FINDING YOUR FEET – Rock Band Improvisation | AsteriskedMusic.Com

Finding Your Feet

"Skateboarder, Skateboard," by Karen Arnold, taken from [PublicDomainPictures.Net]; this image is in the public domain. Learning to skateboard requires finding your feet.
“Skateboarder, Skateboard,” by Karen Arnold, taken from [PublicDomainPictures.Net]; this image is in the public domain.
So-called, because I’m currently going through a “finding your feet” process with the Hydrogen Drum Machine software, which enables me to create drum tracks for my music. Finding Your Feet is my first effort to include Hydrogen beats, and I think it turned out well. Judge for yourself.

Ever since college, I wanted to join a band. Over the years, I’ve briefly been part of a few different projects, including Suicide Death Grip, which was a Deathcore band, and I briefly performed with singer-songwriter David Hawk, who stopped practicing and performing with me for unknown reasons and has subsequently started a solo project called Unicycle Flight. I had jam sessions with an assortment of other musicians over the years. However, I have found that it is exceedingly difficult to get other musicians to commit the time and effort to jam out (much less perform) on a regular basis.

Nevertheless, I still wanted to create rock music, so I taught myself bass and guitar. I tried to teach myself drums, but was not successful. Finally, I decided to simply teach myself to create beats artificially using software. I found Hydrogen, and now I’m finding my feet with it.


Some Notes on Finding Your Feet

This is a very short piece, which is in keeping with its experimental purpose. It’s for a full rock band: keyboard, bass, lead and rhythm guitar, and, of course, drum set. It’s an instrumental Rock song. It is in A Flat Major, however, the guitar is in a flat minor. The mild poly-tonality creates a little bit of an edge.

Now, Hydrogen makes creating beat tracks relatively simple (although you do need to watch some tutorials if you’ve never used it). It is free software, which is nice. The software’s native sound palette is “electronic” and unconvincing. That’s easy to remedy, however. I simply applied a reverb filter onto the drum track in Audacity. I find that that makes it sound much more analog, which is what you want if you’re trying to simulate a real drum set. You can still tell that it’s a simulated drum set if you’re listening very closely, but it isn’t obvious.

The structure of the piece is an exposition that builds to a climax and then fades out. As such, there really is only one “section” of the piece. That’s all the piece really needs, considering that I’m merely trying to successfully integrate Hydrogen tracks. Because of this, I keep it mercifully short at 2 minutes and 22 seconds.

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