17 Nov 2022

This week I finally got myself the sheet-music to Radiohead’s last album, Moon Shaped Pool. I really dislike the opening track, which doesn’t fit to the rest of the album in my mind, but otherwise is a good album. Thankfully I don’t listen to it on analog sources, otherwise I’d have to once again become a dab hand at dropping the needle in the right place, a skill I had as a child that I’m sure will now have atrophied. But I digress.

I’ve mentioned before how I’m enchanted by the simplicity of the performances of The Number and Past Tense that feature just Thom, Johnny, and a CR-78 drum machine. Today’s practice session I guess is was trying to tap into that.

The chord sequence is all I took from the book, the drum beat is Garageband’s random drum generator, and the improv over it is me trying to riff in a similar style based on my poor understanding of modes.

In my guitar lessons of late we’ve been doing a bunch of modal jazz things, so I’m on the lookout for modal sounds, and from my understanding this is in C Myxolidian. I have to confess that I slipped out of the mode when playing the upper reaches, and that didn’t quite work all the time, but by trying and playing wrong notes is how you learn. I can (and do) slip into noodling sessions like this for five/ten minutes just trying to explore - but the limits of Garageband save you from getting all of that, but that is my happy place guitar wise.

The reviews on Amazon of the sheet-music book complained about its accuracy, but I’m not really interested in playing things like this correctly - I’ve long since come to terms with my lack of ability to recreate songs - I just really want a framework in which to noodle and explore. That’s why I have a love/hate relationship with music theory: I don’t really want to use my limited music playing time budget on bookwork, but knowing about modes and stuff makes it easier for me to then adlib somewhat coherently in situations like this.