Saturday, December 09, 2006

Rewriting a song – “Rob perfect”

Last night at our songwriting group, Rob Roper played a song that he has been working on for some time. He has a final version for the studio, but is developing a solo acoustic version. Last night he played three different versions of the song. All sounded great. What amazed me was that he was able to come up with three different versions. Knowing Rob, he probably tried and discarded another 10 or 20 versions before he presented this to us.

Rob’s finished songs are great, up there with anyone you’d paid to listen to. He exemplifies the concept of rewriting (i.e. “doing the work”). Not only does he change the lyrics and move sections around, he significantly changes the musical style. Songs for him evolve and it may take him a year or longer to complete a song. His songs are worth waiting for! I can’t help but marvel at his discipline and ability to make such major changes.

For me, I consider a song “finished” after I have a set of verses and chords. Occasionally, I go back add a bridge, make minor wording changes or move sections around. Once I play the “finished song,” it gets locked into my brain and that’s the only way I can hear it. I flat stink at rewriting.

I’m challenging myself to rewrite one song, until it is “Rob perfect.” I have a song in mind and will post it once completed. Don’t hold your breath!

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At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Rob Roper said...

Thanks for the very nice compliments Jeff. But you're being too kind. It's just that I suffer from the curse of perfectionism! -Rob


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