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  • Submitted on time! Mar 17, 2024
Mostly Melody

So first the bad news, when i quickly read the rules I saw the 4 chords progression and never deviate – so I used only four chords (not counting the transition note), but somehow the never deviate from the progression didn’t sink in.  I was so focused on the terror of no effects and the fear of not being able to hide behind all that digital hand-waving, it completely overwhelmed my absorption of the first rule.  After all was said and done, I read the rules more carefully and realized I should have kept the same progression throughout, so I tried a re-record last minute – and it was a mess, due mostly to my inability to finger pick for 3 min twice – once for each track I wanted. After trying to re-edit and cut up I gave up and went with the first – incorrect version.  Plus, truth be told, I don’t understand the concept of melody.  When I kept the four chords as one progression, I could not figure how to change the melody.  This music thing can be very confusing.

The good news is after listening to all the doubling of the guitar parts to hide the flubs, I felt OK without effects!  It was eye-opening.  I didn’t need to twist that reverb and echo dial to feel safe.  The separation of the parts felt wide and substantial enough not to have to resort to digital trickery.  Vocally, I did a bit of compression and tiny bit of EQ to act as a shield against the dry-vocal monsters lurking in every microphone.

I’m going to say, weakly, the three melodies are 1. the lead melody part, 2. the verse melody part and 3. the chorus melody part (which shouldn’t exist). That said, I’m not sure these three different sections have different melody.

In golf less accomplished players have a high handicap so they can play with better golfers.  Maybe the chefs could invent a way to have a handicap in assignments so folks that don’t really understand super complicated musical things like melody, notes and chords – let alone 5th circles or 7/8 time.

All in all a great assignment.  Learning a lot about songwriting which is great!  Even when wrong.

Looking for feedback on

I know the fingerpicking is erratic - feedback on how to be better -practice? lesson?


nick March 20, 2024 1:45pm

Love your description. Heck, just trying to make some music. And lol, me listening thinking this about your father or something, and then the reveal. Happened to be watching The Dynasty documentary, and well, I can relate to the feeling. As for the melodies, you may have a better understanding than you think you do.

I think there’s one note in there that needs tweaking—in the lead line at :24, I don’t have a guitar on me, but I believe that note should be a half step in either direction. Give it a go and see how it feels.

Carseat March 18, 2024 3:10pm (edited)

Dude — your voice is crazy good. That rasp you have is mmmmm….

Fingerpicking is such a lil beast — I myself am working on that one too. I recommend playing a quick little chord/lick with the thought, “All the notes and fingers are equally important,” and grappling with that exercise for a bit, then go, “The bass notes needs to be louder than the high notes” then tinker, then after that, reverse (make the high strings louder), and just loop around those mentalities for a while. I’ve found it helps me get more comfortable with all of my fingers and notes interacting together and sticking to a click. But yea — it’s never perfect, and I think imperfections make it so tasteful (as long as it’s otherwise controlled).

And I agree — handicap is a great idea, but I also appreciate the built-in flexibility everyone gives everyone.

nick March 20, 2024 1:40pm

Great idea! Keep shedding.