Here is a song I wrote in order to create a playing opportunity for myself and some of my musician friends. Staying in shape while gigs, rehearsals and most playing is on hold is important. It’s important both in terms of the physical aspect of staying in shape on your instrument and also keeping the creative side of music making alive.
So what’s the plan? Call, email and text some friends and enlist them to take part in a musical project. I’ll write the tune, arrange it for the instruments we have and then start the recording process.
I have the players, (flute, flugelhorn, trombone, bass and drums along with me playing 2 guitar parts). I’ve got a nice little Bossa ready to go. Next we need the arrangement. Time to grab my guitar, open up Sibelius and start writing. For this tune I decided that I would make myself the feature taking the solo and sharing the head with the flute, flugelhorn and trombone.
For this arrangement I’ll need an intro, to map out who plays which parts of the melody and when, where to harmonize, some backgrounds and an ending. Sound like a good plan for this instrumentation.
Arrangement done so it’s time to lay down some tracks. First I save the Sibelius file as a MIDI file so I can create a starting point for my guitar tracks. With MIDI files in Logic Pro I can record a rhythm guitar track on nylon string and play the melody on electric. I also added an electric bass part to help the drummer with his part.
So this basic version with guitars, bass and a few MIDI horn parts goes off to the drummer. Within a day or two he sends me drum tracks and percussion tracks along with videos. Next I mix another version with all the drum parts and send it off to the horn players. Soon enough I have all their parts and videos and then do a quick mix of all of that, remove my bass part and send that off to the bass player. Bass playing sends me his part and video so now I have everything.
With all the parts done, I can now do a better mix and also redo my guitar part and solo. Next I mix everything and finally bring all the videos and the final mix from Logic Pro into Final Cut Pro. I’m no video editing wizard so a simple video highlighting everyone here and there will suffice as the music is the main ingredient.
Here is the final product!
And here is the guitar part to give you an idea of the tune.
For now I’m planning to keep active musically by writing, arranging, recording and posting more videos of my music. I hope this will give you a better idea of the process involved in collaborating and creating music with others while being unable to meet in person. I hope everyone is finding creative ways to keep active musically. Keep playing your jazz guitar and moving forward musically. Nothing can stop us!