Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Musician Pt 2 - Songwriting

Yesterday, I started " A Day in the Life of a Musician" and since no two days are ever alike, today I'm going to talk about the songwriting process.

This morning I woke up around 5:30a.m., with a song idea in my head. I didn't turn on the light because I didn't want to wake up hubby so I tiptoed through the room and instead, managed to trip over a laundry basket that I thought was a few feet away from me. Oh. That is the OTHER laundry basket... I fell flat on my face with a loud thud and a nice much for not waking up hubby.

So I have this song idea in my head. First thing I do is grab my tape recorder - which is always handy - and hum it in to the machine. If my guitar isn't around, I just say, "Here is a song idea, here's the 1 - 3 - 5 - of the key it's in (so I know the key, chord and harmony notes, if it's a minor key, major key, etc.) what time signature it is, (4/4, 6/8, 3/4, etc.) - this is all the "frame work" of the song that I just automatically make note of, so when I go back to it later on, I have a reference. Then I hum what is in my head. People ask which comes first for me, the melody or the song? For me it is usually melody with syllable "sounds" - I know what sounds I want to go with those particular notes - what vowel and consonant sounds. I remember reading when Paul McCartney wrote "Yesterday" he had the melody and the "sounds" of "Ham and eggs," which later translated to "Yes-ter-day" - this is the same process.

Okay, time to wake up son :) I'll continue this tomorrow! By the way, the song I'm working on is a bluesy song - syllable sounds, ah uh the woo, i ooo whu Ite.... :)


Imelda said...

I never imagine a musician's day would be like that. A new perspective!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

That's pretty fascinating. I wonder, as I go through my day and writing ideas occur to me, if my process is what happens to other writers. I assume it's very different for everyone.