School of Rock – Day 5 – Rhythm Basics

SUMMARY

Today was all about rhythm. I watched a video about the theories behind rhythm as well as its history and use in different cultures and countries. I also made some music with my guitar that focused on rhythm by muting the strings and kinda shuffling with a pick.

CLASSROOM

Watch How Rhythm Works (47 minutes)

  • At the heart of rhythm is the pulse or beat
  • Classical music uses an implicit beat that the audience can imagine
  • In the chug along rhythm used by different artists, the pulse doesn’t change but the accent shifts to different notes.
  • Pulse, tempo, subdivision of the beat, and accent: the four elements of rhythm
  • Our head puts accents on equal beats that we hear, even if they aren’t present in the beat
  • In rap, the rapper often uses there voice to make a beat for the song

LAB

Step 1: Watch Drum Arrangements Made Simple and learn how to create a simple groove and fill-ins.

Step 2: Learn how to Arranging Drums in Hookpad

Step 3: (Optional) Explore Advanced Drum Arrangements in Hookpad.

This went pretty well, I have very little knowledge of drums, but obviously it’s made simpler on hookpad. Stuff I need to rememeber

  • Press B to bring up the band section and then unmute the drums which should already be inserted
  • In the drum browser, the basic drum section has beats that repeat the same thing whereas all the other sections follow a smart algorithm that inserts fills
  • Add the band marker by clicking on a bar and that will shift the eight bar structure

PRACTICE ROOM

Watch Mike Palmisano show you how to play guitar like a drummer.

Playing my guitar but putting more emphasis  into the rhythm went pretty well, probably cus I’ve tried stuff like that before, but the video was still helpful and I enjoyed practicing.

A Side Note

OUTSIDE / JOURNAL / IDEAS

Flip through the Quizlet on Rhythm Terminology flashcards a couple times.

Image Metric levels from the Wikimedia Commons

After playing with Quizlet, go for a walk and think about the rhythm of your steps.  How many beats per minute is your walk/pace/cadence? What is the tempo of some of your favorite songs?  How many beats per minute is your favorite tempo?

I’m pretty sure my steps/beats per minute is 80, which is kinda slow. My favorite tempos are definitely higher than that, but also not on the faster side of things when compared to other songs. I looked through some songs that I like on hook theory and saw an average of about 100-110 for the tempo. 

STUDIO

Funklet is back!  This time in the studio. Pick a drummer, like Clyde Stubblefield. Play around with their a beat with Funklet’s editing options. Play a rhythmic guitar strumming pattern over the beat. Practice playing in time with the beat. Try muting the strings and keeping tempo, chucka-chucka style. Watch this chucka-chucka tutorial, to better understand the technique.

CONTROL ROOM

Funklet is back, AGAIN!  This time in the control room.

Pick a drummer.

Export the MIDI file.

Import it into Soundtrap.

Record a rhythmic guitar strumming pattern over the beat.

Watch Mr. Le Duc’s Tutorial for Exporting and Importing MIDI Files with Funklet, HookLab, and Soundtrap, if you get stuck with any of these steps.

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

Today I learned about rhythm and how to use the guitar more as a rhythm instrument. The day went well, although I did have to watch Mr. Le Duc’s video to help when I was struggling to move the Funklet thing to Soundtrap.

School of Rock – Day 4 – Harmony Basics

SUMMARY

Today was about harmony. I learned a lot and feel a lot more confident with how to put together simple music that sounds good, not only will a melody but with harmonies too.

CLASSROOM

Watch How Harmony Works (47 minutes)

  • Harmony became used during the middle ages
  • Many types of folk music use drones, throughout the world. A drone self perpetuating note
  • In nature, B flat has other notes hidden in it
  • Music since the 19th century has been using very similar chord patterns
  • These compositions use the tonic and dominant patterns
  • Discord: putting in a group of notes into a harmony that don’t fit together
  • Discord was considered “the devil of music” in the 16th century, but in more modern times, our ears are more used to discord
  • In older times, composers would sometime slip in notes that could be considered discord, but that lead onto other triads

LAB

Watch the tutorial and write some chords in HookPad

This activity worked pretty well, putting in chords and melody over it is easy. Using the stable notes is also simple.

