Songwriting Diary 3: Waylaid by a cold

A frustrated, I-know-the-laptop-is-reflecting-in-my-glasses-but-who-does-second-take-selfies selfie.

I’ve been stuck at home trying to shake off a cold. This is annoying and a waste of time.

Nevertheless, songwriting idea generation over the weekend was a success. I now have the following:

A rubbish, lazy attempt at something slow and psychedelic.

A manic riff in A minor and C minor that might kind of work.

A 12/8 melody that might make a good chorus.

An odd riff/verse/chorus song that’s somewhere between the middle of my song Three Rows of Teeth and Disco 2000 by Pulp. Sort of. But not.

So that’s not a bad start. Some, all, or none of these ideas may become finished songs at some point. Maybe.

Songwriting diary 2: First ideas

Today I hid myself away in the nightmare shed with a guitar and microphone and a notebook.

I set myself the task of coming up with some brand new song ideas from scratch. I wrote down a list of possible song ideas – a manic riff in Aminor and Cminor, a psychedelic soundscape etc – and just started playing.

I think it was a fruitful few hours. I’ve got some musical raw material that might make it all the way into a finished song.

Inspiration? There’s no such thing, there’s just hard work.

(Well, not that hard. But work. Well not work. Activity. Doing stuff. I did stuff.)

Songwriting Diary 1: What next?

With the release of my last album I’ve arrived at an unusual place in my songwriting. I’ve recorded all my songs. 

All right, not all of them, there are plenty of demos hanging around. 

I’ve recorded all the songs I’ve written that I think are good enough to record, and I have no idea what I’m doing next. It’s an interesting place to be. Its also a bit scary. 

Jan 2020 will be ten years since my first solo album. At pretty much every point since my #songwriting has outpaced my ability to get things recorded. 

That doesn’t mean I haven’t written new songs as part of each album or EP production ‘cycle’ (can I call it a production cycle when it’s just me cobbling things together in my bedroom studio?). Plenty of songs were brand new at the point they were released. 

Others were fully formed songs that had been sitting around for years before they finally a home in a larger project. 

Others made use of ideas that were older. There are riffs and melodies I’ve put into releases that had been floating around, half-formed for decades. 

But with Demon, my last CD, I’ve got to the end. There are no more obviously usable ideas in my notebooks or audio files. After every release for the last decade I’ve known exactly what comes next. Now, I don’t. 

This is a little scary. 

It is also exciting. Time for something new, I suppose.