Songwriting with a Deadline – Creating Within a Timeframe

I made a decision in February that I would do some songwriting with a deadline and then release a CD/album in May 2020.

The idea was to write songs in March, record in April and master/duplication and release in May.

At the present time, I have 2 song demos (“The Lie” (vocal) and an instrumental “Agony and Serenity”.)

Bernie Landry on the Chapman stick performing "The Lie"
Performing one of my songs at an open mic in St. Lazare, QC

Lyric Content and Ideas

I have put together 192 pages of lyric pieces and ideas to draw from.

Music Bits and Ideas

In the 80s and 90s, I recorded a lot of music for television, radio and other projects. I am experimenting with some tracks as samples. I am hoping to find 1 of the tracks that could be used as a backing ambience track.

Plus, using the EHX720 looper pedal helps in the wordsmithing process. I believe in writing lyrics that sound like they belong in the music and not forced to fit. So I create a groove and work the lyrics as I play over the loop.

Jeff is helping out on songwriting with a deadline
Jeff plays drums and sings.

Also, I have lots of improv sessions I recorded alone and several tracks I recorded with my friend Jeff Gauthier on Drums.

At the moment I have 7 new songs I am working on, plus the 2 songs I mentioned earlier.

It is likely I will scarp a few and add others only because I believe in keeping ideas flowing, without boxing myself in.

So many ideas, but time is critical. Whatever I do not use I will keep for the next batch of songs.

I will be journaling the process and taking pictures and video. Hopefully, the lessons learned will benefit others and myself .

This certainly is going to be interesting. So let’s see what happens with songwriting with a deadline.

Is the Chapman Stick an Intimidating Instrument?

“The discipline to learn the Stick is no different than any other instrument. I guess because it’s not mainstream, beginners are intimidated. Quite the contrary. I truly believe, the Stick is a very easy instrument to learn.” – Steve Adelson

Ok. The Chapman Stick has 10 to 12 strings and it looks a bit odd.

However, when you look at it more closely you can soon understand that it is really not much different than learning the piano.

You can play more than 1 musical phrase at a time.

You have pretty much all the notes available on a piano.

For example, if you watch a “Boogie Woogie” piano player, you will notice that the left-hand plays a bass motif or riff. The right-hand plays the melody/chords.

When I do this on the “Stick” my left-hand plays a bass part while my right-hand plays melodies and chords. And like a piano man, I sing while accompanying my voice with chords and bass grooves.

If you have any questions about the “Stick”, let me know in the comments.

Groovin’ and singing on the Stick