I'm considering building an electric guitar, and one thing I have always wanted in the instrument was the ability to utilize the high pitched notes you get from plucking the strings that extend behind the bridges of some guitars, but in a way that is actually usable. The dilemma, of course, is that the pitch if these strings is related to the tuning of the rest of the string, and thus cannot be changed without throwing the whole tuning of the guitar out of wack. However, I started to think that maybe instead of trying to figure out how to place something behind the bridge to adjust the tuning of this section of the strings, I could just dedicate a different portion of the guitar body to housing another smaller set of strings that I could then amplify with a small pickup (essentially creating a tiny harp on part of the guitar) The guitar body would have to be a decent size, of course, but crazier things have been done. However, this led to the issue of tuning those strings. Most tuning pegs I've ever seen work by attaching to the front and back of the headstock, which is a thin piece of wood. In order to tune this harp, I would need to either make a portion of the guitar body thin enough to attach pegs to (not my first choice obviously) or find a different method of tuning the strings that wouldn't take up as much realestate on the instrument. Bear in mind that I'm in the very early stages of even conceptualizing this project, and would appreciate any advice or criticisms you guys might be keen to point out. As far as I know, this has never been done - most harp guitars I see have separate or widened headstocks, and the extra strings run parallel to the neck. I'm just trying to get a few strings that are only a couple inches long to sit on the guitar body in a way that doesn't take up too much space or interfere with my playing. Alternatively, if there is some method of tuning the strings behind the bridge using math or some extra piece of material, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions in that department as well. Thanks!
Thanks a lot for the responses, guys! I'll head down to GC this saturday and try out some of your suggestions. The Vox definitely sounds promising, but I'll try as many different amps from your lists as possible.
I actually used to have a Peavey Classic 30, but it had a real issue with buzzing once the volume got past a certain level. I agree it's a good amp, but I don't want to venture into that territory again.
I've been gigging with a Peavey Valveking 112 for the past few months, but it isn't really getting the sound I want. I play in a rock 'n roll band with a wide variety of sounds, ranging from classic rolling stones, zeppelin-ish riff based songs, classic country, and some songs that involve more distorted, spacey sounds during improvised portions. Oh, and I typically use a Telecaster, if that helps give you an idea.
I'm looking for an amp that will pair well with an overdrive pedal on its clean channel to get a good overdriven sound, but can also do some good distorted leads when needed. I don't want to have to switch channels mid-song, as that tends to screw with my levels and whatnot, so I'm thinking about just staying on the clean channel all the time and getting a distortion pedal for when I need to solo. Also, I can't spend more than $1000. I've heard good things about Fender amps, but I'm not sure which one would be best suited for what I'm doing. Any and all suggestions are welcome, including in reference to a good distortion pedal, as I've never needed one before. Thanks in advance!
I've been wondering about this for a while, but I've never really found a solid conclusion. When doing 3 note per string runs involving 2 whole-steps, like
Is it more ergonomic to use fingers 1, 2 and 4, or 1, 3 and 4? When I'm higher up on the neck and don't mind angling my hand, it seems much more comfortable to use 124, because it's an easier stretch. However, when I try and keep my hand in "proper" position with my fingers perpendicular to the strings (especially in the middle of the neck around the 5th fret), it seems like it's an easier stretch to use 134. Is this more of a case-by-case issue, or is there one proper way that I should always practice?
Like 20Tigers was saying, there are some guidelines to follow when composing a melody that you'd find in textbooks for music theory. Combine stepwise and 3rd skips with the occasional leap; there should be a climax somewhere near the middle of the melody, which will often be achieved through the use of a leap to reach a high note; don't leap in one direction without immediately balancing that leap with motion in the opposite direction (it's supposedly best to follow a leap with stepwise motion in the other direction, rather than another leap); avoid sequences of notes that are too repetitive or sound like scale exercises (ex: two notes up, one note down, two notes up, one note down, etc etc); the overall shape of the melody should have a good shape/arc to it, and shouldn't only go a little bit above the starting/ending note and a little bit below. You don't want to "worm around" the tonic note without traveling any significant distance in any direction.
