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.
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!
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.
How’s your week been?