Actual Clips of Actual Music

Well, I think I have recovered fully from the key change incident last week and today I have some actual music for you. I haven’t said much about my musical progress, what with talk of key changes, acoustic screens etc…

At the moment I am continuing to send demo’s over to Harry for drums. Harry is Laura’s cousin, he’s only 18 (I think) but he’s a quality drummer. He’s on a music course at college and he also teaches drums. I haven’t heard him play live for a couple of years but he was awesome even at 15/16 so I’m pretty chuffed that he’s agreed to drum on the album.

The songs are developing nicely as I go… The method so far for this album has been that I spent a month or two just writing, and when I finished writing a song I would immediately get a rough recording down. This was for two reasons, the first was so that I wouldn’t forget the tune, the second was so that I could listen to them over and over and work out what worked and what didn’t. The recordings at this stage were pretty ropey, as I was still reading the words and trying to remember the chords and working out a vocal tune, not a problem for a proper musician but this is me.

So here is a clip from the very early recording of a song called ‘Fall Back’, as I say, pretty ropey at this point, especially the singing, just a ‘stick a microphone in the room, hit record and go for it’ type recording.

Now, once I had enough songs and demo’s for them all it was time to start bringing them together a bit more. This means working out what the tempo is, getting a rough drum part worked out (using drum machine software) to give Harry some idea what I’m after, and recording to a slightly higher quality (although still using my old mic not my nice shiny new one).

So this is Fall Back at that stage, still only really acoustic guitar, no bass or backing vocals or other instruments, but it’s at this point the songs just begin to take shape.

So it’s starting to get a bit more structure. The next step for that track will be to get Harry’s drums recorded (which will be a huge improvement) and then start to build it up properly. This is what I’m working my way through at the moment.

Now that was a pretty straightforward transition. Some other songs aren’t quite so easy. For example there is one which I’m calling ‘Visions’ (working title), and the initial recording sounded like this, apologies for the singing again, it all goes out the window when I’m reading lyrics as I sing …

Now at first I quite liked it (ignoring the fact that it is sung and played badly), very mellow and lots of echoey guitar. But after a couple of weeks I was utterly bored of it, I liked the melody but it had no rhythm.I couldn’t do anything with it and it was just a bit dull. I didn’t want to ditch it so I spent ages trying different things, eventually coming up with a changed rhythm. I much prefer the version I have sent to Harry.

(I’ve just realised it sounds as though the lyric is ‘Falling under her’, when in fact it’s just ‘falling under’ but I’m singing it wierdly. Can’t believe I’ve not noticed that before, will have to change that)

So anyway, there is a small insight into how bad these demos start out sounding, and hopefully you can see the begginings of proper recordings taking shape. I expect that by the time I have finished, a lot of the tracks will be almost unrecognisable from those very first recordings.

This week I have another singing lesson, and I will continue working on these better quality demo’s. I’ve done 5 so far so still some way to go before Harry and I can fix a date for his visit to the recording studio.

Have a good week. James.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Dave
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 10:04:15

    Fall back (second recording) has a really full sound, the production quality sounds great to my untrained ears. I really should get around to training my ears 🙂

    Nice drums in ‘Falling under (her)’.

    Great tunes!


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