Song Writing Road Blocks, aka Some More Music Talk

I realized right after opening this up to type that my blog has been dominated with music related thoughts as of late, but it makes sense considering all of my free time has pretty much been dedicated to one of two things:  Reading novels or fanfic, or looking up, working on, or learning to make music.  Which has both been lots of fun, but somewhat frustrating when I want to apply certain things I’ve found to apply. Aka, another music post ahead, feel free to skip if that isn’t your thing XD

 

I’ve been having soooo much trouble trying to add lyrics to my originals!  Or rather, writing a song with lyrics.  When I go to cover a song it’s fine:  I just go off of the pre-existing song’s melody and structure, add lyrics if I want and work off of that.  The next cover I’m going to post is really interesting to me, because for a while I thought it was eh because the tone of it sounds so different than the original:  my rendition of it is definitely more folk, when the original is more medieval sounding.  I’ll be interested to see what people think of it when I post it honestly, it’s my first step into making something that I’d consider “my style” the stuff I’ve been doing lately is definitely along those lines, but I stuck to the structure of the original versions a lot more than with this one.

 

That track was pretty easy to make, I mean, I hit a few hurdles on the way, but I overcame them fairly quickly, and got this track done in two weeks give or take.  I…need to get better at recording video footage because at this point that’s really the only thing that holds me back from posting consistently.  But, I went on that mini tangent to say, it’s so much harder for me when it comes to forming something from scratch!  I feel like The Witching Hour was a fluke:  whenever I want to use chords to form a song, or even another track, my brain just hits a road block. I’ve recorded multiple beginnings of tracks, but my brain just can’t wrap itself around making a phase 2 or 3 of the melody:  or, I’m not sure if what I’ve made as the 2nd phase of the melody really counts as such sometimes.  And when trying to write lyrics with a song, don’t get me started!  I have no clue why it was so much easier for me to write songs with only my voice.  I have some old a cappella originals I did about a year or two ago that I’m tempted to redo because the mic quality is so bad haha.  But those came so much easier to me, and I have no clue why.  Over thinking, maybe?  There are a few of those old ones I want to restructure, because some are just too long or too wonky but once again, when I think of restructuring them, my brain draws a blank on how to do so.  I think I will make it a mini project of mine to retool at least two of those old tracks, along with fixing up some lyrics I’ve never used before to make them usable for a song because right now they’re the length of a poem and not really structurally sound to be lyrics.
To top it all off, there’s another “original” that’s just coming so easily to me, I don’t get it!  I put original in quotes, because it’s something I wrote based on a set of cards in Yu-gi-oh XD I wrote a bard’s song for the set of Gaia the Fierce Knight cards, and finally got to fixing up the lyrics, and fine tuning it and after fixing up the lyrics, the music is coming so easily in my head.  This one is another case of “Crystal, get off your butt and record the music already” because it’s basically completely formed in my noggin and I just need to get its parts recorded.  But once again, why does something like that come so easily, and an original not based on something not?  Over thinking again?  Too much pressure on myself when it comes to originals?

 

I really think I need to figure out what works for me song writing wise.  Maybe trying to come up with the chords first just doesn’t work for me, or maybe I should record demos of chord progressions with my voice and that could help?  But at the same time, sitting at the piano and noodling around for progressions just comes so easily to me, so like I’ve said multiple times this post I wonder what my road block for song writing could be when writing music with, and for pre-existing materials comes so much more easily.

 

Any song writers out there? Would love any advice!  I mean, I’m gonna keep trying, but blarg this is getting annoying XD

Castle Poem/Not quite lyrics

I write a lot of drafts of lyrics, which really is just poetry.  Some of them I had a melody in mind for, but then after I finish writing them they just don’t fit anymore, and some of them I write but they had no melody to begin with and I couldn’t think of one so they just stay poems.  This is one of those pieces.  Not sure if I shared it or not here, so here it is!
No real notes on this:  Had no name for it or anything, so the tentative title was always just “Castle”.  Saw something about a castle in Ireland that fell into the sea, and got inspired to write this.

 

 

 

There once was the grandest castle,

That sat upon the sea.

It’s ivory walls were marbled fine,

It’s catacombs’ pristine.

