Posts Tagged ‘tambourine’

01 The Race

by on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Johnny Massey - 01 The Race

A little pop song about a truck driver leaving on his next haul.

guitars, bass, drums, tambourine and vocals

Heading out early today before the sun comes up
Left his in love in bed always saves the last cup
Oh oh oh

It’s only natural to race when the lights are up
Time won’t dirty his pace all he needs is luck
Always hungry to taste of the parting cup
You never lose a race so why you giving up
Oh oh oh

08 confetti

by on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Eric Balint - 08 confetti

tomconfettii don’t know…it’s about leaving home…it’s about the road…it’s about missing those who have left
…it sounds like mexico
…i enjoy small percussive things
…that’s about it  i guess

guitar: zanny’s generic classical
bass: beat ass harmony
various shakers, tambourines, scratchers, and castanets with monkeys on them

all the way through the southeast yesterday
now we’re in ohio
hope to make the great lakes
before we eat and settle for the night
then the big turn west will happen
and we will try to catch the sun
out the window went our maps ’cause
there’s no such thing as
getting lost on this run
i will miss the way you used to make
nothing will ever be the same
now that we’ve left
i know that that’s the truth
but there’s nothing i can do
the highway’s a callin
but i will write to you
before we scatter over the world
like confetti
let’s take a moment to make
sure we’re ready
to let the distance between us
get so far
if i were to venture a guess
i don’t think we are

(note: my fade out faded out better before i got here. now it kind of cuts off. oh well.)

Song 30: “Can I Relax Now?”

by on Monday, August 31st, 2009

Here is Song #30 – Stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 30 Can I Relax Now?

30 PedalsTo quote the immortal words of one Clark W. Griswold, “Hallelujah, and holy shit.” Here I am at the very end of my 30-day project, and I must admit that I am terribly relieved. It has been a boatload of fun and a huge challenge, but I definitely feel that I have grown as a songwriter and I have allowed myself to step outside of my usual comfort zone with many of the tunes. That said, I’ll also very much enjoy having my spare time back to relax and do real human things. I’ll post this song today, and then probably relax for a day, and then come back and do a “wrap-up” post. It will include my thoughts on the whole project, some links, and of course: I’ll put all of the songs (along with some album artwork) into one big handy ZIP file for easy download. I’ll also discuss how the project will move forward without me!

So, the song. This tune was a tone of fun to record, and is definitely a sound that I’m not usually doing. You’ll just have to listen to it!

Instruments used:
Acoustic guitar (Seagull)
Electric guitar (Telecaster)
Electric bass (Fender Jazz)

I can’t believe its finally over
I thought this month would never end
I can’t believe I’m finally finished
This project nearly did me in

Song 18: “Ukuleles in A minor”

by on Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Here is Song #18 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 18 Ukuleles in A minor

18 Ukulele stringsOK, I’ll admit it – I love this tune. I know that in yesterday’s post I promised that today’s song would be longer….and it is…if only by a small amount! This one clocks in at only slightly more than 2 minutes, but as is sometimes the case…I didn’t want to unnecessarily clutter up the song just in the interest of making it last longer.

The inspiration for this song came when I was shuffling some gear around in my gear room. I had a pile with all three of my ukuleles and my mandolin, and decided I should do an all-uke song. I sat down with the baritone ukulele first, and played a traditional mediterranean chord progression (in Am); I put 2 minutes-worth of that onto the recorder, and set about creating some melody on top.

Originally I imagined the tune to be instrumental – just to showcase my different ukulele tones. However, as I was composing the uke parts a vocal melody kept springing to mind. Once I had four ukulele parts recorded (two baritone, one tenor, one standard) and a couple of simple percussion parts, I just sang the melody (with gibberish lyrics) into the microphone. For some reason, I think it generally sound stupid to sing grand eastern melodies in English – I’d rather just make up my own language for a song than sing about trees and shit in English. I finished the track with some backing vocals, and that was it!

Instruments used:
Ukuleles (baritone, tenor, standard/concert)
Snare drum


Song 17: “untitled 2”

by on Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Here is Song #17 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 17 untitled 2

17 Toy PianoI am certainly not going to ramble on about this one – it really is the simplest of these tracks so far. I sat down with the toy piano and came up with a very simple part that I couldn’t envision becoming a full song. So, rather than force some other parts into it I just decided to treat it as an “interlude.”

