Great, now try it whilst standing on your head!

Lately I’ve been focusing on really settling down and getting some songs written. I’m aiming to have enough to be able to start a band in September or October without running into this conversation:

Person 1: So what should we play?

Person 2: I sort of have a start to a song, but it’s not done and I don’t have a part for your instrument. You could figure something out just by listening, right?

Person 1: …I could try…I have some unfinished stuff too.

Nothing ever gets finished and there is never an actual rehearsal. End band.

Right now I’m working on two pieces in particular and they’ve made me realise that my part writing has gotten stronger just because I keep writing for the wrong instruments. The first piece I’m working on was finished as an instrumental piece for my composition class last semester. It was originally intended for guitar and harp, but since I am not overly familiar with harp music, I ended up writing a harp part that was better suited to two harps. We only had one, so we had the bass clef line covered by cello, with worked really well. The great thing about this was since I’d been thinking of the two lines as one instrument, even though it was physically impossible to play, the two parts fit together really well. In my re-write, I’m moving the guitar(which was originally on melody) to cover the rest of the harp part and writing lyrics to the melody I have. In this piece, it would have also sounded great to have two harps, but I’m trying to make sure I’m writing for instruments I’ll have easy access to.

The second piece I started by fooling around on the guitar and coming up with a chord progression and rhythm. This is the first time I’ve started by laying the structure and mapped out the progression before coming up with lyrics and a melody. On one hand, it feels a little backwards, but on the other, it’s been putting some helpful limits on possibilities. Once I had the progression, I started to try and write a melody, and I wrote about half of it before deciding I’d start trying to put some lyrics in and taking the rest from there. That was when I got completely stuck. I wasn’t writing anything I was happy with, and though the line was strong enough, I felt like I was getting pushed away from a song I had previously been obsessed with. The other day I was trying to work on it again, and on a whim, I changed the vocal line to the cello part.* Suddenly it all made sense. I still have to write the vocal line, but I have a strong accompaniment. This means I have officially turned my normal song-writing method on it’s head.** Hopefully my momentum keeps up so I’m prepared for fall.

Also, I suck at band names, so people should put suggestions(serious or not) in the comments in order to amuse me.

6 minutes left.

*Can you tell what instrumentation my band is going to have yet?

**I am resisting making a reference to a youtube video on inverted chords that probably no one will get.

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One response to “Great, now try it whilst standing on your head!

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