ArtistLion
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#1
From:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/guitar_gurus/jimmy_page_guitar_methods.html

'The intro really shows how Page likes to fingerpick arpeggios. The solo is based on the A Minor Pentatonic Scale. Sometimes he would add an F too, but if you look at the A Minor Pentatonic Scale you will see that if you change the E to an F you get the F Major Pentatonic Scale. Jimmy used a lot of pentatonic scales in his solos as you will see as we examine more of his solos.

Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven
Solo:
|----------5---------------|------------------8--8-|
|------------8-5-----------|-------------8b10------|
|---7b9----------7-5---7p5-|-----------------------|
|--------------------7-----|-7p5-------------------|
|--------------------------|----8------------------|
|--------------------------|-----------------------|

|--8b10---8--5 -----8--10-|-8-----------------------5-------|
|---------------8b10-------|---10-8----8h10------------8-5---|
|--------------------------|--------10-----------7b9-------7-|
|--------------------------|---------------------------------|
|--------------------------|---------------------------------|
|--------------------------|---------------------------------|

|----------------------------|----5------------------------|
|----------------------------|------8-5--------------------|
|-5---7p5------------5---5-5-|----------7-5--7p5-----------|
|---7-----7-5---5-7----7-----|-5------------7----7p5-7p5---|
|-------------7--------------|---------------------------8-|
|----------------------------|-----------------------------|

|---------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------13-|
|---------10-------------------12----12-14----|
|------10----12-10----10-12/14----14----------|
|-8/12-------------12-------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------|

|------------------------15b17-15-12----------------|
|--15b17-15-13--15-13-13-------------15b17-15-13----|
|------------------------------------------------14-|
|---------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|

|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-13-15b17b15p13----13-15b17b15p13----13---15b17b15p13----13--15b17b15p13----|
|----------------14----------------14------------------14-----------------14-|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-13-15b17b15p13----13--15b17b15p13----13--15b17b15p13----13--15b17b15p13----|
|----------------14-----------------14-----------------14-----------------14-|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|------------------------------------------15b17--|
|-13--15b17b15p13----13---15b17b15p13----13-------|
|-----------------14------------------14----------|
|-------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------|

|-b17b15-12---12--------------------------------15--|
|-----------15---15--13----13-15-13---13--15b17-----|
|-----------------------14----------14--------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|

-----------------------------|-----------17----------------------------------|
-15b17b15p13----13/12--13/10-|--------20----20-20----------------------------|
-------------14--------------|--19b21-21----------19b21b19p17---19--17----19-|
-----------------------------|--------------------------------19-------19----|
-----------------------------|-----------------------------------------------|
-----------------------------|-----------------------------------------------|

|--------------------|--------------------------------|--------------|
|--------------------|--------------------------------|--------------|
|-19b21--13/12 13/10-|--14b17--14b17-14--12--14--12-12b14------------|
|--------------------|--------------------------------|--------------|
|--------------------|--------------------------------|--------------|
|--------------------|--------------------------------|--------------|

|-----------------------------------|----------8/7--8/5--|
|-----------------------------------|--------------------|
|-10b14----10b12b10-9-7----7--------|-7-9-7--------------|
|-----------------------10----10----|-------10-7---------|
|-----------------------------------|--------------------|
|-----------------------------------|--------------------|

|----20-p17------20-p17------20-p17------20-p17------20-p17-----20b22-|
|-17--------17----------17----------17----------17----------17--------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------| '
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

Why does it say that the solo is based on the A minor pentatonic scale? First of all the starting note is a D in 3rd position. Wouldn't it be better to say that it's based on 3rd position D minor/major pentatonic which flows over other pentatonic scales?
Xiaoxi
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#2
The simple answer is that melodies are not based on scales. They're based on a myriad of other things, but not scales.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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rockingamer2
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#3
Quote by ArtistLion

Why does it say that the solo is based on the A minor pentatonic scale? First of all the starting note is a D in 3rd position. Wouldn't it be better to say that it's based on 3rd position D minor/major pentatonic which flows over other pentatonic scales?

