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Topic: Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation (Memories Demo)

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  1. #1

    Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation (Memories Demo)

    https://soundcloud.com/savetara/memories-demo

    Here is a demo of one of my relaxing and calming tunes I am currently working on for my new album series Love and War. I wanted to create something a little more happier and uplifting but at the same time memorable. I wanted to take Randy's advice in regards to the chord progression so I did a little more work on in regards to progression instead of the my 1-2-3 or 1-3-2.

    I also did some upgrades to my site. I was originally using wordpress for everything, but I found wordpress too slow... so I am used Webplus starter edition to get this done. What do you guys think of the layout so far?

    Website:
    http://www.richardsuru.com/

    Love and War Series:
    http://www.richardsuru.com/loveandwar/

    Libraries used so far:
    - Vienna Appassionata String (Included in Vienna SE Strings 2)
    - Vienna Special Edition Woodwinds
    - Micro Olympus Choir (Soundiron)

    Regards,

    Richard

  2. #2

    Re: Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation (Memories Demo)

    Quote Originally Posted by sururick View Post
    [SC]... I wanted to take Randy's advice in regards to the chord progression so I did a little more work on in regards to progression instead of the my 1-2-3 or 1-3-2.

    I also did some upgrades to my site...What do you guys think of the layout so far?
    Lovely and melancholic, Richard. It's a good start- I encourage you to not rush, putting the cart before the horse with sites, announcements et al - Just do the work, and after a long period of time, when you emerge with things you're happy with, then that would be the time for the trimmings of press releases and fanfares, whatever else you want to do to promote your work.

    Chord progressions - Hmmm, you're still saying you've been using a lot of 1-2-3-- Take a look at the page I posted for you on the other thread. You haven't been doing 1-2-3-, but 1 - VIIb - VIb. If that doesn't make sense, take another look at what I posted, because to understand the basic formula for what chords are is a very helpful thing to know.

    On your website, I can't make the Soundcloud page loud. It keeps saying that it's loading, but it never finishes. I don't know what that is - I'm not having trouble at other sites.

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation (Memories Demo)

    Yes Richard, this "moves" a lot more... good, good. Sometimes I'd really like to listen to a full piece by you. Look, I fully understand why you just post "demos" of your pieces in the listening room... but sometimes, not always, it would be good to have a full picture. We know you are very good in building whole structures, I remember Tara's "symphony"...
    Also, I do think you are a natural to pull out melodies.

    On the "harmonic side", in my humble opinion Randy has told the whole story. I am also curios to know why you call the former progression 1-2-3... Randy is right, is a I-bVII-bVI. Only, Randy... I do think those are not "borrowed chords". Richard uses the minor (aeolian) mode, so the bVII and bVI are the chords you would expect stepping down by degree from the minor triad. Obviously Richard knows what kind of mood he is after, as the progression "down one degree" is the "saddest", the "most depressed" of them all. Hey, not trying to give any lessons here.. especially to Randy. I am not in the position to. Just trying to understand....

    By the way.. good job!

    Fab

  4. #4

    Re: Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation (Memories Demo)

    Nothing on your website works for me. Your "cloud player" does not load.

    Your text is very difficult to read because there is little contrast between it and its background. Gray text on a black background causes a strain on my old eyes. How about using white text?

    Larry
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  5. #5

    Re: Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation (Memories Demo)

    I'm sure you'll be visiting your threads again soon, Richard (this and the other recent one) - I just wanted to join in the conversation since I was here last night:

    Quote Originally Posted by sec2 View Post
    ...I do think those are not "borrowed chords". Richard uses the minor (aeolian) mode, so the bVII and bVI are the chords you would expect stepping down by degree from the minor triad...
    Fab, thanks for that. On Richard's other thread, I just labeled the Wiki entry after its given title, "Borrowed Chords." It's a term I never use - I think so Chromatically, any and all chords are always fair game in my book! They're just chords, and I don't worry about what they're supposed to be called. I tend to avoid using academic terms in general, in fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry G. Alexander View Post
    Nothing on your website works for me. Your "cloud player" does not load.

