Whew. I did it. I wrote – and recorded – 4 songs this month. When I called this a songwriting challenge, I wasn’t kidding. It felt more than a bit like bootcamp getting them all recorded in time for today. And like bootcamp, the first month was pretty rough. I hadn’t factored in the time it would take to record them, and it was significant. I am using Logic on my laptop and am not very experienced. But one of the main points of this exercise is to get faster, and indeed I am already gaining proficiency in Logic, which is a bonus skill I hadn’t even considered.
What I’ve learned this month –
1) A week is not long enough to write a song. Not for me. At least not yet.
2) “Bacon” is a very user-friendly word in terms of rhyming.
3) Mandolins are metal! \m/\m/
Okay! Without further ado, let’s set a few ground rules and get started.
I am asking for your feedback in the comments. When you give it, keep in mind, these are very rough sketches, not all fleshed out with arrangements and other instruments. So when critiquing, please limit comments to melody, lyrics, and song structure. Of course, ideas for instrumentation will be welcomed, but telling me the arrangement needs work will yield a “duh” response. :+)
I have not posted the lyrics, as I was concerned they would take up too much space. I am hoping you’ll be able to hear them in the songs, but if you find it would be helpful to have them in written form let me know, and I’ll work out a way to post them online.
Lastly – please don’t snag the songs from this site and let them get out into the world. I do plan to use the best of these on albums and I don’t want to lose the element of newness. (If you really want one, just ask, and I’ll send it to you with the caveat that you don’t post it on the internet. This is the only place I want them online until they are ready for release to the greater community. Thanks!)
Here’s what I came up with:
Song for a Savior
This is a song about being our own heros. It’s the one that started this whole thing. (I.e. the one that Winter criticized ;+) ). I reworked it some based on Winter’s suggestions. It’s still got some swords and kings in it but I felt that the nature of the song couldn’t do without them. Heros need swords after all. Song for a Savior.
Engines of Doom
As the title suggests, this is a metal song, for Pandemonaeon. It’s part of a 4-song epic tale we will be telling based on an idea of Paul’s, about a great battle that seemingly cannot be won, and the despair that ensues, yet also with a quest that yields strengths we didn’t know we had. Sounds pretty cool eh? So where’s the mp3? Well…here’s the thing. Paul and Winter don’t want to give this away beforehand, but have it be unveiled in it’s full glory at a live show. (Preserving the element of newness and all). So they’ve forbidden it’s inclusion here. :+( . I see their point really. But. Pout. Also – they threw it back. They said my part wasn’t “metal” enough. So back to the drawing board on that one. I think rewrites are going to have to be allowed in this songwriting process! For now you’ll just have to take my word that I did complete a first draft of this song.
It’s the Bacon
I wasn’t going to write a song about bacon. I really wasn’t. But one of you suggested it when I first put out the call for ideas, and it just kind of trickled into my head. So I figured I’d polish it up and put it out there. Sometimes writing about something completely outside your usual fare really cracks open the idea flow, and that is what happened with this. I’ve been getting lots of ideas since I wrote this. (NOTE: I recorded this last night at midnight after a guest appearance in a friend’s show, so I was not at my most refreshed. Nor did I add any of the fun”oohs”, “ahhs” and vocal percussion I was hoping to add. I haven’t done this justice, but I simply ran out of time. Also – I just noticed, it doesn’t start until 15 seconds into the mp3). It’s The Bacon
I am the Sand and Sea
Okay! This one is truly the belle of the ball as far as I’m concerned. This song represents the first real songwriting breakthrough I’ve had in a while, and I am very excited about it. It’s my first attempt at demonstrating that “Mandolins are Metal”. I hope you like where Im going with this, as I’ll be following this thread qite a lot more over the next year. I-am-the-Sand-and-Sea
Okay! There you have it! Please leave your comments here and let me know your favorites, and why, which ones you’d like to see developed further, any ideas for instrumentation, what could be made better, etc.
Also please leave any ideas for next month’s songwriting endeavors here in the comments.
And THANK YOU for playing along!