For the past few days I’ve entertained the idea of learning a dozen or so instantly recognizable chords and stringing them together into a medley. For example Jump by Van Halen, Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Chim Chim Cher-ee from Mary Poppins, Good Thing by Fine Young Cannibals and so on.
I’d arrange these wonder chords in a way that would flow. Hard work for sure, but doable. Learning So What will continue to be my number one priority – this would be a side project.
However as side-projects go, it may not be the most constructive thing I can do. Ultimately, I want to compose my own music, not play gimmicky tunes.
Learning the skill of Jazz improvisation will take me a lot farther, but it'll take longer and require a better grasp of chords, melodic phrasing and so on.
If time and energy was in abundant supply, I’d practice all three, but it’s not. On some days it’s hard to muster 15 minutes of focused practice time after work before I start fading out and making copious mistakes.
So I'll stay the course and try to add some improvisation into So What, as previously planned.
Speaking of So What, I was listening to it closely this afternoon and notice that my timing is off significantly compared to the song. I’m hitting the right chords, but in the wrong way. I’ll continue refining what I’ve already learned before adding new parts.
If you want the straight goods on how to sight-read musical notation, I just finished Becoming a Great Sight-Reader — or Not! Learn from my Quest for Piano Sight-Reading Nirvana by Al Macy and highly recommend it.
Another book I’m currently enjoying, almost to the point of it being a quasi-spiritual experience, is The Making of Kind of Blue: Miles Davis and His Masterpiece by Eric Nisenson. If you get it, be sure to listen to the songs he mentions while you read. It will heighten the experience.
Time bookstanding today: 40 minutes
Quality of meditation (out of 10): 3
Minutes on the keyboard today (out of 40): 25 minutes
Quality of practice (out of 10): 5
Want updates on this and other projects I'm working on? Kindly subscribe to my newsletter.