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sirduke58
`Olu`olu

USA
964 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2017 :  9:54:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eynowd
But your thoughts here now have me thinking that looking for cool little snippets in other songs and learning those will help as well? And that figuring out which little bits to learn is simply a matter of finding something that sounds cool and just learning that bit, and storing it away in the back of my mind until I find an appropriate place to drop it into whatever piece I'm playing? (Basically, the same way I can change a vamp in a piece?)


Yes Geoff!!! I always teach my haumana both Ledward's "Ku'uipo onaona" and Gabby Pahinui's "Slack Key Hula" The reason being that these songs both have the same chord progression & similar tempos. If you have these 2 songs under your belt you'll eventually figure out that every section of it is interchangeable. You can cross pollinate. Take sections from "Slack Key Hula" & insert it seamlessly into "Ku'uipo onaona" and vice versa.

After awhile the light goes on & you realize. "Hey! In taropatch I can do this & that when I'm in the key of G. Then this & that in the key of C and this and that in the key of D7. More songs you add to your repertoire the more "inventory" (That's what Oz likes to call it) you accummulate. More options for variations.

Having "inventory" and learning how to utilize it is the key to how the advanced players can improvise on the fly. Pretty much how it works for every genre of music on every instrument. Like rockers constantly working their scales I guess.
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Eynowd
Akahai

Australia
78 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2017 :  02:22:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So here's something bizarre:

I saw Duke's comment mentioning "Slack Key Hula" and thought to myself, "I don't know what that one sounds like."

A quick search of YouTube brought up Duke playing it, so I sat and watched it.

Next thing I know, my mind is screaming, "Arrrgh! I'm not good enough to learn to play from that!"

Which is weird, because I've already learned some pretty tricky things from tab, and it doesn't look any more complicated than some of those.

It's going to take me some time to delve into this feeling and unpack it find the source of the resistance.

Geoff - g'day from Canberra, Australia.
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thumbstruck
Ha`aha`a

USA
1939 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2017 :  05:21:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Slipry1 (Jack) maintains that playing music is subjective. What you want to play is sometimes different than what you actually play. It's part of the process. Remember when you learned to walk? (just making a point). Seeing a little kid learning to intuit the motions is fun, but we all go through the same process when we learn anything. My Dad said to start slow to get fast.
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sirduke58
`Olu`olu

USA
964 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2017 :  12:16:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eynowd
Next thing I know, my mind is screaming, "Arrrgh! I'm not good enough to learn to play from that!"


Never underestimate your potential. First time I heard Ozzie's "Ku'u Kika Kahiko" I was blown away. I loved it & marvelled at it's complexity. My first impression? "Well that's definitely over my head" I eventually got the tabs from Ozzie & it took me nearly 6 months to finally learn the song. Took so long because there was more than one occasion where I got so frustrated with the tabs that I put it away & didn't touch it for 2 weeks at a time. Biggest obstacle was not understanding Ozzie's concept of the "Slur"

Through extreme persistance I finally learned to play it. Seriously exceeding my own expectations of my abilities. I currently have nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)in my hands that compromises my playing ability but I can still manage to play "Ku'u Kika Kahiko"

We will probably never get to Ledward or Ozzie's level but you may be surprised at how far your personal ability might take you. Don't set limitations on yourself otherwise you'll never reach your potential.

I have tabs for both "Slack Key Hula" and "Ku'uipo Onaona" Email me if you want them, Geoff.
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Eynowd
Akahai

Australia
78 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2017 :  01:37:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sirduke58

Never underestimate your potential. First time I heard Ozzie's "Ku'u Kika Kahiko" I was blown away. I loved it & marvelled at it's complexity. My first impression? "Well that's definitely over my head" I eventually got the tabs from Ozzie & it took me nearly 6 months to finally learn the song. Took so long because there was more than one occasion where I got so frustrated with the tabs that I put it away & didn't touch it for 2 weeks at a time. Biggest obstacle was not understanding Ozzie's concept of the "Slur"

Through extreme persistance I finally learned to play it. Seriously exceeding my own expectations of my abilities. I currently have nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)in my hands that compromises my playing ability but I can still manage to play "Ku'u Kika Kahiko"

We will probably never get to Ledward or Ozzie's level but you may be surprised at how far your personal ability might take you. Don't set limitations on yourself otherwise you'll never reach your potential.


