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What Things Are You Working On Now, And Why?

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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

Hi Everyone. We've got such a fantastic array of players here. We've got gigging musicians, teachers, book writers and certification getters. We've got some young kids just starting out, and some older folks who've picked it up over the past few years. The skill levels are wide apart. The beauty of this whole thing is that we got together to chat about one thing. Guitar playing & related topics.

Every once in a while, we get a thread going on about what song are you learning now. Always an interesting topic and you even to get to see a few tips being passed along. I'm going to change things up a bit. Instead of what songs are you working on now, the question is: What Things Are You Working On Now, And Why?

You could be learning Sister Golden Hair by America. Why? Because you want to get better at bar chords? Got a show to do? Wife's birthday coming up? Some might be nailing the scales. Why? Better leads or solos?

You get the idea. I'll start off with the next post. It should be interesting to see what everyone's adgenda is these days.....other than Nick's agenda of taking over the world!

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

I'll start. I'm working on 44 songs that I lovingly call Set 1 and Set 2. I want to be able to play these songs in single guitar arrangement and in good fashion given a reasonable amount of skill and practice. It might have been Dagwood or Dogbite who said to me in a thread a year or two ago that was something to the effect of 'if you don't know entire songs, you have nothing to show for your efforts.' So, that's been my main focus whenever I've been up to playing guitar since last September. Will I gig? Nope. Will I jam? Yup. Open-mic? Maybe. My immediate goal is to have it disapointing to my friends if I don't bring a guitar to a party. Getting one to the first party will need to happen, and I will either win them and they like it, or it will not work and I've lost my chance.

I've got one other avenue that I'm going to start traveling. That's the lead. Single note picking. More importantly, being able to hear a song and come up with something that sounds like it belongs in there or the instrumental portion. Everyone knows me by now. I'm not a solo guy with one of those "I have to do solos or I quit" mentalities. I'm really slow going at this. With the meds I'm on, I've got no chance at understanding things when I read them sometimes.

Anyhow, that's where I am.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

Sweet! When's the concert, and how are you coming along?

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@jase36)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 247
 

I have to work pretty hard for the next 4 months and structured practice is all but impossible so I'm trying to get a few songs to sound a little better than last year. Its soon the time of year when Bar b que means get my guitar out and try not to fluff the easiest of songs, currently working on Ziggy Stardust and an old Smiths b side(always good for a singalong the Smiths )

http://www.youtube.com/user/jase67electric


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(@alouden)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 59
 

I work on songs almost weekly to play in church on Sundays and more specifically, right now Amy Grant's version of Father's Eyes to arrange for my daughter and I to play on Father's day. (She will be doing the singing).

I decided from the out set of my playing (going on four years now) that I would make a point to learn a song completely, so my repertoire may not be large, but what know I can play all the way through.

And of course, I listen to oldies radio so I am bombarded with songs I grew up with and want to learn.


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 lars
(@lars)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1121
 

Roy - I've seen you talk about it before - and maybe you have posted it somewhere else - and this is def. the wrong thread, but anyway - would you care to share the list of solo perform songs?

I think it is a good thing to have a explicit list - I end up doing some solo playing occationally too. And once I really get started I can go on almost endlessly with complete songs I know - but then it is the "getting started" thing - the first two, three song. Always a sweat. I file songs unconciously in the brain under "OK", "Working on it", and "maybe someday" - but my biological HD often has a very delayed access time. ...

Maybe it is a good idea to try to rotate the list routinely also. Its impossible to play 40-50-60 songs every day. But it should be possible even with my more than sloppy regime to cover it over a period of a month or two - just to remember lyrics and stuff.

Good thread

- me? working with recording my first complete original. Record rhytmh guitar a 100 times to get a good take, record vocals a 100 times, going back to rhythm, record bass a 100 times, go back and change vocals slightly, a new 100 vocal takes, forgetting to save the file, starting all over again ....

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

Roy - I've seen you talk about it before - and maybe you have posted it somewhere else - and this is def. the wrong thread, but anyway - would you care to share the list of solo perform songs?

Sure can! These are my first two song groups. I've got all the songs in a spreadsheet and just plain took 42 of them to try to narrow my focus. I actually tried just one group at first, but got bored too easily. Here are the groups.

Last Dance With Mary Jane
Baby I Love Your Way
Can't Get It Out Of My Head
Wild Horses
Breathe
Time
Old Man
Melissa
Dead Flowers
Tonight's The Night
Mother
Folsom Prison Blues
I'm A Believer
Knocking On Heaven's Door
Ballad Of Curtis Loew
Heart Of Gold
Sister Morphine
Let It Be
Beth
Already Over Me
Hotel California

Up On Cripple Creek
Celluloid Heroes
Nights In White Satin
The Night The Drove Old Dixie Down
Hank To Hendrix
Lay Lady Lay
Sugar Mountain
Fire
Lonely People
Suspicious Minds
Friends In Low Places
Night Moves
Daydream Believer
Break Down
Tweeter And The Monkey Man
Lola
Happy
Country Roads
One
How Can I Stop
Never Been To Spain

At any rate, these are the ones I'm concentrating on.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

Punk, Punk-rock, Ska and weird stuff. I get asked to play on all sorts of stuff, but rarely punk. Time to install the downstrum counter, dangle the guitar a foot lower and change that.

