Welcome to the musician blog of Joshua Farinas. I am the drummer of Flaccid Acid and I have a lot of thoughts in my head about trying to be a musician in today’s music industry.
For my very first post, I want to share my history with music.
My parents signed me up for piano lessons when I was about eight years old. I was taught classically: learn enough music theory to read sheet music, learn increasingly difficult classical songs, and learn scales and modes. My teacher even let me bring in sheet music from pop songs to learn. If you want to guess my age, I learned “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton, “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” by Five for Fighting, and at least three different versions of “My Heart Will Go On.” My parents stopped buying me piano lessons about 2 years later, probably because I hardly practiced outside of class.
In seventh grade, my buddy was telling me that he was learning to play songs from guitar tablature. He explained to me how it worked and pointed me to a couple websites where I could find free tabs. I asked my dad for his acoustic guitar and started learning a bunch of songs with this newly acquired skill. Since I was learning the same songs as my buddy, he suggested we form a band.
He soon got a drum set and we got our classmate who was taking guitar lessons to join our band. One of the teachers at our school even lent me his bass guitar (until I got my own) so our band could play for school events. We wrote songs and learned more covers. My drummer taught me how to play drums, and since he already knew more than me about playing guitar and bass, we would mess around and play each other’s instruments. By eighth grade, I could play piano, guitar, bass, and drums with enough confidence to improvise on the spot. This band eventually got another guitarist before we broke up the band because we went to different high schools.
In high school, I continued to play guitar here and there and when a friend of mine wanted me to play guitar for her talent show performance, I was eventually introduced to a guitarist who played songs with his cousin, another guitarist, in a band performing for their class’s event. I joined their band as a bassist in junior year of high school and we played shows and open mics until our lead guitarist finished his audio engineering degree at an art school. His school rented out studio time so we recorded whenever we could and continued to host open mics. This band eventually broke up, too. We practiced less and less and I wasn’t really hanging out with the band anymore. After this band, I pretty much stopped pursuing bands for many years.
At first, I focused on writing songs. But while finishing my degree and starting my first job, I played less and less music.
My cousin asked me to try jamming with his jazz band and I played a few shows with them as a bassist or a drummer. I met a bunch of musicians this way, going around San Francisco to watch their performances because they came to watch ours. I eventually had trouble making time to travel to the city after graduating college so I had to quit the band so I could keep my day job.
A couple years after graduating college, some high school buddies put together a reunion picnic and I got to talking to my buddy, David, about how we should jam sometime. A couple jam sessions later, we decided to form a band under his high school band’s name, Flaccid Acid. We wrote and practiced songs for 9 months, recorded a demo, practiced with a new drummer for four months, and, after a year and a half, played our first show the other night.
With this new band, I really approached the drums very seriously as a musical instrument. I could already keep a beat and write some new material, but I wanted to make a point of practicing to be better at drums than I felt playing bass. I love the bass guitar, but I really enjoy the different feeling I get when drumming. There’s a different thrill to playing the loudest instrument in a band and being responsible for keeping time. It’s a challenge at times to think up new ideas without dropping the rhythm.
My goals have changed and I currently want to be a support musician for a record label. Owning the record label would be nice, but I care most about learning lots of genres and styles so I can help artists make their songs impactful and catchy.
In Flaccid Acid, I get the chance to build my supporting skills, but now I want to blog my progress and my development as a musician.
I plan to include in this blog:
- How I practice and how long I practice
- How I write songs
- Album reviews
- Drumming and bass tips I’ve learned from videos
- Videos for my blog posts