guitar

A Hard Day’s Night: Solving a Beatles mystery with mathematics

Some nerd stuff to start the day!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-11-05/a-hard-days-night-how-mathematics-revealed-beatles-secret/9093348

Here’s a silly fragment of a song

(my apologies to bass players, I really LOVE bass & this is non-pejorative!)

Who do you think you are

Rocking hard with guitar

Get out of my face

You should be playing bass…

 

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MUSIC ROOM

 

When we met
Couple of decades ago
Heard you play guitar
At flea market bazaars
But you’d never buy one
You’d left your childhood
Garage band
Because your
Stairway to Heaven
Didn’t sound like
Zeppelin’s
Stairway to Heaven
And you never played again

Radio music interim
Interspersed with
MP3 tunes
Did their job
Kept me sane

Then two years ago
Thanks to internet window shopping
Bought a soprano ukulele
With a how-to book
For thirty dollars
And although I couldn’t decipher
Musical notes
Chords enabled this wannabe
To play amid laughter and joy

You listened for two years
And finally picked up the baritone
Tuned like guitar
Playing like a rock star

Love the ambience
Music frequently welcomes
Dawn
Often lullaby away those
Sleepless nights
Most of all
What fun to play together
Voices gritted with age
You picking with a hint of flamenco
Me strumming with a campfire aroma

And although we will never
Be what we were
To each other
All those years ago
It’s a functional way
To segue
Into old age
Making what we believe
Is beautiful music
Together…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Guitar & Ukulele in the backyard

ELIXIR OF FAMILY BONDING

 

Flanked by big, brash progeny

The plucky baritone ukulele

Holds her own

Amid clamorous sons

Sensing no time elapsed

Between early motherhood and retirement

Removing their eyeglasses

Myopically peering at each other

It is 1989

All is fine

As life-long love

Picks up at the point

It left off

Long ago and far away…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: My baritone ukulele and their guitars/Halloween in the 1980s

 

(I’m back, WordPress!  Will check out your stuff this coming week)

B, C & M 80s Halloween cropped

GOOGLE-MANCY

 

So growing up with cartomancy

Consulting the cards

Or tasseomancy

Consulting the tea leaves

Or any of those other mancies

Ouija boarding the spirit world

Maybe even tipping the magic eight ball

For a quickie answer

Has now morphed

For me

Into querying

The O-Great-Google

For answers

Seriously

I said to myself

Why are you asking this question?

But here it is:

Is it ok to prefer strumming

Over what I think is the

More-difficult fingerstyle

Or is that a cop out?

And lo!

I’m not the only one who needs to know!

Forums about it all over the net

And my favorite answer is:

The Beatles preferred it

When playing acoustic

And strumming songs of fame

Are associated with Bob Dylan’s early name

On Google

Most everyone said learn both

Most everyone said strumming’s

Not necessarily the easy way out

It’s ok!

Whew!

But then…

I confess

I can guiltily see

A tempting retreat for lazy me

Hmmm, I wonder if I can ask Google

Who my Prince Charming, um,

Who my Ol’ King Charming

Will be…

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Victorian Tasseomancy (NPR unattributed)

SONG OF THE SOLSTICE (for baritone ukulele)

FOR THE SUMMER SOLSTICE (Northern Hemisphere) and WINTER SOLSTICE (Southern Hemisphere) & Global MAKE MUSIC DAY (6-21-17)

 

 

C/ Today no peppermint Em/ tea

C/ No espresso Em/ coffee

G/ Best is the Em/ extraction

G/ Dripping from aromatic Em/ skin

A/ Xanthos-lemon Em/ juice

A/ Pressed between pomegranate Em/ lips

 

C/ Slipping through sultry G/ water

G/ Fresh from the Earth’s C/ sluice

C/ And I offer to G/ you

G/ This catholicon of C/ love

 

C/ Blind taste test Em/ seen through

C/ The sun above Em/ sparkling

G/ Lighting up the Em/ longest day

G/ While indelible Em/ music plays

A/ Fine-tuned strings Em/ echoing

A/ Through circle-of-life Em/ holes of sound

 

C/ And the day G/ Fades away

G/ Into tie-dyed black C/ denim

C/ The matching color of  G/ your eyes

G/Lemon and pomegranate C/ until sunrise

 

C/ Dew filtered through G/ you C/G

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), words & chords

IMAGE: My Baritone Ukulele, Roses & Lemons

 

These chords for baritone ukulele or guitar (DGBE)

Can substitute Am for Em for tenor, concert or soprano ukulele (GCEA)

Can substitute A with D for tenor, concert or soprano ukulele (GCEA)

Make Music Day June 21!  http://www.makemusicday.org/…

ST. JAMES INFIRMARY GHOST

New baritone ukulele has guitar chords, so re-learning it.  Been living with the words all week. Arlo Guthrie’s version is the only one (I’ve ever heard)  with the verse about “7 girls going to the graveyard/only 6 of them coming back.” Made his “baby” so real to me then. Had to write a Point-Of-View from one who is Everywoman and will remain nameless although I’m partial to “Baby”

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

 

What the hell?

