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What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
#3045677 05/24/20 07:54 PM
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My unexpected Covid-19 side effect is watching a lot of cooking shows on the food network, but I find "Food Network Star" particularly interesting because many of the concepts apply to musicians. It's a "reality show" where chefs compete over several episodes, with the winner getting a show on the Food Network.

BUT...

In the first several seasons, a Food Network executive named Bob Tuschman was one of the judges, and his comments about what it means to have "star power" were extremely astute. The message he kept hammering home was that he wanted contestants to be themselves, he wanted to see who they were on a plate, and he wanted them to have a distinct, personal point of view. Like one chef's POV might be Latin-inspired food, another one pro dishes easy enough to be made by amateurs, another one would be comfort food, or modern updates on classic French cuisine...that sort of thing.

And it got me thinking that it's important to define ibe's musical point of view...what it is that makes you unique, and worth listening to.

I initially thought my musical point of view was about self-discovery. When I do music, it's like a Rorschach test coming back at me smile It's about putting myself onto a hard disk as music, so I can find out who I am. I can listen back to my projects from the past several years, and can see exactly what kind of space I was in.

I also realized my music is basically non-fiction story telling, although quite a few of my songs are "based on a true story" rather than a totally literal description. And that's when I understood that my POV is an author who always felt too limited by words - but by using music and words, I can be a much more complete author. That also made me understand why I think vocals are the most important part of my music, why words need to be musical (i.e., sound good) as well as descriptive, and why I don't get too hung up on particular sounds - they a part of the story, not the whole story.

It was an interesting exercise that made me understand myself, and why I do music, much better.

So...what's YOUR musical point of view?

Sound, Studio, and Stage Island
Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045682 05/24/20 08:31 PM
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Honestly, I have never really been able to figure that out. It's been holding me back to a degree. Maybe one day I will. smile


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
davedoerfler #3045687 05/24/20 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by davedoerfler
Honestly, I have never really been able to figure that out. It's been holding me back to a degree.

That really relates to the show I described. One of the contestants was a kid, very young, and hadn't really developed what he was about. He had spent his time travelling around the country, exploring different cuisines, and building up his internal knowledgebase. He said his point of view was doing Pro cooking, but that's kind of like saying my musical point of view is writing songs.

It was obvious he had talent, but Tuschman kept asking what "Pro" really meant - what kind of hook was that for a show? What was it going to offer viewers? What would compel people to watch him?

Partway through the competition, the kid had an insight - he realized his POV was a "Culinary Quest." He wanted to explore different cuisines and share his discoveries with others. Bingo - he had a POV, a hook, and a premise for a show. It happened too late for him to win, it hadn't been developed enough...but when he left, he knew who he was, where he wanted to go, and want he wanted to do.

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045690 05/24/20 10:01 PM
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I like this topic!

I've always had a "contrary" streak. I decided when I was first starting out on guitar that I did not want to copy anybody. My half-baked adolescent theory was that the result would be me not sounding like anybody else.

I don't regret it, it actually sort of worked. That said, later on I found that learning song structure was useful for improving my songwriting skills in a technical sense and could also give an audience a sense of familiarity that helped them to enjoy the music. And experience showed that you don't need to be note for note if you honor the signature essence of the song and rock out you can fill the dance floor.

Being in a Country Top 40 band and a Motown "tribute" band, both with 2 front singers, keyboards, guitar, bass and drums will rapidy cure you of any notion of ever doing an exact version of just about any song. The "firepower" just isn't there when a song has piano, organ, strings, horns, choir, drums, tamborine, acoustic guitars, electric guitars etc. and there you are with a 4 piece band and up to 4 vocals. Shania Twain or the Four Tops? Fuggedaboutit, ain't happenin'. For all that, we pulled it off in terms of crowd and crowd response over and over again. In fact, I would say that the closer you get to sounding like the original, the more nitpicking the audience is going to engage in "That part didn't sound just like the record..."

I would have to say that my songs tend much more towards "biographical fiction" than autobiography. Often I can get an entire song out of a single incident that made an impression on me and the final story has very little to do with that incident other than providing a starting point. In many cases the story veers off into areas that have not happened on this planet (yet) or are extremely unlikely. The reality card is one that can be played or held close.

As an example, in my early twenties I went to a 24 hour supermarket at 3 am. I found it sort of creepy and weird so I invented a very agoraphobic character who finds themselves in the same situation and has a disturbed and (hopefully) somewhat disturbing experience to describe. It is wholly made up and very human at the same time.

Awkwardness and discomfort have been themes, a loathing of the life one finds oneself in has been a theme, false bravado and machismo has been a theme, just to name a few.
I don't want people to be completely comfortable but I don't want to engender that discomfort by jumping out and yelling "Boo!" For all that, I do not attempt to be subtle and often am not subtle at all.