PRACTICE ROOM

The practice is going well. I’m having a bit of trouble with slide guitar but I’m figuring it out and the song isn’t too hard. The flashcards are also getting along well.

OUTSIDE / JOURNAL / IDEAS

Go for a walk and think about the Tonic (1 chord) and the Dominant (5 chord) and how they create push and pull, tension and release in composition.

  • Tonic (1 and 8 chords)
    • Root note creates a feeling of resolution and stability
  • Supertonic, Mediant, Submediant (2, 3, 6 chords)
    • Moderate tension, useful for transitions
  • Dominant, Subdominant, Leading Tone (4, 5, 7 chords)
    • Create lots of tension to get to the tonic

Mr. Le Duc’s Key of C Major Notes and Chords Chart (PDF)

STUDIO

Watch this informative video by Jake Lizzio. Experiment with notes on your guitar and try playing along with him. If you cannot do this play just the C note or chord every time he plays it.

CONTROL ROOM

Tune your guitar. Try recording two tracks of guitar.  One with the single notes like Jake Lizzio showed you above and a second with the lower C bass notes to make a simple progression. Remember two notes playing at the same time is harmonyKeep it simple.  Refer to your Quizlet Guitar Strings / Notes Flashcards if you need help remembering the guitar notes on the first three frets. Set a timer. Stop playing before you feel like Chewbacca below.

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

Today I learned about harmonies. This consisted of some videos as well as putting together individual notes with chords in soundtrap. I didn’t have any struggle with these activities, although I did have to take some time during the control room part to put together a little piece that I felt sounded good.

School or Rock – Day 3 – Melody Basics

SUMMARY

Today I learned about melody and the similarities in musical compositions used throughout different centuries and cultures. With the help of a few videos I learned about how to write a melody and the patterns found in music.

CLASSROOM

Watch How Melody Works (47 minutes)

  • 5 key notes-Pentatonic
  • 3 elements to a melody: the notes you choose, how high or low they are, the pattern that they create
  • 12 notes in “western” music, more notes in other cultures
  • Pitch deals with how high or low a note is, likes its octave
  • The easiest and most predictable movements between notes is a whole step, in different time periods however, other steps, like 3rds 4ths and 5ths.
  • Similar to archetypes and storytelling templates used for many generations, musical compositions have basic templates  that composers can use.
  • In England in the 16th century, musicians would modify the Eolian mode with a sharp, to make it more cheerful
  • Blues musicians used “blue” notes which were more common in African music and note found in western scales. They bent notes in such a way that they weren’t on any rung of the ladder

LAB

Writing the melody to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was fairly simple. The advice that the tutorial gave was very helpful. Using your right hand to create the rhythm and your left hand to make the melody makes creating a song super simple. Also being able to copy and paste regions as well as move them up or down a half/whole step is nice.

PRACTICE ROOM

 

OUTSIDE / JOURNAL / IDEAS

Watch Elizabeth Gilbert discuss creativity.  Write anything you found interesting and useful.

The speakers take on the change of views on creative minds during the renaissance is very interesting. She points out how in the past, artists were given full credit for their work, but that changed during the renaissance and it gave the creators “too much responsibility”. She explains how it creates a pressure that is put on artists that is one of the reasons for mental health problems found in artists.

