Wednesday, November 01, 2006

on making noise.

Natalie and I have jammed in the garage probably 5 or 6 times since we decided to do this. Each time, we've come up with a song structure. We switch off. Sometimes i play guitar and she plays drums, and then versey-vicey. No lyrics or anything, just the noise. We finally got to really hear what our brains have been flowing to our fingers the last time. I brought the Yammy 4-track down. It's easier to use and there's no RF interference like we were having with the one that's connected to the PA. It ain't bad, i gotta say.

There's something really cool and liberating, also, about working with an instrument you don't normally play. I've played drums maybe 30 times in my life. And i'm kickin butt on them if i do say so myself. Natalie hasn't played guitar too much, and she's doing some cool stuff. I don't know about her, but it forces me to think differently with regard to rhythm. Rhythm being my prime part, as a bass player. Now i really see how the drums and bass interact, because i play the drums like a bass player. If that makes any sense. Different metering or timing or something involved. You have to break a lot more down to put it together when you play drums. With bass, i just listen, hear where the notes are and where the not-notes are, and you just sort of put the notes in where it feels right. On the drums, i'm not dealing with the notes. I'm placing the not-notes for the rhythm player to build off.

Plus, it being just us, there is no one standing around saying "play it this way". Just me and her, making noise for a while and then laughing and yelling "That was cool! That was awesome! Play it back! Ooh did you hear me nail that change?"

We've told some people about this, this Strange Basin thing (which we are just sort of using as a kind of place holder name) and we get different reactions. Most people think it's cool. There are a couple who you can tell are instantly threatened, just by their body language and what they say after we tell them. They want to know what exactly we're doing (we don't know. So there). They want to weedle their way in (after dismissing us, not so subtly). They want to help (with help like that, who needs a saboteur?).

You know, i really think i've done this whole thing backwards. My timeline goes like this:
Buy bass. Start learning it. Ship it off for repairs. Buy guitar. Goof off with it, but never quite learn it right. Get shoved into jam nights. Continue goofing with guitar, learning an average of one new chord every couple of months, many by accident. Get invited into a working band. Take music theory classes while in working band. Back to jam nights. Start making noise with someone.

Isn't it more like:
Buy guitar. Jam with friends in garage. Find you have too many guitar players. Make one play the bass. Start band. Lose band. Start another band. Lose band. Get into pattern of starting and losing bands, but playing always the same music. Get into jams.

At least that's how it seems to be to me, and for the places i've been since i've been playing.

yeah well i feel really free in the garage. it's so awesome.

1 comment:

  1. If you care where you're going, it's helpful to know where you are. Seems like you've got that covered.

    If you don't know where you're going, that's where you'll probably end up. I believe that's the road I'm on. But, making tape recordings along the way is an excellent idea.

    "Basement band" doesn't sound as cool as "Garage band", but the former usually get fewer visits from city employees.