Music and Songwriting/Bryan Wang

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Bad mood days are a serious problem. Making some of the self-management projects about this would be useful.

General Notes[edit | edit source]

Treating assignments for all projects on an ongoing basis, managing the work time.

Only assign work that

  1. Provides value to other humans
  2. Is integrated into a prioritized, clearly defined end goal
  3. Has a clear feedback mechanism
  4. The subject understands and accepts the conditions of

Principles - doing work that provides value and pertains directly to personal goals

Each section has

  • Notes on past work
  • Short, long and mid-term goals
  • Current Assignments

Mixing/Songwriting[edit | edit source]

Goals[edit | edit source]


  1. Develop professional level mixing and songwriting skills - get the twin to head bob
  2. Pass the JMS Hand test
  3. Destroy Berklee - Berklee is destroyed


  1. Aim to perfect one song per month on "Asterisk Demos" album
  2. Complete a digital mixing course and apply concepts to new songs
  3. Recruit another person to the Man/Machine Wiki
  4. Write a song that does something
  5. Invent the DAWbstacle course


  • Buy Logic

Notes[edit | edit source]

Man/Machine Link

How to define a pro level mix? No major errors like compression artifacts,

Discussion of Songwriting as a mood enhancer

The Question Box[edit | edit source]

Long term - creating enough value-providing jobs for musicians to create creative balance within a society

Mid-term goals - Developing a lo-fi format

Short-Term - Review The Videos Matt Made

Notes[edit | edit source]

composing stems for new subjects

Bryan notes answers, talking,

relation to mike, impactful statements, snippets, story,

psychedelic colors, this is who mike is, what I want people to take away,

Structuring, sorting ideas under each heading

QBox link

Self-Management Skills[edit | edit source]

Goals[edit | edit source]

LT - Develop largely stable, positive mood state, Develop the belief that you are the one making decisions about one's direction in life and you have the ability to self-direct if necessary

MT - Test the idea that building small habits can measurably improve mood in the long term.

ST - Keep pushing time log numbers, examine mood-stabilizing habits

Notes[edit | edit source]


We're going to aim to use gamification principles to improve mood. Many of the mood fluctuations you've described in relation to your life events conform to predictions made by positive psychology models. Therefore, I think it's a logical consequence that we should attempt an approach proposed by this model to send you on 'happiness quests.' It sounds corny as hell, and it is. I still think it's going to work.

The hypothesis that I'm proposing is that one can and should set benchmarks for how one spends one's time in a relatively static environment. Life is full of surprises and fluctuations, and habits are a stabilizing force for one's sanity. Ideally, one can use habits to become more efficient when an environment is stable, but also adapt and be flexible when change comes up. One way to develop this capacity is to first study oneself when life is lived by a strict routine. This helps one to understand one's own psychological metabolism and make improvements to one's own understanding of one's own needs by creating conditions for scientifically studying one's own consciousness and systematically improving the system. When one reaches a plateau in improving a particular area of ability but a higher level of performance is desired, we will likely set up an 'extreme learning challenge.' This is a plateau-breaking technique to get past psychological resistance to growth in a way that is fun. It also creates a mental state in which learning is faster and more efficient than in a normal environment so progress is made extremely rapidly in a target area.

/20 things musicians can do to make money

/100 things I'm good at list

/Time Log - 20 hours per week, personal core practice


I'm concerned about the apparent consistent low mood. I am concerned that A) Bryan is not particularly motivated to change his mood B) we're not fully aware of the causes or actions necessary to resolve the issue. C)

The Ed Equation[edit | edit source]

Goals[edit | edit source]

LT - enter the pantheon of earnestness

The idea is based on an interview with Ed Sheeran where he said he tried to double James Morrison's yearly show count as a threshold for what he needed to do to 'break through.' If we were to follow the same equation based on what Ed had done, we would conclude one needs to aim to play 600 'shows' a year. Now Ed Sheeran counted open mics and smaller events that he did, but if you ratchet up the stakes in all categories, we could look at professional shows Ed has done where he plays 90 minutes, 12-15 songs. One other factor that gets no consideration in the original interview is the impact of each show. The hypothesis we are working with is that if one can...

perform 600 shows of at least 90 minutes with an emphasis on audiences that we can get the most profound interactions with.

ST - Conflate Jon and Bryan's records, get in a google doc and post here:

Elevator Etudes[edit | edit source]

Goals[edit | edit source]

Long-Term - Develop a system of thought that unifies performance, composition and technique practice to increase the overall benefit of each one.