The key of the song is A minor. The scale that he's using is the Am pentatonic scale (though he isn't confined to it, because scales aren't the end-all-be-all of solos or melodies).

What note he starts on doesn't mean anything. He just decided to start on D. Fur Elise is the key of A minor but its first note is an E.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


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Last edited by rockingamer2 at Dec 11, 2012,
J-Dawg158
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#4
The backing harmony makes it Am.
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HotspurJr
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#5
The trick to figuring this out is to stop thinking of a scale as a collection of interchangeable safe notes, but rather to hear it as a series of notes which all have their own individual relationship to the tonic.

You don't hear notes in a void. You hear them in a context. And the context of this solo tells us that we're minor, AND that "A" is the home note.

Listen for the resolution. The resolution is NOT on F. It's on A. It sounds minor. Therefore it's Am, not F major or any other scale that contains those notes.
griffRG7321
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#6
Most melodies are based on consonant chord tones and dissonant decorative tones, not scales.
MaggaraMarine
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#7
Quote by ArtistLion
From:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/guitar_gurus/jimmy_page_guitar_methods.html

'The intro really shows how Page likes to fingerpick arpeggios. The solo is based on the A Minor Pentatonic Scale. Sometimes he would add an F too, but if you look at the A Minor Pentatonic Scale you will see that if you change the E to an F you get the F Major Pentatonic Scale. Jimmy used a lot of pentatonic scales in his solos as you will see as we examine more of his solos.

Why does it say that the solo is based on the A minor pentatonic scale? First of all the starting note is a D in 3rd position. Wouldn't it be better to say that it's based on 3rd position D minor/major pentatonic which flows over other pentatonic scales?

The F note belongs to A minor scale. A minor pentatonic is five notes of A minor scale.

A B C D E F G (Bold notes are Am pentatonic.)

And the scale is all over the neck, it doesn't matter in which position you play. You are just playing the five or six or seven notes in different octaves in different parts of the fretboard. There are only five notes in Am pentatonic scale and seven notes in A minor scale.

And yeah, the solo is mostly played using notes in A minor pentatonic. But this all really depends on the chord progression, not the notes you use. You don't play F major pentatonic scale when you are in the key of Am, you are just playing A minor scale (all the notes in F major pentatonic can be found in A minor scale). You must see the whole picture (what every instrument is playing) not just the guitar solo and what scale is used (the scale doesn't even matter). The mistake that many guitarists make is just to think what scale somebody's playing when there are more things in soloing than just scales: rhythm, melody, background rhythm and chords. Yes, you "use" scales to build those melodies and every melody belongs to a scale. And scales are good "tools" to find the sound you are looking for. But they aren't everything about soloing (and you can find the same notes by using chord tones and consonance and dissonance).
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 12, 2012,
ArtistLion
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#8
Wow this theory about consonant and dissonant tones is pretty interesting. Do you guys know if it's possible for 2 dissonant chords (like 1 chord for guitar, and 1 for bass) to become consonant if they are combined?
The Madcap
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#9
Quote by ArtistLion
Wow this theory about consonant and dissonant tones is pretty interesting. Do you guys know if it's possible for 2 dissonant chords (like 1 chord for guitar, and 1 for bass) to become consonant if they are combined?
No, dissonance is an unstable tone combination (such as playing the notes C and Db harmonically). If you're putting two dissonant chords together, you're just adding more instability. Consonance is basically tone combinations involving perfect 4ths and 5ths (such as C and G), unisons and octaves, major 3rds and 6ths (such as C and E (3rd), or inverted E and C (6th)), or minor 3rds and 6ths (such as A and C (3rd), or the inverted C and A to make a 6th).

Example of a consonant chord would be simply your major and minor chords. Power chords are also consonant. If you play it and listen, it just sounds stable by itself. Perfect 4ths (such as E and A) are viewed as dissonant in certain contexts in classical music, but nobody cares about Mozart.

