Ngoro Ngoro guitar riff transcription

I was dreading trying to figure this out, but it turned out to be pretty easy. This riff is fun because it splits a melody on top + bass on the bottom at the same time. Figuring out a comfortable fingering was the only tough part.

Played on guitar (note: wimpy  tone because it’s recorded via direct input):

For fun, I programmed an approximation of the drums into Guitar Pro and recorded the guitar and a bass guitar on top.

Dumping the childhood video game collection, pt. 4

Goodbye SNES

This one has many memories attached to it. For me, the SNES era marked the moment in time where video games became a part of my self-identity. Video games were my favorite thing in the world. There’s evidence of this in this book project we did in kindergarten:

Dumb kid was me. Favorite game at the rec. center was Captain Commando (1991). The Super Nintendo in the drawing is the same one in the first photograph of the post.

I’ll definitely be sad to be dumping my SNES and all the Super Famicom games I played on it, but I’d much rather have the freed up space. Accessibility isn’t a huge concern for me because many of these games have been re-released for newer consoles, SNES consoles and games are very easy to grab on eBay if I ever change my mind, and this was recently announced.

Favorite childhood memories or stories:

  • I pulled my first all-nighter, ever, on the Christmas of 1992 or 1993 when I received the SNES and Super Mario World as a Christmas gift. I also stopped believing in Santa because I found the receipt for the SNES in the trash can.
  • I went bonkers the first time I saw Primal Rage (1994) in arcades. After all, it was practically Mortal Kombat + claymation dinosaurs. No doubt, this game tried to piggy back off the hype of the Jurassic Park films. With that franchise having new films added to it as of 2015, I feel this game is ripe for a current-gen reboot.
  • I was a huge fan of Mortal Kombat II (1994)‘s fatalities. I purchased gaming magazines to learn the move lists and would keep hand-written notes of hidden move and fatality button combos. I purchased a Mortal Kombat game later as an adult for PS3 and it was interesting to see that the appeal didn’t age well. Having button combos easily accessible oh my smartphone took away the magic and made fatalities feel more like a chore.
  • Instead of a save mechanic, Mega Man 7 (1995) had a password system. You’d be shown a certain combination of icons on a grid at certain points of the game so that you could re-enter that combination to continue progress from that point. I kept precious hand-written notes of these password grids. For some reason, this made the game more fun for me, though I’d bet money that the Mega Man password grid system was just a cheap hack around not being able to save games in the earlier Mega Man games.

Favorite 5 games from this console:

  1. Super Mario World
  2. Super Mario RPG
  3. Mega Man 7
  4. Killer Instinct
  5. Metal Combat (seriously underrated! Light gun + mechs.)

Dumping the childhood video game collection, pt. 3

Goodbye Famicom

Games I owned that are not pictured

  • some super bootlegged 300-games-in-one cartridge I found in the Philippines that had pretty much every classic game

Favorite childhood memories or stories:

  • The pointless microphone attached to Player 2’s controller. You could yell into the microphone and it would come out of the TV. Not sure if any games utilized the microphone, but I just used it to annoy whoever was Player 1.

Favorite 5 games from this console (thank you bootleg cartridge for making this list possible):

  1. Gradius
  2. Bomberman
  3. Excitebike
  4. Balloon Fight
  5. Donkey Kong Jr.

Dumping the childhood video game collection, pt. 2

Goodbye NES

Games I used to own that are not pictured:

  • Mega Man 2
  • Mega Man 4
  • Dr. Mario
  • Werewolf

Favorite childhood memories or stories:

  •  Apparently I cried once because the button combination to slide in Mega Man 4 didn’t carry over to Super Mario Bros. and Mario couldn’t slide
  • During the 1992 presidential election, I wanted Ross Perot to win only because his name reminded me of this guy from Mega Man 4
  • For some reason, I once put scrambled eggs inside my NES and pushed the tray up and down

Favorite 3 games from this console:

  1. Dr. Mario
  2. Mega Man 4
  3. Super Mario Bros. 2

Dumping the childhood video game collection, pt. 1

Last week, we moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Salt Lake City, Utah.

