2020-03-27 – Yesterday was too cold to bike. So after tele-work we had a dinner of sushi and I got set up form my online guitar class.
We did the online thing for the first time last week. It worked pretty well, but not perfectly. We are five students in the Old Town School’s Fingerstyle Rep class given by Randy Morris. We normally meet on the second floor of the OTS building on Lincoln Ave. (east side). Like so many others, we are now doing a web meeting using Zoom.
Zoom is pretty good for most meetings, but it does have a slight drawback for musical groups: Internet lag. That means that playing on the beat is hard—because you don’t know exactly where the beat is. The lag is probably not enough for you to notice normally, but it’s enough for music. So when we play “together,” we’re all muted. We just hear Randy and ourselves. Two instruments works. Three or more do not.
We are advanced intermediate players. Some of us got excited yesterday to see that Paul Simon just posted a new performance of a song we played last session: American Tune for Til Further Notice 03/19/2020. It’s not my favorite song, but he certainly performs it well. We’ve played others of his songs. My recent favorite was Kodachrome.
Last week we did Bach’s Minuet in G. This is arranged as a trio. The online class was okay, but, as you might guess, a trio is a little short if you can only hear two parts at a time.
This week we did an arrangement of the theme song from All in the Family: Those Were the Days (arranged for guitar by Howard Morgan). (I couldn’t find a separate video but it’s part of this TV Theme Medley: Taxi, Cheers and All in the Family starting at 2:33. Here’s Archie and Edith singing it.)
Although doing a guitar class by web conference isn’t ideal, it does have some upsides. One of my classmates noted that, when you aren’t distracted by five guitars playing, you can hear what you are doing better. Hearing yourself play weakens self-deception.
Regardless, it’s nice to get together with this class. We’ve all been doing this together for a while. It’s nice to continue.
Today, Kit and I will try to continue our Spanish lessons by web meeting.
(Yesterday, Mayor Lightfoot closed the lakefront. Too many people were coming out and not maintaining social distancing. I saw that was happening when I drove down on Tuesday and stayed away on Wednesday. Wednesday, I rode the North Branch trail to Dempster. Lot’s of people there, too, but I could manage to keep my distance. Still, since road traffic is light, it’s probably a good idea to do street riding in the interim.)
(Our sushi came from a carry-out place on Touhy called Mesaku Sushi, near New York Bagal & Bialy. Kit’s become friends with the owner, from frequently ordering when I went out to my guitar class on Thursdays. Lot’s of social distancing there, sad to say (and glad to say). Their business has suffered. We’ve been mostly cooking dinner ourselves. We’re actually eating better because we’re not eating out.)
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