Second Original - Shadows of our Former Selves

Hey all,

One of the comments that I received on my first original Living Your Life In Your Head from @Lisa_S was that she was glad that I decided to share a first take instead of a fully produced version which made me feel like I made the right decision to share at that stage.

Yesterday I decided to try recording the second original that I have been working on using my phone connected to a Zoom H5 as part of the record, review and refine process. This was the first time I have ever recorded myself this way.

Rather than wait to share the recording when I have the song polished up, I figured that I would share it as it stands the now and then later on when I have polished it up on this thread. Which makes sense as that way I can take into consideration any feedback along the way.

This one has a slightly different feel to it than the first one that I shared with the community. This song I wasn’t quite sure about but thanks to some words of wisdom from @DavidP I was able to reach point of reasonable happiness with it.

As always feedback is more than welcome.

Don’t worry I don’t have any more new original songs to post.

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Shadows Of Our Former Selves - frame at 0m1s


Shadows Of Our Former Selves by James aka Socio

Verse 1:

Every night I close my eyes
I see through all your alibis
Excuses in the making
Promises forsaken

Verse 2:

You tell me this, you tell me that
You say you’ll never hold me back
Words without conviction
Emotional affliction


We are shadows of our former selves
Trapped in a past, never built to last
We are strangers to our future selves
Beyond recognition, a social condition

Verse 3:

Every time we work things out
My head is filled with seeds of doubt
Uncertainty growing
Anxiety echoing

Verse 4:

No matter how hard we try
It feels like time has passed us by
Stranded in existence
Emotional resistance


We are shadows of our former selves
Trapped in a past, never built to last
We are strangers to our future selves
Beyond recognition, a social condition


Looking at myself through your cold cold eyes
No bond to be broken, no emotional ties
Every dream we had as children, never realised
Destiny came calling and took us by surprise


Now we are shadows of our former selves
Trapped in a past, never built to last
We are strangers to our future selves
Beyond recognition, a social condition

We are shadows of our former selves
Trapped in a past, never built to last
We are strangers to our future selves
Beyond recognition, a social condition


This was very good James already… :flushed::sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses: :man_bowing:
and hereby the :bouquet: too for your merits :clap:
At times I thought it was a shame that your voice wasn’t a bit louder…I really heard something that I want to hear better…really, very, very much :ok_hand:


Wow, James! That was amazing, bravo! :clap:

I liked the linking parts and the way you connected the verses/choruses with guitar and singing both. The bridge with the rap like part was an awesome surprise as well. :smiley: All in all, that is a great tune you wrote.

Completely agree with Rogier about your voice. Especially the higher registers in Chorus, most of all the final 2, simply blew me away. You have an amazing tone up there. Really liked this a lot. :+1: :clap:

I also like you’re playing a Cort, too. Nice guitars. :sunglasses:

Thanks that you shared this pure version of this pearl with us. You did a great job on that and probably final produciton will be amazing as well. :smiley:


This one sounded really good as well :slightly_smiling_face: I agree with Rogier though that your guitar maybe sounded a bit too loud compared to your singing. I read the lyrics (brilliant btw) and I guess it would fit the song to have your voice be the more dominant part, if that makes any sense. I liked the guitar singing balance best in the bridge part, because in this part I could “feel” that you have something to say. It carried the synergy of your beautiful sounding guitar, your singing and the lyrics best in my perception.

Btw, greetings to your dog, who just stole the show a bit in the first few seconds :dog2:


Hi James.

This was an amazing song you did here. Full disclosure I have still yet to write my own song and add music that fits. So advice here is from a guy who has not done it himself yet. That said, you killed it with great lyrics and melody. I would recommend mixing up the strumming dynamics a bit like loud at the chorus and maybe softer during the verse. This is something I work on every day. I imagine my hand following the pattern of the waves of the ocean. Loud, soft, long, short strumming yet unpredictable just like the tide coming in. I hope that makes sense. I’m from California so often play on the beach looking at and listening to the waves as I strum to lyrics of a song. Thanks so much for sharing.


