A couple of weeks ago, I was watching this video from Paul Davids in which he describes a couple of simple ways to do arpeggios on guitar.

The method he describes is nice because it lets you do an arpeggio for any four-note chord on just two strings, using a couple of simple patterns.

Ex. to do an arpeggio of an Amaj7:

E ——————————————
B ——————————————
G ——————————————
D ——————————————
A ————————7———11
E —5———9————————

Start at the root note (A), go up four frets to play the major 3rd (C#). Go down a string and up two frets from where you started the last bit to the 5th (E), then up another four frets to get the major 7 (G#).

It's two major third intervals (four frets each).

And if you want to do an A minor 7th:

E ——————————————
B ——————————————
G ——————————————
D ——————————————
A ————————7——10—
E —5———6————————

Two minor third intervals (three frets each).

So, it's:

  1. If you chord is major, the first two notes are four frets apart. Otherwise, they're three frets apart.
  2. Move down one string and over two frets for the next two.
  3. If your chord has a major 7th, the third and fourth notes are four frets apart. Otherwise, they're three frets apart.

That's pretty nice. But, that four fret stretch is tough for me - maybe I have stiff little fingers or something.

But, it's easy enough to refactor this idea into something that takes no reach at all:


E ——————————————
B ——————————————
G ——————————————
D ———————————6——
A ————4———7—————
E —5————————————

If you can play a basic open G (or C) chord, the shape here will feel completely natural: root on middle finger, major third on index finger. Then drop your fingers down a string and up two frets and play that same shape.

Similarly, for a minor 7th (ex C#m7):

E ——————————————
B ——————————————
G ————————————4—
D ————2———6—————
A —4———————————
E ——————————————

Again, it's a simple shape (though maybe not one you're used to): root on ring finger, second note (minor third) is one string down and two frets back on your index finger. Then down a string, up two frets and repeat.

And, as with Paul Davids' method, you can mix the two shapes. First two notes in the G shape and next two in the G minor shape gives you a classic 7th chord.

Ex. E7:

E ——————————————
B ——————————————
G ————————————7—
D —————6———9————
A —7————————————
E ——————————————

So, mine is:

  1. If you chord is major, use the G shape for the first two notes. Otherwise, use the 'G minor' shape.
  2. Move down one string and over two frets for the next two.
  3. If your chord has a major 7th, use the G shape. Otherwise use the 'G minor' shape.

And if you do those three arpeggios (Amaj7, C#m7, E7, plus one for Dmaj7) on a bass, you get HFY.

If you mix the shapes the other way around - minor third then major third - you get the lovely 'minor major 7' chord:
Ex. Am maj7:

E ——————————————
B ——————————————
G ——————————————
D ———————————6——
A ————3———7—————
E —5————————————

A minor major 7 chord is an unusual one in popular/rock music. But, this chord does appears (incidentally, I'm guessing) in at least one very popular tune. It's in the chords at the end of the verses in The Beatles' "Something":

Am "I don't want to leave her now"
Am maj7
A7 "You know I believe and how"

  Am AmM7  A7  D7
E 0———0————0———2————
B 1———1————1———1————
G 2———1————0———2————
D 2———2————2———0————
A 0———0————0———————
E ——————————————

That G string just walks down from the octave, to the major 7 to the minor 7. AmM7 is just something that happens by virtue of that walk down - that's why I assume it's merely incidental.

By what can't be a coincidence, a similar G string walk down same happens in the first set of verse chords: C, CMaj7, C7, then an F.

  Something in the way she knows          ... attracts me like....
  C                        Cmaj7      C7
E 3                        3          3
B 5                        5          5
G 5                        4          3
D 5                        5          5
A 3                        3          3

Which brings up another fun use of arpeggios!

Put all that together and you get my rendition of that song, "Something Else".

Verses are picking on these shapes:

  C          Cmaj7      C7          F      D           G
E ——3—————3  ——3—————3  ——3—————3   5—6—8  ——5—————5   7——8——10
B ————3—5——  ————3—5——  ————3—5——   6—6—6  ————5—7——   8——8——7
G 5————————  4————————  3————————   5—5—5  7————————   7——7——7

Here, walking the low note down (while strings play the root) gives those three C chords.