So, its only a bit over a minute long and only contains toy piano, a snare drum, and a tambourine.

Maybe I’m getting lazy? Nah…the next song will be longer! 😀

Instruments used:
Toy Piano (old wooden thing)
Snare drum


Song 15: “She Talks in Her Sleep”

by on Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Here is Song #15 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 15 She Talks in Her Sleep

15 DrumsThis song originated with two chords – E and A minor – played with a very simple progression…kinda boring now that I think about it. I shoehorned a drawn-out D minor chord in there too, and recorded it. Once the acoustic guitar part was done, I played along on a couple of drum pieces, followed by some ukulele plucking. I rounded it out with some tambourine, and called it done.

I will freely admit that while I had some lyrics in mind (based around some of the crazy things my special lady says in her sleep), I had absolutely no vocal melody at all. So, once the lyrics were sketched out, I just pushed the record button and freestyled the melody. The results are…mixed, but not terrible.

Instruments used:
Acoustic guitar (1940s Stella)
Baritone ukulele
Drums (Tom and snare)

I hope what you say in your sleep
Is not really what you mean
You’ve said some crazy things
That might make me afraid of you
When you wake you’re smiling
Do you even know what you’ve said
I smile right back nervously
Should I fear what you said is for real
In time I get used to it
I won’t even listen anymore
Is that when you will strike
And I will then know the truth

Song 10: “In the East”

by on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Here is Song #10 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 10 In the East

10 AccordionI’ll be the first to admit that my main motivation in writing this song was to use my accordion. It was one of the instruments I have lying around that I had managed to not yet use in this project, and I missed it!

I picked up the accordion and noodled around until I had 2 very basic parts that worked well together. I hit the record button and played a simple repetition of the two parts, with no clear idea of vocal melody or anything else really. The accordion part was very slow and a bit of a dirge – I then sat down with my ukulele and came up with a much more upbeat shuffle to go over it. The result was a much more lively tune. I also added a little ukulele solo melody over some parts, and then some percussion with a tambourine and some metal sticks – the tune ended up being much more Latin American than I had expected.

Last was the vocal track. Due to the kinda western feel of the music, I opted to write about how I’ve always loved the west coast and really hope to get back over there soon – for a visit at very least. When I sing “San Francisco” in the chorus, I’m really referring to any western city and not just that one in particular. Although it is my favorite, I chose it for this song simply because it has the right number of syllables. 🙂

Instruments used:
Baritone ukulele
Metal sticks

On my way to the coast
I was distracted by mountains
And I found myself
By and by I could not
Get by, to my destination
And I lost myself
San Francisco, you will just have to wait
I will see you again someday, but I
Have unfinished business in the east
For now I have to stay, you see
When I get to the coast
I will jump into the ocean
And I will lose myself
For the love of god
I have to get back soon
And I will stay this time

Song 07: “A Younger Man”

by on Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Here is Song #7 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 07 A Younger Man

07 TambourineThis song was originally intended to be kinda spacey – I felt like maybe I could write a shoegaze-type song like I used to back in the early ’00s…. Once you have a listen, you’ll hear that it really didn’t turn out that way!

The first thing I recorded for this song was the drums – I just beat on a floor tom and snare that I borrowed from the crippled AFTTD drummer. I had no idea what sort of melody to do – I just played 3+ minutes of drums and hoped something would come to me. Something eventually did come, but this song was (so far) the hardest one to get right.

I ended up doing a kinda typical guitar-bass-drums-vocals thing for this tune; kinda boring, but it works for the song. A couple of random percussion tracks and some harmony vocals round out the song. The final result is certainly a desert-driving type of song…and my lyrics reflect that. They tell the story of an old man who gets a bit confused and drives out into the desert to meet his girlfriend, only to sober up and realize that he’s just drunkenly reliving something that happened to him years earlier.