That being said, these are all rules held over from as early as the 17th century in classical music, and any melodies that you write following these rules may well end up sounding too "classical." A lot of the melodies you hear in popular music nowadays completely break some of these rules. Sometimes you'll hear lots of leaps in different directions, or a melody that uses only three notes, etc. That being said, it all depends on what kind of music you want to make. There are successful rock groups that utilize classical-sounding melodies, but some people don't go in for that, because it just sounds too "corny" or something. I'm not sure what motivates people's tastes these days. You can also try and take a more modern approach that follows less rules. Whatever you try, however, I think it's important to mention that very few composers, classical or otherwise, are likely to have composed their greatest melodies by simply looking at them on paper. They likely all worked them out by humming or tinkering with a piano until they found something they liked, because at the end of the day, it's your ear that counts above all else.
Back in the day: Run though (to a metronome) scales, string skipping, sweeping, legato, tapping, chord changes, improvise to backing tracks.
Nowadays: Pick up the guitar randomly throughout the day, improvise some stupid shit/write something/learn a song (basically just pissing around).
I believe jazz_rock_feel has a vigorous bass schedule that he adheres to everyday of the week, hopefully he'll post that up.
Oh god, you just described my life. What the hell is wrong with us? I remember when I used to practice three hours a day, and now I'm going to school for music and I hardly even practice my instrument anymore. Man, I've gotta get my shit together.
I've got an MXR Carbon Copy delay pedal that's been sitting around for a few months, and when I went to use it today, I noticed a really high pitched noise coming from it. The noise seemed to change in pitch as I messed with the delay speed knob, and it seemed to almost disappear when I turned the delay speed all the way up. It's not the loudest noise, but it's loud enough to be an annoyance. Is there an easy way to fix this, or would I need to order a replacement part or do some soldering? I haven't worked much on pedals, so I'm not sure how much I'd want to screw around with the circuitry.
The music teacher at my college has us following slightly different rules from what I was using at community college. He won't allow similar motion 5ths between any moving voices, rather than only counting it as a mistake if it's two adjacent voices (tenor and bass, soprano and alto).
This makes going from an augmented sixth chord to a V impossible; the root is going down to the fifth scale degree, the augmented 6th is going up. One of them is going to be in similar motion to the fifth of the chord. What would you do in this situation?
Even if your teacher never allows parallel fifths in typical 4-part harmony (which you shouldn't in most cases, despite whether or not they're in adjacent voices), he should still make an exception for German 6th chords, due to the extreme contrary motion caused by the augmented 6th resolving out. It's true that the ideal resolution is to move to V through a V6/4 chord, but this isn't always possible, so the resolution straight to V should be acceptable. Lots of famous composers did it, and you don't really hear the parallel motion because of the other things going on. As long as it's musically justifiable (due to the melody or a lack of time to throw in a cadential 6/4), you shouldn't get marked down.
^ Except it doesn't resolve down to G while the C is still playing, it resolves down only after the measure ends and the D chord comes in, at which point the G it resolves to isn't a chord tone either. Not an appoggiatura. And although the root-5 relationship is strong, if there's a potential root-3 relationship to be found in the chord, that will typically trump any apparent root-5 relationship. Furthermore, the Am7 "sound" doesn't have to be brought out, it just has to keep the G chord tone from sounding out of place, which it doesn't if you play an Am7 chord. Minor 7 chords are used all the time as predominants of bVII chords, even though it doesn't sound like a Minor 7 chord in the jazzy sense. I'll admit that neither chord is wrong, but the Am7 seems to make more sense from a more traditional approach, which is what this sounds like it's going for.
Based on the fact that you've got a C and G in your rhythm guitar and an A in your melody, and based also on the fact that the melody doesn't sound at all out of place, I'd say it's more likely that you're indicating an Am7 chord with no 5th in first inversion (3rd in the bass) than a C6 chord. In order for a C6 chord to make sense, you'd at least need an E in the chord to give it a third - it's much more natural to have an Am chord with the 5th (E) missing than a C6 chord with the 3rd (E) missing. Anyway, just tell your teacher it's an Am7 chord and that the A fits just fine.
a) a lot of this stuff doesn't have explanations as to the whys.
b) still waiting.
