The Story Of An Unlikely Dream
To Become A Musician
The Story Of An Unlikely Dream
To Become A Musician
I still have a long way to go but for a first weeks progress I'm happy and I love this new song. I'm still very confined to my "position" when I play but again it's improving and I'm still following my ear with regards to cooky chord progressions but that makes it fun.
I was really stuck how to add more in terms of bass, guitar or extra drums. Then I picked up my guitar and this recording was something like the second or third take, it just happened and I love it. The guitar brings out the piano and the other way too and the simple drums then really sound cool. At least I think so.
The ideas are coming faster and most are easier to put together but I still find it hard when one is done and I'm staring at the chasm that is the lull between one idea and the next.
I still want to do a couple of songs that move away a little from my melodic playing but that will come in time. I've got the ideas and the 'formula' will eventually make its way into my brain.
It's a new week and I'm excited to see where this one leads.
I've done my second cover song and this one has special meaning. When I met my hubby music was a big part of what made us tick and the band we both loved most was Depeche Mode. We've seen them at least 10 times, we own every album, box set you name it!
So to do a cover of Personal Jesus was a labour of love - and it was a labour, it was very hard. More than 20hrs work in total went into it but I'm so so happy with the results.
Then comes the crash! But luckily a few new ideas have already popped into my head and hands. During my lesson with Tom he said I had to start work on my left hand on piano and get it working well. It's hard and it's going to take me ages but it has to be done and I'll be grateful when it is. While practicing today a new quick song idea came out so I'm going to try and get that put together for tomorrow. It's nice, a bit jazzy but I think it will be good.
I'm also going to try and do Little Green Bag. You may remember (if you've been reading that long!) way back when I started this blog that it was the song that made me pick up the bass. I love bass so much now even I'm surprised that at one time it held zero appeal to me! This was the song that made me try and I'm now going to try and learn it to speed and clean. I'm getting there, there's a couple of tricky bits but I'm getting it. I'm not sure if it'll be a cover of just bass. Cover songs are huge effort and gain me no more reward than any other post. I will still do them after all the point of Instagram for me is to push myself and these do but I need to pick carefully.
It was lesson day today *yahoo* and we started learning the Blues. As you know Blues & Funk are the two genres I most want to play closely followed by Rock & Folk(ish).
It's simple - (well it's not but you get the gist) - stuff to start but I still need to put that metronome on and play play play. I'm excited though because this will open up another set of ideas I can tap into. And you know me, give me one idea and I'll explore it a hundred ways.
He also gave me another tip for writing rock songs. I really want to put together a rock song or two to my Instagram account to mix up the melodic stuff. It involves some of the stuff I'm already working on which is cool because I can use it in multiple areas of my writing. I put together another song today too, this one was about the guitar & piano playing off of each other and finding a kind of harmony. I didn't nail the brief but it's much better than any previous attempt so again it's a step forward.
I'm getting so excited at the areas that are beginning to open up to me. The future is full of possibility and wonder and I can't wait.
ive done covers but only on one instrument but this time I did one for all of them. What I'm super proud of is that I learnt the guitar (relearnt I actually learnt it a year ago but never got it up to speed) in an hour. I also had to figure out the drums, bass and piano riff myself as there were no tabs for them. So that is two giant steps in one day.
It's simple (except the guitar which is not!) but none the less it sounds like their song and that's so so good for me.
The other thing I wanted to talk about is accountability. With the support I'm getting on Instagram I feel the push to make sure I get better, think more creatively and make sure my content is quality. That's a healthy thing because I think anyone posting for others on social media should care about their audience. Not about what will get them to watch but whether it holds genuine value.
That's an incredible motivator and I'm really feeling it. I'm honoured to be in this position so I'll take pride in doing what I can. We're not talking hundreds just a few but even one is enough because that person much like you guys is taking time out of their day to pay attention to me.
Not to mention the encouragement and support I've got for what I'm doing. All in all I'm humbled & honoured and incredibly touched. Nobody outside my closest has ever cared like that for me before.
I actually had my first instance of writing a song today that was very similar to one I've already done. It was remarkably better and yes it was different but it was too close for what I wanted so I changed it up. Technically I wrote two songs in one day haha but I'll count it as one. The piano is impro and what I tried to do was mix up the rhythm a bit more than usual, to phrase I guess a bit more and most of it I quite like. I can certainly feel what I was going for even if it's not all the way there.
