Hometown [2022/020]

Track 20! Half way to the “success” metric I established for the beginning of this year. Only 4 Saturdays this year I’ve not put out a track, not counting January 1 as this year since that week was almost entirely 2021 so I think of that as the last week of 2021 rather than the first of 2022 even though that was a Saturday as well. Additionally, I didn’t even conceive of this project until I’d basically finished the first track on the 8th.

I approached this whole tune in a different way than I usually do when I write from scratch. Usually I noodle on a keyboard, the Push, or very occasionally a guitar for melodic ideas, and when I stumble on things I like, I record them, refine them, and then build counter melodies that turn into harmonies which then informs the general slope of the percussion to keep the beat and accentuate and counter the shape of the rest of the song. Then I add “event driven” elements like risers and then tune the mix up.

This time I worked in a very different order. I started with a chord progression, embellished it with arpeggios and little semi-melodic licks, wrote the percussion line, and then wrote a bass line that fit with the rhythm and harmony that feels more like what I would do playing rock bass than any sort of EDM sort of bass. Also, the BPM (105) is a little lower than the “trouseno” that I typically have been making.

My approach was thus almost making a backing track rather than a full tune. My original thought was since this had a more pop/rock feel to do some melodic guitar lines. my concern was that my playing would not be up to snuff and that wound up being the case. I can play the notes, but my tone wasn’t quite where I would want it and what I was playing felt a little lifeless. There are a couple guitar chords that are imparting a little retro-jazz flavor (minor 9ths for the win!) that survived, but the lead lines were ultimately deleted. So I wound up hacking out the melodies on the keyboard and then fixing them up some. Overall, it’s not a bad track, but I’m more dissatisfied with the melodies than usual so in a lot of ways it feels like a regression in quality.

Some of that might be the genre change. I felt a little out of my element, and additionally I felt I was a bit straight-jacketed with my melodies between the pre-defined harmony and my limited skill on keys. So I suppose it’s good that I tried some different methods, skills, and ideas to stretch myself, but I consider the track itself a mixed bag.

I would appreciate any constructive feedback and I hope you like it!

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