Finished a (bad) Song

I don’t think I like this song very much, but it’s the first song since March that doesn’t use a Klon style overdrive pedal at least a little bit. Well, it does in all the solos, but not in the rhythm. I used a Tube Screamer for the rhythm because the ghost of Stevie Ray Vaughn visited me in a dream and told me to (no he didn’t, I totally just made that up).

Music Tree

Lots of music progress. I recorded rhythm guitars for (I think) five songs yesterday, wrote lyrics for two, and then today added vocals to five.

I’d like to add the stupid picture I took of the tree next to my car-music parking spot, but wordpress.com’s block editor is being a bit of a dick right now.

341/365

Never mind, wordpress.com wasn’t being a dick, I forgot to update a setting in Flickr. My bad.

So currently I have five songs ready for lead guitar, six songs ready for lyrics, and two songs ready for rhythm guitar. The total count is at 24. One shy of halfway.

I can practically smell how little you care.

August Music is Underway

336/365 - August 1st

I played some rhythm guitar today. I recorded the three songs I mentioned this morning that were ready, and I started a new song, did the whole arrangement for it, and recorded the rhythm guitar parts all before dinner. August music is officially underway.

I also did something I haven’t done in months. I messed around with different overdrive pedals. Not only that, I recorded a couple of songs without using a Klon style pedal. Two of the songs, including the new one, just used my Tube Screamer Mini. I haven’t used that pedal in years. Also, I tried my Mosky Black Rat (it’s still plugged in in the picture).

I’ve had that pedal for months and I’d never even plugged it in. I can’t remember when I bought it, January? Something like that? One day I decided I needed to have a Rat style pedal in my pedal arsenal. I bought the cheapest little Chinese made clone amazon had. When it arrived I took it out of the box, put it on my dresser and…

…today I plugged it in. I used it by itself with the gain really low and it sounded pretty sweet. Maybe it’s time to look into getting a real ProCo Rat.

Anyway, I still have three songs that don’t have an arrangement yet, and now seven that are ready for vocals.

50/90 continues, and August music is underway.

50/90 One Month Check In

It’s August 1st. I cannot believe it’s already August 1st. The universe ended in March, how can it be August? What the freak?

So where are we with 50/90, because that’s what really matters to the universe, right? Ugh.

July 4-31 saw work on exactly 20 songs. 11 of them are done and done. Likely never to be listened to, or even thought of again. Three more songs have guitars but are waiting patiently for lyrics and vocals. Three more have a complete form but are waiting quite impatiently for guitars. That leaves three that are just a couple of little bass guitar noodles. One of which is only a few hours old. I snuck it in last night just before midnight.

So what does August have in store for us? No clue. I did something to my left thumb a couple of weeks ago. It hurts but I don’t think it’s broken. My range of motion is decreased a little, but not too much. It hurts to make a fist, and sometimes it hurts to lift things. It does not hurt to play guitar, but if it doesn’t get better I am going to have to have a doctor look at it. If there is something wrong and they need to immobilize it then guitar is going right out the window.

Other than that, my hope is to get up near 40 by the end of the month. I need to do at least 10 from start to finish in order to keep the album in a month streak alive, and I need to save at least 10 for the same reason in September. You know, now that I think of it… there is a shit load left to do. Ugh, I’m all intimidated now.

Crud.

Rock on, bro.

Three Songs

0.5x lens:

1x lens:

2x lens:

I recorded lead guitars and mixed three songs tonight. That puts me at 11 out of the goal of 50. Why the rush? I mean, my laptop battery is down to 9%. Surely I could have pushed one song off to tomorrow.

February, March, April, May, June… all have a complete album in a month project. Also, they all were completed on the 29th day of the month.

Today is the 29th of July, and I now have a complete album in a month project for this month, even though that is not technically the challenge I’m playing with at the moment. I still did it, and I still did it by the 29th. Cool.

This one isn’t very good:

This one is okay, I guess:

This one is also okay, I guess:

And now to celebrate my goofy milestone, here are some tintype photos because it’s 1850 or so.

Two Songs

I finished two songs tonight. That puts me at eight.

This one is… okay.

This one isn’t really, but the title comes from a Disney park’s Covid-19 re-opening plan, so there’s that.

Eight down, 42 to go. Yikes!

I Wrote Something Too Hard for Me

It happens now and then, but I seem to have written something that’s too hard for me to actually play.

