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#909480 - 07/20/11 03:10 PM What are you learning lately?  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline

JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
I've been doing a lot of vocal work lately. Singing a lot of old country music has gotten me to study the styles of the great artists from years ago and I've been analyzing their techniques and adopting those that fit my particular (I should say "peculiar") voice. A few months of work and it has been paying off. I'm starting to develop an "old country" voice of my own. It's been a lot of fun to do and the audience at our regular dance has noticed it. There's nothing like learning and growing, even for an auld phart like myself.

So, what are you learning lately?

All the Best,

You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.

Mike Dunbar Music

#909490 - 07/20/11 03:30 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,814
Herbie Gaines Offline
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Herbie Gaines  Offline
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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,814
Chicago,IL, USA
Hi Mike
I too have been trying something to grow as an artist...For the last two years I've been on a mission to learn how to play and sing all of my favorite "best written, best crafted" songs...Young at Heart, Blue Velvet, Born to Run ... I've been not only learning them, but "Herbie-izing" them to my own style...I feel that when I get back to writing my own songs again one day, I'll be infinitely better at it ! My mind is giving me hints that it's ready too...I've been noticing ideas are starting to come to me ! We'll see ... I still have not come up with music for a lyric I wrote in 03 that I really want to see come to life in song ... Dang, these things just take time...sometimes ...

Love you brother,

JPF Chicago Chapter Coordinator

#909491 - 07/20/11 03:35 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Herbie Gaines]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,725
John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,725
I'm trying to remember all I forgot. grin

John smile

#909504 - 07/20/11 04:44 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 11,981
Scott Campbell Offline
Scott Campbell  Offline

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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 11,981
Lakeland, FL, USA
Invariably, when I learn something new, my first thought is, "Why didn't I do this years ago"? smile

The last time I danced to an uptempo song was probably back in 1980. I was convinced I had two left feet and no rhythm. Whenever we attended a wedding, my wife and I would "dance" the slow dances and then I'd pull her off the floor when an uptempo number started.

This summer, I let her convince me to take swing dance lessons. We've only had a few so far but it's great fun. I actually worked up the courage to dance in public a couple of weeks ago. And no one died! smile

Now I have all those lost years to make up for. grin


#909505 - 07/20/11 04:49 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Scott Campbell]  
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 576
Meg Engell Offline
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Meg Engell  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 576
The Place to Be
More acoustic songs on guitar.
Also, nothing.

Now writing as Orion Redgrave.

Check me out on tumblr @orionredgrave
#909510 - 07/20/11 05:14 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,835
Mackie H. Offline
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Mackie H.  Offline
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Posts: 8,835

I have a ping pong ball memory--a pipe that holds a limited number of balls--I bring new information in, one of the older stored balls (ideas) is discarded--I have to be selective, and think about what I'm throwing away--I'm still hanging with some of my old and valued ideas! Gradually getting into the digital world--I still listen to RECORDS--VINYL STILL SOUNDS GOOD TO ME--LOTS OF NEW ARTISTS: I HAVE TROUBLE TELLING ONE FROM THE OTHER SOMETIMES.



Last edited by Mackie H.; 07/20/11 07:23 PM.
#909530 - 07/20/11 07:07 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Mackie H.]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
I have mind like a steel trapdoor. But I love to keep learning. I've just been reading up on phase issues and comb filtering. Fascinating, right?

I also like to keep exploring artists outside my usual tastes...just realized what a cool concept album Frank Sinatra recorded in 1969, called Watertown. It flopped at the time, but it's really good...yet depressing.

Also, for the past few years, I've been learning about gardening and composting and such...I mean, why have a yard and not grow food? Do I really have to invest money, time and energy in a lawn, just so that it looks like all the other lawns? Forget it. With the same amount of work, that lawn could instead be feeding me strawberries and raspberries and lettuce and garlic and herbs and....

#909555 - 07/20/11 09:22 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,893
Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline

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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,893
Saint Petersburg. FL

I am learning more about recording and mastering as I close in on finishing a new CD. I have learned that we are the worst judges of our own work and that an advisory team is important.

I am learning about songwriting collaborations in person rather than on the internet. A lot different.

I am learning more about women.

I have learned about a cool website called Fiverr.com and have spent some money there with good results.

I have learned to run sound at a small concert venue and that I can get paid to do it.


I try to critique as if you mean business.....



#911995 - 07/30/11 06:29 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Colin Ward]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,004
Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,004
Brunswick, Ga. USA
It is amazing of how good those old country songs still are. Several years ago I was in Nashville. My wife and I, I should say. While visiting the Old Country Music Hall of Fame I discovered a Boxed Set of all the old Marty Robbins songs I didn't think I would ever see or hear again. There they were! And to my surprise they were on CD! So, I bought the set. Still to this day my wife occasionally takes the CD's in to her sewing room and plays them.