The drums was about nailing the timing, getting nice clean kicks and hitting the rim on the snare and then there is that triplet on the snare at the end of every forth bar. That actually took a bit of practice to get really nice and clean and even so I'm proud of that. The bass is only single notes following the bass notes of the piano but I tried to add some flavour by "singing" along rather than repeating the same thing over. The slides played an important part in that but I wanted to use rhythm too. It was quick, timing is a bit better than normal but still wanting.
So on to guitar. During my lesson with Zak he gave me some tips on fingerstyle playing for my writing and I had a ding moment. Lots of the ground I've been covering with Tom suddenly connected. So I'm practicing playing bass notes then soloing over the other notes then bass note etc. I'm also thinking about runs and about double stops and about chords I can play, about finger picking options so I can harmonise as well as playing the single notes. About creating a bass line. So far it's difficult, all the aspects I need to practice loads before I get anywhere near to writing something but I'm very pleased that finally I know what I need to do. Well at least what I need to do to have a foundation to work from.
As a side note I'm really feeling timing so much better. I can now sit at the piano noodle out an idea and within a few minutes I've figured out the time signature & tempo and can record. I'm also finding my fingers working much stronger in piano to created melodies, rhythms etc. Still so so soooooooooooo far to go yet but a step is a step :) My guitar timing is improving too, I find it so hard still but I'll get there.
That guitar in my song is causing me so much stress. I feel like I'm going around and around in circles, the more it improves the more the bad bits get under my skin. With over 1000 recordings and at least 15-20 hours sat there at one stage or another you can see why.
Then tomorrow Zak will come in and just get it but he can't write it for me because I have to learn. Also because if he does the song is no longer mine and that's too far. So the poor sod has to find a way to get me to not be rubbish while not taking over my song and putting up with my epic levels of stress. And I have to find away to let go of the incredible amount of effort I've put in for small reward and look forward.
So as you can see I'm in my stressed, overwhelmed and firmly directing all my anger and frustrations inwards again. It's what I do, can't help it, I'll have a good drum later and that will help.
But I also decided that a good impro songwriting session might help. Just go with the flow, find the chords, noodle away and keep it fun, light & quick. It wasn't 100% smooth sailing I'll confess but an hour and a half later the post was on Instagram. I really like it too, it's definitely in need of work, it's s bit messy and there are big timing issues in places but.... I like it. I think pouring out my emotions is something I need to do more often.
Im exceptionally proud of this song. It started as a little melody on the piano after a lesson, evolved into an Instagram post and has become by far my most favourite song.
It's the first time I've been able to play off the piano, bass & guitar like I wanted to. It's got melody, a rock element, catchy lines & I think my playing on all instruments is much stronger.
It's not finished as this is my structure recording but I'm so pleased with it. The guitar sounds 'woosy' but that will get fixed and I think there is still room to push the guitar in the choruses to really amp it up but that will take time as I have to learn how first!!!
It's definitely been a challenge this one. To get the ideas to work, to play like I wanted, to make it all bounce properly and most importantly to really get that chorus to come to life was HARD.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Today has all been about building a song on guitar and it's been incredibly slow going, two bars of music slow going. The reason is that I'm thinking about a lot more, I'm trying to get that melody I'm hearing in my head translated onto the guitar and then I'm thinking about how I can really give it substance and body. How I can add bass notes to thicken it up, are the notes close by that would work as passing notes or extra. Then I'm thinking about whether I need all the notes, does it need a pause, is the rhythm right. I'm thinking about finger picking patterns and whether there are other options to copying each chord the same way.
Then there's looking at rather than treating each chord as a separate entity trying to blend them together within the song and so much more. Add to the mix lots of technique, faster playing and thinking which I'm not used to especially on guitar and it's been a real kick up the bottom.
However it's been great, I'm thinking about new things in a new way and incorportating all the work I've been putting into numbers, chord shapes etc. I'm using my little movable fretboard to look when I find a run I like to see what exactly I'm playing and is there anything that's not quite right. For instance I had this cool like but I was playing the minor 3rd, it sounded good but when I switched it to the major third it sounded much better. I'm also trying to think about how the chords interact with one another so yes it's cool to play a line over the C chord but then how does that lead nicely into the D.
