Songwriting made easy or maybe not…

I’d like to say that I am a natural born songwriter and that as soon as I put pen to paper the magic happens.  Now while that does happen on rare occasions it is really more of a process.  With me it happens in one of two ways.  I stumble on a subject or a sentence and write the lyrics and then try and find the music.  This happened with Santas Eating Pancakes.  I had made pancakes for breakfast near christmas and my daughter asked if Santa ate pancakes. And I spoke “Santa’s eating pancakes getting ready for the day ahead.  He’s got to feed that big belly cause he’s gona be driving that sled.”   I yelled to my wife PAPER, PEN and the song was on it’s way in 2008.  It took another year to work it out and then we finally recorded and released it 2 days before Chritmas in 2010.  We shall re-release it for this Christmas (all money goes to Ignite the Spirit) to be sure but that is an example of where the words came first.   Most of my songs start with rythymns on the guitar.  When I find one I feel works I try to let the vibe of the rythymn take me to the song.  Going to the Park is a fine example of this.  It was a happy bouncy, jazzy three chord progression and I asked my daughter what it sounded like and she said it souded like going to the park.  She was totally right.  The words quickly followed.  Now I have asked her this a few times but she prefers to make me work for it as not to get complacent or lazy. So I grind it out with the guitar and look for the words.  This is my process.  I also have a digital recorder to record those rythyms I like but have no words and would soon forget them as my memory isn’t what is was.  So my poor wife and kids will here the same pattern over and over as I search for words and write them down.  I also write all first drafts with pen and paper.  I cannot work on a laptop when working a brand new song. Can’t do it.  Any pen and any paper as long as I am writing (napkins, receipts, index cards, notebooks have all been used.) After the first draft I then usually move the song to my laptop.  Right now I have a bunch of songs written and vetted ready for the next CD.  I’m also working on a few others that need bridges, etc.  Next blog I’ll talk about how the song goes from me to the band and further development.

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