Sunday, July 30, 2017

Wintersun - The Forest Seasons Analysis and Review

Unlimited power is the ideal thing when it is in safe hands. The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government, and earthly despotism would be the absolute perfect earthly government if the conditions were the same; namely the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual; but as a perishable, perfect man must die and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Simplifying complex ideas in politics and discourse

The "false dichotomy" the "hasty generalization" and many other rhetorical and fallacious terms usually trying to do one particular thing - turn a complex concept, idea, or issue, into a simple one. This is excellent for political expediency, but awful when you want action done for correct reasons, as it skips over debate and discussion to arrive at a conclusion that may ignore many subtleties of an issue. I explain this technique and talk about it in the context of two hot-button (and complex) issues - Trans issues and abortion.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Newspeak: "Gender Confirmation Surgery"

I break down a new popular politically correct or newspeak phrase - Gender confirmation surgery - and how it fails to function as anything useful by destroying the meaning of their words in context, particularly the word confirmation. Compare its meaning to "Sex change operation" or "Sex reassignment surgery."

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Despicable Me 3 - Review and Analysis

My review of Despicable Me 3 - the 4th animated movie in the series. Does it suck? Find out! And for a limited time you can get one of my books for free by joining my mailing list -

Sunday, July 16, 2017

In The Wake [ambient][classical][bass][EWI][Dark]

Brand new ambient track featuring the EWI (electronic wind instrument)! I thought it might be nice to take a break from the book grind considering I released a new high fantasy book last Friday. It was a good week to spend in the studio. Oh yeah, you can still get my High Fantasy / Adventure Fantasy book, The Water of Awakening for .99 cents!

Friday, July 14, 2017

How to bend strings on the guitar - where to place your thumb

Recent guitar question: How do you bend strings without wrapping your thumb around the neck?
I find that a lot of people initially learn to play the guitar with less than ideal left hand technique, especially on the electric guitar. I've gone over the benefits of using a neutral thumb technique (thumb in the middle of the back of the neck) for reach, ideal joint movement, and facility, but I haven't talked about extended techniques like bending.
So, you do NOT need to wrap your thumb around the neck of your guitar to bend strings. I find it no more difficult with a neutral thumb position - easier, actually. You need to visualize your fingers bending the strings by pushing or pulling along a plain extending through your big knuckles and perpendicular to your palm. Do this rather than push or pull strings toward the center of your thumb. A little bit of added "tension" in the thumb on the back of the neck (you should be mostly playing with arm weight, remember?) should give you all the grip you need to do bends and very wide vibrato. (I'll do a video on this later)
That being said, if you don't have too many problems switching between thumb positions, don't stress about relearning everything at once. What matters is that you can execute the techniques you want to and make the music sound good, not that you play with perfect technique. Technique serves the music, not the other way around.
In case anyone is wondering, I also play on fairly light strings (.009 for the high e) which makes everything easier. If you are having trouble muscling through your strings, consider going to a lighter set - most of the shredders I know and have met over the years play on LIGHT strings, not heavy. Playing on .012s doesn't make you more of a man.
A great person to watch to see what I mean is Jari Maenpaa of Wintersun - you can find many of his videos on youtube and he uses a neutral thumb technique for bends.