I know that's all boring as hell - not to me but to read about anyway!
So to soften the blow how about I share the latest update of Escape To You. I've been working my butt off on the piano and I'm really happy with it. The same cannot be said for the drums!!!
I hope you enjoy seeing the progress on this song from quick 4hr throw out to a fully grown song and it's still got a way to go yet!
I'm really enjoying the soloing practice at the moment, it's very slow going but I think I'm starting to get my head around it and I'm glad that Zak has pushed me. It's going to be so great when I can do it but it's also going to be a long time and a lot of practice before that happens. I think what I need to do is to take it bit by bit, start with the root note and learn where they are in relation to each other all over the fretboard. I already "know" where they are of course but everything from here on out has to be second nature, no thinking, so when I say learn I mean completely. Then I need to learn where the other notes are in relation to the root within each particular shape.
So it will be a case of soloing over the one shape getting from one root to another confidently knowing each "number" of the scale I pass over, then learning the next shape then combining the two and adding etc. Then knowing where all the other notes are in relation to each other so I can solo from any number of the scale to another, knowing what I'm passing over all over the fretboard. Then comes the modes. Some of this (quite a lot actually) I've already been working on in theory, I've dipped in and out but not connected the dots and every time I've tried it's been a mess. But now I'm putting it into practice it's helping a lot and I think I will eventually get there.
While I'm doing all this I'll also be thinking about rhythms and I have a few ideas about that but I'll see if they work before going on about them. And I'm also thinking about dynamics and about playing more than one note at a time, again two things we've been over but I'm trying to bring all the pieces together now. Like I said it'll take time because at the moment I'm noodling then stopping, thinking about how to turn that noodle into something much stronger and then building it until I'm happy. A bit like the electric in this song I guess although there's a tonne of work still to be done it's definitely the strongest electric work I think I've done even though there are less notes. It has purpose and I think it feels like it has.
I also need to get some serious piano practice in as that's gone by the way and get Tom's single bar "songs" down ready for Tuesday. Not to mention I need to put together some quick backing tracks for Zaks solo practice. Once I can solo over different chords and different keys then I can think about just using existing backing tracks save me time but for now I need to do these myself as they're just one chord but it'll be good practice anyway. As long as I can stay focused!
Have a great Sunday and I hope you enjoyed yesterdays music if you tried any :)
One of the main problems I'm having at the moment is staying focused without denying myself creative license. Both are absolutely critical to my learning and both pull at me, sometimes they overlap and often they don't.
Yesterday they did thankfully although that was blind luck. I'm working on laying down my own backing tracks as a way to give me practice material for my soloing while strengthening my skills on the other instruments, working on the underlying song structure and testing out new ideas. Although every time I do one I find myself turning it into another song, but that's a good thing I think because that's how eventually I'll go from a bunch of ideas into recognising which are worth pursuing properly.
Back to yesterday, I was laying down the drums which I wanted to sound much cleaner so I worked hard on them thinking about technique and structure more. I'm pleased with the result but once that was done I got sidetracked by some funky strumming. A few weeks back that's what we were working on in Zak's lesson so I thought it would be good to try and it sounded cool over the drums. It's HARD to get right especially at 120bpm haha! So that took up a big chunk of time and it sounded really messy but it's all practice. I then moved on to practising the solo work we're currently doing. It's slow going because I can't just solo - I have to build, do a bit, correct it, add a bit, adjust both, add a bit more, record, hate loads of it, redo a load, record, move onto the next bit ....... it takes a while - it's NOT soloing!
In my defence though although I may be doing it bit by bit it is moving away from my "noodling". There is rhythm, there are specific note choices and there is a journey between chords. There is a LOT of work to be done on it but as a start given how hard I find this I'll take it. Zak says I'm on the right path so that's what I'll focus on and build off of.
Anyway long story long I had been building the solo only over the drums at that point because the strumming was a mess. Out of curiosity I added the strumming back on the recording and it actually sounded pretty funky so I thought why not turn it into a song :). A bit of piano later and we're getting close and then I HAD to redo the strumming but with the rest of the song down it came a lot more naturally and took a lot less time for considerably better results. It's another step forward for me, small but important.
