Sunday, May 20, 2012

I'm Finally Putting My Orchestra Training To Use

As I am in the process of making my album, "This Divided Highway," I am continually bouncing ideas off of my friend/producer Josh.  There has been a lot of discussion on what instruments to use.  There have also been a lot of questions on what is considered "an instrument."  But I'll get into that later.

I was telling Josh, that I was laying out the instruments for the songs like an orchestra is laid out.  Here's a layout of an orchestra.

When I was in orchestra (high school, junior high,) it was only the violin family of instruments that was in orchestra.  The brass, woodwinds, and percussion were considered to be "in band."

So I am approaching this record like the orchestra that I am familiar with.  Here's how I have it laid out.

Orchestra instrument, Modern Band Equivalent

1st violin = Vocals
2nd violin = Lead Guitar
Violas = Rhythm Guitar
Cellos = Bass Guitar
Double Bass = Percussion

That's the basic layout.  Then we get into added instruments.  Some will appear on either one or a few tracks.

Piano = Piano
Percussion Section = Modern Day Drum Set
Flute = Flute (For solo)
Xylophone and/or flute = Old Timey Moonshine Jugs
Woodwinds = Electric Cello
Percussion = Shakers, Washboards, and other small handheld percussion instruments

Now that I have it written out, it makes a bit more sense.  It seems a little more clean cut.  After looking at all the instruments involved I am thankful for multi-tracking.

Now let me explain the jugs, and other odd instruments.  Josh likes to take things that may not technically be instruments and incorporate them into music.  Consider Appalachian music.  They use things such as washboards, jugs, and saws (played with violin bows) in their music.  Well, that's what he's doing.  I'm okay with using some things.  It really depends upon the song.

So that's what's happening so far.  I'm feeling pretty good about it.  I like to have things laid out when writing music, and this chart is working great for me.

I will keep updating as the album is being recorded.

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