IMPRESSIVE IMPROVEMENT

(Sorry this is not posted earlier, I misread the instructions and thought I only had to submit on dx)

 

My goal is to improve my tone quality.

 

I was unsure what kind of music to pick. I figured the best type of music for improving are long tones and scales. I also remembered that in middle school, we often used warm-ups to practice. So I went online to search for clarinet warm-ups, this is the one I decided to use.

Clarinet Warmups

Specifically, I used the long tones on page three, and the Klose scales on page four.

My first recording for the

Klose Scales        https://soundcloud.com/megaphone-man/c-major-klose-scales-p123-80-bpm/s-rvZBp

Lone Tones         https://soundcloud.com/megaphone-man/long-tones-chromatic-100-bpm/s-YVHXZ

 

I realized though recording this that my tone quality actually is better for the higher notes (B natural and above) than the lower C to Bb. I will especially focus on practising long tones for these lower notes. I will also improve my embouchure as much as possible.

 

I will practice

Two hours on Tuesday

Two hours on Thursday

Two hours on Saturday

(If any of these fail to happen, makeup on Wednesday)

Week 8 of Passion Project

This week was quite an unproductive week. Many school projects were due, and I had a talent show on Friday.

However, I did spend some time at home fooling around with my guitar, and I made a little riff I like with it.

The loop can be found here:

https://soundcloud.com/megaphone-man/idea-2398/s-nkTKF

I tried to make this rock-ish, I was too lazy to make a drumbeat with the software instruments, so I made used my pick to strum muted strings to create a percussive rhythm. I liked this better than an actual beat because it adds a unique feel to the song. The bass part is meant to be done with vocals, like the beginning of an AC/DC concert, but this chaotic week didn’t allow me to get a proper recording.

In the next week, I need to work harder to make up for this week. I plan to do some studying about melody; I keep having some problems with writing melody after getting some other part.

I mentioned earlier that a reason this week was unproductive was that of my talent show performance. I sang “Let Her Go” by Passenger, the singing I guess is somewhat related to my project.

Here is my performance:

 

Week 7 of Passion Project

I needed to talk to a music “expert” this week so I went to Mr. Long. I had a conversation with him and here are the main questions I asked him.

What is your process for writing music?

He answered instinctually to start with a bassline, then build chord progressions from there. Upon further discussion, he elaborated that with different songs and different artists, the “process” for songwriting varies. When a song is a dependant on the melody, the melody comes first, when a song is reliant on the background other parts come first. I also thought that the rhythm or drums are the starting point for any music, but Mr. Long convinced me that rhythm should come later. Mr. Long also helped me understand why EDM music is so easy to write. EDM is constructed of several layered loops, this is similar to minimalist music, a genre of music created not by complex melodies but simple limited parts put together. Nonetheless, Mr. Long advised me to always have a central idea with me when constructing a song.

I’ve learned that it is ok to change my process when writing music, and everyone is different in this respect.

What and How is Key used?

Key again is involved in the tonality of a song and the central mood or genre. Of course, when a singer is involved the range of the singer must be taken into account, but the key should be generally decided in the planning phase of a song. A key often used in popular music is the key of E.

How Do You Write Lyrics?

Although Mr. Long said that he does not write a lot of lyrics, he explained that writing lyrics again goes back to a determined main idea of a song. By having a central idea it is much easier to know where to go with your song.

Conclusion(This Week I learned)

Always have a central idea. It’s as simple as that, I realized that by having an idea in mind is much easier as this direction I obtain from the “central idea” allows me to know what I want in my song and how I want it to sound like.

 

My discussion with Mr. Long also led me to ask him whether it is alright to take a bit of someone else’s music and add elements to my own. Mr. Long informed me that it is ok to copy music a little bit, but it is very difficult to determine when exactly are is too much copying that it becomes illegal. I thought about this and found a video discussing a recent case where Ed Sheeran got a Lawsuit because “Thinking Out Loud” sounded much like another song.

 

Week 6 of Passion Project

This week somewhat productive yet not as productive as I wished it was.

I had a sort of new found understanding that music is “good” or “catchy mainly because of repetition. When a listener hears a song, they rarely walk away with your lyrics or “Central Message”. The listener usually remembers the tune. This got me analyzing modern hits and their individual “tunes” and I realized that so many songs depend on their hook or recurring tune, and in many songs this tune is engrained into the song itself. The chorus sometimes is straight up the bassline, examples include “Do I Wanna Know” by the Arctic Monkeys, “Seven Nation Army”, “Another One Bites the Dust”. This understanding made me take a new angle of songwriting, I tried to start by writing a chorus first, and then using the rhythm or melody of the chorus to structure and plan my entire song. However, because this was quite an unproductive week I wasn’t able to produce much.

Now the somewhat productive part of this week

This understanding that songs rely on a singular line or melody told me that although it’s possible to write and perform a good song with just a guitar, I need more instruments, harmonies, and layers. Therefore, I need to master Logic Pro. I also need to brush up on melody writing and understanding of music genres and instruments but I’m putting that aside for now.