I've been known to write parady, something completely removed from reality entirely or really just anything that comes to me.

I read a Norton Anthology of Children's Literature all the way through, a hefty volume. A few days later I wrote a song where all the characters are animals and there isn't a story per se so much as the insinuation of a story.
Recently I challenged myself to write a good song that was not about anything at all but sounded like it was. I think I succeded, that was fun.

I guess that's as close to a "Musical Point of View" as I am able to describe.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045729 05/25/20 03:43 AM
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I left out an important piece of my puzzle.

Chuck Berry did it, he spoke of it in an interview. Playing a figure that is on time but mathematically does not fit within the confines of 4 quarter time will always come back to the one, eventually. That's the loosely quoted version.

Neil Young did it near the end of Southern Man from the original album version, listen and you will hear it.

I use it partly as a way to create tension and partly to see if I can either "break" the music or the band. Sometimes it causes a trainwreck quickly, no fun, too easy. Sometimes there is a struggle and somehow everybody makes it through eventually, that's interesting. Other times, the band takes the correct approach and completely ignores me. Eventually I return to the one. That is the best because it means I can do whatever inspiration guides me to do.

Very spontaneous, I don't know where it comes from. I know where the one is, I am playing "across" time rather than "in" time if that makes sense. For me that is one of the most liberating ways to not sound like anybody else.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045734 05/25/20 04:09 AM
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That's something to something a band I was in used to do...some of us would play in 7/4, and rejoin the band after 28 measures.

But I'm not sure that was a musical point of view...more like rebellious behavior smile

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045736 05/25/20 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
That's something to something a band I was in used to do...some of us would play in 7/4, and rejoin the band after 28 measures.

But I'm not sure that was a musical point of view...more like rebellious behavior smile

Is rebellious behavior not an important aspect of rock and roll?

It osunds like your band worked it out and it was calculated from the beginning. There is no warning when I create the "out of round wheel" nor do I count time, ever.
I feel it, I know where the one is but verbal thought while truly expressing music is unknown to me.

Sorry, left handed weirdo attempting to type something that makes sense. Probably hard to relate something verbally that is essentially non-verbal.
So, that is another aspect of who I am musically.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045738 05/25/20 04:37 AM
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I see the fretboard as "shapes". I do \know every note on there. When somebody says "It's in F or Bb or whatever", I am not playing music. I glance down, establish the location and the patterns are there, patterns of notes, patterns of chords and chordal scales, all patterns. The song tells me which patterns will work - simple major or minor pentatonic, which passing notes patterns, which notes are decorative and which will cause dissonance.

Maybe it's more like playing a video game or solving a puzzle.

I don't know if this will provide insight but here is a true story from college. I took a math class that explored new math theories (new meaning from the late 1800's to the current times).

One class we were given a problem. I don't remember the exact problem but in a nutshell, there is a band at the equater of the Earth. You add one foot to the band and now it is floating above the Earth with an exact and even space everywhere around the circumference. I jotted a couple of things, started drawing little demonic dogs with human teeth on my worksheet and eventually knew the answer so I wrote it down.

After the instructior looked at the answers, he pointed me out and told the class that I was the only one with the correct answer - which I have long since forgotten. He came over to my desk and asked to see my work.
I showed him the drawings of the demonic dogs. He thought I was messing with him. I wasn't. He was profoundly dissatisfied with my "work" and it may have robbed him of sleep.

That's a big part of who I am. I was autistic when I was a kid but that was before we "had" autisim and I more or less came around on my own.
Since much happens in my mind that is non-verbal it is diffiicult if not impossible to explain it.

I can "show you my work" though!!! laugh


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045750 05/25/20 11:26 AM
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Most of my songs have a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor in the lyric. Sometimes people get it, but sometimes they don't react so I can't tell if they do. I'm still laughing, so that's what matters to me.

Anyone that has spent any time with me should know I'm like that in normal conversation as well. But maybe they thought I was serious. poke


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045762 05/25/20 01:52 PM
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Mine certainly has changed over the years. Although I was trained from early years to play piano I really wanted to play guitar. The massive guitar noodle fests that were occurring in the 70's and 80's made me want to be a part of that to a large degree and I studied for it. Whenever I was able to overdub record myself I'd create rhythm tracks and then lay down pentatonic licks and patterns as fast as I could make my fingers move over the top of it.
I dated a Korean girl for a while in '80/'81, while living in Texas who told me my guitar playing "sounds like killing people".

Eventually I decided I needed to learn to sing and although I don't have great range I was able to pick up and learn from many existing pop/rock songs. When I actually began to create things that resembled coherent and complete songs they were generally guitar based hard rock type things (although I liked to include keys) with fun, life struggles or "stick it to the man" type lyrics.

