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#676897 - 10/08/21 10:49 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1
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David Snyder Offline
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Mario asked me to start a session on Composition, to tee up maybe a dedicated forum in the future, who knows. So here goes.

There has been talk about "advantages" of RealBand on another forum, and I don't want to get into that, but I am using RealBand as an example here, because it ties in with two other tools I am mentioning.

#1

I do not want to steal this guy's thunder by sharing his excellent hit song template freebie, so I will say go here, listen to this youtube and get his freebie pack. It shows hit song arrangement examples and is great.

https://blog.holistic-songwriting.com/starterkit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcmrgTNE9Cs

For those using Logic, he has put his method into a Logic Template. I imagine it looks something like my RealBand Template.

#2

Look at the RealBand screenhot below. Whether or not you use RealBand is irrelevant. I do, and I am simply showing that in a series of "slots" I think hard about what part of 15 secs or more (or less) will go into the arrangement to add spice, or to add or release tension. That is, I am building an arrangement visually.

In RealBand, all I have to do is swipe with a mouse and generate an exact bar or bars of the parts I want, and then export the arrangement complete, at first draft level. (There will be other tweaks and adds when I move to Cakewalk.)

#3

Floyd sent me this link (see screenshot 2). It is fascinating. You can study the arrangement of any song out there, see the parts, and where they begin and end.

WARNING: Have your volume down if you go to this site or this song. It plays right away and it is LOUD.

https://www.karaoke-version.com/custombackingtrack/luke-bryan/that-s-my-kind-of-night.html

So, that is it.

These are patterns, templates and tools that explain the craft of "thinking like a producer."

I would love to see specific contributions on tips and tricks others are using to compose, arrange and "think like a producer."

Hope this is useful.

P.S. If you open my screenshots in a new tab, you will see what I am getting at. These "slots" apply to tracks other than the basic bed, whatever that is (bass, drums, acoustic, etc.)

But I am going to guess that folks who arrange will see what I am doing and build their own template (if they don't already one one) that works for their own unique workflow.




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#676914 - 10/08/21 01:54 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: David Snyder]
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sslechta Online   happy
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Hi David, good post! I thought at one point the Songwriting forum was kind of the place to put Composition stuff but I don't recall what the results of that debate/debacle were. Thanks for providing the info from Holistic. It was very good and tips like turn the volume down on an instrument just before the chorus to make it sound brighter/stronger in the chorus were good tips.

I tend to lay my stuff out in BIAB in the Chord Sheet view so I can indicate the separate verse/chord sections by "A" and "B" and so on. Once I bring it on over to PT, I get more detailed on the sections, like Verse1, Chorus1, Solo, etc. So yes, getting those sections put together and defined well make it MUCH easier to mix and edit.

To make things easier from one project to another for me, I tend to just rename my project in both BIAB/PT to a new one and strip the files out. That way the frame or skeleton of the templates are still there.

I would love to see how other folks template out their projects.


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#676919 - 10/08/21 02:08 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: David Snyder]
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edshaw Offline
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#676921 - 10/08/21 02:15 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: sslechta]
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David Snyder Offline
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Thanks Steve!

Awesome. Love this.

I too start out in BIAB for the "Basics" and then go to RB to add in the spices and the fleshed out "arrangement" but I didn't want to confuse people. smile

I think we are on the same page though!

I am also looking forward to getting tips from other pros on here!!

smile
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#676923 - 10/08/21 02:17 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: edshaw]
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David Snyder Offline
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Ed,

Ha ha! Come on man! You're smart too!

smile
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#676947 - 10/08/21 05:01 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: David Snyder]
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David, I am not a pro! I am a scatter brained guitarist and I have a number of different workflows in BiaB, Realband, and Studio One Pro. I should note that I work almost exclusively in MIDI.

1- songs with vocals. The lyrics are first, then the chord progression. I put the chord progression in BiaB then I pick a style; many times this is the hardest but the most fun part. Most all of the time I will go directly from BiaB to Studio One Pro. On rare occasion I will go from BiaB to RealBand, especially if the time signature is something other than n/4 than into Studio One Pro.

2- songs with a melody. If I have a melody in mind my process is similar to #1. The main difference is that I most often have a style type in my mind already.

3- songs based on a sound. If I have a sound that I want to have for the melody I will pick a style, then add a chord progression, transfer the tracks to my DAW, then figure out a lead utilizing said sound.

4- songs based on a chord progression. Sometimes I will mess around on my guitar or keyboard and come up with a chord progression. That progression goes into BiaB. I then pick a style, transfer the tracks to my DAW, and work on a lead.

I should add that on #2-#4 I may go from BiaB to RB if the time signature is something other than n/4. RB Pros has said that RB can export songs in their native time signature; I haven't fully investigated that yet.

