Nobody Does It Better

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.

Here’s the PDF:

Nobody Does It Better.pdf (76K)

and the resulting MIDI file (saved as AIFF and converted to MP3):


This is a test to see what happens when you link to an audio file (m4a) in the public Dropbox folder.

[audio src=””]

Well, it works. That’s cool because that means you can store audio files on Dropbox (for free) and display them in a WordPress blog.


Classical Kalimba

This is my first try at playing a melody on the kalimba. It’s the Bach Cantata 147, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”

I’m playing this with my thumbs. It’s hard to play with consistant volume on each note and even more difficult to play with feeling.

I also used the Tempo app on the iPad to increase the tempo.

First Songs on New Tin Whistle

I recently bought a new “D” tin whistle and I’m just starting to learn how to play it. Here’s my first recording. I played two songs – “Simple Gifts” and “Go Tell Aunt Rhody”.

I found a new use for my old darkroom out in the barn. I did this recording in it. I used MultiTrack DAW on my iPad and the iPad’s built-in microphone. I added a bit of reverb.


Name That Tune

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 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.