Where do I fit in?
Here on this board and with "music" in general?
I will tell a bit about myself, I am genuinely asking for opinions/help here, as I seem to be "in between" and not finding a "home" so to speak.
I am "just" a home musician -- I recently find myself with time for music, although I do have classic(al) training (more later on that) I am recovering from two bouts with cancer and I'm physically disabled (severe spinal injury) so I have lots of time to fill.
I was born into a musical family, both my parents played instruments (guitar, violin and mandolin) and my father's uncle was/is Country Music Hall of Fame Member Floyd Tillman (you can find more about him at http://www.roncat.net/floyd.htm
). My brother, 15 years my senior has been a 'part time gigging' band member for almost 40 years, and plays keys, guitars (bass, lead and rhythm) and just about anything you put in front of him he can play. He also has a beautiful singing voice as well.
Until the age of 8 years old (1970) I didn't know there was anything but country music, and in that year received my first radio and round rock and pop music and was hooked.
I received my first "electric organ" (keyboard) at 4 years of age -- it had buttons on the left hand side -- white buttons for major chords; black buttons for minors; and a three octave set of keys on the right. I read chords from music books and "picked out" melodys with the right hand while using the left hand to play the small group of available "chords" (no "music" generated, just a richer, fuller sound than simply depressing the three or four keys would create.)
I got my first real piano at ag 6 and marked with a magic marker the names of the keys and began to teach myself to play. I did take a few piano lessons but the 'structure' and not being able to take off and play songs (which I'd been doing for a while) had me quitting and just figuring it out myself.
I've always been able to 'play by ear' and so that's what I did with the 'real' piano.
I got another "electronic organ" at age 13 -- one of the first to have "auto-accompany" -- only fox trot, waltz, rock, and march beats were available. It was a HUGE thing, took 3 men to move it -- and it had a door that dropped down where you inserted differnt "discs" (I don't think they were called that) about the size of an old 33 1/3 record but they were almost transparent with circular design; they would change the sound of the auto-accompany and many disks were available.
In 6th grade I began band in school, with the clarinet. I was very good -- becoming always "1st chair" (best in the weekly contests we'd have) all thru school. In high school I won many medals, also became the #1 clarinet player in my state (Texas) in my junior year in high school. My band director said "she's the best natural born musician I've had the pleasure to teach..."
My parents gave me a brand new wurlitzer piano for my 18th birthday, which I played until just recently when it was stolen while I was in the hospital. My husband then bought me a CASIO keyboard; I was just too sick to play.
About 8 months ago I was feeling better, and got the CASIO out and got the cables, Cakewalk HS 2002 software and set out to learn how to make "MIDI sequqnces" and burn them to CD for friends and family.
Soon on the internet I began to study better keyboards; I did have a small budget being that we live only now on my husband's salary, as I am too sick to work and had to close my 17-year business of a pet shop/dog grooming salon.
My budget was "under $800" and I had to do all my studying on the internet as I can't walk too far nor stand for more than about 45 minutes.
I found some sites with sound samples for the keyboards that were within my price range.
Unfortunately, the only keyboards that were within my price range were the "arranger" type boards -- which I didn't need the "auto arranger" part as I was already recording my midis track by track, with what has been called by some pros even, "An uncanny ability to hear the instrumentation and implement proper orchestration" of many different songs.
I did have a teacher on internet who taught me to do my own drum tracks, and from then on I was very saavy and began to make good files.
But I jump ahead. I ended up buying a Yamaha PSR 740, reasons being: #1 the vocal harmony, I sing but not good and harmony does tend to cover that up a bit; and #2 the best quality of voices within my budget.
I really did "need" either a MOTIF or a FANTOM or something in that category, but simply did not have the money, so here came the PSR 740.
I never even TRIED OUT the "Styles" until one day a found a group on YAHOO for "yamaha psr songs" where people uploaded their midis and gave reviews on other's uploads. This group has 5000 members and many upload songs everyday.
I made some mistakes early on in the group by saying I thought "styles" were limiting, and monotonous; they acted as though I shot their mother!
Then they proceeded to tell me, that what I was doing was indeed "CHEATING" (using Cakewalk software to record my songs) and that they played "LIVE" (meaning only styles on the left hand and a simple melody on the right) and that what I was doing was NOT EVEN PLAYING MY KEYBOARD!
Well I fired back off defending myself and was ejected by the club's owner.
I grovelled, begged back in because I was already addicted to this group; having no friends or social life of my own (we had to move from our home town close to the medical center MD anderson Cancer center in houston because of all my on going doctors appointments etc.)
Finally I was not alone. I began using styles to "prove" to the group that I could indeed "PLAY" my keyboard; as they began to accept me, I discreetly began editing these styles within the software, finally going back to fully doing my midi sequences "from scratch" a track at a time, all played in by me (and for the record, I was NEVER 'dead' when I recorded -- I was always "LIVE" !! hee hee)....
I began giving tutorials like some other members, I said nice things on the reviews of others songs, I partipated in discussions (that I should have never done because I just didn't THINK like those people who need a "STYLE" ) --
and finally one day someone picked out, of all the people making their uploads of midis, some of them TERRIBLE (but this was a social club so no one everSAID that to anyone which was fine with me)
someone decided to pick out one of my songs, a recent one, that I had put together rather quickly and I did miss a couple of drum beats, and also I picked a key that was a bit too high for the lead voice (the growl sax) and really it was NOT my best effort;
they said "no one should EVER record a MIDI "from scratch" it is NOT pleasing to my ear to hear a "tweaked" [a word that I used frequently to describe using XG effects in XG works) growl sax that sounds like a child's kazoo.
Well I was upset, and said so,
and BAM, I was ejected from the group.
Many people (about 70 this being the majority of members that did participate in making and reviewing songs regularly) wrote in and ask that I be allowed to remain, after all, it was just my opinion and that of the other person and who couldn't handle that eh? a campaign started to keep me in the group I was so touched that I had indeed made friends who stuck by me,
however, the 'owner' of the group stated, that he knew I never belonged there, he was sorry he ever let me be a member in the first place, and that I would never be allowed to be a member again.
The person who insulted my song? Still there.
I watch them now from the outside in -- they are all so happy without me, uploading their songs,
I cannot go back in time;and "keep quiet" tho I wish I could.
but I cannot find another group even CLOSE to where I should be;
and I must admit the owner was RIGHT, I didn't belong there, it was only my LOW BUDGET that landed me on a PSR keyboard and not a MOTIF int he first place.....
not likely to have $1700 anytime soon.....
where might there be a home for me?
here is my music, sorry it is not all in MP3, if anyone can play these thru their music keyboards they will sound better, the default midi player in your computer won't do them justice but http://www.roncat.net/private.htm
I have made my own group at yahoo also, it is available also on the page above, we have but 69 members now, but good musicians all, a few gigging musicians, but mostly home musicians who are pretty good at making nice midi files that please the ear.Most came from the club I was ejected from, some are "new" all together.
If you have similarities, are a talented home (or gigging) musician with any kind of keyboard you are welcome -- we do allow "style" in fact our golden rule says "all types of recording welcome" I will NEVER make anyone feel like a misfit or call them "a cheater" or a "nonplayer" simply because they do things differently than I;
So I am making my own home now and looking for those with similar talents and needs (to share music files with each other) we do have MP3 storage on a companion site, Yahoo does not provide enough space for MP3 but I provide that on my personal site,
give a look around and see,
aka Cathy T