Today is about new beginnings. It’s the first day of writing and producing the second song in my 10-song production marathon.
Or, just stick with me as we jump headfirst into creating the second song from scratch…
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Working With What I Have
What’s my mindset like tonight as I sit down to start a new song from scratch?
I’m just messing around in the evening after a long family trip with a lot of unexpected expenses. The trip was good, but the expenses are a bummer, since they take me away from music.
Anyway, it’s cool. We’re gonna work with the time, space, and material we have. (That should probably be a motto for this project.)
The production of “Song Number 2” begins now.
My Goals For This Song
What are my priorities for this second song? What do I want to get out of this experience?
Here are some of my ideas right away:
- Fit the musical content to the lyrical / vocal content.
- Focus on the songwriting, not the gritty details.
- Keep form tight - ABABCB.
- Get better at writing lyrics; less struggle.
Trying New Concepts in the Bridge
I also want to do something more interesting with the Bridge for Song No.2.
I’m very attracted to this section of the song, despite how difficult it was last time. Why? It offers the most chance to play with formal structure. As a classical musician, this structure deeply interests me.
Consider the song “A Day in the Life” by The Beatles - the most extreme example of a successful pop song absolutely destroying standard “song form” with their Bridge. There is so much potential here.
Last song I kept the Bridge extremely simple, because I had no idea what I was doing. Now I think I understand a little better, and I want a new challenge to keep learning more.
So, the final bullet point should actually say: Try a more boundary-pushing Bridge section. Even if it’s not easy.
Getting Started in the DAW
It’s already a little late, but I opened up my custom Ableton Live template for the 10-song marathon.
I’m going to try and write the lyrics more “tightly” with the music this time. Instead of writing and recording all the music for the song, then coming back to the lyrics from scratch, I will try writing words for each sub-section of the song as it develops.
But first I need to get some musical ideas down.
There’s nothing to do but experiment. I start by trying out some piano melodies, then add kick drum, and some bass synth sounds.
I’m just following my instincts and intuitions wherever they turn, trying to layer instruments without committing to anything.
Most of all I’m looking for parts that are fun to play, and cool to hear. I’ll know it when I find it, but I’m not there yet.
Sifting Through Garbage Can Be Good…
That’s it for tonight. I wasn’t feeling too inspired, nor did I discover anything very interesting, but I’m glad I sat down to work on music for a while.
Even without major inspiration striking tonight, it was good to try. It’s like I’m sifting through a pile of garbage to find the good stuff.
You have to start sifting as soon as possible - that’s how you find the good stuff the fastest.
Don’t be afraid of how bad your idea sounds at the beginning. Everything will sound much better after a few days of hard work.
Read More! Click here for Day 2 - there’s much more to come, so be sure to follow along.