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New Tune
Posted: 12 April 2015 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve recently come up with this song, on my favourite topic. I hope some of you like it.

https://soundcloud.com/stephen-lawrence-20

There are many roads you can go down
But there’s only one path that you’re on.
Coulda woulda shoulda
If I hada what went wrong.

Walking down the open road
Dodging the shadows to get a place in the sun
Some say Laplace’s demon is like a gun.

Still every new horizon
Is good old dependent arising
We are all sons and daughters of the sun

Breathe and smile

Sitting here behind my eyes
There’s no hole for the light to get in.
If I coulda done what I shoulda
Then I woulda see what I mean.

And when I look inside
I don’t know where all this came from
I can’t see what is making my fingers strum.

There’s no soul deciding
Good old dependent arising
And everything’s new under the sun.

Breathe and smile.

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Posted: 15 April 2015 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The bass way overpowers the lyrics, which is unfortunate, as I like the lyrics.  I couldn’t make them out, for the most part, from listening.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 15 April 2015 01:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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TimB - 15 April 2015 12:35 PM

The bass way overpowers the lyrics, which is unfortunate, as I like the lyrics.  I couldn’t make them out, for the most part, from listening.

Hmm. My main thing is songwriting. Recording is another matter. If I play this on my phone there is no bass at all! So I dunno how to overcome that.

Glad you like the lyrics grin

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Posted: 21 April 2015 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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TimB - 15 April 2015 12:35 PM

The bass way overpowers the lyrics, which is unfortunate, as I like the lyrics.  I couldn’t make them out, for the most part, from listening.

On my system it’s fairly balanced . . . unless Stephen changed the balance in-between our listenings.

That’s a nice tune. I hear a bit of use of secondary dominants . . . I tend to listen to the instruments before lyrics. Stupid musical training. Was that a drum machine or loop that you used? I’m used to hearing drummers “fill” the ends of phrases more.

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Posted: 21 April 2015 11:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 21 April 2015 04:59 PM
TimB - 15 April 2015 12:35 PM

The bass way overpowers the lyrics, which is unfortunate, as I like the lyrics.  I couldn’t make them out, for the most part, from listening.

On my system it’s fairly balanced . . . unless Stephen changed the balance in-between our listenings.

I’ve left it. It quite dramatically changes depending on what you’re listening through.

That’s a nice tune. I hear a bit of use of secondary dominants . . . I tend to listen to the instruments before lyrics. Stupid musical training.

No, that’s cool it’s about the music first for me. I don’t have the musical knowledge you have but started with guitar many years ago and I take a chords first approach and the tune flows from that. I’m looking for something interesting going on between the chords and the tune, usually. I use what I call modulation quite a bit, which might be what you’re calling secondary dominants, in this instance.

I started out with G B C A7 which I liked and would play twice but then at some point played it once and followed it with G E7 A7 D7 which was much more interesting, even though the tune was the same. Then I wanted a build up to a chorus which started out with C G twice (the little run that takes us to it came along later) I found rather than C G twice C G C Em was much more effective.Then a run of G C D7 to the chorus. And still I wouldn’t have been that please with it unless I found a chorus I liked, when C D B Em C D G came along it was complete.

Was that a drum machine or loop that you used? I’m used to hearing drummers “fill” the ends of phrases more.

That’s me tapping with my fingers on a keyboard. I found I did quite well at straight tapping but when I tried something a bit fancier going from one part to another it didn’t work well (not skilled enough) so mostly I didn’t.

Thanks for listening, glad you like the tune.

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Posted: 22 April 2015 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 21 April 2015 04:59 PM

That’s a nice tune. I hear a bit of use of secondary dominants . . .

.

I just had a quick glance at secondary dominants. So the A7 going to a G is a secondary dominant. And the D7 going to a C is a secondary dominant.

Is that the idea?

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Posted: 22 April 2015 04:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yeah, basically. In traditional practice, a dominant, whether secondary or not, would resolve to the relative tonic with the root up a fourth, but in modern practice that doesn’t have to happen. Basically, it’s a dominant chord that would have resolved to some chord in your main key center, besides the I, if you chose to do so.

For example, in G major, A7-D is using the A7 as a primary dominant to D, and D is a triad in G major, making A7 secondary in relationship to G.

