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Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection

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Tinker 27 Jan 03 - 03:15 PM
Rustic Rebel 27 Jan 03 - 06:13 PM
Tinker 27 Jan 03 - 09:18 PM
khandu 27 Jan 03 - 09:30 PM
*daylia* 27 Jan 03 - 10:05 PM
Ebbie 27 Jan 03 - 11:22 PM
Amos 27 Jan 03 - 11:25 PM
khandu 28 Jan 03 - 12:54 AM
Ebbie 28 Jan 03 - 01:30 AM
Mudlark 28 Jan 03 - 01:58 AM
Sam L 28 Jan 03 - 10:03 AM
*daylia* 28 Jan 03 - 10:06 AM
Marion 28 Jan 03 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,Les B. 28 Jan 03 - 12:11 PM
*daylia* 28 Jan 03 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Marion 28 Jan 03 - 01:30 PM
KingBrilliant 28 Jan 03 - 01:40 PM
C-flat 28 Jan 03 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 28 Jan 03 - 02:08 PM
*daylia* 28 Jan 03 - 02:33 PM
Willie-O 28 Jan 03 - 02:35 PM
Kim C 28 Jan 03 - 03:14 PM
Tinker 28 Jan 03 - 03:34 PM
MMario 28 Jan 03 - 03:40 PM
Rustic Rebel 28 Jan 03 - 05:34 PM
*daylia* 28 Jan 03 - 05:48 PM
Marion 29 Jan 03 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,Marion 29 Jan 03 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Jim 16 Mar 05 - 12:26 PM
Tinker 17 Mar 05 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,Jim 17 Mar 05 - 09:28 AM
Peter T. 17 Mar 05 - 12:47 PM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Mar 05 - 06:31 PM
GUEST 18 Mar 05 - 09:43 AM
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Subject: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Tinker
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 03:15 PM

Okay, I was supposed to be finding kid camps and ended up searching for guitar camps..BG.. Each one has it's own criteria for skill levels. As someone whose actual years of playing has no relation to skill level I found this one at Puget Sound the easiest to follow.

So Catters we all know where Feilding and Justapicker end up, but where are you??

PLODDING
LEVEL 1: Just learning the first chords and can't yet change chords without pausing to relocate fingers (level I players are sometimes known as ªbeginnersº).

PLAYING
LEVEL 2: Mostly accompaniment styles and designed for a range of skills.
· At the simpler end, gets from one chord to another without pausing on at least three or four chords. Can't play an F chord. Rhythm is pretty steady as long as the song is familiar. Generally needs chords either written out over the words or else taught to each song.
· At the more advanced end, has met an F chord but shuns its acquaintance; knows a few bass runs or a finger pattern or two; has sometimes played a little with a friend; may be beginning to sort out finger and flatpicking; competent with basic chords: A, Am, B7, C, C7, D, Dm, E, Em, G, and G7. Can sing and strum at the same time easily; learns chords to simple tunes fairly quickly.

PICKING
LEVEL 3: No problems with F chord, can hear I, IV, and V chords and usually recognizes a circle of fifths. Fingerpicking: plays a few tunes smoothly; usually learns from friends or tablature. If making own arrangements, they are usually fairly simple, with an alternating bass or a few bass runs. Flatpicking: can play a few melodies smoothly clear through and may be starting to improvise leads. Fancy Chord Styles: knows there is life above the fifth fret and has been there with barre or four finger (partial) chords. Keeps steady rhythm.

PERFECTION
LEVEL 4: Fingerpicking: works out arrangements or learns complex arrangements from recordings, including moving bass lines and treble harmonies. Flatpicking: plays lead and back-up with steady rhythm, some improvisation, and clear tone. Plays skillfully with others. Fancy Chord Styles: knows there is life above the seventh fret and is on a first-name basis with most of the chords; has been known to use 12 chords where one would do.


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 06:13 PM

I guess I am at the picking level, although the F chord was one of the first chords I learned how to play.
But I have to say the lower end of it (if there is one!) Hearing the I, IV,and V chords I'm not sure about, and the circle of fifths.
Do you care to explain a little bit about that Tinker?
Peace, Rustic


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Tinker
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 09:18 PM

I'm just barely moving into the third level as well. The F chord was never too hard ( until I started wrapping my thumb around..) I can usually hear the chords well enough to hear I,IV,V chords ( C,F,G or G,C,D type patterns) but I get lost after that. I'm not sure what a circle of fifths is either. Barre chords and I have a very low and slow relationship, but there has been progress. Of course this assumes I don't just freeze, which has been known to happen...

Tinker


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: khandu
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 09:30 PM

Level Four, however, I don't think the forth level should be called perfection. Even if one reaches level four, there is as much room for improvement as it is between Level One and level four. Learning on the guitar (and, I assume, any instrument!) is an endless journey.

k


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: *daylia*
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 10:05 PM

Understanding the 'circle of fifths' means that you know the key signatures - (which notes of the key or scale are played # or b) - of the twelve major/minor scales in the Western system of music. So that you could play in any key without any of them 'sour notes'.