Straight-ahead and easy:

I Wanna Be Sedated
Safe European Home
Watchin' the Detectives
Timebomb
Hash Pipe

Other not-quite-punk genre candidates with a punk twist:

Paint it Black
Supernova (L. Phair tune)
Sex and Candy
To Sir with Love
Turning Japanese
Intimate Secretary
Juice Box

Not punk, just eclectic:

Midnight at the Oasis
Crimson and Clover
Takin' Care of Business ... but jazzy

-=tension & release=-


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(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1248
 

Punk, Punk-rock, Ska and weird stuff. I get asked to play on all sorts of stuff, but rarely punk. Time to install the downstrum counter, dangle the guitar a foot lower and change that.

Straight-ahead and easy:

I Wanna Be Sedated
Safe European Home
Watchin' the Detectives
Timebomb
Hash Pipe

Other not-quite-punk genre candidates with a punk twist:

Paint it Black
Supernova (L. Phair tune)
Sex and Candy
To Sir with Love
Turning Japanese
Intimate Secretary
Juice Box

Not punk, just eclectic:

Midnight at the Oasis
Crimson and Clover
Takin' Care of Business ... but jazzy

What! No Bow Wow Wow!....????

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

singing, lyric writing and improvising, lead timing, major scale improvising, tapping, jazz chords, bach's chaconne, popping and thumping, just generally playing and creating, and i have a gig in two weeks that i'm preparing for.
why? because i want to be able to do all of those things as well as i can.


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(@davidhodge)
Member Moderator
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4485
 

As far as performing - I've a number of gigs and jams coming up so right now I'm more in the "prep" stage - trying to get songs lists together and then make up set lists from the songs. So there's two hours worth of material for a June 21 show with Nick Torres, Greg (gnease) and Glen (who's come to a couple of GN Mini-camps as well as last year's Riverside Jam). Plus I'll be prepping a bass player for the show.

Speaking of the Riverside Jam, I'm co-captain (with Dan "Laz" Lasley) of a set to be performed at a bar, so that set also needs to be put together so the various members of that group will be able to start practicing ASAP. Aslo, you never know when you're going to be called on to sit in on a particular song (or whole set) at the Riverside Jam, so being familiar enough with songs in the other captains'/co-captains' sets is a big plus. And since there are no end of guitar players, being able to sit in on anything else (bass, mandolin, twelve-string, baritone guitar, banjo, keyboards, percussion, lead vocals, back-up vocals, melodica or the ever-popular Tahitian ukulele) is also more than helpful.

Then there's a big show in October, which may seem like a ways off, but it will be here before one knows it. So, again, things are very much in the prep stages. Hopefully all set lists will be done by the first of June.

But despite this, most of the "things I am working on" are lessons for my private students plus the ones being written for Guitar Noise. Plus recording the material for the GN lessons and podcasts.

And then there's simply the having fun part, which involves learning (meaning figuring out by ear from the recordings) new songs (currently Arcade Fire's Laika and Wake Up and Mary Chapin Carpenter's Late for Your Life) and then working up arrangements. Arrangements are a bit of a constant part of my working, as I find making arrangements to be a lot of fun! And because of the nature of the performances I get involved in, I tend to arrange both for groups (some of the stuff Greg mentioned) and for single guitar such as, believe it or not, the Funeral March for a Marionette, which some of you might know as the theme from the old Alfred Hitchcock Presents television show.

Never enough time, is there?

Peace


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

Imy eyes are bigger than my stomach; there is much I want to do.
I think I will throw it all into a pot of water and get it to boil. whatever simmers to the the top
will be it.
I want to reocrd a couple of early western swing songs. I need to tune to C6 with my lap steel.
that old stuff is classic.
I want to record an all slide piece. both electric and acoustic slide jamming.
I want to play and record a cool 'guitar-noire' song. lots of reverb and electric strat whammy.
and work up the nerve to try and do a cover of 'Breed' by Nirvana.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

What am I working on and why? Well first of all, the what......

This is a list of songs that I've written for the Sunday Songriter's group over the past few years......the ultimate aim is to get each of them recorded. Some are solo acoustic, others involve acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, bass, drums, organ, piano and harmonica.

