[the list]

After meditating on the matter, I’ve decided to use the riff as is for now, but, like I said, anything can change during the writing/recording process. I’m planning simple instrumentation, a couple of guitars, bass and programmed drum tracks.

I’ve decided to start out nicking the bass line from the Beatles’ “Taxman’; modified a little bit, it could fit in. At least it seems that way in my mind’s ear. We’ll see when I hear the two together. (What? Paul McCartney on his bass riff in “I Saw Her Standing There”: “Here’s one example of a riff I pinched from someone: I used the bass riff from ‘Talkin’ Bout You’ by Chuck Berry in ‘I Saw Her Standing There’. I played exactly the same notes as he did and it fitted our number perfectly. Even now, when I tell people, I find few of them believe me. Therefore, I maintain that a bass riff hasn’t got to be original.”

But I digress. One of the things I like to do when I start a project like this is pretend I’m organized. So I make a preliminary list of the order in which I plan to build the various tracks. This one looks like this:

Drum & Percussion Track
Riff
Rhythm Guitar
Lead Guitar
Write lyrics
Vocal
Process and mix

Of course, best laid plans, etc. But it’s a starting point.

On to the GarageBand drum machine!

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[untitled song]

For several years – stretching back to my college days, actually – I’ve been writing these little songs. Some are pretty good, some are just OK, some will never see the ears of day. Ever since technology allowed anyone to turn their computer into a recording studio, I’ve been recording some of these gems with varying results (you can check out my SoundCloud page for examples).

My interest lay dormant for a few years until a took I few online courses through Coursera; specifically, Berklee College of Music courses in Songwriting and Music Production.

Since then, my passion for music-making has been renewed, and I’ve been working more in my “studio”, which lately has been my iPhone, set up with Garageband iOS, Audiobus, AmpliTube, AmpKit, and various other apps. Readers of this blog (the three of you) will already be familiar with my arsenal of axes.

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve completed a song, and I’m ready to begin work on another project. I’ve decided to take the reader along with me on this journey, which may take a couple of months, or the rest of the year. It might yield something I’m happy with, or I may scratch the whole thing. We’ll see.

At the moment, the only thing I’m starting with is a guitar riff, which is demonstrated in this video:

(The instructor, by the way, is Griff Hamlin, my guitar “teacher”. I’ve been working with a couple of of his DVD courses, and they’re really excellent. Check out Blues Guitar Unleashed.)

The riff is my starting point; it’s likely that exact riff will be different by the time the song is finished. Or maybe not. I may play around with the riff a bit, then set it aside and write some lyrics. I never know where I’m going to end up once I’ve started, or how I’m going to get there; that’s part of the fun, the excitement, and the self-discovery.

I’ll be back when I have something for you.