School of Rock – Day 15 – Celebration and Reflection

SUMMARY

I took School of Rock because I wanted to learn how to make and record songs. In the end I wasn’t to interested with the recording part and it kind of confused me but I still learned a lot about creating songs.

LEADERSHIP ACTIVITY

For this activity I learned to play Crossroad Blues on guitar with a slide. I really enjoyed this activity and would give it a five because I enjoy playing guitar but also the autonomy of it was fun and it was a good way to wrap up the class and showcase the skills we had learned.

How interested were you in learning the leadership project?

  • 1 (NOT MY THING!)
  • 2 (not really)
  • 3 (sorta interested)
  • 4 (interested)
  • 5 (YES! – I LOVE THIS STUFF!)

CLASSROOM (THEORY & ANALYSIS)

I really enjoyed this part of the class, and when we started to specialize on the rooms, this was one that I often focused on. I was interested by the music theory stuff and videos on musical aspects because I felt that set me up to have a better understanding of making music. The song analysis was a more direct use of music theory knowledge, and I felt that was helpful when learning about effective chord progressions, melodies, harmonies etc.

How interested were you in learning about music theory and song analysis?

  • 1 (NOT MY THING!)
  • 2 (not really)
  • 3 (sorta interested)
  • 4 (interested)
  • 5 (YES! – I LOVE THIS STUFF!)

Your score: 4

LAB (THEORY PRACTICED)

This was a big interest of mine when entering the class but I kinda realized that making music digitally or online (I’m not sure what the correct terminology is) isn’t really my thing. Just playing a song with some friends on different instruments is my preferred way of making a song. I still enjoyed learning about this however and see the importance in this skill set.

How interested were you in learning about HookLab and HookTab?

  • 1 (NOT MY THING!)
  • 2 (not really)
  • 3 (sorta interested)
  • 4 (interested)
  • 5 (YES! – I LOVE THIS STUFF!)

Your score: 3

PRACTICE ROOM (GUITAR LESSONS)

This area was probably something I was least interested in but I have been taking guitar lessons for several years so the tutorial and practice videos for this class weren’t things that I needed to learn. I did practice a lot of guitar for the song I was learning but I wouldn’t say I was learning to play guitar so this wasn’t a room I needed to focus on. I think if I didn’t play guitar I would’ve given this a 5 because I could tell from the videos that this was a helpful room and was set up well.

How interested were you in learning to play the guitar?

  • 1 (NOT MY THING!)
  • 2 (not really)
  • 3 (sorta interested)
  • 4 (interested)
  • 5 (YES! – I LOVE THIS STUFF!)

Your score: 2

OUTSIDE (CREATIVITY & THE BRAIN)

This was a room that I didn’t care much for when entering the class but I ended up finding it really interesting and beneficial to learn about my brain and learning and all these cool things.

How interested were you in learning about topics related to the brain, creativity, and productivity?

  • 1 (NOT MY THING!)
  • 2 (not really)
  • 3 (sorta interested)
  • 4 (interested)
  • 5 (YES! – I LOVE THIS STUFF!)

Your score: 4

STUDIO (SONGWRITING)

I was very interested in this part of the class and often focused on this room throughout the class. For me this kind of connected to the music theory part and how songs are created and the important aspects of them. I think I learned a lot about making songs in this room and was probably the most important room to benefit my musical knowledge.

How interested were you in learning about songwriting, song structure, and music production?

  • 1 (NOT MY THING!)
  • 2 (not really)
  • 3 (sorta interested)
  • 4 (interested)
  • 5 (YES! – I LOVE THIS STUFF!)

Your score: 5

CONTROL ROOM (RECORDING & MIXING)

I thought that this was going to be my main focus but I ended up not being that into recording and mixing. I think it is a cool process and a good thing to learn but I just wasn’t that into it.

How interested were you in learning about recording, engineering (sound effects, EQ), and mixing?

  • 1 (NOT MY THING!)
  • 2 (not really)
  • 3 (sorta interested)
  • 4 (interested)
  • 5 (YES! – I LOVE THIS STUFF!)

Your score: 3

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

I learned about music theory, chord progressions, how to write a melody, bass line, harmony and many more important parts of a song. I would say the earliest struggle for me was time management. I felt like I had way to much work to do and would never be able to finish all of it but I think by setting timers and not overthinking on any of the rooms I got through the class.

