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Audio Music My Songs

How Long Will It Take Me From Song Idea to Release?

Last night the idea came to me as a melody A-F#-D-A-C-B. I didn’t know what the notes were until I played it on the guitar and this is where the Snarkman was another blessing, since it identifies the notes as you are playing them. Then I was able to surmise that it was over a D-C-G chord movement. I tapped the rhythm as 109 and layed down the first demo on the iPad in Garageband with an accompanying “Drummer Track.” I sang mumbo jumbo which is what I usually do just so I can get the jist of the idea before I go to sleep.

1:49 pm. Today, I’m going to try writing the lyrics. I’m going to listen to what I mumbled last night and see if I can write some real words.
2:30pm. I got a first verse, chorus, and half of a second verse, but I had to stop. Or maybe I didn’t need to stop, but it feels like I need to stop for a while, do some other things and let my subconscious go to work. I still struggle with just letting out anything that comes to my mind, which I think you have to do on your first draft. When push comes to shove and its going to press tomorrow you can clean it up, but for now let your mind have some space.
I think the desire is to make everything so pretty, especially when the music is pretty, so when something comes out that is either nonsensical or not necessarily a pretty image, the impulse is to quash it. I say let it out, especially on the first draft. I’m trying to walk a fine line here with a balance between the subconscious and the conscious. I want to let each have its day in court so to speak. On the one hand if I wait for the subconscious to come up with the most perfect line, it’ll never get done, on the other hand if I just go with the first thing, not trying at all to bring some sense into the equation it won’t have any value either. “Sound and Sense” as my college poetry textbook said. An equal mixture of both. That’s poetry.

5/19/20

Well, let’s see. So technically I put in 40 minutes on this yesterday, but as I was doing other things the song remained in my head, and new lyrics started coming to me. Luckily with the Notes App whether I work on it at the desk or when I’m out and about with the iPhone, it all syncs up. Today, technically I sat down with it another 45 minutes or so. Well the end result is, I’ve got two or three pages of lyrics, way more than I need, but they don’t necessarily make sense together. Also, when I sing the ones I have, it just feels like there are better lyrics hiding, but I can’t force it or they won’t reveal themselves. Actually after I wrote for 45 minutes I opened up Soundtrap and layed down a couple guitar tracks. I’m a little stressed about the lyrics. It feels like a delicate line to walk between not rushing them and procrastination. I don’t mind having this creative space at the beginning, but I definitely don’t want it to go on too far. There should be some kind of deadline, but I’m not sure what it should be.

Categories
Music My Songs

My New Single Has Dropped

On all the major and minor streamers. Distrokid is a godsend. God bless you Philip Kaplan!
It’s called “It’s Nowhere.” I hope you’ll give it a listen, and let me know what you think!

Here’s the best link. It’s the Distrokid Hyperfollow Page that has links to all the major services. Am I crazy about this song? Not at the moment. I’ve listened to it so many times over the last few days, I just need a few weeks away from it for sure. Mostly when it comes out on these services you’re trying to see does it hold up at least sonically with other things you like.

I’d say on the whole it does. Like 85% of the time. So that makes me feel good and hopeful about my own mixing and mastering, and the potential of the tools going forward.

I’ll write more about this song later when I’m not so exhausted with it. Hopefully I’ll go on tour and play it live too—for you! For now, here’s a youtube link to the song, that anyone can listen to, even if they aren’t a subscriber to one of the streamers.

Categories
Audio Logic Music My Songs

Pre-Save My New Single “It’s Nowhere” on Spotify

https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/stephenpickering/its-nowhere

Categories
Audio Culture Music Web Services

Song of the Day: Ain’t Even Done With the Night – John Mellencamp

Update 9/26/20 — Hey Friends! I will eventually get around to posting a video me performing this song, but I have to admit my vocals are too weak. I have been since last summer taking singing lessons, practicing exercises, and they do work! I believe anyone can learn to sing as long as their ear is hearing the right pitch, but at the same time there are varying degrees of success, and I, even though maybe softly,  I still can’t sing this song at full volume anywhere near the ability of John. I’m getting better everyday, so I’m sure I’ll release something within the next 6 months even if it’s not as good (how could it be?).

