Monday, March 22, 2010

Writing my own Tunes

On an impulse, and the idea of starting something simple, I recorded my first original instrumental:

It follows a very simple, and repeating bassline, as well as a simple snare-bass-snare-bass drum beat (the most used, most simple and easy, most recognized drum beat) with some improvisation on the hi-hat. Because I only had those two working instruments that's all the instrumental contains - drums and bass.

The tune had been dormant in my head for awhile. Then I made up the higher, different yet similar notes today to give it variety (so it wasn't simply repeating itself the entire time, like the Fine Young Cannibals song 'Good thing'). I also incorporated some descending notes at the end, again, to spice it up. I was going more on the drum fills towards the end as well, spicing it up there. A lot of it I came up with right on the spot, particularly with the drums (hi-hat mostly) and some of the bass parts.

The only problem with the song is the sound quality; the microphone in my camcorder isn't very good at separating drums except for the snare, and the hi-hat is overbearing, making them sound messy and mostly indecipherable. The bass was fine throughout though some notes sounded a lot quieter than other and sometimes it didn't start perfectly on cue. I've got to get into different recording methods. I wanted it to sound rough, like a demo, though it was a little too rough I think.

With the nature and ongoing sound of the general song, it ended up sounding very lazy and normal, ongoing. Therefore I ended up calling it "Lazy Hangout," since in a way it had a sort of boring, mundane feel (not the sound of the music, the nature of it). The nature is actually quite similar to The Police's "Walking on the Moon," in that the bass repeats the same notes and sounds laid back and easy-going.

The feedback I've had on it so far is that it's 'catchy' and 'good stuff.' It's far from perfect but I'm pleased with it. It's a very basic, rudimentary start to something potentially good musically. What I'm so happy for is that I created it myself. Making something original and your own is a lot more pleasurable and accomplishing than playing someone else's music, like the Madness I've been playing for three years on both instruments.

Expect future refinements, additions, and upgrades to that song and others. I'm really getting into this. The problem is my lack of other people to play with, really.

Justin C.

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