50/90 has six songs in progress right now. I put rhythm guitars on five of them today. I would have done six but my battery was down to 2%.

Song #2 started out with me noodling a bass guitar part in GarageBand on my iPad. I tried to play along with it today and it’s too fast for me to pick it in time. My left hand can do it. My right hand cannot. Not only that, but there are two sections to the song that are beyond me. It would be pathetic enough if it was just one phrase, but no… it’s two. Damn it.

Anyway, on top of the five rhythm guitar parts I recorded for 50/90, I also did two leads for the re-recording thing. Both of them triggered whatever it is that makes my hands hurt like hell when I play sometimes, and I ended up dumbing things down on both of them. One has a nice nasty fuzz box tone though, so there’s that at least.

Here’s the obligatory post-guitar-playing photo.

That’s a Lot of Noise

I played a lot today. More than I expected.

When I finished playing on Thursday night, June Music had nine songs with all of the rhythm guitars. I had an idea for a 10th song, but it was just a single chord change. On Friday after work I found myself wishing that I had more to do. I’ll have to do leads eventually, but I like to save that for last, and I still have to write and record the vocal parts before I get there. What to do?

I wrote out music for two more songs, that’s what. I invented new stuff for me to do. Today I recorded the rhythm guitars for those two. Neither one is the 10th idea I had socked away, so now there are 11 songs with guitar/bass/drums and one that’s still only a snippet of nothing.

When I finished the second song today I saw that my MacBook’s battery percentage was still above 70. I didn’t want to stop. That’s when I remembered there was a song left over from April that had everything except lead guitar. I brought that up, finished it off, and now I have a song that’s ready to mix.

There was also a ton of battery left, and I still didn’t want to stop. What to do next?

I’ve mentioned about 100 times that in 2015 I started a project where I would re-record the least awful songs from all of my prior RPM Challenges and stuff. Every so often I try to get some work done but I never seem to finish anything. Screw it, thought me. I picked a song out of that batch, scrapped all of the guitar parts that were already done and did ’em again. When that was done I picked a second song. When that was done… my battery was below 10% and I had to help cook dinner.

In the grand scheme of things it’s all stupid and pointless and silly but damn if it didn’t feel good.

For the June and April songs I didn’t use my pedal board. I played the 335 into the RYRA The Klone and the Keeley Super Phat Mod. I had the gain dialed pretty far back on both, but with the Bassbreaker 15 that was enough for some good, chunky distortion. For the lead on the April song I just upped the gain on both pedals a smidge

For the 2015 Project songs I only did rhythm parts and I switched back to the pedal board. The most recent plan for this project was to use the same setup I use with Lizardfish. I followed that rule for the pedals but that’s it. Technically the 335 is still retired and not allowed to leave the house, so it’s not a Lizardfish thing. The Bassbreaker 15 has never been used with Lizardfish, though I still have the idea of pairing it with a Vox AC15 and using that with the band. Guitar Center’s website has a listing for a used AC15 for under $500. I am really tempted.

The signal path today was 335 to Klon KTR to Keeley D&M Drive (just the Dan side) to the Bassbreaker 15. The problems I was having when I first switched to that have been fixed. As expected, lowering the output level on the KTR by a ton really did the trick. No more mushy compression. Everything sounded clear and dynamic and great.

I noticed one other little detail. For one of the 2015 songs, a song that was written for the 2014 50/90 Challenge, I had previously added rhythm guitars to it. The song requires a clean sound and a distorted sound. When I recorded them before there was a little weirdness in the transitions that I hadn’t done on the 50/90 recording. I didn’t catch it until a couple of days after I finished the takes but it was reason enough to redo everything. Today when I finished each take I listened back to just the guitars, with everything else muted.

I don’t think I’ve done that for any of the recordings I’ve done since March, and I’ve only used the 335 on the most recent songs, so maybe it didn’t happen… When I had the distorted guitars solo’d and there were no other tracks playing, I realized that the microphone is actually picking up a little bit of the acoustic sound of the guitar. You can hear the pick hitting the strings. It’s really subtle, and you can’t hear it within the full mix, even when the guitar tracks are cranked. Either I was bashing the guitar really hard, or the amp isn’t as loud as I thought it was. I might go back to some of the old songs and see if it happened while playing a solid body guitar. Interesting.

Anyway, here’s a picture.

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