Writing a Song

Posted on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 at 4:18 pm
Salty Soul Jeep Shirts

Writing a Song

At least one way I do it!
 photo GEDC0408_zps749cd080.jpg

With the songwriters festival over until next year, I’ll go about explaining on one way of how I write a song. There is no right way or wrong way to write a song, but there is a right way and a wrong way for particular individuals. This is fundamentally what works for me.

With myself, the first thing I do is come up with a melody. 60% of the time, it’s by accident. I’m just noodling on the guitar and suddenly something sounds cool. Sometimes it’s by experimentation, others by nothing better explained than as a mistake. I’ll start playing around with it and out of the blue a lyric comes in out of nowhere. It’s as though that’s the lyric that was meant for the melody I was playing with. From there a story evolves around the melody/chord progression. One example of this is “The Beach!!!!”

 photo IMG_2075_zps4hr9eqd8.jpg

With this song I was in the key of A and going from A to A6 to E9 back to the A to A6 then to a E7. All of this on the A on the fifth fret. It was in a Cuban 4/4 time and really flowed. I was playing around with it for about two weeks. Just having fun with it. Then one morning I was messing with it again when out of the blue came the line “Today I’m going to the beach”. The word Today” was long and drawn out emphasizing the anticipated excitement of going to the beach!  The next line came right away “It’s a sunny day and I’m on my way and I love to feel the heat” the progression had a Latin shuffle groove to it,  so I continued with it for one more verse, which likewise came right to me. The story was evolving and progressing quite quickly.

“See palm trees and coconuts get the sand in my feet”

The progression with those lyrics had run it’s course. The next line and chords came immediately as well, albeit a bit of a side step, by adding a chord that wasn’t in key, but it worked. The progression went C#7 F#m7 Bm7 D7 E7 and the lyric  “And life just don’t get better all the while, carpe dium, seize the day!”
The Latin phrase “Carpe Dium” was one I wanted to utilize and here was the opportunity! Bottom line, here was a progression and lyrics to go with it!

So what was at hand was the following:

TODAY —————————-
I’M GOING TO THE BEACH!
IT’S A SUNNY DAY AND I’M ON MY WAY, AND I LOVE TO FEEL THE HEAT
AND SEE PALM TREES WITH COCONUTS GET THE SAND, IN MY FEET
 AND LIFE JUST DON’T GET BETTER ALL THE WHILE, CARPE DIEM, YEAH! SIEZE THE DAY!

The next verse  likewise came as fast as lightning using the exact same foundation as the first verse.
TODAY——————————
I’M GOING TO THE BEACH!
HOP ON MY BIKE AND TAKE A RIDE, THE SUN, IS WHAT I SEEK
AND IT AIN’T FAR, WHO NEEDS A CAR? THIS IS ISLAND TIME, THIS IS MY BEAT
ON THE BEACH, OUT FROM THE STREET  SMELL THE FRIES COOKIN IN THE SUMMER HEAT

I wanted a bridge next and what came to mind worked perfectly, albeit a bit unusual in structure. Working within the Cuban rhythm that was at hand,  a Motown style bridge was added.  Bm7, C#m7,  D, E and the lyrics applied. Somehow it worked!
WON’T STAND BY THE WINDOW ON THE PHONE AND BE TALKIN’
GET OFF THAT COMPUTER AND BE ON MY WAY
TIME’S A WASTING, LIFE’S TOO PRECIOUS, I BETTER START WALKIN’
OUT THE DOOR, GET ON MY BIKE AND BE ON MY WAY

The bridge was actually very autobiographic actually. Often I need to kick myself in the ass to get off the computer and get out of the house!
So! Now I had a song structurally! The verse progression and the bridge progression. The story continued and the final outcome was the following:

                                                              THE BEACH!!!!
TODAY —————————-
I’M GOING TO THE BEACH!
IT’S A SUNNY DAY AND I’M ON MY WAY, AND I LOVE TO FEEL THE HEAT
AND SEE PALM TREES WITH COCONUTS GET THE SAND, IN MY FEET
 AND LIFE JUST DON’T GET BETTER ALL THE WHILE, CARPE DIEM, YEAH! SIEZE THE DAY!
2
TODAY——————————
I’M GOING TO THE BEACH!
HOP ON MY BIKE AND TAKE A RIDE, THE SUN, IS WHAT I SEEK
AND IT AIN’T FAR, WHO NEEDS A CAR? THIS IS ISLAND TIME, THIS IS MY BEAT
ON THE BEACH, OUT FROM THE STREET YOU SMELL THE FRIES COOKIN IN THE SUMMER HEAT

WON’T STAND BY THE WINDOW ON THE PHONE AND BE TALKIN’
GET OFF THAT COMPUTER AND BE ON MY WAY
TIME’S A WAISTING, LIFE’S TOO PRECIOUS, I BETTER START WALKIN’
OUT THE DOOR, GET ON MY BIKE AND BE ON MY WAY
3
TODAY———————-
I WORSHIP THE SUN
I WORKED ALL WEEK, PAID MY DUES, DON’T YOU THINK, I DESERVE A LITTLE FUN?
I’M HEADIN’ TO THE BEACH, I’LL TAKE MY TIME, NO. I DON’T NEED TO RUN
EVERYONE ON THE BEACH WEARS A SMILE, THE GOOD TIMES HAVE BEGUN
4
TODAY ——————-
I AM AT THE BEACH!
THE SUN IS SHINING AND I AM SMILING, OH YEAH, WHAT A TREAT!
YEAH, THE SUN BEATS DOWN, I JUMP IN THE WATER….. YOU BET! HEY!!! I’M AT THE BEACH!
AND LIFE JUST DON’T GET BETTER ALL THE WHILE, CARPE DIEM, YEAH! SIEZE THE DAY!
© 2009 Christopher R. Rehm   BMI

 photo DSCF5985.jpg


So, that’s one way I write a song…. there are others, but I’ll get into them another time.

In all my writing, I write the music first. The music is the foundation of any song, so it can’t be compromised. So I write the music and tailor the lyrics to fit. It works for me, anyhow. Years after doing it this way, I had some encouragement when I learned that Lennon/McCarthy, Jagger/Richards, and Garcia/Hunter all did likewise


Download “The Beach!!!!” at:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/keywestchris 

 Also available at iTunes. Search “Key West Chris”


Thank you everyone!!!

All the Best From Key West!

Key West Chris Rehm

Article source: http://keywestmusic.blogspot.com/2015/05/writing-song-one-way-anyway.html

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.