There is plenty about the subject that I can blog about: motivations for the move, lessons learned, a review of the business services used, first impressions about Utah, etc. I’ll eventually write about all of these but one thing that I’m wanting to first cover is a subject that was a consequence of our move–the decision to seriously downsize and ditch a bunch of possessions. There’s nothing quite like an interstate move to make you realize that you own things that you can live without.

Most of what I own that takes up physical space falls under these three categories:

  • Music – physical media, instruments, audio equipment
  • Video games – many generations of consoles, games, and accessories dating back to the 80’s
  • Books

I ditched most of my books during my last move in 2015 when I went from living alone in a two-bedroom home to sharing a small studio apartment. I used to have two tall IKEA bookcases of books. These days, I rely on my local public library and my remaining personal collection fits nicely onto a single shelf. If I ever want to re-read a book from my old collection, I simply put a hold for it at the library. I’ve yet to regret ditching a book.

After last week’s move, I’m feeling an urge to do another round of downsizing and I think the next casualty will be my video game collection.

I’ve come to the realization that my games collection takes up a lot of space for something I rarely use. I’ve mainly kept it around because of sentimental attachment and comfort of knowing that I can access them whenever I want. Honestly though, I rarely have time to play them so the access doesn’t even matter. And a digital blog post on my games collection satisfies my desire to keep these games in my life somehow without the need to let them take up valuable real estate in my home.

The next several posts will be of the games and systems that I’m saying bye to.

The Ridge guitar intro transcription

So far, Spotify hasn’t been very useful for discovering new music (I’ll write a post about this, sometime). However, after a few months of trying the service out, it recommended a song that I couldn’t get out of my head–“The Ridge” by Raisinhill. I had to take it home and figure out what the guitar was doing in the intro:

The C♮ in there is really pretty and I like how it seems to melt into the next chord change (C♯ minor). Note to self, I wonder if it makes more sense to be calling it a B♯ here, since the notes in the key would be E F♯ G♯ A B C♯ D♯ and I see it as the raised fifth (B + a half-step). I need a music theory friend.

Ngoro Ngoro guitar solo transcription

Stumbled upon a band from Japan called Special Others. Their music can probably be best described as instrumental post-rock, but with the feel of a jazz band. Their song “Ngoro Ngoro” caught my attention–it’s formatted much like a jazz tune where the band plays the head and then trades solos. I thought it would be a good exercise for me to transcribe the guitarist’s solo; here’s what I got so far:

Misc thoughts:

  • Ears tell me changes are vi-IV-V-I
  • Mainly C# minor pentatonic with lots of passing tones. Looking at it tabbed it, it doesn’t look so complicated. But it sounds great.
  • If I were to improvise over this, there’s an opportunity for an E harmonic minor during the V chord. Special Other’s guitarist never tries it.
  • It’s cool to see an example where ^ isn’t needed to make an interesting sounding solo.

IMDB Top 50 + Horses

First 50 of current IMDB Top 100 with “Horse” or some variation replacing a word.

1. The Horse Redemption
2. The Horsefather
3. The Horsefather, Part II
4. The Good, the Bad, and the Horse
5. Horse Fiction
6. Schindler’s Horse
7. 12 Angry Horses
8. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Horse
9. The Dark Horse
10. Star Wars: Episode V: The Horse Strikes Back
11. Horse
12. Horse Wars
13. The Horse of the Rings: The Return of the King
14. The Seven Horses
15. GoodHorses
16. Horse Window
17. Horse of God
18. Raiders of the Lost Horse
19. Horse Club
20. The Lord of the Rings: The Horse of the Ring
21. Once Upon a Horse in the West
22. The Usual Horses
23. Horse
24. The Horse of the Lambs
25. Horse Boulevard
26. The Horse
27. Horse
28. Dr. Horselove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
29. North By Horsewest
30. Hor7se
31. It’s A Wonderful Horse
32. The Lord of the Rings: The Horse Towers
33. Citizen Horse
34. Leon, aka The Horse
35. Apocalypse Horse
36. American Horse
37. Horse History X
38. Taxi Horse
39. Horsest Gump
40. Horsigo
41. Horse of Arabia
42. Horse
43. HORSE-E
44. Horse Basterds
45. Horses of Glory
46. Horse
47. Double Horse
48. Horse
49. H
50. Terminator 2: Judgment Horse