Friday, May 22, 2009

Is This What I Really Want?

Last night as I headed out to band practice, I wondered if this band thing was a good idea in the first place.

As much as I hate to admit my husband is right, this isn't just a project that I could do half-heartedly, if I want to be remotely successful at it, that is. Being the lead singer of a band takes a huge chunk of my time during the week. This is what I do:

Practice songs
Learn new songs
Sing in the car to our recordings
Study lyrics

And we aren't even performing yet!

Granted, I spread this out during the day, but my biggest challenge right now is instead of focusing on my fiction, music is taking up more of my brain power and efforts right now. I can't do both very well. Something has got to give and that something is my writing.

Is this really what I want?

I won't deny that this gig has been an awesome ride for me, and I hope to find a balance soon. I love having music and writing in my life. I wouldn't want to give up the band, but if push came to shove...

I could, of course, just not sweat the singing. I could just show up at practice and hope that just listening to our playlist will help me sing well. But it doesn't work well that way.

For instance, at practice last night, the band played songs which I thought I had down, but I had to sneak a look at lyrics. That's because until yesterday, I hadn't really sung our more solid songs.

On the bright side of things, however, good things about last night:

1. L transposed Hit Me With Your Best Shot a step down and wow, I am just thrilled. As I performed the song, I felt so lucky. A song stepped down just for me! My voice turned out so much better, and I hit that last note mighty fine.

2. We did a punk version of Lean on Me. Seriously. It was crazy and "weird" (as R put it), but it sure was fun. I don't think the band is too keen on the ballad version. I improvised the whole way, which produced some fine moments and some silly moments, but I think this is worth pursuing.

3. I sang some ballads sitting down, and I felt like I was singing in a nightclub. I liked that.

4. Pork and Beans as usual turned out awesome.

5. Not sure if Message in a Bottle turned out better, but B suggested when I "freelance" or improvise, the instruments quiet down. He is really keen on the song. I hope it turns out good.

Listened to our recording from last week. Things I noticed:

1. I am no polished singer. I am better than when we started, however, and I need to remember that.

2. Songs that turned out best: It Makes No Difference, Stand By Me, Pork and Beans, Big Me, House of the Rising Sun, Message In a Bottle, I Love Rock n Roll, I Wanna Be Sedated.

3. Sometimes, I sound like a girl. I must be a girl!

4. I wish I could sing like Don Henley the way he does I Can't Tell You Why. But I don't. And I just have to live with that. I have the softness, but my voice just isn't that strong, so it comes across almost too soft. But it's a song I like to sing because it's heartfelt. And what I don't have as far as singing chops, I can make up for in showmanship. And isn't that what half of this is all about, showmanship?

'course I could always say that being in a rock band could inspire me someday to write a novel based loosely on this experience.

But I still have to write the darn thing.


Abby said...

Wow, you're in a band? Do you have to memorize lyrics? Because in my band I don't. =) Otherwise I'd be singing along to whatever music I have to learn nonstop.

Pink Ink said...

Abby: Cool, you're in a band, too? I probably could get away with lyrics in little cards in my hand, but I am aiming to have the songs memorized. We have gone from 8 songs to nearly 20, though, and it is a little overwhelming.

We have our first performance in August, and hopefully by then I have most of them down. But yes, it's a constant practice.

Melanie Avila said...

I really love this peek inside your rock star world. :)

Pink Ink said...

Melanie: You are so sweet to read my ramblings :-). Thanks for your comments.