Classical Guitar Charcoal - 1979 by Judy

Classical Guitar Charcoal – 1979 by Judy

I have been an artist all my life. At this time in my life, I love writing.

However, I have not yet embraced the idea that I am a writer. My writing is my therapy. For a very long time, I have been taking care of my children, and more recently my parents.

It might be nice to write for the rest of my life. I would love to continue this journey of writing about my insight.

However, music is pulling at my heart. Music has taken over my soul! With my recent, abundant energy, I plan to do whatever I enjoy right now. I’ve earned it.

Do I consider myself a musician? Like tennis, I love music, but I don’t believe I could ever approach a professional level. It takes significant time and practice to be a professional at anything! I have hardly sung or played my guitar for over thirty years.

I have no idea whether people will embrace my music. I love sharing it, even though my recordings are imperfect. Although it is painful for me to accept that, I’m at a point in my life where I’ve opened up completely. My journey has been about opening up!

Today, I went into the recording studio again. This time, I went to see George with a clear idea of what I wanted. I wanted to come away with some recordings!

I decided to sing with my guitar “free-style.” I’ve been practicing in my bathroom, and recording myself on a digital recorder. My voice lessons have helped, and I’ve really improved.

When I arrived, I told George my plan. He understood what I wanted, and set up a microphone. I asked him how much a microphone like this one cost. He said it wasn’t a super, expensive one; it was only $1,000. Well that was an improvement over my small, digital recorder!

He told me again that separate tracks for guitar and vocals would be far superior. I told him, we’d do that “down the road.” If we worked that way, I might only get one song recorded. I wanted to see if I could record a few songs.

I never realized how much of a physical act singing is! I have to be totally relaxed, and warming up is critical. When I sing a song three times or more in a row, it does not get any better after that. At the most, I can sing for one hour. After that, my air is spent, I screw up the chords, and I’m exhausted!

I came in fresh and I began.

As I sang, I closed my eyes. It took a lot of concentration. I put my heart into it. My lyrics soared, and I sailed along with them. There was no perfection, and I was okay with that.

I performed at least ten songs for George.

George played back the tracks. As I listened to my voice, I kept cringing. I could hear plenty of “pitchy” parts. My guitar buzzed in spots. George added some reverb, but that was it. He couldn’t take away those pitchy parts!

Could I accept that there wasn’t an A+ song? I asked George if I should share my less than perfect songs. George said, “I’d wait, but no one ever listens to me about that.”

I told him that my purpose in sharing these songs was that someday a real singer might like them enough to actually perform and record them for me.

George didn’t let that one fly by!

He looked at me and he said, “Jude – these are your songs. You don’t have to be a great singer. Your songs were made for you! Remember, last week when we talked about Carole King. She wasn’t a great singer, but it didn’t matter. Her voice and her vision made her songs great.”

It warmed my heart when he said that.

Originally, I thought I could only afford his minimum, three-hour block of time. I offered to pay him for another hour. George said, “You’ll come back and we’ll do more next time.”

Our time was almost gone. There were only a few minutes left. George said, “It’s not easy with your freestyle approach, but I’m going to try to add something. Let’s see how your song sounds when I add strings.”

I listened. I was amazed. I began to cry as I listened to him play with his keyboard and add the sound of “strings” to one of my songs.

It was time to leave and I took home my CD of songs. The one with the sound of “strings” added sounded A+ to me. It was my song, “Only Tears.”

Judy & her Epiphone guitar

© Judy Unger and 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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