#PWYM Module 1

This is what "East Coast Anthem" looks like to me.

In order to begin our first assignment, the lovely people at Play With Your Music decided to first equip us with short, yet informative videos to help kick start our brains into critical listening. How kind. It’s almost as if they knew we’d be lost little sheep needing guidance. “HELP, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO LISTEN TO MUSIC,” is what I didn’t realize would be my response.

First, we listened to Clara Berry and Wooldog’s “Air Traffic” here. (I wasn’t too fond of this song because I work where this kind of music is playing all the time and a girl can only take so much of breathy, anemic sounding vocals). However, what this did was introduce a piece with recognizable pieces (vocals, piano, guitar and limited drums).

So, given the ability to identify an instrument, we began talking about timbre and where it is heard – left to right, near or far. Then, we went further into describing the timbre into what we felt we heard. Given these weapons, we were to choose a song of our liking and graph it out.

I chose my absolute favorite song “East Coast Anthem” by my shamelessly favorite band Good Charlotte. Thinking this would be easy, I began to critically listen to the song and immediately forgot what instruments sound like. I second guessed myself a lot, especially with how “wide” or “narrow” to describe a sound. I found something that felt right in my gut and stuck with it.

After building the following graph to share with my group, I became very shy. No one has responded to my attempt, so they’re either shaking their heads in shame or just don’t care. I’m betting on (hoping for) the latter because I’m the cower in the corner of the room and ignore me type.

This is what “East Coast Anthem” looks like to me.

 

I submitted this to my group with the following description:

Intro: The intro starts out with this overdriven guitar over to the left, then fills out with an electric, amplified guitar to the right as well as bass and drums filling in the center.

First Verse/remainder of song: The first verse has the vocals clean, front & center with similar BG vox, a step back. The instruments fill out – bass guitar really low and wide still sounds like it’s to the right instead of dead center. The drums sound like a typical kit – kick, floor toms, snare and cymbals. The snare sticks out because it’s got a really high crack, like what you’d hear in ska music.

Guitar Solo: The guitar solo is a pretty clean sounding amplified electric guitar. (The bass guitar has a sweet little jam here, too).

This song is pretty easy in that there’s not a lot going on. It sounds like there’s some sliding on the neck of one of the guitars that is picked up in the song.

 

I kept it brief and as I pressed “send,” my analysis was sent to the inboxes of my group members – my new best friends.

What I’ve realized through this is that six weeks will not be enough. This is definitely an introduction, a crash course, a wham bam thank you ma’am kind of deal. I’m incredibly suspicious of how the following assignments will be.
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