Sunday, 23 October 2011

Munji...JAW Munji

As (kinda) promised, here is a little video of me first time transcribing my way throught Naudo's James Bond Theme. It's straight off the bat, so if you see any obvious errors, please pipe up! :)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Video record fail...with some Pink Floyd consolation

Grabbed an opportunity last night to record the new song for youtube.  I stupidly put a lot of pressure on myself, and by take four my left hand had cramped up.  It's a regular issue for me now - if I play the same song more than say 3 or 4 times back to back, I'm using the same muscles over and over, they don't like it.  Not all songs, but generally, most songs I arrange have some part in them that hurts if you repeat it too much too often.  In this case, "Stupid Girl", you hang onto a G7 with a second string D for a long time.  When I first worked on "Something" it got so bad I did some sort of tissue damage to my pinky (I've talked about that before), fortunately, after about *a year* there were no further problems.

So I gave up.  I don't like the idea of a years worth or recovery again.

But, not to totally waste the opportunity, I played some different stuff.  I'm due for a re-record of some of my earlier posted songs.  Unfortunately the hand cramping didn't help, so both the songs did not meet my "stringent" requirements for what I will allow on my youtube channel.  But, my mates here (that's you) don't mind so much if my videos aren't up to scratch, so rather than throw away the videos I'll just post them on the blog channel! :)

First up was "Wish You Were Here", which I fumbled too many times through (one take), the tempo was not acceptable, dropped some key melody notes, basically I wasn't happy.  Mostly, I was happy, so it's probably worth a look.

Interestingly, when I posted it, Warner Chappell immediately flagged it and claimed it.  Bugged me a bit, so I deleted it, renamed it, and uploaded it again.  Warner Chappell immediately claimed it again.  Interesting - youtube actually parses the audio and checks if it matches claimed songs.  Worth noting.  I'll take it as a compliment (I play the song so well and true to form that it pattern matches) but in future if I upload a pattern matched song first I'll upload the video without audio, claim it for myself, and then upload the audio.  Ha ha, schneaky :)

Second up was the ever increasing/ongoing Dark Side of the Moon.  Again, hand was still cramping somewhat, even more dropped melody notes, bad tempo - my phone rang at one stage making a racket, I ignored it but it really threw me, played wrong chords and stuff, ha ha.  So you'll see a botched Great Gig in the Sky which I gave up on and moved on, Us and Them is still in production, and I made hard work of Brain Damage which is strange because I've been playing that for years.

But, some of my mates will appreciate it even if it is messy, in fact appreciate it more than they would if it wasn't messy (you can see me laughing at myself because of the ridiculous errors I was making).  Warts and all, but be warned, it is 16 minutes of your life you will never get back :)

Friday, 7 October 2011

There is no end...

What I find time and time again is regardless of the direction you go playing the guitar, there is no end.  You can take it as far as you like, there will always be something more.  You'd think after 30+ years I would have exhausted _something_, but no, it's no the case.  And once you have the guitar in your blood, it's there for life.  You might be in a 10 year hiatus, but the guitar will entice you back sometime.

I was on holidays with the family for the whole of last week and I didn't play any guitar.  When I came back, that evening I picked her up and played her, and she has the sweetest sound, so rich and warm, and my fingers just knew what to do and it felt and sounded like the best guitar playing I've ever done.  Just one week away.  You can never reach the end of realising how beautiful the guitar can sound.

This week I was mixing up the melody in my latest song, for a bit of interest.  You don't want to play the verse exactly the same every time, especially when it is sung different in verses, and I found an 1/8th note lag in verse 2 forced my brain to have to completely re-evaluate what was going on.  I could "feel" I needed to program a quite different process in my brain to be able to slip that one note back.  Here is the two almost identical melodies, there is one G missing on beat 2& (which actually provides a mental cue) but it is the Bb set back from beat 3 to beat 3& that makes the difference:

|---------------|------------| |----------------|------------|
|---------------|------------| |----------------|------------|
|----0-0-2-3--2-|------------| |----0---2---3-2-|------------|
|--------3-0----|------------| |--------3-0-----|------------|
|-------------1h|==3---3--1-3| |--------------1h|==3---3--1-3|
|-3--3----------|------------| |-3--3-----------|------------|

You can never reach the end of finding stuff that is challenging to push into your brain.

