Archive for October, 2006

Unsatisfied and ready for Growth?…Time to make a change!

The same action gets the same reaction. If you don’t know by now, your must begin to realize and embrace the principle that if you want to see different results for your life and experience something new, you’ve got to stop doing the same things you’ve been doing and thinking the same way you’ve been thinking. In addition, there is also the strong possibility that you have to change the people you been spending your time with and allowing to speak into your life. Misery enjoys company, and rarely ever seeks to lift up another, but to enjoy the companionship of someone who shares it’s same condition. There is more out there to experience, and you mustn’t be hindered by where you are and feel as though you cannot escape your present to experience a new future. The most valuable commodity you possess is your time. You only get so much of it in a life, so be picky about who gets it, who uses it, and how it’s used. You can’t get someone else’s to replace your own. When yours is up, you make that stage left exit out of here. Feel me?

 

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr.Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives,practical words,

to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com

Musical secrets revealed…..”The truth behind my learning”

              I love music. I can’t imagine myself without it. To me it’s as if music stands between life and death and sits at the very core of breathing. Without music I believe life is not even possible. The very essence of living is discovered through a melody. I remember when I started to play drums at home in my parents living room. It was Christmas time and I got a set when I was only five years old. From this day forward and probably before then I’ve been soaking up everything I could hear and get my hands on. I took a stint at drum lessons when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I wanted to mimic what I saw being played in the local churches by what I now understand to be some raw unorthodox musicians. I used to take my drums everywhere I went, like to church and often to school for programs and sharing days. I recall one time even having my dad bring them during lunchtime so that I could play them in front of my classmates in the playground quad area. I felt so good that day, like I was on top of the universe.

Dad thought it would be great to take lessons. At least that’s how I think it happened. At any rate, I started taking then by a wooly haired gentleman named Steve, or cliff or something like that. It was at the local music store. I was excited at the beginning, because I figured this would surely start me on my journey to stardom at 9 yrs old. What shocked me first was that, although we were practicing in a music store full of drums and other instruments, in the room where my lesson took place, was only a drum pad on a stand and a high hat. I didn’t even get to hit the high –hat let alone the snare, the bass, the tom-toms or the cymbals. Where in the world had this guy learned to teach drum. Everyday, every class was one-eee-and-a-two-eee-and-a-three-eee-and, well you get the picture. This did not sound like the drum playing I wanted to learn. Needless to say those lessons ended rather quickly. It seemed that the rawness of music was what I was after, and I could not be constrained to this structure.

I played drums always – and everyday up through about the age of 12-13. At that point I met a few guys who wanted to start a group. A couple of the guys could play a few chords on the piano and another friend who played drums too wanted to join us. Now I liked playing something all the time, and with another guy on drums, the only thing left to do was jump on the keys and learn some chords so I could do just that. We played every chord we learned, over and over, and over again. We bled the ears of many a parent and peer on those 1 and two chord songs. As time progressed I was able to pick up a few chords here and there from visitors to the church I attended or family members. My father actually helped me learn my first real song. This song in the key of Ab was my spring bored to whatever I am doing today. I guess you could say he was responsible for my love of music. He planted the interest and made the tools available to me.

Oh yeah, I forgot, we had just about every instrument available for learning. There were drum sets, keyboards, horns, guitars, violin, organs, piano & others. My parents provided the perfect environment for music development. At the times when I was frustrated, feeling a creative block and becoming bored with the instruments, my father insisted I continue playing and practicing. He pushed me ever so gently yet consistently into every possible opportunity to grow. I remember him telling me on the day before if not the day of an event that he had already volunteered my talents to. He would say, “Oh yeah, this person is having a small program or wedding and needed an organist or pianist, and I told them you could do it.” That was it, and you could be sure I played it. Several occasions, I had never seen the person or spoken with them in my life. It taught me to step out into areas that I had not been before even though I was unsure and sometimes extremely nervous, if not terrified. Today this has been a great asset to have. The only way to really improve is to be willing to try new things. I believe there is longevity in stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone. I have to admit that 98% if not more of my making and learning has been on the job, if you will, and while doing.  This is my approach to any musician that should come my way and inquire as to learning to play. My approach at this point in my life to new music, is to let my ears absorb the sound, and spend time in front of the keys replaying what I hear, and refining it through practice as often as possible. That’s my secret!