Since that time I've veered off from time to time to dabble with more of a country/rockabilly flavor but also became enamored with synths and arpeggiators to some extent. I always tried to avoid cliche three chord type songs but it's also difficult to try and create chord progressions that don't already exist elsewhere. I take comfort in the fact that rhythm, percussions and the different instrument sounds that can be created provide for endless possibilities. I like, and am proud, of some of my lyrical content but still wish story telling was easier for me.

Last edited by Greg Mein; 05/25/20 01:59 PM.
Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045765 05/25/20 02:20 PM
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I'm a player, and I like variety. When I play rock I sound hard rock, when I play jazz I sound jazz, when I play country I sound country.

I like putting on different musical hats and getting into the way each genre expresses itself. It would be like cooking different foods. You use different ingredients and spices to come up with a good Coq au vin than you would to make Chicken Cacciatore. Why not be able to be good at both?

But when I play different genres, what comes out is me, but with a different accent.

Some people say they are rock musicians, jazz musicians or define themselves by any other genre. I just say that I'm a musician.

And I do it well. I played for a wedding reception for the Cuban/American secretary of the Cruise Line I was working on in Miami. The guests asked if I was Hispanic, I sad no, and they made me an official Latino.

When playing on cruise ships, a resident Jamaican band told me that we were the first white band on that ship that played Reggae right.

I used to be first-call at a local recording studio and I did jazz, country, rock, and other parts. Whatever the put in front of me. Fortunately they never put something in front of me that I couldn't handle. I'm not of "the Wrecking Crew" caliber.

Is that a voice? Or split personality?

I've played in rock bands, jazz bands, cover bands, and so on and played in the same genre all night. I can do that and the same me comes out in that style. But I'd rather play many different genres in the same night.

Perhaps because of my listening habits. I have CD/LP/Downloads of classical (romantic era to contemporary), jazz (cool school, bop, big band, etc.), rock (hard, soft, classic, punk, etc.), Latin (salsa, merengue, mambo, samba, etc.), Brazilian, Klezmer, Country, Folk, Cape Verde, Afro-Pop, Fado, Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Gypsy, Arabian, and so on.

My sax playing has influences from sax players like Stan Getz, Jr Walker, Sonny Stitt, Stanley Turrentine and other sax players, but also from vocalists, guitarists, organists, and other melodic instruments. They all get mixed up in this weird place I call my brain and come out as me.

When practicing I think about notes, chords, theory and so on. When gigging the verbal side of my brain takes a time out and my inner voice hears no words, thinks about no notes, and it seems like the music is flowing through me instead of from me. I get into that place where there is no space or time, just the bliss of music.

So in a probably too verbose way I'm saying I don't know what my musical point of view is. I tend to admire people like the musicians in The Wrecking Crew, The Swampers,The Funk Brothers and other studio 'bands' that can play just about anything, and play it right.

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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045766 05/25/20 02:30 PM
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This is an interesting thread. Replying requires introspection, and that is quite useful in it's own right...

I feel more comfortable with an improvisational approach than, for example, playing classical or even trying to play note-for-note from blues/rock recordings. (I do, however, try to play note-for-note with signature lines or where I can't think of something of my own to do.) I like a lot of Jazz music but don't have the chops for that; when I retire, I'd like to explore this more just for my personal enjoyment. I'm more of a blues-based keys player. I work to play melodically, though, not just run through scales. It can be challenging sometimes, but it gets the creative juices flowing. I like including elements of rock and "funky old soul", and currently play in a blues/classic rock/southern rock band. If possible, I'd like to eventually play with more straight-up blues players. Perhaps not surprisingly, I play more meat-and-potatoes keys, very little synth. My Nord Electro 5 is a pretty good fit -- perhaps somewhat too little in the synth department, but the Stage 3 is probably a little too much (meaning, I didn't want to spend that much given that I probably wouldn't get the most out of its synth).


Joe
Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045774 05/25/20 03:38 PM
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My musical point of view is pretty much of a piece with my point of view in life. At the core is a sense of wonder. Except for Carl Sagan, I haven't come across people talking about the sense of wonder all that much, but for me, it's right in there with the deepest of experiences. It ranges from an unceasing curiosity about just about anything and everything, all the way to a speechless out-of-the-body sort of worship or life force or transcendant mode.

I tap into this sense of wonder at the most mundane level, like wondering how a radio works to wondering how to use a sharped fifth. But in music, the lowly sharped fifth, used properly, can create by some miracle, a sharp sense of anticipation, a hanging moment with infinite possibilities, or just that moment right before you see a beloved face after a long absence. So the small and mundane engineering of things is linked to the most profound or mysterious or infinite things somehow. Makes ya wonder! smile

I grew up with the Beatles, and yeah, everyone wondered what they would do next. And they would not disappoint. Part of what "wonder" does is it sets you up to be open and receptive to things. It turns education into adventure. Sure, it can lead to over-rating things. But that's a small price to pay - a correctable tendency.