An example of a dissonant chord would be something like a half-diminished chord (my favorite kind of chord), which I'll draw out for you here:

|--
|-3
|-2
|-3
|-2
|--

Spelled out, this would be B, F, A and D. It doesn't really sound stable like a major chord. It'd be more difficult to resolve a song with a chord like that.
Last edited by The Madcap at Dec 12, 2012,
AlanHB
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#10
Quote by rockingamer2
The key of the song is A minor. The scale that he's using is the Am pentatonic scale (though he isn't confined to it, because scales aren't the end-all-be-all of solos or melodies).

What note he starts on doesn't mean anything. He just decided to start on D. Fur Elise is the key of A minor but its first note is an E.


+1

It resolves to A minor, that is how the notes will be heard.

For another example the lullaby song if played in C, starts on E. That does not make it phrygian or Spanish sounding, it just starts on E.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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macashmack
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#11
Xiaoxi had this in his sig. He might still, and ill overlook the fact that he called me a ****ing Moron for trolling (Even though i deserved it).

Modes and scales are dumb and useless. Stop learning them. Seriously.

But learn your modes
Xiaoxi
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#12
Quote by macashmack
Xiaoxi had this in his sig. He might still
wat

can you not see sigs or something?

and ill overlook the fact that he called me a ****ing Moron for trolling (Even though i deserved it).
I was trollin 2

...modes and scales are still useless.


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macashmack
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#13
Quote by Xiaoxi
wat

can you not see sigs or something?


I was too lazy to check and see if you still had it and too stupid to remember if you did

Quote by Xiaoxi
I was trollin 2


chronowarp
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#14
Yes,
I'm sure that every successful composer in history has never thought about scales when composing music, or when writing melody. Certainly, they didn't spend countless hours learning major scales in both hands, over two octaves on piano just so that they could never use those scales in any real musical context.
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#16
Quote by chronowarp
Yes,
I'm sure that every successful composer in history has never thought about scales when composing music, or when writing melody. Certainly, they didn't spend countless hours learning major scales in both hands, over two octaves on piano just so that they could never use those scales in any real musical context.

When you compose, you don't think in scales (OK, some people do when they noodle around on their guitar). You might use them to find the notes you hear in your head. Composing should happen in your head, not on the fingerboard or keyboard or whatever. So scales are useful if you want to find the notes fast. You might notice that "this melody follows the notes in this scale." Also you can play those cool pentatonic sequences.

Though I'm not sure if you were sarcastic.
Quote by AlanHB
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chronowarp
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#17
Quote by MaggaraMarine
When you compose, you don't think in scales (OK, some people do when they noodle around on their guitar). You might use them to find the notes you hear in your head. Composing should happen in your head, not on the fingerboard or keyboard or whatever. So scales are useful if you want to find the notes fast. You might notice that "this melody follows the notes in this scale." Also you can play those cool pentatonic sequences.

Though I'm not sure if you were sarcastic.

Hey, thanks for telling me what you DON'T and DO do when you compose.
Do you have any books on the subject, or a breadth of musical works that I could refer to as a reference? If you're prescribing the rules by which one is allowed to compose, I'm sure you're an authority on the matter.

Thanks.
Xiaoxi
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#18
Quote by chronowarp
Yes,
I'm sure that every successful composer in history has never thought about scales when composing music, or when writing melody. Certainly, they didn't spend countless hours learning major scales in both hands, over two octaves on piano just so that they could never use those scales in any real musical context.

Well, that's the thing though. It really is just the major scale. And it's really for physical exercise. It's not that scales aren't used, it's that it is such an elementary aspect of music that doesn't really need to be given the disproportionate amount of weight that novices on this forum tend to give. For those professional composers, they have no need to think about scales, not because they've practiced it so much that it is second nature, but because it is so inherently simple and basic in concept. Yes, I say this even when considering more modern music such as Debussy. A literary writer does not write a novel by slaving over every single letter. They are concerned with wording and prose, among other things. Same applies for music composition.