Making the Holidays Special this year with unique gift giving alternatives – Part 1

Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time

Instead of Christmas cards this year, write a letter that summarizes

Your past year and all the new things you’ve accomplished and or experienced. It will seem more personable and your friends and or loved ones will be happy to hear how your life has been going. 

Send photos of your activities for the year like your vacation or a ceremony you

Were involved in such as graduation, baptism, awards, etc…..

Make a scrap book with copies of old photos that your recipient was in with you and have them vintage

Create a DVD full of photos and or video clips to share with your gift recipients

Have a plaque made commemorating the years you’ve known a person and or celebrate them as an individual.

Have a baby photo blown up and framed for a family member

Choose a family in need and supply their dinner for the holidays

Purchase coats and hats for a family of children in need

Supply the milk or diapers for a needy family with a baby for a month

Make candy, pastries, or other sweets and take them to your neighbors.

I’ll have more in a minute, so be sure to come back…!

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr.

Practical Personal Development Practical wisdom, for practical lives,practical words, to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com

Record, Your Own CD at Home

  Today it is becoming more increasingly easier to produce and publish and distribute your own music CD project and or Video DVD. With the popularity of such shows as American Idol and the like, many individuals who find themselves eager to record a music song or entire CD are now able to do just that with little monetary investment. Because of the advent of the Digital audio workstation and the Sequencer software packages, anyone willing to take the time and read the manual while doing will be able to give it a go. The most basic of systems revolve around a small DAW (digital audio workstation), microphone, chords, and another input device like a keyboard or guitar, while there are those who also include a console mixer, microphone pre-amps, effects, drum machine or drummer or both, CPU with software for mixing, mastering. At any level the most important thing, the recording, can be achieved. As I reflect on my own personal experiences, I started off with a small Yamaha keyboard I picked up from Best Buy. Being a keyboardist and organist I actually had no keys at home to play prior to this, so I needed something. At the time that was what my pockets could deliver. Anyway, I picked this up for under $100 bucks. I started reading about midi and how it worked in the whole recording scheme and performance as well. In the material I was reading, it emphasized the using sequencing software on my cpu. Actually the real case was because I was short on cash, but I did have a computer already, I could download a limited version of cakewalk (Cakewalk express) that would allow me to record using midi to my cpu and manipulate the tracks to arrange a song, but when I purchased the midi cables I needed, I got a version of it free. My Yamaha  keyboard could also handle a few tracks of recorded audio from within, so I would utilize the limited (real-time) recording features of the to serve as a starting point to my songs. After looking online at a few options for working with midi and a CPU, I found the midiman midi module very inexpensive and effective to deliver the needed functions for my recording. The other pieces to my recording equipment puzzle were, full duplex audio sound card, headphones, microphone chord adapter, my Yamaha keyboard of course, cardoid microphone, my computer and the free Cakewalk express software that came with my midi cable purchase.My process was simple and I repeated this process for each song on my CD. First, I would decide on the song or type of music to record. I liked to practice on the keyboard until I found a hook or flow that I liked. After this I used the Yamaha keyboard’s recording function to record the rhythm. The cool thing was on the Yamaha and most of these types of keyboards there are built in drum patterns programmed that you can playback. The keyboard allows you to record them with your song. I would either record the drums while I played the chords and other parts along with it or just hit start rhythm and hit the software record button on screen while it played. This got my rhythm track in the computer and laid my foundation for the song. With midi, I could change the sound of the instrument playing the rhythm if I wanted, like snare to Tom-Tom or Bass to Cymbal. I basically would repeat this step over and over while changing the instrument accordingly for each part I needed to record. After the parts were recorded into the Cakewalk program I was able to make adjustments to things like tempo and pitch for any part that was not right.From here there was another program I had just purchased that I was actually unfamiliar with its full potential. Magix studio deluxe 7 was the name of the software, and it was able to record both audio and midi data. The other good thing about it was that I could convert the files to .wav and after that send the files to a CD. This program cost me about $40, and basically was and still is the software I used to arrange mix, and master my projects to final CD.

