Scott Joplin's rags (except for the Silver Swan) are public domain, so I can upload them here. The St. James Infirmary is a folk song, so it's also public domain. Why Do Peple Kill is my own composition. See, with a little bit of knowledge and effort, it's possible to upload good music without breaking the law. I know it's a downer not to be able to play and upload your favorite songs, but look at the good thing about it: you'll learn about a lot of great older music that you wouldn't have experienced otherwise.
A note from Hrodulf: I know these recordings stink. I'll re-record this weekend when I can make more noise than I can right now. The mix is way off on the blues number, and I need to work on my singing. But since I know the areas that need work, I can fix them, and uploading these recordings was a good learning experience.
The way I'm doing this is to record the music on a tape recorder, than record it onto the computer via Audacity, export to Ogg Vobis and then upload it here. I don't record directly onto the computer because I want to have an analog copy. I figure using an amplifier at the right level will improve the level but I have to look out for distortion. If anyone has suggestions as to how I could do a better job on this, I would appreciate it. I think by playing, singing and uploading I'll get better at this. You can also. All you need is motivation. Motivation is all an artist needs to create something wonderful.
I have the amp wired to my tape recorder now (needed to get a converter) and I will take a shot at re-recording what I've uploaded here. It will be a lot better if I try to work on my singing and recording and the level will be good now that I'm using an amp.
I used winamp's preamp and equalizer to get a better sound level out of the recordings, so that problem's solved. The bad singing and mistakes problems remain. I make mistakes because I'm sightreading the music I play (except for the St. James, which I improvised) and in ragtime there's often some very low notes in the left hand, and I have to look so I can get the right note down there, meaning I have to look away from the music, so there's a big opportunity there for me to make a mistake, either I look at the music and hit the wrong note, or I look to see where the note is on the keyboard, and I either don't look back fast enough, or I look back, but at the wrong measure. It's frustrating, and I think I will have to learn the pieces by heart to really play them. That's easier than figuring out how to play low notes without looking.
I played organ today and it was even worse. I ordered an early edition of a practice manual and I plan to work hard at it and improve my playing. It may help my piano playing also.
23:23, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the Weeping Willow recording came out the best of all I've done yet, I plan to eventually re-record the prior ones that are of poorer quality.