• Oct 19, 2023

My name is Brinton. Stone Window Gallery is the name of my pottery studio.

I apologize for my tardy submission. I’m new to GarageBand on my iPad and continue struggle to convert the zip file to mp3 file. I thank Ryan for his undying support. He made it happen for both of my submissions.

And on top of my tardiness, this is a song that I’ve been working on for a few months that I shoe horned into the Newfangle parameters. I began with the riff that has the bass line as the melody. I’m still developing the lyric melody on top of that bass line. I did have two breaks that brought me from key of G to other places and back again. I did one extra riff break on this recording that I can merely describe as a finger picking clusterfuck.

I spent 4.5 years (February 1986- August 1990) in Kumamoto, Japan as a pottery apprentice with Koichi Yamamoto aka Yamako-san. He died in May 2020. I was able to visit him in February 2020 just before covid shut down the planet. I’ve wanted to write a song about some of that experience for a few years now. The original lyric was in English, but because of the Newfangle challenge I translated to Japanese.

Lyric in Nihon-go (Japanese):

San ju roku nen mae
Kumamoto de tochaku shimashita

Jitensha de
Kinbo-zan noborimashita

Take no mon

Ishi no kaidan


Original Lyric in English:

Thirty six years ago
Landed in Kumamoto

Every morning
Climbed up Kinbo-zan
On my bicycle

Opened up the bamboo gate
Climbed to stone staircase

I’m writing a new song

(I have more lyrics, but the song was getting too long)

Looking for feedback on

I still feel this song is in progress. Any feedback to help tighten it up is welcome. Should I just have one break instead o two or three? Should I end on G instead of B?


Ryan October 25, 2023 5:10pm


First off—this is a rad sheet of lyrics. Kind of works / reads as a poem as well, which I know you often derive lyrical inspiration from, so that makes sense. Well done there.

Yeah, echoing a few things that Ben mentioned, I’d be curious to hear you play this song against a simple quarter-note kick drum that’s keeping time. I bet you would have a bunch of realizations about how you want the rhythm and sections to feel. By no means do I think you should lose the off kilter nature of the main part, but I think being able to glue all of it together a little more would help a ton.

Woo that last verse is gorgeous! Great vocal delivery.

stonewindow October 26, 2023 7:50am

Thanks for this Ryan. I think I could use some click track practice. …… for sure. I was also thinking about slowing down the overall tempo, but when I play it I tend to speed up. Thanks for you kind words.

Ben October 23, 2023 9:52am

i believe “finger picking clusterfuck” is actually the correct technical term.

This is great. I think one thing to make it sound a little more finished: focus a little more on the 1:56-2:18 section. Maybe keep it in rhythm? Maybe make it sound more intentional somehow? Add lyrics? Add other instruments? Shorten/cut it? I understand that it’s functioning as a bridge to get you to a certain chord, but maybe try and “intentionalize” it a little more.

Great stuff. Love “bass notes as the melody.” Good to have you here. Nice pottery too.

stonewindow October 23, 2023 6:24pm

Thanks for this Ben. Much appreciated. Your comments are very helpful.

stonewindow October 23, 2023 9:24pm

Hey Ben, you’re spot on. That’s a place I improvised and it is should be removed. 🛶🛶🛶

Ryan October 25, 2023 5:11pm

Getting “intentional” with it is a great to put it, Ben. Agreed.

I think the second break works really well. Could certainly happen that way both times it happens and that would be a step towards more cohesion, I think.