The issue isn't scales/modes. The issue is that novices grossly overestimate the role and complexity of this concept.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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rockingamer2
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#19
Think of scales of stepping stones on a path: helpful and you're sure to at least get a decent footing. But those stepping stones become a limitation (though often very helpful), when you want to really explore.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


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chronowarp
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#20
Quote by Xiaoxi
Well, that's the thing though. It really is just the major scale. And it's really for physical exercise. It's not that scales aren't used, it's that it is such an elementary aspect of music that doesn't really need to be given the disproportionate amount of weight that novices on this forum tend to give. For those professional composers, they have no need to think about scales, not because they've practiced it so much that it is second nature, but because it is so inherently simple and basic in concept. Yes, I say this even when considering more modern music such as Debussy. A literary writer does not write a novel by slaving over every single letter. They are concerned with wording and prose, among other things. Same applies for music composition.

The issue isn't scales/modes. The issue is that novices grossly overestimate the role and complexity of this concept.

Hit the nail on the head!
Xiaoxi
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#21
Quote by chronowarp
Hit the nail on the head!

...but I'm basically asserting that composers do NOT think about scales, in the same way that we don't think about the alphabet.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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chronowarp
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#22
Quote by Xiaoxi
...but I'm basically asserting that composers do NOT think about scales, in the same way that we don't think about the alphabet.

We're in agreement here.

My issue is that it has become a trend on this forum to pretend that scales are useless and that modes don't exist. I understand some have adopted these highly fringe positions as a reaction to the inordinate amount of time that is wasted discussing basic, building block principles ad-infinitum. However, it's nice to see someone (you) demonstrate that you realize and understand the purpose these concepts serve, but at the same time realize that far too much time is spent fixating on them.

Go re-read your post and meditate on how much MORE HELPFUL it is than "scales and modes are useless and don't exist".
Xiaoxi
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#23
Quote by chronowarp

Go re-read your post and meditate on how much MORE HELPFUL it is than "scales and modes are useless and don't exist".

*looks at my sig*


looooooooooooooooool

...modes and scales are still useless.


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ArtistLion
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#25
So when playing a scale I should view it as a mere physical exercise that lets me identify/find notes on the fretboard. What have I been playing scales FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!!! (cookies for the one getting the reference).
Another interesting question popped in my mind. If 1 consonant chord/tone and 1 dissonant/tone are played at the same time(for ex. 1 guitar chord and 1 bass chord), will they combine into a consonant? If not, can they reach consonance by modulation or transposition?
As for scales, when may I stop learning them? I'm currently learning the A minor pentatonic (all positions), G major pentatonic (all positions) and C major (all positions). I can play the Am and G on a current max. of 125 bpm. The C major sounded a bit sloppy on that speed, I estamate my playing speed of that scale would be like 115-120ish bpm.
I'm seriously thinking about replacing scale practice for licks or riffs >_>. I use 15 minutes on them O_O.
rockingamer2
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#26
Try going up and down scales by intervals other than 2nds.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
MaggaraMarine
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#27
Quote by chronowarp
Hey, thanks for telling me what you DON'T and DO do when you compose.
Do you have any books on the subject, or a breadth of musical works that I could refer to as a reference? If you're prescribing the rules by which one is allowed to compose, I'm sure you're an authority on the matter.

Thanks.

I'm pretty sure the composers have an idea in their head when they compose and don't just randomly play scales up and down. That was my point. You can compose however you want but if you let your fingers do the composing, you'll end up playing the licks your fingers remember. And you'll end up sounding the same all the time. Usually composers have a good ear and they can compose without having an instrument near them. I wasn't trying to say it's the only way to compose and there are some rules. No, there are not. You misunderstood my post. Sorry if I was unclear.

