Here’s a Song

The only song from last year’s RPM Challenge to be added to The Great 2015 Re-recording project is this little sucker. I think this version is better than last year’s, which is nice. Mission accomplished. I also think this needs to be played loud. It doesn’t seem to land as well at a lower volume. That’s probably a sign that the mix is shitty, but I don’t care. It’s done. Again.

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

Right, so I did four rounds of re-recording old songs, then a round of re-recording recent songs, and now one more round of old songs. I am absolutely scraping the bottom of the barrel here, and the barrel isn’t exactly what you’d call deep.

This one comes from the failed 2010 RPM Challenge, which wasn’t finished until late summer 2011, along with the failed 2011 RPM Challenge. It’s slow, it’s dumb, and it’s ridiculously simple, but it’s got a lot of fuzz on it so it’s okay in my book.

Guitar Playing is Fun

I chased this morning’s car vocals with some guitar playing. Bad guitar playing, but better than my usual crap. Well… maybe not that much better. Whatever.

I put leads on three songs. Volume six of the Great 2015 Re-Recording Project now has four songs ready to mix and only two more in the pipeline that aren’t ready to mix. Maybe I’ll mix a song tonight. That’d be fun, wouldn’t it?


Wah Wah

I played some guitar tonight. I wasn’t going to but I did and it made me happy.

I redid a couple of rhythm guitar tracks that I didn’t like the sound of and then I put leads on one of the songs that got vocals this morning. I used my new wah pedal a lot. It’s a Real McCoy Custom RMC10 and it is killer. The sweep on it is gigantic. It starts on Monday and ends on Thursday. That’s how gigantic the sweep is. It’s actually so much wider than I’m used to that I think it is going to take some time to adjust my brain to it. It sounds great though.

I started putting leads on the other song that got vocals this morning but I had to stop before I finished. I used my Fuzz Face again but this time I stuck a Klon copy after it as a boost and it was gnarly and bitchin and mean and nasty and wonderful.

Fuzz Face pedals and wah-wahs are notorious for not working well together. I haven’t tried the combo yet with the new wah, but I will.

I hope to get in some more car music tomorrow. We’ll see. For now though, I am feeling pretty good about the little bit that I accomplished tonight.

Lunch Break

I failed to get out of bed early enough to go out for some car music today. It’s been a while. I need to keep on this. I want the re-recordings done before RPM starts on February 1st. Get on it, fat boy!

My hair is so long that it keeps covering my glasses. When I am wearing my sit-at-the-computer glasses and I have to look somewhere else, I try to look over the top of my glasses. I can’t do that today because there is 20 pounds of hair sitting there. I keep thinking my glasses are dirty because there’s smutz on them. The smutz, as you can probably guess, is actually my hair. If I don’t get my hair cut tomorrow I am going to lose my shit. At the same time, I really don’t want to get my hair cut tomorrow because I really don’t want Covid. Damn it!

Yesterday was Dr Martin Luther King, Jr day in the USA. Was it also a holiday in the UK? Why is the That Pedal Show live show happening today instead of yesterday?

I just did something I haven’t done in ages. Instead of chasing my lunch with some junk food, I had some fruit. I am sharing that information not because it’s interesting to you, my loyal and much loved readers, but because if I happen to look back at this a few days or weeks or years from now I want to know that on at least one day I did at least one thing right. I am encouraging/guilting my hypothetical future self.

My step son is taking a jazz piano course. Just a one credit thing. He had his first lesson today. He’s very excited. He said he popped a 9th on top of a Dominat 7 chord. Yes. Next stop, Chick Effin’ Corea babie!

Right, back to work.

Can’t Sleep

I think I hit the caffeine a little too hard today. It’s quarter to 11:00pm and I can’t sleep. I haven’t tried very hard. I’m just bright eyed and bushy tailed. I’m hoping for some car music tomorrow so a good nights sleep would be helpful. Nope. Doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Oh well.

I started watching The Peacemaker last night. It’s every bit of the foul, goofy, raunchy, goodness you’d expect from a spin off of The Suicide Squad. I started watching Yellowjackets tonight. I’ve been seeing people raving about it all over the social media universe (except for that one platform, right?) and after one episode it’s already living up to the hype. I mean, what the hell???