THE COURSE’s ACTIVITY EVALUATION (OVERALL)

Content (The WHAT)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 5

I think the studio and music theory rooms engaged me the most.

Some of the stuff about how to make music, almost like it was shown as an algorithm was so cool. It was so helpful and I feel like I will be able to use these skills in the future.

Process (The HOW)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 4

The thing is my dislikes and likes are kind of the same. I liked all the videos we watched, I felt like they’re very informative and helpful for our learning. But unfortunately they aren’t always too engaging and it sometimes felt like to many.

With this distanced learning system it’s kind of hard to have any way to gain information other than watching videos so I think there isn’t much that can be changed. Not only that, you as a teacher are so open to trying new things that, when you teach this class again if anyone has stuff they want to change I’m sure you would be able to change it to help their learning.

School of Rock – Day 14 – Voice, Preparation, and Presentation

SUMMARY

Today I finished up the Leadership project by turning in a recording of me playing slide guitar. I din’t work on anything other than that but it was still a fulfilling day.

LEADERSHIP ACTIVITY

SMART Goal

My goal was to play Crossroad Blues by Robert Johnson on slide guitar. Previously I had a goal to make a recording on Sound Trap but that project never came to fruition. In the end my main focus was learning this song and playing it for the class.

Leadership Project (SMART Goal Evidence)

For the past week I have been working on playing Crossroad Blues on slide guitar. This is a great song that I’ve enjoyed for a while and though it would be fun to learn.

In earlier blogs I documented my daily progress by uploading a video of me playing the song. The quality of each “performance” increased each day and showed that I was learning and progressing with my guitar playing skills.

Below I have linked my final product, which consists of me playing the first two verses of the song. I didn’t feel comfortable enough playing the full song and I felt that the best way to show my work was uploading the beginning of the song that I was most familiar with.

I inserted my first and final uploads of my work here. My final product is the one above and the bottom video, labeled “Crossroads practice”, is from when I began learning the song and uploaded a video to show progress.

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

Today I turned in my final recording of Crossroad Blues, which was very relieving and nice to kind of be done with. I plan to keep working on it but now I don’t have a deadline. I would say that I learned how enjoyable it is to work hard at something and then be able to finish it and feel like you accomplished something. It was just a song but I’ve been playing it a lot recently and it’s been nice to know that I completed it.

TODAY’s ACTIVITY EVALUATION

Content (The WHAT)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 5

I’m feeling very good about my song now. I think I have gotten much better about it and I put in a lot of practice today which was fun.

Process (The HOW)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 4

I spent the whole time on the Leadership project which is what has been interesting me the most this past week.

School of Rock – Day 13 – Collaboration and Growth – Part 3

SUMMARY

Today I worked some more on Crossroad Blues as well as fitting in a few other activities. The main focus was the leadership project.

LEADERSHIP ACTIVITY

SMART Goal

I don’t really know what I want to do. I have a couple goals that I’ve had from the beginning of this class but I don’t know which one I’m going to focus on. I would like to make a simple song/recording on SoundTrap but I would also like to be able to play Crossroad Blues on slide guitar.

Progress For Today

Okay so unfortunately this video doesn’t have anything new to it but I felt like this is a much better play through of the first verse and I feel like it has higher quality. I think for my final product I’ll try to have the first and second verses down really well.

PRACTICE ROOM (GUITAR LESSONS)

  • A root and a fifth makes a power chord (G-D)
  •  A power chord isn’t a full chord, because it is only two notes. This type of chord can be used as a major or minor chord.
  • Using a bass or separate instrument to play the fifth note sounds good under the power chord.
  • Playing power chords in a scale works for each note except the second (the fifth for the second note of the scale isn’t in the scale of the root note).
  • The song can be changed to minor or major by the other instruments, usually the bass, when lead is playing power chords.

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

Today I worked for most of the time on my song for the project. The progress is still slow but I feel like I have improved it greatly. I didn’t spend all my time on that though because I wanted to try some other stuff. I watched some videos and linked one about power chords from a couple days ago that I hadn’t watched yet. When I was done with that stuff I also spent a little time on the Quizlet and finished up the test.

TODAY’s ACTIVITY EVALUATION

Content (The WHAT)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 4

I enjoyed learning about power chords cus it was fun to learn about some new stuff but I also enjoyed working more on my song.

