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Scotto last won the day on June 5

Scotto had the most liked content!

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About Scotto

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    A Muse's Muse

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  1. Scotto

    Instrumental Structure

    So after a weeks vacation I kicked off a musical this evening. Lots of structural considerations and build and energy shifting is my goal. If anyone is inspired to play along and construct an instrumental please and lets have fun! This is a structural workout so to speak. I started with a Jazz structure but I did deviate from that a bit in the end. As you play and listen you feel and hear stuff so re-arrangements had to be made. That said that Jazz idea of setting the melody and then deviating is going to be in there in spirit. So far it arranges like so… 1. Melody Hook for 8 measures - Even keeled nice medium kind of rhythm that builds in intensity. 2. Right turn to an intense funky pulsing rocker for 8 measures. It was going to be shorter but as I was jamming along I wanted more time to explore that part melodically. Some cool stuff was coming. 3. Back to Melody Hook for 12 measures - I anticipate leaving the main melody behind somewhere during this part so that is why there are 4 extra measures here. 4. Right turn to intense build that mimics pace of the funky part in rhythm but has a crescendo feel musically. Kind of a bridge and not a repeatable part so far. Might be interesting to slip it at the end though. 5. Back to the Melody Hook for 8 measures. 6. Finish on 4 measures of the funky rock part. Melodically I was having a lot of fun in the major scale but I really need to think about it and try and come with something memorable. With the underpinnings here, how do you make a melody memorable? I think the whole thing hinges on that melody not being lame lol. Great advice… don't be lame… Not sure this will make sense to anyone but me but I thought it would be fun to build an instrumental and talk about the process as I go. Of course you can't hear it yet… It's just the arrangement so far. Needs melodies. Maybe this is an interesting process. Maybe not let me know if I am crazy… I mean I know I am but… More than usual… It would be cool if anyone wanted to join in and build an instrumental for the heck of it. Just a way to learn stuff…
  2. Scotto

    Best Movies Related to Music

    Always loved the commitments. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101605/ 2nd the Blues Brothers. Eddie and the Cruisers - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085475/ The Doors was surprisingly good back in the day - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101761/ Also One of my favorites, High Fidelity - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0146882/ I feel like Musicals are a whole other thing. Always loved Les Misérables and recently saw Phantom for the upteenth time. Love singing along with those.
  3. Scotto

    Instrumental Structure

    Re-listened to Jessica this morning on the drive in. Heard it so many times but never thought about the structure of it. Interesting that I just enjoyed it for what it was and now in dissecting it well... adds another level. Follows the standard Jazz structure. Set a hook melody. Kind of a pause and then lead instruments dissect the melody and just have themselves a jam. Piano then guitar then guitar. Then it returns back to the hook melody to finish it off. Kind of cool. I think I might play with that kind of thematic structure first.
  4. Scotto

    Instrumental Structure

    Surfing with the Alien is a quintessential instrumental piece and surely an example of absolute mastery of a melodic instrument. It's kind of unachievable. Allman brothers are essentially the same with Jessica being powered by a legendary band and every member is a virtuoso. But we can try right lol. Half the fun of it. Surfing is a great example of build and release where as Jessica is more relentless. Everything works until it doesn't lol.
  5. Scotto

    Instrumental Structure

    Yeah that is the part I find intriguing. You can stretch out and have fun with it and see where it takes you. I have written quite a few instrumentals that are happy accidents but now that I listen back to them they aren't really instrumentals. They follow a standard song structure and need extra dynamics or build to them. All tension no release so to speak. Probably an issue with any song writing really. Lots of lyrical songs don't really need as much tension and release because there is a lyric and a story but it is certainly a tool in the tool box to make any song better. Genre is wide open there. Smooth jazz to funk fusion. Well I don't think I can pull those off lol. I did read that smooth jazz tends to follow the standard song structure. So there is precedent for it.
  6. Scotto

    Instrumental Structure

    HA thanks! Honestly I end up singing cover songs for 1/2 + of the night sometimes at a 3-4 hour show and I am getting burned out vocally (and musically). We are creative with our interpretations and we have to be with our setup as it can be limiting. We always get good feedback and it is fun for sure but it'd be nice to be a better instrumentalist no matter what I do and I crave the creativity that is missing in that. Also my home situation doesn't allow for a lot of Mic time these days (noise) (Why is that weird guy singing downstairs?). I can however go down to my studio area, put on headphones, and get lost with amp SIMs, virtual instruments, and whatnot and disturb no one while not being disturbed for a while. So in thinking about starting to work on such things I realize I have only really just dabbled with instrumentals in passing and would like to get better at it. So I need to think about it and have a plan in my mind. I never had one of those for this type of thing. I am realizing that most of the stuff I have done that qualifies as instrumental is somewhat relentless like the above track. I never realized that until this thread so that is a revelation. Certainly seems simple enough and I feel kind of dumb but I can be taught... eventually!
  7. Scotto

    Instrumental Structure

    No totally getting that out of this discussion. The need for more of a dynamic build and release in an instrumental. I probably have a tendency to be more of a hammer when it comes to things like this and so the Samba piece is relentless and honestly a nice quieter toned down portion would go great with the story line of love me love me not. The bass is the man's melody and the guitar is the woman's by the way. The guitar has more of the melody because in my mind that is how relationships probably work anyway ;). These are great ideas and thoughts and very helpful.
  8. Scotto