From a few months ago when I first started recording my timing has improved massively and you know what a nightmare I had with that. I'm struggling a lot today so I'm doing what I can to keep my chin up, I hate it when my head goes to the "dark side" but I was reading some of my lyrics - I guess I'll have to share some of those at some point, I do write lots of them - and these moods do produce some seriously good songs! See every dark cloud does have a silver lining it's just sometimes that's more like a consolation prize.
I'm going off now to get a lot of practice in :) Have yourself a very great day or night and I'll probably be back writing at 2am assuming lesson is on today!!!! In the meantime here is the song that I accidentally wrote yesterday for your entertainment. In my head I see a time a year maybe two down the line where these will be really really cool to watch. That would be nice wouldn't it, they're fun now of course - what's not fun about a 40 year old mum of five rocking out and making up silly songs on the spot?! But seriously there is a library of ideas in my head and I really hope that I can build the skills to tap into it to make you all smile every day!
This is the full draft of the song in it's bare bones state with the bridge and outro.
A few things that are under debate at the moment.
1) Verse 2 is currently 8 bars I'm probably going to make it 12. Should verse 1 be 12 or 16 bars? Humm!!
2) The intro is still under debate as to whether to add another bar or two to build up speed.
3) The outro definitely needs work at the moment it's just me noodling but it won't change much.
4) The transitions between sections need working on and the melody variations as the verse progresses need lots of work too.
5) There are other possibilities within the bridge, structurally I love it but the actual melody and rhythmic side has other ways it might work, I'll be experimenting to see what really sticks.
But other than that at least you have the idea now of where this is going :) I don't know if anyone else likes it so there is always that roof top to fall off of but I do. Long term I have no idea where this is going yet or what other instruments or parts I'll be adding in, when, where or how so an adventure ahead for sure. I think it could be really good though.
Lesson day with Zak was moved to today so I have that to look forward to and a few more hours practice on the solo to compensate for nerves haha! And generally speaking I now have 6 songs I'm working on and I'm really determined to see all of these finished so I'll need to really concentrate and make sure each one moves forward. They are certainly an eclectic bunch that's for sure but that's a good thing right?
I`m conscious that I need to get more dedicated practice time in as well as I haven`t been doing as much of that lately. I am doing some of course but I need to be a little more disciplined so that my writing will eventually get better technically too. I think all in all I took a baby step forward with this project in terms of song structure but until I get feedback I won`t really know for sure or how much of a step it was.
Back to work then, I really do have a lot to do on those songs and they`re all important to me now. :)
Another one fell out of my rather bizarre head! Quick post so you know where I'm at.
As yet untitled and like most of my others in beginner stage but here is the latest melancholy noodle that's emerged from my noggin . On the good side it's much more creative, definitely a fuller sound than my usual guitar noodles, I love those dissonant tones in there and it's got a really nice feel. On the bad, I'm writing way outside of my ability so it's as rough as a badgers arse ;)
Since this vid I've been working hard and it has come a lot further already. The very first note into the chord strum is much faster leaving more space for the first line which feels much better. The slide down to the G now goes straight into the next section which makes it feel much more connected and smoother and I really like it. That whole bar is being worked on still to make it feel more rhythmic like the first two, that's probably where I'm struggling most but it's getting there. Then the single fast notes over the Am chord now have a really cool rhythm based off the sus4 which is really nice especially when it slides into the G chord where it then sort of repeats. It's much nicer. At the moment I'm toying with the idea of using this as an intro and then going into strumming and building the song up off the melodies in there. But that's at pure idea stage. It does feel nice though when I start on the Am and Em chords so we shall see!
That's all folks!!
Remember take all this with a big pinch of salt because I'm pushing myself very very hard on these guitar songs at the moment. Not only have I never written stuff close to this before (as you know if you've been watching and listening over the last few months!) but I've never even played stuff like this before. I'm experimenting and learning as I write which is not easy so the results are still very shaky. You have to use your imagination a lot and pull out the song I'm 'trying' to write.
It's been a long time since I updated on this but I've been plugging away, bar by bar and OMG has it been hard. It's a case of learning the notes, learning to add them on to what I can already play then learning the timing of the notes which I always get wrong at first. Then learning the dynamics then going on. Then when I get to a point I listen to the timing on a piano only transcription I put into Staffpad and figuring out where my timing is still off. Even then it's so hard.
