Category Archives: Random/off topic posts

Just got back into practicing & learning piano again… I want to get good at this too so I can learn how to use MIDI controllers…

In the old days in the music world, if you wanted to be a one man band, you had to learn every instrument yourself. Nowadays with all this technology, you can be a one-man band much easier and quicker like with all of these DAW’s, MIDI controllers/keyboards, music softwares/apps and things like that. You can easily create your own full band tracks if you know how to do this stuff.

Last week, I’ve spent all week teaching myself how to play piano and I’m really liking it. I tried to practice piano before but I guess I stopped for a while. Gonna get back into it full time. I really should.

I want to learn piano so I can learn how to play electric MIDI keyboards, the ones that has MIDI In/outs on them. I already have a MIDI keyboard but it’s a really old Casio but I just use that for learning and practicing. Whenever I want to record songs with a MIDI keyboard, I’ll buy myself an even better one in the future. The ones that have all kinds of instruments on it. I’ll try my best to find a better keyboard that has realistic sounding instruments on it as I’m sure there’s plenty of  them out there. If I were to get a MIDI keyboard, I would probably get one that is at an affordable price. Nothing too expensive.

The piano practice is going real good, though. I’m getting good at it already. I’m getting good at piano already ’cause I already have so much music knowledge. If you’re good with guitar then you’ll probably be good with piano ’cause both are pretty much the same thing.

I do want to make my own backing tracks with my original songs. Drums, bass and I’ll use tons of other virtual instruments. I would also like to have orchestration playing in the background in some of my songs ’cause a lot of my originals were meant to be heard that way. So could I make an album one day with nothing but orchestration playing in the background and me singing over it? That’s another dream project of mine to do other than doing a metal album. I could do both at the same time if I wanted… make an orchestration and metal album… do a prog rock kind of thing. That’s what the mighty Dream Theater have done, put orchestration and metal together. I’ve been listening to Dream Theater for a long time and they’re an inspiration for that goal. Dream Theater is one of my favorite bands for sure.

I also want to write piano ballads. Just with a piano and voice ’cause I like that type of music too and always wanted to sing over piano.

The piano is fun. Wished I learned how to play piano years ago but it’s not too late to start now. I just want to do something other than guitar.

Kev

Instead of getting a drum machine, I’ll probably just get Toontrack EZ drummer software…

So I’ve been studying drums, rhythm and timing even though I don’t have a drum set. I’ve been practicing virtual drums on GarageBand for the Ipad so that’s a good enough start.

Now that I have the full version for Mixcraft 8 DAW, I’ll be able to get drum software with it. Honestly, I’ve been looking at getting Toontrack EZ Drummer software for a pretty long time. It’s pretty popular software for home recording musicians. EZ Drummer has virtual drums on it and I can easily create my own drum tracks on that.

I’m going to look into getting EZ drummer pretty soon, $150 for it so it’s not that bad.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/toontrack-ezdrummer-2

I love learning drums and studying rhythm & timing. The more I do, the more I wish I had my own real drum set. I could get one but it would take up so much space in this room and don’t want to make a lot of loud noise. I could get myself an electronic drum set but even though that would be quieter, it would still take up so much space in this room so I’m better off getting drum software or a drum machine. I’ll probably get drum software instead ’cause that would be easier. Drum software would have realistic sounding drums than a drum machine, though.

I want to make full band electric rock n’ roll. What will I name the full band electric project? Well look at the name of this site, “K’brocking” is not just the name of the site, it’s gonna be the name of my online band project. So therefor, “K’brocking” is a band name that I just came up with. Cool, hey?

For bass guitar lines, I’ll have to figure that out. I’ll use either MIDI for that or I could find a bass player who has DAW and I can have that person record bass lines for me ’cause that would be pretty cool if I collaborate with a real bass player. Or I’ll just record bass lines myself but playing them on my electric guitar and just setting the pitch down an octave. I could do it that way too. I’ll figure something out.

I will get this EZ drummer software sometime, maybe later this summer.

Kev

 

 

I think I might get into martial arts pretty soon… it’s not too late to hopefully become a black belt…

So the YMCA in Greenwich may have stopped “Boxing Bootcamp” classes for good, I think which is a shame. I was really liking those classes and I was doing really good in boxing too. Ah well, I’ll probably continue to practice and learn boxing on my own ’cause I still plan on buying my own heavy bag for home soon, just gotta find a place to put one. Either that or I could hire another boxing trainer or something? Not sure.

