Jamnatomy is a WEEKLY web series that explores music production and promotion techniques to learn the secrets of building a better music career.
The last episode of the first season. This episode dives into some tools and techniques that you can use to slow down and analyze recorded songs while learning them. FUN FACTS:
- I recorded a Shinedown clip, but after the copyright claim mishap in episode 1, I decided to not even play it. That’s why you never hear the song I have queued up.
- This was actually the second episode I recorded, but it didn’t fit well at the beginning of the season, so …to the end it went.
I took a cross-country trip mid-season, but instead of flaking out and missing a week, I dropped an impromptu and very late introduction episode for the show. FUN FACTS:
- I was flying redeye, so this was recorded in the MSP airport during a layover at about 2:00 am. I was loopy exhausted, but hey, the show must go on, right?
- Walking around and talking to myself on camera in public was not nearly as easy as I thought it would be, so I started with about 30 minutes of nervous, unusable footage.
- I almost missed my flight because I lost track of time. ..woops.
Ah, the Halloween episode. This is actually the first one I wanted to do, but saved it for October instead. The topic was dealing with and preventing common in-studio issues that drain time and energy. But the real fun here is in the skit. I got my wife and daughter involved in this one, and it was a blast. FUN FACTS:
- Pay attention to the background of the monologue. It’s constantly changing throughout the episode. Especially the doll.
- During filming of the skit, I was fighting to keep my daughter’s focus. She kept going from excited to scared, so it was a bit tricky. As a result, I didn’t quite get the cinematic quality that I had hoped for. But hey, it’s just for fun, right?
- The gun is just one of those plastic pellet guns with the orange tip removed. It’s kind of scary how real it looks, though.
- At the end of the skit, my daughter runs at the camera. She couldn’t see out of the mask though, so I basically had to let her smash into my stomach take-after-take.
After all the seriousness of the last episode, I needed to lighten the mood a bit. This episode touches on techniques that people use in the studio to “enhance” the recording …or cheat, depending on how you look at it. FUN FACTS:
- I had absolutely no direction in the song as I wrote it. I just kind of “brain-vomited” into my recording software, and it came out like that. Ironically, I’ve had a few people tell me how much they love the clip. Go figure.
- The chicks on my shirt conflicted with the green-screen, so they became transparent when added the background. I had to tediously add them back in in every single frame of the video. UGH!
Another episode that I really enjoyed making. I noticed a ripple-effect when I started releasing more content online, so I decided to share my findings in this episode. FUN FACTS:
- I had to memorize that skit…err…poem, and that’s something I’ve never done. I worked on it so much that I can still recite it to this day.
- This was my first time ever shooting “on-location.” I was a frazzled mess because it was about 90 degrees out and I was shooting on a busy, public bike path. NOTE TO SELF: Choose a more remote location next time.
- The rocks I used were bleached white. After filming, I looked over the edge and there was just this massive pile of white rocks at the bottom of the creek. …heh, woops. I wonder if that counts as littering?
I absolutely LOVE this episode. I booked time at a pro-level studio and recorded a song clip. I then recorded the same song at home to compare the recording quality. The results may surprise you. FUN FACTS:
- I was so busy worrying (read: nervous) about nailing all of the instrument performances in the studio that I forgot to record video! The video you see is an extra handheld run by my wife.
- The studio was great, but their drumset…ugh. It was supposed to be a “solid all-purpose kit.” It turned out to be a an old Ludwig from the 60’s that sounded like it was going to shake apart if I hit it too hard. I can’t fault them for it though…I had the chance to inspect it and I didn’t.
- The song clip is a rework of a tune I wrote back in the early 2000s. I actually like it so much that I’ll probably end up writing a complete song out of it.
- My dog was such a trooper. I was absolutely shocked that he just sat there for minutes at a time so I could get the perfect shot.
For years I’ve been dependent on working with groups of musicians to write music. While this is a great way to build your collaboration chops, it can be a soul-suckingly slow process. A few years ago, I made some decisions that have since allowed me to write and record at a break-neck pace. Watch the episode to find out what I did.
FUN FACT: There is a clip in this video that mocks a certain home shopping show. Pause it when it comes up and read. It’s funny.
This episode covers some easy-to-implement techniques for creating better song mixes. Enjoy!
FUN FACT: I actually screwed up the episode order in the first video shoot session and needed one more, so I had to come up with this episode & shoot it last minute. Ironically, it turned out to be one of the more well-received episodes! Lesson learned — don’t over-think or over-produce!
Jamnatomy started out right here.
This episode…ugh. The monologue coloring is awful and the pacing is awkward…not to mention the fact that I had literally never been on any type of video set. I was a stuttering mess on-set. But hey, whatever, I made it through and it didn’t turn out too shabby! FUN FACTS:
- The skit is loosely based on the video for Extreme’s “More Than Words” …but I forgot the black backdrop. Woops.
- I got flagged by copyright claim on YouTube in the first day for playing just a few notes of that song.
Every show needs a commercial/trailer, right? This was a quick mash-up of clips from the show to give a quick 30 second summary.
I had a blast doing this teaser. I ordered real medical supplies and even watched some surgery video to get the proper vibe. In retrospect, I probably could have used an instrument instead of an iPod as the focus, but I wanted to get across that it was the MUSIC that was getting dissected; not the instruments.
Sadly, Jamnatomy was not out yet, so this clip was lacking one thing — AN AUDIENCE. Almost no one saw it, and because it was time-sensitive, it sits almost completely unviewed to this day. Oh well…I got to get bloody on camera. 🙂