Why's a rainbow good? Why's boobs good? Why's fireworks good? Nobody knows these things, man!
I don't really know the fundamental reasons why modal mixture sounds good, just like I don't really know the fundamental reasons why minor chords sound dark and major chords sound happy. There's probably a scientific explanation having to do with how our brains interpret specific frequencies in various combinations, but I don't think anyone's ever really bridged the chasm between the very specific, scientific theory of how our brains interpret sound and the broad, artistic world of music theory. However, I can venture to take a couple of guesses why modal mixture sounds good.
I assume it has something to do with variety. Let's assume you begin listening to a simple piece of classical music that simply moves back and forth between a I harmony and a V harmony. You might be perfectly entertained by this for some time, listening to the different melodies and rhythms, etc. However, It eventually gets to be a bit repetitive. Suddenly, someone gets the brilliant idea to precede the dominant V chord with a IV chord or a ii chord. Holy hell, that sounds so cool! It's like you feel the V coming before it arrives, and its arrival is so much stronger because of that movement! The final resolution back to I is way better as well. Now let's say you play around with this phrase model for a while, making all sorts of cool melodies and the like. I'm sure you can stay entertained for quite some time, yes? Of course you can. Lots of great classical music has been made using just this formula.
However, let's say someone comes along and starts preceding their ii-V chords with a vi chord or perhaps moves from I to iii to vi to ii to V to I. Look at all those chords! They all flow from one to the next, and you get a whole range of sounds from them, rather than a simple back and forth movement like you got with the I-V progression, or even the I - ii - V progression. It's great to take advantage of all the different chords a key has to offer. We like to hear more variety in a song, because our brains get used to any one thing rather quickly.
So eventually people are using all the chords in a key, and they're doing all sorts of great stuff with them all. Then someone gets the bright idea to throw 7s on all their dominant and predominant chords, because why not? Variety is great, and the chords still function the same way. Then they start tweaking chords within the key, making them into dominant chords that resolve to other diatonic chords other than I. They'll make the I chord a V7 chord that resolves to the IV chord, or they'll make the iii chord a V7 chord that resolves to the vi chord. It's like they're modulating to a new key for a split second before continuing on in the original key. This adds all sorts of crazy tension that our brains just jizz themselves over. The first time we hear these applied dominants, we go "holy hell, what was that? That was awesome!" Then we start using applied dominants everywhere, because why not? They're different, they work, and we like variety.
Eventually we decide to start stepping even further outside our normal key, borrowing from the parallel major or minor key. Why? Because it gives us new sounds to utilize in creating interesting music. So maybe instead of doing a I-IV-ii-V-I progression, we do a I-iv-iio-V-I progression. The minor iv and diminished ii chords don't fit in the major key, but they do fit in the minor key. We get caught by surprise for a second as we hear notes that aren't found in our normal major scale, but it doesn't sound like total crap either, because we recognize these harmonies from hearing progressions in minor keys. So we basically get the best of both worlds - more variety, but not a completely nonsensical chord progression. This eventually can be applied to any chord found in either of the parallel major or minor keys - people will start mixing everything around like crazy, because this is new territory that's extremely exciting to explore.
Eventually you get music like 90's grunge and hard rock that (quite unwittingly, I'm sure) uses modal mixture quite a bit, making progressions like I-bIII-bVII-IV-I. Why does it work? Because we can rationalize the chords being used by remembering progressions we've heard from both the parallel major and parallel minor scales respectively(if we randomly threw in a bii chord or something not found in either the major or minor keys, it would definitely throw a wrench in the mix), but we also get a lot of variety from hearing nontraditional uses of these harmonies. Again, variety is good.
