Friday

death metal guitar - edited and improved

i've been playing along to decapitated's anthemic 'spheres of madness':



here's a selection of guitar from the song, from ultimate guitar dot com:

(Tuning: Standard D (DGCFAD))


-=Chorus 1:15=-
Guitar 1

||----------------------------------|----------------------------------|
||----------------------------------|----------------------------------|
||----------------------------------|----------------------------------|
||----------------------------------|----------------------------------|
||-----------------4h7p4---4--------|-----------------4h7p4---4--------|
||-0-0-0-0-0-0-3h6-------6---6-3h6--|-0-0-0-0-0-0-3h6-------6---6-3h6--|
. . . . . . . . . . . .

|----------------------------------|----------------------------------||x4
|----------------------------------|----------------------------------||
|----------------------------------|----------------------------------||
|----------------------------------|-----------------8h10p8--8--------||
|-----------------4h7p4---4--------|-7h10p7--7-------------10-10-7h10-||
|-0-0-0-0-0-0-3h6-------6---6-3h6--|-------9---9p6-9------------------||
. . . . . .

Guitar 2

||----------------------------------|----------------------------------|
||----------------------------------|----------------------------------|
||----------------------------------|----------------------------------|
||-----------------8h10p8--8--------|-----------------8h10p8--8--------|
||-------------7h10------10-10-7h10-|-------------7h10------10-10-7h10-|
||-0-0-0-0-0-0----------------------|-0-0-0-0-0-0----------------------|
. . . . . . . . . . . .

|----------------------------------|-------------------------------------||x4
|----------------------------------|-----------------11h14p11--11--------||
|----------------------------------|-9h12p9--9---------------12--12-9h12-||
|-----------------8h10p8--8--------|-------11-11p8-11--------------------||
|-------------7h10------10-10-7h10-|-------------------------------------||
|-0-0-0-0-0-0----------------------|-------------------------------------||
. . . . . .


now, you might notice that the song consists almost entirely of the diminished scale, much of it played in harmony. sorry if i've lost you - i'm talking about a scale that goes tone, semi-tone, tone, semi-tone, tone, semi-tone, tone, semi-tone. it's very regular and easy to harmonise with - usually you'd play the minor third above. this is in opposition to our song 'the kinky friedman crime club' which uses an harmonies on an augmented scale.

ok, enough jargon; my point is that guitars aren't built with this scale in mind. i find playing this song that i'm alternating between my index and little fingers far too much, and only using my other two (good) fingers as filler. with a scale as regular as this, surely there must be a better way of tuning or building a guitar than the standard tuning, which is really designed to play the traditional scale - hence it's open strings being in fourths (an interval of five semitones, allowing for some finger-work between string changes).
oh whatever.

edit: ok so i lost the plot there.
harmony - what i mean is, because the diminished key repeats itself every three semitones, you can transpose a melody up that amount without chaning it and it will harmonise. with the major scale, you see, of 'tone, tone, semi-tone, tone, tone, tone, semi-tone', a harmony has to change it's structure slightly to stay in key. that's what i meant.

diminished scale - there are two diminished scales, both with the same intervals but starting on different notes, i.e. the other one is semi-tone, tone, semi-tone, tone, semi-tone, tone, semi-tone, tone. this one is more metal in some ways because it has the initial semitone interval. the ultimate metal scale is semitone, tone+semitone, semitone, tone, semitone, tone, tone - basically a scale of C major, where G is sharp, and starting on E. this is also used quite a lot in salsa and eastern-european folk. see 'no scrubs' for the classic D minor/A minor/E major/ A minor progression, similar to kinky friedman.

fingering - it's easier be precise when fretting fingered notes than open notes, or notes that are all on the same fret but on different strings. there needs to be a balance between changing fret and changing string; staying on the same string involves too much moving the hand position up and down the fre-board. therefore you should beable to see that there's a payoff between having the strings tuned closely - which involves too much moving across the strings (which is also bad because you only have so many) - and tuning them too far apart, which involves too much movement up and down the fret-board. the usual tuning is a designed for the usual major key, plus also a compromise towards having to play chords on it.

given the above, i propose the diminished tuning - D-Ab-D-Ab-Ab-D. that is, each string is 6 semitones above the last, with the b and g strings both tuned to g#.
a brief experiment with this today has been pretty successful; the above riff is much easier to play; there's still some stretching but it's great for playing metal, and the semitones are more subtle and in the right place and everything. it's fun, try it.

love is not for me

all you can eat is not a challenge

a brick is not a minimalist house

cuddles the chimp is not a stage direction

Wednesday

coffee and wifi

there will come a point where every shop has a wifi enabled cafe at the back, so you can just, you know, chill out in there while thinking about buying something and knocking back a drink and a cheese sandwich.

and every website will have a social networking function; i consider myself a moderately heavy Internets user and every website i use has the option to log in.

this will effectively turn shopping into an online experience, yet still IRL. so rather than sitting at home and ordering stuff, you'll be out in town but wifi enabled.

new 'the thick of it' episodes

bbc four are screening two hour-long thick of it specials from 2007, which i was unaware existed until browsing. one's already been on but it's available on iplayer, the other's on next week: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qgrd/episodes/2009

think different

so there's some shop on mare street, only it's not really a real shop, just some sort of design showroom and neon light and shop logo design and printers. the couple of lots next door are empty, so they've put some of their works in there, which looks like things they've done for the luls or for art's sake. they're generally well made if baffling and make one reach for the nathan barley voodoo doll - vacuous statements of worthlessness.

so to top it all, they put a massive backlit screen of Fritzl, with the apple macintosh 'think different' logo/slogan (slogo?) in the corner. i can't really see what they're trying to achieve with this here; i mean, there's only so many times you can say 'barley' before you just give up - but it really is reminiscent of (suga)RAPE's 'no offence unintended' policy. just what exactly are they trying to say? i think the kindest explanation is that 'think different' isn't necessarily a good thing, in the same way as 'i did it my way'. but... it mostly just looks like they're scrabbling for attention.

so i went past today and guess what? fritzl's gone, replaced with a scanned-in letter of complaint. 'it may be meant to be ironic but it's not appropriate for a shop window. please keep your sophisticated musings behing closed doors,' it reads, rather sophisticatedly and reservedly. they honestly just look like smug fratboy/public school pricks who think that everything is funny, wearing other people's annoyance as a badge of pride, no matter how much more mature it is than their pretence at discourse, hiding behind the trusty shield of 'art'. fuckers.

Thursday

a days worth of great music links

amazing program that i don't believe can actually possibly work - but it does:
melodyne, with direct note access
seriously watch the video. it's like watching ghostbusters, or the bit in hitchhikers where they're talking about the restaurant at the end of the universe and keep saying 'this is, of course, impossible'.

this website will put a donk on any mp3 you care to give it:
donkDJ
(based on this stuff, which links on to more crazy gubbins: echo nest)
a couple of my own attempts:
kinky
sex
fuck remixers, masterers, and producers. i'm putting the whole album through this.

live battle raps over the internet:
lets beef
you can't make this up, can you? i'm so glad websites like this exist. people amaze me every day. don't you feel a part of a community?


and to cap it off, a new synth-based version of jammie thomas:
(currently stuck in upload hell)
i make no apologies for crappy room-reverb (natural), line hiss (also natural), or my terrible tin whistles.

all in all, it's been a good day.
i didn't even have to use my API.