After much deliberation, I've finally decided on my 20% project. For this project, I want to attempt to record a multilayer song using a digital track layer and equalizer. Specifically I want to record at least 3 instrumental tracks for a cover song including piano, guitar, and vocals. I'm well behind my colleagues in timing for this project but it was well worth the wait to brainstorm and settle on this idea. Aside from food and sports, I'm a big fan of music including most genres and have taken up playing a couple of instruments as hobbies through the years. Most notably, I've been playing piano since I was about 5 or 6 years old beginning with cheap little keyboards and moving on up to my busted and broken-in Casio (she still sounds like a beauty). As I've mentioned before, I've virtually never taken formal lessons nor do I know how to read music. In a way though, I've become partial to my improvisational and sloppy style of messing around. Additionally around high school, I also began occasionally picking up a guitar and learning chords here and there. I have since owned my own acoustic and electric guitars though I am most comfortable with playing the former while the latter remains a work in progress. Needless to say, I am no master of piano or guitar, but they provide me with personal satisfaction and a platform to try my hand at playing the music I love. As a result, I think making an attempt at recording a cover song would be an amazingly fun project for me to pursue.
My personal experience with playing piano and guitar is largely for fun so I dabble mostly in learning to play other people's music or cover songs. I would try my hand at some originality but I feel it would not only be personally difficult to produce something like that, but it would also over complicate this project given the specifications. Besides, I've had little to no former experience of writing anything of my own, though I some day plan to. For this project, I want to focus on learning a new song on both instruments as well as learning to mix them together on a single track. Among some of the hurdles this presents is that while I've learned several simple songs before on either instrument, I've only rarely tried to learn the same song on both let alone learned to sing the lyrics. More importantly, whether original or not, I have never attempted to record myself in any way on either instrument. With this in mind, there are 2 learning experiences to be had: The first being that I learn a new song musically and the second being that I learn methods to record, edit, and produce the music itself.
As I mentioned before, the project requires the possibility of failure as well as some measurable success. In doing this, I could certainly fail by not being able to learn or play the song. Additionally I could fall short by not being able to produce an adequate result or sample of the cover song. Conversely, a successful project should result in a coherent and recognizable track of the cover song. Whether people deem it as noteworthy or not isn't of my concern but it would be nice to produce a quality piece of work.
Open Ended Questions About My Topic:
- What song will I attempt to learn?
- Will complexity play a role? What genre will I choose?
- Will I develop a song that I already know for one instrument?
- How will I learn the piano track for the song?
- Do tabs exist for the song I choose? If not, how will I learn to play the guitar portion?
- How will I know I have learned a portion to satisfaction? Are simple chords enough or do I want to make the song more complex?
- How will I record the vocals? How will I judge my own singing?
- How long will it take to learn the song in total?
- How will I record each track or instrument?
- How will I record non-electric instruments? (acoustic?)
- Will I need software to record and produce this music?
- Will I need more equipment than what I have?
- Will I need to edit or splice tracks?
- What exactly do I expect with my finished product? How do I know I'm finished?
- How will I display my results?
- How will I track my progress?
- Will I record and display my progress via audio or video?
- In case of failure, will I have a backup song or strategy?