And then there's that Am section, which I do as:

  Am       AmM7     A7       C
E ——6————————6————————6——————8
B ————8————7———7————6———6————8
G 7—————7————————7————————7——9

Again, just walking that one note down - root, maj 7, min 7 - on the B string this time.

Any other simple arpeggios in there? Of course!

The "You're asking me will my love grow" section:

"You're asking    me will my love   grow  
  A               C#m               F#m               A
E ——9——————9———— ———9————9————      ———9———————9———— ——9————————9——
B ————10————10——  9———9—————9—      —————10——————10— —————10——————10
G 9——————9—————— ———————9—————      —11—————11—————— 9———————9—————

I don't know              I don't             know
        D                 G                   A, G# ,G, F#, F, E.... start over at A
E       ———10———————10    ———10———————10———   12 11 10 etc.
B       ——————10——————10  ——————12———————12   14 13 12
G       11———————11       12———————12—————    14 13 12

Same picking pattern, different chord shapes.

Fun, right?

John Boehner Is Out Of Fucks To Give

This excerpt from his new book is pretty great.

In the 2010 midterm election, voters from all over the place gave President Obama what he himself called “a shellacking.” And oh boy, was it ever. You could be a total moron and get elected just by having an R next to your name—and that year, by the way, we did pick up a fair number in that category.

Retaking control of the House of Representatives put me in line to be the next Speaker of the House over the largest freshman Republican class in history: 87 newly elected members of the GOP. Since I was presiding over a large group of people who’d never sat in Congress, I felt I owed them a little tutorial on governing. I had to explain how to actually get things done. A lot of that went straight through the ears of most of them, especially the ones who didn’t have brains that got in the way. Incrementalism? Compromise? That wasn’t their thing. A lot of them wanted to blow up Washington. That’s why they thought they were elected.

Some of them, well, you could tell they weren’t paying attention because they were just thinking of how to fundraise off of outrage or how they could get on Hannity that night. Ronald Reagan used to say something to the effect that if I get 80 or 90 percent of what I want, that’s a win. These guys wanted 100 percent every time. In fact, I don’t think that would satisfy them, because they didn’t really want legislative victories. They wanted wedge issues and conspiracies and crusades.

The Great Bitter Lake Association

The Last Time the Suez Canal Was Blocked a Utopian Communist Micronation Was Formed at Sea

The last time ships got stuck in the Suez Canal, they were there for eight years. From 1967 to 1975, in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, 14 ships were stranded in the Great Bitter Lake, a salt lake connected to the canal. Unable to leave, the crews, dubbed the "Yellow Fleet" because of the desert sand that eventually covered them, developed their own society at sea. This society developed its own postal service and stamps, and held a version of the Olympics in 1968.
The world was less connected in 1967 than it is today. The ships had access to radios and were able to call home, but Egyptian authorities eventually asked them to stop. As the crisis wore on, the Canadian government negotiated the exchange of crews from the ships. Supplies came in from Egypt, some sailors went home and others stayed on, but Egypt would not allow the ships to leave the canal.

Over the next eight years, a weird system developed. The companies that owned the ships were allowed to cycle crews through the ships, maintaining skeleton crews to keep them afloat, but weren’t allowed to sail the ships out of the canal. As time passed, the ships communicated with each other and grew into a community. They formed the Great Bitter Lake Association to administer to the needs of the crew.


A piece of the Wright brothers’ first airplane is on Mars

NASA’s experimental Martian helicopter holds a small swatch of fabric from the 1903 Wright Flyer, the space agency revealed Tuesday. The helicopter, named Ingenuity, hitched a ride to the red planet with the Perseverance rover, arriving last month.

Ingenuity will attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet no sooner than April 8. It will mark a "Wright brothers' moment," noted Bobby Braun, director for planetary science at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Carillon Historical Park in DaytonOhio the Wrights' hometown, donated the postage-size piece of muslin from the plane's bottom left wing, at NASA's request.

The swatch made the 300 million-mile journey to Mars with the blessing of the Wright brothers' great-grandniece and great-grandnephew, said park curator Steve Lucht.