Week 4: The Week That Pushed Me To Write A Longer Blog Post
Hey everyone! Welcome back to my blog. The past few weeks have just been a quick run through and a more or less surface level look at my project. This time, we are going to go into what I hope are the interesting aspects of it and see the culmination of the progress throughout the past couple of weeks.
This blog post will be much more intricate as well as longer than the previous ones, so buckle up because this one is going to be a doozy.
Listening Is The First Step Of Many:
In order to start off this section of the blog post, why don’t we just do what the title of this section states. Let’s listen to the song! Below is an audio file with the notes of “Die for You” being played in Finale, so feel free to take a listen (I recorded this on my phone)!
Use Up/Down Arrow Keys To Increase Or Decrease Volume.
Majority of that recording is repeated quite a bit, and it makes sense because that is just the bass-line of the song. However, in order to fully encompass what we are trying to go for in our arrangement, we need to add some percussion and vocals in order to truly flesh it out.
Right now, we are focused more so on the main bass and melody for each song, as they are much harder to arrange, so we have been saving those elements for later and will finalize them once we are done with all of the arrangements. We are doing it this way because we want the percussion style and flavor of it to be unique in our music, yet have the same style across all of the songs, so this way streamlines it.
The other two songs that we are doing, which are “lovely” and “Closer”, are “closer” (haha) to completion, so we will display those music files in our next blog post. Additionally, we should also be complete with the percussion aspect as well, so we can finally combine the many parts of our different songs for maximum listening enjoyment.
The Excruciating Process Of Notating:
But before I get too ahead of myself (like I always do), let’s talk about the process of actually creating the file that you heard above.
As you know from my previous blogs (the ones with the super badly taken photos because I didn’t know how to change the image sizing), Finale is a huge pain in the behind to work with, especially if you haven’t used the notation software before. Luckily for me, I haven’t, so I bore the full brunt of learning and suffering through the intricacies and technicalities associated with the software and notation. It was extremely difficult for me and I had a lot of trouble, so why not share some of that suffering with all of you!
Finding What I Need:
If you ever use any complex piece of software, you may find yourself like a deer in the headlights when staring at all of the buttons and drop down menus. One of the biggest issues, especially this week when I was trying to be creative with my arrangements, was trying to find the specific articulation that would produce a specific effect.
For “Die for You”, we had the idea of using arpeggiated chords instead of normal ones to give it that EDM flair that is often heard in The Weeknd songs.
For our bass-line, this is a sample from the music sheet, where you see the cool looking arrows pointing up indicating an arpeggio of that chord.
However, in order to actually find this piece of notation, I had to scour the internet and press many buttons in order to add this to our arrangement.
Why Is It So Hard To Be Creative:
This one is pretty self-explanatory. When it comes to any artistic work, it is extremely difficult to create something with only your wits and creativity. For our three songs, it is difficult to style it into our own arrangement as they are pretty simple, so we spent a lot of time adding and scraping ideas that we thought were creative, but ended up sounding bland or bad after listening to it.
Where Can A Man Get Some More Measure Space Around Here:
Another problem that we faced was our measures being way way way way way way too small to fit all of the notation that we wanted for our song.
In the given example above, the arpeggiated sign was too cramped as shown below:
It looks like the arpeggiated sign doesn’t actually exist (or at the very least blinded by the eighth notes) which obviously is not a good thing if you are playing the song. So, in order to fix this, we had to increase the measure size.
But how does one do that?
Well, it took some time scouring the internet once more, until we finally found the method. However, it is still wonky sometimes, as the measures change sizes for a reason that I am unaware of.
The Other Songs:
As mentioned prior, we are arranging two more songs for this project. We will show you all of the songs (omitting the vocals) next week. We are touching up the other songs a little bit, and we only want to show them when we feel like they are ready.
Additionally, when we finish all of the songs, we will publish all of the parts of each arrangement so you can try playing them at home!
For the other songs, we haven’t really run into too much trouble, as we are just finding the melodies and notes for the different parts of each of the songs. There isn’t anything special to talk about the process for these two songs yet, which will change when we spend more time adding our own creative spin to each song.
That’s all for the blog this week! Stay tuned for more music to come next week and hear our progress. See you then!