The last two nights I've had an opportunity to play the guitar a bit, and both nights I've run through Dark Side of the Moon.  You'll be pleased to know Ryan and Marc :)  Since it is a good twenty minutes of continuous playing, you're probably not surprised to hear that I experiment all over the place with subtle differences in melody, techniques and sound.  You'd think that the longer I'd played a piece the more consistent it would get.  I think that is true initially, but once you are playing a piece in autopilot that is when you can start introducing differences.  Naudo is a classic example, I've seen different recordings of something like "Losing my Religion" and "Another Brick in the Wall" and each one is quite different - maybe in another key!  You can never "finish" a song.

The list of never ending goes on - perhaps it is because our approach changes over time; if we were to do only one thing perhaps we would reach the ultimate end.  But I doubt it :)

Friday, 16 September 2011

What's happening September 2011

Two more polls completed, the first was "How do you like your blog?" and from 43 votes we had:

23 (53%) text is just fine
13 (30%) in glorious video
4  ( 9%) I don't like blogs 
3  ( 6%) audio for my 'pod

So the message is that I shouldn't bother with an audio blog, that roughly 1 in 10 people who find my blog (probably looking for tabs) like to fill in polls but don't like blogs, and I should run say 2 text blogs for every video blog I post. Okay, thanks all!

For "I'll watch a youtube video...", from 58 votes we had:

27 (46%) even if I had to watch an advert first
18 (31%) only if it was totally advert free
13 (22%) even if there were overlaid adverts

Which tells me that only around one in three respondents don't want any adverts at all...which is less than I expected. It seems that adverts are just an accepted part of life, I would say because they are easily ignorable. But, marketers are prepared to spend huge dollars on them, so they must work. On this site I get about a 1% click rate - that is, 1% of all advert views result in someone clicking on the advert. That either means that 1% of people don't know how to use the internet, or 1% of people do know how the internet works and that clicking on an ad sends money to the publisher :)

Speaking of which, I signed the youtube channel up. I had been asked, slightly persistently, by Viso Music (a Canadian broadband TV crowd) to partner with them. After about two months of avoiding making a decision, reasoning with myself about why I should or shouldn't, and boring them to tears with incessant questions I finally said "what the hey" and signed their (scary) agreement.

Good or bad decision? Time will tell.

There were two good reasons that made it an easy decision in the end. Viso have an arrangement with YouTube, they look after the licensing issues of cover artists, and in return YouTube will allow a cover artist to be a Youtube partner. Normally if you, as a cover artist, applied to be a partner you'd get turned down due to copyright infringement. But as a partner, you can then advertise with your videos.

Did you notice the two good reasons? (a) I'm now a partner with Youtube protected under the banner of the ligitimate company Viso Music so Youtube will never shut me down due to copyright infringement. (b) Youtube videos get adverts which sends money my way - although it won't be much, maybe a dollar a day.

The downside is I've basically signed videos over to them, if I want to pull the plug, well, they've got the videos now, I don't.

Of course, early days, we'll see how it works out.

In other news I started working on an interesting video which I'm sure you will appreciate, stepping through an arrangement with screen video captures and a commentary. It is taking longer than I hoped, but I will finish it, sometime! Mostly mastered playing "Stupid Girl", will probably record a video of that in the next few weeks. Really enjoying playing it, it's just got a good feel and a cool sound. Recommended!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Naudos new guitar revealed?

It looks like Naudo has unveiled his new guitar (but didn't specifically discuss it, just got his daughter to record him playing a few songs on it!)  I did a bit of research and decided it is a Crafter SAC TMVS electro-acoustic, here's the product blurb:

Unknown if he's had it modified in any way - I suspect it's off the shelf, I get the feeling he's not that finnicky with his selection...

Word from The Man himself has revealed no, the Crafter SAC TMVS is not his new guitar, he has had that one for about 4 years.  His new guitar is in fact a Prudencio Saez.  I hope to see it soon! :)

Best wishes as always Naudo my friend! :)