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Topic: JABB Piece: "A Tune's Head"

  1. #1

    JABB Piece: "A Tune's Head"

    It's been a long, long, long time since I composed anything!

    This piece is written completely "off the top of my head". For good or for bad, no pencil met with any manuscript paper during the "writing" of this piece. I was more interested in just doing SOMETHING musical.

    It's a jazz-rock piece sequenced with JABB! Everything is JABB except two guitar sound libraries that I purchased a few months ago. This is the first time that I actually utilized the guitar libraries. They are the Chris Hein Guitars and Bela D Media's Lyrical Distortion 1 & 2. They all seem to "play well together" (pun intended) which makes me one happy camper!

    The first part of the "melody" (if you can call it that) has been reverberating in my head for over a year! It's actually a simple bass "lick" that I decided to arrange for more than just bass. This jazz piece is just meant to be fun. It would be very, very cool to be able to play it with real-live musicians someday!! I guess that means I actually have to write down the melody and harmony. LOL!


    A Tune's Head

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  2. #2

    Re: JABB Piece: "A Tune's Head"


    This is so great to finally hear some music from you--I'm loving the third time through your piece as I type here. Besides the excellent groove and composition, you've certainly brought JABB to life with this--so many instruments you've used, great brush snare, muted horns, vibes et al. Nice!

    "...I guess that means I actually have to write down the melody and harmony..."

    Really? I haven't met a guitar player yet who plays from anything but a simple chord chart. --AH, well the rest of the guys would probably want something to look at.

    Thanks for this.


  3. #3

    Re: JABB Piece: "A Tune's Head"

    Ted, great to see you back with something new!

    This is excellent work;thoroughly enjoyable -- I've had
    it looping several times. Good writing, and the choice
    of sonorities -- those richly harmonic sounds -- and the
    way you blended them... magic. Some of the subtleties
    of the percussion didn't escape notice, either... like
    that section in the 1:30's around the muted trumpet.

    Ted, you gotta gotta find more time to write.

    More, my friend!

    All my best,


  4. #4

    Re: JABB Piece: "A Tune's Head"

    That's nice, Theodore! I enjoyed your comp. I didn't know you had it in you. Thanks for posting.


    Larry G. Alexander

  5. #5

    Re: JABB Piece: "A Tune's Head"

    Thank you for listening, folks. Your time spent listening to and commenting on this piece is sincerely appreciated.

    Randy - With the exception of a simple lead sheet, I actually never attempted to write a detailed guitar part before. I wouldn't know where to begin. LOL!

    One of the best guitar players that I met and played with could not read music. However, he had HUGE "ears", as big as an elephant's! (Not literally, of course! LOL! ) Besides being able to play almost anything he heard (jazz, rock, southern rock, etc.), he had well trained and well rehearsed playing chops. He's a good guy and a wonderful guitar player.

    I love the guitar. The only thing I know how to do with it, though, is tune it. LOL! (That's why I purchased these guitar sound libraries. )

    David - Freeing up time to do more of anything is a challange, I'm afraid. It seems like making time to write music is not high on the priority list these days. There is one big project that I will be working on soon, though. It's for our TOO LIVE NURSE troupe. The album will be titled, "Rockin' to the Algo-Rhythms IV". It's our 4th album that is based on the American Heart Association's (AHA) ACLS protocols. The problem with this project is the lyrics. We need to write them first. YIKES! The AHA made some some significant changes to the ACLS protocols which will require writing new lyrics & music. This is a welcomed challange, though. Just got to write those lyrics, or find some talented soul who can (lyric writing is not my strong point).

    "Some of the subtleties of the percussion didn't escape notice, either..."

