Friday, April 18, 2008

When you suck, play a ballad

I've been working on a lot of different songs over the last few weeks. Some have gone better than others. Some, I've had to give up on completely. I've found what I have the most success with is finding a strong melodic tune with good chord movement and lots of ii-V-I progressions, and turning it into a ballad. I play a lot better when I play slow, and I sound better too (not surprisingly). Two tunes I've successfully turned completely into ballads include Blues for Alice and My Favorite Things. MFT especially sounds really haunting played slowly, letting the notes linger and blend. Plus, with the lengthy bridge and turnaround, if I were to get a job playing background music somewhere, that would be a good ten to fifteen minute song that people would vaguely recognize and therefore, hopefully appreciate.

As I've written before, though, the downside of this is, I get satisfied with a lackluster, "nice but not great" version of a song and I stop making progress, both with the song and with my musical talent. One of these days, I will convince myself that it is okay to play these, call them "lazy", versions of songs I like to listen to, but that eventually I have to buckle down and play the song the way it was written, and play it well.

Nothing comes easy. Just keep working.

And I will.

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