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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:52 pm 
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When I was young training my azz off and working towards "something" I wanted, I had many components to the dream I was trying to fulfill. Academic achievement was one, martial skill was a second, and music was the third leg of my stool. And I wanted them connected in a way that only a Shaolin monk could understand.

Either you get it, or you don't.

Here's a clue... My PhD is in biomedical engineering, with a specialty in systems physiology. And anyone who's gotten out of the dojo and started reading a little (George, Van, and others) understands the importance of neurobiology and physiology in what we do, how things work, and how everything can go so terribly wrong.

Music is important as well. In class I can't tell you how many times I've thrown my hands up in frustration while trying to teach partner exercises, and asked someone if they've ever played a musical instrument. I've never had such a person say "Yes." My (very rude) reply to their "No" is often something like "I can tell!" Meanwhile... come to any Uechi camp and you'll marvel at the musical abilities (some good, some bad, all sincere) of our Uechi teachers and masters. Even Kansei Uechi at one camp was playing an Okinawan stringed instrument and exercising his pipes. Not my cup of tea for music, but most certainly talent and heart while expressing a rich piece of Okinawan culture.

And the music-academia link? For my dissertation I was quantifying rhythms in heart-rate curves that I was (digitally) creating from EKGs. It was the waxing and waning of the heart from respiration as well as the nonlinearity of two vascular control systems. In short, I was studying rhythm. And my musical training helped me get it at a level that many of my peers did not. (I subsequently shot holes in a paper published by a Harvard researcher in Science. He didn't get it either. But I DID get my PhD for it all... ;))

OK, so now we know we have some music lovers in the crowd. That said...

I've been helping my son learn piano as of late. It's an old skill I thought I lost, but apparently not. I have him getting the formal music lessons, but then he won't do the practice unless I sit down with him. I make it fun. I teach him things I wish somebody had taught me, and I play with him.

The place where I have him going encourages the kids to play things they want to play as well as doing the formal training. He wants to learn the theme of Pink Panther, so fine... I'll be looking for some good sheet music that converts an orchestral sound to something that sounds half-decent on the piano. But I'm also going to be trying to lead him on this.

The other day I listened to Boston's Foreplay/Long Time piece on XM radio. I've always liked the intro. The triplet after triplet playing with an underlying bass melody appeals to my classical training sensibilities. For what it's worth... Boston was made up of musicians who happened to be MIT engineering students. Hmm... there's that music-academia connection again. ;)

Well eventually I'm going to sit down and just bang out the melody. But I thought I'd look to see what's on YouTube first - just in case there's someone out there playing with and teaching aspects of that rather long piece. And in doing so, I stumbled on a rare talent.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce Jon Baglo and some friends. Res ipsa loquitur.

Foreplay/Long Time (Jon's One Man Band Boston Cover)

You suk, Jon. I HATE you!!! :lol:

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:07 pm 
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If your tastes in music are less rock, less complex, and more funk, here's another that's 100 percent by Jon. You Dave Letterman fans may remember this from way back. His back-up band used to play this all the time until Dave complained bitterly on air one day. What-ever... Dave's an idiot anyhow.

Here's Jon playing a classic by Booker T and the MGs.

Green Onions Cover (Jon's One Man Band)

I'm going to get some sheet music for my son on this one. Fun!!!

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:20 pm 
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And if you think Jon doesn't have raw talent, here's a piece for you fans of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Fantasy in Dm (Jon)

Yea, well *I* can do that! :roll:

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:41 pm 
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Raffi always wonders about me. :lol: I see things in what he does and teaches that he doesn't. But I'm a patterns and principles guy. Get the core down and you can dress it up any way you want. That's Raffi's approach to teaching his Uechi, JKD, kali, arnis, etc.

The core of this is simple. (There's a secret here I won't reveal... ;)) It's the fun stuff done in-between the simple stuff that makes it fun, complex, and amazing.

It's what I've tried to teach my students. Get a beat in-between the beat, and you'll throw your opponent into an OODA loop. And then (s)he is your bitch.

Enjoy.

Drifting (Jon's cover version)

That pudgy kid rocks. Bass, rhythm, lead, and percussion all on one instrument. He didn't write it (the author Andy McKee is amazing) but he does get it. It's how he makes it look so easy that's so maddening.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:31 pm 
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Absolutely amazing. I've played Foreplay/Longtime on Rockband (just drums) and keeping up with 4 pads (for a former nonmusician) is quite a challenge, especially that difficult section at the beginning. The video doesn't capture the difficulty in the finale either, when you have sustained different tasks for your hands and pedal; forget about doing it without the notes displayed for me.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:10 pm 
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Without question, my greatest regret is never learning to play any musical instrument, I content myself with being an avid listener and appreciate all styles. Fortunately my two oldest have not taken after their dad in that respect, the oldest has been playing flute for 7 years and is quite good (and considering majoring in engineering when she goes off to college) and the middle child started violin this year. Too soon to tell what the youngest will do. I think music has certainly helped the oldest; she has certainly enjoyed the opportunities that have opened up through music already, such as performing with her school marching band in the London (England) New Year's Day Parade earlier this year. My high school never did anything out of state much less out of country! She's currently trying to save up to go with them to perform at Pearl Harbor next December for the 70th anniversary of the attack...I'll be both very proud and very jealous if that happens!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:02 am 
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If you're not an amputee, you can always buy Rockband! Go for it!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:03 am 
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I have way too much on my plate already, or I would take up an instrument.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:53 am 
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Don't eat it, live it! Time for Rockband can be made by eliminating unnecessary time with family, community, work, etc. It's also exercise, or it is for me--I'm sure that's a bad sign.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:24 am 
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Or you could take up an instrument.

I understand how purchasing one can be a problem when family finances are what they are. But keep looking. I went by a music store going out of business, and picked up a dream electric guitar (may end up a collector's item), a fairly decent bass guitar, and a few amps. Later when son started piano, I found an electric piano (Roland) that frankly is way more practical than any standard piano, and for not too much coin.

Then you just need to make the time.

You don't have to worry about playing well. Just play. It's good for your brain and for your soul.

I played an extremely cheap guitar all the way through graduate school. It offered me a lot of personal satisfaction, and a great diversion when either school or life got to be a bit much.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:33 pm 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
a great diversion when either school or life got to be a bit much.

I've noticed that my oldest does that with her flute, and it seems to help her in that respect. I'm glad she has (and uses) that option when she needs it, there are definitely less acceptable ways a high-schooler could deal with school or life getting to be too much.

For now, my primary diversion is getting on here and antagonizing you Bill! And it does seem to work in its own way. :D

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