    Instrumental Structure

    Wow @DonnaMarilyn!! Those are amazing. Definitely in a more classical style. So much like a sound track as you said. You are more qualified that I am by far and those are inspiring. I am not sure I could write something like that but it gets me thinking... and that is a good thing. Really interesting stuff as I don't hear any kind of standard song structure under there and they build and increase in intensity as they go along. very cool.
  9. Scotto

    Instrumental Structure

    It's got great mood changes from guitar to keyboard part at the start. The rhythm is almost a melody in and of itself which is a cool idea. Even if it doesn't intentionally tell a story I think the underpinnings of the song before it drive it that way anyway. Cool ideas. I have plenty of unfinished songs that never worked with lyrics but I never consciously made an effort to convert them by adding a melody. Or if I tried I didn't like it and scrapped the idea. Cool blog post. My idea here is to move purposefully forward and intentionally create instrumental music but Bob Ross accidents are just as valid to the conversation as we have all had plenty of those.
  10. Scotto

    Instrumental Structure

    I'd love to hear that piece. Live setting is a totally different consideration for sure. Currently in my live playing life I don't have anything more than interesting intros to a song or two. We might take off on a Bluesy tear for a while as an instrumental interlude or sound check but none of that is planned. Just pick the key and go in the moment. What you describe at the top is what I think of for a pure Jazz piece. Everyone sets a melody at the start then takes turns deconstructing it and returns back to it at the end. I thought of playing with that structure as well but I worry about my ability on that one and I am not a Jazzer in any sense. I suppose it would work in any style though.
  11. Scotto

    Instrumental Structure

    Not at all. By my reading you have more of a pedigree than I do as far as instrumental writing. I did try and think of a story for this one but I hadn't always done that. Getting so caught up in the process and forgetting to focus on what I was actually doing. I think that is the best advice. Even though there isn't a lyric there is still potentially a message or story you are trying to tell. A progression so to speak. I'd love to hear the winners if you have them handy! Also what contest did you enter? Might be fun to consider.
  12. So when constructing a vocal song you think about your verse, choruses, and maybe a bridge. Shuffle... rinse and repeat. Pretty structured even if you play with the structure or go non standard. You are still thinking about telling your story and the flow of it within the song. Words have meaning and the flow matters. When constructing an instrumental you could follow this same principle but I feel like it should/could be somewhat different. Could be much different. You aren't depending on words to tell your story at that point. Depending on melody and rhythm and arrangement for sure. Certainly the parts should repeat to set the hook for the listener and be enjoyable. I've tried instrumentals and while they are musical I don't think they are good as instrumentals per say. Would like to get a little better at that and I'm thinking out loud here (while typing). So would you just follow the lyrical song model like you would a lyrical song? AABA, ABAB etc... A is one melody/rhythm/arrangement and B is another and so on and so forth. Feels like the same type of approach. Part of me feels like an instrumental should be more freeing than just copying over a typical song structure though. Of course it all has to work and be interesting to the ear and it only works until it doesn't. Most of the instrumentals I have tried kind of mimic a lyrical song structure. Here's an example of an instrumental I created that follows a lyrical song structure in arrangement. Melodically I think I am all over the place though trying to tell a story. Outside of structure I know the big thing is to be strong on a melody instrument. Something has to carry that water and I'm probably not there yet but... Try there is no try... Do! ...and so I must. Anyone interested in instrumental construction? Do you have examples and how did you structure your songs?
  13. Scotto

    Virtual song-swap-open-mic?

    Interesting! I don’t know that I would get time but if by some miracle I can get a space to myself at the appropriate time, I think that’s a cool idea.
  14. Scotto

    'Why is modern art so bad?'

    It was my first Rush CD and is one of my sentimental favorites. Best rock instrumental ever. Professional studio and engineers are still the best chance to get your true idea out there in my humble opinion. Easiest path to a solid consistent production of whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. It costs a lot of $$$. I generally don't even get close to what is in my head on my own. Ever moving the ball forward though for sure. We used to pay for a day or two of studio time with an engineer. So much fun and so much better. You just have to be the musician. It's liberating in a sense. That being said you still need more time than we could afford. In my opinion those albums are so good because there was a whole team of people making them around the musicians. I'd love to have that just once lol. Ahh but reality sets in and I only have so much time and moola...
  15. Scotto

    'Why is modern art so bad?'

    From an art perspective Jackson Pollock painted Convergence in the 1950's. Seems like those paint splatters are from the bad old days technically. I can't complain about the modern art movement like it is some new fang dangled art form when it has been around longer than I have. Modern doesn't indicate a time frame but a movement or style and I don't even know if that is relevant for artists today, nor do I know what the art community is currently up to. What are they calling the current movement? What I do know is that my daughter takes art classes and is quite good. I like the things the teacher has her work on and the projects she brings home. She is at the age where the art she makes is pretty serious and accomplished. She specialized in pointillism which was an impressionist technique. She does some cool and interesting things with it. I suppose you could say she "modernizes" it but I prefer to think that she does her own thing with it. If that is any indication well, art is fine. Being taught well and encouraging creativity. Music? Music is a different animal and has more commercial appeal. With profits on music harder to come by I think the variety of music available is much more narrow. There is still variety and outliers but I don't think there is as much of it. Hard to prove that. Only thing I can point to is a band interview with Rush from the 70's where they had a string of mediocre albums (commercial standards) and as they were getting more experimental they made Hemisphere's (I think). It was considered a flop by the record company and they acknowledge that in today's music biz they wouldn't of even been allowed to make that album let alone the next one. In today's day and age you are not allowed to fail if you are backed by corporate money. You get results or you don't. One try. So all the experimentation happens in the weeds where we all live. Luckily music is accessible to us and we can do whatever we want...