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Songs that changed your approach to music.


RABid

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I was listening to Talking Heads this morning and happened upon a song that probably affected my approach to synth solos more than any other. The first time I heard the closing guitar solo in "The Great Curve" I realized that playing the notes was no longer enough. I wanted to make my synth sing and growl and scream. Right now it feels like we are in a golden age of hardware. Keyboardists now have more live control over sound manipulation than we've had since the days of the Chroma, T8 and Matrix 12.

 

The solo is at the 5:30 mark in this YouTube video. Another is at the 1:54 mark. Sure, there are better solos out there, but these pushed me to do more with my synth.

 

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW1IqW6kNdU

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This one more than anything:

 

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VKouBHarIo

 

This song (and album) came out in early autumn of 1988; at that point, everything I was listening to was f-ing HARD. The hardest metal, the hardest house and techno, the hardest hardcore punk, the hardest industrial, the hardest hip-hop...you get the idea. This song reminded me that you didn't have to hit hard to have devastating impact.

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I was listening to Talking Heads this morning and happened upon a song that probably affected my approach to synth solos more than any other..

 

Absolutely! Adrian Belew is amazing - I guess you know this live version? Even better IMHO.

 

[video:youtube]

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The opening to Still Life, Still Life. I assume it to be improvised as it is not unlike things he did later in the solo concerts. It might be largely improvised based on some skeletal ideas. It could be 100% written but in the end it doesn't matter much. I'm draw to his development of the melody, the harmonic progressions, the tensions of the inner voices finally resolving. It would make an excellent Master's thesis, IMO, to transcribe and analyze it. It has been my touchstone for many years. I've listened to this 3:20 of music countless times.

 

[video:youtube]

 

Busch.

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Stuff that really had an IMPACT on me is weird and kind all over the place genrewise and often out of context.

 

I'm not a Jazz musician but the Kind of Blue album was huge for me. I played in a Jam Band / Allman Bros / Bluesy rock kind of thing and my piano solo in an unusual cover of Trower's Bridge of Sighs was built around quartal voicings and So What chords. I pull a lot of stuff out of Jazz and stick it in very non-Jazz stuff.

 

Not sure where I got it but I use the heck out of some chord. Not sure what it is really called it is a SUS2 but I don't drop the 3rd. I play both the 2 and 3 side by side. Maybe it is just major triad with a add2. I use the heck out of that on a Rihanna tune. It doesn't belong there but I like it. I aint right I pull stuff in from left field too much.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I'm primarily a guitarist rather than KB (though I play keys as well).

I won't fully explain the reasons for these selections but , in order that I heard them these were not just musical but life-changing songs.

 

James Brown / for the jazzy concept of jammin' on 1 chord

[video:youtube]

 

John Lennon + George Martin / for the overall oddity of the production + the the singularity of the track---more radical than their earlier work

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrtXl9xgh9M

Jimi Hendrix / for the free ranging mode of the song + its message

[video:youtube]

(the orig JH track's been pulled from YT)

Capt Beefheart & Magic Band / for reinventing the blues + that multiphonic vocal

[video:youtube]

George & the rest O them / for taking James N2 the future + ending my era O heroes

[video:youtube]

d=halfnote
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Listening again to "The Great Curve", it strikes me that there is something special about the whole song which allows an "out there" guitar solo like this to make sense. I love the "Remain in Light" album.

I listened to that cassette almost every day for 4 years after it's release. Not kidding.

 

@Joshua Paxton. I saw that Sting tour with Kenny Kirkland and Branford Marsalis summer 1988 I believe. Inspiring to this day.

:nopity:
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Boy, there's so many, I wouldn't know where to begin...

 

Ray Manzarek's stuff with the doors (specifically the LH bass work) really changed how I thought about keys, and Wynton Kelly's solo stuff has had a big impact on my jazz.

 

If I had to pick a single work that has influenced my thoughts about music, it's the seamless production of Dark Side of the Moon.

Sundown

 

Just finished: The Jupiter Bluff

Working on: Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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Believe it or not, good EDM has influenced my work as much as the kings of keys have (e.g. Wakeman, Emerson, Rudess, etc). The use of sound as textures, and using very simple parts and melodies to make music, has had a big impact on how I approach a song. Guys like Roni Size, DB Burkeman, Pieter K, Photek, etc. have had as big of an influence as other artists.

Sundown

 

Just finished: The Jupiter Bluff

Working on: Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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I was a sophomore at college when my roommate turned me on to Weather Report and Jan Hammer. Up to that point my musical world view was shaped by my classical training and I listened to prog, mostly, with a fair bit of Motown, Billy Joel and Elton John. Then I heard Zawinul and Hammer. These two in particular spun my head around.

