Good writing habits

Recording sessions have started for a new “album” of songs by Josephmooon, but their completion and release schedule in 2022 remains unknown. Working on three songs at a time, producer Ian Nice recently asked if the next triad was ready to go.

I had to confess that while Ronan had sent in some new lyrics, and there are older lyrics still under consideration, that I had been remiss in setting them to music.

“Then you better get writing,” was The Producer’s succinct advice.

Two days later, I’d finished three WIPs (works in progress) and recorded “home demos” to share with Ronan and our Producers. I dialed in some drum beats using a “Beat Buddy” rhythm pedal, plugged in my trusty 1990 Made in the USA Fender Telecaster w/o any FX, and sang like nobody was listening.

“Done is better than perfect,” is one of my new mantras.

The songs almost certainly will undergo some changes from here, but that’s what demos are – an audio whiteboard that can be erased and revised as needed. The Nices always have some good ideas. One of these songs really fought to be heard; there are at least 10 different versions on the little digital recorder that I use to preserve ideas and sketches as they present themselves. What will happen to it and the others remains to be seen. It’s an exciting, inexact, and frustrating process.

At the risk of sharing a song “before its time,” here’s the rough demo of “You’re (Not) In Charge.”

At the same time, BMI, which manages our song publishing, sent a link to this short advice column from Reverbnation about becoming a better songwriter. The advice was basically the same – write more, write freely, write a lot of mediocre songs in order to improve and write better songs.

Never hurts to be reminded.

Published by billpaige

Interested parties are first directed to my memoir, “Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars” (Eckhartz Press). While I have taken music therapy classes and read extensively about music’s effect on the brain, I am NOT professionally trained -- just a music lover who recognizes that everyone benefits from music. Giving that gift to special needs youth is highly rewarding, but again, my process is intuitive, not academic. I draw largely on personal experience. I’ve spent most of my 67 years observing a wide world of music, from working as a music critic professionally for 20 years, and holding positions in music companies in the 1970s and 1990s. Since 1990, however, I have focused on learning more about music and improving as a singer, guitarist, and performer, both solo and in ensemble settings.

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