Bandgirl's Blog

{November 14, 2012}   Recording Sessions on New CD

Oh my goodness, am I a procrastinator or what?

The recording of the CD has breezed by me and I have written absolutely nothing, but I am about to change that mistake on my part.  So here I go…

We recorded a track with the entire band, which we used as a scratch track, so that as we each recorded our own individual performance we could listen to the song through the headphones.  That was just easy as pie.

The first take on the drums did not come out so well, but we learned alot.  We learned alot about microphones.  They may look simple but they are complicated.  They have different uses, some for vocals, some for instruments and the mikes that we used were not good for drums.  The mikes picked up everything around them, not just the drum that they were pointing at, so we had hums and buzzes and double strikes and it was just muddy.  Not the crisp, individual recordings that we hoped for as a basis for our recording.

So shopping for new drums mikes was the next step.  We ordered the Shure PGDMK6 Drum Mike Kit.  Consisting of one kick drum mike, 3 snare/tom mikes and 2 instrument mikes that we used for overhead on the cymbals.  Our engineer also threw a blanket over the kick drum so the other mikes wouldn’t pick up the sound.

Then we had our drummer come back to the studio and re-record the drum tracks, which turned out beautiful.  I highly recommend spending the extra money to get microphones that are specifically manufactured for drums.  The Shure mikes were great and we look forward to using them in the future.

The next layer in our CD creation was the bass lines.  Since we have played these songs soooo many times in gigs, that went very smoothly.  If there was a note that they didn’t like we used the “punch in” feature to just fix that one little note.  Quick, fast and onto the next thing.  So recording the bass tracks for each of the ten songs took a few days and sounded great.

The bass tracks were done directly into the mixer board as opposed to through an amplifier with a microphone in front of it.  Using an amplifier can add a boominess to the recording, atleast in the room we were using, so direct in was how we went.

There is alot more to tell about the CD engineering and I’ll get back to that soon.  But Silverwing had a really great gig at the Carson Station Casino in Carson City, NV this last weekend.  We had a group of younger people who hung out and had a great time.  There was lots of encores and hooting and hollering and dancing.  That stuff is the stuff!  When you get a rowdy, fun crowd it just makes it all worthwhile.

Back in a few with more details on the recording of the Silverwing CD. Yeah!


{August 13, 2012}   Beginning of Recording Sessions

So this is the start of our final attempt at creating our own CD of our own music.  The songs are originals written by myself, my husband with some collaberation from a bandmate.  Our band Silverwing has been performing these songs in public for years.  We have had numerous requests from people for a CD.  We have actually missed so many opportunities to sell this CD at different events that it is frustrating to think about the lost income and lost exposure.   But that’s the past and today is day one of the recording sessions.

We are using a Tascam Digital Portable Studio DP-24.  I will go into greater detail on the equipment in another post, but for today we are creating scratch tracks of the originals with all the instruments and vocals recorded at the same time.  Then we will take our turn listening to the scratch track while playing our individual part for the final CD.

Silverwing is a four piece band that plays rockin country.  You can visit our website at  So we all show up and set up our equipment as if we are playing at a gig.  The drums are miked, the guitar amps are miked and the vocals are miked.  Then instead of all of these microphone chords going into a PA for a gig, the chords are the inputs into our Tascam DP-24.

We’ve played these songs together many times and so after a quick warm up.  We went ahead and attempted to record the scratch tracks.  Each individual song is being saved on it’s on Scan Disc.  The engineer has labeled each card for each song.

Playing together is a blast and even though we have played these songs hundreds of times, it’s still always new.  The drums were crisp and bright, the guitar playing was tight and the bass was driving and powerful.  Our music is fun and sometimes kind of rowdy.  There is not a sad song in the bunch.  So this is not work.  This is joy and life.  It never gets old.

So the recording of each song went without a hitch.  Our engineer, Sean, who is also the bass player has used a previous model of Tascam recorder and our DP-24 is the newest and best for our purposes.  So one after the other, we played a practice run through and then Sean hit the record button and there is was.  Saved on the SD card.  Amazing.

So step one is completed in one day.  Scratch tracks for nine original songs are completed in about 8 hours.  Very productive day in the studio.

Can’t wait to tell you the next part of the adventure.

This story is exactly why I created the
GuitarChics website, to inspire young girls and young women to play
music despite the odds and despite any self defeating behaviors.
There are successful female guitar players who have experienced some
tough times and they can inspire us to stay with our efforts.

