This is a generic catchall for all of my hobbies.
This is a generic catchall for all of my hobbies.
So long story short, I’ve decided to attempt building a guitar by hand- mainly because I’m an idiot. It doesn’t have to be beautiful or well formed or even sound good, I just want to make my own. So… I went to Lowes, bought some wood, bought some tools, and got to work.
- 1″x3″x4′ Poplar board.
- 1″x4″x2′ Poplar board.
- 1″x6″x2′ Poplar board.
- 1″x12″x2′ Poplar board.
- Coping saw
- 1/2″ chisel
- Miter box
- Surform shaver
Note that the design I’m working on is lopsided-the bottom half is larger than the top half. The main reason was simply because I wanted to keep costs down and go with the 12″ wide board for the back.
Here’s the template I came up with- remember that I’m a lefty, so the horn would be on top and the ball will be on the bottom (and the strings would be facing us). Note that the big board here will be on the back, and the section of neck seen here will be tapering in like a heel cut.
The straight-through neck idea; I plan on gluing and clamping these three boards together, then clamping and gluing them on top of the larger board’s cutout, then sanding the edges down. Note the “teeth” at the bottom of the lower board- that’s because I’m using a coping saw rather than a band saw, so I have to take small pieces off at a time.
The length you see here is the same as my Fender strat, so the scale should be correct. The small section of board above the neck was extra length from the neck.I’m debating using that as the headstock and attaching it at an angle like a Gibson.
Not pictured is the 1/4″ red oak laminate that I’m going to use for the fingerboard. I’m not sure what to do for the bridge, nut and probable pickups- I might just go buy a broken used guitar and strip out the electronics.
I’ll post more updates as I have them. So far I’ve put about 4 hours of work into it and <$100 in wood.
After trying to contact Ubisoft to provide them with feedback on Rocksmith (and receiving little more than an automated response,) I figured I might as well put my feedback here for all the good it’ll do. So here’s a list of things that I think they could improve.
- Why do I have to press 3 buttons to get into the game? Press A, Press Start, Press A… come on, I got 10 minutes to get my fix, and it takes 2 minutes to load up and get to a song.
- Consistent UI- press start, press A, make some noise- choose one and stick with it.
- The ability to navigate the menu with the guitar: pluck red open to select, purple open to go back. slide to scroll left or right (remember us lefties though).
- After finishing a song, the ability go back to the library, centered on the song you just played.
- After finishing a song, riff repeating.
More lives/ easier method to reselect that riff.
- You say intonation is important, but provide no way to check intonation. Give us a way to check it.
- A mode where you can use the controller to rewind or fast forward, even use the left and right bumpers to skip sections of the song.
- The ability to string a couple of sections together for riff repeater.
- More games- “Name that Tone” might be a good one for teaching note recognition.
- Remember, most users are playing with their guitars, not their controllers- I good portion of them are using their toes to operate the controller. Plan accordingly.
- $3/song? That’s a bit steep. Give me a discount for buying in bulk at least. How about a discount if you buy all new songs at once?
- “Favorite songs” option in the main menu, as well as a “recently played”.
- When doing technique challenges and such, after I see the video the first time, I don’t care to see it a second time, ESPECIALLY if it means another load screen.
- Speaking of loading, restarting in the middle or even near the end of a song is instantaneous, but after finishing a song and hitting “play again” it loads… that seems silly. I don’t give a crap about your menu, keep that song in memory if it means no load time.
I’m sure I’ll have more as I continue to play the game.
I have a couple more I’d like to add to the list:
- Ghost mode- Show the full note patterns, but at 30% opacity. If you play a section correctly, your mastery is adjusted accordingly.
- Assessment mode- If I know a song 90% of the way already, it’s infuriating waiting for Rocksmith to “catch up” to my knowledge. This was a major turnoff for an excellent guitar player that I showed the game to. One note every three seconds for someone who knows the song by heart? (I hadn’t played the song yet myself.)
- Riff repeater, Riff repeater, play full song, continue journey, songs, song x, riff repeater. The bolded sections shouldn’t be required- I should be able to go from the finished song back to the riff repeater without all that other crap. Actually, Riff repeater after any finished rehearsal should be available.
- Saved playlists- I’d like to be able to select several songs and queue them up so I can play them back to back without it being an event. I’d also like to save that queue for use later.
- Rehease any song for an event- I see 4 songs for an event, 1 is qualified, 3 are not. I’d like to rehease those three. It should be trivial to navigate and select them- get a cursor on that list and let me select any of them right from the main menu.
- Rehearsal Reversal – ever screw up part of a song and be upset about it? Imagine being able to use the controller to reverse the music like a tape player.
- Better communication- I just downloaded a 4 meg update and have no idea why. Did it fix something? Communicate that info- I’m a big boy, I can take it. Gimme technical details.
- Open Tuner mode – Some times I just want to mess with my tuning. The current setup is very restrictive.
Again, great game, but I’d like to see some of these warts removed and make it an exceptional game.
Add to the list:
- When you finish a song, show your score, your last score, and highscore. Gimme some stats man, show me that I improved!
So for whatever reason, I was googling around today and stumbled across this and saw that, damnit, someone stole my monkey. Not only that, but they’re linking directly to my server, and have been since 2006. I google more, and find someone using my security monkey to demonstrate an XSS attack.
Now, the reason I created this image was for my security monkey shirt.
I ask that everyone show their solidarity by spreading the work of the security monkey shirt to people most likely to buy one.
