The birth of an album

I just spent a very enjoyable 45 minutes ‘charting’ the songs I’m considering recording on my next album. Oops, did I say I was going to record another album. Ahem.

Anyway, over the past couple of years I’ve done lots of stealth writing and arranging, material that for the most part I’ve not performed or videotaped. I did debut a couple of pieces on my November tour with Steve Davison and in December with Raymond Gonzalez, but for the most part the 16 songs I’m going to record haven’t been heard much by the general public. I’ve been doing this on purpose because I really want the tunes to be a bit of surprise.

So this morning I was doing what I normally do about 30-45 days out from the studio dates; taking an inventory of what I’m planning on recording, which for me includes which instruments I’m going to use, an estimate of how long the piece will be, the tempo of the piece, the tuning of the piece, and whether it will be solo or ensemble.

I always try to have about 60 minutes of music ready that I can edit down to 42-48 minutes; what I consider to be a proper length for an ‘album’. Any longer and folks won’t hear the last couple of tunes, and any shorter and folks might feel like they’ve been cheated.

So here’s what I’ve discovered; I’ll be recording 16 songs with an estimated overall time of 58 minutes. I’ll use 12 tunings on four or five different guitars, and it appears that 6 of the tunes are mid tempo, 4 tunes are uptempo, and 6 are ballads. 10 have never been recorded before, and 6 are from duo CDs that have been out of print for over a decade. Ten will be performed on 6-string, but I’m not sure yet on which of my three 6-strings some of the tunes will be played. And 6 of the tunes will be on harp guitar; 5 on Thumbelina and 1 on Bella. All are new; not arranged from previous 6-string tunes.

The next step for me will be recording these in GarageBand on my old Mac desktop. If I’m not sure which guitar I’m going to use I’ll record versions on both. This is where I really find out what needs work, what I might want to leave off entirely and whether or not the collection of tunes truly works as an album (I’ve done enough of these that I’m pretty confident there’s an album in there.).

And the step after that is videotaping a handful of the tunes to help market the crowdfunding campaign you can all look forward to from me in the next 60-90 days.

Hopefully people will have stopped reading by now because they’re so excited about a new album from me that they’ve jumped away from the computer screen and are ignorant to the fact that I’ll be hitting them up for hard earned cash right around the time the tax man cometh. My timing has always been fabulous.

Cheers, kb


One thought on “The birth of an album

  1. Pingback: The Year of the Monkey | Ken Bonfield's Artistry of the Guitar Blog

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