The READIN Family Album
Me and Sylvia, walkin' down the line (May 2005)

READIN

Jeremy's journal

He'd had the sense, moments earlier, that Caroline was on the verge of accusing him of being "depressed," and he was afraid that if the idea that he was depressed gained currency, he would forfeit his right to his opinions. He would forfeit his moral certainties; every word he spoke would become a symptom of disease; he would never win an argument.

Jonathan Franzen


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Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Birthday fiddle

The unfamiliar world instruments story continues... For my birthday last week, Ellen and Sylvia gave me a dilruba, northern Indian fiddle with a neck similar to a sitar's neck (although the sound is pretty different from a sitar's).

An unusual thing about this instrument: Its bowl body is carved from a block of wood, not separate ribs bent and glued together. It is pretty heavy, but easy to hold since it rests on the floor. The bow ("gaz") is horsehair strung on bamboo, much tighter than the hair on a violin bow and without the mechanics -- the frog is just a piece of wood attached to the bow with twine, and does not tighten/loosen. The gaz is light as a feather and balanced perfectly. Bowing technique is very key; it is easy to just produce a dissonant scratching/buzzing tone if you are not holding the gaz just right. (Holding it right so the note rings, there is still a scratch/buzz element to the sound, but it does not overwhelm.)

The dilruba ("दिलरुबा‬" in Hindi means "heart-stealer") has in common with the erhu, that there is no fingerboard; strings are stopped with just the finger rather than pressed between the finger and something solid. Although the frets are exactly like a sitar's frets, you don't press the string against the fret. I've found the clearest and truest tone comes from fingering the side of the string -- this way you can touch the fret to keep your finger accurately positioned, and can stop the string without bending it.

Here is a recording of "Country Honk":

posted morning of May 22nd, 2016: 1 response

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Erhu

My latest unfamiliar instrument arrived in the mail this evening --



posted evening of March 31st, 2016: 4 responses

Friday, December 25th, 2015

‪#‎τζουράς‬

NJ Transit (Mountain Station)

#初心 #tzouras #tsouras #τζουράς #beginnersmind #ballad #mtnsta #mountainstation Another original!

Posted by Jeremy Osner on viernes, 25 de diciembre de 2015

posted evening of December 25th, 2015: 1 response
➳ More posts about τζουράς‬

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

Electric ragtime playlist

Check it out. Here are a couple of recordings I've done in the past few weeks, 3 songs and a couple of Hobo Nickel plugs -- Electric Ragtime!

Syncopations are no indication of light or trashy music, and to shy bricks at "hateful ragtime" no longer passes for musical culture. To assist amateurs in in giving the "Joplin Rags" that weird and intoxicating effect intended by the composer is the object of this work.

Scott Joplin
School of Ragtime, 1908

posted morning of August 9th, 2015: 1 response
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Friday, August 7th, 2015

It's a record!

So I've been mentioning it for a while now... At last Hobo Nickel is a physical object! Check it out:

Hobo Nickel by The Modesto Kid can be got from CDBaby! Getting good feedback so far locally. I'm sending out a couple of review copies, ever hopeful... :)

posted evening of August 7th, 2015: 1 response

Sunday, August second, 2015

Electric Ragtime Playlist

posted morning of August second, 2015: 3 responses
➳ More posts about Ragtime

Play slowly til you catch the swing

posted morning of August second, 2015: Respond

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Finger picking with your wrist

It is a mistake when finger picking to hold your right wrist in place relative to the strings. When you do that -- I have even gone as far as to hold my forearm against the face of the guitar to anchor my wrist -- all of the force for your fingers and thumb striking the strings will come from the muscles of your palm and fingers. If instead you incorporate motion of your wrist and forearm, you will bring the muscles of your arm into play -- and simultaneously bring into play the mass of your hand and wrist, increasing the momentum of the picking digit. All this translates into speed and power. The trade-off at first is your playing can get sloppy, you will need time to adjust and relearn the muscle memory of the strings' positions. But that does come with time.

posted afternoon of July 19th, 2015: Respond

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Dancing Barefoot (solo)

posted evening of July 18th, 2015: 1 response

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Ragtime in D

Ragtime in D

The Modesto Kid
at Lonesome Nickel Studios in South Orange, NJ
May 16, 2015 (my birthday concert, sort of! :))
  1. "Rag Mama" (Blind Boy Fuller, Jim Kweskin)
  2. "Here I Go" (Syd Barrett)
  3. "Clean Break" (Jeremy Osner)
  4. "Drinkin Wine (spo-dee-o-dee)" (Granville "Stick" McGhee)

posted afternoon of May 16th, 2015: 3 responses
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