Never wrote anything like this before:

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Never wrote anything like this before:

Postby PopTodd » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:49 pm

"Is That All Right?"
It's a talking blues. Just kinda fell out of me one night. Doesn't sound totally complete.
I'm thinking an instrumental break after the second chorus... maybe a harmonica solo. Modulate the key to give it a little variety, and then modulate back for the final part of the song.

As to when I record it for release: given the kind of song that it is, I think that I'll just do it live with a single mic (playing my resonator, like I do here), with my harp-playing friend sitting next to me gettin' ready to wail when the time comes. Do a few takes and use the best. Anything more would be overkill.


Whaddya think?
Any feedback/suggestions?
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Re: Never wrote anything like this before:

Postby cjdenecia » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:46 pm

PopTodd wrote:"Is That All Right?"
It's a talking blues. Just kinda fell out of me one night. Doesn't sound totally complete.
I'm thinking an instrumental break after the second chorus... maybe a harmonica solo. Modulate the key to give it a little variety, and then modulate back for the final part of the song.

As to when I record it for release: given the kind of song that it is, I think that I'll just do it live with a single mic (playing my resonator, like I do here), with my harp-playing friend sitting next to me gettin' ready to wail when the time comes. Do a few takes and use the best. Anything more would be overkill.


Whaddya think?
Any feedback/suggestions?


the idea of the key changes and harmonica are probably spot on but I think it needs a few other tweaks too.

like loosen up even more on the vocal delivery. take liberties with the timing and attack vocally. put more soul into your blues. and in doing so, hopefully you'll relax a bit and get the line a little more raw.

as well, I think you'll either be better off playing with a slide so you can fluidly flow more picking in without having to go off the beat so much OR it might pay to figure out a way of sorta riffing or picking through the choruses.

ohhh and consider doing a little looking at a few lyrical lines to bring it all together as blues .... and cus there's just a few lines that I think you could get more cleverly simple and add to the idea. something so stripped needs every aspect at the top of the game right? right.

and yeah, you did speed up to your original tempo by the end. pick a speed man. faster will be tighter but more laid back might allow more expression.

ya know ....
you can't handle the truth.

nor do you want to ...
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Re: Never wrote anything like this before:

Postby ingolee » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:26 am

Yeah, if you're not going to loosen up and interact with the guitar there's no point in doing it live. The guitar part by itself is boring so experiment and overdub with some other stuff to make that rhythm bed better, washboard, jaw harp, washtub bass, female BV, all stuff you can easily do yourself. Has potential though!
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Re: Never wrote anything like this before:

Postby PopTodd » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:34 pm

ingo pointed out that I have not acknowledged the assistance offered by he and cj.
You are correct. That is inexcusable and I am very sorry that I have not at least responded with a "thank you."
Thank you.

I have, in fact, been thinking about what you both have offered up and...
I have tried playing with a slide, but I flat-out suck at it. Also looked into trying to spice up the guitar part a little more, just to liven it up, but have not been able to work anything up that doesn't interfere with the lyric. I kinda think that the lyric is what a talking blues is all about, after all. But yes, my guitar part on that recording is boring and I do hope to work out something at least a little more interesting.

As far as more-elaborate instrumentation: I'm not so sure that is the way that I want to go, either. I really do want to keep it simple

And adding to the lyric: I'll see what I can work up, if anything. Something like this seems to be to be a constantly evolving work, lyrically. Could be fun.

Thanks again for all your thoughtful input.
And, again, apologies for my late response. I don't take your feedback for granted, I promise.
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Re: Never wrote anything like this before:

Postby cjdenecia » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:43 pm

PopTodd wrote:ingo pointed out that I have not acknowledged the assistance offered by he and cj.
You are correct. That is inexcusable and I am very sorry that I have not at least responded with a "thank you."
Thank you.

I have, in fact, been thinking about what you both have offered up and...
I have tried playing with a slide, but I flat-out suck at it. Also looked into trying to spice up the guitar part a little more, just to liven it up, but have not been able to work anything up that doesn't interfere with the lyric. I kinda think that the lyric is what a talking blues is all about, after all. But yes, my guitar part on that recording is boring and I do hope to work out something at least a little more interesting.

As far as more-elaborate instrumentation: I'm not so sure that is the way that I want to go, either. I really do want to keep it simple

And adding to the lyric: I'll see what I can work up, if anything. Something like this seems to be to be a constantly evolving work, lyrically. Could be fun.

Thanks again for all your thoughtful input.
And, again, apologies for my late response. I don't take your feedback for granted, I promise.


apology accepted. tho, actually, I forgot about it .... but more importantly, you're welcome. as ever.

good luck with it ... add a harmonica. or a cowbell.
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Re: Never wrote anything like this before:

Postby PopTodd » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:13 am

The harmonica is definitely coming. Already working with the harp player and that should sound really good.
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Re: Never wrote anything like this before:

Postby ingolee » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:42 pm

PopTodd wrote:I have tried playing with a slide, but I flat-out suck at it.


Slide can be difficult, but . . . try tuning to an open chord, then lay the guitar flat on your lap (lap steel style). Then all you have to do is strum, keep the slide parallel to the frets and move up once to the intended chord. It will be basic but better than what you have now, and on a resonator it will sound great.

And what about the jaw harp? $5.00 on ebay and your harp guy could learn something new, we've heard harmonicas a million times already.
Last edited by ingolee on Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Never wrote anything like this before:

Postby steban » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:48 pm

Right now it sounds like the coffee house version, short and simple, bluesy but playful. Limited.

I don't think you need to add a whole lot more, but adding a little more here and there could up its coolness factor without disrupting its lowdown vibe.

Yes, there's room for some vocal expressiveness. As it is, you have a solid structure, nice repetition of is that alright, but pretend you have drunk one more beer (or actually drink it!) so now you are getting a tad more excitated in the conversation from time to time.

I'm kind of thinking a harmonica would fit well, perhaps especially at the end, and I can imagine an extra acoustic guitar note twang to punctuate is that alight could transform the bland chorus to a hook. Hooks to me have to be simple, easy to predict by the end of the song, and add surprising and interesting character on top of the basic chords and melody.

It did seem to speed up a tad at the end, and I like that, very analog, but you could take advantage of that spurt of energy and have a very upbeat conclusion.

I think the slide sound Ingo described is along the line of what I can hear, maybe even an upright bass thrump here and there but not everywhere.
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Re: Never wrote anything like this before:

Postby PopTodd » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:03 pm

Hadn't thought of playing it dobro-style. Interesting.
And the jaw harp is something that might be cool, too. Maybe I'll pick one up this week and play around with it a bit.

Thanks for the cool ideas, folks.
Certainly won't use all of them, but will probably use some. And, at the very least, it's great food for thought.
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Re: Never wrote anything like this before:

Postby ingolee » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:49 pm

PopTodd wrote:Hadn't thought of playing it dobro-style. Interesting.
And the jaw harp is something that might be cool, too. Maybe I'll pick one up this week and play around with it a bit.

Thanks for the cool ideas, folks.
Certainly won't use all of them, but will probably use some. And, at the very least, it's great food for thought.


Thank you Todd. An honest effort at something new is always good; put one brave foot outside your comfort zone! That's even better than an apology.
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