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Messages - Fretless Johnny

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I've been lurking now and then.  I'm needing me some education too!  I'm back in school getting my music education degree.  If I play my cards right, I might be able to wrangle a scholarship out of them by playing upright in the jazz band.  All I've been doing since last April is playing and studying music.  I said good bye to my father and made a decision to make a living playing or teaching, somehow.  I got really humbled by music.  My ears opened up a bit, and I got an inkling of just how much I don't know.  How much I can't do on the instrument.  So I'm just giving lessons and going to school.  Being a band geek.

This post is exactly the kind of thing I needed to hear.  And from all the right people too.  Congats CB!  It's all down hill from here.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone


A near death experience? Do tell.

Originally posted by Rocket

Originally posted by YerDugliness

Sophomore means wise fool

I don't know where you took your Latin at but wise fool is: sapiens fossor. Sapiens literally means wise, as in homo sapiens sapiens literally means man double wise.

Sophomore is a combined form of sophism morium in which morium means way or way of.

Literally, sophomore means: Sophism way or way of sophism.

Um, Rocket Buddy, before you go giving high-toned lectures you may want to understand the subject.  Sophomore is a Greek word, not Latin, just as all of the philosophers you mention are Greek, not Latin.  Greek culture, language, and therefore thought, predates Roman culture by centuries.  The root of the word is Sophia, the ancient Greek word for wisdom.  I can't remember the second half off the top of my head, but it is widely understood that the sub root of Sophia is soph, wise.  I know this not because I looked it up in a translation dictionary, but because much of my graduate work was in classical rhetoric, requiring me to develop a basic, barbarous if you will, ability with the language.  

Your definition of the Sophists is a great, if devoid of the most important elements, starting point for understanding Greek thought in the time of the Ancients.  Indeed Sophists were travelling teachers who taught not just anything but rhetoric, the ability to persuade through oral communication, which later became writing, which is now digital media, for which we still study and apply the principles of classical rhetoric.  

Now, every male member of the city of Athens, the center of Greek culture and rule, drew lots each year to serve on the senate.  If you could not speak well and defend/support a decision, you were ineffective in leading your ward. Thus citizens were encouraged to learn to speak well.  Enter the sophists, philosophers (though they wouldn't use that term) who studied the art of communication. This education led to a commodity, intellectual property if you will, that other citizens would pay money for.  This then turned into the professionalization of representation, yes the lawyer.  Or in the case of Greek and Roman life, a rhetor, one who would argue your case in court for a fee.  How did he learn this skill, one that made him so much money and gave him so much political influence?  By studying rhetoric with a Sophist, or later on with a Philosopher such as Plato.  

Beyond communication and the court room, Sophism is an epistemological stance.  It is the opposite of Plato's Truth with a capital T.  A concrete, black and white Truth that we must adhere to. This makes truth into knowledge.  Knowledge can be bought and sold.  Sophists believed, and taught, that truth is conditional and can only be reached through dialectical engagement.  If you come from a part of the world that is always hot, 90 degrees is nothing to you.  It is not hot in your sense of the world.  Now if you meet someone from the arctic, they will think 90 degrees is pretty damn hot.  That doesn't make them right or you wrong.  You both have your own sense of reality.  But what if you need to decide, in order to survive, what hot really is.  You have to work it through and come to an agreement of what hot can be for both of you.  Thus you have just established a new sense of truth in how you both perceive hot.

Sophist means one who practices wisdom.  It is a practical, pragmatic art, but it is the art of acquiring wisdom.  It was denegrated by Philosphers (which means lover of knowledge...philo being knowledge).  So it was a question of whether to study wisdom or knowledge. Interesting note, the word sophia predates the word philo and originally stood for both wisdom and knowledge as one entity...however a second word had to be later invented...why?  It is a metaphsyical question tied to the paragon of Greek virtues: Know Thy Self.