Process (The HOW)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: ?

Doing the leadership project some more probably engaged me the most.

School of Rock – Day 12 – Collaboration and Growth- Part 2

SUMMARY

Today I spent all my time on the leadership project, which is going ok and I plan to spend more time on it.

LEADERSHIP ACTIVITY

SMART Goal

I don’t really know what I want to do. I have a couple goals that I’ve had from the beginning of this class but I don’t know which one I’m going to focus on. I would like to make a simple song/recording on SoundTrap but I would also like to be able to play Crossroad Blues on slide guitar.

Progress For Today

That’s the link. I legitimately practiced for like three hours today and will probably spend much more time tonight. I’ve gone through the three tutorials that I have been watching but still am very new to the content. My progress is kinda moving slowly but it’s going okay so I’m happy about that.

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

Today I worked on learning more of Crossroad Blues for most of the day. I had some trouble with it but it is working out. I also spent a bit of time on the quizlet and will probably do some more work tonight so that I can get 100 on the test.

TODAY’s ACTIVITY EVALUATION

Content (The WHAT)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 4

I always enjoy just playing music and working on a song I like.

Process (The HOW)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 3

Working through tutorials can be challenging and boring but at least I’m learning and they’re helpful.

School of Rock – Day 11 – Collaboration and Growth – Part 1

SUMMARY

Today I worked on some recordings for my leadership project.

LEADERSHIP ACTIVITY

Goal

What do I/we want to do? (SPECIFIC INTENTION / FEELING / LOG LINE)

I don’t really know what I want to do. I have a couple goals that I’ve had from the beginning of this class but I don’t know which one I’m going to focus on. I would like to make a simple song/recording on SoundTrap but I would also like to be able to play Crossroad Blues on slide guitar.

How do I/we achieve it? (PLANNING & STRATEGY)

To achieve both of my goals I’m gonna have to put in some time. Making a song is simpler and I think I’ll be able to do this by working on it for maybe an hour a day and adding on an editing it. For learning the song I want to play, I might have to practice a bit more than that because I’m not very good at slide. There is a YouTube tutorial that I’ve been using to learn this song.

What is the MVP (Minimum Viable Product)? (MEASURABLE Evidence)

I will have a (maybe) 2 minute long blues instrumental recorded onto SoundTrap.

INTENTION

By Thursday I will turn in my recording that will have a 12 bar blues structure.

RESOURCES

I’m gonna have to use YouTube tutorials and SoundTrap.

RISK /HOOK

I can’t really think of anything but I’ll try to put some cool effects on the recording.

SKILLS

I have quite a bit of experience with guitar as well as music.

BACKGROUND

I’ve been playing guitar for a few years.

Progress For Today

This is all I know so far, and like 1/8th of the song so I still have some work.

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

Today I worked on my leadership thing as well as doing some recordings with Alex on SoundTrap (that’s what I spent most of the time on). Unfortunately I cannot comprehend that program at all and can’t figure stuff out so we both kinda gave up.

TODAY’s ACTIVITY EVALUATION

Content (The WHAT)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 3

It’s fun to try and figure stuff out on Hookpad

Process (The HOW)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 3

This leadership stuff is cool.

School of Rock – Day 10 – Community

SUMMARY

Today I continued my regular work with music theory as well as expanding on the leadership activity.

LEADERSHIP ACTIVITY

The beginning of my recording

I don’t have much to show yet, at this point I’m still getting used to Soundtrap but it’s going pretty well.

CLASSROOM (THEORY & ANALYSIS)

What Makes This Song Great Series

I watched Beato’s video on Amelia by Joni Mitchel (video won’t link). This song is very unique, like her other songs, because it is played on guitar with an open C tuning. In the intro she can get some different chord changes that wouldn’t be possible in standard tuning. Also, her melody is so cool because Mitchell’s vocals often move around a lot. Beato talks about how Mitchell’s lyrics are very important for the song, because she uses imagery and in depth descriptions in the vocals which really contribute to the song.

I listened to another one of his videos on Don’t Take Me Alive (Steely Dan), which is not one of my favorite Steely Dan songs but still a great on, wish he would’ve done a song from Aja. Beato takes apart the opening solo (which is played by Larry Carlton) and explains the chord parts in the solo. The song is kinda jazzy (obviously cus its Steely Dan) and uses chord modulations from different keys.

