I Lost a Friend – Ukulele, Your Choice

A month ago, I started a project on this song. My goal was to create a cover with ukulele chords, here is my reflection.
Photo of Garageband file:
Final Product:
(High-Quality Version at bottom of the post)
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How is your recording the same as the original song? Why did you do this?
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My recording uses the same BPM, notes, lyrics, theme and rhythm. I decided to do this because I thought these were the basic components of the song that had to be kept in order for it to be recognizable. For the BPM (85 BPM), I decided to keep it the same for the end product because it was at a perfect pace. If I set the BPM under 80, the song would be too slowly paced and it would take too long to play since the original song was already long enough. Setting the BPM higher would not go with the theme of the song as this song has more of a gentle theme. I decided to keep the notes the same because they are essential for the song to sound in tune and I kept the lyrics since I was creating a cove of the song. Lastly, I decided to keep the same strum pattern for the ukulele which was down, down, down, down. This strum was implemented throughout the whole song as it resembled the same pulsing rhythm in the original. One last thing I kept the same was the octave. In the song, the vocals weren’t too high or too low so I felt I could handle it without bringing it an octave higher or lower. In conclusion, I decided to keep the basic and essential part in order to maintain the same feel/theme and keep it recognizable.
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How is your recording different compared to the original song?
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What were your reasons behind your decisions? *
I added a couple of instruments to the song such as ukulele, the bass and drums as a way to add a larger variety of sounds to the piece that was fitting. I used these instruments in a way that would add a better mixture of sounds. For example, when the original song had only a piano playing, I decided to add some bass to make it sound more interesting and to enrich the sounds of the song. The drums I added kept the song sounding more engaging since there were a variety of fill and complexities. I made sure to set the complexity and the volume in the drums in accordance to the part of the song (verse, chorus, bridge, etc…). I kept it quieter and less complex at the end where the song was slower and set it to be faster with more complexion and fills when the song was at its chorus. In short, I did this to add a mixture of sounds and to make it sound more interesting.
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Garageband editing – digital instrument, drum use… *
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Although I had a bit of prior knowledge from the previous project, I think my Garageband editing was lacking near the beginning. I was doing a lot of things wrong in the early stages of this project. I was matching up the notes to the original song, putting notes on an uneven beat and cropping off too much of the ukulele strum. Another thing I did wrong was set the BPM to 169 which was incorrect, I did this because I searched up the BPM instead of testing it out myself. It was only later on where I realised the BPM was supposed to be 85. Looking back, I definitely should’ve made a clearer plan on how I was going to accomplish this task so I could start doing things correctly from the start. It was only later when I realised I shouldn’t have just matched up the notes to the original song. After the point where I started doing things correctly again, I think my Garageband editing was decent. I knew how to crop the ukulele strums and loop them into a bar and find the correct soundtracks for each of the notes. For the piano and the bass, I also successfully cropped them and placed them in time with ease. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure what drums to add to my song at first. After working on the project for some time, I understood the theme of the piece more and knew when and where to put the drums. I think this was because I could hear where the intro, the verse, the chorus and the bridge were. Once I added the drums, I split them into several sections for the verse, chorus and bridge and set the complexity and volume to match the song. As for my singing, I recorded each of the lines individually and put them in time without my trouble since I recorded it at the end (I had the experience on cropping and timing). Not only did I put it in time, but I set the pitch correction to 80 which helped a little in making my voice sound better. To sum it up, I had decent Garageband editing skills, I knew how to crop, set the BPM, find the right notes, loop notes, add drums and set the drum complexity.
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Time management for your project… *
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I believe my time management was decent up until the end of this project. I completed the chords and added the piano before my classmates were done. The first obstacle came when I put in the bass part. Since on the week where I was supposed to work on the bass, there were more assessments than usual, I didn’t spend much time working on music. I was just slightly behind up until the stage where I realised a huge portion of my song had issues with timing and uneven beats. Once I realised that my song required quite a bit of reformatting, I put in some extra effort and I completed it as quickly as I could. It was a lot to do but I made sure to do it quickly because I didn’t want to fall too far behind. Fortunately, once I reformatted the song, the bass was fully completed. After I finished the instrumental part of the song, I had to complete my singing. The singing took up to 2 days (Longer than I expected) but I managed to finish it before the deadline. In conclusion, I had great time management up until the bass but I picked up the pace when I found out I had huge issues with my song which put me back on track. Next time I start a project like this, I should plan out a timeline and check my calendar to see if there is anything that will hinder my progression.
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Independent learning… (responsibility of getting things done on time) *
I had quite a few issues with Garageband throughout the project. For example, I ran into many issues with “No input” and “No output selected”. When I first ran into them, I tried to fix it myself. Unfortunately, I couldn’t for the majority of these times so I had to find a way to fix them. I decided to go watch videos on how to fix the issues instead of asking for help on google classroom because it was more effective. (Online learning made asking for help hard and take long times.) In conclusion, I feel that I was quite independent. I solved most of my issues by myself but Mr. Otoole helped me with the major ones like timing and tempo.
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 High-Quality Version:

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