Tag Archives: recording

David Garfield, Steve Ferrone, Soren Reiff & Will Lee in the studio recording Funky Mama - for Soren Reiffs Miss You album

Writing music – Funky Mama

Here’s the story about how I was writing music without being aware of it – unfortunately I think it happens often for a lot of people who writes music. As a little “bonus” you can read why the title “Funky Mama” is appropriate for this specific song I’ll use for this story. It’s always tricky to find titles for instrumental tunes 🙂

Writing music – writing Funky Mama

I was visiting my parents, staying at their house for the weekend. As I’ve written earlier I always bring my guitar for holidays. When I arrived we had some nice food, some good wine and talked a lot. The day after we all sat in the living room, doing whatever we liked to relax. Mom was reading a book in her favorite chair, dad was looking thru some art books. I was just jamming around on my guitar.

After a while I decided to make some coffee. Dad was still reading and mom was doing their laundries. While I was in the kitchen I heard her whistle a catchy phrase. I thought I knew it from somewhere but couldn’t decide from where. After a while it started to annoy me that I couldn’t name or categorise her tune. I went to her and asked – “what’s that you’re whistling … it sounds familiar?”. My mom laughed and told me that it was what I have been playing in the living room a little earlier.

Back in the living room I picked up my guitar. Within seconds I realised that she was right – it was the “theme” I’ve been jamming around for some time. I decided to record a memo in my phone. Good decision. Just a few weeks later the tune was added to my bands setlist.

When I was jamming in my parents living room I wasn't aware of I was writing music ... and didn't knew I would be recording the tune shortly after with some outstanding musicians. Here we are - David Garfield, Steve Ferrone, me & Will Lee in the studio recording Funky Mama, for the Miss you album

From the session for my second album Miss You – David Garfield, Steve Ferrone, me & Will Lee recording Funky Mama.

Writing music without being aware of it

I had been writing music and composed a complete song without being aware of it. It would have been forgotten, if my mom hadn’t started to whistle the theme. After this experience I record almost everything I jam over for more than a few minuttes. Therefore I’ll suggest that you also remember to record whatever you’re jamming around with. You’ll never know when something interesting is showing up.

And a little fun fact: neither my mom or I was aware of the odd meter within the song. There’s a 5/4 bar in the middle of the A-part. I realised that when I introduced the tune to the band, and the drummer had to hear it twice to figure out what was going on 🙂

From the recording of Funky Mama to the US Tv Show Studio Jams

From the recording of Funky Mama to the US Tv Show Studio Jams

Later on I have even recorded the song on my second album. I also ended up jamming the tune on the American TV-show Studio Jams – you can see that part from the episode here. All this just because my mama caught the riff and started to whistle while she walking around fixing some things.

Have a wonderful day

Soren

You can read about how we recorded that tune for the TV-show Studio Jams here and watch that part from the episode here.

Soren Reiff and Michito Sanchez hanging in L.A.

Powerfull percussion by Michito Sanchez

From time to time, I have had the pleasure of playing with Michito Sanchez in different constellations with David Garfield. No matter what repertoire we played, no matter what style, Michito has always lifted the music to another level.

Powerfull percussion by Michito Sanchez on the Gratitude album

Michito is unique – always coming up with tons of great ideas in the studio and always meeting you with a big smile and very positive attitude.

Soren Reiff and Michito Sanchez hanging in L.A.

Soren Reiff and Michito Sanchez hanging in L.A.

I was so lucky to have Michito playing on my second album “Miss you” – actually that was the very first time I worked with him in the studio. Since then I’ve use Michito on soundtracks for TV or commercials. He has a killer pocket and he always has tons of percussion lined up. You are sure to get, not only a tight and groovy shaker, but also the exact type of shaker you need for the specific track. Michito has added so much gold to my music, no matter what style and what weird wishes I had for parts.
Beside his “basic” tracks – for instance congas, shaker or tambourine, I always get him to record a “toy track”. Continue reading

Kim S. Hansen on Soren Reiff Gratitude album

Killer keyboard parts by Kim S. Hansen

I have written about Gary Novak and Jimmy Haslip and how they contributed to the Gratitude album. Today I’ll introduce you to the very talented keyboard player Kim S. Hansen – I’m feel very privileged to have him playing on my album.

Killer keyboard parts by Kim S. Hansen on the Gratitude album

Kim is actually Danish-born but has lived in L.A. since the nineties. He is Musical Director for Patti Austin and has played with Phil Perry, Paul Jackson jr. and many more. (While we did the recordings for the Gratitude album), Kim had to take some weeks off from my sessions to go to South Africa and tour with guitar ace Earl Klugh … cool).

Keyboard player Kim S. Hansen is also playing on the new Soren Reiff album Gratitude

Kim S. Hansen live with Earl Klugh

Back in the nineties Kim and I played together every once I a while, and we did a lot of the same types of gigs and sessions: Playing in different house bands and so on. After many years in that line of work, we both wanted to do something different. Continue reading

Gary Novak and Jimmy Haslip recording for the Gratitude album with Soren Reiff

Awesome drums by Gary Novak

Like I mentioned the other day – I have written about my workflow and how I arrange a song. Today, we’ll stay on the track of the real deal – recording drums. I’ll introduce you to world class drummer Gary Novak – the nicest hang with a killer pocket.