If you were to take this logic to its full extent, you might think people would like variety so much that they'd stop even worrying about whether things fit into a major or minor key, and just do away with traditional harmony altogether. Well, guess what - that's been going on in classical music for a long time. The more people explore music theory and get exposed to certain musical ideas, the more they want to bend and break the traditional rules of what sounds good. People who don't listen to a lot of music will find many things to be beyond their taste, because they're still being entertained by simple I-V-I progressions or whatever the present day pop music equivalent is (probably i-VI-III-V). Eventually, though, we all want some variety. When we hear something new, we are intrigued, and want more. /endwalloftext
Find a book or a website with a large number of simple melodies (Hanon exercises are great) in different keys, and don't spend too much time on any particular one of them. Set a metronome at a comfortable pace (slow enough that you can read the melody, but fast enough that you're still pushing yourself) and give each melody two or three attempts (if it's really difficult you can do a couple more, but no more than five). Just keep flipping through new material, never spending enough time on any one piece to allow yourself to memorize it. Memorization is not sight reading, and simply wastes your time.
Don't forget to read in more than one position, as well. If a melody is easy in first position, perhaps it will be challenging in fifth or eighth position. Transpose up an octave if necessary.
If that's a legitimate question and you're actually considering killing yourself (can never be too careful), then no. You shouldn't kill yourself. However, if you're just looking for validation of your song writing skills, then I'd say that you're doing okay (especially for someone who's only 15 or so), but there's still a lot of improvements to be made. The piece lacked a fluid melody, and sounded like you just set out to write counterpoint with no real knowledge of the rules of counterpoint. It still achieved a decent effect, of course, and if you were simply trying to make background music for a scary video game or something of the sort, it wasn't half bad. If you want something like this to stand on its own, however, there needs to be a more coherent melody for people to latch onto. Try studying the rules of 1st through 5th species counterpoint and practicing a bunch of part writing exercises. It'll definitely improve your song writing, especially if this is the sort of music you enjoy making.
Haha wow, I can't believe this is two pages long and still on the 1st page (must be a slow day). In case any of the people mentioning that his name was mr. blankity blank weren't being sarcastic and were actually thick enough to think that's what he put in his letter, let me just clear up the fact that I changed all names and info for anonymity's sake. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I'm sure it's a scam and will be severing all contact. I wanted to see where things would go if I continued the correspondence, but I don't want to have to give out more personal information in order to keep things going.
Yeah, that's what it reminded me of as well. I was debating whether to continue the correspondence and try to sift out more info, as I found it odd that this was an actual person typing and not some robo-generated message (never encountered that before in a scam), but it just seems way too obvious, now that I'm examining it closer.
I posted a craigslist ad for guitar lessons a few weeks ago, and I just got this response from some guy that seems like it could be a bit iffy. Here's the correspondence:
Hello, Am interested in your tutor, i would like you to be tutoring my daughter . Get back to me as soon as possible. Thank you
Thanks for your email - I'd be delighted to tutor your daughter! For younger students, I recommend starting with half-hour lessons once a week. If you would prefer to schedule a lesson during the week, I have slots available monday-thursday at 4:00, 4:30, 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00. I also have slots on Saturday from 12:00 to 2:00, and on Sunday from 12:00 to 1:00. Just let me know which of these times is most convenient for you, and we can get started. As far as location is concerned, I can travel to homes in the "blank" and "blank" neighborhoods, but ask students that live farther away to attend lessons in my studio at 4350 Fake Ave N. If you'd like to have lessons in your home, simply provide me with your address. I would also ask you to provide your name and phone number for my records. If that all sounds good, we can get started as early as next week. I look forward to hearing from you.
Hello, Thanks for your response, my name is Dr Blankity Blank from England(UK) I'm moving to your area for 4 weeks contract with Environmental Protection Agency( EPA) in united state. My daughter (Blanky, she is 16 yrs old) i want you help me teach her for 2 hours per day from Monday to Thursday for 4 weeks. You do not have to worry about transportation, have negotiate with a cab company that will be driving her down to your place go and come. Get back to me with the total cost, it is my financier in the united state that will sponsor me and responsible for the payment, so i want you to get all information to be use to have the payment, so that i can forward it to my financier in the state to send you the check, you will be paid with Us dollar certified check. Please get back to me with the amount and i will be glad to update you and make the payment in advance to show you how serious, because i want everything to be done before i will get back to the state. Kindly get back to me with the information so that the check will be made out to you.