I should add that on occasion I will use a RealTrack as is but most of the time I will convert said track to MIDI.

I also label parts of the song in BiaB,i.e. V for verse, C for chorus, etc.

I think that covers everything. Feel free to comment. YMMV
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#677171 - 10/10/21 03:55 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: David Snyder]
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edshaw Offline
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Originally Posted By: David Snyder

Ed,
Ha ha! Come on man! You're smart too!
smile


Your generosity touches me deeply, David.

On those pre choruses: Hadn't heard of such a thing. I usually just go into the chorus or prep with a repeat of line 4. This set me off on a search topic & I found there is a lot of material to be found on pre chorus. (one of several interesting topics in the lesson)
thx.


Edited by edshaw (10/10/21 03:56 AM)
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#677173 - 10/10/21 05:02 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: David Snyder]
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I thought I was going to watch football this afternoon.
Now I need to check out all these ideas in the garage today!
Some many great ideas here.

And David...now I see why you like to use RB for arranging.

I love these forums

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#677181 - 10/10/21 05:32 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: David Snyder]
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Just a suggestion regarding the process of thinking like a producer. In another thread, Dan (Musicstudent) inadvertently gave one of the best descriptions of BIAB (The Main Program) I've seen, particularly when it comes to production and arrangement.

Musicstudent:

"BIAB happens to be 20 years ahead of its time. These new apps approach the similar power and complexity of this class of software. Definitely a class of their own. UNIFY reminds me so much of the complexity of BIAB. Countless menus, strange terminology, hidden workflows, but I have discovered that the power and rewards of pushing lots of buttons is both compelling and overwhelming. This is essentially the mother of ( ... ) permitting one to layer patches and libraries of sounds."

A common phrase posted in discussions is users saying something along the line they're using only 10% of BIAB's capability. 90% of a program is a lot to talk about what's left behind unused. For instance, if someone has Audacity in their production chain, go to the head of the line to learn a bit more about BIAB, it will instantly make your productions and arrangements easier, better, faster and much more professional. In 2015, BIAB obsoleted the necessity to use any program like Audacity for both Mac and PC versions.

Staying in the BIAB program retains all of BIAB's features, techniques and processes. Neither RealBand or BIAB VST DAW Plugin are fully featured BIAB versions so they don't have all of BIAB's features, techniques and processes. Nor is BIAB any more complex than Audacity, Reaper, Sonar, Cakewalk, Studio One, Logic, Pro-Tools, Soundforge, Garageband and apparently, also many VST's...

The suggestion being more thought and discussion should be given to when producers send their arrangements from BIAB to DAWs for further construction, editing and arrangement. Maybe include a section in Thinking Like a Producer_Part 2 about what in the 90% of BIAB being left behind can be beneficial to Producers, songwriters, teachers, Karaoke and Live Performers and everyone else.
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#677190 - 10/10/21 07:33 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: Charlie Fogle]
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David.
i hope you dont mind me commenting on one important thing
i learnt in big studios viz..
think of a song composition like a pyramid.
at the top of the pyramid is THE HOOK.
the memorable hook(s) is/are of primary importance.
analyse past gold songs. invariably had hooks galore mostly.
i'll go into more detail if you wish.
for example i listened to a song in the pg user showcase yesterday, and right from the get go it impressed the heck out of me as being very hooky.

i listened to the new song for the new bond film the other day, its good but imho the original bond theme and the goldfinger theme have the hooks i keep on replaying in my mind.

best
om


Edited by justanoldmuso (10/10/21 07:37 AM)
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#677194 - 10/10/21 07:48 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: David Snyder]
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#677208 - 10/10/21 10:10 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: MarioD]
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David Snyder Offline
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Mario,

This is great. Super tips. I think midi is under-explored for a lot of people.

As one tip, I like to click the "other" drop down on style picker and sort by styles with midi super tracks. There is gold in them there hills for folks who like to roll their own.

Your idea on markers is solid.

In "producer-think" there is an X axis and a Y axis. It is a lot like "Agile" thinking in programming sprints.

Along the X axis you think progression (literally) but also progression in the sense of time, when does V 2 come in for example, and is it, for example, only half as long as V1?

See screenshot 1.

On the Y axis, you have all the rows of parts that will attach to the X axis.

When does that guitar fill come in? And why? Do you need it? Should it be a mandolin instead?

The X axis and Y axis decision are equally important and lie at the heart of arrangement.

I hope we can have more pros on board here share their tricks for building the house, so to speak, brick by brick.

I am glad we started this.

First Screenshot is X axis, second is Y axis.



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#677211 - 10/10/21 10:52 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: edshaw]
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Ed,

My brother.

You need to learn about the Pre-Chorus. It is sometimes referred to as the "lift."

