I Finally Wrote a Song with Lyrics on Piano, Yay!

Note:  Said song won’t be in this post, because I still need to work on the mix, but I was excited and really wanted to blog about this because I’ve been struggling with it.

 

For some reason, when I tried to write a song with lyrics on the piano,  it just wasn’t coming together.  I can write an instrumental fine, but lyrics I just was drawing a blank.  I started searching through different genres of music, mainly video game, celtic, and folk, and listened really closely to how the chord progressions in each worked.  It wasn’t until my Mom was listening to this old folk band, The Seekers (who are amazing, check them out if you haven’t) and writing a song clicked.  I don’t have to use a bajillion chords, I can use as little as one and put my vocals over it!  Thank you, The Seekers!

 

I actually stumbled into writing this song duo to my ability to never sleep at a reasonable hour.  Sometimes I sing when I lay in bed and am frustrated when I can’t sleep and a few nights ago I just started singing “Insomnia-a-a-a” and came up with the melody and everything.  The next night, worked on the backing, and kept it simple.  I used the exact same chords, just as different types of inversions and the chorus is just the chords being played all together, and bam!  Got my song.  It was really cool to see it was that simple to have a song form into…a song haha.  Like legit I only used six keys on the keyboard and a song was made!  I thought of adding some strings or something, but as is the song is pretty goofy and quickly put together (in about 2 hours) but I really wanted to just write a song and get it done.  One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten is to just work on a piece of music and finish it whether you think it’s good or not, then you can grow as an artist lol.

 

But yeah, really happy I got it done!  Not sure if I’m going to wind up sharing it or not because it’s just such a  weird song haha.  But at the same time, I really like how it came out, it’s super cute and catchy to me XD

The Witching Hour (Original) Smile Bomb! And General Music Update

The Witching Hour [Original Instrumental] – YouTube

 

Smile Bomb!  – YouTube

 

A few musical updates today!  There was one more collaboration I could have linked but I really don’t like how it came out and it deserves a post all its own if I ever wind up posting it to be completely honest.  Not a bad experience, just an annoying one lol.  But, This collab is another story!  I met Chris through seeing a friend of mine link her collab with him.  I commented on the video, he emailed me and asked if we could do something together and my answer is always “Yes!”.  After that, we got talking, and we get along really well!  He’s really nice to work with, and I definitely am happy to have a new friendship with him (an working relationship, as well!) it’s really nice to have people to talk to about all this music youtube business who’s into it too, I’ve already gotten loads of help and support from him, and doing this collab was amazing.  Yu Yu Hakusho is an anime I loved from my childhood, and when I saw Smile Bomb on the list of suggestions he had I was like “I love that song, let’s do it!”.  Overall, I just feel really open about talking to Chris, and working on improving our channels together, and this collab is hopefully the first in many more collabs with him!
This is another huge milestone, because it’s the first thing I’ve done that’s on iTunes and Spotify and other music distribution sites EEE!  I couldn’t stop myself from listening to the preview over and over again on iTunes, it’s so cool to see it there!  I can’t wait to see more of my stuff go on those stores as well, it’s a dream come true!
On that note, I got all of the distribution stuff situated for my next cover.  I had to get a bit aggressive with Soundrop, because I emailed them three times before they responded – and they only responded when I tweeted at them about my problem (which was pretty entertaining to see, I must admit hahaa).  They fixed it yesterday, and my next cover is now in the process of being listed on stores!  So after that’s done, I’ll be posting my Terra cover on YouTube (finally!  I’ve been working on this for so long).  They said it could take up to a week to get it to stores but I’ve seen other friends have a turnaround of a day or so, so the cover will be going up next week, woo!

 

Because Terra’s theme wasn’t ready yet, I opted to post the other video linked above.  I mentioned working on this track a while ago, and got my awesome animator friend to make an animation for me.  The first custom one he’s done, yay!  (Side note:  If you want him to be able to do this a lot more, consider supporting me on Patreon – he also made my album art for Terra’s theme).  I put this together a few weeks ago probably, just in a 3 hour span of time.  Figured out all of the melodies just by noodling on the keyboard.  I figured out the piano background first and was like “Oo this sounds spooky, what else can I add to it” and just kept on building on it until I got this.  I half improv, half made the main melody.  Not sure if I could even redo it haha but I really liked how it came out for my first attempt at an all instrumental track!  Let me know what you think J

 

It sort of just happened this month, but I really liked the amount of content I released!  I got one original track, one cover with backtrack, and one VGM/anime cover arrangement done.  I’m not going to concrete say I must stick to this schedule, but at the same time I kind of want to.  If the licensing goes smoothly, it really wouldn’t be a major hassle because this is all I do for an…attempted living XD I’d love to try and get a video out a week, but I don’t think I could do that with music all the time so may look at doing some how it’s made behind the scenes stuff, who knows.  Either way, I’m really happy this month of music is over, because hoo boy was it stressful haha.
That also was a lot longer of a post than I expected, but like I said a lot has been going on!  Hope you enjoy these videos, more will be coming soon!

