So I must reach deep in the bowels of my memory since the latest quicktime update made playing MP3s in firefox very temperamental and I lost last night's blog entry...and of course now that it is finally finished, its Thursday's blog entry. Nice.
Useless thoughts of uselessness.
So I have had a slight feeling of uselessness lately. I guess its because I am really not that good at things. My strength was always my ideas, cheesy as they were, rather than my playing. For a while there the formal piano stuff actually stifled the ideas, but I thought it would be worth it in the long run. Now, I just don't know. I have all this gear, and I am not really doing anything with it.
I probably just need to snap out of thoughts like that and just focus on the getting better, rather than whinging about not. Beyond practice, which I need to do more of anyway, I've though of a couple strategies to make me feel better about things:
Firstly, a songwriting partner of some description. The TDN!S stuff sorta fell in a heap because no one was really coming up with ideas that we could do anything with. Matt just wanted to jam with no continuity. I love jamming, but I want to get songs out of it. I was planning to have Jess over to do some stuff, but that just never materialised. I should hit her up again. JP is coming over on Sunday, I think, but he's really at a basic level with the bass. Hmmm. Something will work out, but yes, it would be good to have ideas to bounce off.
The second thing I need to concentrate on is giving my pieces time to breathe. Too often do I find myself trying to build things up and introduce change too quickly. I need to listen to more ultra ambient and try and emulate it or something. We went to the Front Gallery to see a few bands the other night, and there was this dude playing a fat Rhodes with a million effects pedals.
He was barely playing any 'piano' as such, but you could tell he was a virtuoso. Ok, well I had checked out his myspace the night before. I am not sure if it was inspiring or just depressing, but it was a good lesson in chilling the fuck back and building some atmosphere.
Carlos the Midget.
Before going out the other night, I sat down and nutted the first bar here on the EP, later adding the second bar and drums.
I've got an 8th note delay on the EP there. I need more feedback on it, but it was a real effort to record this through the mac and all, so another time. I want to have a 1.5 beat delay on the drums too. Its made me realise what little amount of things I have set up on the computer. I'll set up the delays I want this week and do it again.
I'll have to challenge myself to develop this slowly. I think I'll put some jangly 16ths over the top, and need a bassline too.
The Thursday Song.
I showed Paul the developed Thursday song, and he helped remind me of that two chord interchange I stuck on at the end. I know its not that impressive, but I really like the way they sound together.
We worked it out and it sounded ok. Of course, as usual, it didn't sound right when I brought it home. After a while, I realised it was because I was playing them at slightly different intervals, ok and a slightly different note.
Not sure who was right here when comparing to the original, but I like the second one better either way.
I only discovered this by accident, though. I wish my brain was more open to the concept of intervals - that a C Chord can as easily be E/G/C, but it doesn't come naturally - another area where I need to challenge myself.
I do love them though. They are very useful for playing the Bontempi Junior.
We spent a fair bit of time working on the Sigur Ros song on Tuesday. When we first heard it he figured that I was pretty close. After a bit more listening, we realised I was pretty off. The song isn't in a different temperament or anything, just slightly tuned down. We figured this out using this excellent program called Transcribe! Its a frequency analyser that converts tells you the dominant notes in a selected part of a sound file. Its great for working out chords, too,
We also realised that the song started at Eb, rather than G. What was interesting was that a straight transposition didn't work. Moving one note to the correct spot leaves some notes out. I am not sure if there's a complexity of transposition I don't understand, or just that some notes were more off than others. This might explain why some notes sounded more out than others and why I thought it was in a different tuning.
What gets me is how far off I was. Not just a semitone, but four. When I played along with the tune, I could tell it was off, but it was doing that phasing sound you hear when notes are close, so I figured it wasn't far off. I tried starting at F# and F# instead of G, but it just wouldn't have occurred to me to go all the way down to Eb. And this is a problem. I really don't have an identifying ear. I don't think its something you can train up that much, either.
But all that aside, I've got the intro in key now.
While Transcribe! is great for figuring out the simple stuff, it doesn't really have me much closer to the more complex parts of the song. I know the first piano changes when the second one comes in, I just can't nut out how yet...
Old Song.As planned,
here's something I came up with almost exactly a year ago. Its pretty silly. Not something I will really recover, but it could be good to see if I can easily play it.
Maybe I'd be a virtuoso if I practiced more and blogged less. No lessons for two weeks now.