And then some me thinks. Yes there is more to say somehow despite the plethora of what has already been said. Do you find an inane distractability in just about everything there is to do? Maybe during practice, reaching for a beverage instead of maintaining focus on the difficulties of what we’re trying to learn!? What I’m asking is, is it really thirst? Does dehydration occur sitting at the keyboard learning to read music? Enough berating of my anxious concerns about managing to get things done for the moment.
I’ve berated B flat Major in a previous post and as this is something of my paradigm to go through all the modes in all the keys as a project.
We come to Dorian in C.
A natural minor scale comprising all the notes of a Major scale but the root pitch begins from the Major 2nd interval. In the case of B flat Major, the Major 2nd interval is C. What makes it a minor is the 3rd note from this starting pitch which is E flat. The 6th interval in Dorian in C is an A, this is a half step higher than would be in a natural minor scale where the 6th would be A flat.
I know, fascinating right.
All so we can find and play the right note on demand.
So knowing what we know about Major scales and B flat in particular, see if we can parse out or deduce the other pitches in C Dorian.
Fill in the blanks, in your head, on your instrument or on a separate sheet of paper if you like. The pitches previously mentioned are filled in. The intervals are relative to the root C.
Root C, major 2nd___ , minor 3rd E flat, perfect 4th___, perfect 5th___ , major 6th A, minor 7th___ .
Keep in mind it should be alphabetic. So if there is a C and there is an E flat there must be a..?
Now go and find them on your instrument.
When to use the Dorian in C.
What chords are available given the pitches we’ve deduced above? Find one or 7 and strum and then improvise using the scale over the lingering memory of the chord you played. The obvious choice is of course C minor as a jumping off point. Let us find some of the other possible chords that can be built from the sequence of notes we find in the mode.
As is my custom, here is my take on mixing up the playing of the scale to challenge our fingers.
Really its more of a history. Developing a guitar technique led me to the intro of the song. I repeated it thrice in case it was missed. Discovered when transcribing that all the pitches in the 12 tone musical scale are contained with in its bewildering array! I did not intend that, just happened, a happy accident!? Found a chord structure to turn it into something more. Smudged those in a few places. The melody was apparent but the lyrics were a long time coming. Could not commit to who or what the song was to be about / for. Found some words that made sense with the original verbiage construed at the beginning. It is for everybody now. Recording was its own morass of try, become dissatisfied, leave it, try again. Transpose it to the keyboard, learn to play the keyboard, so it sounds like music. Become dissatisfied with the result, leave it, forget how it was played, relearn it, try again. Let recording equipment go out of date, lose functionality. Struggle to get that to work again, ignoring other alternatives. Find that other recording alternatives can work! Try, fail, try again, fail. Keep trying, failing as learning. Accept it won’t be a grammy winner regardless, but is close enough for rock n roll. Well Pop, Rock, Jazz as I am want to classify it. Realize the process is as involving if not more so than the result. Let it glow so the next one can come to fruition. Perhaps it won’t take 17 years to complete!?
So I was thinking about writing about Locrius who lived in Locria amongst the Locriites during the Locracious period but thought better of it and decided to stay with some of the more technical aspects relating to guitar playing and such!
A very odd sounding scale that can evoke notions of the mysterious or ambivalence. Is interesting because of the proximity of the m2nd right next to the ROOT and the 4th has a diminished or flat 5th rubBing up against it so to speak. Who is the naughty one here!? In relation to the Ionian in A Major, the Locrian has as its root G# / Ab. By beginning the mode with this as the root point, the interval relationships change as they also do in the other modes. No less than 4 minor intervals in this mode. m2nd, m3rd, m6th and m7th. Plus the 5th is diminished, (a type of minor pitch relative to the ROOT) so there is technically 5 minor intervals!
playing in the Locrian mode
So much is off when compared to the relative Major that it practically begs for resolution. That is to say it builds a sonic tension when expressed. You don’t have to begin on the Root of course. But it does show its color when played against a chord based on it the intervals it contains. Fingering such a chord does get the mind involved if we are not familiar employing the intervals in the mode in this way. EXERCISE: Make up a chord with as may of the pitches in the mode as possible without repeating one i.e. an octave. EXERCISE: Play the mode or a portion thereof against the chords suggested from the other intervals. EXERCISE: Using the sonique spiderweb Dial in the intervals to the LOCRIAN MODE. You can reference the actual intervals on the outer perimeter of the SSW ROOT, m2, m3, P4, dim5, m6, m7,
OR; Knowing that the notes of A MAJOR are also the notes used in LOCRIAN G#/Ab find which intervals to display that way. A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#
Experimentation is involved to get to the usefulness in expressing this mode in our playing. Remember to develop our technique in the various modes by not just playing them forwards and backwards, but crossways and slideways! The creative muscle is strengthened by searching out ways to make it relevant to our musical expression. I discovered whilst generating a fret board diagram of the Locrian / Ionian in the key of A that, across some frets on all strings an associated pitch could be found that is in key . See Diagram. I point this out as an additional exercise that does not demand too much mental effort looking for ‘pitches in key’ to make playing around with the scale an exercise in exploration and finger gymnastics without the associated ‘is that a relative pitch to the scale’ thought process. So in this case the relative pitches are found on all strings at the 2nd 7th and 9th fret.