 

CONTROL ROOM (RECORDING & MIXING)

Soundtrap tutorial 5 – Arranging the song, Mixing and adding effects 

Video 2: Click to add a New Track and you can select the instrument that you want to add. You can play the selected drum piece with the keyboard to play each part of the kit. You can change the speed of your recording by changing the tempo.

Video 3: You can play out chords on the digital piano by using the keyboard. You can also quantize recordings that you have made to put them on beat with other sections.

Video 4: When making the bass part, don’t use chords because the low notes sound messy.

TODAY’s ACTIVITY EVALUATION

Content (The WHAT)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 3

I’ve been getting a little bit bored of doing some of the same work but it has been fun to work on some recordings.

Process (The HOW)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 3

Same thing kinda, the videos haven’t been as engaging and I feel like I’ve exhausted the supply of ones I wanna watch but it’s still ok.

School of Rock – Day 9 – Workflow

SUMMARY

Today I watched some videos on songs I like as well as learned how to screen record to document my work.

LEADERSHIP ACTIVITY (Individual)

http://youtu.be/prs-akRlQZo

This is the link to my video, the video for uploading from youtube wasn’t working so I just did this.

CLASSROOM (THEORY & ANALYSIS)

My computer keeps linking the wrong video, idk how to fix it, this is supposed to be a Tom Petty, I won’t Back Down, video. Anyway, Beato does a great job of dissecting this song. The drum section is a combination of programmed drum parts and real snare. I saw something in the chorus that was talked about in a previous video. The verse is very simple right before the chorus, but then that comes in super strong with harmony and very fast guitar rhythm. Not only that, but the chorus uses dissonance to build up the tension in the chorus which resolves into a more calm part at the end.

I also watched Beato’s video on Touch Me by the Doors, which is a song that I love. It combines rock with an awesome orchestra part as well as horns and it is a great mix. The intro is one chord with a climbing scale above it to build up the tension towards the verse. I think one thing that is awesome about the Doors is Morrison is such a great singer that the songs feel complete without any backup or harmony vocals. The organ does harmonize with the horns in a really great way.

STUDIO (SONGWRITING)

In these videos, Friedemann shows how to come up with lyrics that can be meaningful and use contrast to give some depth to the song. I think that lyrics are sometimes overlooked in a song and we think that the main focus is the melody/harmony, but lyrics can definitely have a big impact on the audience and that’s why I chose these videos (I’m still having problems linking videos). With the cards that he has, Friedemann shows how using contrast of emotions in the chorus and verse make the song powerful. One of the cards had sad/happy written on it, he advised a sad verse that builds up to the happy chorus, which is a technique I’ve heard in many songs.

This is not the correct link. I watched Friedemann’s video My Top 5 Chord Progressions. His first one is using the 1 chord and variations of it. Of course this seems crazy but he shows some punk songs that follow one chord and I’ve definitely heard some songs like that. Another one is the 6-4 chord progressions, also simple but more depth than a single chord progression. 6-1-2-5 is getting more complex, that’s one that he explains to enjoy a lot. 1-4-2-5 is one that I’ve seen a lot and played songs with that progression, I like it a lot and think it has some contrast between the chords.

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

I learned about screen recording my work to document how my learning is going. I also continued some musical theory work as well as looking into the format and structure of songs that I enjoy. I slightly struggled with using Screencastify but I rewatched the videos and figured out how to record my work. I didn’t feel like I had anything to show so I made a 24 bar song on SoundTrap and showed the work I had done with the screen recording.

TODAY’s ACTIVITY EVALUATION

Content (The WHAT)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 4

The music theory as well as recording some music was fun.

Process (The HOW)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 4

I’ve really been enjoying the videos about song structure.

School of Rock – Day 8 – Leadership

SUMMARY

Today I worked on some music theory stuff as well as some studio stuff. I would say overall I was learning about how to write songs and use melodies and chord progressions.

LEADERSHIP ACTIVITY

     

I wanna try something alone and my plan is to make an instrumental on Soundtrap, probably by recording myself playing keyboard, electric and acoustic guitar. I won’t have a great way to show my daily work but I will be able to turn in a final project to show my success.