    For good or for bad, one of the things that I do while sequencing percussion is do each part at a time: the bass drum, then the snare drum, then the cymbols, etc. In doing this, though, I attempt to plan for the "light fills" and more "heavy fills". Sometimes things work. Sometimes not. I am contemplating purchasing electronic drum pads to use to trigger (via midi) the drum sounds on the computer. This way I can play a bit more like a drummer rather than one part at a time. The best thing to do, as you know, would be to utilize a real drummer, even for the sequencing. But, for now, it's just little 'ol me. I find that doing the drum/percussion part the most challanging when I sequence projects. It's not easy producing a convincing drum part.

    Larry - Glad you enjoyed the music. I had fun working on it. I have a long ways to go with regards to developing my "music composition chops". One piece at a time, I guess. . .

    Again, thank you for the listen. Happy composing, folks!

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  6. #6

    Re: JABB Piece: "A Tune's Head"


    Listening to your piece has been a wonderful learning experience for me. First off, I really like the changes and the feel is fantastic.

    I have been playing around with Jabb a lot lately and I have yet to produce anything this nice with it. You struck a wonderful balance between getting a good sound out of Jabb but keeping the focus on your music. I have been spending way too much time trying to make my Jabb tunes sounds just like the real thing and way too little time on the music side of things.

    The way you mixed everything "up front" in the mix really worked for me. I have been trying to mix things in the back to get a more authentic sound and cover up things that didn't sound "perfect", but it totally kills the vide and feel of the music. So I had a eureka moment listening to your piece - this is what Jabb was really made for - to give you a great approximation of Jazz musicians playing back your music.

    Thanks for posting this, I think you just helped get me out of a rut I've been in for a long time!


  7. #7

    Re: JABB Piece: "A Tune's Head"

    Ted -

    Really nice piece. I'd call it jazz, not "jazz/rock," but classifying is an open issue. What speaks clearly to me is the openness of the piece, and the invitation to modify . . . In my ear I hear different articulations of phrases, plays on tempo, variations, and sub-themes. In a word, I hear a nice bed for improvization. Well done!

    The vibes ending is a great touch!

    One comment re: live playing-- A friend of mine used to do the piano backups for Betty Carter and other musicians on a weekly Jazz program for the Capital District public radio. I don't know what they're doing these days, but they used to take on pieces written by local composers/arrangers. Just a thought.

    Keep 'em coming.


  8. #8

    Re: JABB Piece: "A Tune's Head"

    Kenny -

    Without a doubt, I believe that in order to make JABB "sing", one has to spend some time setting up each instrumental sound. The bass, for example, probably took me a good 5 to 10 minutes trying to get the "right" decay sound. I also find that taking the time to sequence/input "sound variations" like volume (with the mod wheel), vibrato & vibrato speeds also helpful. I think that JABB is a wonderful compositional tool!! But, as you know, it requires time and patience.

    With regards to mixing. For this piece, I just let the JABB sounds speak for themselves. In other words, I did not do any EQ'ing. I set some basic sound leveling with one instrument to another, and added some reverb and limiting for the final mix. Is this good?? I have no idea!! LOL! (Sound engineering is not one of my strong points.) But it sounds o.k. to me. It's easy to get caught up in the technical end of things rather than the music and compositional process. Lucky for me I'm not too technically inclinced! LOL!

    Thank you for listening! Glad to read that you found this piece helpful for your own compositional process.

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  9. #9

    Re: JABB Piece: "A Tune's Head"

    Joe -

    Are you from the Albany, NY area??? You mentioned the Capital District public radio. Shame on me! I am not familiar with Amy Carter. Does she still do her radio show??

    I wouldn't know how to classify this piece. Jazz works too. I invision a small jazz ensemble just jamming away on it for long periods of time! LOL!! It's why I called it "A Tune's Head". It's just another tune for jamming! LOL!

    Thank you for the listen!

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  10. #10

    Re: JABB Piece: "A Tune's Head"


    Really good tune with a driving vamp beat. Liked the guitar work and also the vibes at the end. Your piano sounds really great and the whole thing was just great to listen to.

    I can tell you are having fun, Ted..........

    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

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