I was reading the 'Complete Idiots Guide to Feng Shui' today. I love the Dummy's and Idiots series of publications and possess ebooks of most of the books in the series that these two publishers have published and read them on my Galaxy Tab from time to time. I find these books to be a great introduction not only to a newbie for a given subject but also offer great tips for mid level and advanced students or professionals for any of their published subjects. Being a constant learner at heart, I owe a great deal of gratitude to the publishers for the engaging and light hearted style of writing, the quirky tone, the page design layouts and for increasing the depth
of my knowledge on a particular subject as well as introducing me to such a wide variety of interests that I would otherwise have found too daunting to even approach. So in the Feng Shui book I came across the concept of 'The Eight Fundamental Trigrams'. The Trigrams look like the above and if you do music programming on a DAW the images above will immediately strike a chord of resemblance!
The trigrams look like end-quantized Triad Midi Chord Notes in the Piano Roll view of a DAW! The Father diagram looks like the C, F or G Major Chord Triads. The Mother looks like the A Maj chord struck twice in a beat and the others look like a note stretched here and there.
What are Trigrams
Generally speaking, the philosophy of the Yijing, or Book of Changes, is the first known attempt by the Chinese to formulate a system of knowledge around the interplay of opposites (yin and yang). The Yijing is a deceptively simple yet complex system of understanding the patterns of change in our universe. The Yijing can foretell your present and future prospects made manifest by changes you make in your attitude, actions, and activity. In other words, the Yijing suggests the appropriate change to achieve the desired result. These patterns of change were recorded symbolically in the form of solid (yang) and broken (yin) lines called trigrams and hexagrams. While we won’t concern ourselves with the 64 hexagrams (six-tiered configurations of solid and broken lines) comprising the Yijing, the eight fundamental trigrams (three-tiered configurations of solid and broken lines) are central to practicing classical feng shui. Simply, the eight trigrams represent transitional stages of all possible natural and human situations.
So we see that Trigrams are appropriate changes made to achieve desired results. Sounds like that's what we also do when we need to make changes on midi notes which ultimately reflect in the master output of a song to achieve the desired results! Trigrams are in short Patterns Of Change. Ah, dont I just love this phrase - Patterns of Change!
Creating Musical Patterns of Change
The basic building block of music production is the midi note represented by the small bar in the piano roll view of your music production software. Whatever software you may be using, the different notes used in music are universally represented in all music software programs. Learning how notes are represented and named is an important prelude to understanding and making effective use of many of the basic materials of music, including chords, scales, keys, modes, and so on.
If you are programming music and do not yet know the know the notes on a keyboard and you are doing it entirely by ear, I would suggest devoting some time to knowing the notes. It will help you immeasurably in your progress. A good way to learn the names of the notes is by using a MIDI keyboard.
Which midi keyboard to buy
There are lots of great options in the market especially from M Audio and Roland. I personally use the Roland A-800 Pro (Click here for more information) and I would strongly recommend this sturdy midi keyboard to anyone who desirous about making serious music. This particular keyboard is a hot selling product and should be in stock at Shalu Music or Furtados. I would strongly recommend Shalu Music's Bandra or Fort outlets for buying any music hardware or software. Their service is quick, prompt and efficient unlike Furtados who are seemingly bogged down under the weight of their past ubiquity and sole dominance. Have a look at the Shalu Music Website for more information - http://www.shalumusic.co.in/
Why Learning Scales on Either A Guitar or a Keyboard is Must
The fastest way to get better at music programming
The fastest way to progress in music programming is to learn at least one musical instrument really well and if it happens to be the keyboard - Great! Because the MIDI keyboard represents the point of entry into the computer for vital musical information, it makes perfect sense that students of music production must improve their keyboard skills. But if you are into pop or rock arrangements I would also advise you as a mandatory step to start learning how to play an electric guitar. This is because trying to create sweet and authentic electric guitar or acoustic guitar sounds through a midi-based vst plugin sounds like crap! If you want to make a catchy pop rock song, there must be a couple of guitar harmony tracks on your song at least. And if you really want that song to sparkle you will need to plug in an electric guitar to your audio interface at some point of time. Hiring sessions guitar players is expensive and goes against the whole grain of home music production on a budget. And if you are at the mercy of your pot-smoking temperamental guitar-playing buddy you are really at a disadvantage here! The electric guitar is such an important element in a modern western-msuic arrangement and the sooner you learn how to play some nice melodic licks, grooves and chops the better; because you will find that you can now program an entire track yourself without being at the mercy of that long haired friend from college who is always looking to get laid!
If you wanna play Electric Buy an Electric
I would strongly advise you to go ahead and buy and electric guitar immediately if you want to play an electric guitar eventually. Learning to play on an acoustic will be boring besides which playing lead parts on an electric guitar is easier due to the fluid and dynamic string bending action of an electric guitar. There is also the added advantages - an electric guitar in your bedroom looks cool, it can scream and you can also start recording some sounds on your DAW immediately! Pick up a decent Squire or Epiphone or whatever available under Rs. 20,000/- and get going. Dont get too bogged down with research - just buy a decent one now and save that cash for the Fender or Les Paul for later!
Do I Need an Amp
That depends on whether you want to play live or jam with a band or whether you want to just use your guitar to record guitar parts on your DAW. If the latter is the case then there is no need to buy an amp if you already have a computer home studio set up. Simply plug your guitar into your audio interface and select a suitable plugin once you open your DAW software. I highly recommend the 'Guitar Rig' software plugin featured on the left which will give you hundreds of distorted and filtered preset sounds to choose from to practice to and also to record.
How To Master Scales
Easy. The best way to come to grips with a scale is to simply learn to play it up and down on a keyboard, guitar, bass, or your favoured instrument! The process of learning the scale is a musical conditioning that puts that pattern of notes firmly in your memory. Once you have achieved the physical process of learning the scale, it becomes much easier to play, improvise, and write music comfortably using that particular scale. When learning how to play it, do not be tempted to go too fast. Play nice and slowly and try to get an even tone on each note. Again I stress that you must practice a live musical instrument along with learning music programming because the edge will always be with the trained musician. There is nothing like playing songs in a particular key to give a person a feeling for that key. Computer musicians who do not play any conventional musical instruments are at a serious disadvantage. Some kind of ability in playing the guitar or keyboard makes it much easier to compose and record basses, drum patterns, leads, and harmonies.