Are You in Pain?

Somewhere around the world today, tens of millions of people will be in pain. While in such a state, they won’t be thinking about their shopping list, their hydro bill, or their political affiliation. They will be thinking about alleviating pain. They will be vulnerable and may need assistance. The state is one which every living being will encounter at various times in our lives.    

This vulnerable state has a benefit believe it or not. It serves to round off the edges of our ego in order to more easily emote empathy. You see, for good reason youthful ideals sprout early in life with a healthy self-determinism at our core. The journey encounters curves and junctions and potholes which add sustenance to character. However; one day a wheel can literally fall off of what we once thought was a finely tuned machine and we humbly call the mechanic.

Gratitude re-emerges if it had been suppressed from our vigour as we drive away from the shop. Our view points are revisited amidst a broader context having come to re-evaluate the convenience of owning a car.

Having recovered, we count our blessings and wonder about those less fortunate who may not have had the luxury of good health care or a car mechanic. We think about struggles faced by single mothers raising kids alone because they’ve lost their husband to a disease residing in a country void of social programs. We think about diseases overcome and forgotten in the first world but still lingering amongst the poor. We think about who will not get their pain alleviated due to circumstance.

It’s really difficult to know for sure when you haven’t been there and seen it. It’s easy to take a position and become absorbed in it thereby refuting reasonable conflicting data. It’s easy to jump in with the mob which looks smart so that we too can appear smart. Pain has no intellect. It is not going to be appeased by rational minds administering debate on transgressions of “the deep state”.

Benefits of Learning Music Theory

When learning to play an instrument, we occasionally have “ah ha” moments as Ian Stich from Youtube’s Sitch Method likes to call them. Today I’ve had another of them as I run piano scales. If you’ve ever had a child in piano lessons, there’s a good chance they would have balked at the notion of doing scales. The piano teacher would say, there’s a long term benefit to learning scales which you’ll come to understand later. Well, unfortunately…later doesn’t arrive for too many music students because they view the task a just too boring with not enough melody.

Here is the thing: When running scales on the piano, we are hitting every note in a scale consciously and the mind develops awareness visually which aids in recalling chord triads and sevenths instantly. The visualization of roots, thirds, fifths and seventh via the keyboard would be akin to visualizing the notes on a staff. 

Additionally, if students run major and minor scales chronologically around the Circle of Fifths, the circle itself is memorized concurrently with scale tones. Consequently, chords within a key using the context of the circle take shape with repetition. Of course, there is the technical side of developing muscle memory around piano keys and efficient fingerings concurrently.

Imagine then moving the versatility of scale /chord / key mastery over to another instrument having put in the repetitions of running scales. Whole steps and half steps intuitively developed from running piano scales could be subconsciously applied to the new instrument with the Circle of Fifths lurking as an improvisational tool.

Guitarists could potentially take the theory of scale tone distances learned in piano and apply them to the fretboard accounting for the third / second string pitch differential or stick with the standardized three note per string pentatonic patterns taught more traditionally.

If a person can honestly espouse that they lack perfect pitch, lack some sense of relative pitch, and cannot intuitively “play by ear”, then that person might consider concepts of music theory practically to further advance play.

Over at my youtube channel, I hope to deploy more improvisation guitar / piano as I continue to apply concepts.

Cry A River Or Get A Life

  1. If you don’t have the money – don’t buy it
  2. If you self insure – you could experience loss.
  3. If you’re working in the service sector and employment is tenuous – think career upgrade.
  4. If you resist arrest by a police officer, expect injury.
  5. If you don’t like the service – don’t go back.
  6. If your government is incompetent – say something.
  7. If there’s a queue – get in line.
  8. If you don’t vote, don’t complain.
  9. If you unjustly criticize, expect to be told off.
  10. If you are in debt, stop spending and recover
  11. If you miss obligations, expect repercussions
  12. If you relax accountability, expect future laxity.
  13. If you are unhappy, tackle problems.
  14. If you’re over taxed, say something.
  15. If you’re overweight, eat less.
  16. If you can’t control alcohol, don’t drink.
  17. If you don’t know the effect of cannabis on the unborn, don’t consume when pregnant.
  18. If you value life, mitigate risk.
  19. If you are lonely, call somebody up.
  20. If you are bored, start a hobby and stick with it.
  21. If you are angry, expect fewer friends.
  22. If you nominate and elect idiots, expect poor performance.
  23. If you value values, reinforce them.
  24. If you appreciate someone, express it.
  25. If you fail, recover.
  26. If you marry, honour your vows.
  27. If you judge in ignorance, expect spiritual decay.
  28. If you blindly invest, expect loss.
  29. If you think you know it all, you know nothing.
  30. If you follow like a mute, expect tyranny.
  31. If you are a loafer, expect poverty
  32. If you gamble, anticipate loss.
  33. If you ignore your conscience, expect anxiety.
  34. If you stop learning, expect regression.
  35. If you live in fear, you lessen your vigor.

Shifting From Protesting To Change

Drew Brees should not be the target of race issues when his only deed to apparently offend is to stand tall during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. The race issue must be addressed at the ballot box and with legislative execution. The message has been delivered through protest. Now you must deliver administratively. You must work to effect change.  You have the right to organize. You have the right to raise funds. You have the right to appoint leadership toward the cause.

Additionally, you must vote. Your credibility is lost when you do not vote. Rates of voting in a democracy should be ninety-five per cent and not sixty. Apathy is not a good enough reason not to vote. Voting is most critical when one is most vulnerable.

Stop thinking that the sporting arena is where you think you’re going to affect change. Be bold. Write your legislators. Write your letters to the editor. Start your blog. Fundraise for your candidate. Chronicle the injustice. Challenge bigots for their statements. Showcase politicians whose votes align with oppression. Read the constitution. Examine case law and interpretations of judgments.  Support new protests with supplementary evidence. Request meetings with law makers through your organized association.   

Some Credit To Trudeau

He was asked the inevitable question about Trump’s speech on Monday night and whether not commenting would send a message. Apparently, the time count to respond was 21 seconds and then referenced shortcomings in Canada in addressing the plight of “racialized Canadians”. Is he afraid of Trump? He may be. You know that if he said what he feels, he would be brandished by Trump given Trump’s incessant child minded need to retaliate criticism with insults. You know there would not likely be any good to come from directed remarks. Hence; let’s credit him with the silence. See – this conservative just gave credit to a liberal. If I can do it…you can do it.