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March 8, 2010

Work Starts On New Album!

Okay, so as I blogged before, last weekend was frustrating in that I was supposed to start actually writing songs but I simply didn't manage to get anything concrete done.

Since then I managed to get EZDrummer installed and running under Reaper. It turned out that it was actually running correctly the last time I played with it, I just hadn't realised that I'd got play/pause clicked in my 'main window' on Reaper, which was why I couldn't audition grooves in EZDrummer. Since that realisation, everything's been smooth and EeeeZeeee.

Note to self: download free grooves from Groove Monkee!

So, I actually managed to make a start on Sunday afternoon. But how come this time around I managed to make progress, whereas last time I failed? I figure it's down to two things. First off, EZDrummer. It's a small thing, but having a realistic backing rhythm actually helps. More importantly, though, I'd prepared adequately.

Last week, after blogging about the 'style' of the album, I sat down with my iTunes library and went through it, picking out songs which either had the feeling I wanted or had strumming patterns, guitar sounds, chord changes etc that fit. On Sunday I looked over my notes and selected snippets to use as starting points. Setting up a drumbeat in Reaper, adjusting tempo and hitting 'record' I just started to play. When I hit on something I liked I'd develop the idea and save it to a 'work in progress' (WIP) file. Each WIP (my terminology) consisted of riffs, chords, lead ideas in terms of either melody or appropriate scales etc. As soon as I had an idea recorded, even if sections were filled with bum notes etc, I forced myself to stop work on that track and start anew with something else. That way I would get as much out whilst I felt creative without dwelling too much on the detail.

In the end, I think I ended up with five WIPs, all of which sounded like songs. Only one of those came from an existing composition of mine. The other four were completely original and new. If I can keep up that level of inspiration over the coming weeks then maybe this album idea will take off!


Colin Gillman said...

So is EZDrummer as good as I thought? If so I might look for a s/h copy. How much did you pay?

Kenski said...

I think it's pretty cool but I do figure at some point you're either going to have to program the drums by hand or buy additional grooves to suit certain styles.

I got my copy for around £90 including the Vintage Rock pack...

Kenski said...

Downloaded the Groove Monkey free samples for EZDrummer this morning. Fills (pun!) a bit of a gap in the blues repetoire of the standard EZDrummer set.

And all for £0.00! Bonus.

Kenski said...

Oops... It's Groove MonkEE

Furtheron said...

No stopping you now the creative flood gates have opened.