Song Writing

I have written elsewhere about the joys, challenges and sometimes the utter frustration of playing and producing music with others. Sometimes song writing can work as a collaborative effort too, where your mates can provide that perfect chorus line or bridge to complete unfinished and stalled pieces – and of course there are many famous song writing partnerships, often splitting the tasks of music creation and lyric writing.

Arranging, recording, mixing and producing represent a further slew of essential tasks in the music making carry-on which benefit from the input and direction of others. This can often turn a rather unpromising set of incoherent notes, rhythms and words into a proper piece of music (thank you Mr. Grimly) – but it helps if you have some half decent ideas in the first place!

From my own experience it seems that most songs start with a pleasing musical phrase or two and, if you are lucky, a snatch of lyrics (lyrics can be a nightmare – unless you are a poet). It is not uncommon for a musician to generate these on a regular basis – but from then on in it can be hard work indeed! I suspect there is a huge difference in approach between professionals, who immediately know the options that will work with a given riff / groove / series of chords and that of the gifted amateur which will be much more one of informed trial and error.

And then there is the approach of the less than gifted amateur ………………….


Sea dⱼ Side


Labour: a cause for disappointment??


  1. Eleri

    I love the slopin music and the idea that sloping along helps words and sounds fall into place … seems to me that you put together excellent options to go with the original riff and the original feel of sloping … think I’ll go out and do some slopin myself.

    • Bryan

      I like the abbreviation. Slopin seems to gently underscore the slightly disreputable nature of the activity in a world of protestant work ethic and results based efficiency. Indeed, I think it is a much under-rated approach to many challenges – but maybe not if you are facing a deadline – and, it must be acknowledged, being time rich is undoubtedly a precondition for its effectiveness.

  2. Eleri

    In the new world which I wish we were fashioning there would be richness to time – and we could all slope around every few days without a need for results. Ideal conditions might be big skies or coffee shops, an extra hour in bed or a walk in the woods, time with your dog or your mates or sitting in the sun . I think slopin’s disreputable nature enhances the feel of it so that should continue – we all need to feel that we are resisting even if it’s just with a cup of coffee.

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