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Superb stuff again James and a really great follow up to your first original. Keep going and you will have enough for an album before long! I don’t have the time available to me that I used to but glad I got to check both of your originals out.

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James! I absolutely loved your song! I must agree that the vocals were hard to hear, but then I am hard of hearing. The guitar work was great. I very much like the way you arranged it. After I listened to it, I found your lyrics. All I can say is smashingly fantastic. Let me know all the products you use to produce your videos. I might have an inexpensive idea for you. Keep up with your music!

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James you absolutely have a talent for songwriting and you definetely are great to put down in words feelings and emotions! As others have said you need to adjust volumes. Thanks for sharing at this stage, it’ll be interesting to follow how you’ll build to both your “final productions” :blush:

That is a pity ! :sleepy:

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Thank you all for taking the time to listen and provide feedback on my second original song. I’m quite taken back by positive comments received.


Hi Rogier, thank you for the flowers and feedback :smile: I’m very happy to hear that you heard something that you wanted to hear better. I will definitely make sure that happens on the next recording that I post of this song.


Hi Lisa, thank you for such positive feedback :smile:

I’m pleased to read that you thought the rap like part was an awesome surprise. I wasn’t too sure about it in case it came out cringe worthy. The linking parts came about for connecting the verses came about exploring Justin’s lesson on connecting chords with scales.

Those last two choruses completely surprised me when I listened back. Now I don’t know how I’m going to replicate them when I do a proper recording.

I had originally purchased a Epiphone J45 cutaway but it failed the quality inspection and it was the last one they had in store. So I ended up selecting a Cort instead and it has turned out to be my go to guitar for playing. It is a joy to play.


Hi Nicole, thank you for giving this song a listen and providing great feedback. I completely agree with you that the guitar sounded a bit too loud compared to the vocals. I’m so happy to hear that you thought the lyrics were brilliant as I wasn’t sure how this song would be received :smile: HeHeHe my smallest dog likes to steal the show from time to time in my recordings. I’m still trying to get a video of my other dog which seems to be camera shy as from time to time when I’m playing she puts out paws on my strumming arm and looks over my guitar :roll_eyes:


Hi Jeff, thank you for giving this song a listen and providing great feedback. You should definitely give writing your own song and adding some music to it. If I remember correctly a while ago you were coming up with some picking/fingerstyle arrangement of your own piece. Dynamics is something that I definitely need to continue to work on including controlling volume, ghost strokes, deadened strings, accented notes.


Thank you for taking the time Eddie to give this song a listen and provide feedback. Hopefully things will settle down a bit for you song and give you some more free time with the guitar. It’s been a while since I’ve heard a recording from you.


Hi Keith, thank you for listening to this song and providing such great feedback. I’m so happy to hear that you loved the song and the arrangement :smile: Normally, I record the vocals and guitar using a Scarlette 2i2 and DAW (Reaper). However, for this recording I opted to record using a Zoom H5 connected to my phone for the very first time. In hindsight maybe I should have tried connecting a microphone to the Zoom H5 to record the vocals or experiment with the positioning of the Zoom H5 or just stuck with my normal recording set up. All a learning experience.


Hi Silvia, thank you for listening to the song and providing such positive feedback. I’m over the moon to hear that you think that I have a talent for songwriting. I was not expecting the feedback received from the community on my first two songs. It goes to show this is such a great and supportive community, and it makes me really happy that I have you all along with me on this guitar and songwriting journey. I do have one and a half verses down for another song which I’m not too sure whether to progress any further with it as I’m not sure where it is going but may share what I have so far on my learning log to see what others think.