Where am I?

Is that Big Joe McKennedy?

Red eyes, pulled an all-nighter

Card and dice cheater

Last I remember

He was trying to take my ring

It’s just a cheap, cracker-jack one

But mine

From better times

When he was winning

Now he’s a losing gambler

Already lost my mama’s

Dipped-in-gold locket

My papa’s silver watch chain

No, refused him

Where’s he going?

Joe!

Last I remember

He shoved me into the wall

Hit my head

On the brass bed

Then pushed into

The porcelain wash stand

What a man

Been out til I woke up

On this cold, white table

Dead!

I’m dead!

I’m so young, so cold, so still

But there he goes

Singing about himself

It’s always about him

About his funeral

About his blues

About his cheating heart

With chorus girls

And look, my finger’s bare

He got my ring anyway!

Seven of us going to the cemetery

Only six will return

But one is my cousin

The one who talks to ghosts

She sees me!

She knows!

No funeral for you

Big Joe McKennedy

Just a hanging tree…

 

* https://youtu.be/JsPLpt9jVvs

Arlo Guthrie version (singing begins 2:28)

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: St. James Infirmary, Brew Lite Jazz Tales

IF ONLY

chords notebook 3

 

What is the exact moment

I’d return to

If possible?

So many times

Need to be changed

Like not saying

“I do”

But now

In my oldness

The key to happiness

Lies in wood and strings

So if I could go back

To 8 months after

My sixteenth birthday

The day I said,

“I’m quitting guitar lessons”

I’d think

I’d persevere

I’d be a guitar player

In addition to hack writing

Beloved blogetry

I’d compose

I’d stop smoking and sing daily

I’d learn all those chords

I would

I would do

I would do what it takes

To get over that

Learning curve

Vision of me then

Long black hair

Freshly ironed straight

Almost to the waist

Yet not pretty enough to be

A performer

But smart enough to understand

Music tames the sadness

That savages the psyche

And who knows

Maybe I would have written

The Grammy song of the year

Deciphering musical notation

Acquiring the discipline

Dreams require

But it is today

And in celebration of

My newest

A baritone ukulele

D, G, B, E

Guitar chords!

I’ve written a

Haiku:

Whole new set of chords

Baritone ukulele

Bridge to a guitar…

 

baritone ukulele june 2017

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGES: My chord notebook & my new Baritone Ukulele

 

THREE-IN-ONE

You ask the identity of my fantasy man

Hardly hesitating, I reply:

I am his canvas of fecund fields

Pierced by passionate suns

Van Gogh impressions of yellow and green

I am his guitar strings

Played by his tongue

Set on fire and worshiped

As only Hendrix’s music could careen

Along scales never before heard or seen

I am his epic poem of alliterative lines

That old Pagan Beowulf poet

Writer, reciter, loving me

Anonymously

These three

As one

Someday you will come…

woodstock_2-hendrix-playing-with-tongue

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

blickling-f141-beowulf-f173r

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MY FIRST VIDEO

OK, OK, This is for fun.  My first video.  A silly video of me reciting my poem Unconsummated Guitar.  Hate my voice.  It’s a South Philly nasal whine (South Philadelphia, a neighborhood in Pennsylvania, USA).  Can’t believe I forgot to take off my glasses.  Never take pictures with my regular glasses.  Oh, well, it’s New Year’s Eve so this is for a laugh 🙂  Wishing us all fun and good health and happiness for 2017!

 

 

https://poeturja.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/unconsummated-guitar/

 

 

CONCEALMENT

Too much

The world

When once

I refused to read

A newspaper

Watch the news

Now bombarded

By social media

Too much

Can I wish myself

Into a wisp of

Perfumed air

And disappear

Down the sound hole

Of a wood

Or even laminate

Ukulele, guitar

Stay far far away

From the world today

And think of ways

To habitate in my new

Fortress of Solitude

Hoping the strong wind

Will pluck the strings

In minor keys

To bring me peace

From the looming faces

And voices

Of the world

That are just too much for me

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Inside A Guitar, Classic FM