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Over the past month we chose a song we liked, and played it using the ukulele and recording it after. I chose Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me” as my song. I recorded my song in 85 beats (metronome)
Hope it’s not too bad!
How is your recording the same as the original song? Why did you do this?
I played hard rock and drumming a little loud although the keyboard and the galactic theme was the major one. This is because in some parts of the song such as (“Just don’t give up”), an instrument with rock and drumming went well because it was one of the most high pitched areas, which made me add hard rock and drumming to the song. Another similarity with the reflection was the number of beats and the rhythm, because it was very similar to the original, for example: in the part (“Whataya want from me”), it was sang in 5 beats, and that was exactly the amount of beats I used for that part. Overall there were also a few similarities I kept from the original song.
How is your recording different compared to the original song? What were your reasons behind your decisions?
Instead of using hard rock and drumming as the main track just like the original song, I decided to use keyboard and galactic theme, because when I listened to the song, the voice and the sound was coming on too powerful, so I decided using keyboard would be easier and get it less strong. Also I wanted a track that would go on with the song, and after listening to a few synth tracks, I decided the galactic theme went well with my song. Another major change was the the main keys for ukulele was: A, BM, D and G, but the strumming was too difficult for my skills, and the strumming was less smoother, so I used AM, C, F, and G as an alternative for my ukulele, and I was able to play that easily and nicely. Also, I decided to change my singing to a higher pitch/vocal, because it didn’t contrast well with all the tracks I added, and because of that, it made me sing higher. Overall there were a lot of major differences going on, but after I added them the song went smoother and contrasting with each other.
My song didn’t require thorough and smooth strumming on every single part, because the rhythm of the original song wasn’t smooth and sometimes stopped for a little before playing a strong key. for example, in the first part of the song, I strummed once or twice, and after the song started to get louder and have more lyrics, I strummed occasionally in those parts. I used the keys AM and G a lot, because they were the keys that contrasted best with the song, and also C and F were used a lot, especially in the parts that sang “Whataya Want From Me”. The keys were easy to strum with, and was nice with the song, with prompted me to use those keys often.
Garageband editing – digital instrument, drum use…
My song had 6 tracks that played along with the ukulele. The main ones were keyboard/piano, melody, drumming and ukulele. I also added some extra and optional tracks to give it a better sound and make it contrast better with the song. The extra tracks were hard rock guitar and galactic themed synth vibes. Overall my song needed a lot of cutting, because I generally recorded all my recordings as whole, and after I listened to it once or twice, I cut some parts of it and placed it on the front of back so it was on time and playing along with the metronome. The ukulele especially needed a lot of editing. The editing went better than planned, because after editing, the majority of the song was on time, although at the middle of the song, it went slightly slower, although in the end everything the rhythm catched up to the metronome and overall it was on time.
Time management for your project…
Frankly, my time management could have been controlled much better throughout the project. In the first week, I decided to finish all the side tracks (ex: piano, drums, hard rock) and my melody so I can finish the ukulele without any pressure of finishing the rest. However, when I attempted to record the ukulele, not only I realised the keys were too hard for my skills, but also my side tracks were too fast. Eventually I had to delete all my side tracks and record the ukulele. Luckily, Mr O’Toole helped me get it on time and made sure it matched with the original melody of the song. After I finished editing the ukulele, I added new side tracks to the song, and just finished it before class on the 20th when it was due. I learned from this experience that it is imperative that the main tracks (eg: ukulele, keyboard, drumming) are finished first because they are the most vital and difficult ones to get on time and complete to date.
Independent learning… (responsibility of getting things done on time)
Eventually I got my song as a blog post before the due date. However throughout the few weeks we had to finish this, I made the wrong decision of recording the side tracks first, which made me start from scratch. Thankfully I used my time wisely in the last week, and finished it. That was the biggest challenge I faced. If I had a chance to redo this assessment, I would finish the main tracks first and then add the side tracks. Overall throughout this assessment I liked playing this song and if I had to redo it, I would put this song as a good choice.
My first summative for my music unit was to create a blog post with a music that includes strumming, chords and melody, and I chose Amazing Grace because not only it was the best choice for beginners, but also it had the nicest melody.
You can listen to the audio here:
What is the key of your tune? Time Signature?
The first strumming note of the song was a c, and that had a slightly enlightening effect on me because in the ukulele, c has a high melody, and that made me somewhat energetic and enlightening, maybe even happy. Only the notes c, f, and g was included in the song, which made it simple which was also good. On playing the chords, at the start, it made me feel energetic, and after the f played, it made me calm down and in the halfway mark, there was a note with 5 beats, which gave it a sense if suspense. At the end of the book, it was lower and had lower notes, getting me calmer. As a player, Amazing Grace was overall a energetic and calm song to play. The time signature was 3/4, which is the signature I usually play with.
What sort of rhythms are used in your song? How were they used musically?
At the start, most of the song were crochets and minims, but after the first half, there were longer notes giving a sense of suspense. The effect of that musically was very calm and enlightening. For example, in the first half the first note was a crotchet, minim, and crotchet. Overall Amazing Grace has a strong musical effect through rhythm.
