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Anybody trying to re-learn their original song recorded a long time ago?

Discussion in 'Twanger Central' started by dreamingtele, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    So i got a some songs I recorded through Garageband 5-6 years ago, and I’m listening to it now and thought “wow, I dont know what I did” and “how did I do that?” Kind of thing?

    i want to record it properly now, and the solos I did (they’re not really fancy though), are sounding too hard for me to replicate!! I havent tried doing it though.

    anybody experience this? What did you do?
     
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  2. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    I don't try to replicate something I did years ago. As the artist, I am entitled to the derivative works associated with the original composition. It's OK to treat it like a new song.
     
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  3. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Holic

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    Kind of, not necessarily that I wouldn't be able to replicate or relearn solos or parts, but I've almost completely forgotten some of my older songs. It doesn't happen too often as I didn't start writing until 3-4 years ago, but I've definitely forgotten some of the earlier ones.
     
  4. runstendt

    runstendt Tele-Meister

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    It's a bit of a bummer when I can't remember the words, but it's a major bummer when I can't remember (or even quite figure out) what chords I used. I've also come across lyrics scratched out and recordings on old hard drives that I flat out do not remembering ever existing. So dreamingtele, you're not alone, and I just have to take the time to relearn my older songs if I want to play them. It happens.
     
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  5. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Usually the only time I play my stuff is when I record it.

    I have had to do a few solo gigs of my stuff in the last few years - I generally don't like to, but weirdly some of my musician friends sometimes ask me to support them playing my stuff, probably just to make them sound good - and it takes a lot of work to revisit that stuff.

    On a simple level, I can't remember the chords or the words.

    On a more complex level I have to try to reimagine the song for one guitar. I find it very tricky.

    So no, OP, I'm not going to be much help. Replicating one of my own dodgy solos would completely confound me.
     
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  6. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    Hi guys! OP HERE.

    Thank you for your words..

    I think I'm comforted about this, and not being alone in this.. I always wonder how artists, lets say, for discussion, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, John Mayer, SRV, etc etc etc, be able to play their solos note for note, recording and live concerts..

    to be honest, it took me a loooong time composing those solos.. and I'm not even a pro.. Im just a musician who plays in church, and usually record my own stuff.. but I'm pretty mediocre and a hack... and now, I'm going to try and re-learn what I did, and while listening to it, I'm already getting frustrated on how I'm going to start! LOL

    If you guys are interested, here's one of the songs I'm referring to.. I'll let you guys decide if it's any good, and worth re-doing to be better and worth passing on to my band mates.. Almost 4 years old, this song is the first I ever made, I finished the base melody structure in one and a half hours but it took me 3 months and 20 revisions on the solo, and I’m still not happy with it; I stored it and planned to revisit when I’m a better a guitarist and rewrite the solo but I think I did not improve at all, so I guess I havent broken my limit musically.

    Solo starts at 2:28

    https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-igUmyH5dI/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
     
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  7. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi.

    Oh yes.

    My songs reflect my abilities, which means they’re pretty rubbish. Simplistic, plodding, uninspired garage rock type efforts really.

    But, most still seem beyond me when I go back & revisit them. I’ve taken to writing down the progressions, riffs, what’s happening with different parts, fills, etc. and any other pertinent info in the Notes section in Logic. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
  8. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Afflicted

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    Something similar happened when we were rehearsing for a one off gig: By chance the singer's wife happened to video one of our takes and I was really pleased with the solo. I then had to listen to it over and over to work out what I'd played, luckily some of it was also on the video too, so I could see what I'd played. It took me far longer to learn and polish it than it did to play it in the first place. :oops:

    I'm revisiting some of my older songs recorded on an old 4 track 'Portastudio' so I've had to work them out too. At least in this case I can remember some of the basic parts (that thing of being able to remember things from longer ago, but I forget what I went upstairs for :D), but also I can solo each track and listen in isolation.
     
  9. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    Yes.

    This is how I approach it, too.
     
  10. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been in this boat and it can be frustrating. I usually dabble around for a bit to regain the feel, and then try to let muscle memory take over. You'd be surprised at what information is stored in your fingers!
     
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  11. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    I wanted to record a song I wrote in college some 40 years ago approx. I had to find the old cassette tape, then buy a cassette machine to listen to the original and figure out how I tuned the guitar which not as easy as DADGAD but some original tuning I had experimented with. It took me about 4 hours to finally figure out what I had done. Even then the complexity of the fingering and the plucking method of the right hand took another day to get memorized into muscle memory so I could sing and play it at the same time. When I was a kid, this was challenging but at this age darn near impossible. I tracked it and set it aside for a week.

