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'For Better Times' - real sweet stuff going on there
Thanks Joshua, good luck with your music.
thanks Mike ...you as well. I have a personal playlist on Spotify with all of my all-time #1's songs (of any genre)...'for better times' is now on there. I'm pretty selective with what songs go on that particular playlist. There are so many good modern solo piano pieces out there now, but if one listens to a lot of them like I do, they sometimes tend to sound similar. I'm always listening for that something extra that jumps out at me. The descending melody especially did it for me on this one.
Hi again, I'm genuinely flattered, thanks again. It's interesting, several years ago there seemed to be a shortage of 'emotional piano' pieces now the internet is flooded with them. I kept listening to many of them (still do). I was almost disappointed that I couldnt capture the same sound with my tracks, but along the way I seem to have created something just a little different, it may not be quite as commercial as some but I feel much happier with my work now, I write much quicker without the procrastination. There are mistakes in 'For Better Times' when the chorus starts, (I use the term loosely as I prefer a more gut feeling approach to when a piece of music should go somewhere different) it repeats the phrase 3 times I think, but each time I started I played something a little different from intended, then picked it up correctly on the second and third repeat. It took me such a long time get the feel I was after I think I'd had enough and was actually really happy with the result, so I left it at that. All my tracks have similar quirks that would baffle a professional, I kind of like that!
Mike..man, I feel I'm pretty much in the same boat you are with regards to approach. I'm by no means a polished classical, jazz, or even modern pianist, but I try to write and play with emotion. And usually the best stuff comes out when we're not necessarily trying to 'write' a song. I also love hearing little human like mistakes in songs...makes it so real and less produced. Was that a real piano you used on that track? I loved the sound quality as well.
For what it's worth...3 other modern piano solo pieces that I recently discovered and keep repeating play are:
'Quiet Children' by Eluvium (Matthew Cooper)
'Fahrtwind' by Piano Melancoila (Carl Juergen Emert)
...and my favorite
'The Snow is Melting' by Ben Crosland
Hi, I'll take a listen to those. It wasnt a real piano, that album was done with 'Noire' Vst by Native Instruments which is a sampled 9' concert grand used by Nils Frahms, operated via my Kawai MP7 stage piano. I do sometimes record the Kawai on its own as it has a lovely piano tone, but find Noire very flexible and inspirational, adding the felt dampening noise and other effects is very easy, plus I always get the playing experience I like with the Kawai's piano action. Obviously Noire runs in my recording software Cakewalk Bandlab, totally free to download by the way, been using it for years.
My aim is to eventually rig an upright piano with mics in my home studio, but to be honest that brings many other problems not only with sound treatment but expensive mics and also the fact you can't edit playing mistakes out, as you're working with audio instead of Midi, which I find incredibly easy to edit. Sound quality has taken me a while to perfect, I'm still working on improvements! Writing, playing and recording are one thing but mixing and mastering another, taken me a long time to learn the art for sure, I used to write a track in a few days, record it but then spend 3 months messing with the mix, even the album on spotify I wasnt completely pleased witht the quality, I just thought, ' look, I need to finish this to my best standard at this particular time otherwise it'll take another 3 years before I release it', once I had that clear in my head I quickly polished each track and clicked the send button, overall I was pleased with the result. I am now working on the second album which should be released around Christmas, it's much different but with all my piano quirks still in there but this time all of the tracks have strings, either solo cello or larger ensembles. This was challenging but will be a proud moment for me to complete. I just finished 'Demeter', have a listen on here if you get a moment, it's really a cello piece with a more traditional piano tone, still from Noire though
you're quite a humble fellow...yes, mastering & mixing are new skills for me as well...there's so much that can go into it....overwhelming at times...I'll for sure take a listen to 'Demeter'...not sure what your ultimate goal is with your music, if it's just sync or not, but I would consider submitting your pieces to various Spotify playlists. There are plenty of 'calm' piano playlists out there with lots of followers. It might help get you more exposure (if that's what you're going for). The success rate is low, like 10-20%, but I've been added to 3 out of about 50 that I submitted to. (which surprised me...considering my songs kind of fit the genre, but not as closely as your piano style would)...just a thought / encouragement
I guess I am humble lol. I feel comfortable with mastering now, comfortable that there will always be more to learn, there have been many 'sliding door' moments when it suddenly clicked, I guess they'll be more, I like to keep improving, thats my 'goal'. I have signed a few contracts for sync licensing, I'm in a few libraries and get quarterly payments for tracks used in retail networks, shopping malls and even an airport or two apparently, this is wonderful but ultimately I'm aiming higher, I would really like a placements in TV and/or Film, aim for the treetop and reach to first bow, aim for the moon and reach the tree top, they say!. I take on board the idea of playlists, I'm probably not working the whole media thing ever so well, I have to remind myself that I'm a farmer, thats my profession, 7th generation, no pressure lol! I'm working from 5am through to 8pm harvesting onions right now, it's extremely hot here and its not for the faint hearted, ultimately this takes priority, but I still find the time to arrange music in my head even when busy.
