Friday, October 25, 2013

Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Age

This is all I wanted from my computer software and it is still not reliable or even making sense to me. What the hell is an audio interface? Bob Wills never had this to deal with.*

Western Swing is basically the music I've been searching for because it has the heart of a basic campfire song (where Oggy's analytical aspirations end) but all the trimmings of the most complicated Coltrane Jazz tune (Giving Oggy's fingers something to do). The legends of Western Swing are Spade Cooley and Bob Wills and Ernest Tubb and Milton Brown. Honky Tonk and Swing can be strummed and invite dancing and foot tapping...but from a musician's standpoint they can be enriched with solos by greats like Joe Pass or a young kid who is learning country fiddle. It's accessible to all. Once upon a time Country songs didn't sound like truck commercials and vice versa.

For me, Western Swing is as far as I want to go with American Music. I recently bought 10 more songbooks from 1935..."BARN DANCE FAVORITES" so you can expect some more crowd pleasers soon. And although this music is dusty and no longer on the radio I'm going to revive it in my own heart. If I must be a cover artist then let me cover music that was entertaining. Until I find a living western swing band I have to manufacture one digitally with my computer. This one simple backing track was an international collaboration that I don't even want to describe. NASA put men on the moon in a shorter time and with less pain and trials.

Also, this is one step closer to my "Dusty Music Box" project in which I perform pre-WWI songs and write a short musicology essay...yet another project that will bring me riches.

I should note that when I look at the gray in my hair I don't "think of all the fun I had puttin' it there". I think of age and arthritis and imminent death...and of the chestnut brown hair I once had like a healthy Labrador Retriever, bounding after fly balls on knees that didn't snap in the morning like thawed ice. Sorry, Mr. Wills, the years got me down.

*I made this backing track with Band in A Box, a program I can barely operate. But my objective is to have ten or twenty backing tracks of famous western swing tunes, the lead sheet to go with them including lyrics and chords, and also a basic instruction for improvisation. You can see that I flail around in my solo but the theory actually makes more sense to me than my technique. I understand what I want to do but I can't do it yet flawlessly. Time will change that...and I want to pass on my understanding of how one plays these changes. It amounts to being able to adjust scale formations in any position to any scale. That's really all I'm doing. If the chord is F major then I try to play a variation of F Major. If the chord is G major then I play G major, which is actually just the F formation but played 2 frets higher. It's not complicated as long as you don't make mistakes. Country backing tracks are all over the internet if you search for midi tracks or jam tracks. The western swing fakebook project is something I want to propose to Hal Leonard because it's ridiculous that this music isn't compiled neatly in a volume.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.