My first song for February Album Writing Month (FAWM) is written! I was worried that all of my prep and planning would go to waste when I sat down to write for the first time, but the song just came. What I didn’t expect was how I’d go about writing the song…
In the past, when I’ve written songs, I’ve started out sitting at a keyboard playing around with progressions and percussion programming. I’ll usually record 10 or so 8 bar ideas before I hit on something that becomes a song. While getting myself ready for FAWM, I realized that I was learning a lot about production and recording with this process, but I wasn’t really writing songs. This left me with almost nothing to show for my work. I needed to change my process.
Yesterday, while updating my iPhone, I flipped to the first page of apps and was reminded that the phone has this cool memo recording app. I’ve used it at concerts to record songs I really liked (FREEBIRD!!) but I’d never thought of using it to get down ideas for songs. So this morning, while getting ready before work, I tried recording a the tune I’d been playing around with for the last couple of days. I tried out a couple of hooks and hit on one. The song writing process began!
On the way home from work, in the car, I just left the recorder running and sang through a couple of ideas I’d had. I was experimenting with different progressions, hooks, lyrics, and I was moving through them really quickly. While walking the dog I ran through the recordings and the ideas continued to develop. When I finally sat down to write, I knew exactly where I wanted to go with the song and just needed to fill in the details.
Because it was so easy (and because I didn’t want to have to drag out the mics) I ended up recording straight to the phone again. I’ll be able to listen in the car, on walks, in the office, all the time figuring out how to refine the song and build out the final arrangement.
FAWMing? There’s an app for that.