CLASSROOM (THEORY & ANALYSIS)

This video was about David Bowie’s Let’s Dance and what makes it good. In the video Rick Beato talks a lot about the importance of the producers and who’s mixing the song. A lot of this is because the song is kinda a disco song with lots of delay and effects, but nonetheless the role of the mixer is very important. Also the correct video won’t link, I have no idea why, my computer is just messed up or something.

In this video about U2’s Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Friedemann talks about how the drums play a very important role in creating the emotions of the song. It uses a fairly simple drum beat of quarter notes, but Friedemann explains how it sometimes “hints” at eighth notes to add a “yearning” to the song like it’s speeding up. He also emphasized how the majority of the song is 1 chord, which shows that simplicity can really create an awesome song. The song is kinda a modern blues, by using a 1-4-5 structure over 20 bars rather than 12.

PRACTICE ROOM (GUITAR LESSONS)

I don’t really have a problem with having sore hands or feel like my flexibility is lacking, but I still wanted to watch this video so that I can be healthy and not causing any damage to my hand.

Exercises/stretches include: gently massaging palm, fingers, forearm

Pull back fingers as far as possible, while remaining comfortable

Pushing apart your finger using the opposite hand

Shaking out the wrist and hand

STUDIO (SONGWRITING)

Use 1/2 chords per bar and about 4 chords in the progression. That was a big idea that he talks about. He really explains how you don’t really need to go in depth and make harmonies for the chords and complicated progressions. He talks about similar stuff like this in other videos, that simplicity works for songwriting. When beginning the song writing process, you need to decide if you’re gonna star with a melody or a chord progression. When choosing the bass notes, sing or listen to your melody while finding a note on your piano or guitar that matches with it. Also I watched two of these chord videos and couldn’t link the 2nd one cus my computer is being bad.

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

Today I chose to mainly focus on the studio and the classroom, but I also spent a bit of time working with some guitar lesson type stuff. I had some issues today (kinda yesterday since I’m turning this in a day late). First of all, OSD like shut down our school accounts which really screwed me over and logged out of all of my stuff. I got back in to most of my accounts but I can’t access my email and sometimes I get logged out of Edu Blogs becuase it says my google account is expired or something. I don’t really know what’s up with that but I’m kinda struggling. Also I was unable to link videos I was watching onto Edu blogs, I got most of them on but I was having a problem where it would keep on linking past videos and it was just annoying. I just had to take a break but I came back and finished so I guess I solved my problems kinda.

TODAY’s ACTIVITY EVALUATION

Content (The WHAT)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 4

I enjoyed watching some videos about the music in songs that I know, kinda diving into the theory of them.

Process (The HOW)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 3

I do enjoy the way that we’re doing the class now with more autonomy but I was fine with the way it used to be, I just do better with more instruction.

 

School of Rock – Day 7 – Planning and Pathways

SUMMARY

Today was mostly about how you make a song and the easy ways to put a good song together with different elements.

CLASSROOM (THEORY & ANALYSIS)

Holistic Songwriting by Friedemann Findeisen

Screenshot from Holistic Songwriting’s Channel at YouTube

An Example: The Swift Formula – One Note Melodies

From Holistic Songwriting’s How Taylor Swift Writes Melodies at YouTube
From Holistic Songwriting’s How Taylor Swift Writes Melodies at YouTube
From Holistic Songwriting’s How Taylor Swift Writes Melodies at YouTube

I watched the video on Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven and I liked it a lot. The meaning of the song is interesting, and pretty clear when listening to it. It’s funny how he’s talking about how music is moving forward from boring classical stuff to rock, and then the same thing repeats with the Punk rock movement that is moving forward from old rock.

How interested in learning more about music theory and song analysis?

    • 1 (YUCK!)
    • 2 (not really)
    • 3 (sorta interested)
    • 4 (interested)
    • 5 (YES!)

Your score: 4

LAB (THEORY PRACTICED)

Screenshot of Lyrics Melody and Chord Progressions from HookTab at YouTube

Explore the tutorials (but you do not need to watch all of them – just pick what looks interesting to you) from the:

One of the videos I watched was on chord progression, because to me that seems like a very important thing that drives the song. Hookpad sets up the chords very easily, and will default to play the chords that match the key, while also giving you room to make adjustments to the chords.

