February 18, 2012
People tend to perceive things in a logarithmic scale. This includes our perception of light brightness and sound frequency (was it also volume?). Maybe we also perceive time this way. That would make sense because recent events usually affect you more than older ones. Take a look at the following picture:
Picture 1: logarithmic scale
The events spread out so nicely that you can actually relate between too recent and too old. Comparing with the linear timeline below I admit the first picture better reflects my view of these events:
Picture 2: linear scale
Since openoffice does not seem to do timelines, I hacked together a little perl script to make the images. You can get it here.
January 15, 2012
Image via Wikipedia
I don’t know why I didn’t find this among the top 3 google results, so I gave it some thought and the answer is pretty easy:
- Convert your note to a number that represents the distance in half tones from middle A. Middle A should be 0, next A# should be 1 and Ab -1 and so on.
- Frequency (in Hertz) = 440 x 2(a/12), where a is the number from step 1.
July 14, 2010
Image via Wikipedia
The minor pentatonic must be the most widely used scale when it comes to soloing and improvisation. There are many methods to learn it, usually involving boxes around the fretboard. I recently discovered a better method.
The minor pentatonic has only 5 notes, and its shape is really simple. It’s just a cross:
Every character in the above diagram represents a fret. Asterisks are frets inside the pentatonic and dots outside. It’s played as follows:
- Play ‘A’ with your 3rd finger, Bass E string, fret 5
- Play ‘C’ with your 1st finger, A string, fret 3
- Play ‘D’ with your 3rd finger, A string, fret 5
- Slide with your 3rd finger to reach ‘E’ in fret 7
- Play ‘G’ with your 1st finger, D string, fret 3
- Place your 3rd finger on fret 7 and continue from step 1
This pattern can be continued two more times. Then we reach the last string. There is also another position where you can start the cross pattern. Start from string A, fret 12, and continue on …
The only place where the pattern breaks is between strings G and B, because of the standard guitar tuning. When going from G to B, go one more fret to the right, and do the opposite when going from B to G.
It goes without saying that all minor pentatonics can be played this way. Just put the 3rd finger on any note and start the cross pattern. The scale’s root will always be the “tail” of the cross.
Major pentatonics can be played as easily as minors. You just start the pattern with your first finger from the “left hand” of the cross. For example to play the C major pentatonic all you have to do is start from step 2.
Although I also recommend studying the standard boxes for scales, this method has many advantages:
- It’s ridiculously easy to memorize
- You are using only fingers 1 (index) and 3 (ring) which are the stronger
- If you let the slide (in step 4) ring, you get a beautiful chromatic pass by the “blue note”. This will also remind you where that note is
- It covers the entire fretboard
… and one and two …