Full name to be on the check :- Street address (not P.O Box): - City:- State:- Zip code:- Total charges:- Lesson timetable :- Mobile number for easier communication:
I wait for the information from you as soon as possible. Remember she is all i have and i really want a conducive and pleasant atmosphere for her. We will arrived to the state on 8th of Jan tutor start on the 9TH of Jan 2013.
The whole thing just seems a bit odd. For a doctor, he doesn't check his spelling very much, and he asks for my address when I already gave it to him. Anyway, what do you guys think? Should I look into it a bit more to see where it goes, or just cut communication and move on?
Should I abandon this CF and seek a new one, then? I figured learning to write a CF was one of the first steps of the process.
Also, I didn't know the bass had to start on the root. I thought I was being clever. Guess not.
the bass note has to start on the root so that you can extablish the key in the listener's ear. If you start with something else, it'll sound like a different chord and throw everything off. You've only got two notes to work with, after all, so things can get kind of ambiguous if not handled carefully. And the advice to start by harmonizing someone else's cantus firmus is extremely good. Spend some serious time making sure that you can harmonize a decent cantus firmus without breaking any rules, and then move on to writing your own. You'll be better equiped to write your own CF once you've seen a bunch of good ones.
I haven't done counterpoint in a while, but there's a bit to talk about. First off, there are several different species of counterpoint. I'm assuming this is first species, as you've only got one note per measure. First species counterpoint is supposed to be VERY simple, and must follow strict rules. I'm a bit rusty on this, so experts feel free to correct me, but here's the list:
1. Bass note starts and ends on DO, (yours starts on mi) 2. Counterpoint can start a fifth or an octave above CF if in the upper line, and must start on DO if in the lower line. 3. No parallel fifths 4. no parallel octaves 5. no consecutive fifths or octaves or any combination of the two 6. no direct fifths (when you go from a consonant interval like a 3rd to a 5th by similar motion), unless the top voice moves by step (often called a horn fifth). Same goes for octaves. 7. To end the piece, both notes must end on DO, and approach using contrary motion. One melody must end RE DO, the other must end MI DO. No leaps or anything to end the piece. 8. NO DISSONANCES. There are no weak beats in 1st species counterpoint, and you never want a dissonance on a strong beat. Thus, no dissonances. You'll have to get into second species counterpoint to do that, and even then the use of dissonance is quite strict. 9. No oblique motion (holding the same note across a bar line) 10. No unrecovered leaps or consecutive unrecovered skips. If you leap in one direction, you must step or skip back in the other direction directly after it. 11. No leaps bigger than a fifth. 12. No dissonant leaps 13. No more than 3 thirds or sixths in a row. Mix it up a bit. 14. No premature resolution (don't go from ti to do in your counterpoint until the end of the piece). 15. No voice crossing or voice overlap.
Okay, I think that's most of it. I'm sure I'm missing something, though.
ANYWAY, you've got a few things to fix. You started with the CF on mi, which isn't good. You've got a direct fifth from bar 2 to bar 3. You've got a skip and then a leap in the same direction in your CP in bars 4-6. You've got some oblique motion going on in bars 9-12. You've got a dissonance in bar 10. Another unrecovered leap from bar 10-11. You didn't end the piece with contrary stepwise motion (re do and mi do). The contour of your CF should also be better. You don't want any sequences (repeated melodic patterns) in a cantus firmus or a counterpoint melody. The countour should be smooth and have a good slope, rising or falling in the middle and then coming back to its original position near the end of the piece, with a noticeable climax somewhere in between.