I spent most of my time this week doing Logic Pro stuff. I found some interesting videos online where people sampled some day to day sounds like paper ripping or clamoring of pans and made beats out of them. I tried to do this by downloading the audio of an iPhone 4 buzzing. I used and cut this sound to make a short drum loop. I uploaded it to SoundCloud in the link below.

https://soundcloud.com/megaphone-man/buzz

I fooled around more with Logic and eventually made a song, check it out in the link below.

https://soundcloud.com/megaphone-man/playing-with-logic-pro

The strange thing is that I actually was somewhat satisfied with this song, even though it was very easy to make. I realized that making pure EDM is different to writing full melodies. EDM is made with a combination of loops, I did not go through the pain of making full melodies to write this song, but I still liked it nonetheless.

Even though doing pure EDM is very easy and NOT what I plan to do much in the future. I did make a breakthrough this week; I was satisfied with something I made. I hope this is some sort of trend that continues in the future.

 

Week 5 of Passion Project

In this week I mainly tried just singing and experimenting on my guitar. I wasn’t able to come up with any ideas I was satisfied with but I am definitely getting a better grasp on songwriting.

I searched up some tips and tutorials on lyrics and songwriting. I also found interesting videos where songwriters try writing songs in a very limited time.

I learned that to make a song good it’s important to select specific instruments that fit the style and genre of the song. And I’ve tried to incorporate some of that when producing music using Logic Pro.  (the software I have decided to use I the future)

I uploaded some of my guitar experimentations onto this account I’ve made on SoundCloud. I plan to record progress using this in the future.

https://soundcloud.com/megaphone-man/sets/guitar-patterns

Please tell me if the link works or not.

First Three Weeks of Band

The first few weeks of Band was not too stressful. While it was cool to meet new people from 9th grade, it was also some what annoying to work with irritating freshmen. I was always prepared during these few weeks, I never forgot to bring music, instrument, and a pencil. I also have been able to leave time each week to practice so far, I practiced articulation and long tones. I think the long break has deteriorated my tone and made me rusty. I definitely need more consistent practice.

 

 

I think Mr. long should wear reading glasses during the concerts.

Week 4 Passion Project

For the Monday I spent my time developing a few ideas, I was not satisfied with any of them so I did not record them down. I realized that its easy for me to experiment in the key of C and then capo my guitar after.

On Wednesday I wanted to explore music editing further, so I experimented with the EQ functions and searched up how it is used. I quickly made a short track and tried out equalizing different parts.

There were many preset options already but I wanted to push it to the extreme, here are some examples of me just playing around with the options and EQing to the point where the sound changes completely.

(I can’t upload mp3 on blog neither can I access Soundcloud, so I sent my audio through email)

Week 3 of Passion Project

This week was spent planning for my project, the plan is attached below.

 

Planning Calendar

 

I will be using the recording studio twice a week, the extra day will be used practicing and learning how to produce, edit music. Occasionally when I have a satisfactory song I will publish is on to a platform.

Week 2 of Passion Project

This week of Passion Project I continued to explore with making music by actually trying to make music. I experimented with instruments, chord progression and different melodic ideas. I found some videos on how to make music and how most music is similar. An interesting video I found was this video which explained that much of music is formed by taking apart and reassembling parts of music from before.

I Also found videos of creators on youtube who take suggestions from others and are able to just make original music from this.

This is one of those videos.

I have decided from this week that I want to create music as much as possible and learn as much as I can about music making. I want to be able to make music when asked to. I also want to learn more about my “simple instrument” – guitar and how to different ways to use my guitar in different genres of music making.

Goal: By the end of the year, I will have the ability to make music on demand, the music will be mostly pop-ish and have an obvious theme. I will present my improvement by posting my music as an album or singles on platforms such as youtube, Soundcloud or Spotify.

 

I am certain I want to continue making music and improving this ability. However, I might change how I will present it.

Week 1 of Passion Project

Passion project just started, and I am not sure what I plan to do. While I have a general direction to pursue, music, I am still very unsure as to how specifically I will continue with this project.

I started digging on the youtube and how others have pursued music. One specific individual I follow is John Cozart or PAINT. This is one of his more recent works.

I was inspired by his ability to write such a simple yet beautiful song with simply a ukelele. I want to do something similar to this, though lyric writing is not my strongest suit, I realized my ultimate goal in this passion project is to be able to ultimately write songs for anything with simple instruments. I guess that I am more interested in the writing part of music and not necessarily the production part.

I did more digging and found more artists I liked such as Bo Burnham, Owen Cambell, Rhett and Link, Cavetown and many others. Artists who wrote original music and were able to perform and share them without heavy advertisement and production.

Once again I have decided I simply want the ability to write music when I wish to and maybe to perform them. Which crosses out options such as covering other artists are remixing. I have not completely crossed out doing a little electronic music, even though I enjoy being able to perform with more simple instruments, being able to mix my music seems like an important skill.

In the end I still wasn’t able to completely come to a decision, but I have definitely narrowed my direction.

Next Page »