So I have a few user stories; time to start putting the infrastructure together. So What have I decided on so far?
Continuous Integration/ Deployer: Hudson
Build Automation: Maven2
I’m in the process of getting all my pieces together and in place. I’ve set up a subversion repository and eclipse. I have a very basic .war file setup committed and a maven script to build the war file. Every five minutes, a Hudson job polls the repository and rebuilds the warfile, then deploys it to JBoss. It’s a pretty sweet setup despite it only deploying a “Hello World”.
Now I need to refresh myself on Java and learn Spring.Â This leads me to my first task:
As a User, I want to be able to provide a preferred username and email address to create an account.
Component: User account
Original Estimate: ?
Time spent: 0
Time Needed: ?
Going into this, I’m familiar with MVC framework in Rails, so I’m guessing the concepts aren’t much different for Spring MVC I’m still new to this process(Java webapp layout, Agile and Spring), so if you see any mistakes or have suggestions, please let me know. If you’re interested in helping me with development,
So I’ve been pretty quiet since I hit 100k words- what’s been going on?
- Round of layoffs at work
- Friend diagnosed with cancer
- Another round of layoffs at work.
- Jackie became a pampered chef consultant
- Finances have been wiped out from christmas and getting her PC stuff off the ground.
- 10% paycut at work
- Guitar lessons are now done because no one can afford them.
- Have been reading Manuscript Makeover for ways to improve my book
- Decided to do an initial cleanup of the first draft of my script, then rewrite the outline before starting draft #2
- started yet another opensource project- this time it’s a collection of Nagios Plugins.
So I’ve been pretty busy. I’ve finished the cleanup of the first two chapters of book 1; hopefully I’ll finish the rest shortly, but it’s very slow going. We’ll see where things head in the next few months- I expect more crappiness.
So I’ve started teaching guitar again- This time the cash will go directly towards the G-400. As you can see on the sidebar, I’m now a hair closer. My new student is a coworker who is very excited to learn, so that makes things easy on several fronts (schedules, payment, attendance, etc). At this rate, I should have the guitar by next fall- sooner if I pick up another student (which is a possibility).
that said, I’m still accepting donations 😀
So some of you may know that I’ve been working on a second book- this one is music-based. Anyways, I have a few friends who are new to guitar and my book is more or less aimed at them, however some of them don’t know how to read tab- hence this post. So here’s the rundown:
The above is a sample of some tablature. Each of the 6 lines represents a string on the guitar, each number represents a fret on that string. The lower case (small) e represents the “high e” string on the guitar (the thinnest one), and the rest fall into place from there. In the example above, to play the first note you’d place a finger right behind the 5th fret on the A string (second fattest string), and pluck the string with a finger or a pick.
Above I’ve also laid out some basic notation, as listed below:
- /: indicates a slide between two or more frets, e.g. 5/7 says start on the 5th fret and slide to the 7th. A forward slash usually indicates sliding up, while a backslash indicates liding down (e.g. 5/7\5\3).
- x: Indicates a muted string. This is usually done with the fleshy edge of your palm on the pinkie side. In the instance above it’s used to set rhythm.
- h: Indicates a “hammer-on”, where a note is struck and you hammer a finger on the next fret without actually striking the string a second time. By quickly pressing the following fret you retain the vibration from the previous note. This is often paired with p, pull-offs (e.g. 5h7p5 is 5, hammer on 7, release back to 5).
- b: Bend a note. By stretching the string slightly sideways on the fretboard you can change the pitch of the note. Notes are usually only bent one or two step (frets), and are occasionally bent back, which is signified by an r (e.g. 7b9r7 means bend the 7th fret to sound like a 9, then back down to 7)
- ~: Vibrato. there are two ways to do this- slightly vary the pressure on the string of a struck note so it wabbles back and forth, or bend it back and forth using the technique above very slightly, like a quarter of a step. It produces an effect similar to a whammy bar on an electric guitar. The more of these in a row, the longer you do it.
You’ll read through guitar tablature like the old pianos with the punch-card sheet music on a reel, playing each note as you go. Tab is meant to be a rough guide, so don’t expect exquisite timing details. Generally speaking, the farther apart the notes, the farther the pause; the closer the notes, the quicker the interval. Notes that appear on the same column are usually chords, and should be played in a single strum. Some tablature will define a set of used chords at the top, and simply refer to their name later on.
So that’s a quick intro into guitar tab. Let me know if I missed anything.
I’m the first to admit I’ve been slacking on my scales practice, mainly sticking to pentatonic (because I’m lazy). So while reading through my Scales and Modes book and I stumbled across something obvious, yet I’d never recognized. Each scale has a mode for each note in the scale- Major scale having 7, pentatonic scale having 5, etc. That I was remotely aware of, but didn’t think much of it.
I never really bothered with the major scale since it’s sorta boring, and felt overwhelmed by all of the basic scales (ionian, dorian, phrygian, etc) knowing that I’d have to learn their modes as well. Then the book pointed out that the first mode of the major scale was called the Ionian scale- wait, what? It turns out that all of those scales I feared learning didn’t have modes- they were modes- of the major scale!
So here’s the following:
Ionian In C: C D E F G A B Dorian In D: D E F G A B C Phrygian In E: E F G A B C D etc...
This means, rather than learning 7 scales with 7 modes each, I just have to get down the 7 modes of the major scale. So simple, yet I never put it together.