It’s been a fairly busy few days, 4 gigs in a row and a bit of website stuff to sort out for the Delta Ladies. Plus I am working on a new tune or two and have now managed the basic track for a new song. The lyric is incomplete at present, but I have the main part and the chorus. It’s a funny thing but although I am quite competent technically I occasionally get a bit of a block and for get whats possible. I try to keep the focus on the musical aspect and not the production part, but you can get blown off course. The almost limitless options in terms of production on even the most humble demo home studio really does mean its just a matter of your own creativity. You can’t really blame the gear anymore. I remember saving up my penny’s when the first Teac Portastudio 144 appeared and having great fun with it over the years. It was very simple but gave good results. In those days you had to actually worry about head room and signal to noise big time. Now all that’s pretty much an irrelevance, just make sure you record to -4db as peak and you are sorted. I think you had to have more of a sense of adventure then to actually make something special.
The next big deal for me was when I got my Korg W1fd. I had had various keyboards before but this was my first workstation that I could build up complicated arrangements on. It also had a real time sequencer, so that was a great leap for forward for me. Before that I had a couple of Korg analogue synths (one was the Monopoly), but I never really got the full potential out of them. I then got a Yamaha Piano and started learning Piano as opposed to keyboard playing. One thing I regret selling though was a not particularly good fretless bass, I could play it a bit and even used it on a few recordings, but lack of space and funds caused me to get rid of it in the end. It’s fun playing a bass. Maybe I will get another one some time 😉
Another regret is that I never did master sight reading music, but I had been playing by ear for a long time. I started working on it about ten years ago, but I am still pretty crap at it. I can do lead sheets fairly well though.
I am dyslexic, and I wonder if the 2 things are related. Still that’s life I guess and I wonder if I would have been inspired to do the other stuff if I had been playing by the rules. Its interesting that many iconic songs have been created by people who have inherent musicality but have not had any formal training. Of course the reverse is also true at times.
I sing, but I am never happy with my voice. Not much I can do about that really. But I shall still keep singing. My musical tastes are very eclectic, so the stuff I create and write is very wide ranging. That keeps it fun though not everything works of course. I first picked up an instrument about 1968 I guess and my first instrument was a Harmonica. I never really got much out of it, then I attempted guitar which was a bit more successful. Then came the violin which was difficult. So difficult that I gave up after 6 months or so. But about a year later I thought I would have another try. I got a slightly better instrument, which I still have in my collection and spent about 18 months fighting with it, but this time with more success.
Day jobs of many different flavours and finally a 13 year dabble in IT databases websites and programming whilst being a Civil Servant at which point various problems caught up with me, and I ended up leaving a stable job and leaping in to the void. I seem to be still here but I can just about keep my head together on good days. At other times I don’t do that well but I do better than others in my situation.
I very rarely played live until I joined Elephant Shelf (now defunct)12 years back at the tender age of 48, But I have done about 1500 gigs, so I have a bit of live experience under my belt now.
So that’s me, the depressive dyslexic and often cripplingly shy person who strangely finds one’s self performing in front of the public. Occasionally I even tell jokes on stage, but once the lights go off I am soon back in my shell.
The way the world is now, is there is a lot to concern me, but I can’t write protest songs with lyrics that anyone can understand. I am not going to save the world with a song, but I might know some folks that can.
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