Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Melody Creating Continues Into 2019

Since reading Jeff Tweedy's memoir I've been more inspired than ever to try and create something new (almost every day).  It doesn't have to be good or that different than what came before.  The act of creating is the goal not the end product.

With that in mind, the tunes have continued into 2019.  I found an old Guatemalan Marimba Chapinlandia LP at a thrift store and this one called Liquid Yepocapa is inspired by the music on that album.  Guatemalan marimba music often has a ragtime or foxtrot feel.  This was written from January 4 to 5.  I recorded this on 1/5/19 using my Ome tenor banjo.  The tune is a little tricky to play and I was still getting the feel of it when this was recorded.

Fortunately I've never really gotten into too much of a rut, but when I am feeling that way one option is to scan through this book of scales I have called Musical Scales of the World by Michael Hewitt.  It's one of the best music books I own.  On January 9 I was looking through the section of this book on Japanese pentatonic scales and happened upon this melody while playing the Minyõ scale (page 157).  With C as the starting note, the Minyõ scale is C, Eb, F, G, Bb, C.  This is a super simple melody that is fun to play.  Here I am today playing it on glockenspiel.  Hopefully this year I'll get a better mallet instrument.

On January 10 I came up with this melody called Walls and Ceiling while playing my Keith McMillen K-Board.  I'll spare you the placeholder words I used to flesh out the melody, but this was an example where by syncing the syllables of words to the sound of the melody helped solidify it in my mind.  This is just a one part tune.  It's rare that something feels complete without at least a 2nd part but this one feels good as it is.  I hadn't played guitar in a few weeks so I was figuring out where the guitar notes were for this melody as I was recording it.  This is one of the first takes where I got through with no major note flubs.

Last night I picked up the banjo at about 10pm with no intention of playing for a long time or doing anything in particular.  Three hours later it was 1am and I had been playing that whole time, with a bunch of musical notes written out on tab paper.  Some of those notes come from here.  No Hamsters Allowed.


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