And I didn't even say scales are useless. They are a good tool if you want to find the notes you are looking for. If you have a melody in your head, it usually belongs to a scale and if you know the scale, finding the notes is easier. But usually the only thing every guitarist thinks is "what scale does this solo use." They don't think about the chord progression or the key they are playing in, just the scale. They don't see the big picture of the song, they only see the guitar solo part and what scale it uses. The question shouldn't be what scale, it should be how to use the scale. You can make a major scale sound good and you can make some epic mode sound bad. It's about how you use it, not what scale you are using. Many guitarists think that you will sound like Jimi Hendrix if you use same scales as Jimi Hendrix.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 14, 2012,
macashmack
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#28
Quote by ArtistLion
So when playing a scale I should view it as a mere physical exercise that lets me identify/find notes on the fretboard. What have I been playing scales FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!!! (cookies for the one getting the reference).
Another interesting question popped in my mind. If 1 consonant chord/tone and 1 dissonant/tone are played at the same time(for ex. 1 guitar chord and 1 bass chord), will they combine into a consonant? If not, can they reach consonance by modulation or transposition?
As for scales, when may I stop learning them? I'm currently learning the A minor pentatonic (all positions), G major pentatonic (all positions) and C major (all positions). I can play the Am and G on a current max. of 125 bpm. The C major sounded a bit sloppy on that speed, I estamate my playing speed of that scale would be like 115-120ish bpm.
I'm seriously thinking about replacing scale practice for licks or riffs >_>. I use 15 minutes on them O_O.


Wat.
That doesn't make any sense
fearofthemark
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#29
Quote by ArtistLion
So when playing a scale I should view it as a mere physical exercise that lets me identify/find notes on the fretboard. What have I been playing scales FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!!! (cookies for the one getting the reference).
Another interesting question popped in my mind. If 1 consonant chord/tone and 1 dissonant/tone are played at the same time(for ex. 1 guitar chord and 1 bass chord), will they combine into a consonant? If not, can they reach consonance by modulation or transposition?
As for scales, when may I stop learning them? I'm currently learning the A minor pentatonic (all positions), G major pentatonic (all positions) and C major (all positions). I can play the Am and G on a current max. of 125 bpm. The C major sounded a bit sloppy on that speed, I estamate my playing speed of that scale would be like 115-120ish bpm.
I'm seriously thinking about replacing scale practice for licks or riffs >_>. I use 15 minutes on them O_O.


Dude. The pentatonic scale is the same in every key. there are five shapes that fit together and can be moved around wherever you want. Stop learning them when you know them. Then play them.
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macashmack
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#30
Quote by fearofthemark
Dude. The pentatonic scale is the same in every key. there are five shapes that fit together and can be moved around wherever you want. Stop learning them when you know them. Then play them.


The scale is not the same in every key. The shape is.
mdc
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#31
Quote by ArtistLion
As for scales, when may I stop learning them? I'm currently learning the A minor pentatonic (all positions), G major pentatonic (all positions) and C major (all positions).

You're wasting your time. It's advisable to learn diatonic chord progressions in a major key, and standard blues form.

The next issue is whether you understand the word "diatonic" or not. Cuz otherwise what I wrote above is utter pointless, and thus a waste of MY time, also. Albeit 30 secs worth.
Last edited by mdc at Dec 14, 2012,
fearofthemark
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#32
Quote by macashmack
The scale is not the same in every key. The shape is.




thanks for not being pedantic. You know what I meant.
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macashmack
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#33
Quote by fearofthemark


thanks for not being pedantic. You know what I meant.


You're welcome
Hail
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#34
what ever happened to, y'know, just writing what sounded good

that ability comes from intuition, which in turn comes from an understanding of the machinations of whatever music you're inspired and challenged by

but i don't think of notes or intervals when i play, i just go by sound and feel and experiment. maybe i'm too liberal for this crowd, i mean, how in the world would i go about improvising a solo over a series of rapid-change jazz chords while somebody held a gun to my head and the song was written 10 years in the future and brought back in time just for that context so it was impossible for me to think about it before seeing it?

i guess i just can't fly in the real world, but hey, it's just my hobby i guess
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