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#734491 10/12/22 08:07 AM
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What About Tomorrow


One of my neighbors is going through a hard time. Her relationship with her guy seems to be losing steam. She commented to me yesterday that when she's with him, it's wonderful. But she's not sure he shares the same joy as much. She wonders about his long-term commitment. She said she always wonders if he'll be back tomorrow.

I know she's a big country music fan, particularly country music of the 80s and 90s and is fond of pedal steel. So I went home last night and put this together for her. I'll take copy of it to her this evening. Hope she likes it.

I, too, am a huge fan of the pedal steel. I don't think it gets enough attention in todays country music.



A little about how I composed this based solely around the ten-minute conversation I had with her:

The verses are supposed to tell the story. I used mostlty major chords to express her ability to cope and keep a relatively strong outer appearance while yet subtly alluding to to deeper concerns.

A chorus is supposed to gather and reflect the results of the cumulative messages in the verses in a more cohesive and pronounced manner. You might say a chorus augments and fills in the blanks left in the verses. So, I constructed the chorus to capture her inner sadness via the minor chords and a stronger bass line for empasis. The drums are also a little fuller.

The ending came across as a bit anti-climatic when I listened to this rendering the first time. I thought about doing another rendering with a more difinitive ending. But, as I thought about it more, I concluded I, indeed, had the perfect ending as it was. The end of her days leave her with the insecurity of the relationship possibly not continuing, sort of a nothing, nowhere feeling - nothing solid to look forward too. I then thought this simple ending captured that feeling of nothingness and despair. So I kept it.

Also, the snare drum is a bit loud throughout. That's intentional. I thought it might represent how her heart pounds as her insecurity presses on her day and night.

Sorry for the litany. But I though some of you might be interested in an example of how I write themed-based and spec songs. Regardless, hope you might enjoy my 6 hours of work with this result.


I replaced the drums from the style. I added the pedal steel. I added a second drum track for the choruses.

The pedal steel track is by Paul Franklin. From the late 80s through recent years, he's been one of the favorites on Nashville's A- List of steel players for session work. I've always admired him.

Thanks for listening, if you do.

Alan

Last edited by Al-David; 10/12/22 08:10 AM.

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I like it, especially the chorus speaks to me.
I think the song deserves vocals!


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Originally Posted By: B.D.Thomas
I like it, especially the chorus speaks to me.
I think the song deserves vocals!



Thanks BD ...

I agree the song is in search of a lyric and vocalist. But if you go back and listen to one of the songs on which I did the vocal, you'll understand why it's an instrumental at this point. But I'm open to a vocal if anyone dares to do so.

Also, if anyone ever decides to put a vocal to it, I'll drop the snare back a bit in ther mix. It works fine, as is, for an instrumental, but it would interfere with a vocal.

Thanks for the listen asnd nice commnents.

Ala n


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Hi Alan,

I really love listening to your music.

When it comes to chord progressions and melodies, you are the master. In your songs, everything flows so easily and so smoothly from measure to measure. Musicianship is everywhere. That was what struck me most about "What About Tomorrow."

Whenever I hear a pedal steel, it always tugs at my emotions. This instrument captures feelings of sadness, hopefulness, longing and uncertainty extremely well. And because of this, I thought it was a perfect fit for the melody. It managed to recreate in sound, everything that I read in the backstory.

This is fine music and fine listening at its very best.

Please say "Hi" to Di from me smile

All the very best to you both,
Noel


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Hi Noel ...

Well, I'm nearly blushing as I type this. How does one properly reply to such a wonderful review? I/m not sure, but I'll start with a sincere "Thank you very much".

Although I played Country music professionally for 95% of my music performing career (about 50 years), I've always had an interest in most of the other genres. I'm not musically literate. I don't appreciably read or write musical notation. I simply listen to a lot of music and have taught myself to play by dedicating many, many hours of practice to all genres. I know chord structure (mechanical structure, not theory structure) fairly instinctively. I can hear chord patterns in my head and usually pretty much know what they're basically going to sound like before I ever pick up my guitar and play them.

I basically explained my approach to composition in the narrative. One of these days, I'll post a video of me playing. I had reconstructive surgery on my left elbow earlier this year and have very little feeling in my left hand. But it is slowly returning. The surgeon said it would take 18 to 20 months for the feeling to fully return, to the extent it will. I reminded him, with an accompanying laugh, that I'm almost 76 years old - long term prognostications may not be rewarding!

Anyway, thank you so much for the very kind words. I'll pass on your greetings to Di when she wakes up tomorrow morning. It's 10:00 pm Wednesday night here in Alabama. She'll appreciate them, as do I.

Hope you are continuing to do well. Wishing you everything good ...

Alan & Di

Last edited by Al-David; 10/12/22 04:57 PM.

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Hi Alan,

Very nice chord progression and yes - very tasty pedal steel.

