No more excuses, I guess.

I finally got Audio Studio Generation 6 up and working on my computer. I still need to tweak the input levels, but the upshot is that I can now record my own music (or at least my own versions of other people’s music). Haven’t got it to play nice with my keyboard yet, but that’s neither here nor there. I can certainly lay down bass and guitar and voice tracks. Not sure what to do about drums yet.

I haven’t decided what to start with–obviously something straightforward that I’ve known for a long time (which means something by the Grateful Dead).

This should be interesting, since I don’t know whether my guitar, bass and keyboard styles even work together, since I’ve never been able to play with myself before (there will be NO smartass remarks, please! :)). I play kinda hot and hostile on keys, loose and bouncy on bass, and I don’t know how to describe my guitaristry.

Should be interesting to see what I get out of it, at least. Any suggestions from those that do do recordings, or requests, or fierce determination to run and hide? And Azzy, I’m making a point of learning all of ‘Althea’ :)

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8 comments so far

  1. filkertom on

    Where would you like to start? Just as an extra, you might want to get Audacity, a free, powerful cross-platform sound editor which will help with your noise a whole bunch, I bet. It’s at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

    • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

      As it turns out, I already have Audacity downloaded, but I never got around to installing it. Gonna have to fix that tonight.

      Anyway. Discovery Number One: I use different rhythms when I play guitar than when I play bass than the way I sing it, if I’m playing solo. I’m going to have to cue up a recording and play along with it so I won’t drive myself crazy(er). :)

      I started off with the first Dead song I ever learned: Bertha. Real simple chord changes, just G, C, D and Am. And I was very startled to discover that my whole playing philosophy changes from guitar to bass. You’d think I’d play it the same, but wow. I haven’t even tried going to the piano yet–that will require moving the computer, for one.

      Discovery Number Two: I ain’t Phil Lesh or Stu Hamm, but I don’t suck. There’s definitely something in there worth pursuing, which half of me expected to hear and the other half of me was surprised at hearing–God knows why, I’ve only been playing for fifteen, twenty years off and on, but I’ve always been my own worst critic anyway. I had a really odd moment, listening to the guitar and bass tracks together and thinking, “Wow, that was a really cool lick!” and it took me a moment to remember that I was the one who played it in the first place.

      See, other than some stuff that I did with Maureen and Steve, I’ve never really heard myself play before–and never heard me playing for my own amusement, to my own specific interests. I’m only dimly aware of what I’m doing while I’m playing, because I have to be right in the moment and can’t think about it.

      This was a real confidence booster. Now I know I can play, and I know what I can shoot for.

      As far as advice goes, I’m assuming the following:

      • Make my projects a stretch, but not so much that I over-reach myself.
      • Expect multiple–if not many–takes before getting the “right” one, and don’t get annoyed over blown takes (unless it gets screwed *right* at the ending–I reserve the right to be peeved about that :))
      • Explore variations. The rhythm and chords are a tightly-woven fabric, but they’re not a straitjacket.
      • Whatever else happens, have fun. When it’s not fun, do something else for a while.

      If there’s anything else I should know, I’m definitely prepared to listen.

      • filkertom on

        For what it’s worth, my advice would be to follow the rhythm that the song seems to want to follow. If the bass is sounding more like what you want, adjust the other parts to fit that, etc. Good riffs can be modified, shortened, and/or used elsewhere — but once the song figures out how it wants to be performed, everything’s easier if you go with that.

        Another thing. Yes, you want to have fun more than anything. But be prepared to, sometimes, think that this ain’t fun, it’s work. That’s perfectly normal, and nothing to be worried about — it is work. But the results, including the intervening results when you know you’re going in the right direction, are what I find make it fun.

        • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

          Yeah, but it’s the sort of work that doesn’t feel like work. :)

          I mean, I may say something like “Yeah, I’m really working on sorting out (song X)” but when I’m in the zone, I can be on it for two, three hours and not notice the time pass.

          Maybe that’s a result of the way I play–I can’t read music (chord diagrams, sure), so performing is a very free-style active-ear thing for me. If I *work* at it, so to speak, I can’t do it. If I let it just wash over me and dive in without thinking too hard about it, I’m usually okay.

          But I do understand what you mean. I can’t just throw noise at it, and expect to get something worth sharing out of it, it does require an actual effort on my part, whether or not it’s “work”.

          The main project right now: get something decent out by the 9th of this month, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of losing Jerry.

  2. ataniell93 on

    :D Honest to the point of recklessness, and self-centred in the extreme…

    • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

      And you know that Box of Rain and Unbroken Chain are on my list … but those will wait. I need to get those down really tight first. :)

  3. surakofb5 on

    Good luck, and have fun with it. Because that, of course, is the point. :)


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