Song writing ideas… getting (into) the moment

How do I capture that nugget of a moment for song writing

Studio mic set up you might use for song writing

When I get together to jam with anyone these days, I try to record everything that happens (if I can) to use in my song writing.

Then when I struggle through the playback I find a few nuggets/moments that I can use.

  • A groove
  • A few bars of a cool hook
  • A chord progression

This comes in handy for:

  • Songwriting
  • An idea,  progression to jam on
  • A starting point for an improvisational jam

The equipment I use

I have been using an old Sony Mini Disc Deck, and running a few mics through a 4 channel Boss mixer to the deck.

The mics I use are:

  • Shure SM
  • Realistic PZM
  • Audio Technica AT811

It takes about an extra 15 minutes to set up, do a run through and then I let it record until the disc is full or we are finished. (Which ever comes first).

Here is a clip of Jeff (Gauthier) and I doing some on the spot improvising.

How to make something out of the recordings

I usually play back the recordings and make note of the times and titles of those wonderful moments.

Then I put them in a loop so I can play along and improvise to get something more concrete to work with.

Now that’s just me and it gives me lots of ideas for new music to create.

Any ideas or thoughts on how you come up with new music?

 

Writing It Down So You Remember

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Chords to songs I started playing in the 60's

When I first started playing music, I would write down just the chords to remember the songs.

Today we have guitar tabs, so you actually know the fingering. And presuming you know the tempo you can work out the tune.

How many of us use to learn songs was we listen to the over and over to learn them by ear

Once I new a song I wrote down the chords and shared them with my friends in high school

To write down the lyrics we would be four guys in the band listening to record. The first guy would write down the first line. The next guy the 2nd and so on. This way you reduced the number of times you had to play the record.

Today you download the tab and lyrics

Many just enter it into their mobile device and take it with them.

How do you remember the songs you play? What about the songs you write?
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Strange Combinations

Unusual friends, unlikely possibility and how unlikely = “No one saw that one coming”

Some things just don’t seem to make sense, but when they are used in some form of sync… magic!

Think of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”  opera meets rock. Or Bob Dylan preforming folk with an electric guitar. The Bee Gees signature voices sweeping the world, using disco grooves. (Surprise in the early 70’s).

So to use this idea, here are a couple of old pieces I recorded back in the mid 80’s for a variety of corporate and broadcast videos.

And I added some Chapman Stick and mixed it together… What do you think?