Did you see what I did there? Combining exercising with ax, a term some people use to describe a guitar, clever no? Not certain when that terminology came into use, or when the riffs musicians played came to be known as chops? But as a species we do like to change things up, to keep it interesting. It was very probably someone trying to be clever that brought about such changes to descriptive analogies amidst the mix of humanities linguistic propensities. I personally don’t think things ever get boring, and this post is about the need to be interested in order to make progress.
About the image
Why is there an interest to share the vicissitudes of my life thusly? I don’t know, but there it is, a mangled morass of my mental ambiguity modified for mass consumption. I multitask to make this. First as a digital journal entry of my scatterbrained thoughts and then, by further manipulating that output I can express my experience of life to the light of day. The thoughts rendered thusly can then be considered processed by me and leave something of interest I feel comfortable sharing. There is also video of the process, to add as a visual backdrop for music I generate. That will be available when the next musical composition is finished.
If you like this digital distortion of my thoughts and would like to see it in full, without the ‘Sonique Spiderweb Title’ obscuring the image, email me and I will send a .jpeg.
In the mean time here is another strand from the Sonique Spiderweb.
So I have been demonstrating the Sonique Spiderweb within the framework of the Ionian in the key of A. I have went through all the basic modes thus far now leading to the Aeolian in F# a natural minor scale.
So once again as with all modes Ionian, we have all the notes in A major but F# is the root making the A note the minor 3rd in the sequence.
The natural minor is remarkably fun to play in, and offers so much to use in any number of corresponding chord sequences, in whatever key we are playing in of course.
This is a fundamental skill that can best be appreciated by applying it within our practice.
The point of learning to use the scale to develop improvisational skill is demonstrated here in this short video about the mode.
FINDing THE WILL TO MAKE PROGRESS.
What is of interest when we imagine reaching our musical goals?
Performing a song perfectly, proficiently, painterly? That term ‘painterly’ I mean as a painter paints, the brush strokes they use to express a tree or mountain for example, may not look like that at all, before the picture is complete. The same with playing a song, we may not hit every note exactly but we have sufficient grasp of the piece to convey it satisfyingly!
this could also be interesting.
Being on stage performing, playing in a band Your music being streamed online and you’re banking some bucks. Conveying a deep emotion to a significant other. In a recording studio, comping some riffs for another musician you admire. Writing music to inspire, to incite insight, to invigorate innovation.
options require CHOICES be made
Regardless of our level of interest though, the consistency of pursuit remains the determining factor in a sense of accomplishment. What are we willing to do so that we can be the musician we want to be? There is a lot of advice available to encourage action in accord with our aspirations, but such motivation can be short lived. I know this to be true, as my blog posting schedule seems to suggest. That is, I don’t really have one!?
Thus in anything we want to do, it helps if the thing that interests us is also compelling enough for our best effort to be engaged. Consistent, constant, constructive, instructive, these are all words that are part of a vocabulary of attempting successful accomplishment. But wait there is so much to…
We CAN DO ANYTHING (+/-) we CANT DO EVERYTHING.
It is problematic to want to do everything. The wanting is possible, the doing is not. There is always something else to pursue or is perhaps easier or more fun to do. Distractions likewise abound and confound, challenging us to try to continue to make any real meaningful progress. If we focus on why we want what we want then we can put in the effort needed to attain the level of success desired. To be a musician this effort will take many forms, practice, study, listening, recording, to name a few. So if we cant do one, another is available. Or we can distract ourselves and do such things later.
What matters and why? To me its all about being interested and involved, and that can have many degrees of intensity and attention. Given time we will become the musician, artist, idealistic aspirant we want to be!
So whatever the goal or task at hand then, please, prudently and patiently pursue the process of making proactive progress possible that are pertinent to your proclivities!
So this song has been with me awhile. I generated it using ‘the sonique spiderweb’ whilst working at the keyboard. By confining myself to the notes with in a key I was not particularly familiar with, and to aid in improving my always wanting to be better mind set. I recorded this. Was I successful? You will have to make that determination for yourself if you feel so inclined.
I did some guitar overdubs in one of the DAW’s (digital audio workstations) I have available. As well as taking apart duplicated MIDI keyboard parts to add interest. That involved subtracting notes at random and assigning different synth patches to those tracks.
I am pleased with the results for the most part. I call it a demo because of some imprecise improvisation I hear on the guitar tracks. Also audio engineering is a skill set that also gets the ‘I want to be better at this‘ mind set. The video also is a recent amalgamation of artistique enterprises combined with video expressions to add interest and make it post-able to youtube.
