ALPHAs: “Dominatrix” and “War Dogs”

With the impending 60th birthday party approaching like a runaway train I should have perhaps spent some time practising the songs I’ve been asked to perform. My motivation was lacking and I decided instead to attempt to record a new FATE ALPHA.As it turned out I ended up recording two ALPHA songs over the (bank holiday) weekend. The first was “Dominatrix”.

I initially didn’t want to record an ALPHA for “Dominatrix” as I’d left the chorus unfinished, and so it ran the risk of following the same path as “Scarlet Women”. But, for whatever reason, I came back to the song and, as I read my words, a basic melody formed in my head.

I grabbed my Gibson SG and started strumming a couple of chords. I began with the prechorus and jotted the notes down, then strummed out something for the verse and jotted those down and then decided to record my thoughts with REAPER.

I selected a Metallica distortion on the VL3 and recorded the guitar parts. I believe it was while Holding a sustain on D that I (more or less accidentally strummed the three strings for a chime which I thought was nice and which I added to the ALPHA.

As the chorus hadn’t been written (nothing more than “Dominatrix”), then I started with the backing vocals, added chords to that and decided the lead should weave its way way around that melody, and so quickly made up some lyrics.

After I’d pieced the guitar takes together, I recorded the lyrics on top.

The whole process took a little more than an hour and, although the ALPHA is rough, it is good enough to get an impression of my idea.

I decided I’d leave the take for a day, before sending it off to the others, as I’d be able to pick up and maybe improve on some of the glaring flaws after sleeping on it.

The next day I woke up with a tune in my head and I made a quick note of it, on my smartPhone but also decided to keep the tune in my head while a breakfasted and showered in the hope that it would develop.

Unfortunately nothing did develop so I grabbed my Gibson and strummed until I found the chords. Practised playing them in the sequence, and then recorded them on REAPER.

I was actually quite impressed with the chord sequence. I’d (accidentally) played them using my voice setting on VL3 and, in my opinion, have an opener/rock anthem menace and bearing about them. As I had no lyrics for this tune I had to christen the piece for the REAPER Project, and decided to call it “War Dogs”.

Once I knew which chords were being played then I just strummed around a little until I stumbled upon three different sequences which I placed in the song. I listened to the piece once I’d sewn it all together and am not sure about one of the chords in the sequence I use for the verse, but think the chorus and bridge sequences are pretty neat and even added a (very, very) basic solo for the outro.

Once I’d finished that ALPHA I went back to “Dominatrix” and rerecorded a couple of vocals so that they sound more flowing and in time with the chord changes.

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