Dear ARTner,

Mar 27, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: Uncategorized

Singing the song in your he(art) will forever change your life.

Thanks for the opportunity to think about:

How to Sing/Make a Song of the Day

First instruction: don’t hold back/trust your instincts
There is no wrong way to do this.

Maybe you start humming with a violin as you are walking to the train.
This counts.

Maybe while riding your bike over or under the bridge
you whistle and then scream.
This counts.

Whether it is recorded or not-it counts. Whether or not it has vocals, it counts. I recommend trying vocals because it’s really helpful to the soul to sing.

Your assignment is to record a few different kinds of songs. They can be as long as you like 15 minutes plus or just 30 seconds a pop.  A minute and a half is a great length to aim for, but whatever it is counts.

Try making one now without any instruction. Just out of your head into the air.

If there are a few different songs to record you won’t get too fixated on just one song. In fact do as many as you can. One per day or multiple per day are fine. Otherwise aim for 3 total.

The band, They Might be Giants, has thousands of quick ditties and Orchestrations in Opera Houses might be an Hour or so for a movement of a song.

Don’t limit yourself of be constrained by what you think is right or what other people are doing. Sing over someone elses song on the radio. Change the words then change the melody.

The city
Look around you and get inspired…
Or use a friend’s experience as a good idea!
ie: I wrote a song about my old friend/roommate who was dating a Scientologist

It can be very healing in unexpected ways for you and someone else to release songs, emotions, thoughts and poetry as sound vibration. Songs can be simple mantras or prayers of intention. A famous musician, John Cage has a song that is silence.

You don’t have to be talented at singing and music to be a good singer or songwriter. Birds sing all day long and no one thinks that they are bad.

You can collaborate with a musician, but usually this makes things harder, because it starts to get serious.  I encourage raw experimentation.

Our bodies are instruments and can be used for percussion-bellies are drums, fingers snapping, heels stomping.  The things around us-whether they be key boards on type writers, the pitter patter of rain, the swoosh of a pen drawing, the clunking of shoes on the sidewalk, or kitchen utensils while cooking are all great collaborators.

Also the song can be about how people feel about you… this song,T9Word was written April 2, 2007–the second day of my song of the day project and is about people not understanding my illeligible text messages I accompany myself on my cell phone.

I like to personify inanimate objects and sing about weird functions of technology in our modern day relationships.  I also like inside joke songs sung as telegrams to celebrate people. Humor helps me heal.

I usually start out with a blank piece of paper. Because envelopes are around I often write on the back of a correspondence or gut the envelope and use it as a recycled sheet of paper.

Get a pen or marker that feels good. Sharpie, Ball point –ink flowing.

Write out some words inspirations or ideas.  This can be at your writing desk, on your couch, on the street, on the subway or in a cafe or anywhere.

See if you can write a line about something
with a tiny bit more explanation

and another line about something
with more explanation

If those explanations rhyme that is cool…if not…that is cool too

In Formal Song Writing

There are common song writing techniques which include structures
like

One Part that is usually called A
and one Part that is Usually Called B
and a 3rd Part that is considered a Bridge

So for instance with my hit single Boys Are Dumber than the Average Bear:

A: Boys are Dumber than the Average Bear
Boys are Dumber than the Average Bear
I know it’s Sexist But I don’t Care
Cuz Boys are Dumber than the Average Bear

B: This Boys Says He Likes Me
But I don’t Really Care
Cuz Boys Are Dumber than the Average Bear

There is no Bridge so I guess this doesn’t follow a normal song writing structure, oh well…it still makes people smile

Here’s an example of one that rhymes. with A/B/Bridge Structure

version 1:
I wrote it at the Apple Store waiting for my Computer to be fixed

version 2: I came home and sang it with my neighbor with a guitar while I played a mini piano

version 3: the next day I worked it out in garage band
version 4: on a rooftop with an electric guitar at new years in LA with new friends

version 5: a few months later we did a version with a guitar, drum machine, mbira (finger piano), upright bass like instrument called a guitaron, and vocals and a musical flash mob adding 30 apple geniuses into the NYC stores

 

My Apple Genius

A
Oh the Apple Store is so Shiny
And the Geniuses are So Smart
I wish they’d put down my broken ipod
and fill up my dance Card

B
If I could Kidnap a Genius to another kind of Bar
They will tell me little Apple Secrets and Marvel At My Art

CHORUS
If They Can Fix My Ipod
Then They Can Repair
This Broken Heart
If They Can Fix My Ipod
I bet together We can Change the World

A
I will wake up tomorrow Morning
Wearing a Genius Tee Shirt
and my Genius will conveniently
Call in Sick To work…..

