The technical end of music is kicking my ass!

Who knew?? LOL

I’m getting more advanced in the recording studio. And I’m finding things that are real problems…namely –ME. Mostly I’m working piano and guitar.

So, to start with, my music keyboard is having frequency problems. The friend who is helping me record has better ears than me, and he’s being super nice about it, but he’s steering me in the direction that the keyboard needs to be serviced. I really kept resisting this, but have finally come to the conclusion to put the keyboard in the shop. After all, it’s some years old. It’s had a lot of use and wear and tear. It’s a machine. Machines get dirty, degrade, go out of alignment, etc. There are any number of things that could be made better.

But, golly…I’m such a control freak. I worry soooo much about things being out of my control, out of my hands. Anyway, it’s taken me a couple of days to work up the courage, but I’ll go ahead and put the keyboard in the shop and hope for the best.

Which leads me to guitar work. I had no idea my guitar playing was so bad. I’ve played for years. I thought I was a pretty good rhythm player.

The human ear hears differently from recording devices. So, with that recording device capturing every mistake, every imprecision, every microt of wrong timing, every bad pick movement, etc….

Where do you go from here? I took my guitar work back to the basics. Hold a chord. Make is perfect. Use the pick to pick individual strings, or strum a chord. Make it perfect. Repeat a few hundred times.

I kept saying under my breath…”Wax on, wax off.”

Children of the 80’s will know what that means. –build the basic skills so they are rote.

So, what happens next? Can I work thru these problems, and take my playing to a higher level? Or is this plateau, it? I keep telling myself, there is no law that says I have to play guitar on my own recordings. There are hundreds of other better guitarists out there, and having them play on the audio makes the songs better.

For some reason, this problem has really thrown me for a loop. I’ve really been complaining about it since September or so.

I really hope the musicianship gets better. What if it doesn’t? What if this is it? What if I’m stuck here?

I have to repeat the positives to myself: I am still a pianist. I am still a songwriter. I am a dynamic live performer. I am an entertainer.

Time and experience have proven those things, over and over again. Just because I now realize I am a crappy guitarist, that doesn’t diminish the other facets. And maybe I can make the guitar work better?

I don’t know. This last week, this problem has been like a cloud over my head (like in the Peanuts cartoon), and it’s all-encompassing, and it feels like it brings the rest of the work down to the same crappy level.

So, bottom line: I had no idea my work was this bad. There’s only one way to go: up.


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  1. #1 by Zombie Minstrel on November 30, 2012 - 9:48 am

    Man if I had a dime for every time I’ve felt this way. You’re a pianist! You know if you work at it you will get right where you desire to be, but it’s work, and it takes time away from the Piano wood shed. Like anything else the time you spend achieving a goal whatever it is shows in the elbow grease. I look at it this way, as a song writer Taylor Swift is a pretty weak guitarist but who cares, her songs are so strong you never notice the guitar playing when shes just playing acoustic Guitar and singing.

    When I write songs on the Piano I play about the same level as Taylor plays guitar in this video and I’m good with it because I enjoy the process. Sitting next to you I’d sound like a shlep. The work part of musicianship admittedly is a drag but the rest at least for me is really fun. Plus remember, when your recording in the studio you hear every little last detail in those monitors the audience will never hear unless it’s a person like you or I in the listeners chair 🙂

    I’m bouncing to Ballroom Bruisers 😉

    • #2 by livingforcreativity on November 30, 2012 - 9:53 am

      Thanks for the words of encouragement. This life can be a It’s nice to know that we musicians can connect with each other, and we’re not alone out there!
      Have a lovely day.

      • #3 by Zombie Minstrel on November 30, 2012 - 9:56 am

        Believe me I feel you and every word you wrote resonates. I’m sincerely going to enjoy reading your wordpress.

        PS: Still bouncing Joyously to BallroomBruisers 🙂

      • #4 by livingforcreativity on November 30, 2012 - 10:00 am

        Thanks for the kind words about the blog, but more importantly, thanks for the kind words about the music. I just glanced at your blog (will look at it better when I’m more awake), and you are quite knowledgeable and talented. Thanks be to WordPress, otherwise I would never have met such interesting people as I’ve met here.

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