A singer songwriter has it pretty easy these days. No…I don’t mean in the world of commerce; that’s a tangled web. I’m referring to the act of singing, songwriting, and recording.
When I first started writing songs, I used a pen, spiral notebooks, and an old upright piano that had about 2 octaves that actually sort of stayed in tune. At the time I didn’t really know how to play the piano, so I wasn’t upset that there weren’t more keys to work around on. I’d just bang out some awkward chords and wiggle my fingers around in a way that sounded acceptable to me. Then, I’d see if it fit with the words I’d already written. If it did…voila! I had a song.
Then…I’d commit it to memory because I didn’t have any way of recording. The only viable way to record, back then, was in a studio somewhere. And that was cost prohibitive. So…the songs stayed in my head…along with some written lyrics and scribbled chords above the words.
After I became a professional musician, some years later, I started working my way up the food chain of electronic keyboards. I started out with what I thought would be the perfect keyboard for a piano player…a road worthy portable piano. I bought a Helpinstill Roadmaster. (on a side note, I actually got to meet Charlie Helpinstill, the inventor…interesting guy) The Helpinstill was great for piano sounds, but there were no other sounds. So I played left handed bass lines on a synthesizer my brother had while playing chords and such on the portable piano.
Eventually digital keyboards came onto the scene, and I proudly got the “grandaddy of them all”…the Yamaha DX7. It was awesome. I could play all kinds of keyboards, strings, wind instruments, basses, etc. Trouble was; I could only play one sound at a time. I had to wait a while longer till they came out with multitimbral keyboards. Then midi followed. Then some multi-track cassette recorders, then some digital outboard recorders, and finally computer recording. Ahhhh-some! Now I can record with all the tools I used to use, but now they’re all in my MacBook Pro using Logic hooked into my Apogee Micro Studio.
I’m sorry…what was the question?