The MABNO deck

Loosely inspired by Eno’s Oblique Strategies deck and similar creative stimuli, the MABNO deck is a collection of abstract musical directions I have variously developed and collected from various sources over the years.  Currently a digital work in progress, the deck can be used to help overcome creative block, as a stimulus for rehearsal and improvisation or just to look at a project in a new way.

It is not the purpose of this deck to tell you what to do, but to provoke creative and critical thought.  Upon drawing a card it is up to you to think about the card’s meaning and relevance in relation to the project you are working on and then decide whether or not to act on the direction given.  Whatever your decision, the very act of deciding will affect how you proceed even if on a subconscious level.

The deck is separated into four suits of thirteen cards each, with seven additional ‘colour’ cards.  You can choose to draw only from the suits relevant to a particular role or shuffle the entire deck together (useful for self-producers and singer-songwriters).  The colour cards are deliberately abstract and can be used by anyone.

The four suits are:

Chops – Interpretative cues for singers and lead instrument players


Knobs – directions for studio production, mixing and remixing
Props – abstract cues for composers, arrangers and songwriters
Sticks – groove related cues for drummers, bassists, rhythm players and beat makers.

DRAW FROM FULL DECK (refresh page to draw again)






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