But in the meantime, I wanted to introduce you to something even more exciting. You’ve probably already heard of it: Chordify. It’s an app on your mobile devices and a website on your desktop. But especially for learning covers, it’s amazing! It analyzes every song and spits out a chord chart! From the standpoint of learning covers, nothing could be more easy and fun. I have no financial interest and so far I have not paid anything for it. They do have a premium offer but I’m not sure what that gets you. Let me know in the comments what you think! Anyway, you can find it yourself, but here is the Chordify representation of “Ain’t Even Done with the Night.” Hit this link. You’ll have a lot of fun, especially if you’re wanting to learn covers. It’s amazing!

Original Post:

Well, every once in a while I start making lists of songs that I could actually play live. I always have this romantic notion of being a troubadour, traveling the world with just his guitar, serenading everywhere he goes. Never gonna happen. Well, at the very least it is fun to have a repertoire, so that you can just play, spontaneously, out of exuberance, enjoyment, and to tell you the truth, even in your own house, when you actually get the mics out, the stool, and the PA system, and you play a collection of songs for an hour or so, it really gives you the physical and psychological release do I call it? Therapy? Whatever, like a work out, or going to “Yoga” or a “Spin” Class.

At any rate, I thought last night that, you know, if I made a certain song off one of my lists a “Song of the Day” and spent the time learning it, actually playing it with a mic an PA as if I were performing live, that you know, after a month or a few months, certainly a year (and we know how fast these years go by) I’d have a pretty decent little setlist, repertoire, whatever you want to call it, that I could play for myself or for others.

So hear goes: Last night I suddenly had the urge to listen to John Mellencamp on Spotify. So I listened to his top hits. Really almost any of them I could have chosen. This one was about 5th or 6th down on the list.

So I came home and picked out the chords pretty fast. I mean it’s not a hard song, musically, but I’d like to think that that’s one of the benefits of learning covers: you start to see similar patterns, and the more you learn, the easier and more fun it seems to be to learn new ones. It’s kind of fun,  like figuring out a puzzle.

(An hour or so later)

Well, if nothing else, I’ve managed to drag out all the chords and mics and re hook up my PA system, along with a spot and a stool to simulate playing live in a small room. I went through this song a few times. I think I about have it. I don’t think I would be too impressive in front of a real crowd. It felt like my already weak voice was even weaker than usual. That bummed me out. But I know that at least in part some of that has to do with being able to hear yourself and the monitoring system, of which I have none.

And then some other songs that I knew well enough came up, along with some original riffs sort “popping” out of the guitar. That’s another benefit of playing and learning cover songs: Gets your “juices” flowing and you’ll start spontaneously “hearing” and playing your own riffs and progressions that could become original songs.

I guessed that a few years ago and had it confirmed by different “real” artists that I’ve read in interviews: For instance, if you want to be a poet, the best thing you can do is constantly be reading new poetry. Same with fiction, and I suppose with other arts.

Well back to the subject at hand. I don’t know if I’ll keep this up. Knowing me, probably not. But anyway at least I have an official “Song of the Day” for May 8th, 2013, and it’s John “Cougar” Mellencamp’s “Ain’t Even Done with the Night.”

