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Re: Trouble Thinking of Loops Beyond the Initial Loop

Jake asked:
"I keep coming up with pretty good/interesting loops (guitar and drum 
backing) with my RC-50. But, I can't seem to develop a corresponding 
to the initial loop structure (following a somewhat standard song 
structure).Any ideas to help the creative juices flowing from this 
group of musicians?"

Human beings process information through their senses which,essentially, 
just process differences
or changes in the environment.   Our senses pick up contrast in light, 
color, sound, pressure,  smell, etc.

We are pattern oriented so making simple contrasting changes in the form 
a pattern can lead to
really effective musical sections of a tune.

Much can be accomplished in composition and arrangement  by looking at 
form structures.

As an example:
>From West African music we get the notion of CALL and RESPONCE

try this technique with a song by:

Play a measure   A    (CALL)

Play a second measure that contrasts it either rhythymically, harmonically 
or timbrally   B   (RESPONSE)

repeat    A  (CALL)

Now play a variation of B,  again,   making the variation distinct either 
rhythmically,  harmonically or timbrally    C    (2nd RESPONSE)

Now play with the structure of these three measures

ABAC        ABCB  etc.               or string them together and very 
forms in groups of four to make a meta-form

AAAB   =    a
AAAC  =     b
AABC  =     c

now play      abac...............abcb.........................you get the 

sometimes you can merely rearrange the timbre or instrumentation of a 
of music to get interesting simple results:
Have the rhythm of the bass guitar and the rhythm of the drums switch 
positions and take on each other's roles from
section to section.

Many, many electronic dance tunes ONLY switch timbres during their 
sections;   completely eschewing harmonic
changes or key changes.

Harmonically,    try modulating up or down with a groove you are using to 
create a new section

or,  Modally,    base the next section by using one of the notes that 
the tonic or 5th from the first section as
the new 'tonic' of the next section but confine yourself to using only the 
notes in the key of the first section.

Keep playing this game until you come up with results you like.

It's amazing how little you can vary from one section of a composition to 
another as long as you self conciously
create strong contrasts in any category of rhythm,  harmony,  timbre, 
dynamics  or even density of note choices.

Lastly,  if you search these words    BRIAN ENO  OBLIQUE STRATEGIES   at 
They'll lead you to a  website that gives you the ability to print out a 
series of cards that you can
print out called OBLIQUE STRATEGY CARDS.   Invented by the amazing 
multi-media artist, producer, BRIAN ENO,
their whole purpose is to stimulate creativity when you are on the horns 
a dilemma or
just not feeling like you are creating interesting choices.   You shuffle 
the deck,  pick a card and force yourself
to do whatever the card does.      This is a brilliant strategy for 
stimulating new creativity when you are stuck.

Good luck and document what works for you.