Posts Tagged ‘#melody’

Pond at Lindner Park, Norwood OH MSK

I hope you get a laugh from my latest song, “Tired”. It definitely has a ‘senior point of view’. I thought of naming it “Retired”, but this seemed to fit better.

I posted as a poem but once I put it to music and the song arrangement came together I had to make cuts and edits. I will post the new lyrics here for convenience.

        “Tired”                     © MSK 6-9-2019

I’ve been thinking all day of when I get you home
After everyone has gone we’re finally alone
Like a good dog I’m gonn’a give you a bone.

I’ve heard his mouth running all over town
Talking shit about me and calling me a clown
I’m headed over there now to put him down.

Hold that thought
‘Til I get back
I’m feeling rather tired
And it’s time for a nap.

Think I better
Slow it down.

Rewarded or punished for decisions we make
Climbing this mountain is a piece of cake
Just another day or so beyond the lake.

Hold that thought ‘til I get back
I’m feeling rather tired
And it’s time for a nap.

Dream what you remember
Remember what you dream.
After all these years
It’s almost the same thing

I bought three books and can’t wait to start
Two of them are very close to my heart.
I’ll read them all tonight, then put more in my cart.

I’ve been thinking all day of when I get you home
After everyone has gone we’re finally alone.
Like a good dog I’m gonn’a give you a bone.

Hold that thought ‘til I get back
I’m feeling rather tired and it’s time for a nap.
Hold that thought ‘til I get back
I’m feeling rather tired and it’s time for a nap.

With lyrics in hand, I mapped it out to a drum arrangement I already had. No other instruments….. While I fit the lyrics to the drum arrangement the melody immediately fell in my lap. It is backwards for me to have a melody first. Usually I write the melody listening to the chords. This is like reverse-engineering if you know what I mean!

This was not a simple fit, so the drums also had to be edited and changed for the rhythm of guitar and vocals. The drums are not finished and need a lot of work to smooth out grooves here and there, but it is solid enough to work with for now.

I don’t practice or play for hours a day anymore. I rarely play for more than is necessary to record my demo songs. It can take me a while to play the guitar (and keyboard) parts I need for new songs. Everything is slowing down after 65!

I played a Martin acoustic/electric guitar with no overdubs or additional guitar tracks. The bass guitar is added using my MIDI keyboard and a computer plug-in sample-player for a great sound. I added some playful vocal harmonies and that was it. Arrangement done, it will take me a couple weeks to clean up the tracks and do a mix. Or maybe a bit longer than usual now that I think about it!

I have been playing around with some themes, grooves, melodies lately. I have written a number of instrumentals over the years that are destined to have no lyrics. Sometimes the pieces are simple riffs and other times they can be full blown productions. I have a few I would like to share with you in the near future. Here is one I am still working on but I like where it is going.

This one I call “Another Dimension”

“Another Dimension”

When I was listening to music in my early years, it seemed very natural for me to sing along with the songs I like or new tunes I heard.  I did not realize until years later that what I was doing was harmonizing with the melody, rather than duplicating it.  This was probably my first gateway into music creation.  I seemed to have a knack for developing harmonies.  Rhythms and timing also came to me without me understanding what I was doing.  Some people play sports, some are good at math, and some are builders.  I just seemed to feel comfortable with music.  My mother was in theater, radio and music and I have already blamed her for a lot of exposure to performing arts while I was growing up, so I will continue to do so!

The human voice is an amazing instrument.  There is nothing like it.  I know that I am not a powerful vocalist – I simply do not have the pipes it must take, but fortunately that did not stop my love for singing.  As I sang along more and more, I got better at finding the notes that would enhance or decorate the melody line.  I never tried to over power them, but to add to them.  Sometimes a song only needs a phrase or two highlighted by harmonies or echoing the melody.  Other tunes seemed to inspire harmonies throughout the song.  Eventually I would hear the melody in my head and sing along creating harmonies.  I could not begin to tell you how to create each note while singing… there are no manuals for this.  There are lessons to be learned and great teachers or vocal instructors, but the basics are not easily put into words.

When it comes to instruments, there is a certain amount of knowledge and practice involved in understanding where the right notes are and hitting them at the right time.  Just knowing the right ones to play are not enough as you have to know when and when not to play them.  I bring this up because a lot of musicians talk about jam sessions or getting together and without a lot of details, start playing new themes and using ideas from other musicians to create and have fun.  My point here is that I was never that comfortable simply bringing my instrument and jamming with others.  I do feel comfortable with harmonies and if asked to add percussion or drums, I could fit in.  But for me playing guitar, keys, bass, flute, sax, etc. without practicing and knowing what I was doing ahead of time is difficult.  Many of the musicians I worked with were absolutely great at this.  They were great at bouncing musical ideas off other players and coming up with gorgeous textures, themes and tonal landscapes.  I have a few early examples of jams and creative sessions I would like to offer here from time to time.