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> First Time Using The Major Pentatonic Scale
Chris S.
post Feb 20 2015, 05:54 AM
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Hey guys!

So I've been trying to break out of the usual rut that I find myself in and I thought I would write something using the Major Pentatonic scale and I was wondering what you guys think?

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/when-will-i-see-her-again

My goal was to keep it simple - I'm not that great at phrasing but it's something I continue to work on.

Thanks guys biggrin.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Feb 20 2015, 11:47 AM
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Hey Chris, I love this track! smile.gif

I really like the composition, sounds a bit indie/british pop to me? wink.gif
Backing track is ingenious how effective yet simple it is.

I'm finding phrases played on the lower, bass strings of the guitar a bit shaky.
This part exactly : 0:33-0:48 ...feels like it needs more work. Same with similar part which starts at 1:05.
The phrases there need a bit more work. That section would benefit from playing it more steady in time and also with slightly different phrases that feel more confident. It might be that your lower notes on the guitar were not perfectly in tune. The vibrato used on long, ending notes in phrases is fast and shallow. Maybe try to go for a bit deeper and slower vibrato there following the hi hat/kick drum pulse more in its oscillations. Another idea would be not to pick all the notes and instead use hammer-ons, pull-offs or slides instead in between some of the notes to avoid a flat sounding line dynamically.

Overall - this composition is really strong and catchy. You should definitely work more on it and maybe lay down some vocals? smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 20 2015, 03:01 PM
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Hi Chris, nice tune!

I want to remark that your composition is very tasty and musical. You have some nice melodies here, that go great with the backing track. It's true that you could polish a bit the melodies since this is mostly an improvisation, but there are many moments that sound like a finished song. While I hear it, I feel that it's a bit repetitive and after a while it becomes predictable but this is not only related to your phrasing, there are also other reasons for that:

- Your phrasing keep most of the time the same rhythm and note values.
- The chord progression is around the same chord cadences during the whole backing.
- Pentatonic scale combined with the two previous things gives a feeling of lacking stronger notes. Notes that change the vibe of the whole thing. So you could try some chromatic passing notes, or maybe borrow any note from the major modes in some phrases.

However, as you are using this to get familiar with the scale and how they relate with the chords, I can say that this is VERY helpful for it, so keep going!


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Chris S.
post Feb 20 2015, 04:03 PM
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Thanks for the feedback!

I agree with the repetitiveness and predictability. I think it'a something I can use as a foundation and build it into a more complex piece.

biggrin.gif

EDIT: How can I improve my drum creativity? I like to use a simple beat with a beat box VSTi to create like a dance/club vibe and then I like to throw in regular drums later on but my beats are usually very simple and very repetitive/predictable like snare-hihat-snare-hihat and so on.

Danke!

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Feb 20 2015, 04:20 PM


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dcz702
post Feb 21 2015, 08:54 AM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Feb 20 2015, 04:54 AM) *
Hey guys!

So I've been trying to break out of the usual rut that I find myself in and I thought I would write something using the Major Pentatonic scale and I was wondering what you guys think?

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/when-will-i-see-her-again

My goal was to keep it simple - I'm not that great at phrasing but it's something I continue to work on.

Thanks guys biggrin.gif

Hey Chris this was really good smile.gif
Has a retro kind of vibe reminded my of a movie score like the breakfast club or something wink.gif
Cool with what you can do with a penatonic scale.
I like to practice my scales by using any given chord progression in a key and between each chord play a melody but end up on the root note of the chord beging played on the first beat.
Then mix it up and play the third Of the scale and so on, think I get better control of improv. Good practice for me that way.
Your tune was good, I liked it very much.

This post has been edited by dcz702: Feb 21 2015, 09:25 AM
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Bogdan Radovic
post Feb 22 2015, 09:08 PM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Feb 20 2015, 04:03 PM) *
EDIT: How can I improve my drum creativity? I like to use a simple beat with a beat box VSTi to create like a dance/club vibe and then I like to throw in regular drums later on but my beats are usually very simple and very repetitive/predictable like snare-hihat-snare-hihat and so on.


Hi Chris - this is a good question! My suggestion would be to watch some drum cover videos on Youtube for the songs you like.
It is very easy to see and hear what drummer is playing in those videos. This is just for inspiration to see visually what drummer does when playing the grooves. The next step would be to try to imagine and write down in midi some more advanced grooves. Once you have a groove, usually it is enough to add fills at the ending of every 4th bar. Experiment with fills and when it comes to drums, usually it revolves around 4th, 8th and 16th note durations. When listening to drums in songs, try to focus on what is hi hat playing (it is all about which note durations and where in the beat), then focus on kick drum and snare and so on. After some time, you'll figure out some nice patterns which you can replicate in your songs.


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Chris S.
post Feb 23 2015, 03:57 AM
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Thanks Bogdan!

I've been listening to songs on the radio to and from work everyday and focusing on just the drums which is helping a lot as well.

I think it's great how your ear can tune out other parts to focus on one instrument in particular.

cool.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Feb 23 2015, 09:53 AM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Feb 23 2015, 03:57 AM) *
I think it's great how your ear can tune out other parts to focus on one instrument in particular.


Yeah - this really fascinates me. I have been doing it for one summer vacation with bass lines and it was so much fun.
We usually just miss those details in playing if we don't focus deliberately smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 28 2015, 02:22 AM
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yeah, it's awesome how much you can learn just "listening" and focusing on new details of the same music that we always listen to. There is a lot to get from every song. Once thing that really helped me to write better drums has been recording midi versions of the songs that I like. Once you record some midi drum tracks transcribing the grooves and fills used by drummers that you like, you'll really understand how drums are composed, and how the drum grooves and fills interact with the other instruments.

I've learnt a lot of arranging and composing when I worked creating backing tracks from popular songs for singers. It's been a killer training, as well as my work at GMC analyzing an re-creating the style of different bands.

So listening and transcribing are the keys.


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Todd Simpson
post Feb 28 2015, 04:16 AM
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Well done!!! Almost has a "SOUP DRAGONS" vibe? As Bodgan says very brit pop! Any chance for you singing over it?

QUOTE (Chris S. @ Feb 20 2015, 12:54 AM) *
Hey guys!

So I've been trying to break out of the usual rut that I find myself in and I thought I would write something using the Major Pentatonic scale and I was wondering what you guys think?

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/when-will-i-see-her-again

My goal was to keep it simple - I'm not that great at phrasing but it's something I continue to work on.

Thanks guys biggrin.gif



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Chris S.
post Feb 28 2015, 10:25 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Feb 28 2015, 03:16 AM) *
Well done!!! Almost has a "SOUP DRAGONS" vibe? As Bodgan says very brit pop! Any chance for you singing over it?

Thanks for all the feedback everyone, it really means a lot!

I think it'd have some more potential with vocals but unfortunately a cat with constipation has a better singing voice than me tongue.gif


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