All the young kids have been doing it since 1962. You need to check it out my friend.

smile
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#677212 - 10/10/21 10:53 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: Marty Ricciotti]
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Have fun! Tell us how you progress and what you find out!

smile
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#677214 - 10/10/21 11:09 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: Charlie Fogle]
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David Snyder Offline
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Hey Charlie,

Thanks for the feedback. I have been tinkering with BIAB since 2014 on a daily basis and I agree there is much there that people don't even realize. I use it to practice and learn new jazz techniques, among other things.

For ME, and just me, I find RealBand is incredible for doing certain things in a workflow and editing capacity that you cannot do in Band-in-Box. To me they are two different tools. Like a piano vs. a cello. I don't even try and compare them.

Same with Audacity. I still use it for certain things for very specific reasons, and I think my workflow from germinal idea to a finished product I am reasonably proud of is pretty fast. Fast enough for me anyway.

I would love to see you add to this series of threads by creating one of your own, showing things you think BIAB can do that others might not be aware of.

To all contributors:

Examples are always best, I think, when folks link to a song they created using such and such technique, so users can "hear" the example in practice.

Short examples of one specific thing are better than 12 examples of many things, because that causes the brain to shut down I believe.

Last, I think instructions are better with they use the words "can" and "could" instead of "should" and "must." For example, you can say "You could do this in BIAB..." but an endless loop of counterproductive feedback is caused when you say "you should or must do this in....[insert program]" and "Never in....[insert program]" because people will argue about that forever. Like me and Audacity. I still love to use it for certain things, although I feel I have a good handle on the million things BIAB can do since I use it every day.

Thanks a lot and I look forward to one of your own "Think Like a Producer" lessons.
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#677218 - 10/10/21 12:59 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: David Snyder]
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Thanks for your quick David. I've backed off a lot from these type discussions and likely won't be making a lot of contributions but would like to give you a reply. I'll go backwards from the last of your comments to the first. I think it makes more sense.

<< Thanks a lot and I look forward to one of your own "Think Like a Producer" lessons. >>

Probably not. See my opening comment above and my last one below.

<< Last, I think instructions are better with they use the words "can" and "could" instead of "should" and "must." For example, you can say "You could do this in BIAB..." but an endless loop of counterproductive feedback is caused when you say "you should or must do this in....[insert program]" and "Never in....[insert program]" because people will argue about that forever. Like me and Audacity. I still love to use it for certain things, although I feel I have a good handle on the million things BIAB can do since I use it every day. >>

If your first impression of my comment was dump Audacity for BIAB, that wasn't my intention. Forum folks are very attached to their workflows and DAWs and most are quite efficient and productive. Stay with what works. However, my point in mentioning Audacity is that particularly with simple audio editing tasks, comping tracks and several other tasks, BIAB's Audio Editor beats DAWs and Audacity hands down. It's better. It's faster and it's more powerful than any exterior program, including RealBand and the BIAB VST DAW Plugin when specifically working with BIAB generated audio. Just as you do, I typically use Audacity daily. I love it. But, regarding using it with BIAB, I prepare audio for import into BIAB rather than exporting BIAB generated tracks out to Audacity.

<< For ME, and just me, I find RealBand is incredible for doing certain things in a workflow and editing capacity that you cannot do in Band-in-Box. To me they are two different tools. Like a piano vs. a cello. I don't even try and compare them. >>

Hang in there with RealBand. As I said earlier, folks are very attached to their workflows and DAWs and most are quite efficient and productive. That's reason enough to not change but just be aware RealBand is BIAB lite and lacking features, techniques and processes of BIAB. Not all of them can likely benefit every producer but most all are beneficial as a production tool so producers no longer bypass things only BIAB can do with a single track in seconds versus having to take minutes to do a task manually generating multiple tracks and cut/paste in RB or any other DAW.

A better analogy for a BIAB/RB comparison than a piano to a Cello is a Cello to a Double Bass. The Audio Editor is very robust and retains all of BIAB's features, techniques, tools and processes. Not just some of them like RealBand has.

<< Examples are always best, I think, when folks link to a song they created using such and such technique, so users can "hear" the example in practice. Short examples of one specific thing are better than 12 examples of many things, because that causes the brain to shut down I believe. >>

If you know what RT1152 is without looking it up, ask yourself why PG Music programmers use RT1152 so extensively in the demos and with MultiStyles? If you don't know what RT1152 is, its a RealTrack that generates 'silence' and is very important to how BIAB locates specific audio phrases and when and where to use those phrases or chords rather than just selecting a chord that matches what the user placed in that Bar to play on the Chord Chart Page. You can hear it in most PG Music RealTrack demos and see and hear it used in most MultiStyles. RealBand nor the VST DAW Plugin recognize and utilize MultiStyles so RT1152 doesn't have the same value in RealBand or the VST DAW Plugin and it's useless in any other DAW.

