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16
Jul

TXBA Speed Workflow Week 3

Initially I wanted to write this post as an update to my previous post but too much
happened since to cramp it in there.

Now that week 3 is out for TXBA locals the course becomes demanding but I hit a
personal snag in week 2. As an older player I need to pay attention when my hands
say that I practiced enough. As I learned the hard way it is not as easy to spot
as doing sports. While practicing hammer on and pull off (HO/PO) is overdid it
and my ring finger started to ache and that is not a good sign. It took me nearly
a week to resolve the issue with a few days where I did only practice things that
did not involve HO/POs.

But like magic today I could perform HO/POs naturally and they sound quite good.
I still need to work on making them even in terms of loundness and consistent
but it feels good to have conquered a technique I avoided for so long.

A few tips that helped me:

  • If a finger gets sore stop and let it rest
  • Play HO / PO alone with just your guitar and metronome
  • For me HO are not about speed or force but rather about hitting the string
    square in the middle or the end (towards the bridge) of your fret
  • Doing a PO I just pull my finger towards my hand. Pull faster helps more that
    trying to scrap the string
  • If you have difficulties then practice them slow and deliberately and independent
    from each other. For the PO just pick the string first
  • Sometimes it helps to lift your index finger to get more reach but you
    must be able to place the index finger back onto the fretboard when you do the PO
  • Do not practice along the exercise tracks or the benchmark videos as it can
    mask problems and achievements.

This week Anthony has a new and quite demand exercise in store that involve fast
HO/POs (16th notes) and an exercise when he puts two licks right after each other
without any rest. He has some tips regarding HO/PO but at the end everyone has
to figure that out on their own. This felt like learning to ride a bike. You try
and try and try and suddenly it works and you cannot understand why it took so long.

Note

If you are confused with the speed notation in the course then you are not along
but the explanation is quite simple. In the first 2 weeks he used a single beat
for each note (8th) in his licks and so you end up at 150bpm. In week three he
switches to one beat per triplet and each note (8th) becomes a note in a 8th triplet.
This means that the BPM is 1/3 of what you had before because their are 3 notes
(triplet) in one beat. It also means that now one has to pay attention on the
timing within a triplet to keep them even (if required).

Conclusion

Week 2 and 3 were / are challenging but the things I accomplished in just 3 weeks
compared to past months are off the chars. Some of it is just consolidating what I learned
in the past but some of them are just due to a practice regiment that is
consistent and exercises that are slowly increasing in difficulty.

If you want to tackle any of the TXBA SRV solo matrix courses and you just
feel overwhelmed this is a great way to lay the foundation. Focusing on the
riff at hand is so much more fun if you are not bogged down by technique
and skills issues.

5
Jan

New Clan, New Opportunity

Since the demise of my first clan I was looking for new people to raid with. After I had the opportunity to do the Raid of TTK on the day it launched there is no way I would miss another Raid release. Read more »

11
Aug

Destiny: The Taken King / Koenig der Bessessen

Even in the darkest time of my frustrations with Destiny, Skolas and the exclusive deals I knew that I would buy TTK. There is no other game that tickle my fancies, not Halo 5, not Quantum Breaks, not Gears of War (Remake), nothing. But I waited until August to actually buy my copies.

Now that the Hype Machine is gearing up here a my thoughts of an early adopter. Read more »

25
Jun

What’s Wrong with Bungie

This week a shit storm came over us Destiny players as Luke Smith was saying that players would buy anything and players were outraged. I didn’t pay too much attention to it but when the news about the Red Bull Marketing campaign hit I was outraged. Read more »

12
Jun

Destiny Iron Banner Guide

Last week was the first Iron Banner (IB) with the new DLC House of Wolves. Because of my continued struggle with Prison of Elders level 34 and 35 I took the opportunity of IB to earn some Etheric Lights to upgrade boots and weapons. I also helped others to reach level 3 and 5 and so here are my tips.

Read more »

11
Jun

Adobe AEM 5.6.1: Changes to the Impersonation

In the past few days I had to investigate on how to manage impersonation and it turns out that behind the scenes a lot has changed since 5.5 and I am not 100% sure what and why. Here is a rundown on the changes I experienced and on how to manage the impersonation programmatically using CURL. Read more »

15
May

IntelliJ, License and Frustration

As a Java power developer I have two Macs, a MacBook Air and a Mac Pro, side by side and develop on the concurrently. Dealing with Adobe AEM (formerly known as Day CQ) I need more horse power than a MacBook Air can provide but I always place the client’s VCS onto the Laptop (Air) in order to be able to retrieve or upload changes on the go.

Now Subversion is not easy to use and IntelliJ makes it much easier to deal with changes that the command line or any other free app. I can look at locally deleted files, unversioned files and incoming changes and so I need to have IntelliJ running on the Air. For the regular development I switch over to my Mac Pro so that I handle deployments or test changes on a scrap AEM instance. For that the 8-core CPU, 16GB Mem and 500GB SSD is very andy and development on it is a breeze.

