Wednesday, February 29, 2012
So part of the reason that I undertook creating music as my senior project was because I generally failed to see anything through. I start a project with a lot of enthusiasm and energy, and as time goes on all that energy diminishes and my hopes of completing what it was I wanted to do dissolve. Eventually I stop altogether and whatever it was I was attempting to do joins all the other incomplete projects I started and never finished. The same is true of songs, before I started my project I had many song parts, and I tried to develop full songs, but with time the song was simply put away and was never looked at again. Well that’s sort of where I am with my project now. At first I was extremely energetic about my project, and now I feel like what I want to do simply isn’t going to happen and that my project will be a failure. I understood that I was undertaking a large project when I started, or at least I thought I did, but now we are a mere 3 months away from graduation and it feels like I still have nothing to show, no results or product that I can say “I did that” or that I can be proud of. Yes, I have learned a significant amount of basic music theory, but that still doesn’t feel like enough. I wanted to have recorded songs as a finished product, and that is still what I want, but I feel like with the amount of time I won’t be able to produce something I can be really proud of. It feels like I hit the brick wall, but regardless of that I will still struggle on to write and record my music.
So I have come to the part of my project where I am beginning to question whether or not I can actually accomplish what it is I want to do. I want to record my own alternative music, however that requires more than just a guitar. I can record Bass parts on my own as well, but the problem occurs when drums and vocals get involved. I have no way of recording drum parts. I have a digital recorder and I could try to mess around with different recording methods and techniques to get better drum quality, but as of now the drums are simply too loud for my recorder. The best solution I see is to get an electric drum set and plug that directly into the computer and record from there, but an electric drum set cost money that I certainly don’t have. The second problem I face is vocals, I’d like to have vocals to my music, but I can’t sing and I know no one who can. Also I struggle to put music to lyrics and lyrics to music. Hopefully the oncoming creativity week in which I will be participating in music composition can help me learn how to do that.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
As part of the senior project I am required to have a panel of advisers consisting of four people. So far I have filled two of the four positions. My first panel member is my guitar instructor, Paul Nichols. Paul has studied music theory, has played the guitar since the age of three, and has been a part of and toured with various rock, metal, and all sorts of other bands. My second panel member is my mentor, Tyrone Hill. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about Tyrone’s credentials other than the fact that he has worked with music production software for some time and has offered to help me in my recording process. The third panel member is supposed to be a member of the Chinquapin Board of Directors, and I am still working with Bridget Anderson (Chinquapin Director of Development) to find a board member willing to assist me in my project. The last member is supposed to be an expert in the field, but I don’t really know any experts in the field. I was thinking of asking Paul if he knew anyone who could help, but as of now I have yet to come up with anyone for that position.
So I have spent every Saturday in the month of January attending free recording workshops at Guitar Center in Westheimer. The workshops were an extremely refreshing experience for me in two ways. First, they allowed me to learn much more about actually recording and editing your music then I probably would have learned by just trial and error, but they also gave me a new spirit and life. For a while I had felt as if my project was almost hopeless. I felt like I had neither the musical knowledge and skill or the experience with recording and editing songs to produce something I could truly be proud of by the end of the year, and although I realize that the task ahead of me is an extremely long and difficult one I feel more excited and invigorated now than ever. The workshops showed me that with a bit of ingenuity and with a lot of time, effort, and devotion that anyone could produce a song of pretty good quality using a program like garageband, and that a thousand dollar studio isn’t necessary to get some good audio quality, although I’m sure it helps. Mainly the class emphasized using different equipment and programs to get the most out of your recordings, and I’m extremely happy that I decided to attend because there was a lot of helpful and useful information offered up by the instructor. So aside from studying music theory in my “the complete idiot’s guide to music theory” book that is what I’ve been doing this past month.