Thursday, June 4, 2009

And Then There Were Two...

We'd had an offhand, half-assed attempt to organize a PCMA practice/recording session for the week, and as a result, we ended up with only two of the five members present - myself and Karl. Edz had to work late, Shaun had a sick wife to attend to and Christine wanted to actually go home for the first night in a week. Slackers!

Thankfully, we had just enough to do between the two of us, and since Karl and I sort of split the engineering duties between ourselves (I think we should demand a credit from the band as such, calling ourselves some kind of 'twins,' after the glimmer twins or the toxic twins...), it went pretty smoothly. Well, smoothly for Karl, who retook the bass for one song at my request - and did so without even arguing about it and in one take, which really is all the proof he ever needs to show he's a better man than I am. And that after I spent an hour yelling at him about how Google really isn't the goody-two-shoes 'do no evil' munchkin-patch they tell everyone they are.

Myself, I retook my failed guitar for two songs - one, the album-closing number that on my first take a couple of weeks ago just felt like ass, where I couldn't lock in with the rhythm section no matter what. Of course, after severely pissing myself off about my first attempts, I listened back a few days later and they sounded just fine, save for the fact that my tremolo was both too fast and too deep.

...avoiding sexual metaphors...

The other guitar track was an instrumental that we did as a quick one-off jam a couple of years ago that for the life of me, I could never quite get the hand of what I did on the original practice demo. It worked all of my weaknesses as a musician - right down the the fact that it's on guitar, which I definitely place a distant fourth in the list of four instruments that I play. To compound issues, in a weird twist, it's a guitar instrumental where I play the lead and Shaun the chords, and the part I play is pretty far up the neck, meaning that we've removed every point of reference I have to actually be able to really get my part together.

Add to that the fact that after that initial writing session, we've only played it in practice once in the intervening two years, so I've had no chance to codify what I do... which was really just weird happenstance in the first place, and completely out of my style to boot.

Miraculously, we got it down tonight, but it was a tough slog, with me constantly missing notes and fucking up runs - not for lack of technical ability, since it's not a technically demanding part (I don't do those), but because of the aforementioned excursion from my usual guitar style, which is kind of folksy (if you want to be both charitable to me and insulting to folk musicians).

Frankly, I don't think anyone (even those who feel I'm a good musician) would turn to me to play jazz-inflected electric lead guitar. Really, maybe I should learn some scales, finally - it's been, what, twenty years since I started playing guitar? Alright, already...


P.S.: That's right: I'm daring the PCMA Gods to strike down the work we did. Because it's either us or them, I've decided.


Christine said...

You guys are the wondertwins of engineering.

"The other guitar track was an instrumental that we did as a quick one-off jam a couple of years ago"
Which one?

Dave Kopperman said...

Originally called "Hippy-Dippy/Hippy-Trippy," now named "We Moved the Earth One Plastic Shovel at a Time." Mellow triplet guitar number that segues into a galloping number that (at least from my end) takes a lot from Floyd's Meddle.

Did that help? Probably not.


shaunian said...

Need more sex metaphors. Don't tease.

Unknown said...

All sizzle, no steak.