Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Spending all my free time on songwriting, I hate my own hobby?

Since June, I've been spending all my free time on songwriting and music recording. Every last drop of it. When I had a day off and on my off-hours after work I played and recorded music, that's it. Nothing else. I work 40 hours a week (thankfully not the 60 I used to work).

My routine was: wake up, go to work, come home. As soon as I got home I'd practice drums for a minimum of 15 minutes, but usually if I was working on a song I'd play for longer, maybe an hour. I'd get a sweat going, then once I felt comfortable with a drum take, I'd know it and say to myself, "That one felt pretty good." Usually it was just a matter of not flubbing any notes and making sure the tempo was correct. The drum mics were constantly set up so to record all I had to do was open up my DAW and press record. As a side note I live in a tiny room so... My bed was actually on the floor with wires tangled all around it and drum mics wavering overhead and the drums setup mere inches away from the mattress, for the entire 6 months.

Once the drum take was done, then I'd plug in my guitar (into a keyboard amp) and start messing around with an idea of some chords, or a melody. I have a nice pair of studio headphones I used for overdubs. For June and July I wrote using an acoustic bass through a fuzz pedal (with some reverb). I probably recorded about 10 songs this way before I found a certain formula using an actual electric guitar that worked for me.

It's now the end of November. I started this routine around June 1st. In this span of time, I've recorded 27 completed B-sides (That's a finished song with bass, guitar, drums, and vocals) and 5 finished songs I will release. So that's 32 songs in 6 months. I think if I really wanted, I could probably put out 10 songs (instead of only 5), but I'll save those 5 extra B-sides for a rainy day.

I gotta admit, I'm pretty much annoyed with recording and have been for a while. The final product is always awesome... when you record something that you're satisfied with, but the nuts and bolts of setting up the equipment, and the fact it's sort of like an endless pursuit (because at what point does it end?) have soured my take on it (and I've felt that way since about 2015). Many times it's a giant waste of time. As much as I love playing drums and guitar I'm ready to ditch recording for a while, maybe play some golf, go fishing, take up painting again. Just something different. I wouldn't mind performing live again, if only I could find a suitable drummer.

Ideally, I'd like to have a nice separate room to play drums in, and play guitar in, but I think the concept of having a recording interface always setup is too addictive for me, in a bad way. Years ago, I sold all of my recording and music equipment (except for one guitar), which was probably for the best, since the acoustic songwriting stuff I was recording was pretty cringy (looking back). But I'm happy with the songs I'm about to put out, at the same time.

 I'll be sharing the 5 songs shortly, after I finish up the mixing and cover-art. Stay tuned. - Mike

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