Organisation and a huge step forward

I just spent the last 2 hours trying to organise my stationary seeing as we finally managed to put the Alex drawers up tonight. I am however writing this from a clear bedside table instead of my lap, so that’s awesome. I do however need a proper perfume stand of some sort because using a knackered old set of drawers is a little unsteady. Pics will hopefully be on here of the transformation tomorrow, lighting sucks right now.

On other notes, I made a pretty huge step forward today [ok so it’s midnight so technically yesterday but whatever]. It may not seem much to some but for me it really was huge. I actually had a singing lesson today. It was just warm up vocals for today but it basically meant me using my voice in front of a complete stranger, with the goal to get me out gigging again. This really doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but lets put it this way. I haven’t gigged in 9 years. It took me 5 years to sing for my own husband. I literally developed this anxiety with singing for people, a thing I used to adore, to the point I would have a panic attack at just the thought of it. This Saturday, I opened my mouth and sang to a total stranger. That tiny little thing, is absolutely huge to me.
Permission to be proud of myself?

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Woah crazy rain!!!

Epic thunderstorm yesterday and the village is basically flooded to madness. It looks a little better in the end that I am right now but the wind would probably have me sailing so another day in.

I need to stop looking at bass guitars, I just bought one I do not need more. My brother has a fretless and I’d never played because they intimidated me but I bit the bullet and had a go, now I want one. They’re so much smoother!

I found a Harley Benton JB-40FL SB fretless jazz bass for 100 quid and oh my god, it looks so nice and I’m yet to hear bad things about it. I listened to a guy playing the 5 string version [not really my cuppa tea, I like my basses with 4 strings] to see how it sounded and it actually has a really nice tone to it too.

NO! I DO NOT NEED MORE! Someone stop me encouraging myself!!

Healthy food kick.

Been on a huge healthy food kick lately, trying to lose a stone at the most so I’ve been watching what I eat but not being silly with it.

Being that I’ve suffered the dreaded eating disorders in the past, it can be quite a struggle doing this as you get worried about going too far with it. You can either worry so much that you’ll get into old habits, that you just stop healthy eating and weight loss goals all together. Or, go too far with it and slip into old habits. So far, I’m doing pretty well thankfully. I still snack when hungry, but on healthy things instead of junk.

Breakfast today was a nice healthy scrambled egg with red pepper, spinach and light Laughing Cow cheese wrapped in a tortilla. Along with a spinach & banana protein smoothie. Which I have to be honest, needed more other fruits, it tasted a little odd. Next time, berries will be added.

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Healthy eating aside, I’m enjoying these writing challenges. It’s going to take a good few months of daily writing to get to actual lyric writing point but I like that. They want to take the time to teach properly, rather than just rushing through to make a quick buck for themselves. Really enjoying it, my creative juices are slowly flowing.

I bought an IK Multimedia Amplitube iRig Guitar Interface Adaptor [try remembering that when drunk!] so that I can plug in and record my instruments directly into garageband. Really looking forward to that.

Bring on the music!

My new baby is here!

I’m so giddy, she’s beautiful…. Yeeeah my basses are girls lol, except the first bass or bought, he’s a guy. They need renaming though cause I didn’t play for so long I forgot their names. I promise I’m not crazy, loads of people name their guitars [tries to look sane]. I have a white Swift bass whose name is Alicia but she’s basically the only one with a name.

Then I have a Tanglewood Warrior 3, an un-named hand made bass [that’s the guy] and now an Ibanez. So pretty.

 

BassApologies for the crap quality, my camera is naff.

I’ve not done my writing challenge for today yet but I’m gonna finish my coffee then try and tune this bass in before I do it. Or maybe I’ll do the challenges and then tune the bass in. Eh, we’ll see.

I’m in a pretty good mood today, sun is out but it started pouring down whilst I was outside with no coat which was amazing. It had been so boiling hot it was driving me crazy so the sudden pouring of freezing rain was unbelievably welcome.

Happy days!

Writing + new bass guitars = new friend cheer up projects.

IMG_0903 I finally got the songwriting exercises book by Pat Pattinson. He teaches songwriting at Berklee Music College & taught John Mayer so he’s apparently pretty good. Looking forward to using this. 