Best Regards
Nigel


Nigel Spiers
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It's a good one Alan.
AS mentioned it does sit up and ask to be sung.
I didn't start to appreciate pedal steel until Elvis Costello did his country album...Sneaky Pete surely did a great job of translating the anger, bitterness and loss on that album.
COOL!


Cheers
rayc
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Sweet sounds from a wonderful neighbor. Really enjoyed the backstory. Just wondering if the guy EVER seemed as joyous as she did. Some people are more reserved in their excitement. I like how you illustrate feeling in major and minor, and the snare didn't bother me at all. Jerry Garcia was my first love of the pedal steel in "Teach Your Children." This is a really good tune with much emotion. Man, I'd like to talk with you for 10 minutes and see what we write from that. hehe Much appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed it, Alan. I do hope you return for another song updating the neighbors woes.


Enjoy whatever happens!
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Alan,

Another gorgeous instrumental.
Filled with emotion.
Excellent mix.
Great job with the steel. It sounds like a true player doing a real line. So well thought out.

.fj

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Alan...another great example of your masterful work with BiaB...love the steel (if you want emotion that's the way to go) and the snare drives the song very well...well crafted and produced! Dan

Last edited by firesong; 10/13/22 09:31 AM.

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Alan,

Such a beautiful and emotional tune...

You have a great feel for these instrumentals - they almost sound vocal to me.

Love the production as well - completely suits the song / mood.

Bob

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Hello Al-David,

Nice instrumental composition full of sensitivity. Well done, I enjoyed it.

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Derochette
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Hi Al,

I like this a lot. I like the way the verse swept musically into the chorus. I thought from reading that the drum might stick out like a sore thumb for me but it did not. I understand your shying away from vocals, I'm the same way, but it's fun to imagine how this might sound with some vox. Just fine as is, though.


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Alan,

Love the feeling and emotion you summon in this song. Beautiful...

Great mix and arrangement.

Bob

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Hello to you both, and good one.

There's tension between the piano and the pedal steel which I sort of want to resolve, lol, but it fits well with your aim to express deeper concerns. Oh, I like the drums and didn't find the snare too loud.

Scott

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Hi Al
Hope you are well
What a beautiful song
Dreamlike melody
Sounds fantastic, Al
Many greetings
Andi ;-)

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Originally Posted By: NigelSpiers
Hi Alan,

Very nice chord progression and yes - very tasty pedal steel.

Best Regards
Nigel



Thanks so much, Nigel. Glad you enjoyed it!

Alan


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Originally Posted By: rayc
It's a good one Alan.
AS mentioned it does sit up and ask to be sung.
I didn't start to appreciate pedal steel until Elvis Costello did his country album...Sneaky Pete surely did a great job of translating the anger, bitterness and loss on that album.
COOL!



Hi Ray ...

Aplogies for the late replt - been very busy the past 2 days. Elvis Costello introduced many people to country music. he's performed with quite a few country performers.

I grew up with the pedal stell, having played in Country bands from 1963 through the late 1990s. It's one of my very favorite instruments.

Bring on the lyric and vocals!

Thanks ...

Alan


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Hi Alan,

Yes, the steel guitar is really doing a great job here.
It almost 'sings".
I can feel the doubt in the music.
Your neighbour will love it!

Anne-Marie


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Originally Posted By: BabuMusic
Sweet sounds from a wonderful neighbor. Really enjoyed the backstory. Just wondering if the guy EVER seemed as joyous as she did. Some people are more reserved in their excitement. I like how you illustrate feeling in major and minor, and the snare didn't bother me at all. Jerry Garcia was my first love of the pedal steel in "Teach Your Children." This is a really good tune with much emotion. Man, I'd like to talk with you for 10 minutes and see what we write from that. hehe Much appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed it, Alan. I do hope you return for another song updating the neighbors woes.



Hey Marty ...

The neighborhood is always a better place when you show up - thanks for dropping in!

The lady wasn't particularly jealous, to the extenrt of my knowledge; she felt neglected and underappreciated.

I have virtually no kowledge of music theory - don't read or write notation appreciably. My knowledge of theory ends after: if I pluck the strings, press the keys, or blow into the mouthpiece, it should make a sound of some kind. After that, the knowledge bank goes broke very quickly.

I guess we'll have to talk for ten minutes sometime - longer would be even better - and see what happens! I get inspiration from various sources. Thje most unusual, probably, is roadside billboards. A number of years ago, I was driving from St. Louis to Memphis. Near Cape Girardeau, MO on I-55 there was a billboard for a Baptist Church. It invited folks to attend and receive ther gospel and Southern hopitality. I wrote a song called "Southern Gospetality" that made me a few dollars.

I also read the back pages of newspapers, look at quirky on-line sites, and listen to conversations wherever I am.

Anyway, glad you enjoyed the composition! Thanks for the kind words!

Alan

Last edited by Al-David; 10/15/22 10:13 AM.

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