Thursday, 2 February 2012

'Stealth' Recording

As I've previously moaned, the writing and recording of this week's song has had certain restraints placed upon it. It's forced me into adopting methods of 'stealth' recording I haven't used since I was a teenage insomniac with easily rattled parents. The double bass is packed away, as are most of the acoustic instruments, and the only method I can use to get music down without disturbing others or being disturbed is to use solid-bodied electric instruments, plugged directly into the recording device.
This does mean, however, that I'm rather limited as to what arrangement I can use. I have an electric baritone uke, tuned re-entrant G, and an electric bass that was so bad, it only became vaguely useful once I'd ripped out the frets and sanded the bumps out of the fingerboard. I also have an electric guitar, but I want to avoid making guitar-based songs if possible: I don't want to fully revert to my teenage years. The electric baritone uke is quite guitary enough, thank you very much.
I'll be reverting to my teenaged vocal style too, out of necessity. Quiet, whispery, breathy. I won't be belting it out. That is also a product of the necessity of not disturbing anyone, whereas during my teenage years, it was only partly that, and partly terrible self-confidence issues.
At this point, I haven't written the song yet, but because of these constraints, and my ways around them, I have a fair idea of how the music is going to come out. It's likely to be down-tempo, introspective in tone, simple, restrained and full of space, probably based around a single chord progression, repeated, with two-finger chords and open string drones. The lyrics will probably end up reflecting that. They'll probably be folksy and impressionistic, rather than the more direct style I prefer nowadays. I just hope it doesn't revert too much to the proto-Emo style of my salad days - or the 'wallpapery dirges', as my punk brother used to describe them.
The style is also shaped by time constraints. instead of being able to put a chunk of time aside to do it, as I normally do, I'll be nipping back and forth doing little bits where and when I can. It's likely I'll be abandoning my favoured pad and propelling pencil and writing the lyrics on my phone, maybe even in the loo.
Hence, it'll have to be simple, or I'll lose the thread in the long gaps between short sessions.
I will miss having soprano uke on the track, but I don't have a solid-bodied, electric soprano anymore. Despite recently feeling that I have too many ukes, I'm feeling the absence of that specific thing. Even a cheap and cheerful bog-standard Eleuke, Clearwater or the like is mighty tempting at the moment, but I sold my last solid soprano when my son moved out. He's back now (albeit temporarily), and I'm suddenly realising how useful it was. I'll admit, I have been hovering over BIN buttons.
Anyway, I've got a few mins left, so I suppose I'd better start cracking on with that chord progression while I can. Just don't make me tidy my room, you horrible gits.