Man its been a while since I have updated this blog! Sorry for those of you who have looked forward to a new post; life has caught up with me and I have had to take some time out from my hobbies (such as writing on this blog) to plan for my future. I will be moving from Edmonton (AB, CA) to Eugene, Oregon to attend school…I have an apartment with a buddy of mine, and it should be a great year. I hope to study either music or journalism, but hey, I guess anything is possible. Anyways, for those of you that are interested, I opened up a youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/soccerman034
This channel should contain music and sports content, so stay tuned! I have also been writing quite a bit lately, and I look forward to posting some of my stuff on the blog. Thanks for the reading!
Hey gang, sorry for yet another long layover between posts; I really haven’t had the motivation to do anything these last few weeks, so don’t take it personally. I have an operation later this week (Gastroscopy…yikes), as well the GEDs so I probably wont have another post up for a week or so. Anyways, I figured I would show you guys a song I have been working on. I haven’t been able to match these lyrics with music yet (working on it), but they seem pretty promising. I am not too good at singing, so, I think it will be a while before you hear a complete song from me. Without further ado, here is “Modern Man“:
“The Meaning of life
written on my Walls
but I’m Illiterate.
The Truth in Lies;
Ignorance is bliss,
Holier than thou;
maybe I am,
yet still I follow.
Over the Edge.
stoked by those
Blinded by faith
(no I’m not)
Chained by values
(no I’m not)
Disarmed by conscience
(no I’m not)
I am a modern man, (Whoo)”
It clearly still needs some work (Id like to get each stanza into four lines instead of 3 and 4), but it is coming along. Let me know what you think!
I thought I would share another exercise with you guys that can help with really fast alternate picking. I scanned in a sample tab as well, here is what it looks like:
– Over the first repetition on the tab, I have the picking rythmn (U= pick Up, D=pick Down). Over the second repetion I have the finger structure (1: pointer finger, 2: middle finger, 3: ring finger, 4: pinky). This tab should sound like this: Alternate Picking Exercise.
The key with getting better at speed picking is starting out slow; play this riff 10 or so times at 4:4 timing, then speed up from there. Make sure you have a good solid pick as well, that is always key to playing stuff like this really fast; I tend to choke way up on my pick when doing this as well to produce a better cadance for my picking hand.
I thought I would give you guys a little insight on the solo I have been working on for “Falling Apart”, although it may end up being an intro riff to another song (I can’t seem to play it right in E minor, the key in which “Falling Apart” is played). To be honest, the whole idea of the solo came from a warm up riff I created to stretch my hands while playing. I printed a copy of the tab off (I used Power Tab V1.7 to write it, great program!), and scanned it in so I can show you an example. I also wrote a reference to which fingers should play which notes; in the reference, the pointer finger=1, the middle finger=2, the ring finger=3, and the pinky=4 (I figured some of the newer guitarists our there would find it useful). Here is the tab:
Warm Up Exercise:
Here is an advanced version of the same warm up; this is meant to show the versatility of this fingering structure down or up the fret board (keep in mind that the same fingering should be used no matter where this warm up is played).
Advanced Warm Up Exercise:
Using the notes in the 1st warm up, I came up with a little riff that I intend to use for a solo at some point. Here is what that looks like in tab form (again, same fingering structure).
Pretty interesting stuff! By the way, I used my strat reproduction (Silvertone) to make these recordings while my Epiphone Les Paul gets a tune up. As always, thanks for the read!
NOTE: I see that my images are cut off (damn you WordPress!), but you can still view them by right clicking, then clicking “view image.” Sorry for the inconvenience!
I decided to incorporate the intro to my second song (“Falling”) into my first song; I am using it as a transition from the solo to the main chorus line and I think it works pretty effectively. Not only does it sound pretty good, but it also allows my hand to slip down to the end of the guitar where the chrous and the verse are played. Here is the first draft: “Falling Apart” Draft #1.
I intially meant this first song to be a two guitar attack, meaning that one guitar would play the lead line and the other would play the rhythm section. The only issue is that, for the most part, I was only using the rythmn guitar for harmonization. Harminzation is when one guitar plays a riff at a certain octave, and another guitar plays the same riff at a different octave, creating a ear appealing affect. A key example of “harmonizing guitars” can be found in the “The Trooper” by Iron Maiden. Anyways, I decded to start working on the solo for “Falling Apart”, and thus I needed to also write a rythmn line to play under it. Here they are; keep in mind these are very early drafts and the solo is played at half speed:
Anyways, sorry for the long time between posts, but I have been really busy. I am renting an apartment next fall with a buddy of mine in Eugene Oregon, and I need to get a ton of stuff ready before I move. Thanks for the read!