<< I would love to see you add to this series of threads by creating one of your own, showing things you think BIAB can do that others might not be aware of. >>

From my comments in the Wish List Forum where I was admonished to stop making so many "BIAB can do this" comments, it's probably the best advice for me to take in this thread too and only answer any questions directed to me how to or can BIAB do a task. It's a great discussion so far and I'll be following along. I'm glad you thought to post this thread.
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#677231 - 10/10/21 02:19 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: Charlie Fogle]
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David Snyder Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle


<< I would love to see you add to this series of threads by creating one of your own, showing things you think BIAB can do that others might not be aware of. >>

From my comments in the Wish List Forum where I was admonished to stop making so many "BIAB can do this" comments, it's probably the best advice for me to take in this thread too and only answer any questions directed to me how to or can BIAB do a task. It's a great discussion so far and I'll be following along. I'm glad you thought to post this thread.






Charlie,


I did not think you were "swiping" at anything. I just could not think of a better example than Audacity to show a tool that I use and love that seems to get bashed here a lot as having no place in this world. Even my lowly recorder (flute) has a place when I need it.

On the talking too much about Band-in-a-Box part, this drives me nuts (not you saying it) but the idea.

I personally have had it up to my digital eyeballs with that kind of stuff really.

This site is made possible by the flagship program here called Band-in-Box. It pays for this site. It pays for the tech team, it pays for RealBand. It funds these discussions. It pays for giving people a chance to run their mouths and say smart things and stupid things.

Unless you are obtuse (not you, just people in general), you will see on the homepage that this company sells Band-in-a-Box.

Therefore, unless you have been hit in the head with a hammer, you might guess that this site is primarily meant for, hmmm, let me see, people who are interested in learning how to use Band-in-a-Box--alone, and in their chosen recording environment.

Nowhere do I see Peter Gannon saying he built this site to help people make a better computer selection on Tiger Direct, or decide on which audio interface deal is better over at Sweetwater.

Nor does it appear the owner built this site to explain everything you can do with Fruity Loops and Reaper. Although, you are free to do so if that is what floats your boat. But just remember, your magical musings on Reaper were just funded by...Band-in-a-Box.

Admittedly, the love fest created by generating BIAB tracks for use in every DAW on the planet is the core attraction. Certainly.

But yes, it does indeed seem that the major theme running across the dark blue banner above is, let me remember, on yeah, Band-in-a-Box.

Therefore, unless I am trippin', I would say you should feel free to post as many "how to use more tricks in BIAB" posts as you can.

Because I think, and I could be wrong, that if folks did not buy Band-in-a-Box this site would go away and you would be be all alone on Twitter.

Crazy talk, I know, Charlie. Crazy talk for sure.
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#677252 - 10/10/21 03:44 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: David Snyder]
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edshaw Offline
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David:
RE: Pre-chorus
Here is a site that brought me up to speed as much as any of the sites visited over the past couple of days.
What is a pre-chorus?
On that site, scroll down to the album cover that looks like a yellow rose. It is Stevie Wonder's "Song in the Key of Life" and it plays an example by Stevie.
At my level at this point, I'm just looking for a simple formula for a standard 1-4-5 that will get me going.
That tip to emphasize the chorus by turning down the verse is a great tip!
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#677257 - 10/10/21 04:18 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: edshaw]
Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 5719
Loc: North Carolina
David Snyder Offline
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Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 5719
Loc: North Carolina
Ed,

The Pre-Chorus serves a specific function in songs that have maximum emotional impact and a "dramatic arc."

Also called the "rise" it shows the perspective lifting, or shifting, often a "glimmer of hope."

Like This:

V1 (Down in the dumps) Maybe C, F and Am

Yeah I have the blues
I hate the news
broken and broke and walking in the rain
and staring at my busted shoes

Pre Chorus (Maybe Em and F now)

But I know that somehow, some way
one day, I will sing Hey, Hey Hey

Ch: (Up)

So Hey hey hey,
Hey Hey Hey
I'm finally singing
Hey Hey Hey

Without a Pre Chorus you might have:

V1 E7

Got the blues
danged dirty blues
nothing going on
but blues and the news

CH (stay on E7)

Oh yeah blues
talking 'bout blues
12 bars, no car
talking 'bout those no car 12 bar blues

(really long pentatonic solo)

Got it???

smile
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#677261 - 10/10/21 04:30 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: THINKING LIKE A PRODUCER_Part 1 [Re: David Snyder]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 16341
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Online   content
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 16341
Loc: Hamlin NY
>(really long pentatonic solo)

You got me smiling on that one!
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