I'm very proud of this for that reason, when I first played it through much of it I didn't recognise but now I'm happy that most - not all - but most of it sounds pretty good. I think a few more months to learn the rest and probably a few more to really get it down and this will be one of my go to songs to play. And that's actually pretty cool!
Here you go the full vid of me playing up to where I can so far which is the end of the first chorus.
Yay it's at full demo stage. I still have a lot to do and if I want it sounding really good the whole thing needs to be re-recorded but at this stage of my learning it's a question of whether it's worth the time and effort when I already have a shed load of work.
I will be redoing the intro though - just a bit to break it from the first verse. I will also be looking at beefing up the verses with a second instrument but I'm not sure what or how yet. I think that will be one for me to explore with the magical Tom next week.
The sax part needs seriously redoing but it's just an idea and I'm waiting on my guitar guru Zak to get back to me about the second solo because that wasn't a noodle, it's the first time I've actually written a solo for electric and I like it - but does he!!
I hope you like the song - number 7, glad I'm not trying to make an album it would take a while haha! :) I do love it though and considering I'm pretty much self taught on drums so far, that I've only been playing any instrument for a sniff over 2 years and that I only started writing 6 months ago - I think I should be proud of myself. As you know I'm not my biggest fan, I rarely give myself credit so I'll take this one!
So here we are 6 months down. Still another 4 1/2 year to really learn how to play and write and I can't wait. With the incredible support of my two teachers even I'm starting to believe I might actually write music one day. Puts one hell of a smile on my face I tell you!
Each week I'm going to try and over the course of the weekend get a one minute 'song' together starting with drums, then bass and work it up over that. I warn you they are going to be ROUGH - I'm not practicing, I'm not writing - I'm just getting it down as idea stage then moving on. Hopefully what this will do is a) getting me thinking more freely b) pushing my recordings eg timing, instrument interaction and c) giving me a bank of ideas I can later tap into.
Here is the first one for your enjoyment (or maybe not!) actually I think is a bit of fun if very very very rough and messy. Check out the wobble bend near the end haha - I couldn't resist. I spent a whole 5 minutes on that guitar noodle and you can tell but the idea is to stay very loose. I will NOT be posting all of these that I do because most will be awful but now and again for your entertainment I will suffer some degree of humiliation. Some I'll Instagram, some I won't!
I've got the Steven Slate drum plugin now so I've got loads of new drum kits to choose from - YES YES YES I was so sick of the existing ones.
I actually like the bass line on this - I'm proud of that, and my drums are to time yay!
Today is Zak lesson day *double yay* and I'm going to ask to learn a guitar song which is in 'Don't Let The Sun .....' territory, in other words HARD. But I need it, I've been pushing myself so hard, learn this, learn that etc that I need to do something that will push me, yes, but that at the end I feel really rewarded from. I know this will do that but I think it's another song that will take months to learn. We shall see :)
I have three songs I'm currently working on now, one is a fingerpicking song, the second is also guitar but is based off of that funky strumming that I've been noodling over recently. I've found a "story" I really love and now I want to take it further and the last is that piano song. One week ago I had no songs funny how it works!
The problem is my skills level as usual. The fingerpicking one has issues because it's based off of chord shapes I pick within and I don't know them well enough yet so I'm having to find them, build the story and then learn to play, then refine. It's a great exercise though, whether it will ever make it to completion I don't know, my hopes aren't high.
The second guitar song I need to find the song structure in there and build outwards using the strongest ideas from my noodles. I need to find the hook in that one.
The piano song I have many issues with, I need to continue to build and structure the piano part but that's coming on nicely but all the rest is a disaster. I'm starting to feel the drums but at the moment they are a mess. As for guitar and bass - no idea!
However it's a good problem to have right? Better too much than nothing at all, I'll learn lots trying to gets these done so that alone is worth it. Hopefully one or maybe two might eventually get finished.
In the meantime here is the audio for the first concept stage attempt on the piano song, lots will change I'm sure but it will give you a strong idea where this is going. I put the vid on Instagrsm but lined it up wrong or used the wrong video I'm not sure but no one seems to notice so I'll just leave it. It'll be our little secret 😆😆. Hope you like it.