    Your text is very difficult to read because there is little contrast between it and its background. Gray text on a black background causes a strain on my old eyes. How about using white text?

    Larry
    Richard, I think Larry's is another good point to think about. The gray text, especially in the smaller font, could be bumped up to a much lighter gray so its closer to white, and would probably still have the dramatic effect you want. The Cloud Player - definitely not working. Maybe you don't have the code all in place yet, since the site's under construction.

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation (Memories Demo)

    Sorry guys for the delay in replying... I have been tackling the site for the last while, spent some of my work shift on it as well.

    First of all, thank you everyone for the replies and feed back !

    @Fab:
    I have been releasing a lot of demos lately, besides my Save Tara and Angel Tara compositions, and a couple video game arrangements. I am trying to get everything right for this project. The best advice I get is from everyone here! Thanks for the kind words. I promise, I will begin sharing full pieces shortly. The 1-2-3 etc is how I recognize what to do with music. I cannot read music at all... I have to rely on my ears, visualization, and some techniques I have learned through trial over the years. I know starting at 1 minor (which ever scale I choose) will be the beginning, then 2 will be 2 notes down giving the kind of a happy feel. Can't use 1.5 because it will just sound incorrect. 3 brings the final touch. The jump from 1 to 3 is what I call impacting. 3 to 4 continues the sorrow (minor tone). It's messed up with me on how I compose lol. I just make it work in way that makes since to me lol. I can now transition from minor to major tones and jump scales and make notes work with bass, etc. I still got a lot to learn.

    @Larry
    Ahhh... sorry Larry, one thing about me is can see text very small... even my teachers in school had a hard time reading my stuff because I wrote to small. The same thing happened here, small just seemed natural to me, but I fixed that up! Thanks for pointing that out. I have also made the text brighter so it is not so dark.

    @Randy
    Again sorry for the late reply, I have been tackling this site putting everything up from the old one... a complete conversion from wordpress. I saw the Borrowed Chords link in the "Rest in Peace" post. I am having extremely difficult time understanding it... I tried a demo of Finale 2014 just to see, and I couldn't write anything. Notation just messes me up. I have no idea why that Soundcloud player is not working for you guys. It works for me and a couple of others who I showed the site too. That really has me puzzled. I tried with IE and Chrome. *Scratching head! Your right Randy, I gotta get hings flowing first... sometimes I get a little too excited.

    Regards,

    Richard

  7. #7

    Re: Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation (Memories Demo)

    Quote Originally Posted by sururick View Post
    ...
    The 1-2-3 etc is how I recognize what to do with music. I cannot read music at all... I have to rely on my ears, visualization, and some techniques I have learned through trial over the years. I know starting at 1 minor (which ever scale I choose) will be the beginning, then 2 will be 2 notes down giving the kind of a happy feel. Can't use 1.5 because it will just sound incorrect. 3 brings the final touch. The jump from 1 to 3 is what I call impacting. 3 to 4 continues the sorrow (minor tone). It's messed up with me on how I compose lol. I just make it work in way that makes since to me lol. I can now transition from minor to major tones and jump scales and make notes work with bass, etc. I still got a lot to learn.
    ...
    Ah, that's clear now... you count "backwards".
    Look, I'll try a 5 minutes - very basic -chords theory, keeping it notation-free as you are not into that.

    First of all, I do think that, in music, the only think that matters is how it sounds. Theory is a help, but it is not strictly necessary. Once again: listen carefully to the suggestions Randy gave you: they are very valuable. It is the melody which "calls" for the chords, not the other way around. Of course, if "the other way around" works for you it is not a problem, but nonetheless usually the melody has the leading role, that's what we hear and what we remember about a piece, AND it always suggests its own chords progression (and not one, there always are more ways to build chords around a melody).

