these days I’ll take some music lessons…the problem is that the musical instruction I’ve had has been based on rote memorization and acceptance that there’s just one way to do it right. As you can imagine, that makes me itch like crazy. I just ordered a “chord piano” course to see if this works; it’s all based on patterns, which is up my alley. I hope. My goal is to be able to play blues piano someday :-)
I hate shellfish. Shrimp, lobster, crab…yuck! They’re bugs from the sea!!! Yet, I seem to end up living in places where seafood is plentiful. Maybe I should move to Texas.
I have an uncanny ability to spot half-point misalignments in type from 10 paces. Yet I can not optically kern a line of text to save my life.
I’m a hard-boiled romantic. I think that means that while I recognize that ethics and morality are often relative, and the world is kind of a tough place to exist, deep down I want things to be clear and people to feel comfortable being themselves without fear of being mocked. Whatever I can do to make that happen seems like the right thing to do. Maybe this last one is actually obvious from my writing, I’m too close to really see it. It’s something more that I feel, very deeply and intimately.
p>Since this is a meme, I’m going to tag the people who happened to leave a comment on my blog one year ago today. As soon as I figure out how to find out who those people are :-)
Don’t forget too, that Groundhog’s Day Resolutions are coming up! I’ll be posting mine tomorrow.
That’s an interesting assessment of musicology you’ve provided. Very interesting. I own two guitars, haven’t played much since high school and a bit in college, and can still remember some songs I learned from tablature and guitar lessons, but that aversion to memorization has always been there for me as well. It IS memorizing all the different modes, scales, chords, etc that makes you an adept musician who can pick up your instrument of choice and really go to town on it. Anyone who appears to be a virtuoso certainly had to have put in their time as well.
It’s also interesting that you’ve described arranging music but not being able to execute it. That’s how I feel about design! I can envision things that I think would look or work great…but I haven’t mastered, or memorized, the tools to execute, whether they be virtual or physical (PhotoShop). I can execute much better in code, where I can master a collection of references.
I also eat no shellfish.
And I can’t help wondering, Dave…Identity crisis? :) “I don’t really like alcohol” vs. your masthead image?
Are Groundhog’s Day Resolutions like NY Resolutions, just a month later?
Thanks for posting! I like the facts you chose! With the colored beverages, does that mean you like fresh squeezed juices too? Like orange, or carrot, or carrot-beet?! :)
Hells yeah! I’m always the first to try odd new sodas. One of the places at Epcot has a soda’s of the world section. I was like a 3 year old at Christmas.
If you would ever like some music instruction, I’ve taken a lot of theory courses and would be more than happy to teach you. I personally agree that there isn’t a “right” way to play music. I personally love rock in 6/8 or 3/4 time like Opus Dai or strange electronica oddities like Photek. If you play guitar I can teach you lots of fun stuff. I can also show you a bit on piano/keyboards but I haven’t played them in years.
HERESY! Delicious sea bugs for everybody!
er, your seafood and needing to move to texas comment was meant to be facetious, right? seafood is in abundance there, being a gulf state and all… especially crawfish and shrimp.
Mark: I like the bottles and colors of alcohol, but I don’t find drinking particularly attractive. Though Scotch is the closest I’ve come. You would laugh though at how I drink it…I pour a tiny amount into a glass, moisten my tongue with an even tinier amount, and then let the flavors suffuse throughout my mouth and nasal passages. This only really works with the Lagavulin, though, which is very peaty.
On the music side of things: I have a problem learning things that I can’t see the logic or pattern in, and I’m hoping that the chord piano approach gives me something to latch onto. The hand skills will still be important to be able to perform, and I recognize that…it’s just that I can SENSE there are patterns, and am distracted by that. I can transpose in my head and guess progressions, and know what notes are in the current key, and I’ve even studied a bit of music theory on the side, but it just drives me nuts that I haven’t found one good resource that pulls it all together for me.
Senia: Hah, yes, Groundhog’s Day resolutions are like NY Resolutions! I like Groundhog’s Day a lot, and am always looking for excuses to celebrate it. It occured to me this year, when I deliberately wasn’t posting any NYRs, that it takes a few weeks for perspective on the new year to settle in because people are so busy catching up from December. So shifting the day out a month might be good. Plus, there’s that movie Ground Hog’s Day with Bill Murray which is about making resolutions, so it’s a good fit. In my head, anyway!