I talk a lot about the struggles but you'd expect that it's a lot I've taken on but I don't want to seem like a sour puss because I'm not. Yes I do find it hard, and ok yes a lot of that is because a) I've taken on a lot and b) I push myself ridiculously hard but I also find a lot of joy in the tiniest move forwards although I don't show it enough.
I think at the moment I'm experiencing a growth spurt and I'm confident in saying I do think it's down to the decision to revisit the guitar with Tom and soloing with both teachers. My confidence still has a long way to go but it's ebbing bit by bit which is what we all wanted and hoped for. I think though the key to this bigger than normal step forward is understanding rhythm a bit more and applying it. The key to that is my being more open and giving things a try even though they're outside my comfort zone and my teachers understanding me better and applying that to their brilliant teaching.
I've added a vid of me playing yesterday, it's a longer version of yesterdays Instagram post and while there is a lot of room for more work 'hopefully' you'll notice a big improvement from when I first started with double stops (none used in this particular version although I am adding them in regularly now). I think a few of the lessons I've had lately have finally hit home. Here my very first solo vid (still upside down!) from when I started this blog too - big improvement on that and that was just over 3 months ago.
What's Helped Specifically?
Double stops, taking away the option to endlessly noodle meant I had to focus on timing and also really focus on the scale and intervals.
Working on rhythms and starting on different beats (still working on this big time!). This helped me think in terms of singing lines rather than just melody melody melody endless melody. Both of them have been on about this for a long time and I think playing over Toms style of strumming actually was the thing that helped because I can't do my melodic smooth playing over it, as soon as he got me playing in a more short, sharp funky way it (I'd say clicked but we're not there yet) made more sense.
Call & response. Once I'd made progress on the other two then Zak's lesson on call and response suddenly popped into my mind and I found myself moving more between the higher notes and lower in a kind of 'singing to each other' kind of way.
Strumming finger style. My hand has finally begun to relax and it's making a big difference to my strumming but I've also been working on a more funky plucking style too with slaps and added notes and moving within the chord which is coming on and helps. That's me doing the rhythm 'strumming' - it's not as good as Tom but wayyyyyy better than my normal backing rhythms!
Vibrato - finally I'm using it although I still feel uncomfortable doing it in front of my teachers it is coming more naturally. Not always but it's a step forwards. Technically there is a LOT to work on but I want to get comfortable using it all the time before I start worrying about that.
I've noticed all this has started to creep in to my piano playing too instead of just writing melody on this latest song or focusing on rhythm like I tend to do when piano comes into my other songs this time I'm thinking about both. So there you go proof all this hard work and headbanging does make a difference - it's just a matter of time. And more than that I think it's important to realise that looking at things in a different way can often be the catalyst. It's often not enough sometimes just to keep trying, you also need to try to discover a new method or way of looking at the problem to finally understand. Hopefully there is more to this spurt but if not then I'll start working on getting towards the next one. :)
Sneak preview of the song in it's work in progress state. This has a long way to go - a long long way to go. Most of it needs some degree of reworking and or re-recording (drums AGAIN!), it's hashed together at the end just so I can see what it's like. The outro isn't right, the interlude needs a lot of reworking and the solos need to be redone once I've learnt how!
But as it stands here is the new song - I hope it's all I've built it up to be :)
I saw the amazing James Taylor last night, he has the most amazing silky voice, he's very funny and he can still play that guitar like a dream. Last week I saw Guns n Roses as well so two guitar gods in one week - lucky lucky girl :)
I'm sooo tired from late nights and insomnia so I'll leave you to - hopefully - enjoy this little work in progress and head back to bed! See you tomorrow - lesson day today so it'll be another very very very late night I suspect but looking forward to it, lesson days are the best!
This one's going to take a long time to write but I think it will be worth the effort from a learning point of view. I'm trying to think over the fretboard so looking at different voicings for the same chord and thinking mainly arpeggios for the melody. Because I'm working with 7 and 9 chords it gives me a few cool note choices to work with. I'm also thinking about rhythm and trying to push myself technically which will involve writing something then building, pushing and reworking a lot. I'm trying to work in repetition as well to balance the song and not go off on one of my random melody rampages and all this before I even think about how I'll bring in other instruments. Not to mention the slide challenge EEK!
