A friend of mine can put out songs at a pace I can’t comprehend – seems like just about every couple of days he’s got a new one posted on his YouTube channel.
That amazes me.
I’ve tried to write fast, but with how I write, – with the work flow I’ve used for as long as I can remember – I can get stuck on a two and a half second section of a song for days. I don’t mind – it’s part of my love for what I do. I get lost in that little bit of inspiration and don’t really notice I’ve been there for a week until I’m happy with it ( and truth be told, sometimes I end up never happy with it – I’ve got a folder full of songs I’ve not finished yet! Maybe it’s writers block…)
I generally write backwards to what seems to be the norm. Most will start with lyrics, come up with a drum beat, write a melody to that beat, and go from there.
I rarely have lyrics – in fact, I can’t remember the last time I wrote something that had lyrics, so I don’t worry much about them – and drums, even though I play them, are the absolute bane of my writing process.
I always start with a melody and add from there. It’s easier for me to program drums around my melody than the other way around for some reason. I think that’s why almost everything I write is driven by either a piano or some goofy patch I’ve come up with on a synthesizer – that’s to say, I let those instruments keep the time and let the drums work around them.
This process allows me to write without worrying about standard timing – I appreciate great timing, but honestly, it gets in the way sometimes…
It’s just how I write.
I’ve never really thought about that process until recently, and, as is the point of this post – if I ever get to it – I’ve never tried to change it.
My friend who writes ridiculously fast sent me a vocal track and a drum track the other day. He asked if I could write something for it – and I jumped at the opportunity.
We generally write two different kinds of stuff and I thought it would be cool to put the personality of my style of writing underneath his – we both love the same kinds of music, but write in very different directions. He’s as metal as they come when he writes – aggressive drums – thick, heavy guitars – and vocals that remind me of Peter Steele and Darth Vader. I love his stuff.
However – about 3 hours into the process I was hitting a brick wall, and I realized I was, for the first time, working backwards. I’ve never written around lyrics and drums before – ever. It’s been a challenge, but it’s been a blast.
I’ve totally mutilated the drum track he sent – run them through a phaser, cut/pasted them out of order all over the place, and really should just be ashamed of myself – but I’m not.
The vocal track is perfect – I haven’t done much with it except double it up in one part so it wouldn’t get lost behind a patch from the Korg Monologue I was using.
I’m sure FooFooRuku is getting antsy that I’ve had his song for a week and half and I’m not finished yet – I’m not even sorry.
If you’re interested, here’s a little bit of the work in progress, not even done yet, song…