Discuss your note accuracy and rhythm accuracy in regards to your strumming and melodic playing…
Generally I usually played the right notes when recording my audio, and I always redid or modified the notes that were wrong. But my rhythm wasn’t as strong as my notes. In the first half nearly no errors were made because I was able to work and play consistently, but unfortunately, I can’t play very long notes or keys with the ukulele, and in the second half there were a few errors that I had to fix in order for my audio to run smoothly and decently. Thankfully my melody didn’t have any errors, and the strumming was also great with less errors than my chord (which is a weakness for me).
What Ukulele skills have you acquired? Chords, melody, etc.
At the start of the unit, I was very unfamiliar with the ukulele, honestly any string instruments, and I’m very pleased by how much my ukulele skills have improved so far. I’ve mastered three elements of the ukulele, which is melody (singing along), chords and strumming. My biggest strength out of the three elements are singing along (melody) and strumming, but frankly my chords wasn’t a strength, because I occasionally forgot the notes, and the rhythm was slightly offbeat.
How did you decide your tempo to match your song and style? Did the context of the song change because of this?
My original plan was for my song not only to match Amazing grace (the song I chose), and to follow the metronome so my audio would be more accurate. But after listening to my audio (which was mostly finished at that time), My rhythm was going slightly faster at a accelerating pace (accelerando) which was completely unintentional, because I wanted my audio to follow the metronome, but after listening to it a few times, I understood it was a minor error, and also it made the song more smooth, so I decided to leave it alone. Mr O’ Toole (during the PTSC) also said it wouldn’t have an academic effect in this unit. What I would do next time as a goal, would be to split my audio and play it into parts to make the rhythm equal.
How did you use the editing tools in Garageband? Trimming, Cutting, pasting, metronome, etc…
In the first half, usually I didn’t need to go through any editing except move the bars around, but in the second half, my consistency wasn’t as good, and it resulted as some mistakes and going offbeat. Due to this, I had to cut some of the music and get it along with the metronome. I also had to modify the sound because my strumming was very loud, while my voice wasn’t, and because of this, I had to make my strumming slower and more quiet, and make my voice more louder.
Discuss your recording process; recording bar at a time, chord at a time, in phrases? Did you have any concerns or issues?
Generally unless it was something I was having major troubles with (ex: chords) I usually just did it in one go to get it on rhythm, and in my opinion, in some aspects, that worked well, but but sometimes not quite. Recording it in one go made it more smoother and melodic, but also due to my inconsistency, it overtime went slowly offbeat and I made more mistakes, usually melodic. For example, when doing the chords, I accidentally played the wrong note or also played the note next to it, giving it an unpleasant sound. As a result, I had to split the chords and some other parts in my audio to avoid mistakes, although after the rhythm went more out of position. Also after investigating further, I looked at the strumming, and I found out my transitions to c and g were quite slow, having an affect on what the bar should look like and the beat. But overall, I’m pleased with my audio since it’s not too bad and with avoidable errors, and also I like the way I modified it too.
My group’s task was to create a role play to involve all the information our class learned. I was reasonably pleased as I got a 7 & 6. But it was quite challenging as me and my partner had trouble with our pronounciation . A strength was how the role play flowed well, a weakness was if we could have aligned the script more carefully to make it look real. This is because after the assessment I looked at the script, and realised I was skipping to a new topic (ex: favourite colour suddenly to favourite place). I could have made the script carry on slowly, so it would really look like a smooth script. We could also have worked on speaking the french more carefully when encountering difficult words. Overall me and my partner’s performance went really well. The thing that disappointed me the most was the organization. The script was quite unorganized in some areas, for example, after talking about where we live, we suddenly moved on to hobbies, which wasn’t connected with the previous one. We also didn’t use any transition. After the hobbies, we moved on to colours, and that would have been a better topic to put after talking about where we live.
But overall, I think our french assessment went really well without any minor errors, and there were a lot of bright sides like turning it on time and getting good grades.
My instrument choice would be a clarient. A clarinet would typically sound like a bass recorder. The clarinet is quite easy to master, with some care, this instrument should make a nice sound.
The clarinet is divided into five parts, the bell, two large sized pieces, the barrel and the mouthpiece. On next of the mouthpiece is the reed (we’ll talk about it later). Cork grease is also required.
For beginners, you need to confirm you can at least make a small sound that sounds mostly low, so without touching any keys, blow your hardest (making sure no air hole gaps) and there should be some sound. Here is the link to a recommended video:
How to play the piano: Relax your shoulders and round your fingers to hold the clarinet naturally.
Follow these steps for using the mouthpiece:
Cover your bottom teeth with your bottom lip gently.
Set the reed on your bottom lip.
Place your top teeth firmly on the mouthpiece.
Close your mouth as if you are smiling.
A reed is a wood like clip that is required to be placed in the mouthpiece. When using it, make sure that it is not too but slightly moist, and place it in the mouthpiece perfectly.
In order to produce good sound, you should blow facing straight forward, without puffing your cheeks out.
Use only the thumb of your right hand to support the instrument, and hold the barrel with your left.
How much of the mouthpiece you put in your mouth and the angle at which you hold the clarinet are important points.
* If you don’t put the mouthpiece in your mouth far enough, it will be hard to make any sound. If you put it in too far, the sound can get distorted.