Here’s a bit of music where I did absolutely nothing. None of this is me. I found a PDF of a lead sheet of music for the song “Nobody Does It Better” online which I downloaded and scanned with PhotoScore. I then sent the song file to Sibelius First which is a music notation application. I saved it out as a general MIDI file and imported it into Garageband. This gave me the melody line. I added Garageband loops in other tracks to add drums, bass, and electric piano. Presto, instant music.
Kris gave me this Kalimba a few years back for Christmas. It’s made right here in Oregon at Thumb Fun Kalimbas. I’m finally getting around to learning how to play it. I watched a few videos on YouTube. This recording is my first – just some rhythm ideas.
I’m in California visiting family. Here’s the very first song we tried playing together. My brother Bob is on dulcimer. His wife Marilyn is on guitar, and I’m playing harmonica. I recorded it on my iPad using the built-in microphone. This is the first take with no practice.
How many songs do you “know”, but “don’t know”? This tune suddenly appeared during my harmonica practice. I knew the melody. I knew that it was a love song from a show or movie, but I didn’t know the title or most of the lyrics or who sung it. Can you place it? Here’s a big hint.
First person to peg it in the comments gets 10 points. And you know what points mean!
First a little background. Shenandoah was one of the first songs I learned to play way back when I was 13 or 14 years old. I’m playing it now on the same 10 hole Hohner Chromatic “C” harmonica I had back then. I’m using the tongue blocking technique to play single notes.
I found the sheet music for Shenandoah on the Wikifonia.org website. The cool thing about this site is that you can transpose the music into any key. It was originally in the key of D with two sharps. I have a “C” harmonica so I transposed the sheet music to the key of C.
Notice the music gives the guitar chords. So, I was able to use the Smart Guitar instrument in Garageband on the iPad to create the guitar accompaniment. I set the the Tempo to 68 beats per minute. I then used my Blue Snowflake USB microphone to record my harmonica in a second track. I did it in real time with no editing. This took a fair amount of practice and several tries. I had to learn to play to a metronome and accompaniment. It takes some getting used to playing in time with feeling and dynamics. I used headphones and monitored both the guitar track and the microphone.
Afterwards I set the Pan for the guitar track a little to the left and the Pan for the harmonica a little to the right. This separates the sound into a stereo field and makes it sound like two musicians standing side by side. I also set each tracks’s echo and reverb independently. Finally I duplicated the first section to make the song repeat.