Of course there were a bunch of arguments that the study of rhetoric was like cookery, not a real art, but in the end Plato turns out to be a great rhetor and his master, Socrates, is put to death for corrupting the young.  The exact thing he blamed sophism of.  

So what is the true lesson of Sophism, Rocket?  


Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / Steel Or Nylon
« on: August 20, 2007, 02:13:54 PM »
I've been playing a lot of finger style lately and wasn't crazy about the sound of steel string or the feel of nylon.  Then I found D'Addario Silk and Steels. They are lightweight gypsy jazz strings, the round wound feeling of steel strings, but over silk cores, very warm and mellow sounding, no steel string bite.  They sound and feel great and have a really distinctive sound you will probably either love or hate.


Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / Rovers
« on: August 15, 2007, 12:00:35 PM »
I have a steel string Rover, that I also received as a gift from a member of this forum during a rough time in my life...this place is amazing...I mostly play fingerstyle, working on some gypsy jazz stuff, and D'addario silk and steels work great.  More punch (which the Rover lacks of course) than gut strings and light enough for the Rover's top.

I'm still here, always lurking and keeping up with everyone.  Just not alot of time to post as much as I used to.  


The dots demarcate where the intervals fall along the string.  There are 12 tones in western harmony (thus the octave at the 12th fret), but we only use 7 tones to make up a scale.  The dots are there as a visual aid to help us see the intervals. The trick is to think of the dots as markers that separate groups of like intervals, rather than being a specific note.  

If the open string is the root note, the dots represent the following:

3rd fret = the minor third, one fret up is the major third.  Below this dot are the major and minor second.
5th fret = the Perfect fourth
7th fret = the Perfect fifth...most important note for tension/resolution which is why some guitar makers mark it differently, just like the 12th fret.
9th fret = this is where things get interesting.  The major 6th at the 9th fret is not a chord tone, which is why the dots are really there to divide interval groups.  Above that dot are two frets, the major and minor seventh (chord tones).

So you can think of them as specific notes, especially when thinking about the 4th or 5th.  But an easier way to see the neck is to think of it as groupings of intervals along one string and the dots show you where one type of interval starts and another begins.    

0 | m2 | M2 | m3 | M3 | P4 | Tri | P5 | m6 | M6 | m7 | M7 | Octave |

--|---------  o -------- o -------  o ------  o ------------- oo    

Hope this makes sense.


Hello all,

I will admit that low end barre chords are the toughest for me, but I have found a way to make them easier.  It is a trick from the upright bass that can help you start playing the chords now while your fingers get strong enough to then play them properly.

The trick is using your index finger and pinky.  This works for closed chords across four strings or less. A barre chord only consists of fourths, fifths, minor sevenths, and octaves (depending on how you finger it).  

The typical barre chord is too lay your index finger flat across the string making a stack of fourths.  I know very few players who actually do this, because it is an unatural finger position and stacked fourths are harmonically vague...except on the top strings when they become cool jazz voicings.  I have no trick for this one, you just have to do it.

A typical 5th power chord is a more common type of barre chord an has the index on the root and the third finger on the 5th above.  Use your pinky instead of your third finger.  This is especially useful if you are playing finger style because it gives you cleaner articulation with your left hand.  If you play the string above that with your first finger barred you also have the minor seventh.  Then you can move your pinky up a string and fret the octave a la Wes Montgomery.  

The only thing you can't do with this technique is fret both the fifth and the octave at the same time, which becomes very important when trying to play that B minor Bignate was talking about.  There's no way of getting around that if you are playing chords in open position.  You will have to get your hands strong enough.  

But using this method should help you to start building that strength while playing and not just killing your hands and practicing.

Hope everyone is well.


Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / Contest!!!
« on: August 01, 2007, 10:59:04 AM »
My first visit back to the forum in ages and the first post I see is a contest!  This is the forum I remember...silly, luvable goofballs giving away free stuff.

420...that killed me, don't think it's ever been brought up here before, you know, who does, who doesn't, who cares.

