Saturday, April 17, 2010

Name that tune

Nothing much of note. House of the Rising Sun isn't being nice and recording easily. In the meantime, I did get this little snippit recorded for a future endeavor. I'm bringing in a ringer to sing which ought to be a fun experiment.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Developments

So I bought my son myself a Fender Stratocaster. I've been casually interested in guitar, but not as much as piano. However, when my son showed some interest as well, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I'm likely going to get him a Fender Mini for his birthday. Ah, who am I kidding? I know I will :) I should definitely be looking for a cheap amp on Craigslist though.

When I told my piano teacher, he said, "That's funny. I just picked guitar up again 2 weeks ago." He's been helping his daughter make a CD. She's playing piano and doing vocals. He's doing the recording, percussion, and guitar. He had me listen to it and it's pretty good, though, I'm a sucker for Nightwish/Evanescence/Within Temptation style stuff, so I don't know that I'm a good reviewer.

I was planning on taking a piano break this summer and taking guitar lessons instead. Larry said I could just bring my guitar by any time and he'd start my instruction that way. He's not an expert, but he knows enough, and has been teaching long enough that I'll get something out of it. Since I'm very comfortable with him as a teacher, and he's been very generous with his time, it seems a good plan.

In other news, when he was showing me what he could do with his new Les Paul Epiphone, he had a drum machine doing a backing track. That was impressive so I've been did a little experimenting and research and am going to try the same. I ran through some guitar chord changes with a backbeat and it definitely makes playing more interesting. I'm going to have to see how complicated it is to go with a full track for an entire song. It would probably work well with House of the Rising Sun, but I'd like to get a recording in the next couple weeks which doesn't leave me with a whole lot of time for learning the software.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

*slams on brakes* 10 years! TEN YEARS! Ten years.

No. Only 6 months. I can't believe I've slacked off that long. Someone should have kicked me. Sadly in all that time I really haven't mastered any songs. I've been working on Hallelujah, and assorted other minor stuff. Christmas songs and the like.

What has really caught my interest at the moment is The House of the Rising Sun. And what I really need is a crowd like this one.

This version by Mona Lisa is pretty good, and Tori Amos' version is haunting.

This is the most unique and moving one I found: Odetta.

Still a lot of cleaning up to do on my version, but it's coming along.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Love My New Toy

This recording is good enough for government work. I will probably go back and clean it up, but I really wanted to show off my new recording device. It's a Zoom H4. As I understand there is a new version, but this one works great for me. It's a huge upgrade over my previous quality.

So here's Moonlight Sonata:

No joy

Worked a 12 hour day, so by the time I got home I was pretty tired and stressed. I did practice for 30 minutes though on both Bach and Beethoven.

Moonlight is four pages. I get through page one almost every time. The bottom of page two is where mistakes creep in. I'm probably going to have to practice each page repeatedly for a while, but that's very frustrating as it's not a particular spot that gives problems.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Perhaps tonight

Moonlight Sonata is coming along. I can play each portion, but the problem is getting it accurate all the way through.

I'm getting the piano tuned this week. I'm glad that my wife handles that and I don't have to be home. It consists of the tuner hitting one key over and over. Wash rinse repeat 88 times.

I haven't decided on my next song yet. All the previous contenders still apply and I'd add Bash's Well Tempered Clavier Prelude 1. Though I certainly won't be playing it that fast.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Doing the impossible

The first few times I heard Moonlight Sonata I thought it was impossible for a single piano player to do. There were just too many notes. Well, that's not the case, and I'm very close to having a good copy to upload.

I actually performed it at a recital a couple years ago, and by performed I mean crashed and burned.