DJ Dain
DJ | Producer | Musicologist

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Summer Sessions - Lesson 4

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We're coming towards the end now. This past week instead of having an instructor, three of us students had the practice room to ourselves. Our task was to agree upon a beat and start thinking about an 8-bar routine we can each have ready for a video shoot the following week. We spent most of our time running through a plethora of tracks. The diversity of the music helped us narrow down what we did and didn't like. We were tending more towards funkier, groovier music overall. Straightforward and modern beats weren't vibing with us. We made a shortlist of three tracks that stood out to us, and continued to practice and jam by trading bars. With only three of us in the rotation, the phrasing of some of the beats meant we got to practice over different sections as it looped. Something similar to a polyrhythm.

Speaking of which - near the end of our time Mark showed us a technique that involved using different timing with each hand to create a special effect. It involved baby scratches on the quarter notes, while also opening the fader on thirds. This created an alternating sound of "forward-back" then "back-forward" scratches. Although I understood the instructions conceptually, I really had to flip my mind around to prevent myself from syncing up both hands to 4/4 beats.

Now that I'm at the tail-end of the course, I'm craving more lessons to keep advancing and pushing myself further. Unfortunately, I know my day job is about to get intense this month with the back-to-school season. Making time for practice, let alone lessons, is going to be very difficult. I'm hoping I can at least keep an eye on some of their open sessions and hopefully drop in from time to time for group events. Once my time and finances line up I'd like to invest and learn more through this school. I've been quite pleased with the experience so far. I imagine private lessons and tutoring tailored to my needs would be stellar.