The lyric videos were helpful as well and show some good tools on Hookpad, the way that the lyric melody changes with the chords automatically makes this process very easy.

How interested in learning more about HookLab and HookTab?

    • 1 (YUCK!)
    • 2 (not really)
    • 3 (sorta interested)
    • 4 (interested)
    • 5 (YES!)

Your score: 3

PRACTICE ROOM (GUITAR LESSONS)

Screenshot from Mary Spender’s YouTube Channel

Watch Mary Spender: Powerful advice from 10 Professional Musicians you need to hear (14:15)

Screenshot from JustinGuitar.com
Screenshot from JustinGuitar.com

Start his 117 Free Lessons YouTube Playlist

Start the series of videos, follow his directions, and check out his web site, justinguitar.com.

Set a timer.  Maybe an hour a day?  The first 10 videos take less than an hour.

I don’t think I’m gonna do the free lessons because that’s not really something I need to do.

I liked the advice from musicians, a point made by many of them is to start early and practice as well as you can.

  • Screenshot from JustinGuitar.comBe curious about Justin.
  • Mr. Le Duc considers him the best beginning guitar teacher online. He’s not the only one that thinks this.  Check out some of the celebrity endorsements at justinguitar.com.

How interested in learning more about playing the guitar?

    • 1 (YUCK!)
    • 2 (not really)
    • 3 (sorta interested)
    • 4 (interested)
    • 5 (YES!)

Your score: 2

OUTSIDE (CREATIVITY & THE BRAIN)

Screenshot from Jane McGonigal’s SuperBetter TED Talk on YouTube

Watch Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life.  (20 minutes)

Go for a walk and think about what this video meant to you.

It’s interesting to hear about these simple things we can do to improve our mental and physical health in different ways.

I feel what she’s talking about how people think gaming is a waste of time. But why is that, if you’re enjoying your time. She also talks about how games create good relationships.

How interested in these topics about the brain, creativity, and productivity?

    • 1 (YUCK!)
    • 2 (not really)
    • 3 (sorta interested)
    • 4 (interested)
    • 5 (YES!)

Your score: 2

STUDIO (SONGWRITING)

Screenshot from Holistic Songwriting at YouTube
Screenshot from Holistic Songwriting at YouTube

Watch Holistic Songwriting: Do THIS with every song you write | Hit Song Architect S1E3

The best structure for writing a song is intro-verse-(pre)-chorus-verse-(pre)-chorus-bridge-chorus

If you want the chorus to sound big, don’t make it bigger, make what comes before it smaller.

Don’t have all the instruments playing at the same time, put the different elements in at different times, with them coming in and out at verses/chorus.

How interested in songwriting, song structure, and music production?

    • 1 (YUCK!)
    • 2 (not really)
    • 3 (sorta interested)
    • 4 (interested)
    • 5 (YES!)

Your score: 5

CONTROL ROOM (RECORDING & MIXING)

Soundtrap mixing and publishing at Clark Eagling’s YouTube Channel

Watch Clark Eagling: Soundtrap tutorial 5 – Arranging the song, Mixing and adding effects

Watch all five videos in the playlist, if you are interested.

One thing that I was really seeing is the importance of staggering instruments which adds more uniqueness to the music.

How interested in recording, engineering (sound effects, EQ), and mixing?

    • 1 (YUCK!)
    • 2 (not really)
    • 3 (sorta interested)
    • 4 (interested)
    • 5 (YES!)

Your score: 3

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

I learned about the different elements of a song and how to put together these layers. I enjoyed the videos and found them helpful, but I’m still anxious about actually trying to put together a song on Sound Trap or Hookpad. Although I wasn’t particularly interested by the guitar lessons since it’s review I still enjoyed the work today.

TODAY’s ACTIVITY

EVALUATION

Content (The WHAT)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 4

I was interested by all the stuff about making songs and the elements that you can put in to make them sound good.

Process (The HOW)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: 4

I though the videos were helpful and engaging and a good way to work on the topic.

School of Rock – Day 6 – Bass Basics SUMMARY

Today was about bass, I learned how to write a bassline, the important parts of it and its purpose. I also learned about some prolific bassists who were very important in shaping modern music.