Anyhow, I’m thinking about doing martial arts pretty soon and I might start this summer. I might join the NY Martial Arts Academy in Greenwich. There is a karate school in Greenwich after all and it’s $45 a month which isn’t too bad.

Could I one day become a black belt in “karate”? Hopefully and that’s what I want! If I can do boxing pretty good then I am capable of doing “karate” too.

I’m 40 years old and it’s not too late to get into karate at all. I know it’ll take a couple of years or more to become a black belt but I could become a black belt a lot quicker as long as I stay dedicated. Train hard and practice hard which I’m planning to do.

You’ll never see me in a professional fighting match of any kind. I don’t want a career out of fighting. You’ll never see me in an MMA cage or nothing like that. I just want to have fighting skills for self defense. Just in case, ya know? Plus, I want to have fun and enjoy myself. Karate, boxing, yoga, etc. I like doing all that. Good stress relievers and helps make you a happier person.

I could become a Mixed Martial Artist, just do it as a hobby. Not as a career. You’ll never see me in the UFC, although that would be pretty cool.

Kev

Will I ever play live again in local music scene??? I don’t know…

Some of you may ask, why did I stop playing gigs in local music scene? Why don’t I play live much as I used to in the past? Well, I’ll tell you why…

First of all, lets be 100% honest, we don’t have much of a music scene to begin with anyways. In fact, we don’t have a music scene at all. Each time I talk about this, musicians around here would get offended at this and become defensive about it. A lot of musicians refuse to accept this truth ’cause they can’t take it. Venues come and go over the years. There aren’t many venues to play at around the Capital District anymore so I can’t blame bands & musicians for moving out of the area or doing tours across the states ’cause there aren’t places to play around the Capital District area. Admit it, right?

Another thing this music scene are way too liberal with their politics. That’s another reason I refuse to be a part of it, pretty much. The national music scene may have a liberal problem, the local music scene is no different. In fact, the local scene is worse with their liberal politics. There are too many Social Justice Warriors in the music scene for sure. Seeing that I’m a Trump supporter and “conservative”, I’m not sure if they’ll welcome me back anyways. haha…

There are also too many musicians around here who are pretty arrogant, a bit of a narcissist and really ego-driven. That hasn’t changed at all, I see.

Secondly, I took a lot of time off from playing live ’cause I’m just enjoying life and playing guitar. I’m not really into this to be a rock star, ya know? I’m a musician ’cause it’s what I do. Just want to play my guitar and write songs. I just sometimes play live shows just for the fun alone ’cause I enjoy playing live in front of an audience. Took a lot of time off from playing live to focus on other things like bodybuilding, fitness and now I just started yoga & boxing.

I don’t live in rock star fantasy world like many musicians are being into these days. I just try my best to stay humble and real. I don’t play live music shows for money or to show off my ego, I like playing live ’cause it’s a good feeling to share your songs for an audience and I’m willing to play for free.

If I were to play live again sometime in the future, I’ll probably hit some local open mics and maybe an occasional paying gig if it’s something right and something I can fit in. Before I start playing live again, though, I would need a new batch of original songs and some cover tunes. Then I might start playing out again, I’m not sure.

On top of that, I prefer to make music for the internet more. I like doing music for the internet. The internet is like a live audience anyways so sometime I plan on putting on a live performance at home through “live streaming”. Just got to write new songs and learn new covers for that. I’ll probably do something like that through “Facebook Live” or “Periscope” maybe. Not sure yet.

I do love performing live in a venue, though and will do it again when I feel the time is right.

Kev

While my rhythm guitar playing is pretty good, I still want to take it to the next level…

I have been studying a lot about rhythm guitar and timing. Playing along with a metronome is probably the most important thing to do as a musician. If you want to be a real musician, you got to understand timing and I’m trying to understand it as much as possible.

With the metronome, I can play whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, 8th notes and 16th notes just fine… however, though… I want to challenge myself even more. Learn more syncopated rhythms. You know, play off beat rhythms. I want to write original rock songs with a lot more syncopation rhythms. I also want to experiment with more ties and more rests too. I would also like to play more complex guitar chords more than just barre chords and basic open chords.

I’ve been inspired to learn more in guitar playing ’cause in the past, I was stuck in a rut. Kept playing the same things over and over so I wanted to improve myself hoping to play a little more professional. Move up to the advanced level of guitar playing and I’ve been working on that.