Well, hopefully not too many! :-)


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 11:22 PM

Thanks for saying that, khandu. I'm at Picking, but there is a huge world of difference between where I am and where Justapicker and Rick and hosts of others, are. I think there should be 15 or so stages!


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 11:25 PM

Well, understanding them is one thing, but being able and willing to play in, oh, A# or C#m? Doesn't really appeal to me very much --

I have done it when I had to but I am very glad I have a fast capo, because I am a True Believer in the DIvinity of Things named "G".

A


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: khandu
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 12:54 AM

There should be another level called "Magic".

The wonderful thing about the Magic Level is that is matters not what other level you are on. If the Magic is there, whether you are a beginner or a master, you are tapping into sources within you, and your playing is joyous and alive!

Strive to release and maintain that Magic. For in the Magic, there is the Music!

khandu


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 01:30 AM

So right, khandu.


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Mudlark
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 01:58 AM

I think I must be at about the first or 2nd sentence in Picking, when I can get my left hand working. But I agree completely with both of Khandu's posts. Sometimes there is great beauty in the simplist of arrangements, and sometimes less is more. Then the trick, the magic, is letting the song dictate, rather than the level of skill...


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Sam L
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 10:03 AM

I guess I'm somewhere in 3. I can usually find my way around in things I hear. But I'm not a very good fingerpicker, much less arranger of such, don't learn them by ear. Usually even a slightly wrong tab or standard note (many classical things published with both contain errors in one or both is worth grabbing, saves me time. I'm good at finding cheap but not-too-cheap ways to exploit the fretboard, I think, all those novelties.


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: *daylia*
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 10:06 AM

" Open E
3rd fret g
Open A
2nd fret B
Open D
2nd fret E
Open G
2nd Fret A
Open B
3rd fret D
Open (high string) E
3rd fret (g)"

Willie-O posted this pattern on an older thread. I've practiced it and I have a question for you guitar experts - is this what's called a pentatonic scale???

Also re what Amos said about the circle of fifths - yes, on guitar you can use a capo to change key, thus 'getting away with' not understanding the key signatures. But on piano YOU'RE STUCK if you don't know the #'s and b's, (unless you have a keyboard with a 'transpose' option). Same with violin, flute etc.

In my over 20 years (shheeshh!) of teaching basic music theory I've concluded that most 'methods' make it seem so much more complicated than it really is. The 'circle of fifths' (usually how it's taught in school music programs) is one of these unnecessarily complicated methods that just turns people off imo.

I have a VERY SIMPLE method that enables you to figure out the key sig for any major/minor key FAST and EASILY - all you need is a picture of the piano keyboard (or a real keyboard, or just an understanding of the names of the twelve tones used in western music) and a couple of basic guidelines. I'd be happy to post them here if anyone's interested.

daylia


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Marion
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 12:02 PM

You're right Daylia, the scale form you learned from Willie-O is pentatonic. In the position you spelled out (starting with open E) it can be either E minor pentatonic or G major pentatonic.

What "circle of fifths" means in this context (Tinker's original post) is the use of a VI II V I progression in a song, eg. A7 D7 G7 C. This progression is particularly common in ragtime music, I believe. It's called circle of fifths because most of the chord changes are by fourths (A to D, D to G, and G to C). I know it sounds a little strange to call it circle of fifths when the intervals are fourths, but remember that in the teaching aid diagram that you mention, the intervals are all fifths going one way around the circle but they're all fourths when you go the other direction.

One more thing about that circle of fifths teaching diagram where all the notes are in a circle: it has a guitar use besides calculating the sharps or flats in a given key. It can be used to figure out the IV and V chords for a key. For example: if you go to G on the circle, the neighbouring note in one direction is C and the neighbouring note in the opposite direction is D. So you know that if you're in G, then C and D are the other chords you'll go to most often.

Of course, counting on your fingers is also a very excellent way to figure that out.   

Marion


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 12:11 PM

Gee, I thought the "circle of fifths" was a serious drinking binge :)


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: *daylia*
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 01:17 PM

Ah thank you Marion! I suspected it was pentatonic as it used only 5 notes, not 7 as in the major/minors. I like it!

And thanks for showing how the 'circle of fifths' can be used to figure out chord progressions on guitar easily. That has never occurred to me! I tend to figure them out 'by ear' and by transferring the theory I learned along with piano lessons (if I want to get technical at all).
And I have found easier ways to teach key signatures than memorizing that complicated-looking 'circle' - thank goodness!

daylia


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: GUEST,Marion
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 01:30 PM

So how do you teach key signatures, Daylia: is it by counting "tone, tone, semitone" etc.?