I decided to re-record my first song (previously unnamed, now “Torn Apart”) with a few new parts in a different order. Here it is: “Torn Apart” Draft #2.
I also started work on my second song, called “Falling”…Here is the intro as I have it now: Falling Intro.
As always, thoughts and comments are appreciated!
Its REALLY raw, so be easy on it! The recording itself is really quiet, so be sure to turn your speakers up!
Your opinions are welcome as always. I am thinking I will add a bridge from the intro to the chorus, and a guitar solo over the 2nd bridge between choruses, but I have yet to write anything yet.
Every now and then a song comes a long that really connects with your life; it feels as if the singer is talking directly to you. These songs become dear to us, and serve as time markers in our lives which we look back on from a better vantage point in the future. One of these precious songs has been in my head for months now, and the clarity that it had when I first heard it still has yet to fade. The song I am speaking of is “Peace Sells” by Megadeth off of their album “Peace Sells….But Who’s Buying?” Here are the lyrics:
“What do you mean, “I don’t believe in God”?
I talk to him every day.
What do you mean, “I don’t support your system”?
I go to court when I have to.
What do you mean, “I can’t get to work on time”?
I got nothing better to do
And, what do you mean, “I don’t pay my bills”?
Why do you think I’m broke? Huh?
If there’s a new way,
I’ll be the first in line.
But, it better work this time.
What do you mean, “I hurt your feelings”?
I didn’t know you had any feelings.
What do you mean, “I ain’t kind”?
I’m just not your kind.
What do you mean, “I couldn’t be president, of the United States of America”?
Tell me something, it’s still “We the people”, right?
Can you put a price on peace?
Peace sells…,but who’s buying?”
The first few lyrics were what really struck me. At the time I first heard this song, my parents had found my weed stash and were convinced that I was on the fast track to becoming a criminal. I guess you could say I fit the stereotypical mold of a slacker (i.e. the embodiment of teenage angst)…I often have long hair with a beard, baggy pants, etc… Despite my appearance, music preferences, and opinion on drugs, I still consider myself an educated, moral, and informed citizen. Just because I carry on a certain persona doesn’t mean I intend to completely waste my life…Since when does someones choice of attire or music preference automatically relegate them to society’s junk yard? The truth is, no one person truly fits the parameters of a perfect person; so why do most feel the need to label a certain group of people (who may or may not share the same beliefs) based on superficial things? As you can see, this song arouses some strong personal opinions even now…imagine what it did to me when I listened to it the first time, while I sat in my room awaiting punishment for smoking a substance I knew wasn’t as harmful as my parents thought.
As a whole, the song’s message is about a much bigger issue (everyone claims to want peace, but very few are willing to sacrifice anything for it), but the first two verses really connected with me on a personal level. What song lyrics have you had a “personal conneciontion with”? Feel free to share!
This one is supposed to be darker metal guitar riff; keep in mind that this is only the first draft…Ideally a riff like this would be played at a fast pace, partially palm muted, with a metal chord progression being played in the background. Let me know what you think: Dark Riff Example. For those interested in this riff from a musical theory side of things, I used the major scale (E Chord form).
Hey gang, sorry again for the long time period between posts…I just haven’t really been motivated lately. As the temperature continues to increase as we enter the summer months, my ability to do stuff is hampered by my need to be outside lounging and getting tan for the ladies… Anyways, I thought I would take this lazy Sunday afternoon to talk about something that was pointed out to me by my brother in law Rob a few weeks ago. He mentioned that a life insurance company had the Smashing Pumpkin’s “Today” in one of their commercials…The irony of this, of course, is that “Today” is about suicide…Life insurance and suicide go hand in hand right? Its almost as if this particular company is trying to connect with the “Death of Salesman” consumers out there (for those that don’t get the literary reference to “Death of Salesman”, study up!) With all jokes aside, it is obvious that the company used the song because it has a catchy and cheerful beat to it, despite having dark lyrics. This juxtaposition has become more and more common in the music industry today, and I personally find it very interesting….It somehow causes you to look at a subject in a different light. Using “Today” as an example, suicide is generally extremely taboo and..well…depressing. But when listening to the lyrics combined with a generally upbeat rhythm, you kind of get to see the other side of it…Now I am not saying this song has subliminal messages in it that makes you suicidal, but I guess it kind of just extenuates the beauty of life compared to death…I am sure I lost a few of you their, but its really just a hard thing to describe altogether. What do you think about juxtaposition in music today (upbeat lyrics + sad music/sad lyrics + upbeat lyrics)? Thanks for the read!