When Is A Musical Idea TOO CRAZY?

Can You Make A Great Melody With This Crazy Idea?

Tommaso Zillio

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crazy guitar ideas

Here’s an idea: take this sentence (yes, the one you are reading right now), take out all of the letters that aren’t between A and G, then take the letters you are left with, turn them into a melody, put some rhythm to it, and see what you have.

(To save you some time, those letters would be: A E E E C E A E A F E E E A A E E E E A A G E A E E E E A E E F E A E D E A E E A A E. Boy, that’s a lot of E’s!)

What do you think of this idea? Does it sound like an interesting experiment that might result in some new ideas? Does it sound like the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard in your life?

Well, here’s the thing, regardless of whatever you might think about this idea. Did you try it?

And did you assume it was a good idea (or a bad idea) before you gave it a try?

This right here is the main problem that people have when they are faced with new ideas. Instead of trying them for themselves, they make an assumption and leave it at that.

While this particular idea might be a little bit ridiculous, the same principle applies to other, less silly ideas, and I recently got a response to one of my videos from a commenter who has this same problem: judging something before trying it.

So, check out the video below to see the new idea in question, and please, try it before you assume!

A less crazy idea is to learn all the notes on your guitar fretboard

Want some more practical tips on how to make more interesting melodies and solos? Check out this free eBook with 18 tips to make your pentatonic solos sound more professional.

Video Transcription

Hello internet; so nice to see you! A few weeks ago, I published a trick on how to create a melody in a brainy way. And then I got a couple of people commenting and I’m gonna show you their comment. But I’m not gonna read the whole thing and otherwise we’re gonna spend the whole video reading it, okay? Now, the jist of their point is that this system, it’s, well they call it a musical paranoia or musical schizophrenia, okay? And essentially, it’s not gonna work in practice.

First of all, the title of that video was a mental trick for brainiacs. Okay, a mental music theory for Brainiacs. So, I don’t know how it could have been clearer that this is not something normal. Okay. So, in a sense that there are people commenting that it’s musical schizophrenia, it’s quite a compliment. I mean, that’s exactly what I told you in the thumbnail of the video. Now you guys can go back, stop on the comment, read the whole thing. Those people are telling you that that trick doesn’t work. They didn’t even try. I know they didn’t even try because if they tried, they would see the trick actually works. Because the trick is, it’s very simple.

You take two melodies, okay? Possibly in the same key, and then you alternate their notes. Okay, so if the first melody has those notes, whatever those notes are, and the second melody has these notes, whatever those notes are, I’m just playing one note of the first melody and one note of the second melody, no more, no less. Okay. Like many things in music theory, this is completely anti-intuitive.

Okay, if, guys, if music theory was completely intuitive, we wouldn’t need music theory. No, it will be intuitive. You grab the instrument, get it done. We don’t need music theory for the obvious stuff. Okay. If we were born with this kind of knowledge, and we could understand that simply by intuition, we wouldn’t be here, and you guys wouldn’t be watching this video. Okay, you will be just making music and the music will flow from you naturally and effortlessly without any effort, any study any previous preparation.

That’s not the way it works. Okay. Music sometimes it’s not intuitive. This system here, when you say this way makes absolutely completely no sense. So why do I recommend it? Because I’ve tried. Okay, simple as that. I’ve tried it, it works. You can try it with any melody, it will mix the melody will create something with an intermediate feeling. Will it work perfectly for every pair of melodies? Well, no, there’s nothing that works for 100% of melodies. Okay. There is not a single trick in music theory, not a single procedure, not a single idea. Nothing in the whole corpus of music theory that works for literally everything. Okay, it doesn’t matter what it is, sequencing, inversion, whatever counterpoint harmony there is, sometimes those things don’t work for the feeling you want to express for the melodies or the musical material you have. It says that it’s a toolbox, guys, okay, this is a tool. It works for some melodies, not for others. But when it works, it works really well. And it works really often. I mean, for something that sounds so absurd, so brainy, so mental, it works more than it should work.

Okay. So that’s the thing. My recommendation to those two people is, why don’t you guys sit down and give it a couple of hours and try it? Just, I mean, I know it sounds completely out of this world. But to find the gold, sometimes, you need to try a number of absurd ideas, okay?. And ideas like negative harmony. Negative harmony makes no sense on paper, or very little. But when you try it, it works. Okay. I mean, even the idea of harmony itself, can you imagine 300 400 years ago, 500 years ago, when we were starting to sing more than one note at a time, when before for millennia, people were singing the same note all together? And now a certain point, somebody got the idea of witnessing two different notes. I am sure people will say like, this is musical schizophrenia. Because then we’re gonna put two different feelings together, it will not work. And then we’re doing all this kind of philosophizing, or this wasn’t working.

But today, harmony is the norm. And we forgot how far we came. We forgot how strange this thing is. We forgot how unnatural harmony is because now it sounds so natural. Everybody’s using it. We learn to sing in harmony, play in harmony, play chords, from the very beginning, but these things were not there before.

And this is the same. No more, no less Okay, why am I doing this video? Because I want to get revenge on a couple of commenters. I couldn’t care less. My point here is this sometimes, great ideas sound absolutely bonkers. Okay, sometimes the thing you need in your music, makes completely no sense. And sometimes we have some music to describe it. And sometimes we don’t have it. Okay? Whenever people tell you don’t try this, don’t believe them. Simple as that. Okay? Something sounds bonkers, right? Decide if you like it or not. Maybe you’ll like this. Maybe you don’t like this, maybe you’d like only some melodies on here. But it’s still a good idea to get new ideas to get new melodies, new things you can do. Even if it works only 10% of the time. And let me tell you, it works way more than that. But even if it works only one time, every time, 10% of the time, okay?

If this gives you a new good melody, isn’t it worth it? For me? It is. So that’s the point. Don’t be closed-minded. Don’t try to make sense of those things. Does it work to generate new ideas? Does it work to generate music? If so, it doesn’t have to make sense. Okay, simple as that. And again, I want to stress again that I titled that video, mental idea for Brainiacs. Okay, so it’s not normal music theory. It’s something for people with a specific mindset and a specific approach to music. If this is you, great! And if this is not you, great anyway, take what works for you and make some music and stop telling people that some stuff doesn’t work, especially when it works. And with that said, this is Tommaso Zillio of MusicTheoryForGuitar.com, and until next time, enjoy.

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