James, yes, I now understand why your vocals were sounding low. The camera setup did it. So I am glad you have the Scarlette 2i2 into Reaper a great choice for recording. Keep up the song writing bud! :smiley:

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Jakers James! What are you on? :open_mouth:
That is fab! It felt a bit ‘rougher’ execution than #, but I preferred it as a song.
Everything just shouted Elvis Costello to me (that’s extremely good btw) :sunglasses:
This is going to be one to bookmark for me.
Soooo cool!

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Yeah it’s been a while. Actually been a while since I have had a chance to play as I have been busy renovating a house that we are moving into. Looking forward to getting back into playing again soon.



I tried to follow Clint’s motto of find your own voice and ended up finding myself on a journey of discovery where I just let the muse guide me.

I know where your coming from as this one feels more emotion in it, more real in a way. I’m pretty sure towards the end of the song I remembered your advice on my Lost recording about expressiveness.

Interestingly many months ago one of his songs was played a tv or movie show and I had to add that to my list of future songs to learn, Watching the Detectives.

I’m honoured sir. Seriously thank you for taking the time to give this a listen and provide feedback.

This community has been great to share my experience learning the guitar and now songwriting.

Jumped here from the LL. Nice one James. Good catchy toon and some good lyrics. Did I hear some “dead thumb” ? Certainly some great dynamics. Enjoyed that a lot, so better check out the other OT !

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Hey Toby thanks for checking this one out, I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed it. Yes, you did I’ve been going through a phase recently with the concept of treating the guitar as a drum kit, playing dead strings, accenting etc for dynamics.

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Wow, James you impressed me! Another original and I agree with Silvia, you really seem to have a talent for songwriting, especially the lyrics are fantastic! All in all very harmonious, melody, chords, playing and singing, very very pleasing. I admire the ability to be creative with music. Keep it and cultivate it!

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Hey James, I thought your song was pretty good. Already a load of positive feedback so I thought I’d offer some constructive criticism.

I think the original deserved a better presentation. The song was good, but the recording not so. The mix - guitar was a bit bright IMHO. A few timing issues where you slipped off the beat (mainly during fills).

I totally get sharing early. I have only shared one original to date and it was an early recording with issues. Originals are delicate little oysters. I’ve come to believe that the first share should try to show it in the best light possible, even when it’s a stripped acoustic one, not a produced one. So maybe try a few takes, tweaks and changes.

I did enjoy the song though, so I hope the feedback is taken in the spirit intended (constructive).

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Hey Andrea, thanks for checking this one out too and for the positive feedback. :smiley: I’m really happy to hear that you enjoyed my first steps into songwriting. With this nurturing and supportive community I will be sure to keep at it and try to improve along the way.


Hey JK, you know I always take feedback in the spirit that it is intended. The way I see it plaudits help nurture confidence, constructive criticism helps nurture improvement. Both of which are really helpful for developing. You are absolutely right, the original deserved a better presentation. It was definitely not the right call to record and share it for the first time using the Zoom H5 without spending time experimenting with it to establish the best set up for recording quality. When it comes to timing you are spot on there were some timing issues which I need to work on as I’m still not there yet with doing the fills and singing at the same time. I need to work on getting the fills fully automated to allow me to focus on the singing. I take all your feedback with gratitude and will share an updated version in the future after I have given it another few twirls with a fresh pair of ears to see if there is anything that I would like to change (also taking into consideration the feedback received) and following lots of practice. Hopefully, the next take shows it in the best light possible. Thanks for checking this one out too mate and taking the time to provide feedback, I’m glad you enjoyed the song.

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Nicely different vibe to this original James, really liked it, the build up in intensity to the chorus is really nicely put together. The all stop section is a very cool addition, you’ve really put time into the structure clearly.

That’s 20% of an all original album now right? :slight_smile:

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Thanks for checking this one out too and providing feedback mate. I’m glad to hear that you liked the song. It will probably take me a decade to come up with another 8 songs. I’ll still try to keep the creative juices flowing and see what I come up with along the way. At the end of the day it’s another form of practice and bonding with the guitar.

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