The Recording Blog

I’ve been playing guitar for well over 40 years, now that is a scary thought. I first picked up a guitar at my Grandmothers house when I was about 12 years old. For a time I went there for lunch from school and after I’d been fed I would sit in her front room and try to play my uncle’s acoustic guitar. I found that if I laid it flat on my knee I could fret the strings with my thumb. I taught myself to play “March Of The Mods” and that was it, I was hooked. It had nothing to do with aspiring to be a pop star, I just enjoyed being able to ‘make music’ and that still stands true to this day.

As a teenager I started to make some headway into learning to play properly. To this end I had two guitar lessons from a blind Piano Tuner in Centenary Avenue, South Shields. The first lesson I was shown which fingers to use where, the second lesson I was shown four chords. That was the only lessons that I have ever had, the rest I figured out for myself. From then on I learned to play along to my record collection.  Around the same time I experimented with my dads old four track 1/4 inch reel-to-reel tape recorder. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and the results were awful but the idea of being able to perform multi-track recording fascinated me. A cassette recorder and the reel-to-reel gave me the ability to ‘bounce’ tracks but by the third ‘bounce’ the quality was rubbish but it was fun.

Then came the home computer boom. A BBC Model B gave me an insight to future possibilities. The BBC’s advanced envelope command meant that you could get some cool sounds out of it. To get a tune out of it meant programming a song using BASIC language but it meant at last, a bass player that didn’t drool!

Many years later and I at last have access to the kind of recording and music production facilities that I always dreamed of. It is quite scary to realise that a single modern recording application has more recording tracks and effects than the Beatles had available to them when they recorded their Sgt Peppers album, the first album I ever bought.


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