The King and Queen who nestled there

Forewent their worries and their cares,

A party thrown every night,

To bring the people delight.
The servants worked, amongst the waves,

Their fingers brittle and bare.

Of all the rings they yearned to own,

That the King and Queen did wear.

For some great envy sprouted fruit,

But others knew their lot in life,

To serve the King and Queen adored,

As they slaved away right by the shore.

Into the tower nearest to the sea,

Rusted, rickets green.

 

A night in which no one would forget,

A festival took place.

The servants slaved to serve the crowds,

Used to this routine

They did not know the tower’s creaked,

They could not hear the crumbling sheen,

Too busy serving all who came,

To praise the King and Queen by name.

And so when the tower fell,

Down into the depths below,

The noblemen did nothing more

Then greave this loss for show.

 

And so the King and Queen did leave,

This castle lost it’s fancy.

For who would want a watery grave?

Who would serve their whims?

 

Now the castle, once grand and bold,

Sits on the shore, decays,

No King or Queen dare live in a place,

Where they could keep no maids?

 

Others say the tower fell,

Due to contemptuous greed.

But many just say, rest in peace,

To the servants in the sea.

Limit Yourself Kinda Sucks

For some reason with everything else I am like “Limiting yourself in ___ is stupid I will do whatever!” but with music I am like “I can’t do this, because I am rooted in ___ style of music” and yes, that’s somewhat true, but like, I don’t get why I’m so dead-set  against experimenting with different musical styles, when I really don’t have to.  I’ve been thinking I really want to tinker with making some EDM, or covering some rock or pop but my brain is always like “You can’t, you only sing Celtic or video game stuff!” and I just want to be like duuuude it really doesn’t matter, it’s my channel and I can post whatever I want as long as it’s music.  So right now, I’m trying to just get over that and start working on different genres of music, and see what happens.

 

It’s a really bad mindset though, because my brain keeps on saying anything I write in another genre isn’t good enough, and when I just look at any lyrics I write I’m like eww.  But I’m going to try and just get over that by recording, and like I said see what happens with experimentation.  I mean, worst case scenario is…nothing?  You always learn something from stuff you do I think, so I just really need to get out of this mindset when it comes to music.
So time to cross my fingers, force myself to record, and see what comes of it!  Wish me luck XD

Soldiers of the Night Original Song

I was going to rant today, but then I posted a new original song, and figured it’d be far more productive to post that instead of ranting about blind music accessibility and the lack there of XD

 

I always am conflicted about posting my original stuff before like, posting them for sale on Loudr.  But, After hitting a lot of snags with getting my art done, I just figured I’ll share my music now, just to get it out there:  Because in the end, I really just want to share this stuff with you guys.  Of course I’ll post this stuff on avenues where I can make money off of them eventually, but for now I’ll just settle for getting over my fear of posting original stuff on the interwebs with lyrics with this XD
So, here is my latest original!  It’s a song about a mercenary guild, and I really was trying to get a tavern-y, fantasy-esk sound with it.  I hope you guys enjoy, and if you have any tips on how to improve this, let me know!  Later down the line, I will be recording mini-sodes about my writing process and creative musing and stuff I’ll post here too, so stay tuned for that!

 

Exciting News is on its Way!

March is already shaping up to be a great month! I’ve been setting up a lot of things that will be happening out later this month – like the release of my first single for sale woo! I’m also in the stages of upgrading my YouTube equipment (I ordered my new webcam, and am working on getting lighting and a backdrop situated) so after that point, my videos will change from a static image picture to me singing, and I’m going to start vlogging about my creative process, being blind, hobbies etc etc – so pretty much, this blog in vlog form! Which is something I’ve always wanted to do, so I’m super stoked! I know there’ll be a huge learning curve with this being my first time actually recording myself, but luckily my Mom is going to help me with setup.

 

Tomorrow I’m going to pick up my webcam, and my Mom is going to go to the store and see what she can find in means of lighting and the like. After that, I hope everything will be easy enough to set up to get a video out next week, and start a new uploading schedule of a vlog one week, a song the other week. So if all goes well, I’ll be uploading a video every week! I don’t like to say things like that because my brain is always like ugh if you don’t do that though you’re a failure but whatever, I’ll just say it now and force myself to do it, come hell or high water!

 

I love the transitions my life have been taking these past few days. I feel like I’ve been taking control of my career, and am going to continue to do so for the rest of 2016! Now to get marketing myself under control…

Discovering, and Taking Steps Towards my Unique Musical Style

Something you usually use in fashion, but can be applied to other things as well. I see it all the time in crafting, and in music, and musically it’s been something I’ve been contemplating and researching for a while. Also, I’ve been figuring it out through some good old fashion experimentation!

 

I think I finally figured out what my musical style is. Sure, I sing Celtic music, and sing video game covers, but that doesn’t say very much about what I like to do for my original stuff. I started doing the a Capella style acoustic sounding music for them, simply because it’s what I had available to me at the time – but now, I realize it’s something I really enjoy doing, and have started incorporating it into my style. At one time, I was like “Ugh this doesn’t sound like a full fledged song at all” but now, I really like the simplistic, yet intricate sound I can convey with only my voice and making different sounds with it.

 

I’ve also been doing some research on the types of instruments I want to use for the type of music I love to create. Which, for me, is medieval sounding, fantasy-esk, Celtic folk music that tells a story. I gotta say, looking up all the different medieval musical styles has been really fun and interesting! A few things I found out, that I didn’t know before: Back in the day, they only used 3 to four types of instruments. Woodwinds, percussion, and strings. That was really eye-opening to me! I always thought that you needed a ton of instruments to make something substantial, but seeing that, and knowing that this is the type of music I love creating, was a huge…hmm, not relief, but really…therapeutic to me? Like I have wanted an ocarina, and tambourine for quite some time, and seeing that those are two instruments that were used in the Renaissance era (aka the era I love the most music wise) was just really cool. I was so happy to see that the music style I want to dedicate my time to creating had the instruments that I really wanted to learn to play, as well.

 

Next on my list, was to find a string instrument that I could either use a synth for, or also learn with minimal effort. Of course, perfecting it is another story, but I have wanted to learn a string instrument I was passionate about learning for a while – years ago I bought a guitar, but looking back on that purchase, I didn’t want to learn that specific instrument. I really just bought it because I was trying to book gigs and everyone I contacted was like “Well you need to be able to play a live instrument” so I was like guitar bam! Then never learned to play it and it’s just sitting around my house XD
But anyway, long tangent aside, I found this really cool harp called a zither! I love the sound it produces, and I love how you play it. Instead of having to hold down strings on frets or something, all the strings are laid out and you pluck them and they produce whatever tone you’ve tuned it to. And buying one to learn is generally inexpensive, so yay! But until then (I’d like to dedicate time to learning the ocarina first) I will just use a harp synth I have on my computer, that doesn’t sound perfect, but gets the job done.
Eventually, I’d like to get a hand drum too, but once again a bit later down the line. I love percussion instruments though, so I am really excited to get one and get jamming!

 

And all of that combined with my voice creates…my style! Well, it will once I learn to play, and acquire said instruments haha. But I guess I’m just glad I figured out the type of sound I’m going for, and can work towards perfecting that, and making it the best I can. Watch out 2016: Crystal as a one woman band will be coming your way, I’m determined to make it happen!

Getting Outta ma Funk

The weather is finally getting back to normal here (in which I mean, not 50 degrees or lower and nice warm beachy weather haha) and that’s part of the reason why this post is so late- have been enjoying just relaxing in the sun with the tropical island breeziness XD. That, and I’ve been working on mixing a song (in fact I still am but wanted to take a break to write this) and after this, I’m going to write some more song lyrics. But, I said that to Segway into this: I’m slowly getting out of my creative funk, woo!
I’m not quite sure what it is. Maybe it’s the fact that I joined a new forum and have been getting good feedback already, when it’s only been a day and a half I’ve been a member. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been singing a lot more? And doing that makes me get more ideas to do more singing and singing related things lol. I’ve been in this weird mood where everything in my head sounds off pitch, and then people who listen are like “No, you’re crazy” so maybe getting that validation that my voice is still up to par is helping too. It’s just really nice to be getting back into the creative flow of things, and being motivated to work on more and more and just getting that momentum back!

 

Whatever is getting me out of this funk, I hope it keeps going. Because I really am loving having this creative flow again and don’t want it to go away!