I think I have discovered half of my songwriter’s block: I’ve been trying too hard to keep my music real. I’ve been so pre-occupied with guitars that sound like guitars, bass lines that come from a real bass, and drums that sound like a drummer has been playing them. It probably stems back from my earlier days when I used to write songs with a Yamaha digital drum machine as well as a Roland R-8m drum module and people would comment that the drums weren’t real. Not real, even though I was using digitally sampled drums in those units. I became obsessed with making drums real. My obsession got the best of me as I lost something bit by bit. I was so caught up in how real things sounded, as if it were to be played by a band, that I forgot that it was all about making music. I think I almost forgot what the fun was all about. I got caught up in a paradox of reality rules. The guitar may have been real, but the amp isn’t (it’s a POD); same goes for the bass; the drums are digitally hyper sampled. Or, I was insistent on using an acoustic guitar when I wanted something that sounded like… an acoustic guitar. Where’s the music in all this reality?
It took my POD and the greatest birthday present Joelle ever gave to me, a James Tyler Variax, to help me lose what is real and help me discover what is musical. This is almost as great as the present itself. I remember watching one of the Line 6 videos and Sean Halley did this totally weird tuning and model setup in the POD and after hearing it, I decided that I had to try my own variant. After set up my own model and tuning and added some effects to it, it was almost magical. For the first time, I didn’t think of how real the guitar sounded. I thought how musical it sounded. I was hearing music once again and I was excited. I was even more excited that the music I was hearing started turning into a song. Adding Reason 7 into the mix, no pun intended, brought out even more music. At that point, I didn’t care if it was going to sound real. I only cared if it was going to sound like music.
I then found myself grabbing a bunch of Joelle’s percussion instruments, like her one shots and her shakers, and I sampled them into Reason and started making music with them right away. If anything, all it took was one or two samples. It didn’t take that much time to do and next thing you know, I was putting a song together. It got me way too excited that I have been waking up early in the morning to work on this song. It’s getting me excited because it sounds like music. I feel like being given back music was God’s special gift to me. Almost as special as being saved.
Does the song sound real? Who cares! It’s music!