Tag: Beauty

Sculpted Faces: Part 1

In ancient Greece sculptors believed that beauty resulted from taking away material, not adding. Sculpting is a perfect expression of this belief. 

By taking away the medium, you reveal the beautiful figure within. 

These statues followed the same principle but from different traditions. 

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Wildflower Meadows

Hiking up to the peak, wildflower meadows greeted me. Clustered by a glacial brook, the flowers jetted from the earth, dotting the green hills with pink and blue blossoms. 

This oasis from the rocky hills beyond gave me a moment of solitude and peace. I reflected on my journey thus far.

As always, I was excited to see what lay around the corner. 

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The Mountain

As I walked down the the rocky slope, an old woman stopped us:

“It’s beautiful here, but sad. I hiked this path every year for twenty years, and I see the glaciers slowly disappear.”

The old woman walked off. My partner and I looked at each other.

We only knew the beauty of right now. I wondered what next year held when I would surely return.

Would I run into the woman again? Would she say the same thing? 

These experiences make me appreciate photography. It’s not just a way for me to share my world with others, but to document what my flawed memories cannot.

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Country Blues Basics Part 8: How to play Catfish Blues on guitar

A front porch gem.

This song’s droning and persistent bass line reminds me of blues music from the Northern Mississippi Hill country.

You can sit on the groove of this song all day, spinning up variations and just playing the main riff. The underlying groove is just a template for you to experiment upon.

But the best part of this whole song is that you can play it with only your thumb! 

This song is a perfect way to practice varying the bass movement in an alternating bass setting (but you also learn an amazing song in the process).

The basic song is structured around a E chord. The E chord should look like this:

E Chord
E chord

I would suggest holding down the full E chord while you play the song instead of just the relevant notes. A lot of times you’re hitting more than just the note tabbed out. Making sure those extra strings harmonize with what you are hitting is key.

For the verse, use your pinky to grab the 3rd fret on the 6th string. Begin to see if you can bend it with just your pinky to get that nice slurred sound that is essential to the blues.

Catfish Blues Tabs
My version of Catfish Blues

It may be best to start this song by learning the verse. Getting the groove into your hands will prepare you for tackling the bass runs.

When you’re mastering the underlying groove, think about it like a drum beat.

Once you’ve gotten the song under your hands and can play it in your sleep, throw in some bass line variations or treble runs.

If you need some ideas, check out Lightnin’ Hopkins’ or Corey Harris’ version.

This song was recorded by Robert Petway in 1941. Here’s the version mine is based on. Catfish Blues is also a master class in blues vocals:

A lot of really great songs are based around 1 chord. If you can master this one, check out Rolling Stone Blues by Robert Wilkins:

If you’ve got your alternating bass technique locked in, try adding melody notes on top.