When I'm writing music, it's a sort of spelunking in a personal cave of wonders. I never know what I'm going to find, and that's the magic in it. There's a poem by the poet Rilke where he imagines himself sitting before the stage of his own imagination, as if he's in a theater, alone, waiting for the curtain to rise. That anticipation, that losing of the outside world, that sinking into the suspension of disbelief - it happens before the curtain even comes up. All too often, the play is a bust! But the good ones make it worth going back again and again, for a lifetime.

If I can tap into the sense of wonder, and draw other people into it, and link it with some specific form of meaning and story, that's what I'm all about.

nat

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045779 05/25/20 03:57 PM
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You wouldn't know it from the music I make now, but my gateway drug for music was Billy Joel's 52nd Street. I'm pretty sure that Freddie Hubbard's trumpet solo on "Zanzibar" rewired my DNA from having it on loop so much as a toddler.

I can hear what I've stolen and assimilated over the years: Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Herbie Hancock acoustic and electric, Chick Corea's solo on "Matrix," mid- and late-90s Keith Jarrett, early-2000s Fred Hersch. My love for Brazilian music and Stevie Wonder has come to influence pretty much everything I write – there's a certain harmonic language I gravitate towards, no matter how hard I try to run away from it. Coming back to playing "straightahead" or "modern jazz" after so many years away from it, I hear myself playing more like Brazilians and less like Americans.

In terms of a conscious artistic direction, the music that speaks to me most these days is work that clearly comes from a deep-rooted sense of tradition, and then turns it upside down or inside out but with a healthy dose of reverence. Examples are Miguel Zenón's explorations of plena and bolero; Guillermo Klein's arrangements of Cuchi Leguizamón; Rudresh Mahanthappa's reimagining of Carnatic saxophone music or Charlie Parker tunes; Brazilian MCs that understand that it's a straight line between the early improvised sambas and freestyle rap; Osvaldo Golijov's incredible ability to weave flamenco into his opera Ainadamar. I've always been more interested in going deeper into repertoire, and not playing the same ten standards over and over again.

I really admire what Mike Moreno has been doing on Facebook, tracking down the original movie or musical versions of show tunes and analyzing how they morphed into the common-practice chord changes we use now.


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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
David R #3045789 05/25/20 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by David R
In terms of a conscious artistic direction, the music that speaks to me most these days is work that clearly comes from a deep-rooted sense of tradition, and then turns it upside down or inside out but with a healthy dose of reverence.

I think Astor Piazzolla had a really defined musical point of view that fit exactly with what you're describing. His Nuevo Tango took the tango, and turned it upside down with elements of jazz while retaining the reverence.

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045796 05/25/20 05:43 PM
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My POV is reflected in my handle here "Pink Floyd Cramer". Some time ago a band mate told me that keyboard players tend to be "out there" and spacey, and that I fit that stereotype, but that I could also be down to earth..that I could go either way. Hence the the spaciness of Pink Floyd combined with the down to earth-ness of Floyd Cramer. I'm drawn to experimental music and "trippy" classic rock and some soul-jazz jam band stuff (MMW) but classic country music is in my DNA- I have an affinity for it thanks to my Arkansas hillbilly father and his record collection I discovered as a kid. I worship the way country studio cats like Pig and Floyd recorded piano parts that were heartfelt, soulful and concise while also being inventive, fresh and melodic- even jazzy, at times.

A Willie Nelson tribute that I recently was a member of, was a good outlet for that because the singer loved Willie's jazz side as much as his hillbilly side so, we did a couple dozen or so jazz standards, recreating those classic arrangement from the Stardust record and others. We often ended the night with a cover of Bohemian Rhapsody (the only song to my knowledge that Willie has not YET covered lol) for the giggles. I regret getting out of the group, musically we were not Nashville cat "A" players but it was still good, and fun, and well received. If they take me back in it will likely be as a harmonica player since I did some of that in the group.

With the free time I have been revisiting some classical pieces I learned during my 2 years as a music major, and learning a few more besides. 20 years ago I bought a 32 page, concert-level arrangement of Rhapsody In Blue. It gathered dust most of those years but recently I have made it my mission to memorize it in it's entirety. Just trying to burn some new neural networks into my 59 year old brain while I still can. I have been able to struggle through it for some time but now it is starting to sound suspiciously like music. I have found that applying myself to that piece has had a profound effect on my playing everything else.
I am not that heavy into synths (or technology in general), but my theory is that we are all synthesizers and the music we play is a synthesis of everything we have heard and absorbed. Trippy side talking, and my earthy side is saying "cut the BS, that's not really all that deep". Lol.

