Darth Vader’s Guitar Solo 🎸 🔥 (Flat.io)

This is a piece in the Phrygian mode I wrote using flat.io! Flat.io is cloud-based music notation software that makes realtime online collaboration between multiple users possible. It is awesome for both composition and teaching.

I’ve used Flat for several years, and what really stands out about it is how beginner-friendly it is. It’s very easy to compose musical melodies in the Western sense. When inputting notes onto a staff, I often suggest first constructing the rhythm of a phrase by selecting a quarter rest and choosing to subdivide it, or making it the beginning of a longer value (ie. half or whole rest). Then, clicking a vertical position on the staff while one of the rests are selected will add a pitched note that is auto-aligned to the key signature.

This grid-based system for inputting notes is very nostalgic to me. When I first began to play guitar many years ago, I exclusively used a program called TabIt to compose. It was also grid-based, which made inputting/removing notes extremely easy, and multiple instrument parts were visible to the user simultaneously. In my opinion, being able to see the exact notes of multiple instrument parts is crucial for learning harmony and composition! In fact, I think many modern DAWs make it difficult for new musicians to develop their harmony and arrangement skills, because users often must select or double-click MIDI regions in order to see their actual notes.

Anyway, I’m happy with how this piece turned out for several reasons:

  • I’m all about this Star Wars sample instrument they included. I used the X-Wing/Tie fighter fly-by sound effects to add excitement to transitions. I’m also very proud that I used blaster sounds in place of what’s usually a sample of a crowd chanting “hey” on the off beats in many Hip-Hop beats.
  • The guitar solo needed vibrato, which isn’t possible in Flat currently. I ended up using the gliss effect and extremely fast 64th notes to replicate this – sorry not sorry 🤣.
  • The guitar solo follows the general structure of the John Williams “Imperial March” melody. In other words, the first note of each 4-bar phrase of the solo aligns with the first note of those found in the Imperial March. Also, I sneakily quoted the theme in the harmonies after the guitar solo.
  • Picardy third.

Let me know in the comments what I could have added or improved, and give Flat a try!