When I turned eighteen and moved out of the house, for my birthday I was to hear the ‘wonderful’ words, “Here! You wanted to learn to make music? Here’s a mouth harp!” And as such I got my first Hohner ‘Marine Band’ and a lesson book. (The book is actually by David Barrett, a man that enjoys teaching so much that it’s even fun to watch lessons you can’t practice yet, due to the sheer enjoyment he gets out of teaching.)

I originally really just wanted to play the piano, with as a far second the guitar. I had asked whether I could repeatedly ever since I could speak and knew of instruments. As you may imagine, as wonderful as the instrument is, I blew it to smithereens quite literally. I was angry. Angry people drum, so I learned to drum.

Now, I really like to play all kinds of instruments. Even though the Dutch educational system doesn’t allow you to pick your own education when your parents don’t support it, I stick to doing creative stuff anyway. I’m analytical, like to figure things out for myself also. I hope my analyses will help you as well.

I now also have proper recording gear. It works. I tried some shit I’m not really into out of curiosity, but now I ran into problems due to bad acoustics. My towel doesn’t catch the high echoing-overtones my apartment produces, so I got a reflection filter and even then you need to record in your bedroom, not your living room. And then I still have to learn to sing creatively. And what about those registers? What about focusing on feel on top of word-placement and pitch. It’s a little bit like I have a big bit of work to do, which is cool, since I’m getting rid of my brain damage by doing creative stuff, so I can concentrate more, and I like to work.

On top of the definable shit, I’m also studying what’s a little less definable. I’ve had David Lucas Burge’s course on Perfect Pitch lying around for ages, but I didn’t have a piano and learning the fretboard of my guitar by heart was a bit too much. Also, who says it’s really in tune? A digital piano is a bit more reliable. (In hindsight it’s easiest to see the guitar also in relative degrees, but that’s not what I mean to say.)

Now I look at what it does, the way David explains it, he really seems to focus on you listening to the tone, rather than your ears. It makes me feel like he learns you to try and analyze through his first exercise and by mimicking tones with vowels, while telling you you shouldn’t. In reality, I figured this out on my own, you should just learn to focus on your ears. This is now my working hypothesis.

You know what? I hear trumpet players are better at it : I’m going to study the trumpet! How’s that for a long shortcut?

Either that, or based on the training I get with EarMaster 7 I might also just learn to sing all of the tones and when someone play (subjunctive?) a tone, I sing it in my mind, creating a reference frame, than I name it.