From Frustrated Guitarist to an Inspired Musician: My Story

Not until too long ago, I was doing what most guitarists did while being part of a band.

Life was almost always about band practice, collaborations, creative sessions, or gigs we had to perform. While my passion to be a guitarist was unmistakable, I always felt weighed down by the bands I was part of. When part of a band, life doesn’t really work on your tempo.

There were times when we progressed brilliantly as a band, but, for the most part, we just drifted, not really going anywhere. A million things could go wrong with bands and they almost always did: sheer procrastination, financial difficulties, creative disagreements, artist exits, etc.; something was always going wrong all the time. It was always one step forward, followed by two or even three steps back. 

My melting point with my band came when I had personally forked out a sizable amount of money to hire a professional studio to record our much-anticipated single. It was a lot of money, and I had gone way out of my way to facilitate what I thought would be a session that would really catapult the success of our band. 

But, to my most utter and bitter dismay, not one of my band members showed up! I didn’t get as much as a courtesy call from any of them.

That was the day I decided that bands were dead to me. 

While I was still a passionate guitarist, I yearned to be a full-fledged musician, wanting to write, compose, mix, master, and produce my own music. 

Without a band, I knew I had an enormous task ahead, for I had to singly reproduce the many facets of music only a band could produce, all on my own.

Undaunted by the challenge, I first began to learn the art of sound engineering to be able to record my own music. My brother generously offered his spare room, which I used to make my studio. I set it up with a few mics, monitors, self-help books, and a MacBook, installing GarageBand on it. 

While I could lend the sound of a guitar myself, I had to learn how to create the sound of drums. I slowly but surely learned the art of electronically programming drums. I spent hours listening to instrumental music to draw inspiration from its sounds to then use it to recreate the artistic skills of a vocalist.

While I learned how to heavily rely on instrumental music for my vocals, I also collaborated with talented vocalists on some of my songs, for I knew vocalists infused a sense of heart into music in a way that no instrument could. 

Since I wasn’t reliant on a band anymore, I found the freedom to explore other genres of music I always had an interest in. I experimented with hard rock, metal, blues, and then EDM, house music, hip-hop, and pop.

In the midst of this exploration of genres is when I found my calling for the type of music I would be excited to produce, to proudly call my own. My work started to take the signature of music that was heavily influenced by electronic music but still amply layered with the sounds of a guitar. 

I humbly invite you to listen to my music now. Remember, every individual sound you are going to hear is something I created myself as a solo musician, to then bring it all together as a sum of all parts. Enjoy delicately nuanced and intricately crafted music, created by a self-taught solo musician.

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Will Armstrong

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