Saturday, 19 May 2007

If Looks Could Kill... I was saying, I was fiddling around on the white keys and I came up with this little ditty

[actually I just played the C iteration first - took a few more gos to send it up to D]

Not normally a rhythm I would play, and I think the scale familiarity helped with this. Its just the same three notes in sequence, but what makes it interesting are the slight changes in rythm. It has a cool Buddy Hollyish 50s rock feel, but after playing it a few times I realised I'd heard it before...recently in fact.

After a bit of head searching I realised what it was.

Not exactly the same in terms of scale, but the rythm and feel are definately there, and there was probably some subconcious processing going on there.

But what to do with it?! I constantly played it over and was dry of ideas of what to do next, or what to throw on top. I certainly didn't want to cover the Camera Obscura song. I wanted to do my own thing with the feel. I tried a few different ideas on top of it - just the root note for instance. It sounded OK, but didn't really lead me anywhere else with it. I tried some 7th chords, too, but they didn't sound right...

Then at my piano lesson I showed it to Paul and explained the issues I was having 'doing' something with it. He was a bit confused by my question, and after going through some ideas with him I suppose I was, too. What had sounded pretty boring at home actually sounded OK in the lesson - though we did settle for C6 instead of C7.

There's a lot I can do with the C6 and D6 chords, though rythmically I seem to keep reverting to the feel from Camera. Paul also suggested I try just running about the scale, holding different note lengths on top of this. Suddenly I have a situation where I am tackling two of the challenges I mentioned previously: note lenghts and different rythms.

Unfortunately these challenges were coupled with another - two hands. The odd rhythm of the bassline is apparently hard enough to sustain on my left hand on its own. Whenever I throw in anything but the most basic right hand stuff, it goes to shit. I am not sure what I can do about this - practise makes perfect I suppose.

Paul got me to try something really simple - hold a quarter pulse on the right hand while playing the bass rhythm - like this.

I do lose the feel a bit with that quarter pulse - I guess I am losing some swing there. You can see at the end there that I am finding it hard to get abck to the start - I also think I am speeding up?
Let me try it again with a metronome.

That's a little better. It sounds simple enough, but it made me realise a bit about the timing of the bassline that I didn't realise previously - its not very 'neat' at all! I'll keep working on the timing, but for now I'll have to try the two hands separately. This is something involving different note lengths on the right hand [bassline courtesy of computer. :(]

The problem is though that it really loses that rocknroll feel there. Still, I'd be happy if I could play the two together. Feel or not.. Plenty to keep me busy. I really need to challenge myself to beat this.

Its interesting that the 7th chords actually sounded ok in the lesson. I have often found me changing my mind about something sounding good or not. I think I'll talk more on things sounding crap one time, but good another in a later post...

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