Monday, 30 June 2014

Getting ready to record

This is a link to my latest blog on wordpress Getting ready to record. hope you like it.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The cost of keeping your hobby alive and my latest offering

Heh folks, I have struggled to find a name for my upcoming E.p. but it looks like I am settling on "Ready for Jammin", which I named after my website.  I am slowly building this site to help new people with guitar lessons to eventually helping more experienced musicians who still struggle to complete there songs.

I will also put forward some of my ways to keep the financial side of jamming and practicing and recording at home, down to a minimum, but still maintaining a reasonable standard of quality.

I feel this encompasses and conveys what I am trying to achieve, and that is to help others like myself, who have struggled at various stages in there musical journey "for what ever the reason", and need encouragement to continue there respective music journeys. 

I have placed a link here to my 4th song from this E.p. Seven colored rainbows, to show that with very little financial output, you can achieve results far beyond what money you put into it.

This song was originally recorded on my four track recorder some 15 years ago, I payed $300 for the machine.
My Yamaha acoustic guitar I bought at an auction, cost me $200, back in 1989. [I still think I payed to much].

I re-recorded it again about five years ago on my P.C. They were old computers people were throwing away, that weren't working, so I grabbed them and got them running again, another good way to save money. Another inportant point here is to learn how to be self-sufficient. It doesn't cost anything if you completely destroy a computer if it's already stuffed, but if you can get it running again, then that becomes priceless. The cost of PC repairs can quickly add up, so get tinkering on those golden oldies before dumping them. I have lashed out altogether on my computers over the past 7 yrs, is $125, which is that skeletal looking thing below in the pic. The one underneath it, is 15 yrs old and it spent 2 yrs by the seaside, and it still works. They don't make them like they used to.

I also did the Bass using my Yammy acoustic guitar, and dropping it one octave using "cool edit pro 2.0". [Most editing software including free ones "audacity" will have that option to drop or raise pitch]. It also allows you to remove unwanted noise hiss and clean your songs up.

Another thing I am doing is going through [Deal Extreme] to buy my guitar strings [$5], guitar winder and other accessories. They're cheap, but there is a wait involved. [about 3-4 weeks for shipping]. Worth checking out if money is a concern for you. I haven't received my guitar strings as yet, but the reviews indicate, that there not the greatest quality, but good enough to practice with and hopefully record. I will keep you posted on that one.

Though, doing everything on the cheap isn't for everyone, it is sometimes necessary if you don't have the initial finances to throw around. One thing it does do, is it makes you squeeze every bit of ability out of yourself to get the best possible results from your equipment.

What results have you been able to achieve from your equipment and do you have any other good money saving tips?


Sunday, 15 June 2014

listening and Playing by ear

As I close in on finishing my 1st home recorded [lo-fi] E.p. I have one more song to finish off, and that will give me six songs all polished [or as polished as a home recording I can get] and ready to go, though I have been releasing one song at a time through Bandcamp.

The last song I am working on contains a guitar track I recorded over 10 yrs ago on my four track. When I recorded the track, it was only meant as a demo and the quality of my work was not important, as I planned to redo the track at a later date. Also the quality of my guitar strings weren't important either. They were quit rusty that day. This has proved to be a bit unfortunate as I now have struggled to hear clearly what I played. I haven't played that particular guitar piece since I recorded it, and I have forgotten most of how the track goes.

TIP- When recording, use new guitar strings, even for demo tracks.

I was always confident though of working out what I played, as I had spent years in my early guitar playing days working out guitar tracks [by ear] from my favorite bands, from tapes that were recorded off the original tapes,[pre CD days for me] sometimes second or third generation recordings, so some recordings were a bit muddy.

This practice of listening and playing by ear, helped sharpen my hearing ability over time and I was able to focus in on listening to one particular instrument at a time. [ Also helps with tuning your guitar].

This is a great skill to learn and you should try to practice listening to your favorite songs and working out what they are playing by ear. Using tablature is fine, as some music can be very difficult to work out, but learning to listen and play by ear is a useful skill in songwriting, as there is no tablature to guide you if you have forgotten a piece of your original music you recorded earlier. It will also help you when you write and record your own songs and you're piecing different tracks/instruments together.

Cheers Darryl.


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Business Before music pt 3 [update]

This post is an update from an earlier post on this subject. I decided to do updates of the M.B.P. I am working out with my friend.

