Music isn’t real until it hits the recording reel or the concert stage.
That's why I am newly obsessed with the process of creating song demos -- how can a demo be as useful as possible, to help carry a song idea towards becoming a final song recording?
This is a musician-centric episode, sharing the big lessons I'm learning about how and why to create demos for your new songs.
This is my new daily Steem Blog, now in beta mode!
My goal in life is to start a new genre. To inspire and invoke a new form of art into the world, sending ripples of creativity out into the universe for generations to come.
Right now I'm grinding out the early stages, working two jobs, starting an anarchist art collective, and recording + rehearsing a ton of new music. This daily Steem blog brings you the most useful lessons and ideas that I'm able to extract from each day of my crazy life.
It's kind of like a motivational blog, but with a lot more angst and confusion. Call me the anti-Tony Robbins. Lets do this:
May 14 - 10:00am
The demos for my next album are sounding inspired and dangerous.
I’m particularly enjoying the crunchy mix for a song called “Taken For a Ride”, which is gnarly and intense. The drums are heavily distorted.
Not everybody is pleased with the results:
Why Demos Are Important To Do
Doing demos is a good way to figure out which songs are ready to go and which ones need more practice.
For example there’s an ambitious track I am working on right now called “Into the Sunset” and making the demo has been challenging. This song draws from multiple inspirations, starting with a radiohead-esque ballad and leading into a screamy, mewithoutYou inspired bridge. It’s a lot of different kinds of performances - singing like Thom Yorke is very different from screaming like Aaron Weiss - and I can tell I need a lot more practice on the vocals to figure out the nuances of each section.
This is a new lesson for me about demos: They do more than merely demonstrate the song*.
*demo = historically was shortened from “demonstration recording” I think
The demo also gives the artist a chance to experience the process of recording that song, to feel the performance and hear the results, which acts as crucial feedback. The artist can then adjust their performance, practice different things, rewrite parts, etc, in preparation for the next version of the song.
Using bow-and-arrow as a metaphor, practicing and writing a song is like pulling back the bow. Recording the demo is like releasing the bow and seeing where the arrow lands. Then you can try again if you didn’t hit the bullseye.
I have about 4 demos done and another 4-5 that I haven’t even started yet.
The process is happening piecemeal. Whenever I can find spare hours, I just work on it some more. I’m trying to use most/all of my days where I’m not scheduled at my job to work on my album.
Taking a rest day now and then is probably important too. But it’s not easy for me to stop working for an entire day.
Low-Phone Diet Update - Day 4
The cell phone experiment continues to feel good. I’ve followed the rules strictly for the last 24 hours, only checking my phone three times for no more than 20 minutes each time. All the rest of the time, the phone is off.
I don’t feel like I am missing anything from not using the phone. It is the opposite - I’m gaining an appreciation for all the interesting, unusual, and oft-subtle aspects of life that are out there to be experienced.
Most new habits have a honeymoon period of a few days. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Will I start to experience real phone withdrawal symptoms?
Later today I am working a double shift. First it’ll be day duty cleaning up at the music venue, then night shift for dinner service at the restaurant. I am expecting things to be uneventful, and hopefully busy at the restaurant so we make more money.
There’s a whole lot to do, but I can only do one thing at a time so I’m mostly focusing on trying to enjoy the process.
BITE-SIZED FUN STUFF
Sneak Peak — Here’s the demo of a song called “The Good Life” from my upcoming album, this may not stay up forever so check it out while you can. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
What I’m Drinking Today: San Benedetto Artesian Sparkling Water
My Latest Instagram Post (insta profile):
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