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Ladies and Gentlemen, Round Two; Hayek v Keynes

Yo yo yo yo! Dis yo boi JDM bringing da fly new track! Now the first single was so tight, you knew dey gonna be droppin’ it again right here y’all! Give it up for Hayyyyyy-eksplosive and K-k-k-k-iller Keynes!

Categories: Economics, Music, Politics Tags:

Operation: Teach Myself Guitar

2011-04-06 2 comments

I love video games.  Who doesn’t, right?  Well, some people, but they’re not technically human anyways.

I recently purchased the Squier Stratocaster by Fender that acts as a controller for Rock Band 3.   This is the world’s first real guitar/game controller.  Unlike the previous plastic Rock Band/Guitar Hero guitars, this thing is an actual factual guitar that you can plug into an amp with and jam, as well as use as a game controller for Rock Band 3.   The guitar has sensors built into the frets that sense where your fingers are pressing down, as well as which strings you are strumming with your strumming hand.

The reason I spent my hard earned cash on this art and science amalgam is that I wanted to teach myself guitar.  I correctly assumed that I would be able to use the fact that I love video games to trick my brain into learning a difficult task.   Rock Band 3 has so called Pro Guitar Tutorial mode which slowly weans you onto the instrument with increasingly difficult fingering exercises (hold the sex jokes, I’m not talking about summer camp).  These exercises are made, like all good video games, to provide the perfect level of challenge and reward so you gradually improve your skill without becoming overly frustrated.

The ultimate goal is to be able to play the songs in the game on expert mode, which is exactly what one would play in order to play the real guitar part in that song!   Pretty sweet!  I’ve only been playing for a few weeks now, but I am already able to play most of the basic chords and I’m learning some advanced ones as well.

It has previously been discussed on this blog how video games can be used as a tool to teach us new things.  This is just one example of how such an idea can be pulled off so well.

Playing around with the Pentatonic Scale

I was checking out Skepchick’s blog, (primarily to see what all the hub-bub about the skepchick calendar was about and to preorder my skepdude calendar for Myles come next Xmas) and came upon this video.  The performer in this video remarks at the end that no matter where he performs this act, every audience uses the pentatonic scale.  This seemed odd to me, as the majority of Arab songs are written in the “eastern scale”.  When I was in Morocco, every song used this Eastern or Persian scale; songs on the radio, snake charmers, even people whistling as they walked down the street.  I guess they are raised to hear that scale and hold a preference towards it, but perhaps if the beginning of a pentatonic scale is played, the mind will deduce how the rest of the scale is formed.

I don’t know if I embedded the video correctly, so here’s a link http://vimeo.com/5732745

Update: embedded. -JayAaroBe

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