The Harry Effect

So having talked at length last month about Harry the drummer, I am going to risk inflating his ego slightly further.

Harry appears to have had a strange effect on my songwriting. I was in the studio on Monday trying to get a guitar part recorded, it wasn’t going very well and I kept forgetting it and arse-ing it up. Then, out of nowhere, a thought that has never occured to me before. “I should write it down”.

I don’t write anything down, I never have. I come up with a song, I record a rough version and then when it comes to playing it again I listen to it and work out what I did first time around. I know that doesn’t sound very productive, and that’s because it really isn’t. So Harry turning up with sheets of hand-written notes was something of an eye opener and this idea appears to have since been lurking in my head waiting for me to be a bit useless, it didn’t have to wait too long.

So to you it may look like a sheet of badly written notes, but to me it is quite an epiphony. Part of the problem is probably that I’ve always been quite good at playing things ‘from ear’ so I’ve kind of relied on that rather than thinking “how can I make this as easy for myself as possible”. The fact that it took a drummer to make me realise this speaks volumes!

I also took my new found organisation to another level when recording the piano for ‘Enforcers’. I’m not much of a piano player, but rather than do my usual, with failed attempt after failed attempt to play a part (resulting in me wanting only to set fire to the piano), I turned up with coloured stickers to mark out the keys for each chord in the piece. Again, this may look fairly obvious but it has never occured to me before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other area on which Harry has had an effect is my bank balance. Before he arrived I had recorded the school drum kit as a test, which is a pretty decent kit. However, Harry turned up with his special ‘DW’ kit and comparing the two recordings I suddenly remembered how important it is to invest in quality instruments. So therefore it is entirely his fault that I bought a new guitar on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for the songs, I spent two days in the studio over the bank holiday and the songs are starting to build up nicely. It’s encouraging to occasionally go back and hear how the songs were a couple of months back, and then listen to the current versions.

Here is a clip from ‘Enforcers’ 6 weeks ago – Drum machine drums, synthesized piano, acoustic guitar…

…and here is a clip from it now (still nowhere near finished but coming along) – Real drums, real piano, other parts added.

Thanks as always for reading. Please send the link to anybody you think might be interested!

James

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ronnie Consterdine
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 18:12:03

    Coming along very nicely!! Keep going.

    Reply

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