Nearly coming to an end of this series of features, but we've got a few more in store before we bring down the curtain. This week it's Tyler Estes, aka ohdarn323, who sheds some light on his music with the aid of his featured track, "Only In My Mind."
The featured track I chose is called "Only In My Mind", which you can listen to at my dmusic site. Prior to this song, I've mainly written simple pop-punk songs (many of you know "Now Is The Time"), but this song is one of the first songs in which I branch out musically. It's interesting to reminisce on how my influences have changed over the past year or so, and how the music I've been writing has changed with respect to that. The song starts off with what could be considered a jazzy guitar intro: just some softly strummed obscure chords, then the melody starts up with some soft electric lead, which eventually builds up to a laid back solo. I think it shows definite visible influences from Wilco and Built To Spill. The only accessible version of the song I have is a very rough draft due to my lack of recording equipment at the time, and the song structure needs a bit of renovation. Other than that, there you go.
The first time I picked up a guitar with the intent of learning to play something was in 2001 when I was 12. My friend had a Fender Strat and he taught me how to play Brain Stew. I thought I was amazing, and immediately made aspirations.
Those aspirations died very shortly afterwards, probably because I forgot how to play the song. In any case, I didn't even consider playing guitar for a while until '02 when I picked up my dad's acoustic and taught myself as best I could playing upside down (I'm a left handed guitarist). I don't remember exactly when I bought my own guitar, but it was sometime in early '03 when I bought my first guitar: a Johnson Del Mar. Woo hoo, that was a terrible guitar, but I learned quite a bit with it.
I taught myself over the next six months and learned basic guitar theory. At the time my influences were mainly pop-punk bands such as Green Day, MxPx, and the the Ramones. My cousin gave me personal guitar lessons and I continued to learn more theory, I taught myself basic lead, and I starting writing. For those of you who happen to remember my first few songs and recordings, please forget.
I finally saved up enough money by midsummer of '04 to buy an Agile AL3000 Les Paul copy. For the price (only $360), it really is an amazing guitar; better than every Epiphone Lp Standard I've played. Over the past few months I've developed a more versatile music appreciation, and my main influences are bands such as Wilco, Cursive, The Living End, Built To Spill, Placebo, Belle & Sebastian, Elliott Smith and Ben Folds.
I have never yet been in a gigging band, but that is one of my aspirations to accomplish at some point in my life - sooner or later, I don't know.
UG has played a major role in my guitar career helping me understand a lot of music theory and enhance my songwriting. Some people who I'm especially grateful to are Mark (NonBoxed), who patiently listened and critiqued every one of my early recordings, Doug (casualty01) who explained in full my theory questions, Scott (Slurgi), Bill (Bill43), and many others. Thanks, all.
My rig is nothing extensive; worth only about $700-800.
I play an Agile AL3000 Les Paul through a Behringer Ultratwin Gx210 with a Boss DS-1 as my only effect pedal. My Behringer has 99 built-in digital effects with which I can fool around with and get a feel for before I decide to buy a new pedal. For now, it's a suitable rig, but if I ever join a band I'll need a louder (not to mention nicer) amp.
Until I get a 4 or 8 track, I will be recording via the discontinued Cool Edit Pro, using Fruity Loops for drum tracks.
I have a dMusic page with a two or three mp3s. Nothing special; most of my material is currently on paper. Hopefully before long I will be able to rerecord most of my older songs and even record some new ones. Until then, hope you enjoy what I have up there.
Thanks to Tyler for compiling his thoughts for this week's feature. Hope that's given you something to chew on this week, and check back next week for another UG member showcase. And remember to pay a visit to the Riffs & Recordings forum to get feedback and critique on your work, and check out other people's latest creations!