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davd_indigo's Achievements


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  1. I went to CNET and downloaded their recommendation - Express Rip. I also unknowingly seemed consent to a Chrome browser extension. And pop-up ads. Some more searching and I found how to reset my browser and lose the pesky extension. I was able to load Electric Ladyland on my phone. I enjoyed listening on my Bluetooth headphones on yesterday's walk.
  2. BTW, I hate it when screwing around with the computer replaces time at the piano. I just want stuff to work.
  3. Thanks Mandolin and Jeff. I did a Google on Cnet recommended mp3 ripping software, and I downloaded Express Rip CD Ripper. I was able to rip Electric Ladyland. Vodoo Chile didn't rip correctly the first time - my best guess was it had something to do with the 15 minute length. Tried again and it ripped. Then I was able to load it onto my android phone. My Bluetooth headphones and phone are my main listening tools. Hardly ever use my receiver and CD player. If I like this ripping software I think I'll pay the $30 dollars for it.
  4. Thanks Jeff. I went to your link but had no success. I have Windows 10 BTW. I found this link https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/14209/get-windows-media-player and clicked the link "Enable Windows Media Player" then clicked the "open settings" button. Then clicked the "Add a feature" button and found a "Windows Media Feature" selection, which I clicked.....then clicked "Install". Restarted the PC. No luck. Then when I open the Windows page (whatever it's called) and type Windows Media Player my computer opens a page: /Control Panel/ All Control Panel Items / AutoPlay. After scrolling down and finding "CD" I tried "Open folder to view files". And for Blank CD I tried "Burn files to disc (File Explorer)". Restarted the PC and when I type "Media Player" it opens to the same settings screen I just described. I'm wondering if Bitdefender is a cluprit here. A couple of weeks back Google Chrome disappeared. I had to delete it and reinstall it with coaching from some google searching. There was a suggestion that antivirus software may have been blocking it. I hope to hell not. I don't need to pay money to have these annoyances. So I've had no success here. I'm wondering if I'd be happier in the Apple world. I like to use the computer, but have no desire to become a computer mechanic.
  5. I've never used it much. But I've used it to rip some of my CD's for transferring to my phone. I then use my phone with Bluetooth headphones. So recently, I happened to think I'd like to listen to Hendrix's Electric Ladyland on my phone. When searched on Media Player I found it's not there. Searching on how to "activate" it I found instructions on going to Control Panel / Programs and Features / Turn Windows features on and off / Media Features .............then expand Media Features and check Windows Media Player But, as is often the case with these sorts of instructions, Media Features has no sub-category. Any insights to offer ? Thanks.
  6. And if the current legal ignorance existed circa 1967, the Beatles could be cleaning up legally. Anyone old enough to remember all the harpsichords in pop songs after Sgt. Pepper ? And harpsichords with tambourines ? Harpsichords combined with tambourines. Any musician would spew out his coffee if it were suggested to be copyrightable in 1967. It's not remotely laughable these days, legally speaking.
  7. I believe this is partly a consequence of people who only know loop based music and Hip-Hop. A musical fragment or motif in their minds becomes a full fledged composition - especially if this little musical fragment is repeated over and over. I think someone should employ a team of knowledgeable musicologists to pore over music by Bach, Schubert, Mendelssohn, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Perry Como, Robert Johnson, and so on and so on. Then find corresponding patterns in the form arrangement ideas and little motifs like the Katy Perry/Flame. Then illustrate these things to the ignorants who are bringing bogus litigation. As a lifelong musician who's still working at cultivating my musical skills, I'm frustrated by the level of ignorance in the legal puppet masters. I listened to about 2 minutes of the Katy Perry and 2 minutes of the Flame - I heard a repeated motif - in the key of Bb minor Db C Bb in the Katy Perry. In the Flame song I heard C B A. This constitutes a copyrighted composition ? Some more fodder below for some scum-sucking lawyers. With a little thought , others could come up with more examples using the "compositions" (i.e. tiny musical idea). Boogie Chillin Boogie Riff "Spirit In The Sky"/Multiple Canned Heat songs/ ZZ Top "La Grange" Hang On Sloopy I IV V "Guantanamera"/"Louie Louie" (with a minor V chord) Pink Descending accompanying motif similar (but not the same) to Katie Perry "Dark Horse" What About Us
  8. I Googled "Bolton UK open mics" and found several venues. I also checked "Manchester open mics" (Google said Manchester and Bolton are about 12 miles from each other). I'd be more inclined to attend some sort of jam session or open mic night. The difference between someone calling themselves a musician and hearing them actually play music can be huge. I need to hear a musician to know if their playing strikes my fancy. Some do. Many don't.
  9. We agree. I had a music theory teacher once make a BTW comment. He said that composers created their music, and theorists came along later and analyzed and labeled/codified things. Sometimes people study and learn traditional music theory or jazz music theory and they believe they are learning rules that are NOT to be broken. Problem. But, I'd say that music theory has value. Let's take "My Funny Valentine"and the intro to "Michelle". "Valentine" has (in the key of C) chord changes in Cminor with descending half steps C, B, Bb and A . The intro to "Michelle" descends (in F minor) F, E, Eb , D, Db, and C. The other notes in the tonic chord are static. About five years ago I discovered that someone gave the name, "line cliche" to this movement. Someone somewhere observed and labeled it with a name. What use is this gibberish ? Communication. I could tell someone that the intro or verse of a song uses line cliche and they'd have a clue about playing the song. This is probably of little interest to most. But if you play pickup gigs with another musician and don't get to rehearse, any common language is useful. I basically think learning theory along with learning to play by ear can open up bigger worlds to a growing musician. Growing, learning, cultivating music.
