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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
Groovy drums by Gary Novak on the Gratitude album
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!
Earlier I’ve written about my workflow when developing an idea into a tune or how I work when I’m arranging a song by making demos. This is about recording bass and about the recording session with the awesome Jimmy Haslip for my Gratitude album.
I have had the pleasure to work with many outstanding bass players – Will Lee, John Peña and Mark King, all unique players. Here I’ll tell you about some of my work with Jimmy Haslip – a living legend.
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.
The other day a student from Berklee College of Music asked me if I could give him an advice. Not just any advice – but my best advice to a young guitar player, who wanted to “live my life” and play the type of jobs I’ve done.
That was a tough one. There’s so many things I can think of depending on what you’re focusing at – I mean should it be concerning networking, education, playing gigs, recording sessions, getting the right guitar or practicing … well “practicing” – that’s a god place to start. So here it is … at least one of them 🙂
I’ve written about my red and brown Gibson ES-346, and I’ve written about one of my my old Valley Arts guitars, so it’s only appropriate to write about my old custom built Washburn Strat, that has been my main guitar for more than a decade!
I’ve used this guitar on tons of sessions, and on every TV-show I’ve done for more than ten years. But even though I can be quite nerdy about guitars, there are several things I don’t know about this one – for instance the model designation.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my first appearance on the TV-show “Studio Jams”, episode #34. Today I’ll write about my second Studio Jams experience – episode #47.
As I wrote in my first post about Studio Jams I was very happy to be invited to participate – and being invited back was an even bigger pleasure. So when Producer Tom Emmi asked me if I wanted to do a Swedish show, I agreed instantly.
The musicians for Studio Jams #47
Tom told me that he would bring violin virtuoso Tracy Silverman, but wanted me to find the rest of the musicians. I hadn’t been living in Sweden for that long, so my network of Swedish musicians wasn’t that big. But I had connected to a Swedish drummer, Pontus Engborg on Myspace and Facebook. Pontus and I have a lot of friends in common from the L.A. scene.
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.
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 🙂
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.