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This Week in Sound

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape. Guitar-less Practice, Diminished Chords

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, usually in the morning over coffee: collating most of the tweets I made the past week at, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up sooner in expanded form or otherwise on I’ve found it personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud. This isn’t a full accounting. Often there are, for example, conversations on Twitter that don’t really make as much sense out of the context of Twitter itself. And sometimes I tweak them a bit, given the additional space. And sometimes I re-order them just a bit.

▰ Thinking about diminished chords for too long diminished my brain. Generally speaking the more complex chords look like chemistry symbols to me, but the slash-zero as half-diminished chord in the thick handwriting of the Real Book makes me think about the runes in an old Tolkien paperback.

▰ Oh, sure, internet, send me news of a new Michael Mann interview three minutes before I have a long and important work call. Thanks. I’ll savor it later.

▰ Album title if you need one:

▰ Just finished reading Blindsight by Peter Watts. In it, a post-human spaceship crew is on the verge of first contact. And just to make matters more complicated, the ship is sentient and the person in command is a vampire. This is so-called “hard” sci-fi, but unlike a lot of hard sci-fi that’s really just heavily researched arcane jargon en masse, this is actually hard (as in difficult), in that the technical matters are connected to what it means to be human — heck, to be alive. (The 19th novel I’ve finished reading this year.)

▰ You’re traveling for a few weeks without a guitar. How do you best practice guitar, other than locating a loaner:

Speaking note sequences out loud?
Dissecting chords?
Watching tutorials?
Reading theory?

Ideas welcome. Thanks.

▰ I want to see this remake of Nosferatu. (via

▰ I’ve had some weird coincidences recently. Last night’s took the cake. About to watch Only Murders in the Building, I first watched a brief Michael Mann interview, during which was a Last of the Mohicans clip — only for Martin Short to then say the same line in the OMitB episode.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tag: / Comments: 2 ]


  1. Robin Willis
    [ Posted August 14, 2022, at 11:30 pm ]

    I work with an app to do memory drills to know the fret board. There are a bunch. Not so sure about retention but it seems to help.

    I go over my chord shapes. Triads, all inversions. Shell chords. I do this on paper.

    I work on intervals by taking a tonic and working out the intervals for adjacent notes.

    I try to review transcriptions, particularly by musicians I’m trying to understand, like Bill Frisell.

    I’m considering getting a silent guitar like the ones from Yamaha and Aria. I have too many damn guitars though.

    I feel like we may be more or less at a similar point in our guitar journey.

    In closing, brother have you heard “the good news” about P 4 tuning? 😉

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted August 17, 2022, at 3:48 am ]

      Thanks for these. I’ve been working on the second of your list, and all the rest is informative for sure.

      And I have, yeah. :) I think I’m working hard enough to get one tuning in my head, but I may experiment down the road.

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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