Monthly Archives: February 2013

Tentacle 7 (Big Mouth)


Tentacle 7 (Big Mouth)

Start with moody piano line whilst leaning on the sustain pedal, add a little bit of upbeat oddtime mush, stir in a happy hardcore ending and sprinkle with a tiny bit of MC’ing and what do you get? Tentacle 7 of course!  Inspired mainly by tapping on my desk when i’m meant to be working, the recent Fish Fight TV shows, and the great work of the Marine Conservation Society …….. Big Mouth…. No Voice…..

I’ve finally made better use of the v-drums and recorded multi-track parts to hopefully get a better mix, and i actually sort-of planned this one before recording, so i could actually just play the parts rather than trying to stitch ideas together.  There are loads of different sounds and tracks so its actually became quite a nightmare to keep track of it all and mix – I’ve actually had another go, and uploaded again on 3rd March with a few changes 🙂

This of course means the octology is drawing to a close so i’ll have to actually start thinking of a name for future projects!  Its been a mixed bag with 3, 5 and 7 being by far the most involved – I always have preferred odd numbers though!  So it only leaves Tentacle 8 ……. which will likely be a horrifically noisy metal track…..

(Credit to Bradley the Betta Splendins for posing for the photograph)


Here are a few more pieces I’ve been playing in my piano lessons.  Whilst I am actually learning/playing parts that are a bit more complex than this, one thing I’m finding challenging generally is getting them up to the standard needed to be able to record them with no mistakes.  I don’t expect everything to be perfect (you may have noticed!), but to record something I at least want to be able to get through it in one piece! 🙂

Practice, practice, practice I guess, but it seems some pieces i’ve had for ages which i can sort of play, but I can never seem to get through them entirely with some kind of mess up.  Perhaps once (if!) my skill level increases i’ll be able to go back to them and get through them easier.  Here’s the ones I can get through: –

Tarantella (P.Hall)

A type of Itallian folk dance in quick 6/8 time.  I need to get the speed up a bit, but its a good work out on the fingers, especially the second-half.

Country ballad (Unknown)

Can’t help thinking this sounds like the start of some American sitcom!

Scarborough Fair (Folk music standard)

Straight out of my first keyboard book, it was only a few lessons in so pretty challenging back then to play the arpeggios with left hand and melody with the right.  Still a challenge now i suppose!

A Tender Flower (F. Swinstead)

Not my favourite piece…. relaxed, but not particularly “exciting”.  We can’t love ’em all i suppose!

AND!!! Whilst I was all set up at Abbey Road I thought i may as well bang out a quick moody 2 chord blues solo.  No idea what scale it is, but it has a kind of darkness i like.  Probably because its a scale i’m playing wrong! 🙂

Moody Blues (under the power of Carlsberg)

All the above were recorded though an Art Tube MP Studio 3 valve pre-amp.  The valve is meant to “warm” up the sound.   I’ve done some side-by-side comparisions of line-level instruments and it certainly does seem to help (even if relatively subtle).  Particularly “synths” sound that bit less electronic..y.  Will be useful for recording the acoustic band with mics.