My number is 4

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / Feedback
« on: July 23, 2007, 05:04:00 AM »
I used the less technical method of putting the camera right on top of my amp and just recording with the built in speaker.  But the playing came out well enough in my videos...nothing great, but it gets the point across.

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / WhatAFarce Jam
« on: June 20, 2007, 07:31:39 AM »
Not a drop since July 11, 1988.

Welcome aboard you salty ol' dog.  Good to have you back.

What's this song you're working on?

Pike, thanks so much for showing me that I have no idea who I am.  Man, without you, I would have been lost forever.  Maybe you can show me the person I'm supposed to be.  I should stick with talking about guitars?  Hmm, now you are telling me how to talk as well?  What do you really know about me?  Not much.  What do I know about you, not much either, but I don't run around telling you what to say.  That's the difference.  I don't think it's my place in the world to tell everyone else what to do.  

You think I'm some kind of kid, don't you?  It comes across in all of your condescending remarks.  Man, I spent seven years in the Army.  I've lived in a combat zone, so I'm pretty sure I know just who I am.

Stop trying to be something I'm not?  What exactly is that?  What am I trying to be?  What am I really, if not myself?  Come on man, you obviously know more about me than I do.  Enlighten me.  You use a few multiple syllable words and think you sound intelligent. Oooh, I'm banal.  Come on, man.  

Or better yet, you stick to your side of things and I'll stick to mine.  We can co-exist without each other.  We've both been doing it for years.  

Your character is abundantly clear as well.  And, obviously, mine is not up to your strict standards.  Guess I'll just have to shuffle through life without your approval.  

When the day comes, if it ever does, that you get honest with yourself and figure out who it is that you really are, and have something truly constructive to say, I'll listen.

That sentiment goes both ways, pal.  Why don't you look at the plank in your own eye before you worry about the splinter in mine.

I won't be replying to anymore of your posts.  There's really no point to it.  Best of luck to you.


WTF? You are both thin-skinned little babies. Yeah, that was an insult.  Grow up.  I wasn't thanking Mike for deleting anything, just for trying to bring order to the forum...which was wayyyy out of order.  Again, get over your egos already, both of you.

Egotistical schtick?  I have no schtick, pal. I've been nothing but straightforward.  And how am I being egotistical, Mr. Everything is About Me?

This isn't about censorship.  You two act like your personal freedoms and rights are being impinged.

Yeah, I was here for all the other censorship blowouts and they all ended the same.  It's Washburn's forum and they can do what they want with it.  It's not a public sphere.  It is a private forum owned by a private company, which does not entail any rights to the users other than, at best, some common decency from fellow users.  That little bit has been thrown out the window as well.

Since neither of you seem to understand, allow me to explain my higly difficult post'

We've been moderated. (Note the use of the first person plural, connecting myself to the group and accepting responsibility as a member who has in the past been less than civilized.) Who would have thought a simple little guitar forum could need someone to step in and make people behave like civilized human beings. (there is no insul here.  People were being uncivilized.  Civilized people try to work through their problems, not yell at each other over and over again. If you take that as an insult, then that's your personal problem.  I didn't name anyone in this statement.)

If you think you were one of the uncivilized ones, own up to it.  If you don't than what do you care?  I didn't point out a single person, but here you both are all worried that I was talking about you.

And Pike, I'm not backing out of anything.  I never said YOU were uncivilized, so I can't retract that now can I.

If I need to play nice and sit here and listen to ALL of you bicker to be a nice guy and have you still like me, forget it.  I was *trying* to extend the olive branch here...but aparently some people aren't ready for that.

Oh and another thing.  Friends don't come with conditions.  You either are or you aren't.  If you two want to set up some rules so you can like me again, well I've got plenty of friends who like me just fine.

Am I being uncivilized right now?  Yep, most likely.  Do I appoligize for it?  Yep.  But I never, ever, ever in this post pointed fingers or named names, yet you two feel the need to come at me personally. You want to push; I can push back.  

Shoot, with friend like you two, who needs enemas.

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