STUDIO

Melody Composition Terms

  • Theme – a longer, more flowing melodic idea
  • Motive- a short, rhythmic idea
  • Period- 8 measures of music
  • Phrase- 4 measures, 1/2 of the period
  • Antecedent (Question) Phrase- the first phrase
  • Consequent (Answer) Phrase- the second phrase
  • Scale Degrees- the names for different notes throughout the measure
    • Tonic- begins and ends the scale, concludes the melody
    • Supertonic, Mediant, Submediant- cause some tension and need for a tonic resolve
    • Dominant, Subdominant, Leading Tone- the notes that cause the most tension in the melody
  • Steps- movement using a half or whole step
  • Leaps- any movement that is greater than a whole step
  • Conjunct motion- a melody built out or steps
  • Disjunct motion- melody built primarily out of leaps and larger movements
  • Repetition- uses repeated material to make a link between 2 phrases of a period
  • Contrast- write two phrases that use contrasting material to create tension
  • Variation- two phrases that use similar and different material

Melody Resources

Mr. Le Duc’s Key of C Major Notes and Chords Chart (PDF)

CONTROL ROOM

Learn how to Create Tracks

Explore the Piano Roll, Drawing and Moving Notes

Learn to Edit Notes, Velocity, and More

Learn to Create Your Own Presets

Stuff I should remember:

  • If you double click on a region you can edit the notes by moving them around, adding and taking out individual notes etc.
  • You can click add effects and choose from many more affects to put on instruments

There was some helpful info in here, I have been messing around a lot on Soundtrap though with Alex and I think the best way to learn is from experience

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

I learned about melody and the main “algorithms” used to create a pleasant sounding melody. The use of different scales to make cool sounds is something that interested me a lot. Even though the Melody video was long I am still I watched it since it contained a lot of information.

School or Rock – Day 2 – Basics and Foundations

SUMMARY

Spent some more time making music today. I had my first go at connecting my guitar to SoundTrap, which was very fun. The quick review of music theory was helpful to get my mind back into music mode.

CLASSROOM

  • Even though G# is the same as A flat, they are referred to as one or the other based on the notes in a scale. There can only be one A in a scale, so if there is also an A flat, you would call it a G# so that there isn’t an A and an A flat.
  • An octave is going up or down 12 notes.
  • A half step is easily visualized on a guitar or piano. One half step is going up by one fret or one key.
  • Sometimes a different scale is played than the key of the song: in blues, the scale played is a pentatonic minor scale even though the key is major.
  • Most chords have three notes (1-3-5)
  • Drop the three by a half step to make a minor.
  • Minor scale on guitar is the same as the major scale up to whole steps except you change the root note.

LAB

Don’t think twice it’s Alright- Bob Dylan: I noticed that the song starts with a chord cycle of 1-4-5, which is more like a blues song, rather than the 1-3-5 that was mentioned in the video. Key: E, Tempo: 108

Down by the River- Neil Young: One thing I noticed that was kinda strange was the root note is only used in the verse, and isn’t played throughout the pre-chorus or chorus. Oh, I just went back and looked some more, it’s because the key changes in the chorus to G, while it’s E in the verse.

Up on Cripple Creek- the Band: This song kinda uses a bluesy chord cycle, it mainly uses the 1-4-5 chords, especially for the verse. This is a quicker songs than the others with a tempo of 128.

PRACTICE ROOM

Watch these videos and connect your guitar to Soundtrap and get some sound happening. Have fun exploring audio options.

I really enjoyed doing this because I’ve often felt like if I had the chance to record stuff I play and then play over it I could make some good sounds and I feel like that happened.

JOURNAL

The first thing I hear is the birds, then the cars, then my mom talking on the phone. Then I’m awake. It takes several minutes to have the strength to roll out of bed and get ready for the day. I check my phone, multiple friends wanting to hang out. I check my computer, more work to do. I check the calendar, it’s a tuesday, working out today. How can I juggle the different activities that I want to fit in. The challenge that I face everyday. 

This is all I’ve got, I’m not good at writing stories and following through, so there isn’t really a conflict, idk.