Well...congrats on the sync contracts.
I was added to one library with 3 songs, but I don't think they have landed anywhere yet. My personal goal is to land at least one 'big' placement. I still love writing & creating regardless of any money attached. Farming is no joke. Lots of hard work for sure. I live in the midwest (USA) surrounded by plenty of farms and am friends with many farmers. My day job is in heath care, 2 kids 12 & 10...I squeeze in music some nights when I can. Still need to listen to your tune.
Well done also. I'm dubious about some of these ' music industry professionals' I've had a few run ins with them on various sites, they can prey on our enthusiasm. I'm supposedly in several labraries, I did check one online and found my track right there so some of them are legit for sure. Yeah that big placement would be nice, like you, the money is not the driver, despite being a farmer, creating music is the essence of me I'm sure. Go and listen to Demeter! lol.
Finally listened to 'Demeter' Nice job. Love the cello melody (is that a real cello?)..especially the staccato part against the Db in the bass.
I'm playing along with it on my piano
Wonderful you are playing along! Thanks for the feedback, it's the sound of a sampled cello in Abbey Roads studio one, so it is the sound of a real cello, but in reality it's the software instrument triggered from my playing the Kawai stage piano, my son plays the cello so I have taken note of the different articulations which I can reproduce, hopefully. The software (Abbey Roads Two, Iconic Strings) is by Spitfire Audio, I have many other makes of cello software but this is by far the most realistic. I think Demeter is one of my personel favourites, although it's differcult to catergorize into a genre, neo-classical, new age? I have no idea lol.
Thanks for the download Joshua, just finished a new track 'Once In A While', have a listen if you get the time cheers. Mike.
...listening now...key of Eb (one of my favorites to play and write in)
love the feel...do you count that in 4? it has a 6/8 feel, but more like 8/8?...anyway you're making me think on the meter...this piece sounds like Bruce Hornsby at times (one of my favorite piano players / composers)
Hi, never really though about the time signature! It's in 4/4, my slightly 'swung' piano style probably gives the feeling of something else going on. Interestingly I sent a copy to Stuart Epps for a critique on another site, (of course he's touting for work on Music Xray, a slightly dubious site at best in my opinion yet has it uses. First thing he said was, ''yep, Bruce Hornsby''! Can't tell you how many years I spent trying to learn the piano solo in The Way It Is. I've submitted for several opps on this site son we'll see how they like it, personally I was very pleased with the result, which is rare!
yes...the song has a serious 'the way it is' vibe in there.
I've also heard from some pretty reliable sources that Music X-ray can be shady. I've never used them, though
Hey Mike, congrats on your selection of "Queen of Hearts" - it's a great tune!
Thanks Diane,one of those tunes that just worked from the start!
nice piece Mike:)
Many thanks Rada.