Studying timing is pretty important if you want to record your own music and even play in a band. Many guitar players ignore this stuff and they hate playing along with a metronome but once you get into it, you’ll love it. When I first started playing guitar, I’ll admit that I never wanted anything to do with the metronome but I finally learned to love it.

Once you understand timing and rhythm, you’ll be able to play any type of music… doesn’t matter what genre. I practice timing and rhythm even without a guitar. Tapping your foot and clapping along with a metronome is fun as well. I love learning rhythm patterns and I like to create patterns of my own as well.

Someday in the future, I would love to jam with a drummer. A real human drummer just so I can test out my skills, ya know? When I look for a drummer, I’m not just going to jam with a random drummer. This drummer have to know what he or she is doing. This drummer must play along with a metronome quite well. If I find a drummer who doesn’t play in time, then forget it. Onto the next one. If I form a band someday, I’m gonna take talent very serious. I would want all band members to be really good ’cause I want to play fuckin’ tight music, ya know? I would want my band to rock really hard.

Yep,  if you want to be taken seriously as a musician, you have to understand timing and have good rhythm. It certainly helped me as a player greatly.

Kev

Thinking of buying a drum machine and a small MIDI controller for bass lines…

Ya know, I’ve always wanted to be a one-man band when it comes to original songwriting. I’m working my way up to it. That’s what I got the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio interface for ’cause this thing has MIDI connections on it. With this audio interface with MIDI connections, I’ll be able to hook up any kind of MIDI controllers with it and drum machines too.

I’ve always wanted to be a one-man band. Play all instruments myself. I’m not so great at piano/keyboards but I’m trying to learn and practice that too. I do have a piece of shit Casio keyboard that I use to practice with. I won’t use that keyboard for recording but learning & practicing only. I’m not so good at playing keyboards but I would like to be. I would like to focus on learning that all summer. I stopped practicing keyboard again admittedly but I’ll get back to it. I should get back into it tonight.

Playing bass lines on a keyboard shouldn’t be that hard. As long as you know theory, the scales, have a decent ear and things like that, you should be fine.  I do know a lot about music theory now so I should be good.

As for drums, I’ve been studying timing, rhythm and drum notation a lot ’cause I’m gonna have to get good at this stuff if I’m going to do a lot of DAW recording. I want to make a full band rock album someday and would like to do it all myself. Instead of programming drum tracks into a DAW, I think it would be easier to get a drum machine and I will. I’m sure there are plenty of drum machines out there with realistic sounding drums. I’m gonna get a drum machine.

I love studying timing and rhythm. You’re a true musician if you have a good sense of timing and I’m improving in that too. It also helps me become a way better rhythm guitarist too! I used to hate playing music along with a metronome but now I fucking LOVE IT. Playing along with a metronome is not all that hard at all.

I’ve always wanted to make full band rock songs and trying all I can to get there. It just takes time and patience I guess.

Hell for bass lines of my songs, I might even forget about using MIDI and just buy a real bass guitar. I even thought about that too. I’m sure I can find a nice bass guitar for $200 or less.

Being a one-man band would be a lot of fun. My own vision and my own ideas.

Kev

From this point on I think I’m going to read books from the Kindle app on Ipad, I would like to buy a Kindle gadget at some point, though…

Yesterday, I bought a bunch of books from the Kindle app on my Ipad. I am finding that reading books on the Kindle is a lot better than reading them on Apple’s “Ibooks”. The “Ibooks” app is really crap, though. Kindle is way better. I don’t have a Kindle gadget yet but I do plan on buying one sometime. I’m sure I can buy a cheap Kindle gadget for at least $80 or a little more. You can still read Kindle amazon books on an Ipad.

I like Kindle more than Ibooks ’cause of the prices for the most part. Books in Ibooks can be pretty pricey but Kindle books are definitely affordable and cheap.

I bought several more guitar instructional books on the Kindle app. Mostly books that would spice up my lead guitar playing, theory knowledge and rhythm playing. I also bought books about other stuff. There were guitar instructional books that Kindle had that the Ibooks didn’t have. That’s what made me want to go to Kindle.

Kindle is pretty nice actually and I can see why it’s gotten so popular. Kindle app is much easier to read and easier to use than the Ibooks, in my opinion. Apple’s Ibooks is pretty much garbage.

Reading books is another one of my favorite things to do. There are times where I want my peace and quiet. There are times where I don’t feel like playing music or watching TV, just read books. Reading is good for ya. I’ve always been into reading books ever since I was a kid.

Kev