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 Post subject: Recorded A Country Track Yesterday
PostPosted: Apr Fri 26, 2019 4:20 pm 
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What to do when you get the blues? I had a bad couple of days, didn't feel like doing any radio theory or other work, so decided to do some music. I always find the down periods bring out my best music and I swear by leaving music off for spells rather than trying to force it.
What came out was a fast-paced country track. I must say I was very happy with it - took me about 5 hours (and a lot of coffee). The "hook" was a simple but fast bit of acoustic guitar that my fingers struggled to co-ordinate to a fast bluegrass beat. That was track 1. I usually put the bass in on the second track. Often my bass is the most basic thing I do (nothing flashy) but I did experiment a bit more on this track. Then came the chords - only two, in fact but the blend now sounded nice. After this it did take me ages to add something that would ice the cake. I settled on a subtle bit of slide and guitar. Sounded really great at this point.
The singing was going to be a problem. I've never tried to sing country before and figure that most guys are in the baritone range, whereas I'm mid tenor. In fact, I don't have a strong voice so gravitate towards ballads rather than rock. I tried a voice-over just singing what came to mind. This was a struggle to actually weed out a song and somehow bend my vocals to the background I'd created. My only option was to just sing it high, with ups and downs in pitch and nowhere near baritone (which I could never do). The result: Well, I have a great song but I know a lady who could sing it better than I can. I'm not quite sure whether my vocals are cutting it because, although I do have a reliable ear, I can never know how my own vocals will sound to others. Either it sounds good to them or it doesn't.
The track is called - If I Ever Could be Someone. It does need (as ever) a B part. However, I'm so happy with it I'm tempted to switch my style to country music. Some inspiration of course was the movie Crazy Heart and oddly enough the lyrics I used to help me make my own.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0349E7kFEM


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 Post subject: Re: Recorded A Country Track Yesterday
PostPosted: Apr Fri 26, 2019 4:48 pm 
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On Sunday I was listening to a very interesting AM radio feature on a station that discussed the Rolling Stones - specifically the recording of Last Time. Today we take the concept of writing your own music for granted but, according to this program, it was not at all like that in the early sixties. The Last Time was composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards but both of them were really nervous about asking the other Stones members to consider recording it. At this time bands simply did covers of icons such as Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis and so forth. The concept of writing a song yourself was viewed as a bit arrogant (who are you to do something better than the icons of Rock?). Brian Jones was apparently against the Stones doing Mick and Keith's tracks and figured on just doing covers of blues and so on. "Last Time" did become a great hit though. Meantime The Beatles were ahead of everyone and totally confident they could churn out great tracks such as Day Tripper.
The program pointed out very clearly that lots and lots of musicians have always borrowed music to make their own singles. Very often it may not be intentional and other times they just borrowed. After the notorious George Harrison case with My Sweet Lord, legal cases became more frequent.
Anyway, writing your own stuff? My golden rule is to wait it out till there is some inspiration. Without being in just the right mood and actually inspired, you can spend hours tinkering and nothing will come.
"I'd spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good and I finally gave up and lay down. Then Nowhere Man came, words and music, the whole damn thing, as I lay down." (John Lennon)
I always find it easier to maybe start the track with a hook and find acoustic guitar comes the easiest as opposed to a piano riff. I have tried organ riffs as well on occasion. Then I just build from that point and on. Alternatively I may just juggle around a few chords. Melody for me almost always comes last. I hate B sides and I hate doing lyrics. B sides of a song bother me as when you feel you wrote a decent song, you fear the B side may somehow spoil it or not fit. I totally relate to what the Beatles did on Abbey Road when probably they were the first band to string together a line of unfinished songs. These half finished tracks had probably been lying around for months.


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