Dogs and Coffee – SAC Week 4

Well, would you look at that…I’m done my track for the week with an hour to spare. It’s uploaded and everything.It’s kind of a rocky, bluesy sort of country song.I am not sure if it’s really edgy, but it’s written and recorded, and it’s up on SoundCloud.

I actually wrote 2 country songs this week, which is pretty good considering that I wasn’t sure I’d have one at all. I had received some upsetting news about the health of my dog last week and suddenly the songwriting challenge seemed unimportant. I was pretty upset, but in a lighter moment, I turned that darkness into a pretty light hearted country song called Sicker than a Dog. Yes…that’s right…my dog is seriously ill and I wrote a light hearted song called Sicker than a Dog. Strange. The song I wrote, though, needed work and wasn’t really edgy. I was going to call it my song for the week anyway, because I wasn’t sure I had another one in me, but I was wrong…

Driving my son to school this morning, I suddenly had this notion that I was going to write a song about black coffee. Surely, setting the clocks ahead over the weekend and my resulting drowsiness was an influence…I needed a jolt of something to wake me up (though, actually coffee doesn’t wake me up, just makes me jittery if I have too much). I, actually, don’t usually write from a song title, but I guess I did today. I decided to tune my guitar to open D, just barre it, and have fun with it, and eventually the song emerged.

I had to play it a bit low for me, because I already barred so far up the neck in some parts that it would have been awkward playing to go any further. As a result, the vocals are noticeably too low for me in a couple of spots. I thought about bringing the melody up instead of down, but decided to leave it, because I wanted to show how I actually imagined the song being sung instead of altering it for my own vocal range.

I was also going to add some background vocals and additional instrument tracks, but after a full day of recording and rerecording and technical difficulties and interruptions, I was spent. The only other thing is that maybe the song needs an instrumental bridge for a solo. I didn’t put one in because I’m a rhythm guitarist and not really skilled in the lead guitar department. The essence of the song is there. Speaking of guitar, though, I think my rhythm guitar sounds pretty cool. It was super fun to play.

I still need to work on some of the finer points of recording and mixing, but these are skills I can see I will continue to learn. I still need to find out why my vocals record so quiet, and what I can do about that. Even my soft and airy spoken “alright” at the start of the song records, oddly, louder than my singing. That’s really strange, but there must be a reason for it. I may have to do some digging or asking or learning or all of the above.

And so ends the challenge for week 4. Bring on week 5!

P.S. I just uploaded the song to SoundCloud before writing this, and it’s already been favourited and reposted a few times. Well, well…

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