Finish Your Song
Have you written and recorded that killer song that expresses your innermost feelings, but you don’t know how to finish it off? Ever struggled refining one song for ages until all the joy has gone out from having written it in the first place? (been there, done that). Got your song half-recorded, but not sure what to do next?
That’s what FinishYourSong.com is about. Here, you’ll find an ever-increasing resource of tips and links on how you can move forward, either by suggesting strategies for you to adopt, (not all of them oblique), or offering services to move you forward. All too often, it’s easy to succumb to the vice of procrastination, leaving you searching for perfection and revising your song to death. Trust me, perfection is like the end of the rainbow, always out of reach. What do you want? A brace of imperfect, finished songs you can enjoy, (and learn from so you do better with the next one), or an unfinished symphony you just can’t bear to listen to anymore? Go on – finish your song!
I am a guitarist & keyboard player of over 35 years standing, living in the North West of England. In addition to gigging around my native North West in times past, I have also performed in Lanzarote and Portugal. I started performing with a church folk group in my teens before moving on to play in covers bands performing a wide range of pop and rock songs from the ‘60s to the ‘90s.
I am also a songwriter and arranger. To reinforce myunderstanding of music theory learnt in piano lessons as a boy, I undertook the Arts Foundation course and the second level Elements of Music course with the Open University, to gain a deeper understanding of music theory amd to teach me the skills required to undertake classical string arranging and four part harmonies. I put some of those skills into practice with the covers band Freeway, who performed to custom backing tracks recorded in my studio. All of the tracks used were either transcribed from the original recordings or were creative arrangements of the songs, programmed by me and recorded to the multi-track tapes used live, which provided bass, drums, keyboards and occasional backing vocals to supplement the live performers.
My earliest recordings were done around 1980 using a Teac 144 Portastudio, the original 4 track tape machine, with which I recorded and mixed an album for Yorkshire folk group Coddy Beck. Subsequently, in my songwriting partnership with Andrew Stapleton, the lead singer with Freeway, we graduated to a Fostex R8 reel-to-reel 8 track tape recorder. This was sync’d with Cubase 3.0 on an Atari ST 1024 through an MTC-1 controller, not always the easiest combination of technologies.
My use of DAWs and sequencers predates Cubase – the first sequencer I used was by XRI Systems running on a Sinclair 48K Spectrum, (which I still have). Eventually, I ported those original sequences to my current setup using the latest version of Cubase on PC via Cubase 2.0 for the Atari – the bass line for “How Soon Can I Leave” is a MIDI performance originally recorded on the XRI sequencer. I have an extensive collection of DX7 patches that were originally programmed using the Sinclair Spectrum that I now use in my music through the Native Instruments FM8 virtual instrument.