Marion


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 01:40 PM

This is a lovely thread!!!
I still think I'm really crap at guitar, and keep admitting to that - but looking at those levels I can see that I actually have progressed over time. I'm somewhere in 3 at the moment, but mentally still pegged myself as right at the bottom. So now I'm happy!!!!

Kris


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: C-flat
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 01:52 PM

After thirty-odd years of playing guitar I've realised that "perfection" is more of a state of mind than a level of excellence.
No matter how good you are, or think you are, there's always someone you can learn something from and that's why I've never lost my enthusiasm for the guitar.
There's so many different ways to play, that perfection is rarely, if ever achieved.
I spent years trying to improve my skill and be able to pull off neat guitar tricks but, as Mudlark has already said, sometimes perfection comes in the simplest of chord progressions with an pretty melody line.
It can take years to realise that one, simple truth!


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 02:08 PM

Daylia and Marion

The Cycle or Circle of Fifths is better referred to as the Cycle or Circle of Sevenths. The reason for this is that when you modulate or when you use the VII,III VI,II,V,I progression you are generally using dominant seventh chords. The dominant seventh chord is an active chord that propels you into the next key. Jazz musicians often use the IIm7 to V7 chords to modulate.

The best way to learn the sharps and flats of diatonic major scales is to sing them through from C----C# or from C----Cb.

C7 moves actively to F7, F7-to Bb7 etc...................

Frank


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: *daylia*
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 02:33 PM

Marion "tone, tone, semitone ..." is a nuts-and-bolts approach to building a scale, but it's harder to memorize all twelve (and the relative minors) that way I find.

I find the easiest approach, especially with kids, is this:

Sharps appear in a key signature always in this order - (notice that it IS the 'circle of fifths' all you adults!)

F# C# G# D# A# E# B#. Memorize it by saying the timeworn "Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle".

Beauty of this is that, in reverse, it's the flats in order of appearance -

Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb Fb. "Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles Father!"
(Must've taken some genius to figure out that reversible chant!)

Don't know how to figure out if a scale has #'s or b's? Well, all keys that have flats have the word "FLAT" in the name, (ie. Bb major, Db major etc.) except F, which has only one, the first flat Bb. And that makes sense because F is the first sharp, so if F major had sharps it would have to be F# major.

That leaves all the 'white key' scales as the 'sharp' scales,
except F (the first flat scale) and C (which has no #'s or b's). Plus F#major and C#major which are easy to recognize because they have "sharp" in their name.

Now, to figure out quickly how many sharps are in a scale, just remember that the key-note (name of the scale, or first note) is ALWAYS ONE SEMITONE ABOVE THE LAST SHARP IN THE KEY SIGNATURE using the "Father Charles" order above. For example, if a scale has F# one semitone above F# is G. So the key is G major. And if it has 3 sharps - F# C# and G# - one semitone above G# (the last sharp in the key sig) is A. So A major has three sharps etc.

You can reverse this too, if you know the key but not the number of sharps. For example, you're working with E major - you know the last sharp in the key sig must be one semitone below E, which is D#. Therefore E major must have F# C# G# D#.   Or, working with D major, the last sharp must be C# (one semitone below D), so D major has F# and C#.

Now for the flats it's even easier, because the NAME OF THE SCALE IS ALWAYS THE 2ND LAST FLAT IN THE KEY SIGNATURE!. For example, in Eb major, Eb is the second-last flat, so say the flats in order till you get to Eb and then add one more ie) "Battle Ends And."   Bb Eb Ab.
So Eb major has three flats.

One more example - in Db major, Db is the second last flat, so it must have "Battle Ends And Down Goes". Bb Eb Ab Db and Gb.

And of course you can reverse this too if you know the flats but not the key ie) the scale that has Bb and Eb ("Battle Ends") must be Bb major, because Bb is the second last flat in the key sig.

So all you have to remember is the order of sharps and flats, using the little reversible chant, and the two simple rules -

1) The key-note is always ONE SEMITONE ABOVE THE LAST SHARP IN THE KEY       SIGNATURE, for sharp scales, and

2) The name of the scale (key) is always THE SECOND LAST FLAT in the key signature, for flat scales.

And to find the relative minors, just remember that the minor is always THREE SEMITONES BELOW THE MAJOR ie) C-B-Bb-A. C major and A minor are relatives. Or D-Db-C-B. D major and B minor are relatives. Meaning they share a key signature (the same scale, same #'s and b's, but starting on a different note).

*WHEW!!* Maybe it wasn't as simple as all that, but it usually takes only a couple lessons before the kids catch on ... and as long as they keep using it they don't forget.

daylia


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Willie-O
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 02:35 PM

Pentatonic, also known as the blues scale. (If you play it in the key of the root note--E as given there.) I wouldn't personally call it a minor scale, although all the notes are indeed included in the Em scale. Some are left out to give the it the penta- part (5) and make it more versatile.

