The Story Of An Unlikely Dream
To Become A Musician
The Story Of An Unlikely Dream
To Become A Musician
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.
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.
One of the first songs I learnt was Ben Folds "Fired" - or a shortened simplified version of it anyway. I hadn't played it in ages but got the itch today so here is me destroying this perfectly brilliant song! And below is how it's supposed to sound. Very fun to play so maybe one day I'll learn how to do it right all the way through.
I've got so much going on now it's hard to keep track let alone keep on top but this blog is a good way to make sure I stay focused because when I've said I'm going to do something - I do it.
So rather than bore you to bits with tiny updates on each thing I'm doing here is a very quick post on several at once.
I've been playing a collection of blues songs and recording the "rough" drum beats and fills so I have a library that I can use to pick one. I want to try and do that by close of today because I need to start practicing bass over the top. It's going to be poor but it will give me a guide then when I have all components worked out I can go and re-record them properly. At least that's the idea at the moment - as I hit walls my ideas often change and evolve.,
Update: The full drums, intro, verse, chorus, solo & outro (all be it very rough!) are down - see the power of committing really works! They're simple but I've put a few "playful" areas in there to give me room to do something a biy fun.
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
I knew I bit off more than I could chew with this one but it's been really tough. Anyway about 7 hours total practice in now (I've been adding bits in small chunks, bar by bar). The timing & dynamics are a "bit" better now but I'll worry about getting it right once I've got the full song learned.
New Guitar Song
I was just sitting there getting lost in whatever came out of my head on guitar and I just started playing this. It's not original, it's not new and it's not amazing - YET but it was so sweet and I think I'd really like to see where I can take it especially as it lends itself to playing with sus's and 7ths so I've set myself another challenge (another long term one) to build this into a full song. I know if I don't say I'll do something with it on here it will end up in my memo "ideas graveyard". So let's see if I can.
Dig Deep Evolves
This is a song concept I've put in a preivous post, I'm now working on spreading out the concept into a song format and am happy with where it's going. This one has a long long way to go so don't expect a finished result but I WILL turn this into a full song by the end. Here is the start of it in evolved format, using the first two sections spread out as a verse structure.
Back to piano today. This is another piece I’m working on, this particular recording being just the solo section for it. This song is more structured than my others with proper verse/chorus sections but I let myself free on this solo so it goes into “all over the place mode”. I lurve it!
It’s a long way from being done and I still need to let my teacher at it so expect lots of change but for now ... enjoy more of my melodic and emotional all over the place experimenting.
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me - Stage 1
First off, I am so sorry if there are any huge Elton John fans listening to this awful attempt!
So far about 4 hours practice.
I'm going to push myself on a piece on piano, guitar and drums and update on my progress so you can follow as I go. Certainly not every day, that would be very boring but at intervals where there's enough progress and I'll include total practice time on each update. This is the first one, I want to play this especially for my teacher so I'm learning it independently, don't blame him for it ok!!
The idea behind this is two fold, 1) to take you along with me as I push and work through a challenge, maybe you want to try too, if you do it quicker update me in the comments, if it takes longer then do the same, so I can support you back. This is a wonderful journey I want to share not a contest so join me if you want to, and... 2) to see the progress I make over time (within each project yes but also over the years of learning) both in complexity of the pieces and the speed of learning them, overcoming challenges and the reward of finally finishing before beginning again. It should be a very cool experiment. Or I may just scare you off for life! I hope I don't because as hard as I find these I really enjoy it. 😊
That's it folks! I'll be linking them together under "Projects" in the categories menu so if you miss one you don't need to scroll through my waffle to find it. And remember you were warned in my hello post - I'm not good!! Yet - see thinking more positive already!
As an introduction of where I currently am on piano here is an original piece I am still 'writing' called Dig Deep. Once I get these to a certain stage I open them up to my teacher to pull apart so I can learn how to adjust my thinking rather than try to mimic his. I find for learning that way to be more beneficial. I'm struggling with my left hand in impro pieces because I'm concentrating so hard it gets neglected. So to push that I'm trying two new things.
1) I'm going to push myself harder to learn more songs that focus on left hand as well as right (lots of Elton John, Ben Folds & Coldplay then!).
2) I'm going to combine exercises with free playing to try and relax and trust myself more so I think less.
I have literally hundreds if not thousands of ideas and many (ok most!) do not work. But I have discovered if you don't worry about them as failures and focus on figuring out why the concept doesn't (or sometimes yay it does) work then I learn much faster. Then everything is beneficial just as long as I don't over complicate (which I do a lot) or procrastinate (which I also do a lot) but being aware of those things I am making progress to adjust my thinking. It's a long journey.
I am very much looking forward to growing this blog over time and seeing my growth from pieces like this into .. well we'll see won't we but hopefully something fun, exciting and original!
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!