Categories
Music

Chords and Lyrics for Simple Pleasure by Josh Rouse

Simple Pleasure
(By Josh Rouse)

Here’s a link to a downloadable .pdf of the Lead Sheet: SimplePleasureLeadSheet.pdf

G                             D
It’s right here in my face,
A                            D
but I turn the other way.
Cmaj7/G                 D
The end is drawing near,
G                                  D
And we live in a state of fear.
/           Bm       A        G
Under-neath Ari-zona skies,
/        Bm            A         G
I pre-tend not to see her cry.
Em                                G
In a whisper soft and low she says:
Dmaj7
Simple pleasure that is really
Gmaj7
all I want.
/                        Em
When you come round, when you
come round, when you come round,
/        Gmaj7
I want more.
Dmaj7
Simple Pleasure that is really
Gmaj7
all I need.
/                        Em
Won’t you come home,
won’t you come home,
won’t you come home
Gmaj7
with me?
G                           D
You’re fading out a-gain.
A                          D
So I take it on the chin.
Cmaj7/G          D
Help me find a way
G                                   D
To make it through each day.
/           Bm        A       G
Under-neath Ari-zona skies,
/         Bm           A          G
I pre-tend not to see her cry.
/      Em
In a whisper soft and low she says:

Repeat Chorus.

Won’t you come home with…
D D/A G
(Solo over the above chords.)

/           Bm        A       G
Under-neath Ari-zona skies,
Bm            A         G
I pre-tend not to see her cry.
/               Em
And we’re tryin’ not to live for,
G
tryin’ not to live for now…

Repeat Chorus.

Em
Won’t you come with me.
G
Won’t you come home with me
D
Won’t you come home with me.

End.

Categories
Audio Music

Chords and Lyrics for Julie (Come Out of the Rain) by Josh Rouse

JulieChordsYou capo the 4th fret to play these chords. Here’s a diagram of the chord voicings in this photo to the right. I included, at the bottom of the page, a video of him playing it live where I was able to catch the chords. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get them right by ear, and you’d almost think the video below wouldn’t help you because 90% of the time either it’s just a shot of Josh’s head or some audience dude’s head’s in the way! And really, now that I watch it again, it’s only towards the end, at about the 2:00 minute mark, after the solo, that you can get a decent look at his left hand, and that’s where I picked it up. Here’s a link to a PDF you can download:

JulieComeOutoftheRain (1)

Ebm
It’s cold in San Francisco
Ab       Abm
It’s California gray.
Ebm
One night on Telegraph Hill,
Ab              Abm
we kept the wolves at bay.
F#
I wrote you a long letter
Abm
Some things you can’t explain
B                            Ebm
Julie, come out of the rain
Abm
It’s cold and I can’t wait forever
B                               Ebm
Julie, if you want me to stay
Abm
Why don’t you show it?
Ebm
I called a taxi for ya’.
Ab                Abm
Your raincoat it was blue.
Ebm
Outside the wind was talkin’
Ab         Abm
of how I fell for you.
F#
You left your cigarettes and
Abm
a dozen other things
B                            Ebm
Julie, come out of the rain
Abm
It’s cold and I can’t wait forever
B                               Ebm
Julie, if you want me to stay
Abm
Why don’t you show it?
F#                       Abm
Gimme a smile and say,
A#m            B
Everything’s ok.
                 Ebm       Abm
Oh, oh, it’s California gray
Ebm         B
Oh, oh, it’s California gray..
(Musical interlude over the chords
of the previous Chorus)
Ebm
It’s cold in San Francisco.
Ab       Abm
It’s California gray.
Ebm
One night on Telegraph Hill,
Ab              Abm
we kept the wolves at bay.
B                             Ebm
Julie, come out of the rain
Abm
It’s cold and I can’t wait forever.
B                                Ebm
Julie, if you want me to stay
Abm
Why don’t you show it?
F#                       Abm
Gimme a smile and say,
A#m            B
Everything’s ok.
F#                         Abm
Look in my eyes and say
A#m            B
Everything’s ok…
Ebm       Abm
Oh, oh, it’s California gray
Ebm          B
Oh, oh, it’s California gray..

 

Here’s a cover version I did a couple weeks ago. Maybe I should have just aimed the camera at the fretboard, but I think you can probably see the chords pretty well as it is: