Niets Musical Musings

My daughter started playing electric bass guitar recently.  To help keep her interested along with the enjoyment of playing with her and to satisfy a long curiosity, I was determined to play electric guitar.  After not having played guitar in many years, and only played acoustic guitar ever in the past, I purchased an Epiphone Les Paul Special copy and small Marshall DFX amp.  I throw in some acoustic guitar tracks here and there on a Washburn D-12, and fake a few bass licks from an Ibanez GSR200.  Recently I added a Behringer V-Amp II (virtual amplifier) to my equipment list.  I'm sure it will make the purists wince and cringe, but it is allot of fun to play with and I don't need a basement full of different guitars and amps to get different sounds.  I don't listen to much music anymore, so most of my influences are from many years ago. (No punk, rap, etc.)  I was an on-the-road sound engineer (in another life) for a band called Warlord out of New Jersey back in the late 70's.  (BTW-  Here's to you Buzz, Jill, Ricky, Bobby and Harry.)

Below are my musical "thoughts".  I wouldn't really call anything really finished, but most are listenable.  I've tried to go back later and improve on some tracks and for the most part, all subsequent attempts never exceed what I recorded on the first sessions.  (Hmmm.  Does that make them finished?)   I added a few thoughts by each song just for some of my musically curious friends.

(This is actually more of a web page than I ever meant it to be.  I used to just FTP a song up to a server and give the link to a few friends that were interested.)

And I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge and thank Ralph, my musical mentor and reference.  I wish I could learn 10% of the speed  he learns.  Seems like he hums something through a couple of times and is ready to perform.  Jeeeze - I'm still tuning my guitar.  At some point, I'll see if I can beg a few contributions from him to post here.

Everything is recorded one track (stereo) at a time on a PC using Acoustica Mixcraft software.  (I would recommend this software to anyone.)  The amount of tracks are unlimited.  Keyboards and rhythyms are provided by an inexpensive Casio keyboard.  I don't really play keyboard, but I like to experiment with rhythyms and instrument voices.)  The rest of the hardware includes a Behringer mixer to accept all the different inputs, Nady dynamic and condenser mics, and a home-built Athlon XP1700 PC.  Some of the tracks on these songs are me exploring what the software can do and how to manipulate the editing and effects.  Almost all are instrumentals as I don't like to sing or hear my voice, but I hope to work on that.

Anyway, here are my latest musical thoughts.  (I'm not going to try explain where the names came from.)


First thing I tried to record.  Kind of a new age type of thing.  All done in a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon.  Not really my style of music, but was a tune that had been stuck in my head for a while.  


Yes, I can sing (at least a little).  Now you'll hear why I don't like to sing.  Not too many people like to hear their own voice and I am no different.  I would much rather play instruments than sing, but here is a trial effort (at least a few words) heavily ladened in effects.  I know there are pitch problems.  


An early attempt at recording any type of lead.  Actually it's a little boring and not very good lead playing, but gave me a chance to play with a couple of different tones and effects.  


Very short.  Mostly a riff.  Played over-drive on the background guitar with the DS-1 distortion unit instead of the Marshall.  I kind of like the beginning and the end (the end is a little weird).  The middle sucks and just lays there.  (Actually, allot of the timing is off and it is a bit embarrassing, but I guess I will leave it up and try to get it redone shortly.)


Hmmmm -   Not sure what to say about this one.  Still very rough.  I would like to really finish this one out.  I like the haunting lead beginning. Good simple use of lead guitar.  A little much towards the end, but...  8-)  


A little different than most of what I play.  Kind of a Electronic/Trip Hop kind of thing.  Got started on a tangent and followed it to (sort of) a conclusion.  Definetly not for everyone.   


I need to refine the mix on this.  First time I have recorded an acoustic guitar (which was done with an open Nady condenser mic).  I'm also hoping to redo a few of the tracks, but the times I have tried so far came out worse than what was there (lol).  Very upbeat and allot of fun to record.  

Movie Muse (Island Thoughts)

This is my variation on a tune(s) that seems to pop up in about a dozen movies.  (Another one of those things that got stuck in my head.)  I'm not sure why I went this far with it other than I wanted to work more with the keyboard.    (2/6)

Unfinished Thoughts

Very grand sounding, but should be called "Just the Beginning".  I keep messing around with it, but it is just a work piece for different sounds and tones.  Someday I need to decide what I want it to sound like and finish it.  Starts off OK (a bit strange), but gets messy.  The mix is poor and the transitions aren't right.  Interesting to me, none the less.

Lady M

An original tune with full vocals at the very top of my vocal range.  Fresh mix and still working with it.
(A song about losing a friend.)

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