Monday, February 02, 2009

RPM 2009 - Day 1 - "Resigned"

It's February. That means it's time for the RPM Challenge. I'm participating again this year. You'll find many of these entries at the bottom of this page, along with the occasional audio draft.
This year I plan to try to record something every day, even if it's just a doodle or an overdub. So before I did anything else, I recorded a little idea - just something simple on guitar with a little bass underneath it.

Then I spent a few hours finishing some basic studio preparations - sorting drum kits, creating file templates, changing strings, tuning.

But I could hear the clock ticking and felt the day slipping away, so I pulled out my lyrics book and started working on the first song idea that felt strong to me.

I wrestled with it for a while - as I suspected, I'm not comfortable writing on guitar or bass these days. So of course, that's what I did. I'm making it even harder by not allowing myself to use the chords and ideas I would normally fall into.

I plan to try to get more unusual timbres from the guitar and bass, but for now I just wanted to get something down. I sketched out a basic idea with a nice drum kit. Not happy with the guitars at all, but at least I could hear it. Then off to the gym.

I hadn't gotten more than a few blocks from the house when I got a new idea for the verse melody. I could tell I'd have to re-track the bass and throw away the guitars. Still no melody for the chorus yet.

Post-gym, I tweaked the drums a bit. Put down the modified bass and whispered a quick guide vocal to check the melody idea. Put down a few ideas for some backing vocals on the chorus.

And then started endless lyric revisions. Not happy with it yet, but it's coming along. Funny how these ideas start to come poking out as I scrape away at the words.

So far, this song is about a former spy (McGoohan/6? Westen? Dad?) and it owes a debt to The Church. Working title is "Resigned".

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