Interesting scale of achivement, but I would definitely rename "Perfection"--perhaps skilful or accomplished would be a better term.

At that point, I'd say one should be adept with pentatonic, major and minor scales in various inversions all the way up the neck. Diminished are nice to have too. (something I've been struggling to integrate smoothly into my playing for many years). And get to know non-folk chord styles: 6th and 9th in particular. At that point, you can fake being a jazz player. Only a real one will know the difference.

Using 12 chords where one will do is a sign of technical ability outpacing the development of taste.


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Kim C
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 03:14 PM

Magic!! I like it! I know I can always count on khandu for a brilliant insight. :-)

I don't know about the guitar, but I believe there's some things on the violin that can only be accomplished through Magic.


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Tinker
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 03:34 PM

Okay, I was just looking for one more "p" word and I confess I was in a hurry... perhaps panache would have been a better choice. But I'll definately side with magic.

Thanks guys...definately some new stuff for me to play with here.


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: MMario
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 03:40 PM

beyond perfection in another "p" word? plusperfect


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 05:34 PM

Marion, is that what you would call a turn around and an ending turn-around when we say circle of fifths? Like -E-E7-A-Am-E. Or- C-C7-F-Fm-C.
Maybe I have to go back and read what you said again!
Khandu and C-Flat- Magic and perfection being a state of mind. I agree. I think I create both without knowing what I'm doing but it works for me! I learn something new everytime I pick up the guitar.
Daylia-I have to re-read your post again. Probably will take me a few times , to let that sink in!
Peace, Rustic


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: *daylia*
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 05:48 PM

Perfection? Eeeks, what's that? But magic, ahhhh ...

And Music is the 'highest' form of Magic, I've heard! :-)

daylia


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Marion
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 01:36 PM

Frank, maybe we should call it the "Circle of Fifths, or Fourths, or Sevenths, Depending On How You Look At It."

Daylia, I'm not so sure your way is simpler - I tried to read it a couple of times and kept losing focus (no offense intended - but since I already know my keys, I had little motivation to learn your trick). What I did when I was a piano-playing kid was just memorize the key signatures outright - there's not that many of them, and you don't meet them all at once, so I suspect that just learning them as you go without a trick is the simplest way. But of course different people's brains handle different explanations differently. My mother drives me crazy by saying that a piece in F is "in Bb" and so on.

Willie-O, "minor pentatonic" is in fact a conventional term for a scale that includes the 1, 3b, 4, 5, and 7b notes, as this scale form does if E is considered the tonic. The word minor distinguishes it from the major pentatonic scale, which has the 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 notes (so if you used that scale form over a song in G, the sound would be more country than bluesy). Anyway, I like your line about technical ability outpacing taste.

Rustic Rebel, out of time, come back later.

Marion





PS. So what level would "posing" be?


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: GUEST,Marion
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 01:58 PM

Yay, got another computer right away.

Rustic Rebel said: "Marion, is that what you would call a turn around and an ending turn-around when we say circle of fifths? Like
-E-E7-A-Am-E. Or- C-C7-F-Fm-C.


I'm not sure I understand the question - who's we, and what do y'all mean by "circle of fifths"? The only usages of the term that I've encountered are the ones I've already mentioned on this thread: a VI II V I chord progression, or a specific diagram that many people (not me) find useful in understanding relationships between notes and between chords. Neither of these meanings has any relation to the chord progression you supplied that I can see - except that the E7 is followed by an A and the C7 is followed by an F (both are examples of a dominant seventh chord being followed by the chord a fourth above, as is normal.)

As for "turnaround", I once heard Rick Fielding call the V7 chord a "turnaround chord" (i.e., the A7 chord when playing in D), but I think the more common use of calling a lick a turnaround is its place in the song structure - just like a bridge, or verse, or chorus. So any progression can be a turnaround.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 12:26 PM

Thought I'd resurrect this thread (thanks for the pointer Tinker) as it contains some excellent posts.


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Tinker
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 08:00 AM

Circle of Fifths Chart and Information


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 09:28 AM

Top Man Tinker! - Just what I've been looking for thanks


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 12:47 PM

To echo an earlier remark, there is a huge abyss between so-called Perfection here and a really good player. I have watched some really good players over the last few years from my perch as a novitiate, and the real difference is that the really good players are free (I mean that in the Taoist sense: they move freely, in, above, and beyond their technique).

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 06:31 PM

In some Oriental Martial Arts, once one has passed the black belt stage - the 'master' then wears a white belt to remind oneself to forget all one has learnt and regain the attitude of mind of a beginner.


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Subject: RE: Plodding,Playing, Picking, Perfection
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 09:43 AM

Ah Glasshopper - wise words


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