            I’ve always enjoyed playing music and hearing other people play and I wondered what it would sound like to hear myself on a CD. This started as the reason for me even attempting to try and record. Today my equipment list has grown, as well as the process I used to record matured. I still enjoy having very little at my disposal and trying to utilize every bit in creative ways to come up with great music. This keeps me coming back for more. While there are many tools out there to basically turn anyone into an overnight one man orchestra at a button’s push, I believe t he real joy is in creating what I can with minimal help from outside tools. Don’t get me wrong though, I love the tools out there, and want to purchase as many as I can. I only want to let them enhance what creations come from my soul and raw emotions. If you would like to hear or purchase either one or both of the projects I’ve completed just click here to do so.

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr.

Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives,practical words,

to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com

Show us your face…….please! ;)

                   Masks do nothing but hide what’s really behind them and give a false sense of who you really are to other people. You can place any number of masks upon your face and even if we aren’t truly convinced of your new identity, you will still be covering up who and what it is that is really lying beneath. People need and want to know you for who you are. Your face is a lot more beautiful than you think.

                 Masks would have been handed out at birth if there was a need to cover up your face all the time. The act of hiding behind our insecurities, talents, fears and past hurts is robbing ourselves and the people around us from experiencing true friendships and meeting exciting people. The masks prevent us from speaking clearly our true thoughts because there is seldom a cut out for the mouth in it. That same mask causes us to see dimly through the holes provided in the place of the eyes. The little tiny slots cut out for them give us a limited view and make reality seem so narrow and tunneled. These members of our body are two important factors in relationship building and enjoying life in general.

                  Take that stuff off please! We want you to show us your face. We want the real you. Whatever masks you’re wearing is preventing us from hearing, seeing, and touching the you that is in you. Your knowledge, your experiences, your gifts, your emotions, your heart, and your soul are too great for a mask. Damaged people need to be fixed, hurt individuals should be healed, crying eyes need to be dried, and hungry souls need to be fed. Remove the mask and receive the gift of freedom and new life. You are beautiful. Let us see it!

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr.Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives,practical words,

to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com

Guaranteed Delivery!

You’ve lost your job, and your money is near depleted. The bill collector seems to be salivating with chopping teeth ready to make an example out of you. You were already working more than 60 hours a week on a job that barely got you by, the children are in need of new shoes and you’ve seen better days with more food. You’ve been left alone by a lover who found another. You’re hurt, confused, and losing your sense of self worth. There are no kind words around for months. Your years of abuse as a child have caused you to question every person who dares enter your life. And the list goes on, and on, and on, and on. 

You are not alone, and God has not forgotten you. There is nothing you can ever experience, no place you can ever go, and no state you can ever be in that will block God from getting His agape love to you. You can not do anything to stop it. He just loves you because He’s God. So, whatever it is and wherever you are, remember you’ve always got a friend in the Lord.  

Scripture: Romans 8:35-39            35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36Even as it is written, “For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Blessings!

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr.

Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives,practical words,

to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com

 

What A Waste!!!

  One life to live and that’s it. That’s all you’ve got. You can’t get the time back that you’ve already lived and spent, and you can’t live tomorrow’s life because it has not come yet. All you have is what sitting in front of you now. What do you do with what you have? This message is a reminder to us all that even though we may feel that there are plenty of reasons to sit back and allow our gifts and talents to lie asleep while others carry on, let remind you that you’ve only got one shot at life. What is it that you are waiting for? A prefect day to step up and use your gift will never come. I’m not sure if people are sitting back waiting for an invitation to life or are they just plain refusing to come to the party. Whatever it is, the bottom line to me is What a Waste! A gift and talent that is given an unused is like a beautiful desert that sits without anyone anywhere to indulge them and devour it. It’s made for eating, but no one’s eating it. A gift does not do you or anyone else any good if it’s unused. If you’ve got love, give it, if you’ve got inspiration share it. If you’ve got insight enlighten others. If you’ve got talents use them! 

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr.

Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives,practical words,

to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com


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