01 August 2015

Songs by Shorthand - Melodic Death Metal

One of the ways we practice Teeline shorthand in class is by transcribing song lyrics, so I thought I'd take that a bit further in my spare time. Accurate transcription is far beyond my level right now, but attempting it is good practice for speed and seeing what words and phrases trip me up.

The Song

Smoke and Mirrors is the opening song from one of the best heavy albums which came out last year. Bloodshot Dawn take melodic death metal's extravagant lead guitar playing further than almost anyone else, making them one of the catchiest extreme bands I know. The verses are about 90wpm, which has been achieved by people on this course before. The choruses are close to 120wpm, but I was hoping I'd be able to catch up in the solos which follow them. Hoping.

First try

This is pretty much the first line of each verse and a couple lines from each chorus. Not great. It also shows that I should make sure I transcribe what I hear rather than what I expect to hear - my transcription of "When is our time" from the first verse reads as "Now is your time".

Tough bits

Working out how to shorthand "unknowing and misinformation" in the second line is a nightmare at speed. My very messy attempt at "misinformation" reads as MSNFMTN and by the time I'd got that down I was two lines behind.

After some practice

This was my third try. It's missing a fair bit of the first verse, but I've got much more used to the pre-chorus and the chorus at this point. Bit proud of getting "Serpent's tongue/Spitting poison" more times than not.

What have I learned?

  • I'm not as good at understanding screamed vocals as I thought I was.
  • Long words are tough words. Learning special outlines and word groupings will be my saviour, though I don't think are any for "blindfold of our times".
  • I'll never be prepared for every word in a passage, but the more familiar I can get with words that are repeated in a passage the more time I'll have for new words. 

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