August 25, 2008
For the last 3 weeks, I’ve made myself sit down at night and work on songwriting. Thanks to my MacBook and its built-in camera/mic, I can just focus on writing and not remembering — I’m capturing everything as I go, and I don’t have to worry about what the heck was the chord I played. (A real issue with my songs)
So far, I got 3 songs to “record-ready” status, meaning, it has the structures and lyrics down mostly. These things change as I record them, but they are good and settled enough to start recording. Plus, I have over a dozen snippets — riffs, melodies and chord progressions — that I’m really excited about.
What’s been amazing to me is how inspiration-free all of it is. I wasn’t waiting for the muse to strike me. I just sat down, picked up my guitar with the intention to write songs, and hammered them out. Usually the very first thing I play on it is a gem. Once I hear one chord, riff or melody, I can hear what should come after it that fits. There was one night when I wrote a complete song from scratch in a matter of a couple of hours. Of which, I probably spent 1 hour and 45 minutes on lyrics. And days later, I’m still humming the tune and feel jazzed about it. It’s as good as any I’ve written.
It’s been really like flipping a switch. I never knew that I could be this efficient of a song factory. Before I would sit on songs for months, years, waiting for the muse to strike me to finish them. Now I make myself work on them, and usually most of the stuff are keeper.
If the first riff I play isn’t going anywhere, and if I find that nothing is happening on music front that night, then I immediately switch gear to lyrics. I open up my trusty rhyming dictionary and I’m off. Like the music, there have been some really happy accidents with lyrics — metaphors and hooks fitting in in more ways than I imagined.
I’m having a ball doing this. I can’t wait to share these songs!