B
Strolling through Tompkins Park With My Genius Boy or Girl
Together with Soy Lattes and my New Wireless Mac Book Pro

CHORUS

Bridge:
LOL OMG Click on the Short Cut to My Genius Fantasy
Apple C Apple V
Embedding My Genius into my Screen Saver

CHORUS: just clapping

A
Eventually My Genius Will Quit Their Corporate Job
I will Bake Them Vegan Cupcakes
in Exchange for Lifetime Technical Support

B
I would Love My Genius and My Genius Would Love Me and then all we would have left to do is start a Genius Family

CHORUS

I actually have never graphed that out and I don’t know if it’s entirely accurate so please don’t let it stop you….

but the idea is that there are Verses and A Chours and a lot of times Verses sound alike and there are two of them that are slightly different and repeat

then there is a chorus that gets repeated many times

and a bridge that comes about half way through the song

so how to put this into practice? Here is one way….

Open up Garage Band on your computer.

Select New Music Project//Name your Project: I like to use the date at the front.

03.27.12 Sing/Song

for a New Track
Press: Shift + Apple + N

(Anytime I say Apple + something ….it means hold the Apple Button and the other button at the same time…don’t worry about the plus sign so—hold down Shift Apple and the letter N to create a new track)

Test your voice recording
To Start Recording
Press:  R
Say Something and press the space bar to Pause
it should have recorded your voice

There is sometimes automatically a Metronome that Comes on
To Turn of Metronome Press: Apple + U

Move the triangle curser back over your track to hear yourself. If you don’t hear yourself try again. If you still don’t hear yourself make sure your settings are set to internal mic under your audio preferences (both in Garage band and in System Preferences choose internal mic)

Once your vocals are working

Open up the Loop Browser under the Control Tab
The Loops will show at the bottom of your screen and you can listen to and choose the ones you like by dragging them directly into your Garage Band Track

They can be spliced using: Apple + T

You can add New Tracks by pressing: Shift + Apple + N

Dragging a new loop can also add a new Track when it’s dragged into empty space on Garage Band

You should have a track specifically for your voice
and a few tracks with loops that you can drag to various parts of your song

Choose another Loop You like for another Verse

Choose a 3rd Loop for a Bridge

Go back to the First and/or Second Loops

If you want to act super pro you can wear head phones so you hear the back ground music coming through but don’t record your vocals with it

Play Around. Have Fun. Good Luck. Export or Share your Track with itunes and email it or post it to a Sound Cloud Account to Share….

Oh….how to sing…..

Breathe
Open your Mouth
Let Sound Out
Sound Can Be Words
Or Become Words
Or Not

Opening and Closing your Mouth Can Serve as Percussion
Changing Pitch is Fun
Going Up and Down your Register
Also Changing the Pace of what you are singing
Fast or Slow
Breaking it Apart
Break Break Breaking Break Break Brea Br Brrrrrr….
Break Break Break my Heart
Art Fart Cart Start Singing…..

For documentation:

A cell phone voice recorder works really well too. Or tape recorder, or mini recorder, or just remember what you are singing and record it on your computer.  It also need not be recorded to be a song.

Try to write 3 songs-ditties-jingles-or scores
do one with your computer, one on the fly, and one super spontaneous.

Don’t care too much about how it sounds or what other people might think.

Feel free to get angry or say what you need to say.

Or keep it hidden in a(n obvious) metaphor.

Hope this helps. Just do it, don’t think too much.

Love,
Larken

 

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