Sunday, June 03, 2007

Opposite song

I started working on a new song that starts with the lines,

"I know the answers,
but the questions aren't so clear,
Don't have any problems,
until they appear."

As I started working further on this song, I got into the opposite mode and writing the rest of the song was easy. I've used this technique in writing the song "Contradiction Blues" and find it an easy way to write.

One of the best examples of this is the Tom Waits song, San Diego Serenade. Each line in the song has the structure, "I never saw the ...., til I ..."

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

"It's not what you say, it's how you say it"

This expression holds true for songwriting as well. Just think about how many times you understand the words in songs on the radio, yet you often understand the meaning of the songs. This week I worked with Ben Senterfit on creating colors with my voice and lyrics. Here are some of my take home points

- Low density (breathy) vs. high density (resonate, bassy) - Low density creates a sense of vulnerability. Deep and resonate singing shows more confidence. A great example of low density is Van Morrison's Crazy Love (he's got a whisper tone to his singing). For high density, just listen to anything by Frank Sinatra.

- Singing high vs. low - High notes tend to impart more energy and be used to be more aggressive. Low notes are more laid back and somber.

- Lots of words vs. few words in the same time - More words yield a faster pace. Less words a slower pace.

These are neat ideas, now all I have to do is apply them to my songwriting.

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