Now I like to talk mostly about fitness, science and writing, but sometimes a little off-on-a-tangent post about something seemingly unrelated can be a nice digression.
And then I know, like the trickster I am, it’ll be ultimately related to losing fat. How so? Well you’ll see when you read it….come on, I’m not going to describe the whole movie to you am I?
So in this post I am going to talk about something very close to my heart:
Many people I have met from living in England know me as the scientist bloke, or even the Rocket Scientist. Not many of them, however, know that I have been playing and making music for over 25 years.
I’ve tried my hand at a lot: metal, punk, funk, jazz, dance music…and have been in bands with mates and my big brother (more about him in a minute).
Well, anyway, over the last 6 years I have been writing and producing all my own stuff. And I mean all of it: playing, writing, producing, mastering…sometimes not recommended, but it’s all a great learning experience.
My first album is called Experiment and is FREE!!!!
My second I am writing in the background and you’ll have to pay for that now. Yes you’ll have to pay for it…don’t give me those looks.
So…this brings me nicely to what this post is about:
I can write a tune in about 5 minutes but good God is it hard to write LYRICS for it
Yep, blood out of a stone. An impossible task…like Sisyphos with the stone…almost!
Melodies are easy enough, it’s a just a matter of putting phrases together and tweaking. The way the lyrics are sung, as in the tune of the words, is also pretty easy….but the actual bloody words???…it takes me EONS to get these written.
Here’s an example to really put this into perspective: About 6 of the melodies on Experiment were written about 5 or more years before I released it (in 2008). It took me to SAIL ACROSS THE ATLANTIC and live on a boat for about 3 months, with little internet, TV and radio distractions to even get 2 sets of song lyrics written.
The Atlantic ocean couldn’t even inspire me to up my writing rate!!
Thankfully I did manage to write the album but at an awful output rate…
…and this is where I’ll mention my brother Conor. He’s an artist (his link is in the sidebar) and is a bit of a dab hand at vomiting out lyrics, or at least reams of pages that can be fashioned into lyrics.
When we were in a band together, about 10 years ago, he used to almost exhale onto a page then go and have a smoke. In less than 20 minutes.
But you see what I didn’t know was a little secret he had: he always took the time to write stuff, phrases, buzz words, because a lot of his art uses them.
So he had trained the WRITING MUSCLES..and specifically the poetic-leaning ones.
Ahhh, you say, Micky that’s obvious. Just practice writing. Well okay it’s obvious if you are writing posts or articles or stories, but for lyrics it’s a bit more specialised. After all it’s Poetry, essentially. Every word has to fit and count…Just writing isn’t enough, it has to be focused with the melody in mind…
So what is the answer?
Funnily enough there is a method called the Artist’s Method for people who want to re-ignite their creativity after, say, writer’s block. I read about the singer Susan Enan using this. It can be quite a commitment, but I took a little piece from it.
My answer now to writing lyrics is, yes I write in the morning, for about 15 minutes. That’s all. No more. Just one song at a time per session, sometimes the same song. And here’s the extra thing I do:
I try and write the whole song in one go
Rather than not have anything I’ll put down something, even if it makes no sense, but as long as the word matches the rhythm of the music. After all that’s what lyrics are for.
This idea though about writing something is not mine. It’s John Lennon’s. When George Harrison was writing Something he had the same problem. Good music, no lyrics.
So he asks John what to do. And John told him to just write anything, as long as it matched the rhythm somewhat. I think the first line of Something started out with words like “Cabbage is the way she carrots…” or absurd words like that.
But hey it worked. It’s a great song. Even Elvis said so.
And that is how I am improving my lyric writing. I have a special pad that I write in and I try to do this every morning…….
…..And the key to it all????
It’s DISCIPLINE of course. BUILDING A HABIT. If you are motivated you can build a habit. For fat loss, keeping an exercise and meal times journal, even with when you go to sleep and get up, helps you build habits and discipline.
And then, just like me, with lyric writing….you’ll see that those stones won’t be so hard to get blood out of.