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 Pedal-Tone Stick Blues 
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Post Pedal-Tone Stick Blues
Stickist.com has been super dead lately, and since I've been super busy working on Stick stuff, and sharing works-in-progress with Jayesskerr and Kris on the side, I figured I'd post something.

Here's a sketch of a work in progress on 10-string Chapman Stick using pedal tones in the left hand (minor third and fifth), and blues scales in the right hand. I started this on the Rosewood, and then developed it further on the NS/Stick. Then I got the Rosewood out to change my bass strings over to mirrored fourths and ended up recording a quick jam. But I'm playing entirely on the melody side anyway, so the bass side mirrored 4ths will have to wait for another video.

This little "song" or piece is almost done. I've got the basic idea of the riffs and the changes. I have no idea yet what the tempo is. Next is drums and then that'll start locking me into one tempo. I'm not getting bogged down in the errors, which decrease as I get better, and then increase again as I get more adventurous and spontaneous. I could have cut and spliced from about thirty minutes of some good jamming, that also had a stretch of clunkers in it, but instead just posted the last of several long jams. With some clunkers and a stretch or two of not-so-bad.

I'm onto something here. Getting close. Next will be sticking to a beat--any beat. Right now, just pure noodling and not stopping to think. Gotta make the chord changes and that's as much conscious thought that goes into it. I know the constant tempo changes are a bit annoying. It's what happens until "the blur" renders down. Once percussion is there, lots will probably change. But maybe not. I plan to just pull up some blue drum tracks out of NI's Session Drummer and see what fits, or if I have to do major surgery or even start from scratch. But I really love me some Session Drummer.

I showed Scott and Kris some experiments using the major third and fifth on the pedal tones. Now I'm back to the minor third and fifth, after playing with the major third. You all probably know your scales/modes better than me. I don't know what a blues scale with a major third is, except a run of 4 semitones, which can't be right. But it worked with some chords and not others. If it was piano, I'd probably get it just by looking, but on Stick, it's a combination of theory and ear. But this is the minor blues, and my major 3rd pedal tone song will be a different posting and a different day.

Here's a sketch of what I'm working on, with minor blues in i, iv, v:
Pedal-Tone Stick Blues


Cheers!

Adds: from further down, I posted the earlier, major 3rd version. Here it is, slightly more shitty but with a major rather than minor feel.

Major 3rds Pedal-Tones NS/Stick Blues


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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
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Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Last edited by paigan0 on Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:04 pm
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Post Re: Pedal-Tone Stick Blues
RoknRol !

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Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:31 am
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Post Re: Pedal-Tone Stick Blues
The Work! The work pays off. I love this, I am stealing it ;)...

*j*
.~

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Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:58 am
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Post Re: Pedal-Tone Stick Blues
Oooo! Really cool man! Loved it!!!


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Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:31 pm
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Post Re: Pedal-Tone Stick Blues
Thanks, guys! I appreciate you taking a look and being supportive!

I'm in love with the process of making music as much as the music, and I absolutely love those videos that show you the makings of some of your favorite songs and pieces. I especially like listening to the "proto-riffs," where you see the kernel of an idea that will later turn into the solo for Purple Rain (for example).

When Prince died, YouTube was flooded with Prince videos that lawyers have now all taken down, and there was one making of Purple Rain video, where it showed Prince first playing to a live crowd what would later be the song Purple Rain. The announcer walks us through the live performance and shows us the exact moment that Prince stumbles onto the signature riff of the solo to Purple Rain. He kind of has a half version of the riff, and then keeps working it and working it, until the blurry idea just leaps out as a finished, coherent riff of awesomeness. Which he keeps working as the announcer says "And a great musician recognizes when they've stumbled onto a nugget of awesomeness...and watch Prince keep working it, as he realizes it's the shit (I'm paraphrasing)." And that little rhythmic figure ("riff" is short for that, by the way! :ugeek: ) is now the solo for Purple Rain.

Here's a link to the live performance but that documentary and commentary has disappeared. http://www.nme.com/news/music/prince-112-1209435

I apologize for the presumptuousness that is implied in the idea that something I'm working on right now will someday turn into Great Art. But whatever it turns into, I love to share the process along the way.

I know intellectually that showing you all the clunkers and mistakes might lower your appreciation of me as an artist and performer and writer, and of the song that I'm working on. But I enjoy oversharing the process of the creation of music, which still amazes me that choosing some combination of 12 notes expressed as strings pressed onto metal frets produces an original composition never imagined by the 8 billion human beings that came before you.

Granted, every dealing of a deck of card results in a unique combination never seen before in the universe. (52 cards in a deck, and 52 factorial means there are more possibilities than stars in the observable universe.)
https://www.math.hmc.edu/funfacts/ffile ... .4-6.shtml

But still, I realize I overshare prematurely on the process. I'm somewhat confidant and comfortable in my own skills in the studio to know I'll get to a "perfect" polished piece eventually, and don't mind looking like an idiot with an idea in a video or two along the way. I've gotten lots of great feedback and ideas from people doing that before, and I have apparently stimulated an idea or two along the way for others.

