Criticize my demos?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Tommygunn, Jan 21, 2013.


  1. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    I recently co-founded a indie surf/garage rock band. Now we have 4 demos (no drum track and no vocals). 3 were recorded with a field recorder and "track 1" was recorded with actual recording software.

    https://soundcloud.com/iliveinafishtank

    Now I also realize that my bass was out of tune for "you can call me Dave" and I started 'noodling' about 3/4th in, which was supposed to signify that we needed to start over but we decided to go with that cut so...

    Even if they are just rough demos, I'd love some tough criticism. All instruments, construction, effects, etc. They're also best when head with headphones.

    Edit: I played bass on all tracks except "A is for @$$hole" on which I played lead. I also wrote every part for that song :D

    Thanks guys, it means a lot.
     
  2. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    The very first step might be investing in a tuner you guys can use.

    Playing in tune is always a big plus.
     
  3. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
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    We have one :p I just figured didn't take the time to tune before we recorded that song.
     
  4. JimiLL

    JimiLL Supporting Member

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    Jan 26, 2009
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    Hunt. Co., New Jersey
    Tune, rerecord, come back
     
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  6. JimiLL

    JimiLL Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    youre not the only one playing out of tune.

    I think you guys should just hit the wood shed for a while. It would help if some or all of you could get out and play with people of a higher ability than yourselves, it will only help.

    The slap outro in the first tune was pretty awful, im sorry. Try to walk before you run.
     
  7. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn

    Joined:
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    I wasn't event slapping. I was banging on my bass to signal that we should restart the song.

    Maybe the first song is a bad example...?
     
  8. Biggbass

    Biggbass Supporting Member

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    If you don't take the time to tune before you play, especially before you start recording then you are just wasting everyones time, including and especially your own.

    Start over. And next time be sure to tune first.
     
  9. dbd1963

    dbd1963

    Joined:
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    Northern Virginia
    He's not wasting his time. Crickets on a biscuit, people - you can hear the idea and come close in your own head for what they were trying to do. These are not the completed tracks, but ideas.

    That said, as you can see, if you are looking for constructive criticism, your best bet is to make the demo the best you can, which includes tuning everyone to the same pitch from the beginning.

    #1 - best thing about it is the echoing lead guitar. But I don't see where it's going. Needs a lot more work before it's even a song idea.
    #2 - I like what I'm hearing. The interplay between the guitars works for me. Are you going to be adding vocals to the mix in your band? I recommend it, because the structure and parts seem to be asking for vocals. Otherwise, there's not much going on to carry the theme.
    #3 - Interesting changes, but kind of difficult to tell where we are in the song at times without a rhythmic reference. I guess bass should be louder for that.
    #4 - Probably the most interesting so far -- the thing here is that you guys don't know enough yet that you realize you are doing the "wrong" thing. But sometimes the wrong thing sounds good! With more knowledge, it gets harder to come up with these interesting mismatched chords, so definitely keep these recordings and refer back to them as you go forward.

    That's all I have time to listen to at the moment. The advice that you guys need to woodshed is proper -- of course you do; we all do. But try to hang on to the kind of willingness to experiment that you showed here while you sharpen your chops up..

    Also, if at all possible, play with a good drummer.
     
  10. golltoppr

    golltoppr

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    T is for tuner. P is for practice..

    In all seriousness I don't understand how you could be fine being that out of tune.
     
  11. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn

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    Location:
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    I appreciate the comments man. We do have vocals we're working on and we also have a drummer but the recording session was thrown together in an instant with just a $90 field recorder.

    More refined "songs" are to come, I just thought it was a good idea to get some criticism on what to change so we can do it all at once.
     
  12. geddeeee

    geddeeee

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Sorry to be brutal, BUT.... It's not good. Try and learn to play first. Then try actually writing some tunes, not just ideas. Not really 'demos'.

    Keep learning... it WILL come eventually.
     
  13. mellowinman

    mellowinman Guaranteed to break the Ice at Naughty Parties Supporting Member

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    I was told by a top professional, "If your demo requires that the listener use their imagination, do not play it to anyone. Record a better demo."

    I refuse to imagine in-tune instruments.
     
  14. Rumbledom

    Rumbledom Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013

    Agree completely. What's the point of putting something out there if it's coupled by excuses?

    I actually think there are a few moments that are interesting. I like surf music and think it can feature the bass -- such as this. (Ignore the promotional stuff).

    But sloppy out of tune playing not only shows unprofessionalism, it's an insult to the listener. Make a few improvements and the overall effect goes from distain to favorable. It isn't that hard. If you can't make that effort you shouldn't be making music. (Unless it's just for a personal hobby -- in which case keep it to yourself).
     
  15. VeganThump

    VeganThump

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    Honestly I was only able to get through about 20 seconds for the first song, out of tune instruments are like nails on a chalkboard to me.
     
  16. dbd1963

    dbd1963

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    Yeah, that's demo as in what you would send an agent or a music rep. These are kids asking for advice about songwriting. If you don't see a difference there, I think that's on you.
     
  17. dbd1963

    dbd1963

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    See above; also, I think you might take yourself a wee bit too seriously.

    And it's "disdain" -- spelling wrong is an insult to the reader. :meh:

    Oh hey, except I could imagine what you really meant and extend you the benefit of the doubt..
     
  18. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

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    They don't really sound like songs -- more like the guitar player just kind of noodling. Maybe combine some of that stuff together?
     
  19. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn

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    I see what you're saying. I guess it wasn't correct on my part to call them demos. It'd be more like blueprints or rough drafts of ideas.

    The simplicity is also supposed to be there. The music we draw from is very simple and has maybe 5-6 chords the whole song. Those bands being: jay reatard, wavves, and ty segall, just for anybody who is familiar with that stuff.
     
  20. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
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    I appreciate the criticism but I think the first reply nailed it with the tuner idea. I get it and I actually addressed it in the first post. There were 4 demos and y'all seem to just be listening to the very first one.

    If I can't get any other help other than another redundant post about being in tune, I'd like the thread to be closed.
     
  21. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

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    Location:
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    Sorry, but the tuning issue applies to more than just the first tune. The fact that you can't hear the problem, which is very pronounced, is all the more reason to get a tuner and have EVERYONE use it. The guitars are way out of tune also.
     

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