I know that sounds like a lot of rules that would make it impossible to write anything interesting, but this is counterpoint we're talking about here. It's all about rules. The trick is to not try and get too fancy. Keep things as simple as possible, and everything will work out fine. As a classmate of mine would say, "don't try to be a hero, man!" There are plenty of other forms of composition that allow you to be as creative as you want; counterpoint is not one of them.
Edit: ^ crap, I forgot about voice crossing! Good catch.
When I used to catch the express bus that went all the way from downtown to uptown Seattle, there'd always be this skinny white guy on in the morning who would listen to raps on his ipod and just full out rap along with them as loud as he could, as if he wanted the whole world to hear how great the raps were. It was weird, too, because it wasn't like he was constantly doing it as he went about his business; he'd just be standing there silently, then all of a sudden BAM - "Playas don't know i got skills like a soldier! Light your ass up so you hear what I told ya!" Or some shit like that. The raps weren't even anything to be proud of, either. If you're going to disrupt everyone's early morning bus ride to start spouting off rhymes, that'd better be some straight up Shakespeare reincarnated shit.
My dad used our landline for his business when I was a kid (before everyone had cell phones), so my entire childhood consisted of him always warning me not to pick up the telephone incase it was a customer. Because of that, I've pretty much always been afraid of telephone calls. I've learned to get over it a bit, but whenever I have to make an important call to someone I don't know, I get extremely nervous. I'd much rather talk to people in person, because I can read their body language and smile at them to make myself feel like less of an ass. Still, it's just something you have to do. It gets better with practice.
It's not considered the most "badass" martial art, as it doesn't involve punching or kicking, but Judo is awesome. It's all about learning how to first throw a person of any size to the ground (and yes, this can be done), and then submit them if necessary.
Again, this doesn't sound that great when compared to striking sports, but another great aspect of judo is the way it's taught. With striking sports, you don't always get to spar with people without pulling any punches or taking off your protective gear. Judo is a straight up, full contact sport. You've got your standing sparring, which is basically like a chess match where you try to use momentum and off-balancing techniques to slam a person to the ground (which is the most amazing feeling when done correctly, to see a 200 pound naval officer get slammed onto his back and gaze wide-eyed at the ceiling while he wonders what the hell just happened to him), and then you've got your ground sparring, which is like wrestling, except you don't have to wear spandex and you're spending your time trying to choke your opponent or get them in an armbar.
If that's not convincing, there's also the exercise angle. Because you're always engaging in full contact competition, the workout you get from Judo is pretty outstanding. Plus, the good clubs will always involve a regular exercise routine including pushups, situps, etc. Man, I miss judo...
Oh, and you're going to get your ass kicked for your first few weeks while you learn the ropes. It's pretty spectacular.
fresh cedar (best-smelling wood imo) the smell of a fast moving river kitchen cleanser/powdered laundry detergent fresh soil the sulphur smell from a newly lit match hot apple cider the smell inside an acoustic guitar the scent of a perfectly genetically compatible woman with no perfume on
This reminds me of airforce pilots who were told to use automatic pilot when flying at low altitudes. Some guys said they didn't trust a computer to fly a plane for them, and would rather be the ones in control... oddly enough, the only times the planes crashed were when guys switched off the autopilot.
I'd be all for this once every car on the road was automated, but I wouldn't want to be the only person on the highway with a self-driving car.
What do half of those shirts end up looking like when you finally transfer the image to fabric? Some of them seem like they'd be an eyeful. Have you ever considered making some of the images silhouettes or outlines, so you wouldn't have to print as much color? Something like this, perhaps?
The playing wasn't bad, but I'd definitely suggest you take more time to think about your lines before you play them. One key thing you were doing wrong was outlining the changes in such an obvious manner that you seemed to start a new phrase with every chord. It sounds like you're going "G chord: play this. A chord: play this. C chord: play this," instead of playing fluid lines that connect the chords together. Make sure you know exactly how to connect your different chord scales together, and then try starting a phrase in the middle of one bar that extends all the way to the middle of the next chord without any interruption. Also, try to use less bends and pentatonic runs. I know it goes against every guitarist's most basic instincts to not bend any notes, but it rarely works in a jazz context. I think that's about it... good job, though - you're doing well for your age.
