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Dead Flowers (or not...lol)

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Ok, I'm going out on a limb here but so be it. You have to have guts if you want to make it. Spirit!! :D

I post a lot of songs because for me that is my practice. It is the application of technique. It's my exercise, I exercise live. Anyway, this song can end up making you cringe a bit, but...

This is an attempt at my singing to my own guitar playing. However I don't play guitar. :D What? You say.

I have two acoustic guitars here that are about 12 years old. One still has the original strings and the one I'm playing, well the strings are very old also. Man, did the playing hurt.

I haven't played any guitar in years and when I did I was just trying to learn and didn't actualy play. I couldn't play with anyone nor did I know any complete songs. Just a few riffs and some scales. Not good either. But that was a very long time ago.

So Tommy gets the bright idea the other day to whip out a guitar and try to do a song. I had to practice for about half an hour to get the chords somewhat close. Then I tried to sing to it!! :o Holy crap that was hard. I had to play with the vocals to match the playing and alter phrasing, catch up...slow down...yikes!!! I couldn't find the timing to match the guitar mess! I had to mess around with the phrasing a little (a lot).

What came out was a slight departure (vocal melody wise) from the original. The guitar and vocals are a bit distorted and the mic overloaded on guitar as well as vocals but here goes.

I hope it isn't too bad. Don;t be afraid to throw tomatoes at me :D

I'm posting it because I'm proud of it none the less. I was proud of the fact that I was able to make "my version" of this song. good or bad. I know it isn't most of you all's genre, but.

Ok "Dead Flowers" by the Rolling Stones." With me playing guitar and singing vocals.

Special meaning for me....it represents me, or a part of my life long ago. My "other life." My wife saved me from that "basement room."

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=11704821&q=hi&newref=1

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Hey Tommy,

Just a note to help you feel a little better. A few years ago when I still had bandmates together, there was a period of time when we were a 'power trio'. That is, me playing guitar and singing, my bass player playing and trying to sing backup and my drummer. At that point, we had previously had another guitar player and we would do the songs with me playing during easy parts and choruses and the other guitar player would continue playing and I would stop.

I write all of my own music, including my guitar riffs, which I don't write easy stuff. Go to my website and listen to my guitar riff in my song, 'Sands of Time', in the main part of the song. Tempo is 194. Riff is sliding up and down the neck at a breakneck pace.

Well my drummer buddy, who stayed at my house at the time, had to go home for a few months and cut some wood, he lives further out in the sticks than I do.

So I spent the next three months learning to play my stuff and sing it at the same time.

I became a much better musician because of it, my guitar playing skills increased exponentially, as well as my singing skills.

You mentioned something else that would make a great thread by itself. Playing and singing the song where the timing of music and vocal melody is different. If you want a real challenge(and I finally accomplished this about 5 or 6 years ago), play Crazy Train and sing it at the same time. the main verses are a bit of a challenge whilst playing the guitar riff.

So fear not, you are not the only one.

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Oh yeah? Try playing "Pleasant Shade of Gray Part IX" by Fates Warning. The verses fit well enough with 4/4, or something a lot like it. But the chorus is 6/8. Not impossible, just a surprise. I had to fire up my third brain cell and concentrate.

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I think it would have been easier to time if I played it and sang it at the same time. But I can't do that :D

So I recorded the guitar alone first. Problem is I had to sing to myself in my head as I was playing to try and figure out how many times to play a line before moving to chorus etc. Then when to end! Normally I would just play the tune on and on. :D So the trouble came when I later tried to match my vocals to the kind of crazy out of sync strumming pattern and timing. Too many beats in some bars not enough in others....who knows. lol.

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Tommy, just a note: that is why most musicians/bands write out on paper or an erase board, their recording sequences, in essence, a way to count when laying down tracks. You could do something as simple as a notebook and a pencil. Write down how many times you need to play a certain part, or have a lyric sheet near you and write on it how many times you need to play parts. It makes it much easier to count and keep track of where you are when recording. I have a corkboard in my sound booth in my studio with which I use thumb tacks to tack up lyric sheets. Don't know if you have lyrics in front of you when you record, but it helps, even when laying down an instrument.

On all of my songs, I wrote on my lyric sheets what chord was being played for each part. Made it easier if and when hiring a new player to help him/her learn a song.

Anyway, hope this helps your process.

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Thanks yes it's helpful. I don't like to use a lyrics sheet but find that lately I have been resorting to one. This is because I have been singing new songs or songs I don't completely know. I prefer owning a song before singing it so I am very comfortable with the lyrics and phrasing allowing me room to breath and play.

However, lately while recording I have been hanging the lyrics up with tape in front of me.

I think that this causes me to have to re record a few times now. When I'm reading lyrics I tend to lose the little feeling in the song. So I finally say...."ok...one more time and forget about the damn lyrics....just sing the song Tommy...just sing the song". :D

For this song I didn't use a lyrics sheet. I know this song too well. That is how I changed it to my version.

That was the long answer....sorry.:D

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I understand. It just helps when one experiences the usual cranial flatulence that often occurs when recording, the dreaded sin of all musicians...forgetting the lyrics...or getting ready for your big splash of a vocal on your recording just to screw it up and end up being anticlimactic.. Anyway, glad I could help in some way.

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I understand. It just helps when one experiences the usual cranial flatulence that often occurs when recording, the dreaded sin of all musicians...forgetting the lyrics....

Tell me about it. Murphy's law kicks in as soon as you hit record. I've already forgotten the first line of a song that I have been singing for years....more than once. That's another reason I hang a lyrics sheet now. I just try not to read it too much while singing. Just a cheat sheet.

Thanks again

P.S.

The song posted below this (Come To Papa). That song I had to read all the words. I didn't know them. First time singing that one and I made a few mistakes that day before finally getting it right (even though I was reading the words. Including getting tongue tied and saying words that don't exist in the English language. I said one line backwards :D

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