Instruments used:
Electric guitar (Gretsch)
Drums (Yamaha tom and snare)
Tambourine (a tiny wooden thing I bought from a toy bin at a flea market)
Shakers (egg-shaped thingys)
Electric bass (Fender Jazz bass)

Drive all night
Under the dark and heady sky
Drive yourself
Crazy as the road comes to an end
Ready as you find the diner you seek
Fit to find the moon tends to hide her face
Forget all you left behind in the city
Stop the car and dust kicks up from your heels
You can’t help but think this looks like a film
You might have seen when you were a younger man
Her skin just like silk at your fingertips
The way she smiles with smoke seeping from her lips
The drinks you had have ruined your life
Now you are alone in an empty lot
That was a decade ago

Song 06: “Everyone Sees You”

by on Friday, August 7th, 2009

Here is Song #6 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 06 Everyone Sees You

06 PC KeyboardOK, this song began as just a little acoustic guitar and vocals jam, and I even recorded it first as just a live single-track song. But, I sat on it for an hour or so and it just didn’t seem right. So, I went back and rerecorded it properly – with a single mic on the guitar and then overdubbed the vocals.

I’m much happier with it this way!

Anyway, this vocal melody has been bouncing around in my head for a couple of weeks and I just hadn’t had time to put anything under it. So, I’m thankful to have finally been able to use it for something. Once I recorded the acoustic guitar part, I wrote out some lyrics and sang the vocals. The song is about someone who is full of shit and knows it; everyone else knows it too but nobody wants to be the jerk to point it out.

I think my next song will be about bunny rabbits and rainbows. Yeah.

Anyway, I rounded out the recording with some handclaps, a tambourine, and some mouth-noises to simulate a kickdrum. The final missing piece was something to fill up the instrumental middle section – I didn’t care to do a guitar or ukulele solo part. So, on a whim I grabbed my old PC’s keyboard, put a mic in front of it, and recorded myself typing the lyrics to the first half of the song. Silly, but kinda fun.

Instruments used:
Acoustic guitar (1940’s Stella)
Tambourine (a tiny wooden thing I bought from a toy bin at a flea market)
Mouth noises
Computer keyboard

Fall on your face
Everyone sees you but no one believes a word that you’ve ever said, my dear
Crash and burn
Your face will betray you and everything that you have done, its guaranteed
Nothing that you say can redeem you to me
Force a smile
Your efforts are wasted on the population of your little world
Forsake all others as you’re told
Your face is red, and mine is also red
Thank you
Cry all night
No one can see you but they can deceive you all day, without a word
Exploding with fury, its so absurd

Song 05: “untitled 1”

by on Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Here is Song #5 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 05 untitled 1

Lately I’ve really wanted to start a song with an F#7 chord, played on the ukulele, so this was my chance. However, I did cheat a little by striking a B minor chord 13 times before actually staring the tune with the F#7…I just thought it needed a little set-up.

Anyway, I came up with a simple little rhythm for the F#7 – Bm progression and just kinda repeated it for a bit. Maybe it is a cop-out, but I found it really easy to go from the Bm to a G, so I made that into the “chorus.” I didn’t realize it until after the song was done, but the reason this chorus came so easy is that I’d already written it – over a year ago for A Fight to the Death’s “A Call to Arms.” Granted, I play it differently here (and with a different vocal melody), but it is still almost exactly the same. But hell – I’ll just think of it as having sampled myself!

Once the ukulele part was recorded, the vocal melody started to come to mind. But, before I got crackin’ on that, I wanted to give the tune a bit of an old-world feel. I tired a handful of instruments for this (accordion, ukulele, and some stringed instrument that I don’t even know the name of), but finally settled on the Melodica. I just hit the record button and freestyled the melodica melody over the ukulele – it’s not the most solid melody, but it is on key and is decent enough…so I kept the first take.

I then added a little tambourine and cranked out some bullshit lyrics about a dude who volunteers to kill the boyfriend of some girl he likes – only to decide he doesn’t really like her that much. This is probably a good time to note that very few of my songs are actually autobiographical. Anyway…I added some light slap-back style echo on the vocals and called the song finished.

Instruments used:
Baritone ukulele (1950’s, no name)
Melodica (Hohner)
Tambourine (a tiny wooden thing I bought from a toy bin at a flea market)

What do I have to do to stand beside you
What do I have to say to make things go my way
Who do I have to kill – you know I will do it just for fun
You know I’m joking…or you will never know
One more lap to go before you will let go
One more vow to break before that big mistake
In time you will believe it was what you had to just do
The fine you pay won’t be too much for you
Who will believe this girl
Who holds her heart out in her hand
Who will believe this hooker of a girl
I know that I won’t