We re-potted the three bedroom plants last night and I watered them today. I don’t think I killed them, but knowing my gardening skills they are probably at death’s door. Sorry, bros.

I mentioned the doctor visit I have on Wednesday. Also on the agenda is a haircut, I think. We know I’m freaking out over the weight loss surgery process, but I’m also freaking out about Covid exposure. Two vaccine shots, a booster, and a kick ass mask should be enough to keep me safe, but in these insane omicron times? Who knows. If I do get it, the three shots should keep it from getting out of control, but with my weight?

No, Robert. Stay optimistic. Focus on the power of positive thinking and all of that crap.

Okay, I think I’m going to head over to the YouTubes and watch some guitar videos. Mr Dumble (I don’t know his name), the man behind Dumble amplifiers has apparently passed away. Maybe I’ll look his amps up. If I find something good I’ll share it.

Recording Studio Magic-ish

Back in 2015 I worked out a song for the RPM Challenge that tricked GarageBand into using different time signatures. It chugs along at 120 beats per minute switching between 7/8, 6/4, and 4/4 like nobody’s business. It was a cool song to play and I had a lot of fun working on it, but it took me a long time to get the rhythm guitars recorded in a way that was good enough to keep.

There was a section in the middle of the song though… 24 bars… written on a keyboard with the tempo set to something much lower than 120 bpm. It was, to my lame ears, a cool break in the middle of the song. Unfortunately I couldn’t play it at 120 bpm on the guitar. It was just too fast for my fat fingers to grasp. I ended up recording it in pieces. Three bars then one bar, repeat six times, then move to a second track and repeat the whole thing. It was pretty brutal to get through.

That was in 2015. One month later I started messing with the idea of a re-recording project. I didn’t get far. Then in 2016 when RPM ended I went back to the re-recording thing and added this particular song to the list. Apparently I forgot about all of the stress it had caused me when I first recorded it.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and the re-recording project finally gets around to this song. I had forgotten everything. I started with the bass and drums and had to remember how to trick GarageBand into using different time signatures (hint: it boils down to math). Then I had to remember how to trick GarageBand into letting me use the Session Drummer with the different time signatures (hint: lots of bouncing segments between two tracks, one of which is not the session drummer). Then last night I took my first crack at adding guitars.

Intro? No problem. Verses? Easy. Chorus? Cake. All the little 1-2 bar bridge sections? No problem. The section in the middle (actually, while working on the MIDI tracks I cut a few sections out of the song. One of them was the last eight bars of the middle section so the 24 bar section is now only 16 bars, dig)? Hello? Anyone?

Could I play it?

Not even close.

While I was struggling last night Harry came home from work so I stopped trying. Today I had a little time to get back to it. I scrapped everything I did yesterday and started fresh, mostly just to build up my confidence. When I got to the middle section I did something unusual. I just sat here at my desk, looking at GarageBand, and practiced. Not for long. Just enough to get it under my fingers, even though it was wrong 90% of the time. Then I split the 16 bars into four, four bar segments and started on the first segment. Remember I double everything, so each four bar segment needs to be done twice. It took me a long time to get the first one. The second track went a little quicker. Same with segment two. For segment three, it took a lot longer to get the first track, but the second track was nailed in one take! WOOHOO! Of course that just jinxed me for the rest and I needed like 10-15 tries for each piece.

The end result though… I have the full 16 bars, twice. Kick ass! The punches were nice and clean too, so I can’t even tell that it was recorded in pieces. It just sounds like I am actually able to play the guitar like a big boy and I just did it. Nice.

Wow… I wrote a lot about this stupid little song.

Guitar pictures to celebrate my being able to pretend I don’t suck quite as bad as I clearly do!

I also retired a pick today, and the battery on my clip on tuner is about to die. That’s all the news that is fit to print.

Another New Old Song

After including three Rush songs in the last post, this new thing should sound that much shittier.

A song from 2010 with new lyrics and a new coat of paint. I waffled on whether to re-do this song for years. Literally. It went on the list of songs to work on in 2016 and was dropped off and re-added at least twice. Now that it’s done… I probably should have left it off.

It has a drum solo though.