Mid-Term - Work through the triad-chord scale series for diatonic scales and apply it to compose hooks and improvisations that support the Ed Equation and the Swift Delivery projects

Short-Term - learn the 1st inversion 1-2-3 chord scale for G major and apply it in busking.

Notes[edit | edit source]

Practicing structure and how to score a performance?

more riffs are better than fewer, but one good riff is better than a lot of garbage.

The value of a riff is its effect on a person. If a person remembers it, if it creates a positive mental state, if it becomes part of a culture, it is effective.

Points are scored by

  • Getting people's attention when performing
  • Learning new exercises and playing them with more advanced complexifications
  • Creating new ideas and spreading them

The essential process follows the structure of a Hindustani traditional performance, with a series of planned improvisations that are meant to give shape to an improvised performance and also simplify/gamify the thought process for the performer.

In essence, there are two main sections; an introductory improvisation and a composition. The intro sections are called Alap-Jor-Jhala, and the composition can have a number of different structures or expansions depending on the type of music you wish to do.

Alap - slow adjustment of the mind, finding the map. Trace the chord scale in a slow, ambient sound environment, have a melodic player improvise over that space and try to match any false notes. If there are any mistakes, try to work them in purposefully. The mood to project is a mysterious one, going for a sense of wonder.

Then you're going to take it through a series of controlled explorations. You need to have a very specific, premeditated exploration. (is it better to limit the # of phrases, or just race to see who finds the hook the fastest? Beating personal best?).

When you lock onto a good idea, and preferably a very simple idea, repeat it and play with it until you have it stuck in your head.

Comping Hook - Start by looking for a set of notes you want to work with. Once you have two riffs you are fond of, memorize some form of them and move on

choose a strum or fingerpicking arpeggio or another accompaniment texture and explore it systematically.

Let mistakes affect the idea.

Once you have the idea boiled in a free pulse, start to condense it into a set of cycles.

Once the cycles are set, structure them in the song and play them under the lyrics.

Melodic Hook - Take the idea of a triad and following it with a scale to build a melody


Ambient Mapping

Controlled Experiment, Add pulse - memorize hook

Set Hook into a cycle, improvise upon

Play the song

Anuja Kamat's development part 1

Anuja Kamat's developments part 2

Developing a code for scoring a performance

The Odyssey[edit | edit source]

LT - Eliminate boredom

MT - Come up with a meaningful goal?

ST - ?

an exploration of styles and genres with the intent of broadening one's horizons. I thought to do this because of the broad exposure to music I got in college that one may miss out on in the working world.

Samples I would have used-

Isorhythmic motet - Guillaume de Machaut

Hindustani Improvisation - Ravi Shankar

Radiohead – Kid A

Ani Difranco – Serpentine

Giacinto Scelsi Quartets

Freeestyle rap battle - Cassidy versus Dizaster

Atonal Music - Berg Violin Concerto

Tuvan Throat Singing - Huun Huur Tu

Song Hooks[edit | edit source]

Questions:[edit | edit source]

How to write a good hook reliably at improvisational speed for any style you are working in?

How many kinds of hooks are there? What’s a sensible way to classify hooks?

How can you differentiate writing from inspiration and writing through a process? How do the techniques of those approaches differ? Can/should one blend the two?

Goal;[edit | edit source]

Be able to reliably produce successful song hooks

Hook Theory[edit | edit source]


There are a lot of different kinds of hooks

Understanding the objective and subjective parameters of a hook not totally clear

need a method to reliably and rapidly produce hooks


Define the hook – the lyrical line or melodic phrase that catches the ear of the listener

song that’s all hook?

Pre-improvisational process for developing hooks?

secondary hook

rhythm hook, fill hook

you can call me al

hooks express themselves many ways

displcament hook?

Soak myself in hooks

the sound of it

The tempos of the catchiest hooks

repitition – tempo

Audience tendencies and tone color?

What is it that makes inspiration

comping hook

who is researching hooks?

Given the geometry of the attention, how  

Customer Development[edit | edit source]

(The Ed Equation, JMS Channel Reach, Digital Channel?)


Ask YouTube listeners for Bryan

Social Skills[edit | edit source]

I argue that specifically cultivating social skills will increase your social connectivity.

Philosophical reading, diving in shallow

Meditation[edit | edit source]

There are known benefits to spiritual practices, and they can be studied from many perspectives but there is significant consensus that spiritual practices improve well-being.

The American Dream[edit | edit source]

This would be an attempt to quantify and gamify the career development process.

Gains earned x marginal happiness

Unfiled Notes[edit | edit source]

Short-Term Projects[edit | edit source]

I'd like to issue a challenge

QNA, Lessons editing.

Prudence's idea of having kids when you give up your own dreams

Measuring happy conversations