One thing to remember is every band/soloist, musician and life situation is different from one another, so keep in mind, how my friend and I are working out our M.B.P. doesn’t mean what works for us will work for you, so versatility, flexibility, patience, understanding, trial and error and time are major components in achieving a successful Music Business Plan.


I'll give you a little bit of our history first, to give some insight, to where we are both at.

Our story in short is, my friend started the band in the 1989/90; I was the first person to join. We became the chief songwriters, the band came apart two years later, we continued writing together for years after that, but were never successful in putting a band together again for many reasons. After a lot of water under the bridge, we have sorted through many obstacles and have found ourselves wanting to finish a job we both started 20+ years ago.

What to do first?

When it comes to doing up a music business plan. The first question that might come to mind is “how do you start one?”

Here is the list [from my first post “Business before music”] of basic requirements to get your M.B.P. off and running.

  • STARTING A MUSIC BUSINESS PLANDiscussing with fellow band members the intention of starting and researching what is involved in organizing a successful M.B.P.
  • COMPANY SUMMARY - This section discusses registering your band as a company, whether it’s Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation or a LLC.
  • PRODUCTS AND SERVICES - This is where you can discuss what type of products your band plans to sell. E.g. digital downloads, merchandise, live shows, and CD’s.
  •  MARKETING - Identifying your target demographic, raising awareness of who you [band] are, and what type of music you intend to play. Price structures for your releases and where customers, can buy your goods and services.
  • MANAGEMENT - Here, we get to delegate responsibilities [bookings, receiving payments for gigs, Cd sales, etc.] to everyone who is in your group, now that might only be the member's in the band at the moment. But it is important everyone knows what their responsibilities are, in the group's business dealings. But you need someone first, to head this team!!
  • MONEY - Once you work out what you want to sell, you then need to work out where the money is coming from and who will pay for these upfront costs.
I’ve decided to add one extra step at the beginning, as this is very important to make sure every person is on board and agree with organizing the bands M.B.P.

Take your time

What I will do is go through the M.B.P. my friend and I are working through, but just to remind you, we’ve never had our own M.B.P. in the past, so we are taking our time with it and making sure we cover ourselves as a band and as people, learning as we go.

At this stage we haven’t covered a lot of ground due to the difficulties of our personal lives, so getting to the nitty gritty of what we want to do, is a slow process, but we are both determined people and will persevere until we have completed out tasks.

We have discussed registering our band name as a business, we haven’t got to do that yet, as again life intervened and slowed that process down. We did at first, plan to sit down together in person to discuss these matters, but because we live in different states, the process and plan we had organized, took a different turn for personal reasons and have left our discussions on hold for now.

What we have been able to achieve from our last conversation is agreeing verbally on our percentage ratio for ownership of our songs. Basically from our early days in the early 1990s when we started the band, we always had a 50%/50% share in the ownership of our songs. So, we have continued with that agreement. I then asked my friend if we could only focus on the songs recorded on four track. Reason for this is, a lot of work musically has already been done, and this will save time and effort, and give us a good start to focus on what we need to spend time on.[completing our songs.] Instead of writing new songs from scratch. We can do that later as we rebuild confidence musically between ourselves.

The next stage will be to make up a list of songs from the early four track recordings. We will pick out six songs from that list, which hopefully, we both agree, would be a good starting point to continue with our work. We will then write out that list on paper, make two copies of the agreement and sign both copies for our own records, with our percentage agreements on both.

Once we have some songs to work on, I will register them with APRA/AMCOS. This is a performance collection agency, which means that, if you are playing in a club, or if one of your song plays on a radio, etc. Apra will collect royalties on your behalf and distribute the payments to each person, whose name’s are registered on each song and the percentage splits that is agreed upon. This is an important part in your M.B.P. as this register's and protects you, and adds proof of ownership to your songs.

"At this stage we have only worked on the 2nd stage of the list above,

·        COMPANY SUMMARY - This section discusses registering your band as a company, whether it’s Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation or a LLC. I will also add in here, registering your songs with a royalty collection service. E.g. Apra/amcos.

You may have to do a search for your countries own music royalties collection services business."

Today, my job is to write a list of our four track recordings with my preferred six songs to start with, and email that list to my friend and see what his preferred six songs are, and we'll go from there.

Cheers Darryl

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Heh Folks, this is a link to my latest post. I hope you find it of some value. Thanks for reading and don't forget to share.
Thank you Darryl