I’m personally okay with the ‘new normal’ of social distancing and I welcome the new found peace in my neighbourhood, along with fresher air when I’ve ventured outside for exercise and provisions.
Pollution here in London has definitely reduced, the air smells fresher, skies look bluer, clouds look whiter fluffier, tree’s even look fuller and greener than this same time last year. Urban wildlife seem to be loving it as well, foxes making more noise than usual. It has felt like a long holiday to be honest, the local environment, on a sunny day especially, has felt like a nicer place to live.
One of the best new things was enrolling on a free online course to learn guitar scales and chord progressions with Berklee College of Music.
I’m around half way through the course and I’ve definitely learnt a lot of useful stuff I can use in my own song writing and guitar solo improvisations.
It was worth the time just to discover DOO WOP chord progressions. Where have they been all my life? I knew there was something missing. Doo Wop has to be the coolest chord progression ever.
I can’t recommend this course highly enough for a beginner or someone, like me, who has had a guitar for a while and wants to expand their skills. Learning scales and chord progressions will definitely do that.
I found the course on Class Central and is running via Coursera.
Another cool thing was the free software offers from Korg and Moog:
I took advantage of the Moog Minimoog Model D and Korg iKaossilator software downloads when they were free. Both are very good, faithful versions of the real thing.
The Moog sounds great and has pretty much the same basic functions as the real one – albeit in limited software form, and you will need very small fingers to play the keys, operate switches and oscillator dials on an iPhone screen, no doubt slightly easier on an iPad, but still a very cool app.
The iKaossilator is a fun app as well with tons of sounds and variations to ‘occupy your mind.’ I imagine the hardware version is pretty similar and fun.
Still waiting for a free download link to the Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts V – VI double album offered for free a few weeks ago. The site was apparently inundated.
It’s a nice relaxing, ambient album. I’ve listened to it on YouTube and watched the interview with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross explaining how they made it, pretty much one song per day with Trent playing around with the instruments, playing whatever comes to mind, and Atticus recording everything on a loop then arranging it into tracks.
There is a lot of very good free music available as well on Bandcamp.
Aside from this I’ve been working on a few musical ideas of my own. I got a sale of a single track the other day just when I was ready to do something else. I have a few more tracks to add to that before release.