Friday, February 24, 2012

Rhythm Guitar Meditation

Rhythm.  I don't have it.  Yet, anyway.  At times it feels like my inner clock has sprung a spring.   I'm not dissuaded however.  I'm working under the assumption that the rhythm guiding part of brain just needs some exercise and that, like anything else, it will come with practice.

It's the practice that I really wanted to post about.   Or rather how it so much it reminds me of  meditation.   I don't recall whether I've posted about meditation in the past but I use it for stress relief.  The meditation technique I've used calls for you to focus your mind on your breathing and then work to remain focused on that and that alone.  When a random thought intrudes you notice it, categorize it and then go back to focusing on your breathing.   It's one of the many things in life that takes only minutes to learn but you can spend a lifetime trying to master.

Guitar rhythm practice is very similar.   Rather, instead of breathing, the focus is on the tick of the metronome and the count of the strum pattern.   If your concentration wavers and you get off beat you need to recognize how you've diverged and get back in time.   They require a very similar world-detaching inner focus.

It will be interesting to see if the later has the same stress relieving benefits.  Luckily, life's already been pretty mellow lately but it certainly can't hurt and in the process I might develop some rhythm.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Learning Guitar

Why so few blog updates lately?  

It was family game day at my sister's house.  The question was tossed around, what have you always wanted to do but never done?  I blurted out, "play the guitar".  My sister was rather surprised I'd never mentioned that before but she said they had a guitar I could use. 

Fast forward four weeks and I'm a man obsessed. 

A little history:  I took a few Clarinet lessons in grammar school but never liked the instrument.  Later after college I dabbled with the Harmonica but other than that I've never been musical.

For some reason the guitar has really grabbed hold of me.  I'm still a complete beginner who can't even play all the open chords but I love practicing and I'm getting better slowly.  There are tons of on-line lessons on everything from the basics through advanced jazz.  There's lots of information on music theory as well.  So much to learn!

Anyway, I'm sure I'll start to blog more about my progress.  

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Chili with Peanuts

I made a big batch of Chili for the AFC title game.  It was made with a lot of beef, a mix of roasted and dried chilies and a whole head of roast garlic.  It was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.  As fate would have it however, not a lot of it got eaten so I had leftovers.  Since then I've had it over rice, in tortillas, I added some beans, I've had it a bunch of different ways.  All good, but today I tried something different.  I added a handful of dry roasted peanuts to my bowl along with a heavy does of Habanero  hot sauce.  That simple combination really transformed the chili into something different.  The added spice and the new textural element transformed it into something more reminiscent of an Asian dish. Adding some stir-fried veggies would have made the transformation complete.  I've got to keep this in mind.  It was really tasty and different way to use up leftover chili..
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