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30 Songs in 30 Days – Day Eleven – Long White Wedding Dress

October 1, 2014

I’m a big fan of Long White Wedding Dress, though I say so myself! It’s one of the few songs I have written that was a writing exercise. I wanted to write a big, tragic, melodramatic torch song that Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley or even Shirley Bassey might sing. In my mind, I was thinking of something like Running Scared, Long Black Limousine or Long Black Veil. I wanted it to have a lot of minor and major changes. I wanted it to have a quiet verse and then a big chorus, but not in a Pixies quiet/loud stylee, more You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.

I think it’s come out alright as a song. It’s a nice one to sing.

I’ve learned a few things from these videos, now I have a few under my belt:

  • I need to stop grimacing in between lines
  • I need to stop grimacing during the lines
  • I need to stop my tongue from shoving my lip out between lines. I look like Gordon Brown
  • Moving around while performing is a distraction. Stand still
  • Moving around while performing while wearing a black t-shirt only confuses the light balance within the camera. Stand still so the camera knows what light it needs to deal with
  • I need to get my haircut. That front bit looks like Phil Collins!

Except the haircut bit, these are all about learning to sing and play at the same time. I’m getting better at accompanying myself, I think, but that just means I’m raising the bar higher in what I want from a performance, which is a good thing. I’ve learned to keep the arrangements simple, that provided the vocal comes out right, adding complexity to the accompaniment doesn’t improve things vastly. The finger-ends on my left hand are hardening, which is what you want as a guitarist. It makes it easier to do more takes. And my muscle memory is improving, though it astounds me that I can play a wrong chord within a sequence when I previously played it correctly twenty times in a row.

One of the main things I’ve learned is how important practice is. The harder you work at something, the more confidently you can tackle it, the more nuance you can put into the performance. That’s a good thing to keep in mind.

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