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045900 05/26/20 01:05 PM
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I identify as a musical omnivore. My musical holy trinity is (in no particular order) Ellingtonia (approx 1940-1970) / The Beatles / and Keith Jarrett's 1970's quartets (both American and European).

I play (and sing) blues and rock. I consider much of my favorite rock music as just blues dressed up in a suit. I play/sing some of the Great American Songbook (examples: Old Man River, Stardust, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes) - using harmonic voice leading in classic jazz harmony fashion. But I also sight read thru a variety of Bach's preludes and fugues (Well Tempered Clavier) - slowly and without all the trills and ornaments. I also enjoy playing many Beatles songs. "Helter Skelter" and "Everybody Has Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey" for example.

Yesterday on a walk I listened to some (Hendrix) Electric Ladyland followed by some Carl Perkins Sun Studio recordings. I'm puzzled by how or why some people wall themselves in stylistically. Of course for some, maybe there's a cultural identity component that outweighs the actual components that make the music. Possibly.

I'm not necessarily bound to trying to recreate a carbon copy of whatever I'm playing. Duke Ellington and his band played many of his popular songs many times over and over thru the years. But they changed and rearranged them. Duke changed his music and said he viewed his music as in a state of "becoming" - never settling on a final version. Also listening to Beatles rehearsals, they tried different ideas.

I've only been writing/composing consistently for the last couple of years. But I try to write music that I hope is catchy but not cliche sounding. Lyrically though, it often takes shape through a distillation process. My current song (in progress) started with trying to concoct a specific number of syllables to fit a bluesy melodic phrase. I ended up with "A cuppa hot fresh coffee with cream and sugar". Often for me it's a matter of trying to match a number of syllables with a melody - or I may have to modify the melody. Very often the theme or point of the lyrics takes shape from some random phase like the "coffee" line. Some song attempts never take off.

The Beatles are my biggest source of inspiration. But not necessarily trying to sound like them - more taking inspiration from their creative process. Also another source of inspiration were words by Igor Stravinsky. In Poetics of Music he said (as I recall - paraphrased) "A composer improvises aimlessly at the piano the way an animal grubs in the dirt for roots. They both yield to a temptation to seek things out". He also said something about recognizing "accidents" and making note of them for future reference. This was the musical mind that gave us "Rites of Spring" around 1913.

John Lennon and Billy Preston fleshing out "I Want You (She's So Heavy".

Last edited by Strays Dave; 05/26/20 01:25 PM.
Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3045970 05/26/20 07:45 PM
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Can you guess, based on my screen name? Even though I play mostly in a worship/praise band, it doesn't take much excuse at all to work in some of their simpler motifs. Also have a fondness for bass guitar stuff (reasonable since I played bass before getting the keyboards.


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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
MoodyBluesKeys #3045992 05/26/20 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MoodyBluesKeys
Can you guess, based on my screen name? Even though I play mostly in a worship/praise band, it doesn't take much excuse at all to work in some of their simpler motifs. Also have a fondness for bass guitar stuff (reasonable since I played bass before getting the keyboards.

So would you say your musical point of view is adapting the relatively melodic, easy going style of the Moody Blues to worship/praise music?

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3046010 05/26/20 10:15 PM
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I'm a musical chameleon, which has been great for being able to do a wide variety of work and not so great for being defined as an artist.

That said, I do have a love for complex, driving, and syncopated rhythms which I often interject into the variety of styles I play. I learned piano first and drums/percussion second, and I approach piano like a drum more than most pianists. I've even broken a few piano strings over the years. wink

My love for Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, Gentle Giant, funk, and Latin music reflects my love of rhythm.

Best,

Geoff


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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3046305 05/28/20 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by MoodyBluesKeys
Can you guess, based on my screen name? Even though I play mostly in a worship/praise band, it doesn't take much excuse at all to work in some of their simpler motifs. Also have a fondness for bass guitar stuff (reasonable since I played bass before getting the keyboards.

So would you say your musical point of view is adapting the relatively melodic, easy going style of the Moody Blues to worship/praise music?

Yes, within the limits of working with the other band members, and particularly with the leader. We go anywhere from driving rock beat to languid very calm music. I have been told by the Praise Leader that my musical viewpoint is quite different from the average 70+ male in the area (and I am glad)


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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
MoodyBluesKeys #3046311 05/28/20 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MoodyBluesKeys
I have been told by the Praise Leader that my musical viewpoint is quite different from the average 70+ male in the area (and I am glad)

Hah! A lot of the ones I know think that music ended when the Beatles broke up. Future history may say that music ended when no one could make a living from it any more, and besides, there's already more music available for free (or next to nothing) online than anyone could listen to in hundreds of lifetimes.