  10. A largely neglected but valuable skill, by my observations at least, is playing by ear. Maybe that's partly what you're getting at by "learn the instrument". I was schooled in music theory. And played Bach and Beethoven, Brahms in college. But a few years later, I was having lunch with a gigging guitar player in a pizza joint that had a juke box. He played a few current popular songs on it (this was circa 1979 maybe) and pointed out the bass line. The bass, in large part (but not exclusively) is key to being able to play songs by ear. Of course, in 1979 there was still some pop music with harmonic movement - chord changes. This pizza joint juke box experience was eye opening - actually ear opening for me. Add to the bass line, chord inversions and chord voicings, complex altered chords (often called jazz chords). These are the tools of making music beyond the simplistic pop music that passes my ears in public spaces. Current mass music seems to be harmonically semi-literate. More concerned with synthesizer "tones" and loops and such. Anyway, I've come to believe that the tools necessary for playing by ear should be taught. Whether formally, as music theory, or practically , as in "this is a I chord. This is a (minor) vi chord" and applying these to actual songs. And BTW, the Beatles were no slackers when it came to interesting and sometimes pretty sophisticated harmonies. Erroll Garner (a legendary jazz pianist) never learned to read music. He was called an "ear player". But he composed "Misty". Of course he started playing around 3 (IIRC) and had pianists around him to learn from.
  11. It seems to me maybe a hybrid designation might be appropriate, such as "sonic artist". There are definitely skills that have developed (and even evolved) in the art form of DJing. I've thought about rap/hip hop music that it would be more appropriate to call it "enhanced spoken word". There are skills one needs to acquire and hone, but things like the refined harmonic language needed to play traditional pop, rock, (some rock) jazz and blues music are not really in play. Of course the current younger set are likely more drawn to DJing, Hip Hopping and EDMing than the richness of Western harmony based music. Things go in cycles. The pendulum will likely swing again. As for analogies (chef/cook , florist/gardener) I've had that thought that a DJ (as Craig describes) is something like a freestyle real time film editor working with various film clips. There are probably holes in this comparison.
  12. The counterpoint book is for developing musicality. IIRC Schoenberg said he wrote the counterpoint book to help students (he was teaching at USC in California) develop their ears. Developed ears will help your overall musicality, which in turn should help songwriting. You sparked my curiosity, and I pulled Jimmy Webb's "Tunesmith" off the bookshelf. I have the book but never read it. The book is loaded with ideas. Also interesting anecdotes. If you decide to buy Schoenberg's book, Sheet Music Plus seems to have it in stock ($20). For some reason Amazon doesn't seem to have it (except for a few used overpriced copies).
  13. I forgot to mention that on Amazon there are a couple of books: Songwriters on songwriting. Easily searched. And I'll point out the obvious - there is the music and there are the words. Two different disciplines to learn about.
  14. I've not read the books I listed. My impression is that your are looking for a solution all tied up in a package - in this case a book. I'd say the things one needs to do to improve their song writing are study and work. You mentioned (above earlier) being dissatisfied with "keep trying". I will submit that "keep trying" translates into "keep honing your craft". Many things are simple to say - not so easy to do. Like, exercise regularly and eat a plant based diet. OK, simple, the chore is in the doing it. Most importantly, to my mind, if you want to be a really good songwriter - work on your ears. As I said about about transcribing Burt Bacharach. Learn Beatles songs. Learn to play some of them by ear. I have a "Beatles Fake Book" - only the melodies and chord symbols - you have to figure out the chord voicings (you do know about chord voicings right ?) with your ears. Listen to how the bass line works with the guitar parts - learn the bass parts by ear. Analyze the vocal harmonies by singing along with various harmony parts. Notice how the various elements work together. The Beatles learned by trial and error, struggling to come up with something interesting. Take things apart and observe how they work. Can you hear chord progressions, root movement, chord inversions ? Have you studied the nuts and bolts of how harmonic movement works ? If you don't like the Beatles, choose some examples by other artists that you really really admire. I did study a book in counterpoint about 40 years ago: Preliminary Exercises In Counterpoint by Arnold Schoenberg. Although I recommend it highly (it's a method with writing exercises - you learn by doing) I don't think it would help you with songwriting.
  15. I have to confess I did not read all the posts here. I did scroll down, and saw no actual books listed. I just did an Amazon.com search and got only a handful of titles. But, there are some resources in print. Something else that may have already been mentioned would be to study songs by specific songwriters. A couple of years back I did this with Burt Bacharach. I transcribed several of his songs - "Alfie" and "Promises Promises" among them. Using your ears to figure out how a given song works can help to absorb what is going on in a song. 3 titles from an Amazon search: Melody in Songwriting:Tools and Techniques for Writing Hit Songs (Berklee) Melody - How To write Great Tunes Melody Writing and Analysis
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