Is Your Lunch Hour Sacred?

Is Your Lunch Hour Sacred?

Is your lunch hour a sacred time for you?

My lunch hour has become my writing time.  It’s one of the few hours through the day that I am left alone.

Most employees in an office environment use the lunch hour to get out of the building and get some lunch.  That’s not a bad idea but for me it’s very difficult to go somewhere and get food that is healthy in less than an hour.  Plus it can get pretty expensive eating out for lunch every day.  You might be able to get a quick meal for five dollars but it’s going to fatten your belly and clog your arteries.

Even at just five dollars a day it adds up.  If you work the normal 250 days a year that comes to $1250 on cheap, crappy food.

But that’s everyone’s choice. Continue reading

If It’s Not Serving, It Needs To Go

If It’s Not Serving, It Needs To Go

Here’s another recording lesson I learned or maybe it’s more like an affirmation of something I already knew.

I was writing a song based on a really cool drumbeat that I like to play.   As I am coming up with the bass lines and other rhythm parts this drumbeat is going through my head.  I’m thinking this will sound cool.

I lay down the bass, and keyboard parts.  I get the arrangement down and now I’m really excited to give this a try with my cool drumbeat.  I go to my electronic kit to start rehearsing and learning the drum parts. Continue reading

You Don’t See The “BIG” Picture

You Don’t See The “BIG” Picture

I wrote about how I don’t like the term “reach out” has been hijacked.

Well here’s another phrase that’s been hijacked and used mainly as an excuse.

“You don’t see the big picture.”

It’s usually a statement you hear right after you just explained to the boss why his suggestion or edict is not going to work or why a customer’s order might not be good business.

You’ve been in the trenches, you understand the process.  You’ve experienced the pitfalls of what you’re now being told to do.

You’ve taken the time to lay out your case and thoroughly explain the issues with what is being done.

And as you finish laying out in great detail the error in what is being proposed they look down at you and say, “Well, you just don’t see the big picture.” Continue reading

Because It Feels Good

Because It Feels Good

I’ve written a couple of posts about my singing.  It seems like a little thing especially since I’m not a singer and not looking to add it to my resume.  But if you knew how reserved I am about singing, how I won’t open my mouth to sing in church even though my voice would be lost with the other parishioners or how I won’t sing for my wife and kids.  If you knew all that you would understand what a big step it was for me to record myself singing and then let others listen to it.

I have to do it if I want to convey my song ideas to others.  It’s the best way I know to create a melody.

When I first tried coming up with melodies I struggled.  I thought for the melody to be ‘catchy’ or interesting it had to be all over the scale, up and down.  For me to sing like that was impossible, so I just refrained from it and figured I’d let someone else come up with the melody.  I would just lay down the groove and structure of the song. Continue reading

Some Things I Learned About Singing (By A Non Singer)

Some Things I Learned About Singing (By A Non Singer)

Some lessons I’ve learned about singing.

I am writing songs and I need some way to convey the melody.

Since I don’t have a lot of formal music training and my playing experience is focused on rhythms, I have a hard time sitting down at a keyboard and picking out the melody.

I’m like a dog that sees a squirrel.  I hit a few wrong notes and the melody that I heard in my head turns and goes after those wrong notes.

So if I want to write a complete song I have to sing. Continue reading

What’s So Great About Frank Zappa?

What’s So Great About Frank Zappa?

The other day I was reading a thread in a forum.  I don’t recall what started the thread or what took me to the forum, but one of the comments in the thread was about Frank Zappa.

One participant wrote “what’s so great about Frank Zappa”.  They went on to write that everyone thinks he was so wonderful yet he never had a hit and just made weird music.

I was a little taken aback by the comment but I can understand why some people would feel that way.

My introduction to Frank Zappa’s music was in high school probably around my sophomore or junior year.  Someone brought “Billy the Mountain” to a party and of course a record with cussing in it was cool to all the teenage boys.  (This was well before it was as commonplace as it is today.)

Continue reading