I’ve been working on another song in my home recording studio and have this one about as complete as possible for doing it myself. I have to keep in mind that these are sketches of songs that I do in my studio, just to get my ideas down so when real players get a hold of them they’ll at least have an idea of what I hear in my head.
Being a drummer for almost my entire life I noticed that I really struggle with creating a melody.
I attribute this to years and years of honing in on the rhythm sections of songs. Melody although always in my subconscious was something I used for cues.
Now with the technology available I can write entire songs with an intro, verse, chorus, bridge and outro, but just for the rhythm sections, like drums, bass, guitar, keys. I can also add some dynamics and emotions with horns and strings.
But the melody I am leaving for some other time or maybe someone else.
However for this one song in particular I had a set of lyrics in mind when I was creating it. I tried to work them in and definitely had them in my head as I composed each section.
When I wrote this set of lyrics I could hear a rhythm in my head, the rhythm, the phrasing of how they would be delivered in a song, but it was more like a dramatic reading than a melodic song.
Once I had completed all of the basic song with all the chords, rhythms and parts, I did a rough and I mean rough mix of the song and burnt it to a CD.
I listened to it in my truck going to and from work. Since I am alone during that time I could try to sing a melody and not be inhibited by who might be listening. I am not a singer by any stretch of the imagination.
Try and try as I did I just couldn’t find a melody that I liked. In the end what worked for me was doing this dramatic reading like Commander Cody’s “Hot Rod Lincoln”. I figured at least I can convey the rhythm and phrasing of the words and I’ll probably be less inhibited about others hearing it.
When I listened to the playback, like everyone who is not use to hearing their voice when it is recorded I was shocked.
Do I really sound like that?
Maybe if I fool with the EQ I’ll sound better.
First off, I’m no engineer so there is no way I’ll be working any miracles. But I did manage to fool with the sound a bit and make it a little more tolerable for myself to listen to.
I just figured I’ve got to record this, it’s the only way I know to convey what’s in my head.
I wasn’t so much the delivery of the lines that bothered me when I listened to my own voice, being a drummer I thought my timing was pretty good.
I guess it was just that foreign sound of my own voice that made me feel uncomfortable.
But then I started listening to it over and over again as I was trying my hand at mixing. I know I’m not the best at mixing but there’s only one way to get better.
I noticed the more I listened to it the more the shock and uncomfortable feeling of hearing my voice started to wear off.
I became more objective, almost to the point where it wasn’t my voice but just another piece of the song.
At one point I wrote down a note that said “I just have to get use to my own skin.”
Maybe this will be my only venture into being a vocalist on my own songs, but maybe not.
I know this, it was another lesson I learned in home recording.
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