This one started life as “Skip’s Round” in 2015, and the ambient and ethereal takes became “Skip’s Heavenly Round” and now we have the new “Lullaby for a Starry Night” – which is quite similar to those more ambient versions.
This is one of my favorite playlists of the ones I curate myself on Spotify. It has a wide variety of instruments and genres, but the common theme is a simple, folk-oriented approach to melody and harmony. You’ll hear some minimal pieces on piano by some of my favorite players, some great accordion work by the amazing Maria Kalaniemi, or some mesmerizing modal compositions by Whalebone (UK-based ensemble).
This is my first collaboration with the amazing Canadian acoustic guitarist Denis Turbide. It has a gentle, pulsating vibe as well as a kind of wistful yearning…..Thanks for listening!!!
I’m psyched to have my ambient electric dulcimer track Restful Mind included on this wonderful, peaceful playlist by the amazing Suzanne Doucet. I’ve been part of this anthology in a few previous years, and it is always such a joy to hear all the others!! This time around we really NEED this peace and anchoring…..
Golly, this quarantine has led to a whole bunch of creative work from so many artists all over the planet! I have been incredibly busy too: working on formatting block chord TAB in a table format on this blog (A LOT harder than you might think!!!), learning Finale (for the 3rd or 4th time!), and laying some new track ideas in Logic Pro X, which is the subject of this post.
Here is a tune I recorded a few days ago:
NEW RELEASE On Bandcamp!!!
Bandcamp is forgoing their share of revenue today, May 1st, so if you decide to download some of my new music, I will get 100%. This is a very helpful and generous gesture from a GREAT company! Many of us musicians and music teachers have been hit pretty hard by this COVID-19 Quarantine: we’ve had many gigs cancelled and festivals postponed or cancelled altogether. So this income helps a LOT!
My brand-new May 2020 Dulcimer EP just went live at around 7AM this morning. There are 6 tracks here representing some of my BEST work-in-progress. It is not available anywhere else (yet, anyhow) and all my recent EPs from earlier this year are “Pay what you want” including ZERO (you just enter “0” in the pay field).
I hope everyone is getting through this COVID-19 Quarantine OK. Not much fun for us here in Northeast Ohio, but we’ve got some acres of trees around us, and life isn’t too different in many ways.
Skip’s Round (and Jam-A-Round!!) TAB and Music Download
This original tune is part of my 2017 Patreon lessons, and it is a FUN tune I keep coming back to over and over.
1.) The first page is basically the main melody (16 bars), with an 8-bar sparse bass part at the bottom. The latter may be used as sort of a ground for the whole tune, even though the next two pages have some specific “ground” parts to be used throughout – especially for group play.
2.) These next two pages are the parts for a round or a “Jam-A-Round” as I like to call it. This basically means that you can plug in any 8-bar part anywhere you want, so you have freedom to mix-and-match.
You’ll see some very “bare-bones” parts on these pages, consisting mostly of half-notes. These represent what you might call guide-tones or structural pitches. These are really cool, as they show us the overall contour of a melodic design: kind of the essence of a melody.
For me personally, they often serve as clues for when I want to change chords or harmony. For example, if I see a continually-descending melodic line, that’s my cue to try an ascending harmony part. This often creates a workable harmony with a minimum of “thinking” !!
The other use for these bare-bones parts is that they make a GREAT group playing experience, especially for players just getting started!
3.) The last two pages were the Intermediate Level when I first published them in 2017. As I’m looking back on them, and playing through them again right now, I’m getting oodles and boatloads of ideas!! I’m even writing some brand new parts!!! These color-chord harmonies add just a touch of jazz harmony with the minor 7th chords, but I have to be careful not to use too many — and not to use any Major 7th chords at all — because the result is often way too sweet and thick. (remember that much of my current music is extremely simple and minimalist, so that I’m really a less-is-more sort of guy. You may want to try more of the “tall chords” like the seventh and ninth chords for your own arrangements).
In the beginning of 2014, I was just starting my relationship with Mailchimp, one of the best email marketing companies on the planet, and I was really excited at that time with building chords off of each degree of a descending scale or mode. Here is an example of one of the pieces I recorded for my Starlight Variations EP:
In my newsletters, which were sent twice a month in those days, I would link free downloads of some TAB and music for these studies of harmonized scales. Here is a collection of them for you (tuning is DAD throughout):
Want to hear more of these studies? Please let me know, because I have quite a few of these that haven’t been officially released on the streaming platforms. Thanks for listening and trying out the TAB!
This playlist on Spotify has a good sampling of my recent recordings of electric and acoustic dulcimer. Most of this music is extremely relaxing and soothing: great for winding down, chilling out, meditating, or even sleeping!
If you like this playlist, I have some huge playlists on Spotify featuring some of the finest acoustic guitarists on the planet, along with some folks who play other string instruments, like harp, hammered dulcimer, and even Chapman Stick!!
This one was the first successful original tune in the major pentatonic, using only the notes D, E, F#, A, and B. I am currently up to four of these tunes……I wonder if that means I’m on a roll???