Steve: Eb. Mixolydian.
Me: I said a scale, not a mode. What is Mixolydian again - dominant 7th?
Steve: Yes. Go.
Me: (Plays scale, correctly)
Steve: Good. Now write a melody based on that scale.
Steve: Just do it, don't think about it.
Me: (Attempts to plunk out something resembling a melody, trying to use only the notes in that scale.)
Steve: Keep going. (Yanks open door, runs out of room, and retrieves staff paper) Now write it down.
Me: WTF??? I don't remember how to write longhand anymore, I always use Sibelius.
Steve: Just do it.
Me: (Slowly attempts to write out notes before I forget what I just played)
Steve: (Impatiently takes pencil from me and finishes transcribing)
Some time later...
Steve: OK. You just wrote a song.
Me: No I didn't, it was a collaboration.
Steve: I only wrote those two measures. I was the transcriber, you wrote it. Now take it home and add a melody line to it.
Me: (Big sigh) OK.
Steve: Now why did I have you do this?
Me: To improve my improvisation and composition skills? (Pause) To get me to stop whining and just do something?