The good news is that now we can exercise whatever musical point of view we want, without having to worry about achieving commercial success smile

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3046324 05/29/20 12:49 AM
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My musical point of view? "Out there is good." Mixing time signatures, getting a bit a-tonal on a solo, throwing in a lot of chord inversions. I actually had a band tell me to stop playing inversions. They wanted every chord on my keyboards to have the root note on the bottom. To me, that's just boring. My favorite piece of Eurorack modular gear lets me mix time signatures across several gate outputs. I like being able to have one pattern going at 7/8, another at 5/8, and another at 4/4, all hitting the one at the same time. In high school someone challenged me for my position as percussion leader in high school band. My response was to play a 4/4 pattern with my right hand and a variety of other time signatures with my left, always hitting the one together. That is the only time I was ever challenged.

My favorite guitar solo is the second solo in The Great Curve by The Talking Heads. It is my guideline. About as out there as you are allowed to get when on stage with other musicians. It starts at the 5:28 mark.



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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
RABid #3046334 05/29/20 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by RABid
My musical point of view? "Out there is good." Mixing time signatures, getting a bit a-tonal on a solo, throwing in a lot of chord inversions. I actually had a band tell me to stop playing inversions. They wanted every chord on my keyboards to have the root note on the bottom. To me, that's just boring. My favorite piece of Eurorack modular gear lets me mix time signatures across several gate outputs. I like being able to have one pattern going at 7/8, another at 5/8, and another at 4/4, all hitting the one at the same time. In high school someone challenged me for my position as percussion leader in high school band. My response was to play a 4/4 pattern with my right hand and a variety of other time signatures with my left, always hitting the one together. That is the only time I was ever challenged.

My favorite guitar solo is the second solo in The Great Curve by The Talking Heads. It is my guideline. About as out there as you are allowed to get when on stage with other musicians. It starts at the 5:28 mark.


Nice! I listened to the solo and immediately thought "Adrian Belew". So I did a search, yep. Adrian was on guitar with David Bowie on the Low tour, one of the best shows I've ever seen.
A huge inspiration, I was all-in on the Floyd Rose locking whammy bar system at that point. Eventually I got tired of having to bring 2 guitars to gigs, you break a string on a guitar with a Floyd and it's down for the count.
Now I use scalloped fretboard but I've got a Floyded Tele I made from lumber that will be completed soon after laying around for decades. Back at it!!!

The link is something I recorded mid-80s, 4 track cassette. Floyd on a Tele into a Mesa. Adrian used more toys and was a master, I did what I could. Long and self indulgent, so it goes. Cheers, Kuru
https://metapop.com/opossum-apocalypse/tracks/there-go-elephants/142050


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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
RABid #3046409 05/29/20 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RABid
In high school someone challenged me for my position as percussion leader in high school band. My response was to play a 4/4 pattern with my right hand and a variety of other time signatures with my left, always hitting the one together. That is the only time I was ever challenged.

I envy that ability. As a keyboard player I have to really work on hand independence. There is a passage in Rhapsody In Blue where you play steady quarter note chords above middle C with one hand against quarter note triplets an octave or so lower. Of course, you are directed to do this by crossing hands which comes much more naturally to most (non-drummer) pianists. But I am working on doing it without crossing hands. Tricky.

The Holy Grail for me would be to play the iconic Superstition clav part with my left hand, with a feel that approximates the original, while soloing freely with my right. Working on that too, the "freely" part is what trips me up. The hardest challenge is to play various RH triplets against that pattern. Someone with good hand independence, even when not playing key bass, gets more gigs of any genre because they can cover more parts simultaneously. In my low-tech world, sequencing or prerecording parts is not an option.

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3046639 05/30/20 10:07 PM
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I don't write songs any more, and when I did I'm not sure I had a point of view as such

I tended to react to things that were going on around me. My friend's girlfriend left him for someone else, so I wrote My Lucky Day. I saw something on the TV about child abuse by Catholic priests, so I wrote Holy Mother

Other times songs just came to me. It's like I had an antenna and picked up songs that were floating around in the aether. Black Market Daydreams came about in that way, as did several others

My love/hate relationship with God has been an inspiration, too: The Life of Me, You Promised, Magic Spell, You are Here, Hypernatural, The Beauty of Creation

Not really understanding life – The World Goes Over My Head

All sorts of stuff, really. I'm glad I don't write songs any more. It used to stress me out. These days I just read books and listen to music. And drink strong cider on Saturdays. And walk the dog

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
BMD #3046831 06/01/20 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by BMD
I'm glad I don't write songs any more. It used to stress me out.

Be careful, songwriting is like heroin. "Oh, I can do it just this once, I can stop at any time. Really I can." smile

Remember, I hadn't done anything for two years before recording the cover of "Black Market Daydreams." Now I can't stop, but that's probably because I'm in the "It's like I had an antenna and picked up songs that were floating around in the aether" mode. But I also know that can go away at any time, so I'm taking advantage of it while I can.