I hear you. I've been doing a lot of mindfulness work over the past six months or so, examining my instinctive reactions to a lot of things, and finding some interesting insights into self-imposed limitations.

My reaction to my reaction was another one of those instances where I stopped and went "where the hell is this coming from?" I'm curious as to why I think this and what the automatic thought is trying to save me from.

I know exactly what you mean about thinking "That's over my head". I remember thinking that when I first started working on a couple of tunes, and yet, they all eventually clicked and I can play them. At least, what's written on the tab; as I've said, still working on the whole improvisational style thing.

Which is where another weird dichotomy comes in. Some people have said, "Wow! You're really good!" when they've heard me play my slack key stuff, and yet I always respond, "Not yet, I'm not. I can only play what's written down. I can't improvise and play it properly yet."

I don't know if I'm helping myself or hindering myself with that one

quote:
Originally posted by sirduke58
I have tabs for both "Slack Key Hula" and "Ku'uipo Onaona" Email me if you want them, Geoff.



Email sent, including a list of all the books and DVDs I already own. Thanks, Duke!

Geoff - g'day from Canberra, Australia.
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thumbstruck
Ha`aha`a

USA
1939 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2017 :  3:34:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Geoff, never give up. The "wall" is a signal that you will jump to the next level. Never lose sight of the fun and enjoyment factors. That's why we do it. Music is communication (OK, product, too, if you listen to the "suits"). Jus'press.
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Eynowd
Akahai

Australia
78 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2017 :  11:00:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is the "easiest" way to build inventory to keep on learning new pieces from tab, while watching YouTube or whatever to find the extra twiddly bits to throw in?

Geoff - g'day from Canberra, Australia.
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thumbstruck
Ha`aha`a

USA
1939 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2017 :  04:54:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It all counts, but building your ear is more important than reading spots on a piece of paper. Don't stress, the more you do it the easier it gets. We live in a "performance" culture, where we observe the finished product and never the hours of learning and practice involved. This gives us a false sense of art and its genesis.

Edited by - thumbstruck on 09/26/2017 04:56:22 AM
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slipry1
Ha`aha`a

USA
1467 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2017 :  08:30:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Eh, Thumbs! Remember when we were playing at a kanikapila at Common Grounds up in Wahiawa, and a young guy asked Duke how he got so good? Duke tole him "Is easy. Step one, da book; step two, no book". The kid was nonplussed, nut the rest of us were bowled over with laughter. It's true, tho.

keaka
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Eynowd
Akahai

Australia
78 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2017 :  12:53:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think we're just going round in circles now.

One of the most frustrating things about learning slack key remotely is you get some tab for a piece and someone says, "this is how you play this tune, but don't play it that way. Play it your way."

I'd love to play it my way, but I don't know enough about playing music to have a way yet. I don't have enough inventory.

Many years ago, when I was learning to write GUI software, I bought a text book. It was a good book and I learned a lot from it that helped over the years. But oddly, the only thing that I remember specifically from that book was a quote at the beginning of the first chapter: "One cannot discover new lands unless one is prepared to lose sight of the shore for a long, long time."

It feels like there's a very big, very wide ocean out there in front of me, with no visible paths to follow. I guess the only way to get to where I get I want to is to lose sight of the shore for a long, long time and figure this stuff out for myself. I just hope I don't get lost.

Geoff - g'day from Canberra, Australia.
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sirduke58
`Olu`olu

USA
964 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2017 :  3:34:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Actually Geoff,

Whenever I teach songs to my students I try to get share a version that is as close as possible to the original. If I share tabs with them my first choice will be the original rendition of the composer. I'm one of those that believe you should learn the song verbatim first then over time let it evolve with variations you've seen or heard elsewhere.This is how I define the phrase "Make it your own"

An example would be "Radio Hula" It's one of the standards in the kiho'alu genre. I'd estimate that at least 90% of the people in Hawaii who play slack key have this song in their repertoire. Well I first learned this song when I was 18 years old. That's 41 years ago & to this day my rendition is still evolving. I'm constantly adding or subtracting a verse or swapping out variations of riffs. Go ahead & watch 20 videos of Ledward playing "Radio Hula" and I'll bet all my instruments that each one will be slightly different.

quote:
Originally posted by Eynowd
Is the "easiest" way to build inventory to keep on learning new pieces from tab, while watching YouTube or whatever to find the extra twiddly bits to throw in?


Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!!! Winner, winner chicken dinner!!! Ozzie believes the best way to accumulate "Inventory" is by learning songs. Almost every song you learn will have something that's worth storing away in your inventory. I have adopted the same theory with my students.

First & foremost is to make the slack key journey fun, Geoff. No need to stress, no need to impress. In the words of the best "Jus' Press!!!"

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John
`Olu`olu

654 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2017 :  3:41:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is really a discussion that I have no right to butt into, but... everyone here is saying "relax, take it slow, and enjoy yourself". (i.e. Jus' press.) I'm not sure you're hearing that though.

I'm writing this with the best and kindest of intentions. I sincerely hope you succeed. I hope you find your way.

Having said that however, I see you getting caught up in a self-imagined predicament that it's necessary that you meet a standard, of some sort. One that will be acceptable to others. (i.e. The "tune" must sound "correct".)

Let's say you've got a tab (from someone somewhere), then Google (or use whatever finder-mechanism you choose) to find the "tune" (if you don't already have a version you like). Listen to it. Get an idea of the melody, etc. Then use your tab to approximate that sound.

Approximate. Again, approximate, each time getting closer to that which is "perfect". Don't kill yourself over trying to sound like (insert player name here). You really don't need to isolate yourself on purpose--or to go on some sort of vision quest, or to discover how to make a specific sound. There's really no need to "set sail" with no food or water, in order to "find a new shore".

You've said "I just hope I don't get lost." You'll be exactly that if you wander off by yourself with--how did you put that?--"with no visible paths to follow". If you have a recording, a tab sheet, and all these great people here supporting you, you'll never be out in the middle of any ocean. It does take time and effort though. But make no mistake--at the other end of your journey, you'll be more than satisfied--and dare I say, "happy."

Just sayin'.


(Duke: It appears I was writing when you were writing. However, your sentiments are much more concise than mine, so I give way to your wisdom.)


Edited by - John on 09/26/2017 3:53:02 PM
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sirduke58
`Olu`olu

USA
964 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2017 :  4:00:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nah John, no need to concede. Everyone's input is valued. You make very good points that I wholeheartedly agree with. Mahalo for sharing your mana'o.
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Eynowd
Akahai

Australia
78 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2017 :  5:25:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Right now, I feel lost. I feel like there is some fundamental point that everyone else gets that I simply don't understand yet, and I can't express that in the right way so that I get the answer that actually helps me.

Answers like "Is easy. Step one, da book; step two, no book" just make me feel like I want to headbutt a concrete wall until I pass out. It might be funny for you guys, but I find it really discouraging and I often don't want to ask questions in the future.

At what point does the student put away the book? I get the distinct impression from folks around here that learning from tab is bad. That I should be able to play without needing it. But right now, it seems like it's the only useful way for me to go about it. My ear training is still so damn rudimentary I can't tell you which note is which just from listening to it, let alone figuring out a whole piece.

There's a huge amount I don't know about playing music. I may be in my mid-40s, but I only started playing music three and a half years ago. Three months after I started, I found out about ki ho'alu and started learning that, but I couldn't even play a C chord on a standard tuned guitar at that point. I had no idea what I was doing.

I don't have anyone else to play slack key with. There's just no one else in this city who's interested. Hell, there's barely anyone in this whole country.

I want to understand. I want to play like I'm "supposed" to. I just don't get how to do that. It's driving me nuts.

I think I'm going to bow out of this conversation at this point. I've already made a big enough fool out of myself, I think.

Geoff - g'day from Canberra, Australia.
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thumbstruck
Ha`aha`a

USA
1939 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2017 :  8:59:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Geoff, I tell my students that "hitting the wall" is a sure sign of progress. Discouragement and confusion are part of the journey. You know more now than you did last year, you will know more next year than you do now. We live in a modern culture that sees things in "black and white", a reference to the printing press. While having things written can be a great boon, we, as a culture, have forgotten that we can listen (how did you learn English as a little kid - which "book" did your folks use?). Learning to trust one's hearing can seem counter intuitive, but that is one of our most powerful tools for learning and interacting. Thus: no stress, jus' press.
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