 

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RKsaRt3PCw

 

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wobwqKW8VEY

 

 

 

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So many indeed....

 

First it was this guy...

 

[video:youtube]

 

Then there was this guy...

 

[video:youtube]

 

Then this guy... I remember hearing this when I was 12. Mark Stein showing us all how to play Rock Hammond!

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

 

Then this guy... Jon Lord picking up where Mark left off. More classical influence than Mark's soul influence... but it changed everything for me. Until Prog hit...

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

 

 

'55 and '59 B3's; Leslies 147, 122, 21H; MODX 7+; NUMA Piano X 88; Motif XS7; Mellotrons M300 and M400’s; Wurlitzer 206; Gibson G101; Vox Continental; Mojo 61; Launchkey 88 Mk III; Korg Module; B3X; Model D6; Moog Model D

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and then there was this... A stoned 13 year old placing a needle on the record of some unknown band from England. I bought a Farfisa after hearing this song. And the music was transformative.

 

[video:youtube]

'55 and '59 B3's; Leslies 147, 122, 21H; MODX 7+; NUMA Piano X 88; Motif XS7; Mellotrons M300 and M400’s; Wurlitzer 206; Gibson G101; Vox Continental; Mojo 61; Launchkey 88 Mk III; Korg Module; B3X; Model D6; Moog Model D

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...and then at 14 the Mellotron entered my life. I started to think about playing the keyboard like an orchestra.

 

[video:youtube]

 

But then there was this guy...

 

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLVEIGsG1Og

'55 and '59 B3's; Leslies 147, 122, 21H; MODX 7+; NUMA Piano X 88; Motif XS7; Mellotrons M300 and M400’s; Wurlitzer 206; Gibson G101; Vox Continental; Mojo 61; Launchkey 88 Mk III; Korg Module; B3X; Model D6; Moog Model D

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A few:

 

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

 

 

I learned so much about Clavinet, horn blasts, and funky Rhodes from playing this one song:

 

 

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

 

 

And mostly, this whole album:

 

[video:youtube]

The fact there's a Highway To Hell and only a Stairway To Heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers

 

People only say "It's a free country" when they're doing something shitty-Demetri Martin

 

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I've always been about chord progressions and beautiful harmonies that aren't the same old stuff. But something about this record got into my soul and became my standard for modern rock a la Petty/Dylan. The reason I bring it up is that the songs are more often than not based on 2 chords a whole step apart. I wouldn't have thought it possible to create something very moving with two chords, and, for me, this is a revelation.

[video:youtube]

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I learned of Bartok's music during college, and then discovered in my parent's album collection this Isaac Stern / Bernstein recording of Bartok's second violin concerto. I was really taken by how 4th intervals could be part of lyrical reaching melodies, and started using these in my jazz improvising on the sax:

 

[video:youtube]

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Tough question to avoid giving 1,000,000 responses to, since each listen to a song has *some nugget I can take away and apply to my own playing (if even to say, "Yep, I'll never be able to do that"). BUT...

 

I was pretty young when I heard this version of Monk's "Round Midnight," which I bought on one of my record-store hunting trips, where I'd stand around for hours and weed through everything in the shop until I found 10 or 20 that looked interesting that week. (I used to have a lot of records; in the mid-thousands. Back then, I was probably still in the low hundreds or high tens, I'm sure.)

 

Looking at it now, I can't remember what made me buy it--I had probably heard a track or read a review, or else thought the line-up looked interesting for what the content was and wanted a way "in" to Monk. On the other hand, I was into Dr. John back then, so maybe that was the hook. Anyway...

 

I had a 'sun-coming-out' moment with "Round Midnight" when I got to the resolve on the second ending in the A-section, which comes here at 1:48 and 2:53. I didn't know what was going on with those three chords, I just knew it was bad-ass and my ears dug it. I popped the needle down over and over on it. (Back then, I also thought Jackson's solo was great, though now I hear it differently.) I know it's a simple change, but something happened between me and music--and to me as a potential musician--when those three chords, with that great interior motion, drifted by.

 

[video:youtube]

Now out! "Mind the Gap," a 24-song album of new material.
www.joshweinstein.com

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...

 

Not sure where I got it but I use the heck out of some chord. Not sure what it is really called it is a SUS2 but I don't drop the 3rd. I play both the 2 and 3 side by side. Maybe it is just major triad with a add2. I use the heck out of that on a Rihanna tune. It doesn't belong there but I like it. I aint right I pull stuff in from left field too much.

 

I first learned about this chord form when reading either a Keyboard article or a book with a dark blue cover detailing the music of Steely Dan. Donald Fagen calls it the "mu major chord." Just like you're doing, he says to play both the 2nd and 3rd with the rest of the major triad.

 

Googling "donald fagen mu chord" (no quotes) yields explanations.

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