Joan Jett is the epitome of the
GuitarChic Spirit, devoted, dedicated, full of belief in herself,
strong in the face of rejection. Joan Jett is an amazing person and
she shared her philosophy on life just recently with at-risk

On Monday, May 23, 2011 Joan Jett made
a surprise appearance at a school assembly at Scriber Lake
Alternative High School in Edmonds, Washington and spoke to the
students on the subject of completing school and following your
dreams.  Joan had dropped out of high school to  pursue her dream of
being a rockstar, but after success with “The Runaways”, and smash hits
like “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “Crimson & Clover” she
returned to high school and got her GED.  Gotta love Joan Jett.

Scriber Lake is an alternative high
school for students with learning disabilities or at risk of dropping
out.  English teacher Gary Lange, saw the movie “The Runaways”
and felt that Joan Jett was exactly like his students and could
relate to them, so he sent an email to her manager requesting that
she consider speaking to the students.  She accepted and a quiet
plan was hatched.

Joining Joan at the assembly was her
longtime producer Kenny Laguna.  In 1979 when Joan was trying to get
her first album signed at a record label she was turned down by over
20 record execs, so she and Kenny formed Blackheart Records and
issued the album themselves, selling copies out the trunk of Kenny’s
car after shows.  And although now anyone can buy some inexpensive
equipment and issue a CD of original music, in 1979 this was a
complicated undertaking. After over 20 rejections they both still
believed and they took the project into their own hands.  This makes
Joan Jett the first woman to own her own record company.

So you know when Joan Jett talks about
doing what you love, despite the odds against you, she speaks from
experience.  When she talks about completing things, we all know she
didn’t need a GED, but it was important for her to go back and
complete school, she speaks from experience.  When Joan Jett
encourages you to pursue your dreams, you know she faced rejection
and kept on with her dreams, that is the essence of the GuitarChics

Surround yourself with people who
believe in you and your dream.  Why would we put people into our
lives who don’t believe in us, I don’t know why, but many of us do.

And when someone rejects you, remember Joan faced 23
rejections before she went on to a career that has spanned 30 years
and produced 8 platinum and gold albums.  Remember, the people who
reject you can be wrong.

I am so impressed  that Joan Jett took
the opportunity to share her story with at risk students. That is
epitome of the GuitarChic, faith in yourself, determination, and that
is what she spoke to them about. She encouraged these kids to find
what they love and do it.  Immerse yourself in your interest and it
will become a part of your life, it will help define you.  I am the
rhythm guitar player for Silverwing and Brandywine and I am steppin’
up to the microphone with faith in myself, belief in my goals and
lovin’ it.  Join Me.

If you want to see the story of her
rejection by 23 record labels watch the video for “Bad Reputation”

Don’t forget to visit
to learn about other inspiring female guitar players.



The Silverwing band from Fallon, Nevada is in the last stages of recording a CD of original material.  Silverwing is mainly a rowdy country band fronted by Mel Warstler.  Mel has been playing guitar since he was about 16 in numerous bands throughout Nevada, California and Oregon.  Raised a country boy on the coastal ranches in Oregon, Mel’s music roots go back to classic country.  He learned his picking style at 16 from a retired LA studio musician.  And from that time on Mel’s lead playing has improved and has elevated him to be one of the best country pickers in Nothern Nevada music scene.  When Mel isn’t playing with Silverwing, he is the lead guitarist for Rick Hays and American Steel and can be seen at casinoes throughout Reno and Carson City.

The music on the CD ranges from the classic country sound, to the Kenny Chesney beach type cha-cha to the swamp backwoods down home sounds of Little Big Town.  Really there is something for everyone on this CD.  Last few touches will be completed in the month of May and then mastering and production to follow.  I will keep you informed on when the CD will be released.

Have a great day, Bandgirl

My husband Mel and I have a duo called Brandywine.  We play the same country/western music as our full band Silverwing, but use a drum machine.  Our drum machine is an Alesis SR18.  We have gone through our entire set lists and have listed the best drum pattern for each song out of the internal programmed patterns.  You also have the ability to create your own patterns with the pads, but that is not necessary right now.  In the future we will start to save the patterns and add bass lines, that is going to make improvement in the quality of our sound.  We are very satisified with the Alesis SR18.

et cetera