A couple of years ago I gave a Marty Robbins CD to her sister for Christmas. She asked me if I had any more by him. Last year I gave her a Carl Smith CD and this year a 48 Set of Webb Pierce.

And to top it all off they are from Conn. Now our friend MAB says that is all in the past. Wanna Bet?

Ray E. Strode
#912001 - 07/30/11 06:56 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline

JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Herbie, learning songs you love makes them part of you. Always good. smile

Scott, my mama was a dancer, that kept me from dancing for the most part, LOL. But it's always good to learn something new, especially if you think it's hard or impossible.

Meg, one should learn nothing whenever possible. Nothing, after all is an important part of everything.

Mark, I love Sinatra, took a wedding gig last year just to give me the chance to learn a bunch of Sinatra, Dean Martin etc. I've just gotten back into gardening this year, a few minutes ago my wife and I shared a just picked canteloupe. Canteloupe now, my pop's got the car. smile

Colin, I learned to run sound out of necessity some (number redacted) years ago. I used to engineer at a punk rock club called Cantrell's where I ran sound for the Meat Puppets and the Circle Jerks. Women, I've never even tried to learn about them, that would be like learning advanced calculus from a teacher who speaks a foreign language while you are blindfolded and have to go to the bathroom.

Ray, I get a lot of requests for "Take My Ring Off Your Finger" every week.

Oh...John...sorry, I forgot you.

All the Best,

You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.

Mike Dunbar Music

#912016 - 07/30/11 07:24 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,782
Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,782
Whom of the great masters have you been diggin into, Mike?

I've spent the summer upping my game on the production side of things, as well as trying to write more pop'ish music.

Particularly I've been reading Sound on Sounds' Mike Senior, who is doing the mix rescue series in SOS. His book "Mixing Secrets" is plain awesome! http://www.amazon.com/Mixing-Secrets-small-studio-Senior/dp/0240815807

My experience trying to write pop is that it's hard to make the right arrangement desicions, coming from the rock side of things, and that it takes a lot of discipline to control my musician ego, toning down guitars and focusing more on repetitive hook lines.

That's very useful for me!

Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buzztracks
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/buzztracks
#912018 - 07/30/11 07:28 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Kolstad]  
Joined: Jul 2011
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R&M Offline
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R&M  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 463
That it is often best to rely on instinct.

#912142 - 07/31/11 11:39 AM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: R&M]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline

JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Originally Posted by R&M
That it is often best to rely on instinct.

I agree, R&M, and, given that, it is important to cultivate good instincts.

You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.

Mike Dunbar Music

#912144 - 07/31/11 11:55 AM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,004
Ray E. Strode Online content
Top 30 Poster
Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,004
Brunswick, Ga. USA
Yes Mike,
Carl Smith. A perennial favorite. Another is IF I COULD HOLD BACK THE DAWN. I have his Boxed Set. One of the first Artists I heard on the radio.

Ray E. Strode
#912157 - 07/31/11 02:09 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 8,064
Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 8,064
New Jersey, USA
Learning for me is like experiencing fascination, over and over.

Since it is my nature to be an observer, (People, Music, Science, Cosmos, Sports, Medical, History of Everything, etc), I am always excited about anything coming my way, or when I search out things. I still approach learning as when a kid stepping in the deep snow for the first time. Or when smelling the leather of the baseball for the first time, etc.

So, to be asked what I am learning now? Anything that I think about and search out, or anything that comes me way through others or happenstance.

The one thing I haven't learned yet is, is how not to jump into things with both feet with eyes closed. But I learn about each one of those jumps anyway, so it's learning still! Just most times it's the hard way.

Specifics of learning now? Sub's medical condition and how doctors either care or don't care.

Energy, and how my so called invention was doomed from the start, without knowing the basics of energy. (thought I did!).

Tinnitus, and how the ear and brain actually work.

The Brain, as in how their own chemicals and proteins work or don't work.

Job Hunting, as in why I haven't been an acceptable applicant yet. Still doesn't help though. Many just not hiring to begin with.

Birds: I have started my own human whistle, which now I have made friends with a Cardinal family, (helped one baby make it through when it dropped out of it's nest out in my backyard). The parents looked on as I whistled calmly and talked in a soft voice. They accepted the baby cardinal back, and stayed closer to it through even today, as it flies around here. I can go up near them, and they just sing back at me, staying where they are. Cool! Robins too. I found that words and whistle works for them.

Much more.

We're nothing but stuck in cement if not learning, in any field of interest, or in things we do in everyday life.

Iggy's wife has to learn how to deal with her tragic condition. With Iggy's help, as he is also learning to do all the time, she is learning. Not easy, but she's still moving forward. That's learning!

Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
Songnado I and II:

#912254 - 07/31/11 11:42 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,710
Dan Sullivan Offline
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Dan Sullivan  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,710
Mike, Thanks for starting this thread. As I read all the interesting and challenging things others were learning, I felt kind of guilty. Especially when I asked myself what new thing I've learned lately and the answer came back "nothing." As I thought about that, I wondered if there was something I might find interesting enough to learn more about. At first, I couldn't think of anything. Then a lightbulb went on in my head. How about learning how to love again? Naturally, not wanting to go through all the hard work of learning how to love again I thought I'd write a song about it instead.

I thought there must be dozens or hundreds of songs with that title, but a check of ASCAP title database only showed one. So I was off to the races. I'll post the lyrics and a rough garage band work tape of it shortly.

But if people don't like it, I'll have to blame you, since your thread gave me the idea for it.

Last edited by Dan Sullivan; 07/31/11 11:43 PM.

Write from your heart, not what you think others want to hear.


#912310 - 08/01/11 04:11 AM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Dan Sullivan]  
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 108
Andrew Jackman Offline
Serious Contributor
Andrew Jackman  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 108
I've been trying to improve my singing voice in general. I'm not a natural born singer, and it's been be a tough journey for me. I get really discouraged very easily. But I know I've made progress, and I'm determined to keep it up.

~There's a road that I must travel, may it be paved or unseen; Though I am hindered by a thousand stones, still onward I crawl down on my knees~

http://www.facebook.com/enemiesleaveroses <---Check out my facebook \:\)
#912381 - 08/01/11 02:25 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Andrew Jackman]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,004
Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,004
Brunswick, Ga. USA
Well, Respectivly,
I am always trying to improve my education. I finally read some books we bought several years ago. THE ROSENBERG FILES, BETRAYAL AT PEARL HARBOR, THE ENIGMA FILE. And after only 48 years I finally read the Book I have had all that time about Richard Nixon and the 1960 Presidental Run. Some other books bought much later are THREE CHORDS AND THE TRUTH and ROUGH MIX, about the Music Scene. Another book you might want to look up is WINE AND WAR. About the German's helping themselves to the French Wine during the Second World War. Another book that may or may not be avaliable is FOR THE LOVE OF A ROSE. About the famous Peace Rose that covers two wars and the families involved. Who said life was boring!

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 08/01/11 02:27 PM.

Ray E. Strode
#913101 - 08/03/11 07:58 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 6,402
Joe Wrabek Offline
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Joe Wrabek  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 6,402
Garibaldi, OR USA
I think I'm learning how to play different stuff. One of the bands I'm in has a fiddle player who knows tons and tons of ethnic (mostly Irish) fiddle tunes, so we (and I) have been learning them. It's actually starting to make sense. I also discovered, in the course of preparing a Rap for these songs, that most of them actually have lyrics--often, very strange lyrics. And nobody sings them any more.

And hanging out with an ethnic Irish fiddle player definitely poisons your brain a little. I have written an Irish fiddle tune (mine has lyrics, of course), "Earwigs in the Eggplant," and the band will perform it next week at a concert.

So I guess I am learning a little.


#913260 - 08/04/11 02:12 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: Joe Wrabek]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,391
niteshift Online content
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niteshift  Online Content
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,391
Sydney, Australia
What am I learning ? That life is a learing experience.... smile


How to reset all my computer gear up again after a crash.
That my top end hearing is diminishing, and I need my high end EQ checked by younger ears.
That life has a way of kicking you in the guts, but somehow you stagger to your feet again.
After working with great vocalists all these years, I finally got the guts to do some vocal trianing. Although the dogs in the neighbourhood don't aprreciate it. ( neither does the cat )
Microwaving shredded cheese over corn chips, then adding salsa and sour cream, is really tasty and an easy snack.
That death is very final, so make the most out of life in the kindest possible way.
Don't drink beer while reading funny anectdotes on JPF. The spray is hard to remove from the monitor.
Everything is not possible, but most things are.

cheers, niteshift

#913304 - 08/04/11 06:03 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: niteshift]  
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 13
JohnHornsby Offline
Casual Observer
JohnHornsby  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 13
Baltimore, MD
Been playing in an improv group for three plus years. Still learning how to improvise in a group setting, finding the places to nudge things into the unexpected while maintaining clarity, resolution and intention.

Been trying to figure out how to be a better parent. Reading lots of good books and putting good habits and skills into practice.

DTM = Ambient Jazz Fusion [url]http://www.deeptreemantra.com [/url]
#929689 - 10/24/11 07:33 PM Re: What are you learning lately? [Re: JohnHornsby]  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,577
Rick Heenan Offline
Rick Heenan  Offline

Top 200 Poster

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,577
Lockport NY, usa
I was jammin around a campfire this summer with some other folks and i started playing an old Three Dog Night tune. I'm sure it had several chords in it, but I only used 2. E and A. I had only an inkling as to the words too. So like any real musician I made them up as i went along.

After ward a chick asked me what the words were because she thought she knew them. I had to admit that I didn't know them, and made them up. She was impressed. Consequently, I added it to my list.

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