Monthly Archives: April 2013

From Doodle to Music



Doodling is the act of just playing with abandon not really focused on being musical. Most of the time its at best relaxing, it can be exploratory if one is doing it over a changes i.e a chord progression but too much is a waste of time. Practice needs to be structured if one in going to progress so doodling in general is contrary to a serious musician’s objectives.

However, one area where a bit of doodling can be beneficial is in composing. Often , ideas come when one just let’s go and is free from the stress to produce. The key of course then would be to record your “doodling” and go  back and try to glean some musical lines.

For a recent doodle which like most of my doodles pretty much crappy run of the mouth line I went back and tried to salvage the underlying musical idea that was lurking in my subconscious at the time. What you see above is the notation of it and below is the audio for the midi playback.

It sounds better on the guitar. The performance includes slides and minor nuances that I can’t be bothered notating i.e. too difficult. Perhaps the transcription is not totally accurate though I think its quite close. You would not turn a lead sheet with all those rests but the cleaner lead sheet would have misleading playback i.e. more legatto than what I intend.

I’ll share a recorded guitar line later.

from doodle

Updated April 24th, 2013



The above is a more accurate transcription of what I intend the line to be. This is amounting to the start of a solo as opposed to a melody.

Here’s the audio for it:

from doodle v2

The audio is just the midi playback for the scored line , the performance includes stylistic innuendo in the form of slide approaches which I will share.

Updated : 4/26/2013

Recorded guitar line:

from doodle v3 w guitar

Guitar Tricks



So for the price of two New York City guitar lessons and a few Starbuck latte’s you can get a full year worth of study materials at various levels of experience and across a number of musical genre’s. What’s the quality of the instruction ? Don’t know yet but  there must be something good among the 5000 plus lessons. 50,000 users could not have been duped?

This all reminds me of Line 6′s Guitar Online where thru their hardware you could of downloaded all sorts of lessons but in particular backup tracks and tone banks for your Line 6 hardware. Indeed Line 6 is probably behind this since for one I got wind of this via an email from Line 6 , so you wonder.

My gut feeling is that Guitar Tricks can’t be one’s exclusive source of learning. The guy that teaches you rock/metal can’t be the same guy that teaches you Flamenco, or can he or she? Maybe. Will that individual be a better source than Juan Martin who only does Flamenco, has had Flamenco coursing through his veins since birth and comes from the motherland? I mean the guy is a Spaniard for god’s sake. I am going to pay more attention . Having said that Guitar Tricks may have some tricks I can add to my bag of tricks, yeah I know pretty corny.

Did I mention that it cost about two NYC guitar lessons and with some coffee to boot ?

Overall, I”m guessing my conclusion is that there will be valuable material to glean off and that it will be a source of perhaps not inspiration but certainly great variety to keep one’s practice fresh.

Overall I’m guessing I’m going to conclude that its indeed a good deal.

Deconstructing Metheny

One of my long term goals which I think I have mentioned is to come up with my rendition of Pat Metheny’s So May It Secretly Begin. The attempt is to perform whatever parts I can i.e. guitar , bass, sometimes keyboards and sequence the rest. Drums will probably be scored in with perhaps fills and breaks recorded via my Roland Handsonic or keyboards.

The effort is not only a music learning experience but its also about a recording engineering experience.

Today I added what I figured out to be the chord swell over the cm7 intro vamp, I think I have the right voicing. I have not yet added the flute – ish trill . Also for fun I found myself just musing on the guitar over the vamp with my newly added cm7 swell and to that I dropped a line on the guitar. Its raw and frankly crappy but it was just a first rough take of something that popped out of my head.

This blog is for documenting my journey and about not taking myself too seriously and having fun.

Check it out:

swell with riff 2



Yates Malaguena

The Malaguena was the sixth movement from  Ernesto Lecuona , but has been popularized extensively in all sorts of context in popular music and Jazz. Yates has a quick compositon based on the Malaguena that serves as nice single line piece in 3/4.

Not perfect but here’s my first recording of it:


yates malaguena 3

Another pass:

yates malaguena 4


Below is my performance for Juan Martin’s second solo study entitled Tientos.

Tientos is a Flamenco dance form. I found this defintion on the web:

a slow cante jondo music and dance in a four-count rhythm, was first developed by the singer Enrique el Mellizo (1848 -1906) as an expressive variation of the Tangos. Poet Federico García Lorca considered the Tientos to be almost liturgical in its solemnity. Traditional Tientos lyrics – letras – set a dark mood, and have to do with loss, unrequited love, imprisionment, longing for freedom and other serious messages. Dancers strive to capture this mood in their solos.

The most notable aspect of the slow Tientos tempo is the beat structure. Where the first beat in Tangos is subdued, it is strongly emphasized in the Tientos, as is the “and” of the second beat.

The study piece emphasizes along with the Tientos form , the use of the thumb stroke  as well as the use of held  chords while running single note lines.

Its an easy but pretty piece:


Controlling your DAW from iPad



Here’s a pretty cool tool that I bumped into. Might just be the justification I need to buy an iPad , that and the fact that I want to do iOS / RubyMotion development targetting iPad.

Here’s a video showing how its used with Logic Pro. BTW, you can also not only use it with a number of DAWs but also virtual synths and just about anything midi. It does though come as a official Logic Pro control surface i..e it will just work.