I feel extremely blessed because I’ve had the pleasure to play with some of the best drummers in the world: Steve Ferrone, Gregg Bissonette, Chad Wackerman, the late Ricky Lawson and more – yes I’m spoiled – and I’m so happy and proud to be able to add Gary Novak to that list!

Gary Novak and Jimmy Haslip recording for the Gratitude album with Soren Reiff

Engineer Stig Kaufmanas, Soren Reiff, Gary Novak and Jimmy Haslip in the studio

Groovy drums by Gary Novak on the Gratitude album

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Soren Reiff's Mesa Boogie Mark IV

Best advice – buying a guitar amp

I’ve written about how you optimize your practicing, and what you should consider if either you or someone you know should invest in a guitar. Today I’ll write my best advice if you or someone around you is considering buying a guitar amp.

Once again I’ll start to mention that this is written to advice beginners, or to inspire you if you are a serious guitar player with years of experience, and therefore a person people would turn to, to get your help in buying guitar related stuff 🙂

My best advice on buying a guitar amp

This one is probably an advice many parent will love because it’s very short and clear: don’t!!

What? … Yes, if you are about to start playing electric guitar, don’t buy an amp.

“Why not? … I got an electric guitar and want to practice?! … You just wrote that I should buy an electric guitar instead of an acoustic, why shouldn’t I have an amp too??”

Soren Reiff's Mesa Boogie Mark IV

My Mesa Boogie Mark IV
This is a super amp with tons of possibilities … but do you need that?

Ok, let me explain. If you just bought an electric guitar, I’ll asume you’re not very sure about  the following things: Continue reading

My big brothers Ampeg VT-22

Pedalboards versus rack-setups

This blogpost is the first in a series of three about pedalboards versus rack-setups

At the moment I normally use a single amp and a rather fully fullpacked pedalboard, when I’m playing live. My rack stuff is mostly used in the studio. This blogpost is about my thoughts thru these changes and my pro’s and con’s concerning pedalboards versus rack-setups.

When I started playing in a band I had an electric guitar and borrowed my big brothers amp and a fuzz-face type overdrive from him – this worked fine for a long time.

My big brothers Gayatone Sustainer

When I started playing in a band a borrowed my big brothers Gayatone Sustainer

When I started to become a little more serious about my music and gear, I bought my own amp and started flirting with pedals. But still I had a very simple setup compared to the 20 unit stereo rig I later on used for years while I did tv-shows and sessions as a hired gun.

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My first “Studio Jams”

The other day I shared a link on my Facebook profile to a track I did for the american tv-show “Studio Jams”. I’ve played in two full episodes of Studio Jams. This is the story about the first international version of the show I did – recorded in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Several years ago I was contacted by TV-producer Tom Emmi – he was planning a trip to Europe and Scandinavia. Tom had heard about me through keyboard player David Garfield, and Tom wanted to invite me to participate in the first international version of the program Studio Jams.

He described the formular. I saw some samples from earlier Studio Jams and I was totally blown away – it’s some really great shows Tom is doing. Basically it’s a documentary about how musicians work and comunicate when they meet and jam without anything planed in advance. The episodes are shot in a recording studio, so you get the original sound from the instruments thru samples from the rehearsals, but also the recorded and mixed version of the final take of the jammed tune.

Soren Reiff in Studiojams #34

Soren Reiff in Studiojams #34

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Kim S. Hansen’s keys on Let’s Play

Now it’s time for keyboards … today I’ll let you have a sneak preview of Kim S. Hansen’s keys on Let’s Play from my Gratitude album. When I started to work on this song the working title was Saturday Brunch, so don’t get confused 🙂

I introduced Kim earlier on this blog – we have know each other for more than twenty years now. But since he moved to L.A: and I didn’t, we haven’t seen each other that much. Maybe we have had a beer or barbecue when I’ve been in L.A. but that’s unfortunately not that often.  And Kim and I haven’t been playing together for ages, even thou I definitely miss that.

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Soren Reiff and Michito Sanchez hanging in L.A.

Michito Sanchez and his percussion for Let’s Play

If you have read my former posts concerning the development of my tracks, you know I’m going to write about Michito Sanchez and his percussion for Let’s Play today. If you haven’t read my former posts concerning this tune, I’ll suggest you listen to the samples I placed in those post before you continue … I think it’ll make this post much more interesting … but on the other hand … go ahead, read and listen – you can always return to the others posts later. And don’t get confused about the title – when I started the working title for the track was Saturday Brunch … sorry about that 🙂

Soren Reiff together with Michito Sanchez

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Adding real drums and bass

Today I’ll write a little about the next stage in the development of Saturday Brunch. Today you’ll hear what happened when Gary Novak and Jimmy Haslip added their golden touch to my song, by adding real drums and bass, instead of my scratch programming.

I introduced Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak earlier on this blog. If you haven’t read that post, I can easily sum it up: They are outstanding musicians who have played with almost every artist imaginable within the modern and groovy jazz world. I guess no matter what track you find them on, you won’t be disappointed with their playing.

I’ve also described my workflow around my demo’s and how I prepare my demo’s for the real sessions in an earlier post, so I won’t waste time with that here. Let’s move straight to the cut of this track.

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