My husband bought me a new iPod too bless his heart. As previously mentioned, mine completely died on me cause it was really old and had viruses and poo. So I’ve been filling that up with tunes too. I know I have my phone to deal with it but I really don’t like using my phone as an MP3 player. It was awesome to have that option but I’ve just never liked it. Thank you sweetie 🙂

I unfortunately didn’t win the bid on the bass I was planning on buying but I came across another one which I’m really hoping doesn’t get sold before I get the cash ready. It’s been sanded down so that I can paint it however and the previous owner had gotten it rewired with new pick-ups before selling. I’m really hoping it doesn’t go because it should be a fun little project.

It got me thinking though, I’d need to practice first because I’ve never painted a guitar before, so I need to practice on something cheap that I’m not bothered about. A dear friend of mine has been pretty down recently & she also plays guitar a little. So I had this crazy little idea that I was gonna buy a cheap guitar, strip it down completely and repaint it. I’d get someone who knows what they’re doing to add some new and decent pickups and strings for the guitar and then send it to her. 

It would be a fun little project and good practice for me, but then it might cheer her up too. It could of course also all go horribly wrong and she’ll hate it but hey, no harm in trying right?

So I’ve basically got my work cut out for me for a while on a mission to make her feel better. 

Fingers crossed….

This heat is crazy, my bass strings are screwed.

My original plan as my husband and mother in law were out last night, was to get in some much needed bass practice then watch a movie. Unfortunately thanks to the insane heat I was so exhausted and boiling that I couldn’t focus on anything. So both those plans went out of the window and I just laid on the bed listening to Lazaretto [That Black Bat Licorice, addictive tune, Jack White sir, you have done it again.] and Rage Against The Machine’s Killing in the Name Of to see if I could still play it.

After decided to practice for a short while today, it turns out, I can’t play that song anymore. Crap. I was getting some Pixies practice in [Vamos & Gigantic in case you’re wondering] and my bass kept making this godawful buzzing noise which was really putting me off. So I’ve had to put that down for now until I can get some new strings cause it usually buzzes when my strings have been on waaaay too long. I’m after getting some Rotosound Jazz strings though so I might have to wait a while cause they’re around 30 quid a packet. One of the downsides to being a bass player is ridiculously priced strings. I could possibly find some cheaper but you also want decent quality. I’ve never gotten along with Ernie Ball and I’m pretty sure my last pack were Rotosound and I really like those but the jazz strings are supposedly a little more flexible so I want to try them out. Hopefully it will be worth the money.

I’ve put a bid on eBay for a Wesley bass because someone in my old hometown is selling one for 50 pounds [normally I’d put the signs in but my laptop doesn’t appear to have a pound key] collection only. I’m going up there to visit family in a few weeks so I emailed the seller before bidding and they didn’t at all mind me coming to pick it up in a week or so while I’m down there so that should be fun. It’s completely see through it looks awesome. Hopefully it will sound as good as it looks, if not, eh, I’ll change the pickups it’s cool.

This should be fun!

Date nights, movies and the girl with cherry cigars

We finally had our date night! Yay! We didn’t go to the cinema in the end cause we’re both exhausted after the hospital madness and it usually takes me a good few days to recover when I’ve been out and busy for a few days. So we got the video games out, then watched Defiance whilst eating takeaway Wagamama’s.

I’ve never actually seen Defiance until now but he wanted to watch it because it’s one of his favourite movies and he hadn’t seen it in 11 years. Gotta say, I really enjoyed it. It was stereotypically  80’s cheesy in some ways but it was really fun at the same time. You can kinda see where Michael Jackson got some of the ideas for the Beat It video from watching it.

Before we got ready for date night and we were just chilling with tea, he came into the bedroom really randomly while the tea brewed, randomly suggesting that I should write a song about a girl who smokes cherry cigars. It was pretty random but I wrote it down in case it sparks anything, be it story, poetry or songwriting. Made me smile though because he was thinking about me while doing something as simple as brewing tea. He knows I want to start songwriting and he also knows that when I was younger I used to occasionally smoke cherry cigars. I love little things like that that he does, makes me smile.

I’ve really enjoyed today actually. I need to get back into my creative groove again mind, but then I’m exhausted so creativity isn’t exactly flow forward when I’m muggy. All in all though today has been awesome.

Books, working with composers and date night.