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Posted: 22 April 2015 04:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 22 April 2015 04:28 AM

Basically, it’s a dominant chord that would have resolved to some chord in your main key center, besides the I, if you chose to do so.

OK, got it thanks, and sometimes not choosing to do so creates something more interesting again because you get a different relationship between the notes of the tune and the chord.

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Posted: 22 April 2015 05:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Interesting, makes me think I should study some music theory to understand what you are talking about.  Just wondering if it would help my playing, I don’t compose but I have tried rearranging, and I have no ambitions about playing professionally.  One question, It almost sounds like 2 different singers, going from base to tenor, but I assume it was only one singer?

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Posted: 22 April 2015 06:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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BreakUp - 22 April 2015 05:26 AM

Interesting, makes me think I should study some music theory to understand what you are talking about.  Just wondering if it would help my playing, I don’t compose but I have tried rearranging, and I have no ambitions about playing professionally.  One question, It almost sounds like 2 different singers, going from base to tenor, but I assume it was only one singer?

Yep one singer. It’s a good idea to learn to play a bit cos then you can try out chords yourself and hear the results.

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Posted: 22 April 2015 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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StephenLawrence - 22 April 2015 06:15 AM
BreakUp - 22 April 2015 05:26 AM

Interesting, makes me think I should study some music theory to understand what you are talking about.  Just wondering if it would help my playing, I don’t compose but I have tried rearranging, and I have no ambitions about playing professionally.  One question, It almost sounds like 2 different singers, going from base to tenor, but I assume it was only one singer?

Yep one singer. It’s a good idea to learn to play a bit cos then you can try out chords yourself and hear the results.

I do play piano, I took lessons in HS, then was away from it for about 40 years, and then got a piano in the house again.  One of the most frustrating things is to pick up a piece of music that I had played before, and not be able to just play it right off, I was never taught to sight read.  I have a lot of pieces that I will need to spend some time to relearn.

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Posted: 22 April 2015 07:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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StephenLawrence - 22 April 2015 04:47 AM

OK, got it thanks, and sometimes not choosing to do so creates something more interesting again because you get a different relationship between the notes of the tune and the chord.

Modern practice is really free with just taking whatever sounds you want and throwing them together. The terminology really references historical practice more than current practice, but it’s still useful to help communicate about musical properties. And the terminology refers to rule-sets that when used result in decent sounding music, so figuring out how things like secondary dominants were applied is a good starting point for learning the tools of organizing music.

Of course, your ears are the primary and final arbiter.

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Posted: 22 April 2015 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Another thing done well in this song: matching the natural rhythms of language with the rhythm of the song. Strong syllables in important parts of the phrase falling on strong musical beats and stuff.

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“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk

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Posted: 22 April 2015 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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One thing I suggest you experiment with which may enhance the song: when you change a chord tends to line up pretty strongly with melodic direction. A good idea in general, but you can generate intensity and interest in a particular part of the song if you want to emphasize lyrics or something by changing the rhythm of when chord changes happen. This is often accomplished by slowing them down or speeding them up, not necessarily (sometimes) by changing the metric length of a phrase, but by adding or subtracting harmonic progressions within a phrase. For example, at the end of a phrase, instead of just sitting on a major D triad for 8 beats, use a secondary chord relationships to “outline” that D triad, maybe 2 beats each of B minor, E minor, Eb+7, D major.

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“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

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Posted: 22 April 2015 09:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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It’s good to see you in your element, Trombone Andrew.

 Signature 

As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 22 April 2015 10:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 22 April 2015 08:00 PM

One thing I suggest you experiment with which may enhance the song: when you change a chord tends to line up pretty strongly with melodic direction. A good idea in general, but you can generate intensity and interest in a particular part of the song if you want to emphasize lyrics or something by changing the rhythm of when chord changes happen. This is often accomplished by slowing them down or speeding them up, not necessarily (sometimes) by changing the metric length of a phrase, but by adding or subtracting harmonic progressions within a phrase. For example, at the end of a phrase, instead of just sitting on a major D triad for 8 beats, use a secondary chord relationships to “outline” that D triad, maybe 2 beats each of B minor, E minor, Eb+7, D major.

OK, I’ll give it a go.

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