New Ears

I wanted to capture something that’s happening in my brain, at the intersection of the 404 samplers and my “Jam My Wave” guitar demos. I’m doing something new, made possible by learning the 404 and sample-based music generally, that no one would guess from just hearing the end results.

As I listen to “Jam My wave” guitar demos and work on melodies, I’m making progress not by singing nonsense or jamming like I typically would, but by listening to the guitar and imagining what kind of vocals would sound interesting or make a good call and response with the instrumental. It’s almost like, or is like, thinking about what kind of sample is needed next in sample-based music-making, and I wouldn’t be doing it if not for the 404s.

In some spots I’ve actually written the vocals, with notes/intervals and scratch lyrics. In other places I just have ideas like “Be inspired by Thom Yorke here” or “Fit the vocal into the space between the 4th chord and the downbeat of the next progression.”

This changed way of listening and writing is why I bought the 404SX in the first place, not knowing if I’d actually finish any music with it. I hoped it would change my ears in interesting ways, putting new tools in the mental toolkit. I’m happy that both the new ears and actual 404 music are happening.