In Three Part Harmony
Working on your own material with a group of very talented musicians might seem nerve-racking. I can’t speak for other writers, but I always have apprehension when I bring up a new piece of material.
Yet when you have a group of guys who are not just talented but wanting to hear your stuff and wanting to help you succeed there is something so very satisfying about that.
My goal in the first recording session is to have two songs recorded and completed. If there had been any fear that this wouldn’t happen I left those by the wayside after Friday’s rehearsal.
We started slowly, listening to the very bare demo and quickly put an arrangement together. Then we tweaked it, wrote out a bass line, put things together, took them apart . . . and then it just seemed to work.
When we finished the arrangement came the harmonies, which just added even more life to the song. Something more than I could ever have hoped.
This all came after visiting the studio, Pus Cavern studios, which is small but comfortable. It looks like the right kind of place for a group of guys working out harmonies in the drummer’s living room.
Not that doing this in a living room detracts from the material. One of the best feelings is to have these guys say they like the songs and help me make the arrangements. One of the bad parts of having learned guitar by ear is the fact that I cannot easily write up anything about what we’re playing. It takes me awhile to even figure out what chords I’ve been playing by scrolling through reams of chord charts.
But as I look at the material, my daughter on the couch listening, she started to hear what it was all pointing toward. “I always liked that song when you played it,” she told me, remembering my writing it with an acoustic guitar on the living room couch. “But I just listened to the lyrics all the way through and . . . wow, I just never thought about things like that, from how you look at it, dad. Wow.”
When you can touch a 16-year-old with your lyrics and music it’s a big deal, at least to me. That says the themes are pretty universal.
It also says that the idea of finishing this and closing one door while opening another on my life is the right direction. What an amazing experience to work with such talented people. The songs take this raw form and turn into something so much bigger and livelier.
What an amazing experience . . . and we haven’t even hit the studio yet.