Archive for the ‘The Bflat Max Music Project’ Category

On and off, and On again I’ve been learning to sing.  Since I was planning to set up recording for music I thought I ought to get my vocal chords heard before I started vainly recording anything, or crooning terribly then releasing it on an unsuspecting world.  These goes back to before I started this blog originally, some three years or more.

There was a good second reason, and one which has given me some important benefit.  My ME (CFS).  I’m always breathless before the end of the sentence; I struggle with words – the wrong ones pop out or I lose the thread.

Singing was a way of getting some vocal and mental exercise.  I really need it as well stuck at home trying to get my life together I’d not see anyone from one week to the next, so speaking and thinking was something I rarely tried?

I found myself a local singing tutor.  Somewhere like First Tutors I think it was.

Having found a sympatric ear, a piano and vocal tutor just round the corner – and someone prepared to teach an adult in the style of my choosing (blues) was an excellent start.

I was happily surprised that my voice and tone wasn’t too bad, and with my years of guitar practise my pitch was almost prefect.

I learnt:

  • which helped my breathing and strength of voice

Long term I should continue and practise these more often, they can be done standing or sitting – and make me feel refreshed and clear-headed.  A huge boost to the stuffy fatigued feeling I have usually!

Life and illness has got in the way, but I can stop and start any time I like, and do these exercise at home. (I can no longer afford the tutor.)

I also learnt:

I also learnt/revised music theory:

  • Circle of Fifths
    • Learning the circle of fifths helps pull everything together.

(Else there is the cocktail bar: “Circle of Fifths“, which would suit me as place to hang out!)

I also stimulated my brain:

  • Brain power and Neurons
    • Stimulation of the brain help my concentration
    • Scales help me feel calmer
    • helped me speak more fluently
When I stop exercising, or playing my mood goes down, and my brain fog increases.  Now experts will say this is because ever part of the brain from the prefrontal cortex to the hippocampus to the parietal lobe are stimulated in different ways.
I quoted in my book:

“I love the blues, they tell my story.  If you don’t feel it you can never understand. So many times I thought about it and now I know just what it means to be a man”  –   David Coverdale and Bernie Marsden – Walking in the Shadow of the blues,   Whitesnake album Lovehunter 1979.

I’ve never heard it put better. “I love the blues, they tell my story.”  I love music, we need music.  Music inspires and evokes emotion in a healthy way.

Music can touch our emotional being and evokes moods and feelings that are sometimes difficult to express. In many ways it prepares you, if you’ve heard that song about ‘being heartbroken and a long way from home’, it can cushion and ease the pain or even start the tears that need to fall.  (The Long Hard Highway)

I carry on singing, exercising my vocal chords and diaphragm when I can find time, but I can always find time for music!

More music theory to stimulate your brains:

Vocal Technique

Oppositional, nostalgic, but particularly pop-oriented “retro soul”



Posted: February 1, 2011 in The Bflat Max Music Project
Tags: , ,

I’d better start by explaining that whilst Bflat is a chord; it isn’t a magic fourth chord and neither is BFlatMax.

I started ‘doing’ more music; actually learning to play the guitar instead of cranking out the same riffs and scales.  Since I’ve always dabbled with music and computer I started taking things serious and arranging and playing to the backtracks I was creating. (more on that later.)

Whilst lying down trying to get my act together  – I’m knackered most of the time but that’s another story I have, or was ‘given’, the diagnosis ME [Chronic Fatigue].  Every band or project needs a name; I also needed a reminder I’m not supposed to be giving everything the max.  “B Flat Max” simply means lie down, and take it is easy (you twit), Max.

Max – my nickname from work and other places reflects the fact that I never know when to stop, I’m a workaholic, a perfectionist  and keep going long after I should.

There I’ll leave it.  Chill, take it easy – Relax dudes – get horizontal, have a break, a catnap, a sneeky doze,  a few z’s,  forty winks, just nod off, grab some shuteye,  snooze … okay that’s enough!

break*, catnap, doze, few z’s, forty winks, interlude, intermission, microsleep, nod, pause, respite, rest, shuteye, snooze, spot*