Monday, June 04, 2007

Blisters On Me Fingers!!!!

If my fingers had a mind of their own they would wish that I had more of a social life. Or at least cable TV. Sadly for their miserable existence, I don't.

I got home from work Friday with nothing planned and no ideas how to entertain myself until I had to go back to work Monday. Story of my life: Busy trying to get through the week, not daring to think ahead to the weekend, then it's there and you're staring at two days of loneliness with only a hungry cat staring back.

Then I remembered the guitars. I'm always telling myself that I'm going to spend more time creating music. I decided that it was finally time to listen. After dinner (leftover pizza for me, something probably better tasting for the cat), I retired to the computer room upstairs, found a drum loop I liked and started playing along to it.

The creative process works like this: First I find a tone sound I like then I play until I have the chords that work with the drums. I'm not a trained musician and my compositions are usually neither terribly original nor too complicated. Three chords may be as intricate as I get. Sometimes I add bass before guitar. Usually guitar comes first.

Sometimes the rhythm is bass only (played on my synthesizer) or bass and keyboards. Since I can barely read music and can't write it using conventional musical notation, I can't get a melody in my head, write it down and then play it. Instead I put the song on a loop, run it over and over again and play along on guitar until I come up with a melody. Then I have to keep playing until I can play it fairly consistently before trying to record it.

It would help matters if I practiced regularly -- even semi-occasionally -- before I decided to go on a create-new-riffs riff. Attempts at writing and recording new music usually test my pain tolerance as much as my musical skills.
By Sunday night I had the blister on my left ring finger (and soreness in all the others) to prove it. You may be able to see the blister in the photo above. I also had two songs to show for my pain. They show the range of my musical interest as well as the narrowness of my musical talent.

The first one is crank-it-up hard rock. It's the one that worked my fingers to their nubs.

Good Times With Nuge

This second one didn't hurt my fingers. It probably won't hurt your ears as much.

Funky Mood Three

I should have mentioned that although the bass and drums are looped (short segments repeated over and over), I played the lead guitars all the way through -- what's called a "one-shot" in Sony Acid Music vernacular.

Music © John McQuiston
Not that I expect a problem with that!

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