I don't mind looking a bit rough and unpolished along the way. And some people aren't comfortable sharing the "perfect" stuff, much less the "sketchy" stuff, so I get that too. But here's me being shameless (not so much "brave") and oversharing before it's "finished." I appreciate y'all's patience and support!

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Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:16 am
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Post Re: Pedal-Tone Stick Blues
Lovely, Steve. Except for the "root" of each chord, that could be substituted in the left hand, I bet you could eventually play this with one hand. Very cool idea(your original, not my hypothetical variation). It almost sounds uplifting or optimistic rather than bluesy--there is a feeling of positive movement. Not a criticism, just an observation. Perhaps it is purples!

Mike

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Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:04 pm
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Post Re: Pedal-Tone Stick Blues
mike kemp wrote:
Lovely, Steve. Except for the "root" of each chord, that could be substituted in the left hand, I bet you could eventually play this with one hand. Very cool idea (your original, not my hypothetical variation). It almost sounds uplifting or optimistic rather than bluesy--there is a feeling of positive movement. Not a criticism, just an observation. Perhaps it is purples!

Mike

Mike, you have so much for me to respond to here. It prompted a revelation about this little ditty, which I'll share in a second.

I saw early on how the pattern of the pedal tones really didn't lay far outside of the reach of one hand and five fingers. The left hand is literally on top of the note I'm reaching over with my right hand to hit, but the pattern is easier to just continue with the right hand. I'm sacrificing a great deal of note use to enable the pattern. I know Don Schiff is great at using every finger on every hand to get more than one voicing going. But I'm not anywhere there yet to do this all one-handed. But I also realized that the left hand could hit those same notes in different spots and that also enables doubling of notes where the left and right hands play the same note at different spots on the fretboard one after another.

And playing this song on my NS/Stick, all in bass fourths, it would be really nice to grab a bass note an octave down somehow with any of the other two fingers on the left hand that are not doing the pedal tones. I would love to be able to do that. Completely outside of my physical ability for a few more months.

But many of you all are capable of that and a lot more. And could perhaps do more with this little technique than I can, and simultaneously don't need to use this little "trick" like I do to get two extra notes into every melody line in a syncopated manner.

So, yes, one-handed would be the ideal but I'd like to even get more fingers of the two hands already being used into the mix, as well. Lots of wasted fingers that need to somehow grab a bass note.

Okay, to The Purpling (I might have just named this thing. We'll see!)

When you said, "It almost sounds uplifting or optimistic rather than bluesy--there is a feeling of positive movement. Not a criticism, just an observation. Perhaps it is purples!" I thought about that for a bit. I completely agree and that made me notice that at no time throughout the now-pretty-much finished piece, do I ever hit the tritone of the blues scale/chords. That halfway between the fourth and the fifth, "The Devil's Interval," :twisted: :evil: is never used.

It's also partly because there was another version right before this that used the major third instead of the minor third in the pedal tones, and otherwise all of the exact same notes--but not the tritone to avoid having a run of 4 semitones in a row by using the major third instead of the minor against the 4-tritone-5 of the blues scale. I was calling that major blues and it sounds even more "positive." Hmmm, perhaps I'll share a little snippet of that since it would illustrate my point.

[An hour or so later...fun with Adobe Premier....]
Okay, here's the earlier, major 3rd version, with a different melody (really a different song altogether.) I shared this with Scott and Kris already, before I moved to the minor third in the pedal tones. This one is even a sketchier sketch but it shows me using the major third pedal tone pattern, dropping the tritone, and doubling or duplicating notes at different spots on the fretboard. And it shows all this on the NS/Stick, rather than the Rosewood 10-string Stick. And it shows what a day's worth of practice makes (by showing you an even shittier version of me playing, the day before the slightly less shitty version at the top. Every day, a little better! 8-))

Major 3rds Pedal-Tones NS/Stick Blues


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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:20 am
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Post Re: Pedal-Tone Stick Blues
Rock on, Steve. Somewhat reminds me of Bruce Dickinson's Tears of the Dragon song.


Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:28 am
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Post Re: Pedal-Tone Stick Blues
Nice work, dude! We talked about it in a few emails and I am so glad you posted it! Not quite "bluesy" but definitely a bit modal, I am of the opinion that it sounds really cool and aide from the title it requires no additional labeling.

I thought it sounded really cool, and it's an interesting evolution. It's kind of a travesty that you haven't gotten more views and discussion revolving around your musical ideas. The mistakes/false starts or whatever are nothing compared to the potential of this music, and a unique style that evolves from this point and moves forward. If it's a bit rough, so what? Thanks so much for sharing this, man!

Anyways, I'm a big fan so consider it stolen... :D

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Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:16 pm
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Post Re: Pedal-Tone Stick Blues
That's lovely! There's a bedrock of many potential ideas. Well done!


Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:50 am
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