Round-up 2016: Year in music

My final post for 2016, so I’ve decided to do a round-up of my year in music and of course, blogging about music.

If I were to put the different aspects of music in my life this year in a nutshell:

  • listened mainly to Kpop;
  • did not attend a single concert;
  • spent much more time figuring out guitar tabs than on guitar practice; and
  • hit some milestones for this blog.

This year, I’ve mainly been listening to Kpop and watching Korean variety programs, which many of my posts are based on. I did a few posts on Chinese and English songs but they did not seem as well-received.

Korean music program “King of Mask Singer” probably shaped a large chunk of the music that I listened to this year. Through the show, I got to know a lot more singers and songs, some of which I featured in this blog. Most notably, I was introduced to Music Commander, and in turn to Guckkasten – one of two of my best discoveries in music this year, the other being Park Hyo Shin.

Although both Guckkasten and Park Hyo Shin have been active for over a decade, I’m actually glad that I only got to know them this year. While most people would probably wished they had known about them earlier, I figured I wouldn’t have liked them as much if I had listened to them before. They have evolved their singing styles and voices through the years and I prefer how they sound now.

Their albums are good too. Check them out: Guckkasten’s self-titled “Guckkasten” and “Frame”, and Park Hyo Shin’s “I Am a Dreamer“.

On the concert front, the number of gigs I attended this year: zero. Not even the F1 Singapore Grand Prix concerts where every year, there would be at least one act that I want to catch. In fact, the one concert that I really wanted to attend this year was Guckkasten’s year-end “Squall” gigs, especially seeing how their mid-year “Happening” tour dates were sold out. In the end, I did not make it.

I would have loved to put more time into practising guitar but there were other priorities. Instead, I spent time working out guitar tabs that I shared in this blog, and which I derived a lot of enjoyment from.

Of the guitar tabs that I worked on, there were a few that left me with a lot of satisfaction:

  • Block B’s 몇 년 후에 (or, A Few Years Later), where I really wanted to nail down the notes in the intro and outro although I could have gone out with the basic chord structure; and
  • Super Junior’s Ryeowook’s 어린왕자 (or, The Little Prince), a song I really liked but which took me five months to work out the chords for.

There were some songs that were less challenging to figure out and the fastest song that I put out was Block B’s Toy. It was posted a day after the song was released.

When writing about Korean songs, I make it a point to include the translation of the lyrics as I think the songs can be better appreciated if one understands the lyrics. The translation of the lyrics are available for many of the songs I posted, though there was one that I did not manage to find the lyrics for. It was Guckkasten’s 깃털 (or, Feather). So it became the first Korean song that I translated from scratch, putting my limited Korean proficiency to the test.

My personal favourite among the blog posts that I published this year would be the one that reveals the identity of Music Commander. Although I had planned to write it, the content was mostly spontaneous and just flowed as I started putting pen to paper right after the show. Thankfully, it resonated with many others and was shared on forums and social media, hence garnering a lot of traction.

This year, I hit a few milestones for this blog since its beginning: most number of posts published in a year, most number of visitors in a year, most number of views (which also exceeded the target I set) in a year and most number of views ever for one of this year’s posts. Seven of the posts that I published this year are also among the top 10 most read posts for 2016.

Most of all, I’m grateful for the opportunity to engage in conversations with some of you who had read my posts, whether through comments on the blog or through Twitter. Keep them coming!

Lastly, I’ll end off with the top 10 posts for the year on this blog – and it’d be great if you’d check out other posts too.

2016 Top 10 posts on Music Rambling

01 – Everytime – 첸 CHEN & 펀치 Punch Guitar Tab
02 – Unveiled: King of Mask Singer – Music Commander
03 – 너는 나만큼 (Growing Pains) – Super Junior-D&E Guitar Tab
04 – Toy – 블락비 Block B Guitar Tab
05 – 복면가왕 King of Mask Singer: 우리 동네 음악대장 Music Commander In My Neighbourhood
06 – 12월의 기적 Miracles in December / 十二月的奇迹 – EXO Guitar Tab
07 – 일상으로의 초대 An Invitation To Daily Life – 신해철 Shin Hae Chul Guitar Tab
08 – 걱정말아요 그대 Don’t Worry My Dear – 들국화 Deulgukhwa Guitar Tab
09 – Pulse – 국카스텐 Guckkasten Guitar Tab
10 – Lucky – EXO-K / EXO-M Guitar Tab

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