    Melody is written using the tones of a scale. Chords are built on the tones of the same scale, using only the tones of the scale we are using, otherwise there will be dissonances. The tones of the scale are named - conventionally - using roman numerals. That's I for 1, II for 2, III for 3, IV for 4, V for 5, VI for 6 and VII for 7. Take the scale of C major: C-I, D-II, E-III, F-IV, G-V, A-VI, B-VII. In case of a major scale, the chords we can build on the different tones of the scale - or the "degrees" of the scale - are: Cmajor - Dminor - Eminor - Fmajor - G7 - Aminor - Bdiminished. That's because we can only use the tones IN the scale. Take the B chord, the "weirdest" of them. B major chord should be B/D#/F#. But we do not have D# and F# in this scale, we have to use D and F natural, so the B chord built with D natural and F natural will give us a diminished chord.
    Ok, we just "harmonized" the Cmajor scale. You are free to build a melody on that scale, and you can harmonize the melody with the chords we mentioned above.
    Minor, now. The minor mode "derives" from the major. You have to lower the III, VI and VII degrees. So, Cminor scale will be: C-I, D-II, Eb-III, F-IV, G-V, Ab-VI, Bb-VII. As three tones of the scale changed, the chords of the harmonization of the scale will change too. Chords built on the minor mode are: Cminor, Ddiminished, Ebmajor, Fminor, Gminor, Abmajor, Bbmajor. That's your scale Richard, you tend to use the minor mode all over the place.
    (minor mode is pretty complicate and very rich. It can be easily variated... but let's stick to basics for now).

    Now, chords progression. You can pretty much jump to any chord from any chord.... but there are progressions that are pretty much "fixed", that one "knows" that they will just sound ok. There's just six of them, 3 primary and three secondary progressions, secondary being the reverse of the primary. The primary progressions are: a fourth up, a second up, a third down. We are talking about scale degrees, here (mentioned above). Fourth up is C-F or D-G and so on. Second up is C-D, D-E or F-G and so on. Third down is C-A, A-F (count two steps down on the scale degrees chart). These are the most obvious progression, they just ALWAYS work. The strongest of them is the "fourth up", it is a very strong "push forward", with a decisive sense of motion. "One up" is the most contrasted as all notes will change. Third down is the softest as only one note will change between the chords. Secondary progression are: fifth up, second down and third up. Fifth up is C-G, D-A and so on. Second down... that's "YOUR" progression, the "sad" one: C-B, B-A, D-C. Third up is C-E, E-G and so on. Secondary progression are, emotionally, the opposite than the primary: primary ones are positive, "pushing forward", secondary ones are negative, "depressed".

    Let's go back for a while to "Rest in peace". The whole chords progression seem to me, in minor mode: Iminor, VIImajor, VImajor, Vminor, VImajor, Iminor. So you move: one down, one down, one down (secondary), one up (primary), third up (secondary). As you use a lot of secondary progressions, your music will have a "depressed", "sad" feeling. Curiosly, you do not have a "cadence" in this progression, in fact the phrase remains "airy", as "suspended". But this is another story.

    All of this said... Randy is still right. Do not put yourself into boundaries and always explore. Hum a melody with creativity and having fun. And harmonize it with flair. BUT, if you use these few ideas, you are pretty much "safe", you'll never go wrong. Pop or rock music make almost exclusive use of primary progressions... and most of the "traditional" classical harmony is no different. Take also jazz... one of its main "engines" is the progression II-V-I. That would translate for example, in a Dmin7-G7-Cmaj7 (in C major of course). These are two primary progressions "fourth up", and you can have a whole piece built on this.

    Of course, things are MUCH more complicated than this and usually composers intentionally tend to search for dissonances and put them in strategical spots, and in doing this they build more complicated harmonies with borrowed chords, altered ones and in general with material not strictly deriving from one scale. But basics are always useful. One has to know how to sound "normal" before leaping into the unknown.

    Hope to have been helpful in some way.

    Fab

  8. #8

    Re: Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation (Memories Demo)

    FAB, thank you so much for the detail here... I am in a brain crunch, but I am going to re-read this again a few more times. The melody is indeed important. I just go back to think... When I composed that melody for Save Tara... it was just a visualization... this is before I even put things together. I just felt the tone... the the one thing I wanted as a memory... the one piece I could remember her by. Then I started placing the other notes after that and listened so it didn't sound unnatural. The bass came, the other fitting notes... and then the original Save Tara arrangement #1 was completed. After all this explanation you have done and reading the link that Randy posted... My mind is melting LOL! I am having a difficult time trying to comprehend this, but I will figure out a way to learn.

