Like pushing a car up a hill with a rope, that’s what it’s like for me to learn a new piece of music. I need to listen to the piece a zillion times. Until I wake up in the morning and it plays in my mind. Then I need to figure out what the pedal steel player who did the original actually did for each measure of that song. Then I need to memorize all that so I can again, play it in my sleep. Well, that is just what I’m doing now!
A new band is coming out and I am the utility man for it, playing pedal steel and doubling on violin. This band will do triple covers from three of the best country stars in modern times. And even though it might seem as I am complaining about all the work, the opposite is the real truth. I am so like a kid in a candy shop! I will try to keep much posted on this website.
If you’re a musician who is in the process of learning a bunch of new material, why not drop me a line and tell me your experience and secrets for success? Later.
Timothy Michaels is an accomplished musician and composer, proficient in guitar, pedal steel guitar, violin, bass guitar, flute, and drums. He has won awards for vocals and has been professionally writing and composing beautiful, melodic compositions for more than thirty years. His instrumental music embodies emotion and energy, integrating influences from jazz, folk, and rock. Audiences have delighted in his diverse performance style for more than twenty years and Timothy has provided music for the Fox radio network and has appeared on KONG TV. His latest release, Dancing Waters, is soon to be available on this site. Timothy is a seasoned, professional musician and is available for bookings and special engagements, as well as private music instruction.
A short time ago I was invited to perform for a race called “Swim Across America.” The song was to be The Star Spangled Banner and at first, I just played it on my pedal steel alone. I sent the orchestrator of the race a recorded mp3 copy and he urged me to “hop it up” as he implied that it was beautiful for a calm morning with the sun rising over Lake Washington, but as far as a race goes it was too laid back and mellow. When I play a song, it makes me happy to play it, but equally as happy to please the person listening to the song, so I added drums and bass to “hop it up.”
It turned out he was right. The swimmers at the race were extremely jazzed when I played it. They cheered like it was a big rock concert. After that, I went back to my studio and ran over the song again. I felt that even though I went to the point of adding a live recording of myself playing bass and drums for background tracks, I wanted the song to go even deeper. Continue reading →