A Sailor's Song
Angel On The Corner
Bad Luck Blues
Blindman
Blood On Your Hands
Catspaw
Constant Chameleon
Devil In The Boy
Devil's On The Loose
Faded Blues
First Day Of Summer
Full Moon Fever
Hell Of A Party
I Never Believed
In My Head
In My Room
Masquerade
Monkey
Nightwalker
Noise Annoys
Old Clothes
Peace Of Mind
Restless
Rock'n'roll Radio
Run (Not Walked)
Shelter
That Old Photograph
Undertow

(28 in total)

Second list, other songs I've written that I also want to record.....or re-record, in some cases....

Blink Of An Eye
Where Were You
Rock'n'Roll Footloose Travelling Man
Get Out Of My Life
So Good For Me
Midnight Blues
Foggiest Notion
This Girl
Moth To A Flame
Nothing I can Do
Where Are You
Senseless

List Three - Covers I want to be able to do note-perfect on rhythm guitar and/or lead and sing......

Badge
Substitute
Cindy Incidentally
Stay With Me
Should I Stay Or Should I Go
I Fought The Law
All Right Now
Hey Joe
Light My Fire
Up Around The Bend
Dock Of The Bay
Riders On The Storm
Nantucket Sleighride
30 Days In The Hole
Pinball Wizard
Back In The USSR
Deja Vu All Over Again
Like A Rolling Stone
Positively 4th Street
Maggie's Farm
All The Young Dudes
Old Rag Blues
London Calling

In truth, most of this list doesn't need an awful lot of work - the hardest part is remembering all the lyrics!

List 4 - Songs I want to be able to do solo, just me and an acoustic.......

Pinball Wizard
Like A Rolling Stone
Positively 4th Street (the song I dream about playing if my first wife ever wandered in to the crowd when I was playing...)
Wild Horses
Play With Fire
Behind Blue Eyes
Under The Bridge
Layla
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
In My Life
I Should Have Known Better

List 5 - Guitarnoise covers - songs written by GN members that I think I could do a good enough version of - there's a couple by Larry Jones, one of Chefie's, one of Kath's, a couple of Straycat's, and a couple of others.....

And last but definitely not least, List 6.....

As for the WHY - well, my own songs because I want to do them justice - and the covers, because they're all songs I love.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@boxboy)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1226
 

Wow! You guys are, er, ambitious.
I feel like a total slacker but here goes:

My main goal lately is to learn to fingerpick the electric better, so everything gets learned that way first and then I try a pick if it seems suitable.

I'm working on 'Midnight Special' (thanks Dogsbody for the contribution to the ESD) in an effort to learn to sing and play at the same time.

The start of Crossroads a la Cream, though I'm sure I'll never play it that fast.

A bunch of Open G stuff like Tumbling Dice and Can't You Hear Me Knockin'. That stuff's just flat out fun to play; so it acts like a 'reward' if I have spent some time on more trying stuff.

And some Chuck Berry snippets I've been at for maybe 18 months...still can't jump into it headfirst like Chuck so I keep plugging away.

Good luck, all!

:)

Don


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(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1248
 

Hmmmm....
Lets see;

A collab of sorts with Smokindog on one of Chris C's songs - something I'm calling 'Country Chris' as a working title.

I'm trying to entice Dog into doing another of Chris' songs - Home to Me.

Another sorta collab with Dog that started as an SSG assignment for him.... It's gone thru a million changes since it's inception - The working title is: Blues for Adamas.

An old SSG assignment of mine.... A country song that I'd like to work on with Dog (only he don'know it yet! )
Working title of: Diesel Cowboy

While looking for 'Home to Me' on my CD's from before I reinstalled everything on my PC, I found an old song I had written that I had forgotten about.... Been workin' on that.
I'd really like to be able to finish it.... It's now my main project.
Working title: I Got Left (and that aint right)

Another OLD song that I may or may not ask Dog to participate in - Aporia.
It's been driving me crazy for years now!

Two songs that I've been learning are:
Waylon's 'Long Way From Home', written by the Great Hank Cochran! (I've really been trying to inject some country influence into my stuff lately)

And ZZ-Top's 'Jesus Just Left Chicago'
Guess I still have that urge to be a Blues lead player! LOL!
Though, I'd rather work on my sparse, layered approach to songsmithing :)

AND - (edit - sorry)
A Harlan Howard song - Green River (also a Waylon tune).
Except that I've re-written the lyrics and put them to my own music.
When I first read the lyrics - I was blown away, and decided that I wanted to write a song with just those elements....
In the end, I decided that Harlan's original just couldn't be topped, so I simply.... Edited his existing lyrics and made it my own in a way.
Dog.... You readin' this????

I'm sure I'll drift to other originals that I've already got going before I finish what's here.

I'm still pullin' my hair out tryin' to record with substandard equipment! (as well as a substandard voice! :P )

Ken

Edits - Sorry.... I'm just getting into the Country Music bit!

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


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