Marc Sabatella

Live events are back!

published27 days ago
2 min read

Happy new year! And a special welcome to all the new people who have come on board in the past few weeks since MuseScore 4 was released. I look forward to getting to know you in the community.

Another thing I'm looking forward to is getting back into my regular weekly live events. Every Tuesday, I hold office hours for Gold level members. In addition, the MuseScore Café is on Wednesdays, and the Music Master Class on Thursdays, and in this newsletter I always let you know what we're covering - just see below.

I've been steadily adding content to my flagship course, Mastering MuseScore 4. I haven't ended the early bird special pricing, so you've got a few days left if you want to take advantage of that offer (it is applied automatically when you enroll via the link above). I am also planning some new resources I'll be telling you about soon!

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, we continue our first-Wednesday "ask me anything" series. Come with your questions, and I'll do my best to answer!

The MuseScore Café is live on Wednesday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT, or 17:30 during the winter months), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

Tip of the Week

MuseScore 4 adds a nice new capability when it comes to instruments and staves: you can now hide individual staves of an instrument. So, if you have a bass part in a jazz chart where you have notated mostly just slashes and chord symbols, you can add a second staff to the instrument, write out a full bass line for playback purposes, then hide that staff using the eye icon on the Instruments panel.

Previous versions required you to add a separate instrument, which worked but was unnecessarily awkward in a number of ways. On the flip side, though, if you do add a separate instrument and hide it, in MuseScore 4, this also mutes it. This is part of the new more flexible parts system, where you can easily add or remove any instrument in any part at any time.

So, if you want to hide something but still hear it, hide the staff. If you want to hide and silence it, hide the full instrument.

Music Master Class

This week in the Music Master Class with Marc Sabatella, we'll look at some string music posted recently by Joel J Seda Orona and Jim Ivy.

The Music Master Class is live on Thursday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT, or 17:30 during the winter months), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

In Theory

Since I just used an example of a bass line above, I thought I would give a simple recipe for creating walking lines in jazz. Disclaimer: this is not going to win any awards for creativity, but it's useful for giving some sense of what an arrangement will sound like.

  1. Play the root on each chord change
  2. If a chord lasts for more than one measure, play a chord tone on beat one of each measure
  3. Approach each chord change by step
  4. Fill in the intervening beats by step where possible, using chromatic passing tones into chord tones as needed
  5. Occasional arpeggios are fine for variety

Here is a sample bass line demonstrating each of those principles: