Shark Bait – The Musical

Well well well, if it isn’t the random blog I established 5 years ago. Here I am again.

My co-teacher introduced me to the miracle that is Soundtrap a few months ago, and I’ve been having fun exploring music composition in that way. My hope is that, with my new position teaching 7th grade general music in a possibly remote or hybrid situation, my students can forge an outlet to explore loops, creating bass lines and beats, and so much more.

I wanted to create something with a jazzy feel, so in the loop library I clicked “Jazz,” and the loop “Marimba Cheesy Dance” caught my eye. It very much had a I-iv-V-type chord progression, which made finding a fitting bass line a challenge. I altered the notes of the “Montuno 2” loop to make sure it fit the chords. I added “Organ – Kingston 6” for texture in the beginning and throughout.

The “Bedroom Chill Lofi Guitar” loop added both some beachy guitar licks and a hollow-sounding drum beat. I used the Beat Generator to create and tweak contrasting drum patterns throughout.

Even though, in theory, I’d imagine some teachers advise starting with just drums or bass, or a foundation of one thing and adding more things later, I enjoy working in a more linear fashion. I say this because I added the SFX layers in the beginning, not sure of where they’d lead or how they’d come back. I think that’s part of the fun. I ended up reversing some of the SFX loops to create tension and release into new sections.

“Is this a legitimate form of musical creativity?” Of course it is. What is music for, anyway? Looking at these blocks of sound, it reminds me of looking at a score.

Loops are a great way to get students started with composition. The fact that the composer can alter notes in existing loops helps. Everything is customizable, but like jazz or anything else creative, working within a given limit (in this case, a pre-made loop) can produce amazing results.

Oh yeah, why’s it called Shark Bait? Well, whose life is worry free? Even a day at the beach isn’t free of possible danger.

Stay out of treble,

Stephanie

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