I practiced guitar both Saturday and Sunday this weekend; good stuff. A pleasant selection of songs in the events, generally hard enough for me to enjoy playing them without requiring too many attempts. And then I went through various of the songs that are either my favorites or ones that I’m working on; I added Sweet Home Alabama to the latter set, and I continue to think it’s a good choice.
Probably no guitar next weekend, we’ll have guests in town.
I played guitar with coworkers again this week (plus one friend of coworkers); again it was a lot of fun. I spent one of the songs (Hey Hey, My My) improvising, mostly reminding myself how minor scales work; no idea how it sounded to other people, but I enjoyed it. And we did Boys Don’t Cry again, where I played the regular part, and then we went through a song that the other people playing had written years ago; I learned the chords for that one. All good stuff.
I was too busy with on-call stuff for work yesterday to be able to play Rocksmith, but I had a good session today. Sweet Home Alabama seems like another song that would be good for me to add to the regular practice rotation: some plucking that’s just barely too fast for me and some two-note chords with a little more moving around and stretching than normal.
The other thing I noticed this week is that I’m getting better at Something Bigger, Something Brighter: I’ve been working on the arpeggios for that offline more recently over the last month, and it feels to me like I’m significantly faster than I used to be; I haven’t compared it against Rock Band 3 or a recording of the song, but I think I’m at full speed now, albeit with rough patches? So yay for improving after repeated practice.
The June VGHVI Minecraft session was a continuation of our large ongoing projects. Miranda and I moved on to the next area of the large house we’re building; she built some bedrooms on the other side of the hallway on the main floor.
Bedroom doors on the right side of the hallway
Starting work on one of the bedrooms
A finished bedroom interior
A hot tub in back of the room
I decided to see how much space there was for a floor above the main floor. (While keeping to my restriction of basically leaving the shape of the mountain intact.) It turns out that there was, so I hollowed out some rooms; I’m not sure what will go in them, Miranda does better at that than I do.
A long room upstairs
The upper window is the same one from the previous picture
A large upstairs back room, on the opposite side of the stairs
The outside door to that back room
An entrance area in the middle of upstairs
That upstairs entrance door, viewed from the outside
The outside view of the original entrance and the upstairs entrance area above it
A pillar above the stair area in the middle of the upstairs floor
Dan kept on working on the structure he was building in a bay:
Lots of glass above the bay
And lots of chickens in one area of that glass
Dawn breaks over the bay
A nice view of the pit under the train tracks, seen when flying back from the bay
Roger, meanwhile, kept on working on his cathedral; it’s going to be pretty amazing when it’s done.
The back edge of the cathedral
Inside the cathedral
One of the side windows
Underneath the cathedral
The front doors
Roger contemplates what to do next
On Friday, I got together with a few of my coworkers to play together; and that turned out to be a huge amount of fun. About half the time, we were playing songs that I know relatively well (e.g. Boys Don’t Cry); fun to do those in a group. But what was rather more interesting was the songs we played that I didn’t know at all; for those, I ended up spending the whole time improvising single note parts.
Which went a lot better than I expected! I mean, I don’t know how what I was doing sounded to other people, but I was entirely happy with it as basically my first experience in that sort of improvisation on the guitar. I guess I’ve picked up enough from playing solos in Rocksmith to be less afraid of the concept than I used to be; and while I frequently didn’t manage to hit the note I expected to play, most of the time I could set it up as a suspension leading to something else that made sense. So, yay for not freaking out and for going with the flow.
We’ll doing that again this Friday. I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to keep on doing it after this week, though: Friday evenings are generally family time, and with Miranda getting back in town I’ll probably be wanting to go home and watch Deep Space Nine with her and Liesl. And, unfortunately, my coworkers and I have a pretty disparate set of preferred days. Maybe something will work out; or maybe I’ll take this as a reminder that I should spend more time playing with Joan.
This weekend’s Rocksmith practice went well, too. These days, it’s pretty common for a couple of the songs in an event to be ones where I’ve done well enough in the past that Rocksmith doesn’t ask me to practice them before letting me perform them; so this time I only had three songs to practice. And, on all of them, I needed some practice before I could meet the game’s goals, and that practice was fairly pleasant. Two of them weren’t my favorite songs, but not ones I actively dislike (though, to be honest, there may only be one song in the game that I actively dislike); and one of them, Under Cover of Darkness, is one that I like quite a bit, I may well end up adding that to my regular practice rotation. So a good event, and, as always, pleasant practice outside of that.