Friday, July 17, 2009

Personal Songwriting

At the request of a reader/friend, this blog is about how I go about writing a song. This blog is NOT about songwriting in general. It is NOT about how to write a song. It is NOT about ANYBODY ELSE'S ideas about songwriting. This is simply about MY songwriting.

Hmmm... WHERE to start? How do I write a song?

Writing a song, for me, seems like the hardest thing in the world when I am doing it and the easiest thing in the world when I am done... sometimes I get so enveloped in writing a song that I completely forget that the world around me exists, and time spins and flies all around me.

I try... mind you TRY... to sit down and write w/ a concept, an idea, a title, or such in mind.
My song, "Where You Once Sat" (which can be heard on MYSPACE), started as The Ballad of the Green Chair. YES! It is silly, but that was the concept. Mind you, it was for a class. The assignment was a "ballad" and the green chair idea came from a very strange conversation between Rodney (my boo) and I. I also wanted to switch up the chorus a bit, add a few different chords. I even ended up doing a key change. I don't think I have ANY other songs with a key change, especially one like that. It turned out to be a beautiful song.
I wrote "Unknown" with the title in mind.

What usually happens with me is I sit down, and just write. Sometimes its just words, and then I add music. Sometimes I write chords and start singing. Sometimes, I sit at the computer and start creating beats, chords, rhythm patterns, and then I start singing and writing. For me, it's SUPPOSED to be about the lyrics. Some of my lyrics end up being inane and mundane however, but are juiced up by the rhythm of the music.

MY PERSONAL GOAL in songwriting is to say something, create a message that will really connect with people. However, God/Creator/Universe's goal for me (at least at the time) may not always be the same. Maybe I am hearing other spirits other than those sent by Entity, and they have something else they want to say... about life, love, happiness, sadness, ignorance, silliness. When I write, something takes over me. When I force it... it doesn't come or it sounds silly, stupid, or I just don't like it. Sometimes I come back and back to a chord pattern or a rhythm or lyric or some other ditty I wrote and simply never finish it: an incomplete thought.

Some songs I don't like... end up on an album anyway! Haha. Like "Freak" on my sister's and my debut CD UNKNOWN that we released last year (available on MYSPACE once again). I only had her listen to it because we produced a track for a friend of hers (SAS) that was circus-themed. My initial intro to "Freak" was circus-themed and it even has lyrics like "It's like I'm a bear trying to ride a bike!" How fun! I don't necessarily love what I've done with the song, but I must admit, some of the lyrics are FUN!

If anyone has any questions EMAIL ME @ LDTAYLOR_UNKNOWN@YAHOO.COM or comment or tweet me @james_taylor_jr or facebook me or myspace me! Honestly, whatever makes you feel most comfortable. I will definitely post your question and the answer up here and let you know! PLZ let me know if you do NOT want to be named.

THANKS SO MUCH!

Love,
James

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