Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Worst Day Since Yesterday

No. I'm not talking about Wisconsin's May 15th weather. I am talking about the song by Flogging Molly [official website].

After picking up their album Swagger, I was walking to the grocery store listening to this song and I immediately figured the song out in my head -- chords and all! It was the first time after playing guitar for decades that I instinctively knew the chords the to  a song! I was eager to get my groceries and run back home to see if my progressions were correct. Got home, loaded the song on the hi-fi, grabbed the 6-string and immediately played along. What a gratifying experience! I was right on -- save for a few chords in the song's bridge that I needed to figure out.

The only thing left was to memorize the lyrics, which I did while driving to work a morning or 2 later. [One thing I've discovered about playing and singing a song, if you can sing from memory, you will be a better singer. Looking at a lyrics sheet while performing gives a brain one more task and forces one to use poor singing posture.] I often use the morning drive to commit lyrics to memory. I'll recite the lyrics from the beginning and I go until I get stuck. Then, I'll play the song on my truck's stereo from beginning to end and try to recite the lyrics again. Usually, by the time I get to work (about a 23-minute drive), I'll have the lyrics committed to memory.

I've played this song out a Tuesday night session at Brocach Irish Pub in Milwaukee, but a rainy Saturday allowed me the time to record it with my trusty Zoom H4 Digital 4-Track Recorder. The end result is this:
I am pretty happy with the end result; however, my singing certainly isn't where I want it to be, but as long as I keep doing it, I keep improving. Also, learning a new song also forces me to learn the same chords on my el-cheapo mandolin -- which I used as an accompaniment here. I think it adds a lot of texture to an otherwise guitar-only song.

Stay tuned for more and thanks for listening!

Oh, and if you wish to hear how some people think it's supposed to sound, here ya go...

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