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Did I get any better? "This Island"


Minitruth

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Minitruth

 

I listened to "This Island" and about much of "Walmart Blues"...

 

I can certainly see what appears to be a lot of growth in your ambition and songwriting discipline. Compared to "Walmart," you're trying all kinds of things, really reaching out and really attempting a lot of things that are a lot harder. Your lyrics are disciplined, focused and mostly seem to fit together fairly well.

 

But your ambition is leading you into things which are tough for anyone to pull off, let alone someone who is, relatively speaking, just starting out. Tempo shifts and multiple styles and parts can be tough for a lot of us to get right.

 

So, if your reach exceeds your grasp, it's only because you dare to be ambitious. ;)

 

 

That said, an important thing about achieving our ambitions is knowing when to stick a little closer to our capabilities of the moment. And when to woodshed... (woodshedding is basically working on one's chops, in whatever field/focus one is working... the reference is to taking your guitar out to the woodshed so that you can work things out without having to worry what others might think mistakes or endless repetitive practice).

 

If I can be presumptious enough to imagine for a few moments that I was your recording mentor, I think I would assign you a very simple, straightforward, four-on-the-floor with a 2-4 backbeat rhythmic spine and no postmodern style or tempo changes -- and using a robo-beat, none of this human timing thing for this exercise. Straightforard bass, straightforward rhythm guitar concept. And then drill that sucker as tight as you can. Lock that guitar against the beat. Drill. Get it tight.

 

The thing is to build the skill set, discipline, and ear that will allow you do a realy bang up job on the tricky, difficult stuff you clearly want to do.

 

And I think you clearly have the artistic vision and ambitious pop sensibilities to push yourself intro some really interesting music. (Of course, that's pop in that broadest sense, of course, from the Sex Pistols to Marvin Gaye to the Mars Volta.)

 

Now, there's no reason in the slightest you can't also work on ambitious stuff like "Island," too...

 

But, it certainly seems to me that, at this stage, you are going to learn and grow a lot more and faster from working on a number of perhaps less ambitious projects -- rather than one or two grand projects.

 

And I think at each stage of these learning exercise projects I think you should really focus on not moving on in complexity until you, yourself, can really sit back and listen to a given project and say to yourself, yeah, I've learned what I need here, this is solid and clean and needs no excuses.

 

I think you're going to go far in the long run... but don't try to go too far, too fast.

 

;)

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i listend to island and found the seprate parts of the song to sound like they don't fit together. i can tell you are going for some dynamics but in the case it would work better if you built up to it more, instead of going straight into the faster part. i can see what you are going for but it isn't quite working, not to say it won't. i jus think you need to either make simpler songs for the time being and pase your self or if you are going to be so ambitious really take time (i know you took a few months) and listen to how other people make transitions and how other arangements are setup. i think you just need to take a step back and listen as a listener not a writer. good luck bro

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Listening to Island...

 

First of all, two of the basic things that music needs to be considered 'music' (IMO) is rhythm, and intonation. The song is really hard to listen to, because it's not in time often. You can solve this issue by playing with a click track, and then paste all of your edits so they fall in time with this click. The intonation is another issue, but your vocal is sometimes widely out of tune. Sometimes, tonal variations can work, but in this song it just sounds kind of wrong. I really like the vocal character of your voice, BTW.

 

There are maybe 5 parts of this song, and they all sound cut and pasted together. It's like a song collage that has had chunks of 5 different songs combined into one edit. This can be done with interesting results and can really be quite artistic, but these edits seem clunky to me, and it never really flows as one contiguous work to my ears.

 

Lyrically, the lyrics are pretty simplistic, and outright cliche in some areas. The IDEA for the song is clearly good, but I think there would have been much more effective ways to get the point across. I think telling us about a person who is isolating themselves from society in detail is a better songwriting tactic than making general statements about isolated people.

 

And yes - I think this is quite a bit better than the stuff I heard from you a year ago or so... ;)

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You're both exactly right, each section was recorded seperately (as I could

concieve them) and pasted in. Learning guitar is really very hard in itself. Add

in learning bass, effects, recording gear, songwriting, you've got a platefull

fit for a glutton for punishment.:)

 

I think the original responder above was spot on. I'm going to take his advice

and run away with it, as if I stole it from a Korean convenience store. I really

LOVE blues, I listen to Albert, BB, SRV, Jeff Beck, etc. constantly. The

blues is a perfect vehicle for simple, straightforward beats and rythmns. I'm

gonna work the blues, as it is a good segueway to other derivative styles.

Thanks again to all that listen and offer any help.

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Tamoore summed it up pretty much how I felt. Remember the old adage K.I.S.S. keep it simple, stupid (I'm not implying your stupid). It's more that you need to master the easy stuff before you can really put together a cohesive song with all those parts and changes. I think it's great your writing, though. Just puttin' your stuff out there is a great feeling methinks.

sam

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man just keep playing.

 

 

and this island could be the single craziest, whacked out song I've heard. But I'd say try and put the song together more cohesively, maybe take the drum stuff out until you get the hang of everything else. and I think you are getting a bit better.

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