after a few lazy bbqs and some luscious summer weather, i came to thinking that it was time to chill out and slow down. i had no intention of charging along at 140 bpm for the whole album, so now was the time to dust off my rhodes (plug-in) and go in search of some down tempo funk.
i was certainly in the mood for something soulful, but i can’t just pluck the notes out of the air and drop them into a tune. so with autumn rain now threatening outside, i buried my head in a bit of theory …
first, i constructed a blues scale from E, by using what i understand to be a minor pentatonic plus an extra sharpened 4th (but don’t quote me on that). this seemed to give me the right intervals, so i shuffled a groove out of it with a couple of bass synths and a tight, dry acoustic drum set. i got this freewheeling along at 100 bpm, and set off to find some jazzy chords.
i took a barebones rhodes sound, and tinkered with some chords in my scale. it gets cool here, because you basically have this 6-note scale and whatever combination of notes you play sounds lush. i got some sweetness by sprinkling some 7ths and 9ths on the off beat.
i stuck all this together with some simple but sizzly electro drums, and looped it for a bit to get the feel.
i’m certainly no funk soul maestro, but it was fun to explore why blues sounds so cool. this will probably form the basis for the next demo on the stream …