    I will tell you something that is so embarrassing to me... this is so SAD! lol! I remember when I was in Junior High (Grade 7 and 8) I joined the band class as a french horn player. Why did I join? Well, I have always loved music ever since I was a wee little guy... I really loved music after listening to the theme to Legend of Zelda when I played it as a kid! All I loved listening to was Nintendo music! After that, it was super Nintendo music... so on and so on! Anyways, I had thought before joining the band class... I want to make good music! LOL! So, I guess at the time... I thought it would make my dreams come true. Unfortunately, I sucked... lol. Couldn't read the music... couldn't play... LOL! It was sooo bad. My band teacher would ask me play a note... LOL, I couldn't do it, he would literately give me a hard time in front of the whole class. Eventually, I just remembered some stuff to just make the band teacher happy and was just in the band class just to make up time for courses. The sad part comes when it came to concerts... in front of all the parents... GOD!!! What I did, was I pretended to play... I didn't even use the french horn...

    So now, years later... I still don't know it... I still can't understand it.. but I am glad you, Randy, and others are helping me to try and understand this.

    Thanks again Fab,

    Regards,

    Richard

  9. #9

    Re: Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation (Memories Demo)

    Oh, Richard.... you are either playing with us or being too hard on yourself, 'cause it is pretty clear that you do have a more than fair amount of musical talent.
    Real instruments do not count... it takes an important amount of time and lots of dedication to master them. I am still suffering on my violin, after slightly more than a couple of years with it. A couple of years on a violin is pretty much ZERO time. And do not think for a second that I might be some kind of pro... I am a humble amateur that simply likes music, places a few tones on a couple of instruments and has read a few books. Do NOT take me seriously!
    Music is serious stuff, it is a craft then one has to learn, again with sweat, time and dedication. It comes bit by bit, day after day. So do not worry and do your thing. Basically, do what you feel and what you enjoy, you definitely are on a good path.
    Theory, as already said, is not strictly necessary. It is just something that helps, a kind of a "shortcut". If I pick my guitar now, pick a note and place a chord on it... I will know what chord to put next right away, and the next one, too. All of this while improvising a melody on it, as I'll probably know how to use a convincing scale on those chords.
    I'll show you...making an a@s of myself now :

    https://app.box.com/s/4ynrq635juar49zpvrea

    That's me (a rather old video... look at the cat by the way) completely improvising, just pulling notes out of my mind. Of course it is VERY BAD, less than ZERO "artistic value"... but I wanted to show how theory plays a part in this: it takes you somewhere, fast, but then one needs vision, taste and work to "refine" things, order them and turn them into pleasant music.
    The better you get with theory, the faster you achieve results: pro musicians will pull beautiful music out of their instruments right away. The theory makes perfect sense to them and they have everything "at hand", plus they worked their sense of pitch to death and master the instruments so well that they immediately know which tones to pick, which intervals to choose, right away... even in those passages in which they send theory to hell and just "create" music out of nowhere, as they'll know how and when to "go back to normal". They are AMAZING.

    But we have gone too far. Sorry for the huge digression.

    Fab

  10. #10

    Re: Love and War - Volume 1: Salvation (Memories Demo)

    Heheh! That was awesome video! Much better than I could do with the keyboard, I am still in the baby fazes!!! But, I am practicing much more than I used to. I couldn't help but laugh when the girl was calling your name and that grin you gave LOL! Great video! Also, thanks for the encouragement, greatly appreciated! I gave up on the horn after grade 8! But I still hummed and whistled game melodies! Discovering digital music and composing has really opened up a lot of doors for myself, just wish I could understand the music more rather than relying on visualization and my ears, but all shared information you, Randy, and others are sharing with me is the beginning to understanding! Thanks again man for the knowledge! Thanks for sharing your own personal experience in the video as well, great stuff!

    Your friend,

    Richard

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