I like how they tried to throw a bone to the jazz world by adding John Mclaughlin to the list, and then made themselves look even more ridiculous by putting the guitarist for James Brown's band ahead of him. If you're going to include jazz in your list, you'd better add Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, John Scofield, and, if we're going to go modern as well, at least Kurt Rosenwinkel and Adam Rogers. They've done just as much creatively as 90% of this list, and they're a million times better at their instrument. If you're only going to put in the token jazz guitarist, you might as well leave jazz out of it altogether and save yourself the embarrassment.
It definitely takes getting used to, but it's just a matter of practice. Eventually it'll become natural, just like the single scale approach feels to you now. One tip to make things easier: make sure you visualize more than one way to play a scale over each chord. For example, over a D7 chord, play a D mixolydian scale on the 5th fret A string, first moving up the neck like your regular box shape, and then moving down the neck with a C-shape scale. Also memorize single octave scales starting on the D and G strings, so when you move in 4ths you can simply shift the same simple shapes up a string. In short, don't just use giant scale patterns based on the low E string, because that'll have you moving all around the neck all the time, which will keep your lines from having fluidity.
Even though perfect pitch is hailed as this wonderful ability that would make you an amazing musician, it's not nearly as useful as relative pitch. The ability to recognize chords and melodies in relation to a key center is probably the most valuable tool a musician can have. The only difference between a person with good relative pitch and a person with perfect pitch is that the person with perfect pitch could likely hear a song and write out the chords to it in the correct key as it was playing, whereas the person without perfect pitch would only be able to write out the roman numeral analysis to the song until they checked what the key was on a piano.
It's more functional knowledge. Most people don't sight-sing by looking at a melody that goes, say, C F G D and think: "Okay, up a 4th, up a second, down a fourth."
Instead, they understand what those notes sound like in the context of a key center - so they sing a 1, 4, 5, and 2.
It's a related skill.
aka solfege, or a related method.
Sight singing is a bit different from sight reading, in that most sight singing methods have you identify your Do within the key you're using and then sing a melody in relation to that. You never think "i'll sing a B then an F then a C, etc," you simply associate a line or space with a scale degree, making a note of where your 5ths and octaves are, as they're your reference points.
Sight reading (at least for the guitar), on the other hand, isn't so simple. You have to associate the notes on the staff with their actual letter names and position on the guitar. It's tempting to simply try and identify your key and then relate notes on the stave to a scale shape, but this won't work when you have to shift positions or use more than the occasional accidental. Classical guitar pieces (even duets) rarely have you play within such a limited context, so you need to be able to simply see a note on the staff and play it, regardless of the context in which it's being played. That being said, sight reading isn't all that hard to learn, so long as you're willing to put in the work. Start with open position and play a lot of melodies in different keys, making note of where to find various sharped and flatted notes. Then move to fifth position and play a lot of melodies there, memorizing the positions of the notes. Continue this process for the 8th position, 7th position, 3rd position, etc. etc. Eventually everything will simply begin to click, and you'll start identifying notes all over the neck without having to stop and think about them. This only comes with practice, however, so constantly reading melodies is a must.
http://www.coastal.com/ usually has a lot of cheap deals, and they have sales fairly often. If you want a cheap pair of glasses, that's the place to go.
I should note, however, that asking for specific suggestions for glasses is a fairly pointless pursuit, as any glasses that look good on one person are likely to look completely different on another, depending on head size/shape, eye width, etc.
Also, if you're planning on buying glasses online, you'd better go with frames you're already familiar with, as you won't get a chance to see how the new ones look before you buy them.
I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas or jazz guitarists to look into who have done some comping in 2/2, preferably on slower ballads. I'm playing a very slow version of What's New, and I'm trying to get out of the rut of just hitting downbeats. The problem is that I've got a different chord on every downbeat, so I've only got a split second to do anything on any given chord.