I've not even picked the timing or anything yet I'm still noodling out the initial ideas. That said so far so good, I like the concept and it's definitely different to anything that I've done before. So here is a quick vid of me (right way up!) playing what I have so far. I know I'm illusive but trust me I'm the least photogenic person ever!! You're not missing anything. Don't hold your breath for the finished product but I'll get there!
Looking forward to working in some slide on this one! 😉
Ok to show you what a good sport I am and how open I'm being on this journey I'm going to share a recording with you - in years to come hopefully I'll be making some great music and someone will come upon this and go oh my god she really was crap. Oh Yes . I . Was .... but I've worked hard and I'm proud of it will be my retort.
So here you go. I've been cagey about putting up any drumming clips because I haven't been playing them very long and I'm really bad, but, just for you, to brighten your day and give you a giggle here is a recording of me playing over a backing track from YouTube (I can't even claim the decent backing music as a defence haha!!). I had only listened through the track twice before I recorded this, and there's no editing at all, so it's as raw as it comes I just wanted to have some good old fashioned FUN!
But seriously, people worry too much about appearance and always looking good. Pah I can't be bothered with all that, I'm such an odd bod anyway I might as well go all in! That doesn't mean I'll share every bit of rubbish I do, but in moderation 😉. I don't worry about looking stupid, I worry about disappointing people or letting them down which is why I get so nervous around my teachers, their respect means so much I hold back out of fear I won't meet their expectations. It's equally daft I suppose but hey ho we all have our flaws!!
So happy weekend to you - hope it's a good one and I hope my hilarious fills make your day! Check out the one at 3.06 mins in it's painful! haha!
I am working on them btw - this is actually an improvement. haha, I'm practising my rudiments, my paradiddles and I'm practising timing so they will improve it's just a case of working hard. And you know what a determined little thing I am!
WARNING: If you suffer from any sort of weak bladder problem don't play this unless you are very near to a toilet. Enjoy! :)
Guitar has been worked on - still a long way to go until it's right but it's much better.
Oh wow am I loving this one to bits. I need to re-record lots of parts and the drum fill is scary bad so that'll be sorted. Once it's totally finished I'll do the video and then post again so you can see the shiny finished product! But for now here you go, another of my noodles called Bitter Sweet,
I've put together another video, nothing special but I wanted to keep the finished "songs" going into my YouTube channel so that this story/journey stays tidy. I cant promise to show my journey from the bottom up without showing the rubbish that comes first. It's so nerve wracking doing it but it'll good for me. I need to learn to weather the storm if I`m really going to be putting my music into the world. It`s all well and good doing it here in my blog in audio files that not many people will ever listen to but in the real world there is a lot for someone like me to overcome. I need to start thickening up my paper thin skin now - at least I need to try. I'm looking forward to being able to laugh openly and comfortably at my own mistakes so this is going to be good for me and hopefully not too painful! ..... Hopefully 😳
This one is a bit of a tale actually so bear with me here. I was doing the vid when I realised how much the drums really REALLY bugged me and decided to re-record them and a couple of other areas I've been meaning to fix from the demo. Well I couldn't, no matter what I tried I could not get any drumming to fit. I was getting so frustrated and decided I had three choices, 1) abandon it and leave it forever as an audio file (but I love this try so that would be sad), 2) to say sod it and leave it as is (the timing was sooo bad but at least it would be there) or 3) begin again and redo the whole thing from scratch (I cannot tell you how overwhelming that option felt). In the end I took the plunge and decided to redo EVERYTHING (well 95% a couple if bits I copied across but not much at all) 😳😟 which meant transcribing my own guitar noodles because I couldn't remember what I'd done. I didn't expect my first transcriptions to be my own work. Too funny! Then had to plan out the song structure so it matched and I began to record starting with drums & rhythm guitar! I still had to redo the guitar at the end because when everything else is on it clashes but I think the result is overall much better. FAR from what I would like but it's time to archive this one and look forward again.
Here is the original if you want to compare.
Without any further ado I introduce you to the new and hopefully improved & retitled Lucky Seven! - now called Appetence For Tomorrow.
Five little words was inspired by those kind words said to me yesterday. They made me want to pick up the guitar and play and that inspiration it seems has a mind of it's own today.
This is getting interesting!!
