My Friend

  • Feb 25, 2024
Dream Weaver

Thanks to the chefs for the assignment.  I tried to weave a few musical things – a modulation which may be a bit much at 3 half-steps and though the change was more than I intended I left it because it felt OK – not even sure it’s a modulation.  The other weave was two guitar sounds.  That’s not really weave but the more intimate intro sound vs. the stadium lead.  The cheezy stadium lead is a sound I can’t resist.  The improvisation was in the lyrics.  I wrote down a few intro words in each verse and let the rest flow during recording while struggling to rhyme in my mind while mumbling what popped in.

I’m most proud about recording all the instruments – even the drums.  There are a few garageband smart-strings to fatten it up, but the rest I waded thru and tried to keep time.

Thanks for the opportunity to be in the community!

Looking for feedback on

Feedback on the lead - too predictable?


stonewindow March 5, 2024 7:53am

Felt like I went on the journey with you. I’m impressed that you improvised lyrics. You made a lovely tune. Guitar solo was tasty. Dig your vocal quality.

Rmal March 6, 2024 12:47pm

Thanks – felt the vocal was bla. Appreciate the fact that what we assume one way is interpreted differently by folks. The beauty of this process.

juliapiker March 2, 2024 3:09pm

Ooooo this is beautiful. Great submission. Pure song.

Love Darcy comment @@Carseat – It definitely makes me feel like i’m hanging in some Americana style bar just listening and drinking a beer. I think your vocal tone is really beautiful-broody-deep. I would embrace that- its great.

Rmal March 6, 2024 12:49pm

Thanks – felt it was somehow less but that’s probably often how we feel. Really appreciate the note.

nick March 2, 2024 10:48am

Nice track, Rick! And kudos to you for fully recording the band parts. Excited for your transition from GarageBand to Logic. The ease of editing takes will leave a lot of room for whatever the heck else you want to do. Glad these assignments are prompting a deeper dive into the world of home recording.

Rmal March 6, 2024 12:51pm

Thanks Nick. Love the site you guys created to give a pathway for this creative process. I look forward to the assignments

EliasSZ February 29, 2024 7:43pm

That lead feels great to me, predictable, but in exactly the way I’d want it to be – we’ve got this killer classic-rock-esque-tune and then this killer solo comes in, tone, playing, melody, and all. Great job. Also, that falsetto vocal on “friend” into the lead again was such a nice moment.

nick March 2, 2024 10:49am

Totally agree about the falsetto… did not see that coming and I think he nailed both of them.

Rmal March 6, 2024 12:53pm

The guitar parts are where I invest all the worth in the song – always struggle to sound ok. But really appreciate the comments on vocals. The falsetto was pure improv and I’m lucky it didn’t crack the cocktail glass next to the mic. Haha

Carseat February 27, 2024 11:30am

I dig this…. feels I’m slow cooking some pulled pork at a bar while you’re in the corner singing and playing around… it’s giving Bob Dylan/Leonard Cohen/late David Bowie. My only constructive feedback is that I would love for the background to play with the solos and the lead a bit — countermelodies? quick little motif rabbitholes? Would be cute. I think that’ll also help tame your fear of having your solos sound too simple — it’s more of an enveloped environment.

alechutson March 2, 2024 7:02pm

Sitting on the porch watching a cloudy sunset and sipping a beer, reminiscing

Rmal March 6, 2024 12:55pm

Love the countermelody suggestion. You’re right – it could make solos less pressure and more fulsome. Thanks for the relaxing vibe comments

Ben February 26, 2024 10:41am

wow! based on your description I was bracing myself for a stadium lead that wasn’t going to fit. But that was a really satisfying solo. Nice classic rock tone, and great playing and phrasing etc! I don’t know why, but it reminds me of Dean Ween’s guitar playing (but then again almost literally every song, including this, somewhat reminds me of Ween songs). Love that the solo comes back in at the ends too, after a great delivery of “frieeeennnd.”

In fact, i think I definitely like the lead tone more than the intro tone. Wondering what it would sound like if you used the lead tone for the intro solo, just maybe with a little volume and tone rolled off.

This is a really cool song. Sounds like the real deal. It sounds like a song by a classic legendary artist from a later era in their career that I’m not familiar with. Like Bob Dylan in…. 2002, or David Bowie in…. 1997, or Bruce Springsteen in… 1999? They’re broken, or newly sober, or divorced, or with a new band, and theyre trying a new vocal style . Oddly specific, but it kind of gives me those vibes. Ha.

Curious about your order of operations with tracking. Drums first? Drums over a click? Guitar first?

nick March 2, 2024 10:49am

I am also curious about order or operations.

Rmal March 6, 2024 1:13pm

Thanks Ben. After the recording I thought about redoing the intro but wanted a get outta jail tone of the lead was perceived as too … something. Haha. Fear of failure is a lousy motivator.

order of ops. Noodled a progression on acoustic. Then on electric with dreamy effects. Then worked out a tempo. Then recorded a scratch rhythm track on electric with a metronome. Then recorded the drums. Once drums were done, recorded the actual rhythm guitar track. Then recorded the bass track. Then the intro lead. Then improvised the solo lead with the effect in headphones. I dug it and recorded one version. Then punched in a section right before the modulation. After all done I realized I needed a topic, lyrics and a vocal melody and I had an hour. So my old reliable dream visitor, boarder collie Ellie, became the subject. After used a free online mixdown service by bandcamp. Probly TMI

Ben March 6, 2024 3:14pm

Ok interesting. So wait – are these acoustic drums? Or programmed drums? They’re real right? At some points I’m almost positive theyre real. Then at other times, I swear they’re software, especially some of those light cymbal hits.

Great track overall. I love the lyrics and the vocal performance. Way to somehow get that all done in an hour! jeez.

I have one more piece of feedback after listening some more. I think you could maybe add a little more to your bassline. Definitely don’t make it as busy as any of my basslines 😂, but i think it could use a few lines with passing notes leading to the next chord, and some thumbs to line up with the kick. Just to lock things in rhythmically and keep the song nice and glued together.

Once again, so well done.

Rmal March 7, 2024 7:58pm

Love the feedback Ben. The drums are acoustic. And I mix the cymbals way back compared to the snare and kick. I was off in a few cymbal crashes so I recorded and overdubbed a few soft crashes. Still working out the whole drum thing but enjoying plowing thru. Your drums are always great sounding. And more bass lines is a terrific thought. I don’t have a clue on notes on the bass neck so I find myself just sticking to the notes I hit on guitar. Prob the instrument is so like to figure out but prob the one that scares me the most. When you screw up, it’s glaringly obvious. I’ll try to slide a bit more interest in.