Some Tunes

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I've heard a lot of talk about co-writing and I've done some in the distant past. It's an intriguing idea on a number of different levels. If you're able to find someone who is of a similar wavelength and has some good skillsets, then what the heck. Of course, what you really want is to buddy up with someone who is further along in the songwriting process than you are and for some strange reason wants to work with a lowly writer as yourself. If that fails (or at least hasn't materialized yet), I think simply finding someone with good ideas and some drive could be a cool way to go. If you come up with something that's worth people listening to, now you have twice the push power to show it off, twice the muscle, twice the drive, twice the dollars. Just have to make sure you have an agreement from the start as how to proceed, etc.

Through SongU, I've done some "blind dating" and it has been at least positive from the standpoint of learning how to communicate and bleed out some creativity all while not being in the same room. I have not yet tried Skype, but think that will be the next step. Until then, simply emailing back and forth ideas and some phone tag is a second best approach. I've just started a "blind date" writing session with a lady in Alabama who has some journalistic background and can't wait to see what develops from the efforts.

We started by getting to know each other a bit, then threw some titles against the wall to see if anything would stick. We agreed on one that brought some images to mind and she's going to be working the lyrics for a first run. Then I'll see what comes of it musically and the plan is to banter back and forth for a while.

Once of the most exciting parts of it all is that this could be monstrously huge or it could simply be another experiment in creativity. Either way, you just can't lose. It's all good. I'll share when there's an end product. Till then . . .

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Brain Breakthrough

It's been months since I've posted, but I've been working hard. One of the toughest things for me personally is to go through a review or critique of a song and not take it in the right way. I seem to take it as a personal affront when I'm given suggestions. It usually seems to take me a couple days to recoup from the ceiling falling in. Hell no, this shouldn't be easy, it apparently shouldn't be hard either (my psyche talking).

For the first time since beginning my writing process over again, I have had back to back critiques that I really felt a bit outside of myself and my music while listening to suggestions. It didn't feel personal, as a matter of fact, during a SongU critique class with Helen Darling ("Bring on the Rain" recorded by Jo Dee Messina & Tim McGraw), just before she began the process with my song, I actually said to myself, "Wow, this section is boring, I need to rewrite it." It was like I was hearing it for the first time detached. I was harsher than the review, but when she started making suggestions, I already knew it was correct. A rewrite was in order and I found something that took on a different life. In this case, not sure it's where I want it to end up yet, but the new direction had much better focus.

Logic says that the songs you write aren't you, simply an expression - done well, done poorly, whatever. It really is a process and all the music I've written up to this point and going forward is practice, experimentation with feeling driving it, but not taking me with it, just riding along, hovering over the top of it.

Now, extending that to the here and now sure hasn't been that simple for me. I'm very excited about this "breakthrough" (by the way, only a breakthrough if it continues), and I plan on pushing myself and remembering how that detachment felt and how kickin' it really is to revamp an initial idea - explore new directions and try, experiment and explore.

There really isn't right and wrong with this stuff, but there sure is works and doesn't. Just have to make sure to realize what is opinion and let it inspire you to move in directions you may not have thought about without that outside opinion. What was starting to feel a little like work is now absolute enjoyment again. Fun again for sure.

A side affect of all this is that I feel ideas just rushing in again. I struggle to get them all captured one way or another to be able to go back on them later and develop them. Wow, its a great "problem" to have. We'll see if I'm this cheery next post, but damn it feels good now.