Alex’s Perspective: Week 1

In efforts to make the Monthly Match-Up more interesting, Alex will be a guest author every Wednesday documenting his progress.

I don’t actually know how to play any instruments. I never learned how to play the recorder in elementary school like everyone else. I played the cymbals in my high school drumline. Though cymbals only required you to listen to the rhythm and remember when to hit them together. A few years back I bought a ukulele in Hawaii and have only learned to play a few chords. 

I helped Jacqueline make Natty Daddy, but by helped, I mean I wrote lyrics while she made the beat and N8M8 helped mix and master. I have never really learned how to play any instruments or had any musical training. So when I decided to make my own album, inspired by Jacqueline herself, I knew it was going to be a huge undertaking. Creating chords, and melodies that worked well together, and could be crafted into a hip-hop beat was technically difficult. It was then that I realized how important music theory is.

I had no clue what major scales were, what a progression really was, or how chords could build tension. I am not saying I am any good at them now, I am just not as clueless as before. I am excited to actually learn music theory, and really show off what I know at the end of February.

So my current approach to studying music theory is threefold:

The first fold will be by learning music theory interactively online. I found a few websites, like Ableton, that offer free little courses in music theory where you can actually interact with the site. 

The second approach is YouTube. What can’t you find on YouTube? It’s how I learned to make my first album, and I am confident that it will carry me through learning music theory. I have found a few channels which specialize in teaching music theory, and hope those will be helpful. 

My last approach is not so much focused on learning music theory but incentive. I am currently working on my own personal coding project that takes a new approach to how playlists are shuffled. Since both are music related, I am going to combine every time I work on my project, I am going to spend some time studying music theory. 

I am hoping that this threefold approach will lead me to victory in this Monthly Match-up. I’ve got to start out strong with these monthly challenges, and give Jacqueline a good run for her money. I am also pumped that Abbey is writing these tests for us. This is a great first Monthly Match-Up! And now I am going  to start studying music theory!

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