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3046849 06/01/20 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I'm in the "It's like I had an antenna and picked up songs that were floating around in the aether" mode. But I also know that can go away at any time, so I'm taking advantage of it while I can.

My 'antenna' period was around 2005/2006. It's a great feeling being able to just pick songs out of the air. Enjoy!

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3048079 06/08/20 11:57 PM
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Although I had my "band period" back in '80s and '90s where I was all about writing and performing, that really isn't my "center" as a musician. My POV is "rehearsal pianist", or maybe slightly snobbier, "rehearsal artist". I love rehearsals; I love creating in-the-moment; I love arranging; I love providing a platform for someone else.

In my family, the girls are the athletes and the guys are the artists. My daughter (a college-baller, and now a pro trainer) still rolls her eyes when I ask how her team's "rehearsal" went today. In her world, practices are the "boring, repetitive" (and, yes, necessary) thing you have to do, so that you can get to the creative in-the-moment part of playing the game. But in my world, that's often upside-down -- the creative part happens in rehearsals. When that's over, what comes next is the "repetitive, boring" part of trying to play exactly the same thing, night after night.

Now that's a lot of over-generalization, and it depends quite a lot on the genre. When I was a jazz guy, yes, it was a lot more like my daughter's world. But in musical theater, for example, not so much.

I also love playing vocal auditions; a singer walks up, hands you some music, and in 60 seconds you've got to create something, spontaneously, that will probably never be played or heard again, ever. Or helping a lounge vocalist to put a song set together; thinking about how they should order the tunes to create and build a mood; how they might interpret, or re-interpret, an old standard; do they whisper on the verse, but belt the chorus; all those "presentation" choices.

When I was a senior in high school, near the end of a pretty good introductory education of classic big band repertoire, Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd dropped an album titled "Chick, Donald, Walter and Woodrow" -- essentially, a volume of Steely Dan covers, creatively arranged for big band. That album still hangs on my wall today; it was so formative for me because it showed me that music isn't cast into stone. It's malleable; it's changeable; it's arrangeable. And, also, that my role as a creative doesn't always have to be about the melody or the lyrics that *I* wrote; that *I* don't have to be the focus.


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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Brad Kaenel #3048183 06/09/20 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Brad Kaenel
When I was a senior in high school, near the end of a pretty good introductory education of classic big band repertoire, Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd dropped an album titled "Chick, Donald, Walter and Woodrow" -- essentially, a volume of Steely Dan covers, creatively arranged for big band. That album still hangs on my wall today; it was so formative for me because it showed me that music isn't cast into stone. It's malleable; it's changeable; it's arrangeable. And, also, that my role as a creative doesn't always have to be about the melody or the lyrics that *I* wrote; that *I* don't have to be the focus.

I agree, which is why I really like doing covers from time to time...but only if they're really different from the original, and give a completely different perspective.

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3048254 06/10/20 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
So...what's YOUR musical point of view?

I'm a weirdo and only seem to be able to do things that sound like me. I cannot really create music that sounds that much like other people. I'm totally okay with this.

This extends to night photography as well, It often comes out looking like something I did, not someone else. I'm totally okay with this as well.

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
KenElevenShadows #3048554 06/12/20 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows
Originally Posted by Anderton
So...what's YOUR musical point of view?

I'm a weirdo and only seem to be able to do things that sound like me. I cannot really create music that sounds that much like other people. I'm totally okay with this.

So what's the point of view that makes you - you? What's the "Ken Lee" engine that powers your music? A point of view is not about sounding like other people, it's what makes you sound the way you sound.

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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3048565 06/12/20 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows
Originally Posted by Anderton
So...what's YOUR musical point of view?

I'm a weirdo and only seem to be able to do things that sound like me. I cannot really create music that sounds that much like other people. I'm totally okay with this.

So what's the point of view that makes you - you? What's the "Ken Lee" engine that powers your music? A point of view is not about sounding like other people, it's what makes you sound the way you sound.

I suppose it's to create a sonic world that sounds like a fantastic, strange world that I can inhabit which comes from me.

But that's just the thing. I am not really sure what makes me sound like me. Is it because I just am willfully obstinate in creating something that I simply like? Is it because I'm strange and just hear music differently? Is it because I'm incompetent and am unable to play music like other people? Is it because I take something from the ether and channel it through me and by the very nature of that and attempting not to interfere with my general "filters", it comes out sounding relatively different? Is it because I don't really care about any commercial success and am therefore more likely to create something different? Is it because I frequently believe that specific lyrics impose their will too strongly on music for my personal tastes and often prefer them not to be there? Is it because, more than most, I very literally view the human voice as an instrument and not a narrative or storytelling device? Is it because I had an effed up childhood and was already experimenting and tinkering with screwing up sound as early as 4th grade and was happy with doing that instead of playing baseball all the time?