Ian: Sounds good! We will have to resurrect the media group in a different form. Maybe it will be the LEARN RANDOM STUFF group! :-)
Cooper: I was being facetious, but was thinking about lots of beef beef beef, which I thought might offset any abundance of seafood. Out of curiosity, is there a seafood specialty in Texas? You know, like Boston has the (shudder) Lobster. Texas might have the Fricasseed Electric Eel or something! Just don’t tell me it’s (eecck) shrimp.
it’s totally shrimp. surf and turf all the way, though.
I knew 2 of these things about you, could have guessed the other 2, but the music was a surprise!
So the bottles are only part of your splash image because they look pretty? And here I thought you were a serious drinker! :-)
Joan: It surprises me too. I don’t really go out of my way to follow music. I don’t even have an iPod. But there’s always been this music thing in my head and it’s never gotten out.
Dan: Heh, sorry to disappoint :-) I guess you could say that I’m pretty serious about my drinking, to the point that I drink very sparingly :-) Having control of my mind is very important to me, so the idea of artificially unbalancing that through chemical means is extremely unappealing to me. Still, I like the pretty colors :-)
Senia: Oh, on colored beverages, I don’t know about those natural juices, but EXOTIC juices…yeah! Carrot-Beet I might try for the experience, but it would be a different reason than what I’m describing in #1 :-)
Ian: I didn’t know Epcot had sodas of the world. I’ve never been to Epcot, so now I have a reason to go. The Coca Cola Museum in Atlanta had something similar, with their drinks from other parts of the world. That was pretty cool.
Sodas of the World is AWESOME. I found a wonderful Mexican soda there that someone tried to get me once on a trip from England. They ended up sending me a case of Lilt, a mostly pineapple beverage, that was great too!
Oh my god! Someone else who doesn’t recognise lyrics in songs!
This is a method I learned to teach when I was TA-ing at the conservatory a few years ago. The method was vindicated when it came to learning blues and world music, when the Jazz and Classical students hadn’t learned to learn music by ear, the way that 99 percent of the music in the world is learned and made.
To learn how to play an improvised kind of music, and to learn to put what you hear down somewhere, you need to be able to somehow name what you hear. You need to be able to put what you hear onto your instrument. This is really several activities going on at once. Hearing stuff in your head and being able to put that to your instrument without added friction, either from your conscious and exceptionally analytical mind or from the physical reality of your body – technical control.
Start here. Do this every day. Start with the single note and then work up to the multiples. When you get to the multiples, call me. I’ve got a technique for it.
The exercise is called interval recognition. The website plays a note for you and you identify it.
The trick to this is to find songs that you know that begin with the interval and learn to identify which song goes with what interval.
Here are a few that I used when I started.
half step up – theme from Jaws
half step down – Für Elise
whole step up – doe a deer
whole step down – girl from ipanema – or some song that you know – there are many.
You can find lists on the web for these.
The other thing you need to do is listen really really well to the style of music you want to play. Listen to guitar, piano, all kinds of blues solos. One will resonate with you. If it’s really fast, maybe remember it and save it for later. But pick one you like a lot. Make it easy.
Record it and make it so it’s the only thing you’re listening to for a week or so. You’ve got to learn it so that you can sing it in the shower. It’s a vernacular – a vocabulary of the patterns that you need to learn and absorb into your subconscious as a vocabulary – and don’t try to do it from paper. It’ll suck.
Call me if you’d like to talk about it. I know that you have really good pitch and that you picked up the rudiments of blues piano really quickly.
Your biggest wrestle will be with your tendency to analyze things. The first year will be a challenge because it’s a really different way of learning, but after that it will be really gratifying. You have a LOT of talent in this area and I’d love to give you whatever I know and see what you do with it.
I totally agree about the brightly colored beverages. I work in a laboratory at a medical college, and there is this insane voice inside my head that looks at brightly colored chemicals and cleaning fluids and goes “yuumm…” Maybe it’s my Darwin gene trying to assert itself!