Sunday, July 31, 2022

How Simple Can You Make Music? No Theory, No Chords, No Key, No Genre, No Style, No Nothing

The last 2.5 years have been weird. In a lot of ways. Musically, I've gone through a period of not wanting to play music at all, to a period of extreme creativity, to a phase of wanting to learn complex music theory and harmony (not successful), back to a stage of not wanting to play at all, and now in a state of trying to maintain some type of interest and keep it going as a hobby. At the moment, the best method of doing so seems to be trying to make it as simple as possible.

Kimolas chase the rabbit

The simplest way I can think of is whistling. Whistling a melody would be an example of keeping it simple. Playing that whistled melody on a musical instrument is just one step up in complexity. If you can find those notes on a musical instrument and play the melody, then no further thought is needed. Done, done...and done. 

I could leave it at that. But I'm going to add two more things to it:

1) Because I am aware of the major scale (do, re, mi, et cetera), I am going to analyze that melody by figuring out which number of the scale each note conforms to. In other words, can I make the entire melody fit within the notes of the major scale? Most melodies will fit. When it does fit it is diatonic. It's like a puzzle. Half-steps are either going to be note 7 to note 1 or note 3 to note 4. Once this major scale puzzle is conquered I assign each note a number based on where it falls in the major scale.

2) Independent of number 1 above, I take time to practice playing the major scale on my fretted instrument using two different fingerings. In the first way of playing, note 1 of the major scale is under my middle finger. In the second way I have note 1 of the major scale fall under my pinky finger. That's it. Now I know two different patterns to play the same melody because I can see how the melody is simply a variation of the major scale. That's it. 

That's it.

And that's it!

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