As it is, projects get started with one intention and then other ideas crop up to impact the process. Not the least of which is ‘I can do better’ but then that gets difficult to pursue and then nothing gets done, sometimes, for a long time. Treize has been on the shelf so to speak, for years. Perfectionism is a hazardous road to walk on especially in comfortable shoes!? So barefoot forward I will proceed and avoid the rough spots as much as possible.
By collecting, creating, modifying, recording images and ideas, all the time. Intending to compile such into a result like ‘treize’ linked to above and thereby adhere to my mission statement.
“musique and media to incite insight and invigorate innovation”
Me. I realized after tracking my time, how much of it I spend creating multimedia compositions. So that is what I am doing right now, being a practicing multimedia artist. Amongst of course, all the cacophony that life has to offer, my 2¢ is now also on the table.
This is because all the notes in these modes are found in the A Major Scale!
Go ahead and try to do that
So what to do with this knowledge? Parse the other modes in the A major by referencing the notes and finding them on your instrument.
I also recommend playing the scale in a variety of ways so as to improve working knowledge of your instrument and provide technical proficiency through shifting ones view of the possibility that scales can be a rather interesting provocation to inspire music making.
One question that comes up is how can we employ these various modes.
What options does this knowledge afford us to add interest to our musical expression?
Music and media to incite insight and invigorate innovation
My mission statement such as it is. This is so I can focus on something that will lend cohesion to this effort. In that regard I have recorded another video to demonstrate making scales more complicated and possibly more interesting to play. Still within the key of A Major and slightly altered from the previous post. The intention of developing technique thus is as away to focus the mind on the goal of improving ones musical vocabulary and afford new abilities of expression.
but wait there’s more!
There is always more, more to say, more to combine, a related but presently irrelevant trajectory to take, so much more!
It is easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about all the options possible to develop and express oneself, and bewildering to wonder which ones will have the most impact.
This happens a lot when I try to learn new things both on the guitar and the keyboard, as well as in my video and recording efforts.
Then whence once engaged, the questions flood in. ’Is this clear?’, ‘should I add this?’, ‘what of saying that?’
Should I over explain in my effort to simplify the subject or limit my fear of being misunderstood and let the reader viewer take what they can from my expression.
This is ultimately all that is really hopefully going to happen.
For the most part its all going swimmingly!
So when feeling overwhelmed by the gimungous hunormities of potential possibilities I sometimes revisit that which I know well and put off leveling up to use the parlance of the gaming world. Having reached a certain level of competence it can be comfortable to leave it at that and merely imagine a time when progress will be made instead of doing something about it now.
However, often times I find that after putting forth the effort to move beyond my current abilities then returning to the well trodden paths of been there can do that I have improved there as well!
Now if I can just find the will to produce more content…
I really just needed to put something out, get heard as it were. After writing and recording so many songs, and doing nothing with them this seemed like a momentum moment, actuating motivation!? So after having put it out there under the auspices of a contest. I am now second guessing what did I do, by signing over all the rights to use my song Rattle Snake Jane as they see fit, and realizing this is regardless if I win or not?
Getting the ‘You tube channel’ up and running for the submission process was almost too easy. Having been wanting to start one for awhile now. However generating relevant content that I am pleased to put up, is another story. Still a plethora of ideas continues to flow in, preoccupy and befuddle my abilities at follow through but nevertheless, I am willing to continue this endeavour.
but I hate the way I look on camera!
So that means, making videos where I am performing is a challenge. Still I try and get creative with the process, much to my dismay sometimes, as I struggle to puzzle together the next offering in iMovie, or some other program I have available in order to cobble together the disparate views of my idealogy. Yep, I spelt it that-a-ways for reasons you are of course, always free to think about!
I really should plan my posts better
I am always thinking about a graphic after I’ve started writing but get so excited that I actually wrote something that I don’t want to wait to publish before I can find something visual to include here. Then there is the editing, and getting hung up on placement of and defining nevertheless, and momentum moment, and what should probably be a link, but is not, to my idealogy!?
Alack there are more dagblammit ideas to pursue!
So I need to get back to work on editing the next video, so there will be something to write about next. I am contemplating a patreon page so my massive fan base can show their support, but that seems like a lot of work and I always feel like I need to have more to show to warrant such consideration. I did try a self portrait recently that was outside of my usual approach to art, so that’ll be the graphic for this post.
As always leave a comment if you wish, and thanks for reading.
So as I am in the process of writing a patent application for a musical instruction toolhere, only partially seen at present. I noticed not every note in the musical alphabet had a corresponding key sign associated with it? Did that make the note designation irrelevant or invalid? No, because even though some notes do not have their very own key signs they can nevertheless be referenced as a so named musical note in certain contexts. So you go D# and G# stand tall with your enharmonic bretheren knowing full well the truth of your sonic brilliance!