    Coming back for a listen I realized that when you are a solo singer/player on acoustic, your guitar part needs to fill things out a lot, you play bass line, some chord and on this piece a little lead line at the same time singing the lyrics. It was too much guitar to turn into a fully realized band piece. So I had to split up the guitar into a bass line, chords and the lead on separate tracks using the real thing vs trying to have a complex acoustic guitar going as well. So I could have just listened to the tape and split the acoustic into the components without have to figure out the tuning and learning to play it. Lesson learned.

    Treating it as a new song as mentioned above is often the smartest move.
     
  12. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

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    I now take short video of all my songs so "future me" won't have this problem.

    I have videos of a lot of jazz songs that I've forgotten from around 2012-14. All I need to do is check the vid.

    There's a larger body of work from the 1990s that only exist in audio recordings. Need to work those out. Still have them on 4-track.
     
  13. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yep, there's a song we recorded in like 70/71 that has a ton of rifs in it etc. Ugh. On one hand I was impressed on the complexity of rifs, on the other hand the arrangement and recording seemed terrible!
     
  14. USian Pie

    USian Pie Tele-Meister

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    I worked out an arrangement of "Amazing Grace" that I have to freshen up every so often. Usually, I try to play it through unconsciously, then work out the parts that are shaky.

    Christmas songs are my nemesis for this, though. I work like crazy on one usually starting in September or October. I perform or record it at the last minute in December. Then I never play it again and realize the next year that I have little clue what I did.

    I finally got smart enough to record performances of arrangements to video. Even if I don't post it publicly, it makes it easier for me to figure out later.

     
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  15. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    Ever notice most classic acts now use three floor monitors? Yeah that third is a video screen. They can’t remember songs they wrote and played thousands of times.
     
  16. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The lyrics are what I have an issue with...
     
  17. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    25 years later, my buddy and I are revisiting some of the songs our high school rock band wrote. We are trying to keep them spot-on to the originals for preservation purposes, but I have been making alternate versions in places I think the songs can be improved.

    It's been a lot of fun so far!
     
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  18. Dave Hicks

    Dave Hicks Friend of Leo's

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    I rediscovered a track that I recorded 5 or 6 months ago - luckily I titled it "Open D", so I know one guitar is in that tuning. I think the other is DADGAD. I figured out the basic changes, but exactly what I played on each will take some work to reconstruct. I really like the feel of it, but the structure is weird, so I hope I can figure it out and redo it.

    D.H.
     
  19. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Meister

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    It’s been a while since I revisited some of my older tunes but there are a couple that I don’t recall how to play. They were in standard tuning for the most part so it’s possible that my playing style evolved away from those songs. To revisit them now would be like learning or writing a new song.

    Then there are a multitude of songs I’ve written that are probably best left in the past without ever revisiting... :lol:
     
  20. Ed Driscoll

    Ed Driscoll Tele-Afflicted

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    I spent much of the [unmentionable word] lockdown reworking older songs, reamping guitars, replacing cheesy keyboard bass synths with my '80s college band-era Fender P-Bass, and adding hand percussion like tambourines and egg shakers. The goal was to have some songs to experiment with to improve my mixing skills which still feels far too hit-or-miss for me.

    I began recording on a DAW around 2000, but due to hard drive crashes and poor efforts at backing up on my part, I’ve lost the multitracks to much of the material I recorded from 2000 to 2006, so starting in the summer, I began to use Izotope’s RX8 to “demix” a few of those songs, which separates them into individual tracks of drums, bass, lead vocal, and “everything else” (guitars and keyboards). This generates pretty nasty artifacts when you solo the tracks, but it allows me to figure out the tempo of the songs, and the Sony Acid drum loops I used. I can run the bass line through Melodyne to see the notes, so I can relearn the bass part, and from there, I can figure out the chords, and the guitar and keyboard parts.

    I didn't start properly recording guitars with a DI box until about 2017, and I've had teeth-gnashing moments when I've thought, "Do I really need to re-play this guitar solo from scratch," but the end results are worth it. Looping individual passages and playing along with them, and/or loading the solo into Melodyne allows me to figure out what the heck I played back then.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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