Sunday, June 28, 2015

Getting Loopy

I was working on the arrangements, using GarageBand, for the new recording of Disconnected (here's the scratch recording), and I was getting a little bogged down in the details, so I decided just to play around a little. I started a new file, and looked through some rhythm tracks until I found one that I liked, and then picked a bass line. I set that to play back in a loop, just listened to the groove, and then something interesting happened.

I started singing the lines from a song I started to write awhile ago called Who's Gonna Buy? And although the groove I had in mind for the song originally was something very different, it fit with this new loop pretty nicely.

I don't know if I'm going to use this particular groove for this song, but just the fact that I could be pulled out of my original take on it suggests that I need to do this kind of playing around more often. Getting shaken out of my musical ruts can only be a good thing.

It will be awhile before you get to hear Who's Gonna Buy? Although I have written a lot of material on it, in small sessions with my rhyming dictionary, I am concentrating more attention on Disconnected, which I think may end up being the first song I make available for sale, as a single.

Whatever's coming up next, you can read about it here.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Shifting Gears

My two school children are now out of school for the summer, which changes my work schedule, which is just as well, because I need to change my focus for awhile. I have a good stable of songs now, and it's time I whipped some of them into shape with better arrangements and proper recordings. So that is my musical focus for the summer.

Not that I won't be writing songs; that process just never stops. But I'll be spending less of my time on new songs and more time on getting existing songs ready for prime time.

I'll also be spending more time on my much-neglected novel, which keeps taking a back seat to the music. This summer it will get a lot more attention.

Since I'll be experimenting a lot with arrangements and recording technology, you'll probably get to hear some experimental tracks that are pretty far outside my comfort zone. You'll find those on my Assignments and Experiments playlist on SoundCloud as the summer progresses.

The finished recordings of my songs will not be appearing on SoundCloud. Certain songs will be released on singles on iTunes and other music sales sites; others I'm collecting into an album. You'll be able to listen to some of these on Reverb Nation. I will, however, continue to put up scratch recordings of my new songs as I create them.

Look for a crowdfunding project near the end of the summer so that I can actually go into a studio with some real musicians and put the finishing touches on my best songs before I release my first album. I'll tell you all about it right here. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Another One Done

The song I was talking about on my last post is finally on SoundCloud for you to listen to. It took me a long time to bring it to a close, but I think it's worth the wait. I won't say it's my favorite song, only because I tend to be biased toward my newest creations and I don't want to downplay my other songs for what might be nothing more than an infatuation.

But after I've lived with it for awhile, I suspect it'll be way up toward the top of the list. I hope you agree.

If you haven't done so, be sure to head on over to my Facebook page and like it for the latest news. Although I'll always announce new songs and stories here, on Facebook I'm going to start discussing my upcoming work on my first album, and I'll even give my Facebook fans a chance to weigh in.

And the Facebook page also gets all my tweets and, by extension, announcements of new blog posts and new posts to SoundCloud as they happen. All the latest stuff will be on Facebook, and I promise I won't fill up your timeline with cute cat pictures or celebrity gossip.

Unless I become a celebrity myself, and then all bets are off.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Breaking the Logjam

There's a song I've been writing since last fall. If you follow me on SoundCloud, you might have heard the first verse and the chorus in the brief time the unfinished song was posted, as one of my class assignments. The title is She Works So Hard. Despite having a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to say in that song, it went nowhere for several weeks, and I finally pushed it aside for other projects.

Until a couple of days ago when, as I often do, I was looking through some of my unfinished songs to see if any of them sparked any ideas. And, suddenly, the last verse of She Works So Hard just sort of fell into place. When I saw the last verse and the first verse together, I finally realized that I didn't quite have the story of the second verse right. One little change to what was happening in the middle (isn't it always the middle that gets you, no matter what it is you're writing?), and nearly all the lines started falling into place.

I say nearly all because I have one more line that's not quite there. But I'll finish it soon, and when I do, I think it will be among my favorites. In fact, I think that's why I've taken so long to write it, because I like the idea so much, and I didn't want to give it short shrift.

When it's done, you'll have to let me know what you think.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Same Song, Different Day

The last assignment in the songwriting course is to adjust the phrasing of the song from the next-to-last week, and re-record the song. I was glad to do that, because my voice was a little better, and, thanks to the phrasing changes, so was the song.

I kicked it up an extra semitone to accommodate my voice, now less able to hit the low note at the end of each verse's third line, and recorded the guitar and voice separately. Not perfect, but perfect is going to have to wait until I'm ready to do an album; right now it's time to get back to writing.