December 14, 2013

I started this back in 2009, finished it up a few days ago.  The tempo is fast, and calls for short snappy rhyming lines.

My Favorite Disguise
© Rob Roper  December 8, 2013

Hey look at me
What do you see?
Just what you want
Just what you need
So charming
It's disarming
But you're in for a surprise
This is my favorite disguise

I know
it's deceiving
I guess
it's cheating
a false humility
to hide my insecurity
I'm not as advertised
This is my favorite disguise

    I need love like anybody else
    But I'll never get it if I be myself

Once you see
the real me
It won't be pretty
and you'll be leaving me
I'll be ashamed
but I won't blame you
I'll put on my costume
and find another you
Sorry for the lies
and my favorite disguise

July 13, 2013

New Song - You Dug Your Grave

I actually started this one in the late 90's.  I came up with the chorus lyrics, melody and chords, but struggled to come up with verses.  I came back to it on and off in subsequent years.  I dug it out again a couple weeks ago and got the verses done.  Of course, it's just a draft, I might change them. 

You Dug Your Grave
by Rob Roper  2nd Draft  July 5, 2013

Verse 1
Red and blue lights
on top of white cars
Neighbors are gathering
in their front yards
    You make excuses
    No charges will be pressed
    Tonight I'll sleep on your couch
    And tomorrow
    He'll be back in your bed

Verse 2
Every time it happens
you seem so surprised
but what did you expect
from these kind of guys?
You're like a drunk who can't quit
So I'm learning not to care
The next midnight call
I won't be there

    You made your bed
    Now lie in it
    You dug your grave
    Now die in it

Verse 3
In your twisted sexuality
I'm a friend you don't kiss
I'm wasting my time here
I get nothing out of this
You like the tough boys
So more blood will spill
You don't want to change
So I will
I will

    (Repeat Chorus)

June 22, 2013

My Vision for the Next Album

Musically it will be mostly rock, with a couple of acoustic and/or piano songs just for a change of pace.  Some of the works will be instrumental;  some will be songs with lyrics. 

Of course "rock" is an overall category, divided into numerous sub-genres and sub-sub-genres.  I like several of these sub-genres, so it will vary.  You might hear a little metal, a little psychedelic rock, a little Sonic Youth noise, a little Neil Young with Crazy Horse, a little 80's Police and U2, a little 90's Indie Rock, a little Americana.  It will be mixtures and hybrids of all the above.  Furthermore, I want to introduce instruments not normally heard in rock music,  the violin in particular.  Put it all in the pot, stir it up, and maybe I'll have a new sound. 

The main works will be connected by short transitional pieces.  These transitional pieces will vary from guitar noise, to pseudo-classical piano compositions, to acoustic or classical guitar pieces.  These transitional pieces will only be 30 to 60 seconds long.  They will serve to connect one major composition to the next and help the album flow.  It won't be a concept album, but neither will it just be a collection of unrelated singles.  It will be something in between.

I have a ton of musical ideas that I've come up with over the past several years.  Now I'm at work turning some of those into the first draft of a work, something with structure. 

I also have a ton of lyrical writing I've done over the years.  And I plan to do more this summer. 

But I plan to have a first draft of the music-- including melodies-- with demos recorded at home-- before I write lyrics for anything.  I want the music to be good enough to stand on its own without lyrics.  Then I can choose whether or not I write lyrics for each piece.

Once I have recorded demos, I will then have to make a decision on which of two paths to follow:

1.  Choose a producer and studio, bring in studio musicians, tweak the arrangements with the producer and the other musicians, and make a Rob Roper record.  Or...

2.  Find some good, creative musicians who like the demos, form a band, and develop the arrangements as a band, in practice and gigs.  Then record the album as a band.

I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.  The first step is to get the music together.  But there's one problem:  I'm not a good enough guitar player, piano player or music composer to compose all the ideas that are part of this vision.  So I'm taking lessons and practicing to get better, while recording what I'm able now.

I am very excited about this. 


April 21, 2013

In my last post, I talked about how I'm going "back to school" to improve my musicianship.  Here are some of my "textbooks".

What I'm Doing Now

From 2010 through 2012 I've been focused on recording, gigging and promoting my music.  My focus for the next year is improving my musicianship and composing new music.

I've got a ton of music and lyrical ideas that need to be developed into songs.  However, there are things I want to do on guitar, piano, and with my voice that I can't do right now.  There is music that I want to compose that I don't have the theoretical knowledge to do.  So I'm taking regular piano and music theory lessons, and mostly working on my own to improve guitar and voice.

In the process of recording my last two records, it became painfully obvious that there was a big gap between my level of musicianship, and the level of the professional musicians that were brought in to play on my records.  I may never get to that level, but I'd like to close the gap significantly.  The key to that is no mystery-- it's practice.  I've never been disciplined about practice, and that's why my musicianship is not at the level I'd like it to be.  I'm trying to learn discipline.  It's hard for me.  But I'm determined to achieve it.

Hence the decision to cut back on promotion and gigging.  Music doesn't pay the  bills so I have to work a day job.  There are only so many hours in the day.  Every hour I spend on the computer promoting my (previously-recorded) music is an hour I'm not practicing.  I have to set priorities.

I haven't been blogging in a long time.  That's because this blog was mostly for my songwriting, and I haven't been songwriting.  Well, I'm back.  I plan to document this new chapter of my musical life here.  Subscribe to the blog if you're interested. 

Next blog:  photos of some of the books I'm using for my study.

Another upcoming blog:  the type of music I am composing now.