Some of the above? None of the above?

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
KenElevenShadows #3048575 06/12/20 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows
Some of the above? None of the above?

All of the above, and you've answered my question perfectly smile

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3049084 06/16/20 05:08 AM
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Ah, there we go then! grin

Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
KenElevenShadows #3049099 06/16/20 01:16 PM
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On the one hand, a Would-be Illustrator. Instead of images on canvas, paper or celluloid, I try to paint with sounds, and often think of sounds in terms of color, texture, depth, and their relationships within a 3-D soundscape.

OTOH, there's a bit of Frustrated Scientist, as well, part of what drew me into Synths, Sound FX, and even ERG's. I love trying to make my Guitar do things it shouldn't be able to do, like sing in Japanese (MIKU Stomp), or play Steel Drum sounds through Ring Mod & Flanging, when I'm not using it as a MIDI Controller, as well.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Geoff Grace #3049516 06/18/20 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Geoff Grace
I'm a musical chameleon, which has been great for being able to do a wide variety of work and not so great for being defined as an artist.

That said, I do have a love for complex, driving, and syncopated rhythms which I often interject into the variety of styles I play. I learned piano first and drums/percussion second, and I approach piano like a drum more than most pianists. I've even broken a few piano strings over the years. wink
I just occurred to me that maybe I should provide an example of my applying rhythm to the styles I write (in this case, jazz):

Escape From The Chrysalis

Best,

Geoff


Enthusiasm powers the world.

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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Geoff Grace #3049614 06/18/20 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Geoff Grace
Originally Posted by Geoff Grace
I'm a musical chameleon, which has been great for being able to do a wide variety of work and not so great for being defined as an artist.

That said, I do have a love for complex, driving, and syncopated rhythms which I often interject into the variety of styles I play. I learned piano first and drums/percussion second, and I approach piano like a drum more than most pianists. I've even broken a few piano strings over the years. wink
I just occurred to me that maybe I should provide an example of my applying rhythm to the styles I write (in this case, jazz):

Escape From The Chrysalis

Best,

Geoff

I enjoyed your music Geoff, left you a like and subscribed to your channel.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3049673 06/19/20 09:41 AM
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That's very kind of you, KuruPrionz! Thanks for your kind words and support! thu

Best,

Geoff


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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
pinkfloydcramer #3050097 06/20/20 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by pinkfloydcramer
... Someone with good hand independence, even when not playing key bass, gets more gigs of any genre because they can cover more parts simultaneously. In my low-tech world, sequencing or prerecording parts is not an option.

My abilities were always a bit strange when it came to playing with two hands. I did well with orchestrating and playing multiple keyboard parts. Seems that I was always covering horn parts with one hand and keyboard parts with the other. I NEVER did well playing key bass with the left hand and other parts with the right. I could play Bach 2 and 3 parts, but I struggled covering walking bass parts. Anyone who can play Bach 3 parts should be able to cover bass parts with the left hand, but not me. Maybe it was a mental block, but it was there. The other thing I always had problems with is church hymnals. Playing 8 note block chords every beat made me feel as if I was being stretched too thin. I hated it. The music could not flow. I felt as if I was having to push it out.


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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Geoff Grace #3050151 06/21/20 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Geoff Grace
I just occurred to me that maybe I should provide an example of my applying rhythm to the styles I write (in this case, jazz):

Escape From The Chrysalis

Best,

Geoff

Good stuff! Although I kept waiting for the Latin percussion to kick in smile

Wish I had that kind of facility on keyboards, but hey, at least there's MIDI for people like me!

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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3050190 06/21/20 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Good stuff! Although I kept waiting for the Latin percussion to kick in smile

Same here! But I wasn't disappointed. Always happy to find good solo piano music, esp. when it features good hand independence and a strong sense of rhythm. I'm a cheerleader for anyone who can get a full sound playing solo without using backing tracks or sequences, doesn't matter which genre to me (not to pick on people who play monophonic instruments like horns, either). I'm a cheerleader for instrumental music, in general. If a picture paints a thousand words, music paints a million- in my book.

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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3050709 06/24/20 10:15 AM
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Thank you, Craig and pinkfloydcramer. I really appreciate your kind words!

Best,

Geoff


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Re: What's YOUR Musical Point of View?
Anderton #3050753 06/24/20 04:13 PM
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People who hear and write melodies! A dying breed. IMO.

To take off on what I said earlier about music painting a million words, I think it would be helpful for every person who chimed in here to include a short clip of theirs, that they feel best illustrates what they talked about. But I would go last. I don't have enough of an attention span to create many semi-finished pieces of music, and usually end up deleting most of what I do, anyway.

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