A monthly video challenge (with a late start)

Earlier this year I thought I’d set myself a monthly video challenge. It was an idea I had with the best of intentions. It’s also an idea I wish I’d had actual time to dedicate to earlier this year. Still, I think I’ve managed to find the time and the motivation to get cracking now. I’m filled with so much faith now that I’ve decided to play catch-up by releasing my first video that includes what could technically be classified as the first two months of challenge results in the one recording. Could be. But really it’s just a poor attempt at playing catch-up.

Anyhow, read on for the concept and the first result. Hopefully I can keep this one going. I’m more inspired to play guitar than I have been in ages.

The concept for the challenge was to use one backing drum track and each month, release a new riff on that backing track. By the end of the year, I’d have 12 different riffs and if I’m lucky … enough material to construct one complete instrumental. Instrumental, because I can’t sing or write lyrics.

My first challenge was finding a VST drummer. I needed VST because I don’t own drums. Nor can I play the drums.  I ended up choosing MT Power Drum Kit because it works beautifully with my Reaper DAW and it’s free. I like free, because I spend all my disposable income on a guitar habit I’m not worthy of.

My second challenge—the most important challenge—was finding the time in my real-world of busyness to dedicate to this challenge. I simply have too many hobbies, interests and responsibilities. After confirming with my wife that I needed to continue to be a husband and father, I worked out a way to drop some of my other less-important hobbies so I could once again become addicted to guitar playing, recording and blogging.

The final challenge? Coming up with some riffs and building enough confidence to record them—audio and video—and share them in the public domain where the entire world could critique them as they deem themselves worthy to do so. That was my biggest challenge to be honest. I’m not a fan of most social media users and their expectation for honest feedback giving.

“This is shit”. “You suck”. “I don’t play guitar, I’ve shared nothing online and I’m still better than you and Jimi Hendrix!”

I’ve read things online over the years that if said in public, would have resulted in physical violence. The Interwebs have created a legion of keyboard warriors. But I digress.

I ended up beating each challenge. I made a decent drum track using MT Power Drum Kit and I transferred it to my iPad where I created two initial riffs in my iOS version of AmpliTube by IK Multimedia. It was easy to import the drum track to AmpliTube and then it was even easier to create different guitar tones I liked and record them—multiple times for each riff—into two decent recordings.

After that, it was fun recording the tracks onto video. This simply involved playing the track over and over again so I could record each riff from different angles allowing me to construct the video I’m sharing below.

All video recording was done on my iPhone and editing was handled using the Filmora video editing software I purchased last year. I LOVE that software. It was another reason I decided to really get stuck into this challenge. I can now combine my loves for guitar, iOS, software, video, blogging and general geekiness into the one exciting package. Well, exciting for me. Let’s see where the challenge itself lands at the end of the year before we decide if others also find this challenge exciting.

I only have 10 more riffs to capture.

I should probably get cracking on the March riff. The month is already drawing to an end!

So … the video. I uploaded it to the YouTube channel I have that nobody knows about. Luckily, very few people are also aware of this website and the nonsense I waffle on about. So they’re a perfect match for each other. To save you the effort of trying to find that under-popular YouTube channel—and to give me something potentially interesting in this post—I am embedding the first video from this challenge here. and now.

Thanks for reading.

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