I’m writing a new record. It’s time…and as an artist, it’s the most difficult thing I do.
A proper music education will teach you how to effectively compose music for most any situation; brass parts for a wedding band, strings parts for gospel recordings, chromatic percussion to move small children into a blissful sleep coma. A fine skill to have, until you’re an artist sitting in front of a blank page.
The more I’ve learned, the larger and scarier the blank page has become. There are so many ideas and genres and influences that inspire me, so many things I’m dying to write (and have the ability to write), that for any artist wanting to create original material, there has to come a time when the analysis is thrown away in favor of that carnal baby knowledge. That knowledge we all (educated or not) share about the elements of music which move us towards some emotion.
Easier said than done.
I’ve found one tool recently that helps me focus down. I began writing down some of the songs I’ve always loved that I’d like to write something like. It may be the tempo, the drum beat, the subject matter, the way the bongos sound like dinosaur bones…it doesn’t matter. This gets the juices flowing when it’s time to buy some more Skittles.
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
Bongolia (The Incredible Bongo Band)
Once In A Lifetime (Talking Heads)
Drive My Car (Beatles)
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard (Paul Simon)
Another White Dash (Butterfly Boucher)
Roll with the Changes (REO Speedwagon)
Forever My Friend (Ray Lamontagne)
Pop Life (Prince)
Good Day Sunshine (Beatles)
If I Ever Lose My Faith In You (Sting)
Lindsey with the Golden Hair (Justin Caldwell … hey! you can inspire yourself)
Tags: making a new record