Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bad Moods To Great Songs

Have you ever had "one of those days"?
Since you're reading this, you're human. Since you're human, yup you've had one of 'em. We all do.

Once I went to the glass recycling truck-container in our area, and two women were there with a huge box of glass items. Each took turns flinging a bottle or jar as hard as she could against the interior metal wall of the container. The resulting crash was pretty impressive after each throw.

And I often laughingly think of that, whenever I sit with either my guitar or keyboard on a bad day and start pounding out "whatever" music.... no special place that I'm going, just as the women weren't aiming at a specific spot with their glass. Since I'm pounding random chord progressions, there's no "right" or "wrong." I can just enjoy the impressive crashing music that comes after each hit.

When you're having a really bad day, try this! 
Even better, RECORD it - WITH a slow metronome setting--
1. Create a project titled something like "Untitled 4-4 Em" (In minor keys, EVERY one of the 12 scale notes works Except the 3rd - which turns it to major. And 4-4 time gives you lots of pounding drum loop possibilities if you don't go add your own live track.)
2. Play anything with the metronome set to something like 70... if you're not "right on" this won't matter, but the "fence" will help you create some pretty dramatic music after Step 4.
3. After you've pounded out a recording, hit the stop button. Then hit Record again and do another region on the same track. And repeat. If desired, duplicate this track and mute this one, then repeat step 3 on a new track.

Later when you've mellowed out a bit,
4. Go into the Notation View, highlight one or more music notes, then do a Select-All, and quantize all notes to 1/8th notes.  (See previous blogs for method tricks, if needed.)
5- This isn't really a step:   
 **DO NOT** go to fix the "odd" notes. Listen on different days to the results -- you may find that you love the weird timings, the unintended 'grace' notes.

6. Later you can decide which recorded regions you don't really like, and delete them.
7. And for those you do like, you can play a C "instrument" against the track in MIDI; I like flute, which I might later change to tenor sax for more drama.
8. If you want to add a melody, just play "anything" and later you can change the MIDI notes to fit the lyrics you decided upon. Both flute and a single clean guitar MIDI tracks give a nice melody contrast to the pounding supporting music.

9. Most of all, remember: It's called "PLAY music"!

Much joy to you in pounding out those Bad Mood Days. You just might get some fantastic songs out of your Play:_
©2012 DianaDee Osborne