A Change of Emphasis

I thought a brief word was in order to explain the apparent change of direction of this blog of late. This is that brief word. In short, as the heading suggests, a lot is staying the same but the perspective is changing.

First off, I haven't given up playing guitar or messing with guitar-related technology, fretboard visualization etc. But there are a couple of reasons why I'm moving my focus elsewhere.

First, my long-standing tendonitis means I can't play for extended periods and my technique is slowly falling away. It's not a big deal but it does limit what I can expect to do with the instrument in the future.

Second, I'm not listening to much, if any, guitar-based music and haven't for years. That makes the guitar less of a conscious choice, more of a historical consequence of my having been a teenager in the '80s.

Third, I spent the early part of 2019 trying to figure out how to imitate modernist piano music on guitar and eventually concluded that a quicker route to what I wanted would be to just learn to play the piano, or rather its 21st century incarnation.

Fourth, I'd got interested in using alternate tuning systems and was finding the guitar neck a hindrance. I pulled the frets out of a broken old acoustic I had lying around, and of course the slide is capable of quite subtle microtones with a bit of practice, but in the end I wanted to hear big chords that fretless guitar isn't really set up for.

Put another way, the guitar had become a bit of a problem, and I was always more interested in its potential as a tool for solving problems than as a source of new ones. So while I'll certainly still pick it up and I'll likely still record with it sometimes, it's not my focus for now and might not be for a while.

As a consequence, a bit will change around here, but not a lot. I'll continue to write about scales and chords with a slant towards combinatoric analyses. That will get more instrument-neutral; no more fretboard geometry for a while. I'll probably also be writing about other tuning systems besides the familiar 12-tone equal temperament, largely in the same vein as the rest of the content on this blog. If you're a guitarist and you continue to check in, I hope you'll still find stuff here you can use.