(If you don't know what 'recording gear' I'm talking about, go check out my last blog post. http://www.bongoboy.co.uk/blog/getting-ready-to-record )
After trying out the new mics and interface briefly, I decided, whats a better way to test them than just going for it?!
I set up the congas and bongos along with the interface and mics, then thought "this could make a good YouTube video!" so set up my camera too.
I then chose to play a song I was requested to play months ago, but never got round to recording it (or even listening to it!)
That song was 'Soul Sacrifice' by Santana.
I had no idea what I just got myself in for.....I set the camera and interface recording, and just went for it!
Did it first time. Which shows toward the end of the video!
I just love playing along to songs which I've never heard before! It always ends in spontaneous little moments, which are normally lost after practicing a song for hours on end.
The majority of my videos are songs I've heard before, but haven't played in ages, so I know roughly how they go, but there's still a few hiccups.
Don't get me wrong, for work and bands, I practicing the songs non-stop. I think, by the time I know all the words, and can sing along to it, THAT'S when I think I've probably practiced it enough.
I was asked last night if I could add congas to a recording tonight, and was sent the track, and simply listened to it all day just to make sure I knew it. But by the time I came to record, I still forgot a couple of bits, but managed it in the 2nd take.
It's a mix of knowing the music, and knowing the song. Rock genres are usually very simple, and the stops and starts, bridges, solos, etc are all very easy to anticipate.
Other genres are more complicated. Latin for instance. With different timings, and false stops (like Santana) are quite tricky to improvise.
Of course, it's always easier if you're playing for the first time as part of a band that know the songs, because multiple head shakes and the guitarist mouthing 'stop soon' help get from start to finish without flaw.
.....until the rock n' roll end with everyone going crazy waiting for the drums to stop, and the drummer not knowing when or how to as he doesn't know the song. (It only happened the once!)