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Songwriting is Like Raising a Child

[ 0 ] November 2, 2011 |

I was meditating on the process of song creation. From the spark that starts the creation to the endless back and forth edits that allow that spark to grow into a full song.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized it’s very similar to the raising of a child, or what I think raising a child would be like. Sidenote: Let’s hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon.

Let’s break it down.

The Fertilization/Fornication Process

You’re playing around. You and your guitar. You’re fiddling around like you know what you’re supposed to be doing but you’re not quite sure. You play a few chords here and there and see how they sound together but it’s not quite right. You move around a bit and add two pauses on accident. Suddenly it’s on.

You like that. That feels good.

You really like where this is going. You start humming random words and names while you allow for a melody to come along.  You know it’s coming and out of nowhere you got a main melody line. You felt it coming, but you weren’t quite sure when it would arrive.


You’re humming that melody and playing those chords but you don’t have anything else yet. You let it gestate for awhile and come back to it. You start humming and suddenly a line comes out that you didn’t expect, but you like it.  Every few days you have a new line of lyrics.


After a few days, you have the skeleton of the song done. You complete the bridge and voila you have a newly formed song. It can’t talk or walk yet, but it’s entered our world.


The song is complete only in that it’s full of the supposedly necessary parts of a song. There’s a written verse, chorus, and bridge. They aren’t that good yet though.  The song is stumbling around trying to make sense of itself in this big world.


Lines are thrown out and new words chosen.  You figure the bridge isn’t strong enough. You don’t like it as much you did a little while ago. The song is trying to fit in to what’s out there but knows it needs to be unique.


All the parts work. You like the chorus. You’re not making excuses for lyrics or parts. You’re happy to let go of the song and call it “finished”.

Music Consciousness

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Category:, Songwriting

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