IntelliJ and License

Since IntelliJ 6 I am a client of JetBrains and bought every single version even after the also provided a Community Version because I like the additional features. Since quite some time when I open IntelliJ on the other Mac IntelliJ come up with a dialog box complaining that I only have a single seat license and should either re-activate or shutdown IntelliJ. So, for now I just ignored that dialog box, did my thing on the other Mac and then shut IntelliJ on the other Mac down, re-activated it and kept on developing. But then when I ran into an issue with Subversion and had to update the code I had to go back and test it and so this whole procedure became annoying and frustrating.

I am one person, have two hands and cannot develop on two computers at the same time. So I think I use IntelliJ within its limits and I don’t see any reason why I should have to buy another license because of this screwed up behavior of IntelliJ.

Little Snitch to the Rescue

As of lately I upgraded Little Snitch to version 3.3 and so I wanted to see what IntelliJ does in order to figure out if there is a license violation. I am not giving away on how that IntelliJ does it or how to use Little Snitch to fix it because people should pay for their software but IntelliJ is annoying the honest customers and crooks can get around it fairly easily. It took me about 20 minutes to figure it out and to fix it. In the past I was always annoyed when I saw users in a big, profitable companies using the evaluation version as if they could not afford it. Since I started my own company I always bought my software if it wasn’t for free and I refuse to use Eclipse because I don’t have the time and thus the money to waste.

Proposal for a Fix

Most likely I am not the majority of IntelliJ users and so I don’t have much faith that JetBrains would consider my proposal but I don’t want to end this post without at least show an idea on how to fix it.

The basic problem is that IntelliJ should look for concurrent usage and not concurrent launch or processes. Developers should be allowed to have multiple IntelliJ instances up and running if they only use one at the time. IntelliJ takes quite some time to fire up and so keep the instances up and running would be a great feature.

Therefore instead of sending out a message to other IntelliJ instances and then complain if such a message is received IntelliJ should connect the two instances and then check from time to time if they are used at the same time. But if you do so please give some slack because not every concurrent use is a criminal act.

Cheers – Andy Schaefer

1
Apr

A Half a Year with Rocksmith

A Half a Year with Rocksmith

It is now 6 month since I bought Rocksmith for the XBox 360 and for most parts I played at least 1 hour per day. Without any doubts I am making progress and playing along a song is for most parts an enjoyable past time. In addition when I am under pressure in a song I am sometimes surprised that I find notes quickly or slide over the fretboard quite accurately. There are already a few song that I can play lead over 90% mastery on full speed and new songs like the Matchbox 20 pack was quite easy to get the basics down.
That said I am now struggling to master any songs except Blitzkrieg Pop. Either there a chord progressions that make me trip off or fast solos that are difficult to conquer. For example there is a very short part in Self Trap from Playground Kings that elude me now for 3 months to master. So far the most effective way to master them is to play the slowly (70 or 80%) until I can play it with closed eyes. Then I increase the speed and repeat the procedure. When I feel under pressure or overwhelmed then I am too fast.
Funny thing though is that when I finally get the hang of it the riff seems rather mundane and slow.. I guess this is mostly due to the fact that I now can relax and enjoy playing it.

Lately I discovered on how to cheat Rocksmith and even though I don’t do it regularly when it bugs me with a song I have no inclination to learn I might use it to get pass that mission. I am not sure if that is really cheating of it that was the intention from the creator. At the end I am interested in learning the guitar and not to accomplish as many missions as possible.

Some of the songs have a strong and powerful bass sound and so I decided to buy an Ibanez SR250 bass and learn the bass as well.

Currently I am wondering where I will be in another 6 months. It would be great if I could play the most popular chords quick and effortless, find the fret on the fretboard blindly and that I could do bends easier, quicker and with less effort. Maybe mastering 15 more songs (2 now) would be great as well. Finally playing along a song outside of Rocksmith would be really an accomplishment especially if I could play with my kids.

Looking back it was a fun half a year with some great accomplishments and I am looking forward to the next 6 months.

  • Andy
22
Jul

CQ 5.5 and Link Rewriter Failures

In CQ 5.5 one can rewrite links by extending a RequestRewriter interface inside an OSGi service. This way links can be dynamically adjusted to external views or can be adjusted to internal conditions. In my current project we use this extensively and for most parts it works fine. That said for a few pages that did not work at all exposing internal structures to the client. It took me a while to discover the cause but fixing as quite simple. Read more »

5
Jun

ByWord Publishing Test

Update

You might not see if but it did what I expected and converted Markdown to HTML when it published it to my WordPress site – bummer. Maybe they fix it later but that renders it unusable for me. There is also no way to update a page because after the publishing the link is lost and there is no way to retrieve a post from the blog.

I would expect that there is a flag that allows me to post in Markdown and a way to list all my posts so that I can update their content because I post in Markdown. Right now I am better off using MarsEdit on the Mac and Post on iOS. I don’t mind spending $5 on a good add-on but this is just half-done with link bloggers in mind.

For now I give two thumbs down for the Byword Premium even though I enjoy the App and I am willing to spend money on good updates. That said the Publishing is not well done or designed.

Original

This is my first test to see how the Blogging Support from ByWord Premium works and if it is usable for my purposes. I am mostly concerned if they do send the plain Markdown text over or if they convert it to HTML which would make it completely unusable for me.

Let’see – Andy