Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Not Giving Up

How Not To Record A Song
Great news! She is still alive at 87. I need to talk to her...
It is Wednesday.
Yesterday, I lived on about 2 dollars.
This morning, I cooked a big pot of rice, to go with hot sauce and stuff gathered out of restaurants, a lot of it by Sue, the Colombian lady.
I Had another non productive night, trying to record a song which is one of my better tip-getting songs.
I think the problem is that I am using drum tracks that I downloaded for free, which are labeled such as "Rock Pattern #16" and am trying to merge my preexisting songs with them.
Drum beats kind of imply how the song should go.
Think of the drum intro to "Walk This Way," by Aerosmith. You could write another guitar riff that might sound very interesting using that very same drum pattern, but, you would be hard pressed to take a song that was written without reference to that drum pattern and just try to lay the song on top of it.
I think that is how I came up with a lame and uninspiring version of "My Favorite Mule," into the wee hours of the morning.
But, I am not giving up.
My latest idea is to record one track of guitar and vocal simultaneously. The microphone can't seem to handle that and it will sound crappy, but I'll be able to be use it as a guide for the rest of the tracks which will be separated and recorded more cleanly.
On the guide track, I can even yell instructions to myself, like "Heads up, here comes the bridge!" because that track will be erased in the end. It will be better than playing along with Rock Pattern #16, because it will already be the exact song that I'm recording.
I still have a couple days to produce the three songs that I promised myself.
It's time to go see if I can buy Howards night time snack of Cheetos and Pepsi for him on my food card, in exchange for a couple bucks.
I had planned upon doing more today, but I was up until sunup working on the failed project.
I've got two computer books to study, which Sue took out of the New Orleans Library for me, using some card which was given to her by someone whom she no longer cares about getting fined for late, lost or stolen books...
Kind Of In "Limbo" Right Now...
Friday At Five
It looks like my plan will be to get downtown, even if I have to walk the 8 miles, on Friday and play there for my bus fare to New Orleans, and hopefully get there Saturday.
At some point though, if money is not accumulating, then I'll have to think about going somewhere that I can at least work picking cucumbers or something, before my guitar totally wears out and I don't even have 120 bucks for a pawn shop replacement one.
A Job?
The guy at the convenience store that allows me to play, here in Scotlandville, but where I average only about 7 bucks a night, told me that he is opening up (yet) another store, and that he was thinking about offering me a job...
I don't know if I should think of that as "getting a start" somewhere, or "getting stuck" somewhere.
I just don't like this whole feeling like we are all just trying to pass the time until we die, by reading books and doing crossword puzzles...


Alex said...

I honestly think you might want to git'cho ass out to Santa Cruz, because I know for a fact that you can eat and eat well for free there, and if your geetar playing doesn't quite make it, you can always get odd jobs around there, and you can do all kinds of performing. One guy folds teeny origami cranes (with fingers the size of my big toes) and hands them to people, I've given him a few bucks and we all like the guy. One guy makes paper flowers out of scrap paper he gets from offices, puts perfume in the middle, and hands those out. I've done a ton of different crafts out there and made out pretty well, although the nearly 100-mile round trip made me give up.

If I leave here, Santa Cruz is where I'm going. I honestly think I can be the happiest there, and if I get something going where I'm rather successful, then consider moving to SF itself.

Alex said...

You're probably walking to downtown as I write here on Friday.

Your guitar wearing out is a valid point. Guitars are fairly complicated machines and *do* wear out.

Harmonicas do, too, but keeping some of those going may not cost you any more than guitar strings. There have been more than one vocalist who used a harmonica as their instrument also. I dunno if you're able to look at Youtube stuff much, but there are some tutorials on there. To get a good tone, you need to get it INTO your mouth more so your mouth acts as a resonating chamber. You also need to cultivate getting single notes. You can get single notes by "pecking" it with your lips, but that makes a lousy, small, tone. It's actually possible to get single notes with that harp crammed on in there, takes some practice (I'm working on it too) but worth it.

Again I recommend going with Lee Oskar harps. I like mine; it's about the same as a Hohner Special-20 in the low end, but the high end is stronger. They're said to last a long time before failing, and then you can just replace the reed plate.

Especially in NOLA, you're going to hear a lot of blues harp, but you might want to work on non-blues songs like "Danny Boy" etc.

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