Getting My Feet Wet

What is your favorite deep groove house tune since like forever?

This week I’m continuing on my journey of practicing groove, deconstructing beats and basslines and resisting the INTENSE urge to add 72189 melodic and harmonic ideas before I nail the foundation of the GROOVE.

It’s hard, yo.

When I was studying at the Pop department at the Conservatory, we all resistantly admitted that some of the best Pop songs truly have only 4 chords. NOW I have to accept the fact that a lot of the house tunes I TRULY love have even less. Sometimes it’s just 1, or 2 when I’m lucky 😱.

FFS! How to deal? It can’t be that easy now, can it? Wasn’t making music supposed to be hard?

Dan Ariely (behavioral economist/psychologist) has a lot of interesting things to say about how we seem to value the results of our labor a lot more if we worked HARD putting it together.

Yep.

Humans!

We’re a bunch of weirdos.

But, even though I may not have to work as hard as I think I do on the harmonic and melodic elements – when it comes to making truly BADASS GROOVES THAT POP I am only just getting my feet wet!

(hence the photo… IKR)

So, as I’m now on a journey of, hopefully, becoming a groovemeister – I’m curious to hear from you! What are some epically groovy bass heavy house tracks I MUST check out? 🙂

Let me know here on my FB page! Thanks!

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It’s All About That Bass

Typically when I put on a song one of 3 things happens, and sometimes simultaneously.

1) I start dancing.
2) I start daydreaming.
3) I get feelings.

Like, all kinds of feelings. As I listen to a lot of groovy AF house music, usually they’re good, happy, yay-kind-of- feelings.

All good so far.

BUT…

You might notice one thing missing from that exhaustive (um) list, which is that ….”listening” to the music is not on it.

Nope, it’s not.

I have to admit that I’m historically awful at really listening and paying attention to what is actually happening in the tracks I love.

It seems like the more analytical, left side of my brain just completely GOES OUT THE WINDOW when I turn on a track that I love. Which is not exactly helpful if you’re tryna get better at making such tracks!

Since last week I’m working with someone who is helping me improve my arrangements and mixes and he pretty much pointed out the exact same thing to me.

HOW ‘BOUT YOU ACTUALLY START LISTENING TO WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE TRACKS YOU LOVE?

And no he didn’t actually scream at me in all caps FYI (who does that, jeez)

But the point is more that I heard the message clearly.

And that I was like OH RIGHT! I may have forgotten about that listening thing again ha!

WHOOPS.

Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit here because I have definitely done plenty of track analysis in the past… but still not enough.

I still haven’t been paying enough attention to what it is that actually makes the tracks I love TICK.

Because guess what, as much as I want it to be all about the vocals (ouch)… it’s often actually ALL ABOUT THAT BASS.

Not surprising considering that I listen to a lot of deep house!

But, being a singer I simply tend to focus a lot on the vocal hooks in a track, not always noticing that in the tracks I love the MOST the vocals are actually SUPPORTING the epic bassline and not the other way around.

So, this week this is pretty much all I’m doing with Ableton and Push.

Practising basslines every. single. day.

And, through practising those basslines getting a better understanding of what makes a good one.

And, through that hopefully gaining the confidence that a “vocalist” like me can come up with a great bassline too.

And, that when I gain that confidence I can stop stuffing my tracks with all kinds of other things to compromise for the fact that I was never truly confident about the “foundation” of the track in the first place: THAT BASS.

#workinprogress

How’s your week been?

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Don’t Wait Till You Feel Like It!

Today I’m jamming away in my brand new home studio (read: IKEA table with laptop and controller) in the Netherlands!

This week I got back into my 90-minutes a day songwriting habit and it feels so goooooood. I fell off the bandwagon for a split second because of a new work project, but this week I kicked my ass back in gear and worked on my new song every. single. day.

BOOM.

What has been huge for me is realizing that I very often DON’T FEEL LIKE actually getting started on my music. Not because I don’t love doing it (it’s like my favorite thing since like forevah) BUT… because at some level there’s always that feeling of…

“Will this be any good? What if I get stuck? What if I can’t bring to life what I hear in my head? What if this-that-the-other-you-name-it-I-should-just-be-something-else-when-I-grow up-BS”

You know the drill right?

R.E.S.I.S.T.A.N.C.E.

I have noticed that to combat these fears, the power of habit is just EVERYTHING.

I can’t even count the amount of times that I’ve felt so fulfilled and elated after a session that I wouldn’t even have started if I had waited until I “felt like it”.

For the things that are so dear to our hearts…
The things that we feel so vulnerable about…
The things that we SO love to create in this world but are equally so scared of…

For those things we can’t just rely on “feeling like it”.

‘Cause if we do, we’re gonna let fear win way too many times.

There’s so much more power in just DECIDING to show up for something.

Every day.
Decide.
No matter if you feel like it.

Show up.
And keep the muse closely by your side 🙂

Can you relate?

(Psssst: check the video to hear a quick preview of what I’ve been working on!)

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Confession Time.

CONFESSION TIME. I have been procrastinating on making my music and doing my vlog the whole day.

Instead, I have been spending my time on the following useless activities:

  • Aimlessly tweaking my website for absolutely NO good reason.
  • Reading up on news (oh don’t ever read up on the news…5 hours of Reddit later I’m obviously no less depressed about the state of the world and I also didn’t come up with the solution on how to FIX the world, so sigh!)
  • Googling a guy I saw in a FB group who I thought was hot.
  • OCD’ing about the colors of my new instrument groups in the Ableton Template I’m building.

Um, what else.

I did do one actual grown-up thing (buying groceries) but the rest was pretty much 5 hours of nothingness that I will never get back.

Best selling author Paulo Coelho said on The Tim Ferris Show:

“A successful writing day is the day that I suffer in the morning, and I have fun in the evening.”

Well thanks, you legend! Maybe there is still hope for me too 😉

At 3 PM I finally got my ass in gear and MADE something.

I do feel camera shy today so I’m just gonna post a little snippet of this new tune I’m working on, without me in it (camera shy meaning I can’t be F-ed to get out of my PJ’s – kinda thing)

I used only Korg Gadget plugins today and took the Tropical House drum kit for a ride. What do you think? Shall I keep working on this one?

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