CLASSROOM

Watch How Bass Works (47 minutes)

  • In the Baroque period of music, only one instrument was able to make a low “bassy” noise: The organ, able to play notes at least an octave lower than other instruments.
  • It wasn’t until the late 1900s that the organ was the main bass instrument used
  • It was passed up by the bass
  • The bass instrument became what it is today in the 1800s
  • The tonic is the center of gravity in a chord, and the root of the chord. The bass line often reflects the root notes
  • It sounds good to have the bass line move down while the chords move up, even while having the same roots (contrary motions)
  • Bass fills and bass runs lead to bass solos and riffs

LAB

Step 1: Watch How to write Chromatic Notes in Hookpad (some bass lines are based on chromatic scale)

screenshot from HookTab

Step 2: Watch 3 ways to use Hookpad’s MIDI drag-drop feature (you can create basslines and more and export to Soundtrap and other DAW – digital audio workstations)

Screenshot from HookLab

Step 3: Try making a bassline to a chord progress or melody line.

  • You can raise or lower a note already inserted with your keyboard (period to raise by a half step, semicolon to lower by a half step).
  • When inserting notes you can hold the semicolon or period to make a flat or sharp
  • For exporting, highlight and select the composition and press B to open the band section. Click the section that you want to export and it will automatically create a Midi file

I kinda learned how to write a bassline but I struggled with figuring it out. I worked on it for a bit, idk it just was kinda complicated. I couldn’t make it play bass.

PRACTICE ROOM

Step 1: Watch How To Add Bass Notes [Guitar Strumming Lessons] by Tomas Michaud

Screenshot from Tomas Michaud video

Step 2: Download the guitar TABS for his exercise (PDF)

Step 3: Practice one of the exercises

I enjoyed the video and the practice. I’ve done work with playing the bass notes and I definitely appreciate it because it can make a song sound a lot better.

Profile in Excellence

Screenshot from Polyphonic at YouTube

Profile in Excellence

Image from Wikipedia

OUTSIDE / JOURNAL / IDEAS

Choice 1: Explore Carol Kaye and James Jamerson’s Profiles in Excellent.  These are two bass players are credited with creating some of the best bass lines!  Then go for a walk and think of the funky work they created.

Wow, these guys just sound like some amazing musicians. Not just because of the names they played with but also because of their individual influence. Kaye played on ~10,000 tracks!!!!! With so many famous bands and musicians, that just blows my mind. Jamerson played with so many names as well, from Stevie wonder to Smokey Robinson which is just crazy. Doesn’t surprise me that he’s so influential, funk and soul music from that time period was really driven by strong bass lines.

Choice 2: Flip through the Quizlet on Bass Composition Techniques flashcards a couple times.

After playing with Quizlet, go for a walk and think about bass lines.  Think of songs that have great basslines.  When you are back from your walk, you might want to research more about the notes that make those basslines stand out?

Screenshot from Quizlet Bass Composition Techniques

Write a brief reflection on your mental meanderings.

STUDIO

Play around with playing the low E string (6th string on the top of the neck) on your guitar. Create a simple three note-ish bassline. Get funky with it.  Try different plucking tempos to great the groove. You can even try playing Smoke on the Water

Screenshot from Kidsguitarzone.com

I’d say its a stretch to say I “composed” something, but I just kinda made something based off of the blues scale, not exactly original work but a combination of stuff that I’ve heard and built on a bit.

A- C#- E- G- E  That’s one measure for the I chord, then the run moves up to the IV chord with the same pattern (starting on D- F#… etc) , and the same thing for the V chord

CONTROL ROOM

Record the bass line you developed in the studio.

Recording went fairly well, I haven’t really had trouble recording stuff on soundtrap.

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

Today I learned about bass. I had to record some stuff and make some bass lines on hooktheory, which was the part that caused me the most problems. I just spent some time on it and went slow, which helped but I still couldn’t really get a hang of it and I didn’t feel like the videos helped me that much.

ACTIVITY EVALUATION

Content (The WHAT)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – (4)– 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: I liked it

What interested you about the material?

Well I really enjoyed learning about those bassists and also getting a deeper understanding of a critical part of musical compositions and bands.

Process (The HOW)

Rating: OK  – 1 – 2 – 3 – (4) – 5  – HIGHLY ENGAGED

Rating: I liked it

Which activities engaged you most? Why?

I just liked playing stuff on my guitar, the hands on stuff is what I like the most.