STUDIO

Finish Soundtrap.com expert training here…and play with your guitar.

https://academy.soundtrap.com/p/soundtrap-expert

Get to Know the Studio

Explore the Regions

Explore Tracks

  • If you loop a region you create shadow regions, if you edit the original region it will change all of the loops
  • Automation allows you to change the volume throughout different points in a track

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

I learned a lot more today about SoundTrap because I actually spent more time one it, put in some tracks, recorded some guitar etc. Looking at some songs on Hook theory was also cool because it was right after I had done some learning on music theory and then I could see in real music what the video had been going over. I didn’t find myself struggling much at any point but I did have to take some breaks throughout the day.

School of Rock – Day 1 – Silence, Safety, Tools, and Goals

SUMMARY

The day was started with some learning about sound, first a podcast called Silence and then some videos on sound and how it works. Along with some tutorials on programs I will be using in the next few weeks, I learned a lot about music and recording.

CLASSROOM

Image of Gordon Hempton
Image by Richard Darbonne, © All Rights Reserved.

Listen to https://onbeing.org/programs/gordon-hempton-silence-and-the-presence-of-everything/

Safety

Watch 3-minute video preview: https://www.hrmvideo.com/catalog/listen-smart-safely-handling-the-power-of-sound

  • I thought it was interesting that too much noise paralyzes the hair cells and then more of that noise over time destroys the cells so the ear has more trouble picking up sounds.
  • I also enjoyed the analogy to sea grass and exposure to ocean waves.
  • Goal: listen to music in a way that it will enrich but not harm you

 

  • 10%-20% of high schoolers have hearing damage
  • Hearing damage can happen in one occasion, doesn’t have to be constant
  • No cure!
  • Temporary Threshold Shift: “hearing hangover”
  • Wearing earplugs doesn’t change the quality of sound but just the volume
  • High-frequency loss is most commons with musicians
  • Distancing yourself from the source and earplugs are the best way to prevent hearing loss
  • Stimulants while listening to music can increase the risk of hearing damage
  • Resting your ears is important, space out concerts
  • 70 dB, no risk
  • 85 dB, risk after 8 hours
  • 91dB, 2 hours without damage
  • 100 dB, 15 minutes without damage
  • 115 dB, 1 minute without damage
  • 140 dB, immediate damage and pain
  • Symptoms of damage, tinnitus, muffled hearing, and other mental and physical problems like irritability, depression, high blood pressure, and fatigue
  • damage is done when the cochlea hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, they do not grow back. These are what interpret vibrations and turn them into what we hear

Advice

  • In Theatres and Concert Halls, the best way to reduce stress on the musicians ears is to play different shows/ musical performances in a week rather than play the same shows. This is because when shows are repeated daily, the same level and type of pressure is put on the ears and will cause more damage.
  • For freelancers who may be encountering multiple high level noise activities per day, wearing ear protection is important for staying healthy.
  • For those working in bars or pubs with live music, it is also important to stay safe, whether you are a performer or a server. Not only that, but it is the responsibility of the owner to have a set up that creates goo acoustics so that volumes don’t need to be increased.

LAB

I had some fun messing around on this website, the ease of putting in a melody and the chords is very cool, as well as being able to change the style to develop the sound. The way that notes are differentiated by color is super helpful as well.

A really cool aspect of this site is being able to take apart songs into different pieces. I took a look at some songs and saw that I was able mute certain parts of the songs (like bass, melody, chords etc.) and also pick one part that I wanted to play. This makes it easier to hear just the melody or just the bass when learning a song.

PRACTICE ROOM

I’m thinking I would like to learn Cross Road Blues with a slide (I bought one recently).

Tabs Explained

I already know how to read tab, gotta say though I really like it. I struggle with reading music and tabs are a great visual way to see what you’re playing.

JOURNAL

I spent some time making a new blog that I experimented on. The ability to put in images and link cites is nice because it adds more interesting stuff to the blog without being challenging to add.

STUDIO

CONTROL ROOM

 

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

I learned about the way the sound affects ears, how we absorb noise and how it can negatively affect us. I also worked on some new programs like this one, Edu Blogs, as well as Sound Trap, which allows the user to mix and record music. I watched some brief introductions to tablature to help improve my guitar skills.