Sometimes sitting down to compose a piece of music is an act of extreme frustration. Other times it just flows like water. Typically, you enter into the process with pre-conceived ideas of how you want the project to turn out. Other times you let it happen.
This was one of those times. I pulled up a project that I had started earlier, which was a looped piano riff with a very cool, chill vibe to it. I looked for a beat that would go along with it but nothing clicked. Instead, I decided to go with a very basic stand up bass part that fit perfectly. I then added a guitar melody over top of it and boom it worked. Surprisingly, I used my white PGM 30 electric guitar tuned down 1/2 step and it sounded great. As for the sound, I used the Royal Rock (Queen) setting on Logic Pro X, which has a touch of delay on it along with that Brian May bite.
By the way, this was composed for my mom as a gift for mother’s day. Luckily, this was one of those moments where everything fit. It would be great if it were always this easy:)
There is little doubt that Covid has placed our children at risk in more ways than one. With many schools opting for distance-learning since the March outbreak here in the United States, it was inevitable that the achievment gap would grow. With lower income areas dealing with children at home day after day, the strain has begun to show. The ability for these students to learn at home is proving to be difficult if not impossible.
With parents unable to find childcare they can afford, many students are left to their own devices during the day. Therefore, schoolwork is not getting done and worse the children are losing interest in learning. To expect children to stay on their computers with no distrations for hours at a time is not working. It is now a major crisis and one that will not be solved for a while.
Older secondary students are not immune from the virus in that they feel hopeless and demoralized. This has caused a rift between teachers and parents that gets downright ugly. With tensions at an all time high in this pandemic the only saving grace is that the vaccine is on the way.
This is my description of the heartbreaking reality of where we are as a nation. Hopefully, things will improve very soon, but in the meantime…
I’ve always been fascinated with the guitar playing of Dan Kanter. His playing, mainly when he was with Justin Bieber, always stands out as innovated and hip. His ability to create multi-faceted rhythmic effects that more than mimic the original electronic based versions of songs is second to none.
As an example, Bieber’s live cover of “Hotline Bling” is one of Dan’s best work. In the following tutorial you will see the approach that he can deliver with seeming ease. There are only two chords in the song itself. They are jazzy vesions that are not hard to grab if you put a couple hours into the process.
Pink Floyd‘s tech-heavy composition, “Welcome to the Machine” was always way ahead of its time. It brooding and searching and minor-based sonic pallet always took some getting used to, at least for me. But, after covering the song, I discovered the incredible melodic motifs contained within.
For the writing of this work I used a Fender American Stratocaster, running into Logic Pro X. The effect on the guitar is Vahalla’s Smimmer, which is my all time favorite guitar effects. Not to mention that it is an incredible tonal experience.
In September 2017, Jorja Smith released “On My Mind”, an irresistible and jazzy track. She worked alongside producer, Preditah. The track first premiered on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show. It was her first release that made it into the Official UK Charts reaching #54. It has been streamed well over 13 million times on Spotify alone.
If you haven’t played them yet, this track will introduce you to a few jazz chord forms. These moveable shapes are not hard to maneuver if you take your time and work out the fingerings. Do not rush through this arrangement. Patience and slow movement will more than pay off.
I did make a correction thanks to a YouTube subscriber. The second chord is an Fm7b5, and not an Fm7 as I say in the video tutorial.
Here is the tab, which I am in the process of completing. Thank you for your patience!
The acoustic guitar has had occasional spotlight moments reaching out and making itself known as a legitimate accompaniment instrument worthy of featured airplay. Eric Clapton scored big with his 1992 mega-hit “Tears in Heaven”. The song dominated the charts and made it cool to play acoustic guitar again. Decades before, the Mason Williams classic instrumental, “Classical Gas” roared up the charts. The song won three Grammy Awards for Best Instrumental Composition, Best Contemporary-Pop Performance, and Best Instrumental Arrangement.
“Shallow” is nowhere near the level of the aforementioned songs in structure or instrumentation, but it is a wonderfully written guitar part and engaging song to play.
Make sure to take care on the chord switches during the intro and verse sections. I will finish the score making sure to provide a version that is not fingerpicked for those of you just wanting to strum and easier version.