Spark Ideas and Connect with Music
We are creating a range of remote resources, ideas for creative music-making and ways to connect, with us or a wider network.
Get playing your harmonica
This track is a 12 bar blues which you can play along with using any of the notes on your C harmonica.
Here’s an example of how you might play your solo along with the backing track.
These links might help you to learn new ways to play your harmonica in a bit more detail.
Try using your harmonica for working with other ideas on our Touchboard – Graphic Scores, Soundscapes, Musical Decisions.
Or you could try playing over some of the other song backing tracks.
A quick way to play chords on a keyboard
The keyboard pattern is simpler than it looks – it repeats after 7 white notes. The black notes are in twos and threes – which tells you where you are.
Use this link for how to play each chord.
Or click here to watch a video for each chord.
Now you need a song, e.g.
Your Chord Sequence
Most songs have a few chords that repeat – the chord sequence. The simplest way to start with chords on a keyboard is with a “Triad”.
You can find a list of songs with this sequence here .
If you want to collaborate virtually, record your song, use backing tracks and play lots of virtual instruments and loops, join our Ungroup project!
Inspiration can come from chance and accidents!
Chance music – use a dice to decide your next melody, rhythm or chords.
⚀ = D
⚁ = C
⚂ = F
⚃ = G
⚄ = A
⚅ = pause
Roll the dice to give you the order of your notes. Keep going until you have a whole melody.
Make an Instrument with Keezy
If you have access to an iPad or iPhone.
The sounds you record can be instruments, or voices, but also they could be ANYTHING! From around your house, outside.
If you don’t have an iPhone or iPad, here’s idea 2:
Print, save or draw the coloured block image. Write on each block what sound you want. You can also send us recordings for this. Make a coloured block score or tell us the order you want to hear the sounds in, and if some of them play together. We will send you back a recording of your composition.
Beats and Loops
2 online beat and loop making apps:
The coloured blocks are loops of drums, chords, melody, all synchronised to fit together. You can change the speed ( bpm – beats per minute) and the style of music
You can make your own loops and beats by tapping the screen or using the keyboard keys. Use the “click” to help you keep everything in time, then remove it when you record. You can save it as an MP3 or save the link to your track.
Use Graphic Scores to help structure and influence the music you create.
How could you use the bird score to tell you what to make?
Here is an example of a piece made using the bird score.
You can use shapes, lines, images – anything that might give you an idea of how the music should go.
Here are some famous graphic scores .
This is one we made with a group who played the piece live.
Send us your graphic score and we’ll play it and send you a recording.
Soundscapes & Soundtracks
Try playing or creating something to go with this video (password moor2sea )
Or create a musical story for this video (password moor2sea )
You could use your own photos or film and make a musical soundtrack for them
Use these sounds along with images or record or download them to use in your piece.
You can also use these sounds along with your own sounds and instruments in Ungroup/Bandlab.
Keezy instrument or Chrome Lab Voice Spinner to record sounds around your house and play backwards!
Shared piano on Chromelab
One person starts, then share a link with one or up to 10 people!
Find a 5 note pattern. Note names are here.
Next person – use the same 5 notes to make a new pattern.
Follow on for each person to find a new pattern with the same 5 notes.
Try different sounds for each person.
Save your song and send us the link!
Would you like to try shared piano with one of us? Send us the link and if we’re available, we’ll join you!
This song has trickier chords, but you can just play the bass notes, and play the BAH BAH BAH’s (or sing them!)
Bah, Bah, Bah = E, D#, G#.
This is one of our Ungroup projects, where you can record your own version, add parts or your vocals.
Virtual Recording Studios
Bandlab requires an account and the standard version has a social media element which may not be suitable for unsupervised younger people.
Ungroup is our managed safe platform on Bandlab Education
details of how to access it are here, where we have guide tracks and how to record your own parts, songs, and other projects from TouchBoard to experiment with and explore.
Ever thought of making your own song or track from scratch?
Everything you need is in these resources.
Choose a chord sequence, write a melody, program a beat. Put them together and you have your own piece.
Need help or extra band members? We can help.