I did an experiment today, I had the guitar and I just started strumming away choosing chords as I went, they're simple bog standard Key of C (mostly minor as normal!) but I just WENT FOR IT. It was so much fun but then I thought ooh this is actually quite cool, hooked up to Studio One and just went for it on there, no re-recording just go...!
Then time for noodling. Again same rules just go, don't worry just feel the emotion and see what happens.
Put down the guitar, sit at drums and impro - yes I know doing drums third is dumb but there was a point I wanted to have the music to impro over so I wouldn't be so straight especially with the fills. Same rules again just go for it, listen to the music and feel the 'groove' haha!
Bass I'm afraid is simple - there was no room left with all the bad timing at this point!!
The whole thing took 40 minutes and here is the recording - no editing of tidying, no re-recording any part. Warts and all this is my emotion poured out into a quick song inspired by those five little words that lifted my spirit so much yesterday. As far as experiments go I'm actually chuffed with this, it's a HUGE step forward for me. It also illustrates how far I still have to go and it is sooooooooooooo quintessentially ME in style - sorry about that!
This is getting pretty cool now! So here is stage 2, I don't know how this happened but this little number is evolving into something pretty cool out of nowhere.
I decided to have some fun with the electric guitar which then suggested new strumming and piano. I fixed SOME of the timing issues and now I've got a (kind of) verse/chorus structure to work with that's pretty cool - just the solo/bridge to go and an outro. Question is am I brave enough to begin again on it and get it right or shall I see how far I can get this to completion given the mess I started with? Hummmmmm?!
Last time I'll update this unless I redo the whole thing into a full song. But I've now changed most of the guitar noodling to electric. Now no judging I have only played electric for 2 weeks now - well not even played it just picked it up a handful of times. It's VERY cool and VERY fun though! This music stuff just gets better and better - hopefully I will too!!!!!
What does someone do when they're struggling with depression, anxiety and not sleeping?
They make a music video at 3.30am!
I've explained before that I suffer with depression, it's nothing I'm ashamed of it's simply something that's a part of who I am and sometimes I get sick. I've had the week from hell this week, it has rained and poured nightmare after nightmare and it's messed with my mojo big time. To give you an example this morning I had to get up at 3.30am after trying hard to get back to sleep for 40 minutes (and obviously failing!). By 7.30 I felt a bit better because I was very pleased with myself for putting together my first 'music video' and then what do I find? A Huntsman Spider - I'm scared of the tiniest of bugs and these things are colossal - it scared the BLEEP out of me. Hubby had left for work with the boys as it's a bring your kids to work day so all I had was my daughter. I woke her up bless her to rescue me and she saved me from the monster!! But that was just the last (at least I HOPE it's the last!) in a long chain of events that has left me feeling very vulnerable. My "spidey senses" are so refined I am 99% more likely to spot one than every other member of this house! - Bummer!
So while my head tries to reset itself (hopefully) I'm bouncing around instrument to instrument like a nut (imagine spending 10 hrs a day practising but not being able to concentrate on one thing for more than 10 minutes - it's TOUGH!) but I'm also being super creative which I'll take as compensation for feeling so bad.
So here it is my video - a very trippy and as my daughter reviewed it a "Strangely Satisfying" tune. Enjoy!
I was desperate to get back to recording something just to keep the momentum going so the 'crash' doesn't dissuade me from pushing on. Today I was messing on the guitar and had a ding moment and added and added till this funny little thing came together. This is just a snippet of me re-recording the funky guitar rhythm but it's a giggle! Love the harmonica and xylophone effects haha! I think I need to start from scratch but I may just leave it as a messy play around this time.
Funky Monkey - Revised (and more serious!) Version
I thought I would have another go at recording this laying down drums first then rhythm guitar, then bass and then it was time to have fun over the top. Loving the "sax" effect and the "trumpets". I had real fun with this, it's far from brilliant of course but at least it's a step in a new direction for me. I really tried to think about where the various instruments needed space and when the layer them which was very tricky.
As always - I hope you enjoy my noodling around!
Learning Time Log
How long I've been learning as at at the end of Aug 2020.
What's This About?
One fateful day I decided to get guitar lessons. 5 years later I'm learning four instruments and trying to become a musician and songwriter. I've set a five year goal (Aug 2021) to create a very special song for my 25th wedding anniversary and this is a record of my crazy journey, weird thoughts, strange doodles and unapologetic music obsession! Enjoy!