Live Songwriting - Part 2 - Getting Started

Alright, so I've bounced the idea around and have a rough plan for how the song might unfold. Now comes the tricky part. How do I get this abstract concept into some sort of musical shape? To this point I haven't got terribly far. I've sat down with my guitar and doodled around looking for a mood or a tune or a phrase to create the spark that will start the process of revealing the song.
And, that's how I think of it. Obviously we as songwriters are responsible for creating a song but I kind of think that the song is already out there in the cosmos somewhere and it's our job to reveal it., as if it is an invisible being and all we do is throw some sand over it to show its shape. I find this a really helpful approach. I use it to design and create guitars as well. I feel like all the parts are already in existence and my role is to piece them all together in a way that makes perfect sense to me and draw on my experience and intuition to come up with the best possible result. 
With a song it's pretty much a waiting game. Keep kicking it around, both conceptually and musically until something begins to mesh. Once that starts happening turn off your inner critic and editor and just let the thing come out, whatever shape it takes. The refining process will come later. Maybe the whole thing will fail. It doesn't matter, just get it out. 
This week I've recorded a fair bit of video (which I will edit and post shortly) of me doodling on the guitar and humming lines or singing short snatches of phrase. Some of it sounds pretty bad but I'll put it up anyway so you can see the evolution take place. There are also some shots of my pyjama pants, which, in consideration of the boundaries of good taste, I will edit out.
Something happened this weeks that often happens when I'm trying to write a song. Another one popped out. On Monday night as I was stringing chords together and getting nowhere fast I found myself suddenly playing the chords for U2's "With Or Without You" and another tune popped into my head along with the phrase "we're away", often used by one of my colleagues. Suddenly I just wanted to sing about going on holiday and driving. It's simple but it's fun and I think works pretty well. The bridge still needs some work and some clunky lyrics need refining but basically it's done. I'll put this song up shortly.
So that's about it except to say that tomorrow (Saturday, February 7) is the anniversary of Black Saturday so I have posted a live video of the song I co-wrote with Richard Evans called "Black Saturday". Have a look if you get the chance and spare a thought or two for those who's lives were changed for ever on that terrible day.

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