I bought some books on songwriting prompts on ebay. 500 Songwriting Ideas by Lis Aschmann and Songwriting Without Boundries: Lyric Writing Exercises for Finding Your Voice by Pat Pattison. I’m not quite sure where these will take me when it comes to lyric writing but I’m hoping that it will give me some ideas and possible confidence the more that I write. 

I have 2 major problems when it comes to writing a song. 1: Aforementioned confidence. I’ll be the first to admit I have some major confidence issues, don’t ask me what they stem from, to be perfectly honest I couldn’t tell you. If I write something, it automatically goes into my ‘this is shite’ bin.

2: I can’t compose music and melodies to go with these. I could gain confidence and write the words sure, but getting a lyrical melody in my head is just beyond me. I’m learning bass of course, but generally speaking, I can’t actually play an instrument to compose a song. I’m a singer more than a musician. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it can make actual melody composition a bit of a twat. I think if I were to write, I’d have to work with a composer that can put my words into the musical form, Of course, I can still technically put some direction into that, I can say, I want it to be this kind of song, be it a ballad or a heavy rock track. Or, I want some piano in here, I’m not sure if I like that bass riff, etc… But actual composing I have no shame in admitting, is not my thing. Working with others would benefit me in that respect. Something to ponder maybe.

On other notes. Going on a date tonight. Been wanting to see Maleficent for a while but I was a little wary of it because I’d heard it was quite flashy & I have epilepsy [we think]. My husband did some research and hunting and discovered that the IMAX version is slightly different to the normal cinema version and it’s the IMAX version that flashes a lot. So we’re gonna go see the normal version and have some dinner tonight. Yay date night!!!

Mixing up the tracks!

I’ve had to start putting music on my iPhone because my darling iPod has given up the ghost [2008-2014, you shall be missed]. I mean, technically I could listen to music on it for a while but it won’t charge properly anymore and refuses to let me put on new music so I’d have what is on there and nothing more. Boo.  I actually prefer separating my music from my phone [bar for ringtones] to the music I listen to so the fact that I no longer have an MP3 player is annoying.

However, this has been great for rediscovering old music, I haven’t listened to them for so long that they’re almost new for me, excluding of course the total classics which just go without saying, regardless of when you listened to them last.

I’ve mixed it up with these old folders and music so now my phone is nice and musically varied. It now consists of [in no particular order]: Aimee Mann, Akira Yamaoka, Aloe Black, Laura Marling, Lauren Tate, Anthrax. Bob Dylan, 3 Doors Down. Blondie, Britney [of course], Christina Aguilera, Butch Walker, Santana, Pitbull, the queen that is Cyndi Lauper, Duffy, Jack White. Dusty Springfield, Eric Clapton, Imogen Heap. Majandra Delfino, Muse. Nikka Costa, Nine Inch Nails. Sia, Sixx AM, Stone Temple Pilots, X Japan and numerous others!

Nice and varied, new/old music, here we go!!!

Creative thinking time.

So I sat and read an interview with Eric Clapton to fill what would normally be face booking time, becoming slightly traumatised by the front cover image of a sultry looking Clapton in an unbuttoned shirt. The man looks like a brown eyed version of my father…. Stop trying to look sexy Clapton, it’s creepy! 

The same magazine featured a piece on the legendary Bob Dylan and his time spent recording Empire Burlesque which has gotten me wanting to get that album out again. Been a long time since I played it. In fact, I’m going to refresh my playlist. I’ve been playing the same albums and songs for so long that it’s becoming dull and boring to be honest, of course I love the songs I’m playing but I need some more variety. So I think I’ll trade it up a little. Delete the stuff I’ve played a million times, add some more Clapton, some Dylan, the mixed CDs I got free with magazines with music I’ve never heard before, maybe some of The Cure and The Doors. Changing it up, learning new songs. Gotta love variety.

I’d been on a site that gives daily lyric prompts yesterday and after discussing with a friend writing about sexual tension between a redheaded sultry woman and her co-worker she met for the first time, I spotted the words ‘Only in Red’. I took this and after thinking about it, wrote a very short piece on that scene of sexual tension between the two. Whether it’s any good or not I don’t know, but I like the fact that I suddenly had that creative flow there.

Looking forward to more little prompts like this that may come my way. If anyone has any prompts, be it scenes, ideas or even just a sentence, feel free to throw some at me. Lets see how far I can take this.