Saturday, June 11, 2011

Shuffling Along

Took a lesson in blues guitar. It was a group class, but only three of us showed up. Rose Parade in Portland today, half of downtown's streets were closed, and I had to loop around from Capitol Highway and across the Ross Island bridge in order to miss all the hubbub and get to Artichoke.

The teacher, Dave Mullany, was both good and patient, and the other two students, Bob and another Steve, were both a little better players than I, so I had to run a little faster to keep up. This is good, makes me stretch to get out of my comfort zone. For the record, we fielded my classical, a Taylor, a Martin, and a steel-body resonator. I don't know enough about those to know if it was a Dobro or not. Mullany made it sound good. 

Two hours or so, mostly focused on Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain," in A, and practicing the blues shuffle. You know it if you hear it, a kind of doot-doo-doot-doo, doot-doo-doot-doo rhythm, bass notes and some trebles, strummed or pinched, and palm-muted to get that chunk-chunk without letting the strings ring. Not hard to do, in theory.

In theory.

Plus the turnaround, which I thought I had, until I got there ...

 But it's something to practice. And given the class, plus an hour or so more practice after I got home, that rhythm stuck in my head enough so I heard it when was was chewing corn chips with my lunch ...

Crunch-crunch-crunch-crunch, crunch-crunch-crunch-crunch–

Stop that!

Class meets every second Saturday, but with three or four students, it's not worth it for Dave to show up charging what he does. He has some group sessions at his house that are better attended, plus he teaches private lessons, and I'm thinking that if the ones at Artichoke go away, I'll see if I can get into the others.

Well, I followed her to the station, suitcase in my hand/ 
Lord, I followed her to the station, suitcase in my hand/
It's hard to tell–it's hard to tell–when your love's in vain ...

In other news:

Yep. We have achieved iPaddery, after being on the waiting list for two-and-a-half months. Every time I'd see an iPad ad on TV during the basketball games, I'd grind my teeth. You tellin' folks to come on down! and buy these suckers, when you know for a fact you don't have any? You lying scum! Fie on you!

It's a cool toy, a bigger iPod, with some neater programs. I can check my mail, get online, and it's a great book reader. Can even get The New Yorker online. Uses wifi where available, and if I want to, I can get AT&T's web connection on a monthly basis, no contract necessary. 

My case from Grove won't be here for another week or so, but that will make it cooler still.

Welcome to the future, folks. Ain't it great here?

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