Many thanks to Justin for everything he contributes to helping people improve their music! I was very interested to see his new video about not sucking at singing, as his approach is very much in line with what I was starting to discover for myself in trying to be able to sing ‘adequately’ without any expectations of ever being a particularly good singer.
I recently completed my first ever solo track where the challenge I’d set myself was to to do absolutely everything myself, writing, performing, recording, mixing etc. Getting vocals to the point that I was happy enough with them to publish the song was probably the major challenge, but because it was a very personal track I wanted to persist.
I wasn’t aware of this new community space until Justin mentioned it in that singing video so I thought I’d post a link to Long Journey Home to see what sort of feedback it might get from impartial observers Justin if you happen to see this would be great to hear what you think.
Sounds great Dennis, great debut
Dennis, unfortunately I don’t have Spotify so wasn’t able to play the song.
Well Dennis I’m not sure what your definition of an adequate singer is. Your vocal and indeed the whole song and production sounded much more than adequate and very professional to me.
What stage are you at with Justin’s lessons? Have you been following them for some time?
Hi @DavidP, no worries. If you want you can also find it on Apple, Tidal etc, or on Soundcloud: Stream Long Journey Home by Dennis Mills | Listen online for free on SoundCloud
@sairfingers Thanks Gordon, that’s very kind. I guess my benchmark for adequate when I decided to try doing the vocals was to see if I could listen back to it without cringing! The problem being the more you listen to something the more you tend to get used to and accept the shortcomings (unless they’re really bad) and so it gets harder to trust your own judgement! And friends and family either say supportive things or nothing at all…
Regarding Justin’s lessons, because I’d been playing on and off for so long without any formal instruction I was relatively accomplished at some of the things I knew, but extremely limited. When I started using Justin’s site a couple of years ago I found it great for finding lessons on specific things I wanted to improve, like blues licks and phrasing, bending and vibrato etc, as well as learning to properly play songs that I’d worked out hack versions of or had always wanted to learn but couldn’t get my head around by myself.
So a very piecemeal approach that you would probably never recommend for someone trying to learn properly from scratch, but for a plateaued long time hack ‘player’ like me it was just what I needed. I’m still trying to find the right balance between just mucking around playing songs for pleasure, trying to push myself to improve with particular lessons and spending time trying to create and record music (just as a hobby of course).
That was excellent playing and singing Dennis. Like @sairfingers Gordon has said, a very professional production. I really enjoyed the song.
Is the guitar that you have as your avatar picture the one you’re playing in the song?
Thanks Stefan, much appreciated!
The lead work was on the Les Paul, yes, which is a '59 reissue (my retirement present to myself, which I feel strangely guilty having, but I went most of my life without having a decent guitar and I’d wanted a Les Paul ever since I was a kid ). The rhythm parts were on a Strat.
Thanks for sharing the SoundCloud link, Dennis.
What a fabulous song, tremendous in every respect. You can be well proud of the accomplishment.
That’s really encouraging, thanks David!