Inuyasha Piano and Vocal Medley

Inuyasha Piano and Vocal Medley – YouTube

 

This cover has been an interesting journey.  It took me a month to get every part the way I wanted it.  Initially, I wanted to just make it Kagome’s theme, and also initially, I had a lot less dynamic playing:  When I first recorded this, I was only using the right hand pattern and when I went to record a demo of vocals over it, it just didn’t sound right to me.  That cover was recorded before I had recorded the Lufia cover, which has a pretty basic chord pattern as well, but I really wanted to practice more dynamic playing on this one, so went back, and added the left hand chord progression underneath the right hand melody chords and this was my end result for Kagome’s section.  And I hope that made at least a little bit of sense XD
For the Inuyasha’s theme section (the middle section) it was really straight forward,  For the Kagome section, I made it a bit different than the chords played in the original, but for Inuyasha’s theme, I legit just copied the chord progression from the original verbatim.  So no major hurdles to jump over for that one, It didn’t take me long to record.

 

 

Now, the Kikyo section has quite a tale!  When I’m arranging a track, I do everything by ear, so I was listening to the original version which as a background, had descending scales consistently going.  I think maybe because this version uses strings and woodwinds as the main melody, that simplicity wasn’t working with my voice.  I was ready to scrap adding Kikyo’s theme to this, and just make it its own cover at a later date, but then I ran across the version of her theme that has vocals, and it clicked!  So I used a variation of that as the chord progression for her section…and played it entirely too long XD I didn’t want to completely edit it down (I had to do some editing regardless, but some cuts were just plain awkward and not fitting) so had to figure out what to do near the end.  In one of my late night inspirational strokes, it hit me again!  I was singing along to the track when I realized:  both Kagome and Inuyasha’s themes fit really well as counter melodies underneath the last round of Kikyo’s  When I recorded demos.  So, when I went to record for real, I did that, added the last bits of embellishments, and bam, my medley project was complete, and five minutes long!  Wasn’t expecting that length to be honest, but it was cool to see all of my work turn into a full-fledged track when I had been working so hard on it.

 

That being said, I opted not to record myself playing piano on this one.  By the time I was recording video for it, I would have had to re-teach myself all but Inuyasha’s section, and didn’t really want to put the effort into doing so.  So on this video it’s just me singing, but I did play the piano on this track, regardless.
It was really cool with this cover, too, because it’s the first post that I set to be charged to patrons over on my Patreoen Page!  Not going to lie, it was a really great feeling being supported by my patrons, and sharing my cover early with them, conversing with them etc etc.  I’m really excited to make more content for patrons, and grow both my YouTube and Patreon pages this year!

 

And that’s all for this cover.  Eventually, I’d like to make videos detailing stuff like this, I’m wondering if you guys would be interested in that?  Also, I’m trying to think of different ways to stage recording video, so if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears!

AHHHH AHHHH I Finally Have a Keyboard!

Not gonna lie:  I knew I was going to get this, because well, I picked it out.  But my Mom has this annoying thing where she wanted me to “open it” on Christmas, because it technically was a Christmas gift.  I thought, “OK, well at least I get to open a big old package on Christmas!” but nope, I come out in the morning and it was already set up for me to play booooo.  I got to open up the survival kit like a present, so I guess that’s something that was fun.

 

But yes, I finally got a keyboard!  I’ve been playing it all yesterday, and practiced for a bit today as well.  I figured, I’d practice 1 to 3 hours a day, and hopefully I’ll be able to play a song in a few months.  Just from the little bit I’ve played it though, it’s surprisingly easy!  I’m still getting acclimated to the keyboard, of course, but I’m already playing different cords, and doing a lot of warm ups/practice sessions that are just me learning how to play cords with the right fingering.  I’ve been watching a lot of helpful YouTube videos, as well, and the fact that I already was practicing chord progressions on a virtual keyboard on my computer has helped tons, too.  Having it all laid  out in an actual piano format helps me so much though, and I’m so so so so sooooo excited to use it in covers, and be able to play it in general!

 

I think my major two things I will have to work on, are getting my right hand to move like my left one on the keys:  I’m left handed, and I noticed that it’s a lot easier for me to handle that side of the keyboard because of it.  So I’ve been focusing on building up the muscle memory on both hands (but more on my right) and it’s helped already, I can tell.  Getting my fingers to not knock other keys has been a minor issue too, so I’ve just been going up and down the board with scales and when I hit two keys, starting over again.  All in all though, it so much easier to pick up than I expected.  I’m not sure if that’s because I’ve been really into music lately or something else, but I’m not complaining!

 

The Yamaha survival kit is kind of an annoying add on you have to buy, because it comes with the AC adaptor.  It also comes with a sustain peddle, and some headphones you can plug into the keyboard so you don’t bother people while you’re practicing, so it was a good extra purchase.  And, once you buy it, it can be used for any Yamaha Bran keyboard, so worth the extra money.  I really like the tonal quality of the grand piano base setting, it sounds great.  The extra keyboard voices are…hit and miss (the brass section is so ugh XD) but I was surprised that a violin voice in there doesn’t sound terrible.  Haven’t gone through all of them yet, because I’m more focused on just learning to play, but it’s nice they’re included on their nevertheless.

 

I got sidetracked this year, but I really want 2017 to be a year for music.  I’m excited to continue learning how to play my keyboard this year, and I plan to buy other instruments to compliment it.  But AHHHH AHHHH, I finally got a keyboard!

 

Did you get any Christmas gifts you’ve been wanting for a while?  Would love to hear what you got in the comments!