Learning a New Instrument

Saturday was an awesome day for me! I got to jam with the talented Jimmy Murn of Jimmy Murn and the HeyMakers.

Jimmy is a super talented musician who I have had the pleasure of opening for on two occasions (an acoustic show at the Froth House & an acoustic electric show at Glass Nickel Pizza Co.).

I got some really good advice from Jimmy on Saturday which I appreciate because I’m always looking for ways to become a better musician. Jimmy has a lot of experience with songwriting, performing live, recording, and making CDs, and I really value his opinions and suggestions.

When we were discussing the recording process, I learned that I actually do the recording process backwards compared to what Jimmy Murn and the HeyMakers do.

When I go into the studio, I ask Willie Martinez (my recording engineer) to play a metronome so that I can hear the tempo when I record, and I start recording the acoustic guitar. After that’s recorded, I record the vocals. Once I record the vocals and acoustic guitar, I go home and listen to the recorded parts and finish writing the other parts. After those are written, I go to the studio and record the rest. I’m not sure why I don’t record my songs once all the parts are written like most people do…but this way just works for me 😉

When I was chatting with my friend from the band Soundless about how her band records, her answer was the same as Jimmy’s.  She said that they start with the drums, then add the bass, then the other instruments, and for the last part they add the vocals. She added that most musicians record in this manner because they are not one-woman bands 🙂

Returning to my jam session with Jimmy on Saturday, aside from getting tips about playing, Jimmy gave me the opportunity to try a new instrument: the bass.

When we were jamming, Jimmy asked if I would be interested in trying the bass, and I was soooo excited!

I’ve always been interested in trying bass guitar because I think it sounds super sweet! And I’ve had soooo much fun playing my acoustic and electric, that the next logical thing for me to do would be to start playing bass.

I felt silly when I first started trying to play the bass because I had NO IDEA what the notes were…but Jimmy was extra supportive and shouted out the string and the fret I should play. 🙂 (It was much appreciated!)

Once I started getting the hang of it, we played some songs at a faster tempo. It was so much fun!

Jimmy could see that I was super excited about the bass and asked me if I wanted to borrow his instrument. (Of course I gave him an enthusiastic, “Yes!”)

Jimmy Murn and the HeyMakers Bass

He suggested that I just fiddle around with it to get more comfortable with the instrument. He also encouraged me to listen to the songs I have already recorded to see if it sounds like anything is missing. He said that adding a bass to a song can make the song sound fuller. So who knows, maybe my 8 “finished” songs are not finished yet…

I’m really excited to learn bass and to possibly have another instrument to add to the songs on TEMPTATION.

Thoughts? Please post them :-)

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