Learn. Practice. Explore. Create, Escape!I guess the most unique thing about the music that I create is "how and why it's created." I guess you could say that I've chosen the hard road by playing all of the instruments and singing all of the vocals on my recordings. However, that's
not really by design, (or maybe it is) because it's just honestly how it works best for me. When recording in the studio, I am the band, but yet I am each individual in the band and I approach each seperate instrument accordingly. Interestingly enough, the amount of vibe and energy that it takes to accomplish this is absolutely astonishing, and can only be driven by absolute passion/love for what I'm doing! Self-control is another great lesson that comes with the territory, much like when playing with a band. Since I am most accomplished at the guitar, I really have to feel and know when it's right to upstage the other instruments for a solo moment or when to back off in order to let another instrument take center stage. How I do this is to always let the music dictate the part that is played. In other words, only play what the music needs! No more! No less! I will admit that there have been times in the past when I've wrestled with this a little bit, but for the most part, it has always worked completely natural with me (some recordings better than others). I just know that the ultimate goal at the end of the day is that moment when I can sit back, listen to the stereo (now as an audience member) and be totally gratified by what I'm hearing. You really know that you hit the musical bulls-eye when while listening, you can hear overtones, harmonics, and ghost voices that you actually did not perform or intend. Herein lies the great mystery inside of some music and art that is surrealism.
Drum Necessity-Mother of Drum Invention!Drum parts for my music are typically lots of fun, but in some instances, extremely tough. It really just depends on the nature of the music itself and how the song begins to take shape. Typically, the type of drums used for a particular album or piece of music was simply determined by what instrument (type of drums) I had available at the time to do the job. I've played both acoustic and electronic sets on projects in the past and I must say that I definitely prefer the electronic drums for recording. Unbelievably, on many an occassion, I've constructed/played complex drum parts with my fingers, utilizing the various drum kit sounds built into my electronic keyboard. This is actually very time consuming, but with a bit of work, can sound spectacular in the end. Wait, before you even ask, the answer is yes! Yes, I have used pre-programmed electronic drum patterns in the past for a piece of music here and there. But, it's been very seldom, few and far between, mainly due to the more rythmically demanding, progressive nature of the music that I make. Hey, I actually work my tail off on some of these parts. Therefore, I think that a short break is well deserved once in a while! No shame in a good straight forward pop tune every now and then.(lol) Unbelievably, on one occassion in the past, I laid down the entire drum track to a song that was pulsating in my head, and then built the entire musical composition, lyrics, and vocals around that beat. Consequently, I do not use click tracks (though I probably should on some days). They are a widely accepted tool, but they cramp my style!
Bass Sensitivity-Power of the Groove ToolAt the height of my youthful live music exploration in the early to mid 1990's, I began to truly discover the very nature of what I call "the groove tool." At the time, I was traveling all around presenting this wonderfully mysterious one man live show to all kinds of audiences in all kinds of places. In order to get a full band sound, I was recording my bass, and sometimes keyboard parts into the memory banks of the keyboards and simply playing the guitar, keys, and/or bass while singing live with it. The entire show was highly improvised and it was offerring an alternative to what bands and other more acoustical solo acts were presenting at the time. As time went on I began to understand the corelation between live show theatrics, the audience and the creation of the music itself. So, this sort of simple, one man live jam began to develop into more organized compositions that held much more weight artistically and literally left audiences intrigued. On top of that, (within some of the songs), I was superimposing my highly eclectic playing technique on top of modern hip-hop, pop and dance beats that were becoming quite popular at the time and people were loving it. With the addition of my vocal attributes, the tunes sometime had a sort of hypnotic effect that would set the mood for just about anything musical that I wanted to try. I guess in my music, one of the best examples of this connection between the live show presentation/antics and the music itself was the advent of my infamous ten-string double neck (4-string bass) + (6 string electric) guitar during this time period. I think that it was the major catalyst that made this entire idea fly (go over) to audiences at the time, and of course, possibly the unique way that I was utilizing both necks simultaneously on some tunes. Honestly, I think that I possibly was amongst the first people on the planet to utilize such an instrument in such a way. Due to the stage presence and power of this instrument I entered into a highly experimental time, where the bass would play the melody and the rythm to a piece of music and then the guitar might be featured near the end of the tune. It was here, during one of the most wonderfully creative time periods that I've ever known throughout my musical existence, that I began to truly learn to play the bass keys, and the bass guitar, "the groove tool." WatchRonHitzLiveIn1994
Keyboard Versatility-The All In 1 MachineI don't think that their has ever been a more versatile instrument than the modern electronic keyboard. Even though I don't claim to be an accomplished pianist, I have relied heavily on my keyboards throughout my entire musical experience in order to do just about everything imaginable. I use the keys for some bass and drums, all of my piano, symphony orchestra, keyboard synth, percussion, horn, and what I call exotic/ethnic instrument sounds as well as other creative things that I can't begin to describe hear. This super versatile instrument adds a presence to my music that would've been nearly impossible for me to achieve by traditional methods. Not only that, but it also forces you to better your skills on the piano, no matter what stage you're at! A huge misconception to the average listener is that the electronics does it all for you. "NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!" The truth is, that it only gives you an electronic close approximation, or reproduction (sample) of the sound of the particular instrument that you are trying to mimick. It doesn't actually play the part for you. In order to do that, you literally have to mimick (with the keys) the subtle inflections of, or basically know how that instrument breathes in order to make it sound authentic (like the real thing). There's actually an art to accomplishing this and I would definitely classify it as a legitimate, modern music skill. I can only imagine what Mozart would've achieved with this kind of magic at his fingertips!
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